Diplomatic Bluebook 2019

Chapter 4

Japan's Diplomacy Open to the Public

3 Role of Intellectuals in Diplomacy

In building a future international order in the drastically changing world, it is becoming more apparent that experts from the private sector can take the initiative in freely conducting policy discussions on a global scale without being bound by the official views of governments, which in return have an impact on the world's opinion, as well as on the policy decisions of each government.

Some of the examples include the World Economic Forum (Davos), which has a large influence on the international economic policies of each country, the Shangri-La Dialogue, which provides prominent experts and ministers of the world with an opportunity to discuss Asian security issues, and the Manama Dialogue, which deals with the security in the Middle East. There is an ever increasing importance to develop human resources, such as researchers and think tanks (study and research institutions) to take part in such discussions and to utilize experts of universities and other organizations in major countries.

Expanding the intellectual base for Japan's diplomacy and security and promoting diplomacy that involves a broad range of people is expected to yield improved diplomatic capabilities over the medium- to long-term. Under this premise, MOFA launched a subsidy scheme for study/research on foreign policy and security which aims to enhance think tanks' abilities to collect/analyze/release information and to make policy recommendations. In addition, since FY2017, MOFA has also launched a subsidized support project for territory, sovereignty, and history studies.

Moreover, in December 2018, the Inception Conference of the T20 (Think20), one of the G20 Engagement Groups (groups that are independent from governments and comprised of various stakeholders of the international community), was held in Tokyo and it was attended by approximately 200 people, including experts from G20 countries. At the meeting, policy issues related to the main themes of G20 Summits were discussed, and a process laying down policy recommendations to submit to G20 Osaka Summit was launched. There are also plans to hold the T20 Summit in May 2019.

Reception for the T20 Inception Conference (December 4, Tokyo)Reception for the T20 Inception Conference (December 4, Tokyo)