Diplomatic Bluebook 2020

Preface to the Diplomatic Bluebook 2020

The year 2019 was a “year of diplomacy” for Japan with a series of international meetings and major events taking place in the country. Large-scale international conferences, such as the G20 Osaka Summit and the Seventh Tokyo International Conference on African Development (TICAD7), as well as the Ceremony of the Enthronement of His Majesty the Emperor at the Seiden, provided excellent opportunities to further deepen the world's understanding of and interest in Japan and to share with the international community Japan's readiness to tackle issues for achieving global peace and prosperity.

Each time I talk with my foreign counterparts, I am made keenly aware that expectations for Japan are increasing and Japan's global presence is growing, as a country that has been pursuing a consistent, stable diplomacy amid the increasingly complex and uncertain international situation. I am determined to exert initiative in resolving various problems by translating Japan's growing global presence into coordinating capacity in the international community. I will stand firm where a resolute response is needed. This is precisely what I aim to pursue under the “diplomacy with a sense of caring and robustness,” which I have reiterated since my appointment as Foreign Minister.

I will continue to take further steps with a particular focus on six policy areas: (1) further strengthening of the Japan-U.S. Alliance, the cornerstone of Japan's foreign policy; (2) tackling outstanding issues of concern regarding North Korea; (3) advancing diplomacy with neighboring countries, such as China, the Republic of Korea, and Russia; (4) addressing the increasingly tense situation in the Middle East; (5) engaging in economic diplomacy in which Japan will lead efforts to establish new common rules; and (6) addressing global issues.

The Diplomatic Bluebook 2020 records Japan's diplomatic activities throughout 2019, including those in the above priority areas that took place in 2019. Chapter 1 reviews the international situation and Japan's diplomacy in 2019. Chapters 2 and 3 elaborate on major events in 2019 in relation to Japan's foreign policy by region and by field respectively. Chapter 4 discusses the efforts of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to support the Japanese society and people in deepening their ties with the world. Additions were made to cover the situation concerning the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) to the extent permitted by time available until publication.

The Diplomatic Bluebook targets three types of readers full of intellectual curiosity. The first is experts, researchers, and members of the media who are engaged in international affairs. For these readers, we have enhanced factual content, including diagrams of Japan's initiatives. The second is businesspersons and students interested in international affairs. Chapter 1 provides a compact outline of the international situation and Japan's diplomacy in 2019 to ensure ease of reading even in a short amount of time. The third is the many people who normally do not give great thought to diplomacy and are wondering about the work performed by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. To make Japan's foreign policy more accessible to these readers, the opening special features contain many photos and provide easy-to-understand descriptions of diplomatic events, including the G20 Osaka Summit and TICAD7, as well as Japan's efforts to achieve a “Free and Open Indo-Pacific.” We have also included columns on more familiar topics, such as the Rugby World Cup.

It is my sincere hope that this Diplomatic Bluebook will help a broad readership, both domestic and overseas, form an image of Japan demonstrating leadership in the international community and contributing more than ever to global peace and stability.

MOTEGI Toshimitsu
MOTEGI Toshimitsu

In principle, Diplomatic Bluebook 2020 describes an overview of the international affairs and Japan's diplomatic activities between January 1 and December 31 of 2019; however, some important events that occurred until April 2020 are also included.

This book consists of the opening special features, Chapters 1 to 4, and some reference materials. The opening special features contain double-page spreads with photos on major diplomatic events and topics. Chapters 1 to 4 offer concise overviews of Japan's diplomatic activities throughout 2019, and also include special features explaining specific foreign policy themes in an easy-to-understand manner and column articles contributed by people with global experiences.

This year's and past years' Diplomatic Bluebooks are available on the website of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA). The summaries of Diplomatic Bluebook 2020 in French and Spanish are also due to be available on the website by autumn 2020.

For more details with respect to Chapter 3, Section 1, “4 Disarmament and Non-proliferation and the Peaceful Uses of Nuclear Energy,” and Chapter 3, Section 2, “Japan's International Cooperation,” please refer to MOFA's publications, Japan's Disarmament and Non-Proliferation Policy, and White Paper on Development Cooperation Japan's International Cooperation. They are also available on the MOFA website.

Please note that the titles of persons and names of countries appearing in this book are those as of the events.

The maps in this book are simplified and may not necessarily be drawn to scale.

Previous Diplomatic Bluebooks:


Previous Diplomatic Bluebooks

Japan's Disarmament and Non-Proliferation Policy (only in the Japanese language)


Japan's Disarmament and Non-Proliferation Policy


White Paper on Development Cooperation Japan's International Cooperation:


White Paper on Development Cooperation Japan's International Cooperation