Diplomatic Bluebook 2022

Preface to the Diplomatic Bluebook 2022

The international community is currently undergoing an era-defining change. The world is entering an era of the U.S.-China competition and competition among nations, and changes in the balance of power are accelerating and increasing its complexities. Universal values, such as freedom, democracy, human rights and the rule of law, and the international order, which had underpinned the peace and prosperity of the international community to date, are under severe challenges. In particular, Russia's aggression against Ukraine is an outright challenge to the existing international order and imposed a great impact across the world. This aggression is a unilateral attempt to change the status quo by force and is an outrageous act that shakes the very foundation of the international order. It is a clear violation of international law and totally unacceptable. Japan strongly condemns these actions.

Based on the world's trust in Japan that has been fostered through the efforts of the preceding generations, I am mounting an effort to open a new frontier of Japanese diplomacy with a balanced and stable posture and a high level of responsiveness, underpinned by three determinations; to fully defend universal values, to fully safeguard the peace and stability of Japan, and to contribute to humanity by leading the international community.

Domestic affairs and diplomacy are connected. Only with the support of the people, we as a nation can advance strong diplomacy. Thus, it is imperative that the government toss the ball back and forth attentively with the people and steadily deepen our communication. The Diplomatic Bluebook serves as one of the essential tools to that end.

The Diplomatic Bluebook 2022 primarily presents an overview of the international situation and Japan's diplomatic activities in 2021. The opening pages feature our ongoing fight against the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in 2021, based on the firm recognition that “No one is safe until everyone is safe.” It details the major changes the international community faces and Japan's increasingly severe and complex security environment. It then describes Japan's efforts over the past year on major diplomatic issues, such as strengthening of the Japan-U.S. Alliance, realization of a “Free and Open Indo-Pacific (FOIP),” diplomacy with neighboring countries including China and the Republic of Korea, response to outstanding issues of concern regarding North Korea, promotion of regional diplomacy, expansion of a free and fair economic order including economic security, and global issues including COVID-19, climate change, disarmament and non-proliferation. Furthermore, for the sake of deeper understanding of readers, “Special Features” cover a number of specific initiatives in depth such as diplomatic activities conducted on the occasion of the tenth year since the Great East Japan Earthquake. To make diplomacy more accessible to readers, “Columns” feature the stories of Japanese people who are actively working overseas.

Through this Diplomatic Bluebook, we intend to present to readers widely at home and abroad how Japan exercises leadership in the international community and contributes to global peace and prosperity. It is my sincere hope that this Diplomatic Bluebook will contribute to deepening the people's understanding of Japan's diplomacy.

HAYASHI Yoshimasa
HAYASHI Yoshimasa

In principle, Diplomatic Bluebook 2022 describes an overview of the international affairs and Japan's diplomatic activities between January 1 and December 31 of 2021; however, some important events that occurred until early 2022 are also included.

This book consists of the opening special feature, Chapters 1 to 4, and some reference materials. Following on from the previous year's edition, the opening special feature describes the responses to the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) that continued to pose significant challenges around the world in 2021. Chapters 1 to 4 offer concise overviews of Japan's diplomatic activities throughout 2021, 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). Summaries of Diplomatic Bluebook 2022 in French and Spanish are also due to be available on the website by autumn 2022.

For more details with respect to Chapter 3, Section 1, “4 Disarmament and Non-proliferation and the Peaceful Uses of Nuclear Energy,” and 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. Website links and QR codes in this book are those as of publication and may be changed or deleted later. The contents and views expressed in contributions from individuals and organizations do not reflect the position of MOFA. The maps in this book are simplified and may not necessarily be drawn to scale or reflect other details precisely.

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