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J-Soft Power Weekly Brief 33

J-Soft Power Weekly Brief 33

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J-Soft Power Weekly Brief covers news or other articles related with Soft Power in the context of Japanese Foreign Policy. The opinions expressed are solely those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of JFPO.

Editor: Rui Faro Saraiva
Assistant Editor: Seiko Sakuragi
Assistant Editor: Eduardo Passos

Japan Foreign Policy Observatory (JFPO)
J-Soft Power Weekly Brief covers news or other articles related with Soft Power in the context of Japanese Foreign Policy. The opinions expressed are solely those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of JFPO.

Editor: Rui Faro Saraiva
Assistant Editor: Seiko Sakuragi
Assistant Editor: Eduardo Passos

Japan Foreign Policy Observatory (JFPO)

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Published by: Japan Foreign Policy Observatory on Sep 12, 2012
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial


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Quote of the Week 
“The Japanese elite's failure on all these fronts, together with corruption scandals, hasled to increasing cynicism about all authorities, whether they be politicians, bureaucratsor technical experts. But it is not possible for democracy to function without at least aminimum level of trust and of trustworthiness. That is Japan's real democratic crisis. This lack of trust lies behind the fraying of established parties and the willingness of voters and ambitious politicians to grasp at straws, such as Mr. Hashimoto'spopulism”.
Richard Katz
Editor at the Oriental Economist Alertin Wall Street Journal
Photo of theweek:Japaneseexporters toChina are bracedfor repercussionsthat could rangefrom mobviolence to aconsumerboycott, and evenoutrightsanctions, amidan escalatedstandoff over thedisputed SenkakuIslands.(AJW Asahi)
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Institutional Partners:
Japanese Govt names new envoys toU.S., China, S. Korea“The government on Tuesdayappointed Vice Foreign MinisterKenichiro Sasae as ambassador to theUnited States to succeed IchiroFujisaki. Sasae, 60, who entered theministry in 1974, has served as viceforeign minister since August 2010.Chikao Kawai, assistant chief cabinetsecretary, 59, was named Sasae'ssuccessor. The government alsoappointed Shinichi Nishimiya, 60,deputy foreign minister for economicaffairs, to replace Uichiro Niwa asambassador to China. Niwa cameunder fire recently for expressingconcern over the government'spurchase of some of the SenkakuIslands in Okinawa Prefecture. Thegovernment named Koro Bessho, 59,deputy foreign minister for politicalaffairs, to succeed Masatoshi Muto asambassador to South Korea. Bychanging three key ambassadors atthe same time, the government hopesto rebuild relations with the UnitedStates, which have been strainedunder the Democratic Party of Japan-led government, and those with Chinaand South Korea, which have souredrecently over territorial issues.”(Yomiuri)Japan, Russia promote 'judodiplomacy'“Japan and Russia are working to setup the participation of their leaders in a judo-related event in Vladivostok, aspart of an initiative to strengthenbilateral ties through "judo diplomacy,"it was learned Saturday. Arrangementsare being made for Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda and Russian President Vladimir Putin to take part in aceremony on Sunday unveiling a bustof the late Vasili Oshchepkov, knownas "the father of judo in Russia,"informed sources said. Both leadershold a black belt in judo, with Putin infifth degree and Noda in second, alower degree. At their first summittalks in June on the sidelines of aGroup of 20 summit in Los Cabos,Mexico, the two exchanged national judo uniforms for the 2012 LondonOlympics. If ‘judo diplomacy’ isrealized again during the two-daysummit of the Asia-Pacific EconomicCooperation forum held in the city of  Vladivostok in the Russian Far East,mutual trust between the Japaneseand Russian leaders will hopefully bestrengthened, according to thesources. The bust of Oshchepkov wascreated to celebrate the 120thanniversary of his birth. He launched a judo club in Vladivostok after learningthe sport at the Kodokan JudoInstitute in Japan.”(Yomiuri)Gemba hints at delay in Ospreydeployment“Foreign Minister Koichiro Gemba on Tuesday signaled the possibility of adelay in the full deployment of theMV-22 Osprey aircraft at a U.S. marinebase in Okinawa Prefecture, southernJapan. At a news conference, Gembasaid work will be conducted verycarefully for the safety of operationsusing the tilt-rotor transport aircraft. ‘Itcannot be helped if a delay happensas a consequence,’ Gemba said. TheU.S. Marine Corps hopes to deploythe aircraft at its Futenma Air Station inGinowan, Okinawa Prefecture, in earlyOctober. Tokyo and Washington arediscussing measures to ensure thesafe operations of the aircraft, such asadjustments of planned flight routes.But discussions have not progressedrapidly. At a different news conference,Defense Minister Satoshi Morimotoannounced his ministry's analysisreport that concluded that the crash of a CV-22 Osprey plane in Florida inJune was caused mainly by humanerror.”(Yomiuri)Zero-nuclear policy ready for inclusionin new energy and environmentstrategy“The government has entered the finalstage of incorporating a zero-nuclearpolicy into a new energy andenvironment strategy that is expectedto be determined as early as the endof this week, government sourceshave revealed. The zero-nuclear policyis to stipulate halting the operations of all nuclear power stations in Japan bythe 2030s, and comes in response tomounting calls among the public foreliminating all nuclear reactors in thecountry in the aftermath of the disasterat the Fukushima No. 1 Nuclear PowerPlant. (…) The government will make aformal decision on the new energy andenvironment strategy at an Energy andEnvironment Council meeting to beconvened as early as the end of thisweek. After the ruling DemocraticParty of Japan (DPJ) made policyproposals on Sept. 6 that ‘allnecessary policy and resources will bedevoted to achieving the zero-nuclearpolicy goal by the 2030s,’ theindustrial circle and Aomori Prefecturefiercely opposed the plan, promptingthe government to push back the datefor the final decision on the newenergy policy from Sept. 10 to the endof this weekend at the earliest.”(Mainichi Daily News)Nuclear deterrence can never justifynuclear fuel cycle project“Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda saidthe government will set a basicdirection for its new energy andenvironment strategy by the end of this week. We urge the government toclearly set a goal of ending Japan'sreliance on atomic power based on aconvincing road map. In discussionson Japan's new energy strategy,particular attention is focused on thenuclear fuel cycle project, in whichplutonium is extracted from spentnuclear fuel and used in fast-breederreactors. The project has beenregarded as the core of Japan'snuclear power policy goal. (...) There isabsolutely no need for the continuationof the project if the government aimsto achieve a society without nuclearpower stations in the wake of theaccident at the tsunami-strickenFukushima No. 1 Nuclear Power Plant. There are calls urging that the nuclearfuel cycle project, which usesplutonium, be maintained to leave thepossibility of developing, producingand possessing nuclear weapons inthe future. Such an idea is dubbed asa "potential nuclear deterrence."However, such calls are far fromconvincing the public that Japanshould maintain the nuclear fuel cycleproject.”(Mainichi Daily News)Japan to Mobilize Coast Guard WhenBeijing’s Ships Reach Islands“Japan says it will mobilize its coastguard when Chinese governmentships reach a disputed archipelago inthe East China Sea, raising thepossibility of a confrontation betweenthe two powerful Asian nations. In astatement given to VOA Wednesday,the Japanese foreign ministry said the
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coast guard mobilization will happen‘when the (Chinese) ships get there, orat least come closer to’ the Japanese-controlled islands. China's officialnews agency Xinhua previouslyreported that the two China MarineSurveillance ships ‘reached the watersaround’ the islands Tuesday morningas part of a plan to assert Beijing'sclaim of sovereignty. Since then,Chinese state media have been silenton the ships' movements. TheJapanese foreign ministry said itcannot confirm the location of theChinese vessels. Xinhua's earlierreport said the Chinese agencyresponsible for the ships would ‘takeactions pending the development of the situation.’ It did not elaborate.Japan's coast guard has confrontedChinese fisherman and nationalists inthe waters of the archipelago severaltimes in recent years.”(VOA)Japan Osaka mayor seeks nationalpower with new party“Popular Osaka Mayor ToruHashimoto formally launches a bid fornational power on Wednesday with anew political party that critics say tapssimmering nationalist sentiment just asJapan faces increasingly strained tieswith China and South Korea. Thattension has been growing in recentweeks as Beijing and Seoul both clashwith Tokyo over rival claims to islandsin the region, disputes that trace back to lingering resentment over Japan'swartime rule in the region. ‘He'sdefinitely pushing Japanese politicaldiscourse further to the right,’ saidKoichi Nakano, a professor at SophiaUniversity in Tokyo ahead of afundraising bash in Osaka forHashimoto's party. ‘A lot of Japaneseare looking for a messiah who will turnthings around and make everythingwonderful.’ Some opinion polls showthat Hashimoto's Japan RestorationParty is more popular than the rulingDemocratic Party of Japan (DPJ). Inone TV survey it even ranked higherthan the biggest opposition rival.”(Reuters)Japan's Crisis of Democracy“Yoshihiko Noda's turn as Japaneseprime minister appears to be nearingan end, and with it, the tenure of hisDemocratic Party of Japan. The DPJ'srise to power in 2009 promised a newday, breaking the old ruling LiberalDemocratic Party's five-decade nearstranglehold on Tokyo. Now, threeyears and three DPJ prime ministerslater, the country is instead headed fora new era of political turbulence, partysplits and realignments, and economicuncertainty. (…)The problem is notconfined to the DPJ. Behind thepolitical malaise is two decades of economic stagnation, just 0.7%annual per-capita GDP growth. Withthe economic pie growing so slowly asthe population ages, constituenciesare at odds with each other over howto divide it. That is the centrifugal forcethat is causing party splits. To avoidcontention, politicians of all stripes areavoiding economic reform plans. Thisis most striking in the case of the mainopposition party. Former PrimeMinister Shinzo Abe, a contender tobecome the new president of the LDP,and hence the next prime minister,spends his time talking about ahistorical controversy over themilitary's use of Korean women as sexslaves in World War II. Nor are anyother parties offering coherenteconomic plans at the moment. Theplatform of maverick Osaka Mayor Toru Hashimoto is short on economicsand long on nationalism andadministrative reforms such asdevolving more power to localgovernments.”(Wall Street Journal)Politics, debt weighing on Japaneconomy as in U.S.“Japan's economy is slowing andefforts to change that are beinghampered by problems all-too-familiarto the U.S.: A gridlocked legislatureand rapidly swelling national debt. Thisposes one more challenge for America's already-fragile recovery.Revised numbers show the Japaneseeconomy grew at half the alreadyanemic rate reported for the secondquarter of the year. Gross domesticproduct grew an annualized 0.7percent from April through June, theCabinet Office said in Tokyo Monday. This is 50 percent less than an earliercalculation of 1.4 percent. In the firstthree months of the year Japan'seconomy grew by 5.5 percent -- wellahead that of most industrializednations. This was fueled by robustconsumer and reconstructionspending driven by the nation's effortto rebuild after the devastatingearthquake and tsunami in March2011.”(Reuters)Japan's Russia diplomacy“Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda andRussian President Vladimir Putin metfor the first time during the JuneGroup of 20 summit in Mexico. WhenNoda proposed holding substantivetalks over the Northern Territoriesdispute on the basis of bilateralaccords and documents as well as of the principle of law and justice, Putin

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