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J-Soft Power Weekly Brief #16

J-Soft Power Weekly Brief #16

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Published by Rui Faro Saraiva

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Published by: Rui Faro Saraiva on May 16, 2012
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Editors Note
By Rui Faro Saraiva
PhD Candidate at Osaka School of International Public Policy
After Japan having reaffirmed itspolitical values along with the US andbeing committed with democracy,human rights, and free markets, it wasinteresting to see the developments of Noda visit to Beijing, where the talks forthe Trilateral ComprehensiveCooperative Partnership were held.After the meeting between Wen Jiabaoand Lee Myung Bak, the ChinesePremier have refused a similar bilateralmeeting with Japan’s PM Noda,presumably because of the Senkakuislands issue (to be discussed inHangzhou today) and the WorldUyghur Congress being held in Tokyo.China’s stand as Japan’s ‘frenemy’seems to subsist after such kind of initiatives like the Trilateral Partnershipwhich are supposed to reinforce “apeaceful, stable and prosperous EastAsia”. Nevertheless the differencebetween the political values of Chinaand Japan, as much as their territorialdisputes seem to hinder any possibilityof an effective partnership for now, andof course any perspective of analliance, as was the suggestion of theMainichi Daily News Editorial. On theissues related with the Senkaku Islandsand China-Japan relations please alsocheck Tiago Mauricio’s more recentposts at the Japan Foreign PolicyObservatory blog. I would finally like totake this opportunity to welcome you toread the new edition of the J-SoftPower Weekly Brief. This publicationtries to bring awareness about howalmost every aspect of Japanesedomestic and foreign policy may carrya Soft Power dimension that willinevitably influence the perception of scholars, policymakers and businessmanaround the world. I hope thispublication may contribute to have aglimpse of what is the perception about Japan around the world on a weeklybasis.
Photo of the week:Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda andChinese Premier WenJiabao prepare to meetreporters in Beijing onMay 13
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North Korea omitted from accord / Japan, China, South Korea issue jointdeclaration after summit meeting“The leaders of Japan, China and SouthKorea released a joint declarationMonday, a day after their summit talks,but the document did not incorporateany explicit reference to North Korea'sfailed missile launch, as the threecountries could not agree on the issue. The Joint Declaration on Enhancement of  Trilateral Comprehensive CooperativePartnership was initially scheduled to bereleased Sunday, when Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda, Chinese Premier WenJiabao and South Korean President LeeMyung Bak held a summit in Beijing. The joint declaration stipulates the terms of agreement for 50 items in five fields, suchas "enhancing mutual political trust" and"strengthening economic and tradecooperation." The document expressesthe three countries' commitment to"realizing a peaceful, stable andprosperous East Asia." However, thedeclaration does not include acondemnation of North Korea's failedlaunch of a long-range ballistic missilelast month, or urge the country to refrainfrom carrying out a new nuclear test.”(Yomiuri)Hu shuns meeting with Noda“China has refused Japan's request for abilateral meeting between Noda andChinese President Hu Jintao afterSunday's summit meetings, a diplomaticsource said Monday. Hu met Lee andNoda at the Great Hall of the People inBeijing on Monday. Hu then held abilateral summit with Lee, but did nothave a one-on-one meeting with Noda.(…) When Noda met with Wen onSunday, the Chinese premier took aseverely critical attitude toward Japan onissues concerning the Senkaku Islands,over which China claims sovereignty. Thediplomatic source assumed Chineseofficials rejected Japan's request out of concern that the meeting would worsenthe relationship between the twocountries. (…) The World UygurCongress, a Germany-based group forpeople exiled from the Xingiang Uygur Autonomous Region in China, started ageneral assembly in Tokyo on Monday."China's rejection was an apparent signof dissatisfaction against [Japan allowingthe group to hold the event]," the sourcesaid.”(Yomiuri)Noda vows to relocate Futenma base / Okinawa marks 40th anniversary of reversion“Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda on Tuesday promised not to allow the U.S.Marine Corps' Futenma Air Station topermanently remain at its current site inGinowan. At a ceremony marking the40th anniversary of the U.S. reversion of Okinawa to Japan after 27 years of occupation following World War II, Nodasaid reducing the prefecture's burdensstemming from hosting U.S. militarybases is ‘one of the most important tasksof my Cabinet.’ The prefecture hostsabout 75 percent of U.S. military bases inJapan. In his speech, Noda emphasizedthe importance of the current securitysystem based on the Japan-U.S.alliance.”(Yomiuri)Japan, China, South Korea alliancecrucial for regional stability“Despite having such closegeographical, historical and cultural ties,this year's trilateral summit was only thefifth on record. Since the first meetingtook place in 2008 in Japan, chair dutieshave rotated every year. With thesecretariat set up in South Korea lastyear, the three-country alliance is finallyon its way to establishing itself as an‘international body’ within East Asia. (...)Indeed, past history and various othersources of friction still exist among thethree countries, and cooperation andalliance are easier said than done. In fact,there were moments during the latestsummit meeting where subtle differencesin opinion became evident. Thecombined GDP of the three nationsconstitutes approximately 20 percent of the world's GDP. China continues toincrease its visibility and presence ininternational society, South Korea hasbuilt up confidence in its economicstrength, and Japan stands at the headof East Asia as a major industrializeddemocracy. The close cooperation of these three countries is the key to peaceand prosperity.”(Editorial - Mainichi Daily News)Japan Futures Fall as Greek Impasse Talks Fail“Japanese and Australian stock futuresfell as talks to form a new government inGreece failed, increasing concern thecountry will be forced to leave the singleEuropean currency and derail efforts tocontain the region’s debt crisis. Futureson Japan’s Nikkei 225 Stock Averageexpiring in June closed at 8,845 inChicago yesterday, down from 8,910 inOsaka, Japan. They were bid in the pre-market at 8,860 in Osaka at 8:05 a.m.local time. Futures on Australia’s S&P/  ASX 200 Index dropped 0.7 percenttoday. New Zealand’s NZX 50 Index slid0.2 percent in Wellington.”(Bloomberg)Japan trades nuclear power for fossilfuels“Japan has been making up the powergap it faces by importing more fossilfuels. That approach, of course,increases the world’s production of greenhouse gases, an environmentalblack eye in the minds of many. I’ve readthat the Japanese have been importing18 percent more liquefied natural gasthan they were before the earthquake,the lion’s share of which has gone togenerating electricity. (…) Even with theincrease in burning fossil fuels in Japan,power supplies have been tight. Lastsummer, when electricity demands werehigh, factories ran at night and during theweekends to help spread out electricalneeds. In other words, people had todeal with major disruptions of their lives inorder to hold things together over thewarm months. Some analysts see thissummer as a test case for the possibilityof a no-nuke future in Japan. If the nationcan make it through the summer withsome sacrifices but no blackouts, manycitizens will want to keep the shutterednuclear plants off-line.”(Tri-City Herald)Japan’s Growth Peaking as Bank of Japan Pressed to Act“Japan’s economic growth probablypeaked in the first quarter and analystsforecast the pace of expansion will halveby year-end as the boost fromearthquake reconstruction fades. Grossdomestic product rose an annualized 3.5percent, compared with a 0.7 percentcontraction in the final three months of 2011, according to the median estimateof 27 economists surveyed byBloomberg News. The Cabinet Office willgive the number at 8:50 a.m. in Tokyotomorrow. Persistent deflation and theyen’s 5 percent climb against the dollarsince mid-March may encouragepoliticians to keep pressing the Bank of Japan to add more stimulus to supportgrowth in the world’s third-biggesteconomy. As the boost from rebuildingwanes, the nation will increasinglydepend on exports just as Europe’ssovereign-debt crisis and a slowdown in
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China cloud the outlook for globaldemand.”(Bloomberg)Japan’s New Growth Engine: Sake?“As Japan grapples for ways to end itslong slump, with fiscal and monetarypolicymakers both claiming they’re out of ammunition, officials are seeking creativenew growth strategies. One cabinetmember suggests the country down onits economic luck turn to drink. Not to getdrunk, of course. But for marketingpurposes. (…) For many years, domesticconsumption of sake has decreased,failing to win over women and a newgeneration of young drinkers. Exportshave been increasing, but lag wellbehind, say, French wine exports. (…) Mr.Furukawa said he is optimistic forsuccess, based on his observation at theannual Davos World Economic Forum,where sake tasting booths sponsored bythe Japan External Trade Organizationdraw so much traffic that officials end upopening bottles that weren’t intended fortasting.”(Takahashi Moshizuki - Wall StreetJournal)Japanese aid to Myanmar“JAPAN has pledged to provide 600billion yen ($7.5bn) of officialdevelopment assistance … in the threeyears starting fiscal 2013 to the fivecountries of the Mekong River region —Myanmar, Thailand, Cambodia, Laos and Vietnam. Japan’s development aid to theregion, mainly the least-developed areaof the Association of Southeast AsianNations … is important. Particularlynotable is Tokyo’s decision to forgive, instages, 300 billion yen of its past yenloans to Myanmar and supply freshlending to the country for the first time in25 years.”(Dawn.com)China, Japan start sea talks“China and Japan will hold a high-levelconsultation on maritime affairs latertoday with the Diaoyu Islands expectedto take center stage, but analysts warnedof a rocky road ahead in terms of makingprogress. The consultation held inHangzhou, Zhejiang Province, is the firstround of the mechanism, which wasestablished by the two sides duringJapanese Prime Minister YoshihikoNoda's visit to Beijing in December. According to the China News Service,during the one-day consultation foreignand defense ministries from bothcountries will be joined by China's StateOceanic Administration and Japan CoastGuard. The Japanese delegation will alsovisit China's maritime surveillanceauthorities after the consultation. (…) TheKyodo News reported that Chinacanceled Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi'smeeting set for last night with Hiromasa Yonekura, chairman of the JapanBusiness Federation, without specifyingany reason. Kyodo said the cancellationcould be linked to the ongoing "WorldUyghur Congress" in Tokyo, over whichChina expressed strong discontent.’”(Sina English)China and Japan Fall Out Over Uighurs“Signs of tension are returning torelations between Japan and China,casting shadows over accelerating effortsbetween the two East Asian powers tostrengthen their economic ties. In thelatest sign of renewed strain, China hasharshly condemned Japan for allowing agroup of exiled Uighur activists to hold amajor conference in Tokyo this week.China considers the group, the WorldUyghur Congress, an ‘anti-Chinaseparatist organization.’ Calling it aprivate group, Tokyo says it won'tinterfere with its activities. (…) In a signalof its dissatisfaction with Tokyo's Uighurposition, China failed to arrange abilateral meeting between President HuJintao and Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda on Sunday in Beijing,where the two nations and South Koreaagreed to start formal negotiations for atrilateral free-trade agreement. To theannoyance of Japanese officials, Mr. Hudid meet bilaterally with South KoreanPresident Lee Myung-bak.”(Wall Street Journal)Japan-Sri Lanka investment and tradepromotion“A Japanese business delegation led byKouhei Watanabe - Chairman of theJapan - Sri Lanka Business Co-Operation Committee and SeniorCorporate Adviser to ITOCHUCorporation of Japan met. BasilRajapaksa, Minister of EconomicDevelopment at the Ministry of EconomicDevelopment Tuesday (…) KouheiWatanabe said the Japan Sri LankaBusiness Co-operation Committee isworking toward promoting investmentand trade between the two countries. The Committee met in Japan last yearwith the attendance of more than 150Japanese businessmen and investorsand this year a joint meeting will be heldin Sri Lanka between Sri Lankan andJapanese Business Communities. (…)Basil Rajapaksa thanked Japan for thesupport given by the Japanesegovernment and Japanese peoplecontinuously for the upliftment of thecountry’s economy and well being of itspeople. He said the Japan Sri Lankabusiness co - operation has done a verygood service to promote economiccooperation between the two countries.”(News.lk)Japan’s royal couple fly to UK for queen’sgala“Japan’s emperor said he is lookingforward to congratulating Britain’s QueenElizabeth II for her “diamond jubilee”marking 60 years on the throne. Emperor Akihito and Empress Michiko left Tokyoon Wednesday to attend celebrations inBritain. He said at the airport he wants tooffer the queen his best wishes. They willattend a banquet hosted by the queenon Friday, along with other jubilee events,before returning to Japan on May 20.’”(Khaleej Times)
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 Japan's Empero Akihito and EmpressMichiko smile before boarding their plane at Tokyo's Haneda international airport tovisit Britain for the anniversary of QueenElizabeth II's 60th yeaon the throne,Wednesday. (AFP  photo) ,
May 16,2012. AP Photo

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