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J-Soft Power Weekly Brief #22

J-Soft Power Weekly Brief #22

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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 Jun 27, 2012
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial

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08/15/2013

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Editor’s Note
By Rui Faro Saraiva
PhD Candidate at Osaka School of International Public Policy
 This weekly digest of news is supposedto focus on the Japanese Foreign PolicySoft Power dimension. Neverthelessthis week we underline a matter relatedwith pure domestic policies, like thepassing of the bills to double theconsumption tax rate, setting the stagefor a mass defection from the rulingDemocratic Party of Japan. SomeInternational Relations theories relatethe influence of domestic politics withthe formulation and implementation of foreign policy. The same is happeningwhen we consider Japan and its lack of leadership. While observing JapaneseSoft Power assets, and I’m not referringto Manga or Anime… but for examplehow Japan implements its ODA (look into Gemba’s pledge of 6 billion dollarsfor ODA over the next 3 years), nomatter how much resources Japanactually holds, it also needs a strongleadership to strategically use andimplement those same resources. If PMNoda some weeks ago reshuffled hiscabinet sacking some ministers, thisweek Noda implemented a controversialtax law at the cost of alienating one-fifthof his own party’s members of parliament. 57 lawmakers in the rulingDemocratic Party of Japan voted no,and former DPJ leader Ichiro Ozawasignaled he may leave the party. If hetakes more than 50 followers with him,it could endanger the party’s majority.Noda’s policy in this regard is trying toface the huge nation’s debt, but theresult it is also a divided party, a dividedcountry, and a weak leadership. All of this will probably affect theimplementation of Japanese ForeignPolicy, which is facing huge challengesnot only due to the current economicstand of the country but also becauseof the power shift to Asia with wideimplications in the regional and globalorder.
J-SOFT POWER WEEKLY BRIEF Nº22
Photo of the week:
Prime MinisterYoshihiko Noda,center, and otherCabinet ministersstand after the billto raise theconsumption taxrate was approvedby the LowerHouse on June 26.(AJW Asahi)
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Crown prince visits school in Thailand“Crown Prince Naruhito, who is on aweeklong tour to Thailand,Cambodia and Laos, visited aJapanese school in Bangkok on Tuesday morning. Some of thestudents waved Japanese nationalflags as they welcomed the crownprince. The school, one of thebiggest Japanese schools in Thailand, has about 2,700 primaryand middle school students. OnMonday, the crown prince attended awelcome ceremony and met with Thai Prime Minister YinglucShinawatra. He later visited the royalpalace and met with Thai KingBhumibol Adulyadej..”(Yomiuri) Truman grandson to visit A-bombsites“A grandson of Harry Truman, theU.S. president who made thedecision to drop atomic bombs onHiroshima and Nagasaki in 1945, isexpected to attend peace memorialceremonies in the two cities in August for the first time, it has beenlearned. (…) Daniel plans to visitHiroshima's Peace Memorial Park and Peace Memorial Museum on Aug. 3. He is also scheduled to meetwith Hiroshima Mayor Kazumi Matsuiand atomic bomb victims beforeattending the ceremony tocommemorate the U.S. bombing of the city on Aug. 6, 1945. Daniel willthen travel to Nagasaki to attend apeace ceremony to be held there on Aug. 9. Sadako Legacy, which invitedDaniel to the ceremonies, is led byMasahiro Sasaki. He is the brother of Sadako Sasaki, a Hiroshima girl whowas 2 years old when the city wasbombed and died 10 years later. Sheis known for her perseverance infolding paper cranes as a prayer forher recovery and was the inspirationfor the statue dedicated to childrenkilled by the atomic bomb located inHiroshima Peace Memorial Park.Daniel said he wanted to know howthe lives of those who were bombedwere affected by the U.S. decision touse the nuclear weapon. He decidedto visit Japan to understand thehistorical event from the viewpoint of the atomic bomb victims.”(Yomiuri)66% of Taiwanese say Japan tiesdeepened since quake“A recent poll shows 66 percent of  Taiwanese people feel ties withJapan have deepened since theMarch 2011 earthquake andtsunami, the Taipei office of Japan'sInterchange Association has said. After Taiwan offered Japan donationsand relief goods worth a total of about 20 billion yen, among thelargest from any country or region inthe world, Japanese people held anumber of events in Taiwan to showtheir appreciation for the support.‘The poll results seem to indicateJapan's gratitude for the disastersupport was well communicated topeople in Taiwan,’ said an official of the Taipei office of the association,which acts as the de facto Japaneseembassy in the country. The poll alsoshowed 51 percent of respondentsplan to refrain from traveling to Japanfor the time being. (…) Asked aboutthe foreign country or region they likemost in the world, 41 percent pickedJapan, far above the 8 percentfigures given as responses in bothChina and the United States. Japanalso topped the Taiwan list in aprevious poll two years ago. Thesurvey, commissioned to a privateresearch firm, was conductedbetween Jan. 30 and Feb. 22,covering 1,009 people aged in their20s through their 80s.”(Yomiuri)National security clause must bedeleted from law on atomic energy“An addition to the Atomic EnergyBasic Law stating that Japan'snuclear energy should contribute tonational security has stirredcontroversy. The amendment hasfueled speculations about its trueaim. Some wonder whether theinterpretation of the clause could bestretched to open the way for nuclearweapons development. Othersquestion whether the clause is aimedat underscoring the effectiveness of the development and use of atomicpower for nuclear power plants andother purposes. Japan's three non-nuclear principles of not producing,not possessing and not introducingnuclear weapons form the core of itsnational policy, and the nation'ssuccessive administrations haveruled out the possibility of the countrydeveloping such weapons of massdestruction. The basic law limitsresearch, development and use of atomic energy strictly to peacefulpurposes, championing democratic,independent and public disclosureprinciples. As such, one cannot helpbut wonder whether the nationalsecurity clause is aimed at changingJapan's basic policy on nuclearenergy. (…) The Atomic Energy BasicLaw was amended by incorporatingthe clause into the appendix in thelaw on the establishment of a nuclearregulatory panel, which was passedinto law on June 20. The clause wasnot in the original government-sponsored bill. However, the rulingDemocratic Party of Japan (DPJ), thelargest opposition Liberal DemocraticParty (LDP) and New Komeitosubsequently agreed to modify thebill and enact it as lawmaker-initiatedlegislation. At the time, the clause inquestion was incorporated into theappendix at the request of the LDP.(…) South Korea responded to theinclusion of the clause in the basiclaw by saying, "We will watch thetrue intention behind the amendmentand its future impact," against thebackdrop of such a persisting idea inJapan. (…) Moreover, a phrasestating Japan's space developmentmust be limited to peaceful purposeswas deleted from the LawConcerning the Japan AerospaceExploration Agency in itsamendments on June 20. The factthat legislation relating to nationalsecurity has been passed into lawwithout sufficient discussions amidpolitical confusion over theconsumption tax hike has raisedgrave concerns.”(Editorial - Mainichi Daily News)Japan pledges 6 billion dollars inODA over next 3 years“Japan will provide a total of 6 billiondollars in official developmentassistance over three years fromfiscal 2013, Foreign Minister KoichiroGemba said at the U.N. Conferenceon Sustainable Development,dubbed Rio+20. Through the aid, thenation will help developing countries
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establish measures to minimizedamage from natural disasters andintroduce renewable energy. Gembasaid in a speech that Japan wishesto share its disaster preventiontechnologies and know-how withdeveloping countries to createcommunities resistant to disasters.Such knowledge was acquired fromthe experience of the March 2011earthquake and tsunami, he added.(…) He said Japan plans to sendabout 10,000 experts to developingcountries over the next three yearsto support their transition to a greeneconomy in which both economicgrowth and environmental protectionare realized. A Japanese pavilionwas set up along the sidelines of theRio+20 conference to showcase thecountry's reconstruction efforts afterthe March 2011 disasters. In aseparate speech at the pavilion,Gemba said the three hardest-hitprefectures of Fukushima, Miyagi andIwate are striving to overcome theirhardships so they can stand on theirown feet again. It is also Japan's dutyto share the nation's knowledge,experience and the process of reconstruction with the rest of theworld, Gemba said. At the facility,local government officials from thethree Tohoku prefectures showedvideo footage of their reconstructionefforts. They also introduced localdishes and sake to visitors.”(Yomiuri)Japan's lower house approvesdoubling of sales tax“Japan's lower house voted Tuesdayto double the country's sales tax to10 percent over three years in a bidto rein in a bulging national debt asan aging population burdens thecountry's social security system. Thevote, however, shook Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda's grip on powerbecause of strong opposition from agroup within the ruling party led bypower broker Ichiro Ozawa thatbelieves the tax hike will weaken theeconomy. Ozawa and his supportershave threatened to bolt theDemocratic Party over the tax issue. The bill passed easily by a vote of 363-96, with support coming fromthe two biggest opposition parties. The bill must still pass the lesspowerful upper house to becomelaw, which is expected. It calls forraising the sales tax from 5 percent to8 percent in 2014, and then to 10percent in 2015.”(FOX News)Japan to Boost Defense in Pacific,Minister Says“Japan's new defense minister saidthe government is preparing toenhance its air and sea defensecapabilities to protect islands andwaters in the nation's southwest, partof the broad swath of the westernPacific where China has increased itsmaritime activities in recent years. (…)Mr. Morimoto also said one of hispriorities as defense minister is topush for policies that will strengthenthe bilateral alliance with the U.S."The most important task for peoplewho think about Japan's nationalsecurity and build its policy is makingthe alliance even more reliable," hesaid. Mr. Morimoto brings to theembattled government of PrimeMinister Yoshihiko Noda acombination of a nonpolitical résuméand first-class knowledge of nationalsecurity that has generated rareexcitement among the public. Healso comes with unapologeticallyhawkish views on how Japan shouldprotect itself amid rising geopoliticaltensions in East Asia.”(Wall Street Journal)Philippines Foreign Secretary to visitJapan“Foreign Affairs Secretary Albert delRosario will embark on his first officialworking visit to Japan this week atthe invitation of his Japanesecounterpart Foreign Minister KoichiroGemba, the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) said today. (…) ‘Bothforeign ministers will discuss vitalissues relating to bilateral economicrelations, cooperation in the field of maritime security, the Mindanaopeace process, as well as regionalissues such as regional security andcooperation,’ the DFA said. Apartfrom the bilateral meeting withGemba, Del Rosario will also call onDeputy Prime Minister KatsuyaOkada and meet with JapanInternational Cooperation Agency(JICA) President Akihiko Tanaka andofficials of the Japan-PhilippinesParliamentarian Friendship League(JPPFL), among others, to discussthe advancement of bilateral relationsand exchange views on issues of common interest.”(PhilStar.com)Japan makes deal with Russia toreduce reliance on Middle East oil“An agreement between Japan andRussia to jointly develop a Siberian oilfield is expected to accelerate

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