5th September 2012


Photo of the week: China only began openly claiming Senkakus in the 1970’s. (AJW Asahi)

Quote of the Week
“Prime Minister Noda, meanwhile, seems happy to contribute to the escalation of the various territorial disputes that Japan is embroiled in with its neighbors. The exploitation of nationalism by politicians is, of course, not unique to Japan, or for that matter, to Asia. It was Samuel Johnson writing in 18th century England who famously remarked that ‘patriotism is the last refuge of a scoundrel’” But whatever is the case overseas, one thing is clear here in Japan – as the end draws near for the DPJ government, nationalist chest-beating is poised to be an unfortunate substitute for any serious attempt at providing better social protection for Japanese in the coming months and years.”

Koichi Nakano Professor of Political Science, Sophia University in CNN 1

J-SOFT POWER WEEKLY BRIEF 5th September 2012

Govt 'in last stage of talks to buy Senkakus' “The central government is in the final stage of negotiations to buy three of the Senkaku Islands in Ishigaki, Okinawa Prefecture, directly from the owner for about 2 billion yen, according to sources close to the government. The government plans to buy the islands, which China also claims, with reserve funds, the sources said. (…) The central government hopes to convince the owner of the need to bring the islands under state control and to offer him more than Tokyo has collected, the sources said. The Tokyo gover nment started negotiations to purchase the islands with the owner before the central government did. However, when the Tokyo government filed a request for permission to land on Uotsurijima island, one of the Senkaku Islands, in August, it did not include a letter of agreement from the owner, prompting some government officials to suspect negotiations between Tokyo and the owner have bogged down. But the Tokyo government has not changed its plan to buy the islands. On Sunday, a team of surveyors dispatched by Tokyo surveyed the islands and conducted research from boats in the sea surrounding the islands. Therefore, the central government hopes to speed up negotiations with the owner to sign a purchase contract as soon as possible.” (Yomiuri) Japanese U.N. director works to protect refugee health “As the director of the health department of a U.N. body, Akihiro Seita has spearheaded a program to develop networks of family doctors among Palestinian refugees. ‘It's been more than 60 years since the outbreak of the Palestinian refugee problem. They live in so-called refugee camps, but these places are like ordinary towns,’ Seita, 51, said. Based in Jordan, Seita oversees 3,000 staffers in the health department of the U.N. Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA), which provides education and medical assistance to about 5 million Palestinian refugees. Seita was transferred to the United Nations from the World Health Organization two years ago to lead health reforms in the refugee camps. What he saw among

residents in the camps was increased diabetes and high blood pressure partly due to stress over the deadlock in Middle East peace efforts. He came to believe that what the refugees needed most was improved living habits.” (Yomiuri) Japan, North Korea agree to discuss 'issues of interest' “Japanese and North Korean officials agreed Friday to discuss a ‘broad range of issues that interest both sides’ and hold ‘higher-level’ talks in Beijing in the near future. The two countries reached the agreement on the third day of preliminary consultations, held for about two hours at the Japanese Embassy in the Chinese capital, to lay the groundwork for full-fledged bilateral negotiations. Wednesday's talks were the first in four years between the two governments. (…) The two countries will try to arrange the full-fledged negotiations in mid-September, as Sept. 17 marks the 10th anniversary of their Pyongyang Declaration stipulating resolution of bilateral problems including the abductions, the sources added.” (Yomiuri) Japan must take initiative to resolve "comfort women" issue “Considering our current situation, we should address the tensions between Japan and South Korea over the issue of "comfort women" beginning with its origins. South Korean President Lee Myung-bak has said that the "comfort women issue" was his motivation for visiting the Takeshima islets. The Japanese government's subsequent waffling has dissatisfied South Korea and the Japanese public. The view that the institution of comfort stations was a barbaric one unique to the Japanese military is spreading internationally. Efforts must be made to understand what led to this current state of affairs, and to clear up any misconceptions. (...) The Japanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs refers to the women at the center of the conflict as ‘comfort women,’ but most foreign media call them ‘sexual slaves.’ The 1996 United Nations Human Rights Council report called them "sexual

slaves," and we must understand why. Hata's book ‘Ianfu to senjo no sei’ takes an empirical approach in discussing the problems that arise in translation. The root of the problem lies with Japan. Instead of waiting to see what steps South Korea takes, Japan must take steps to first dispel any misunderstandings. Why not start by creating a precise, high-quality English translation of Hata's book for the world to read?” (Mainichi Daily News) First Japan-N. Korea talks since '08 show need to respect Pyongyang Declaration “Japan-North Korea consultations late last month, the first such talks since August 2008, highlight the need for both countries to respect the spirit of the 2002 Pyongyang Declaration signed by then Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi and late North Korean leader Kim Jong Il. Division director-level officials of the Japanese and North Korean foreign ministries met in Beijing for talks from Aug. 29 to 31 and agreed to upgrade the consultations to bureau director general-level negotiations. Both countries should use the move as a springboard to break the deadlock over their bilateral ties. The issue over the collection of the remains of Japanese nationals who died in North Korea around the end of World War II helped open the door to the first bilateral talks in four years. The ashes of at least 20,000 Japanese people who died around that time are believed to remain in North Korea, but the issues of collecting their remains as well as visits to their graves by their bereaved families had remained unsettled due largely to the lack of diplomatic relations between the two countries. In early August, the Red Cross societies of both countries discussed the matter and agreed that both governments would increase their involvement in efforts to settle the issue, which led to the latest intergovernmental talks. Pyongyang had proposed talks on the collection of the ashes since last year. The country is believed to have intended to use such talks to resume consultations between the two governments and win a commitment from Japan to extending financial and other assistance. (...) Sept. 17, 2012, marks the 10th anniversary of Koizumi's visit to


J-SOFT POWER WEEKLY BRIEF 5th September 2012

Pyongyang and the signing of the Pyongyang Declaration with Kim Jong Il. The joint declaration partly reads, ‘Both leaders confirmed the shared recognition that establishing a fruitful political, economic and cultural relationship between Japan and the DPRK through the settlement of an unfortunate past between them and outstanding issues of concern would be consistent with the fundamental interests of both sides, and would greatly contribute to the peace and stability of the region.’ The two countries cannot even pave the way for normalization of bilateral ties unless they respect this spirit.” (Mainichi Daily News) Japan to set energy policy but "no stance" on nuclear - minister “Japan is scheduled to set national energy policy early next week, Economics Minister Motohisa Furukawa said on Tuesday, although he said the government had not taken any particular position on the main question over the role of nuclear power. An anti-nuclear clamour has grown in Japan since an earthquake and tsunami damaged the Fukushima nuclear power plant in March last year, triggering the world's worst nuclear crisis in 25 years. The government, mindful of public opinion ahead of an election, had been hinting that it might set a target of eliminating atomic power by 2030 - a big shift for an economy that had planned to boost nuclear energy before last year's accident. Furukawa said the ruling Democratic Party would draw up the policy at the end of the week.” (Reuters) Japan Listed Dokdo as 'National Property' in 1945 “Japan first listed Korea's easternmost islets of Dokdo as national property shortly before its defeat in World War II, when Korea was under colonial occupation, and calculated the value of the land. The Asahi Shimbun on Monday said the Japanese Finance Ministry listed Dokdo as Takeshima in 1945. The land was classified as "wilderness" measuring 231,371 sq. m. The ministry took over the rights to the islets from the Japanese Navy for around 2,000 yen at the time. In 2001, Japan valued the islets at around 5.32 million yen, and in 2010 at 5 million yen. At the end of March this year the value had fallen to 4.37 million yen. The estimates are based on Japanese islands of similar size, with the drop in value reflecting a decline in Japanese real estate prices. But Tokyo in 1945 took no steps to register Dokdo, which would have been necessary to claim ownership. The Asahi Shimbun said the ministry felt there was no need to register the property ‘since the ownership was clear.’” (Chosunilbo) Japan: Get ready for a rightward shift “Three years ago last week, having campaigned on a platform of “putting people’s lives first,” the ruling Democratic Party of Japan triumphed in the country’s historic general election, overcoming a Liberal Democratic Party that had ruled almost uninterrupted for more than five decades. Yet two (soon likely three) prime ministers later, the DPJ has lost its way. How? For a start the DPJ has managed to make itself hugely unpopular by ditching most of its main campaign manifesto pledges and letting the country’s bureaucrats redefine the policy agenda. Having determinedly pursued and achieved the controversial policies of restarting nuclear power generation after the Fukushima disaster and setting in place a timetable for raising the consumption tax, it’s clear that Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda and his party have achieved little else, and the DPJ

Noda government to buy Senkaku Islands for 2 billion yen.” (AJW Asahi)

looks likely to have power wrested from it by the LDP at the next election, which many expect to be called this autumn. With the credibility of the liberal alternative once personified by the DPJ in tatters, the form of the next government is increasingly seen as a choice between a so-called grand coalition of the LDP, its long-time ally New Komeito, and an emasculated DPJ on the one hand, and a radical conservative “Great Reset” alliance led by the populist, authoritarian mayor of Osaka, Toru Hashimoto, together with a right wing-dominated LDP dominated by the likes of former Prime minister Shinzo Abe (…)It’s arguable that Japanese have only themselves to blame for this dire situation. Regardless, this drift rightwards will have implications for Japan’s neighbors and partners. With the rejection of the liberal approach of compensating for the inherent costs experienced in a globalizing economy, it is all but certain that the familiar “New Right” formula – strong state and a free market – will return in force.” (Koichi Nakano - CNN) Why Japan and South Korea Are Feuding Over a Cluster of Rocks “The frenemies are at it again. Despite all their longstanding shared interests, Japan and South Korea just can’t find a way past their long and bitter history. At present they’re focusing their lovehate conflict on a desolate little cluster


of volcanic outcrops jutting up from the Sea of Japan, roughly 210 kilometers across the water from either of the two countries’ mainlands. Collectively known in Japan as Takeshima (‘bamboo island’), in Korea as Dokdo (‘rock island’), and in the West as the Liancourt Rocks (named after a French whaling vessel that narrowly avoided being wrecked there in 1849), the islets total less than 19 hectares in area. But in the minds of Japan and South Korea, they’ve grown large enough to encompass decades of unresolved grievances. (….) There seems to be no way out, at least for the foreseeable future. Tokyo and Seoul could conceivably decide to shelve the issue and muddle through, as they did after they normalized relations some 50 years ago. It wouldn’t really solve the problem, but at least it seems doable. Alternatively, an exasperated Park Chung-hee is said to have suggested a more drastic approach at the time of the normalization talks: just blast the islets into oblivion. Neither government is likely to buy that idea. But if those rocks are going to keep causing so much trouble between the two Asian frenemies, it might be the only real solution” (Newsweek) Myanmar, Japan make progress in economic co-op “Myanmar and Japan are making progress in bilateral economic cooperation, especially in the past four months following Myanmar President U Thein Sein's first historic milestone visit to Japan in 28 years in April. As part of its aid, Japan was preparing to help Myanmar launch satellite in a bid to promote the capacity of the country's telecommunication and information sectors. The initial feasibility study on the launching involves Marubeni Aerospace Corporation. Under the project, Japan will also help in drawing space- related strategy via space record and provide in teaching space- related technology at the universities. For launching satellite, Myanmar has set up a fivemember central committee and a seven-member working committee. In July, Myanmar's National Planning and Economic Development Ministry and Japanese Embassy signed a memorandum of understanding on Japan's equipment assistance worth of 2.416 billion yen ($30.24 million). According to the MoU, Japan will

J-SOFT POWER WEEKLY BRIEF 5th September 2012

provide 1.256 billion yen for upgrading health equipment in central Myanmar which will be implemented from 2012 to 2016 and 1.160 billion yen for providing equipment assistance for construction of dams in Ayeyawady Delta region which will be implemented from 2012 to 2015.”


‘since its very beginning.’ Russia and Japan have long been at odds over the sovereignty of four disputed Pacific islands which are called Northern Territories in Japan and Southern Kuril islands in Russia. The territorial row has blocked a peace treaty between the two countries since the end of World War II. Lavrov told students the (China Daily) absence of a peace treaty would not hamper the development of RussiaJapan bilateral ties in general. ‘We do Taiwan, Japan exchange ideas on not see any obstacles to the post-earthquake recovery development of our relations even in the absence of a peace treaty,’ said “Representatives from Taiwan and the official.” Japan met at a forum in Taipei Monday to discuss what Taiwan can (Xinhua) learn from Japan's reconstruction since the country was heavily hit by Korea, Japan temporarily halt military the March 11 earthquake and tsunami exchange programs: paper last year. A total of 450 participants have registered to attend the Taiwan“Korea and Japan have temporarily Japan Science and Technology suspended planned military exchange Forum, where local and Japanese programs between the sides, a experts have been invited to speak on J a p a n e s e n e w s p a p e r re p o r t e d industrial challenges and precautionary Sunday, in the wake of worsening measures in the post-disaster era, public sentiment over a continued according to the Association of East territorial stand-off. Exchanges Asian Relations, the organizer of the between the Japanese and South event. Tsay Ching-yen, director of the Korean militaries have depeened in association's Science and Technology recent years, but bilateral relations Committee, said he hopes the between the two nations have soured exchanges can be transformed into quickly after South Korean President substantial measures to improve Lee Myung-bak made an bilateral cooperation. ‘The impact of unprecedented visit to the the March 11 earthquake and tsunami easternmost islets of Dokdo on Aug. not only changed the lifestyle of 10. Tokyo proposed Seoul refer the Japanese people, but also urged the issue of Dokdo to the International world to reconsider issues such as Court of Justice, but Seoul rejected its production systems.’” proposal saying it is "not worth (Focus Taiwan) consideration." Japan's daily Asahi Shimbun said Self-Defense Forces (SDF) had planned to invite officers No peace treaty deal with Japan at from the South Korean Air Force's APEC summit: Russian FM southern combat command to Japan from Monday through Thursday, but “Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Seoul has suddenly sent a notice that Lavrov said Saturday Moscow would its officials will not take part in the not settle the peace treaty issue with program. Korean Navy officers in Japan during the upcoming Asia- charge of education and training had Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) been invited to visit Japan on Monday, summit in the Far Eastern city of but the plan was also called off.” Vladivostok. During a meeting with (The Korea Times) students from the Moscow State Institute of International Relations, Lavrov said the territorial disputes and the relevant problem of a peace treaty between Russia and Japan would not be settled within the APEC framework. ‘No interstate, political or legal agreements are considered within the APEC by definition,’ Lavrov said, adding the 21 member regional organization has been operating as a forum for economic negotiations

J-SOFT POWER WEEKLY BRIEF 5th September 2012

Japan’s Defense Policy: The View From Washington, DC
“When it comes to Japan’s defense, the Japanese political system and the Japan Self-Defense Force independently decide the national policies as they are ultimately responsible for Japan’s safety and security. However, due to the crucial nature of the U.S.Japan alliance to Japan’s overall security, it is impractical not to take into account American thinking. As a result, it is important to better understand where and how American thinking on Japanese security is influenced. The scope of this research goes beyond the official statements of the legislative and executive branches of the U.S. government. (…) The research yielded several notable findings. It quickly showed that the U.S. media featured topical Japanese defense issues almost as equally as their Japanese media counterparts. They did not single out any particular topics or favor quoting certain experts. Second, with the recent military rise of China and concerns about the American economic and financial situation, the U.S. expects Japan to establish more formidable deterrence and defense posture, which will assure stability in East Asia and the rest of the world. Third, American experts are satisfied with the direction in which Japanese defense policy has been moving but hope that Japanese soft and hard power will increase to make up for future shortfalls in bilateral operations under the Security Treaty. This includes a reinterpretation of the right of collective self-defense for enhancing defense. At the same time, however, they do not want Japanese defense policy changes to be extremely provocative to neighboring nations, as drastic changes could to lead to increased tensions among East Asian countries. With such stakes, the future of the U.S.-Japan alliance has tremendous possibilities, especially given the economic situations of both countries. But it is also important that each nation recognizes the other’s circumstances and opinions. (…) Therefore, this recognition gap must be bridged in upcoming bilateral exchanges. Based on that mutual understanding, the U.S. and Japan can jointly maintain and improve their present bilateral deterrence capability in the long term. Any defense buildup will take time and require thinking ahead. To achieve such effective measures, not only should the international environment but also the domestic situations in each country be considered. Just laying one’s hopes on the other party does not get either nation anywhere. However, Japan still needs to think on its own about what sort of bilateral relationship it wants and to what degree it should hedge its bets. Without this preparation, it will be difficult for Japan to earn true trust from the U.S. “ (Seiki Kageura – The Brookings Institution) “Since the end of the Cold War, the Asia-Pacific region has witnessed the evolution of regional institutions, including the AsiaPacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) forum, ASEAN Regional Forum (ARF), ASEAN plus Three (APT), East Asia Summit (EAS), and ASEAN Defense Ministers’ Meeting-Plus (ADMM Plus). Despite a significant increase in the number of institutions, they have played only a limited role in regional security due mainly to the lack of progress in their functional development. (...) It may be said that regional institutions have been allowed to remain a venue for multilateral dialogue, since regional stability has largely depended on the US military presence and its alliance network in the region. However, in recent years, the regional security environment has begun to undergo considerable changes, as represented by the rapid shifts in the distribution of power in the region. In the era of “power shifts,” which has already posed various challenges to regional stability, regional security institutions are expected to play new roles that go beyond their traditional role of multilateral dialogue. The main objective of this paper is to discuss the desirable role of regional security institutions in the era of power shifts with special reference to the ARF and its implications for Japan-China relations. (…) In the era of rapid power shifts, maintaining a stable regional order becomes a more onerous task without effective regional security institutions. This is because overcoming security challenges stemming from the rapid changes in a regional distribution of power requires the development of practical CBMs, PD measures, and effective rules on maritime security that can be promoted only through a multilateral setting. The strengthening of regional security institutions has also great implications for bilateral relations between Japan and China, since it will provide the two countries with a great opportunity to ameliorate their security relations. The promotion of bilateral military exchanges and cooperation is regarded as one effective way of enhancing the level of mutual understanding and trust among the two countries. (...) Japan and China can still develop their security cooperation through regional institutions in which the two countries regularly participate. (….)However, if nontraditional security cooperation led by Japan and China can produce a record of concrete achievements, China may come to understand the value of regional security cooperation for its national security as well as regional security. In short, the significant reduction of China’s concern about security cooperation may open up the possibility of the development of regional cooperation on the enduring traditional security problems of the region. China should realize that China’s greater activism in regional security institutions will greatly serve, rather than undermine, its national interests since its active role in regional security cooperation can be a more convincing manifestation of “China’s peaceful rise.” (Takeshi Yuzawa — The Tokyo Foundation)

The Roles of Regional Security Institutions in the Era of Power Shift: The Implications for JapanChina Relations 5

J-SOFT POWER WEEKLY BRIEF 5th September 2012

Japan-Finland Summit Meeting [http://www.mofa.go.jp/u_news/20/ H502012090419314601A/] Agreement in Principle on the Tax Agreement regarding the Exchange of Information between the Government of Japan and the Government of Samoa [http://www.mofa.go.jp/announce/announce/ 2012/9/0904_01.html] Attendance at the 24th APEC Ministerial Meeting by Minister for Foreign Affairs Gemba [http:// www.mofa.go.jp/announce/event/ 2012/9/0904_01.html] Statement by the Press Secretary, Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan, on the Release of the Report by Commission of National Inquiry in the Maldives [http://www.mofa.go.jp/announce/announce/ 2012/9/0903_02.html] Visit to Japan by the Rt. Hon John Key, Prime Minister of New Zealand [http://www.mofa.go.jp/announce/ event/2012/9/0903_01.html] Japan-U.S. Aid Coordination in the Pacific Island Countries [http://www.mofa.go.jp/announce/announce/ 2012/9/0901_01.html] Statement by the Press Secretary, Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan, on the progress made by Sudan and South Sudan in negotiations [http://www.mofa.go.jp/announce/announce/ 2012/9/0903_01.html]


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

Osaka, Japan • Editor’s mailbox: ruifarosaraiva@gmail.com J-SOFT POWER WEEKLY BRIEF covers news or other articles related with Soft Power in the context of the Japanese Foreign Policy. The opinions expressed are solely those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of JFPO. JAPAN FOREIGN POLICY OBSERVATORY (JFPO) HTTP://WWW.JAPANFPO.ORG/

Sign up to vote on this title
UsefulNot useful