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J-SOFT POWER WEEKLY BRIEF Nº16
Photo of the week: Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda and Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao prepare to meet reporters in Beijing on May 13
By Rui Faro Saraiva PhD Candidate at Osaka School of International Public Policy
After Japan having reafﬁrmed its political values along with the US and being committed with democracy, human rights, and free markets, it was interesting to see the developments of Noda visit to Beijing, where the talks for t h e Tr i l a t e r a l C o m p r e h e n s i v e Cooperative Partnership were held. After the meeting between Wen Jiabao and Lee Myung Bak, the Chinese Premier have refused a similar bilateral meeting with Japan’s PM Noda, presumably because of the Senkaku islands issue (to be discussed in Hangzhou today) and the World Uyghur Congress being held in Tokyo.
China’s stand as Japan’s ‘frenemy’ seems to subsist after such kind of initiatives like the Trilateral Partnership which are supposed to reinforce “a peaceful, stable and prosperous East Asia”. Nevertheless the difference between the political values of China and Japan, as much as their territorial disputes seem to hinder any possibility of an effective partnership for now, and of course any perspective of an alliance, as was the suggestion of the Mainichi Daily News Editorial. On the issues related with the Senkaku Islands and China-Japan relations please also check Tiago Mauricio’s more recent
posts at the Japan Foreign Policy Observatory blog. I would ﬁnally like to take this opportunity to welcome you to read the new edition of the J-Soft Power Weekly Brief. This publication tries to bring awareness about how almost every aspect of Japanese domestic and foreign policy may carry a Soft Power dimension that will inevitably inﬂuence the perception of scholars, policymakers and businessman around the world. I hope this publication may contribute to have a glimpse of what is the perception about Japan around the world on a weekly basis.
J-SOFT POWER WEEKLY BRIEF 16th May 2012
North Korea omitted from accord / Japan, China, South Korea issue joint declaration after summit meeting “The leaders of Japan, China and South Korea released a joint declaration Monday, a day after their summit talks, but the document did not incorporate any explicit reference to North Korea's failed missile launch, as the three countries could not agree on the issue. The Joint Declaration on Enhancement of Trilateral Comprehensive Cooperative Partnership was initially scheduled to be released Sunday, when Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda, Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao and South Korean President Lee Myung Bak held a summit in Beijing. The joint declaration stipulates the terms of agreement for 50 items in ﬁve ﬁelds, such as "enhancing mutual political trust" and "strengthening economic and trade cooperation." The document expresses the three countries' commitment to "realizing a peaceful, stable and prosperous East Asia." However, the declaration does not include a condemnation of North Korea's failed launch of a long-range ballistic missile last month, or urge the country to refrain from carrying out a new nuclear test.” (Yomiuri) Hu shuns meeting with Noda “China has refused Japan's request for a bilateral meeting between Noda and Chinese President Hu Jintao after Sunday's summit meetings, a diplomatic source said Monday. Hu met Lee and Noda at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing on Monday. Hu then held a bilateral summit with Lee, but did not have a one-on-one meeting with Noda. (…) When Noda met with Wen on Sunday, the Chinese premier took a severely critical attitude toward Japan on issues concerning the Senkaku Islands, over which China claims sovereignty. The diplomatic source assumed Chinese ofﬁcials rejected Japan's request out of concern that the meeting would worsen the relationship between the two c o u n t r i e s . ( … ) T h e Wo r l d U y g u r Congress, a Germany-based group for people exiled from the Xingiang Uygur Autonomous Region in China, started a general assembly in Tokyo on Monday. "China's rejection was an apparent sign of dissatisfaction against [Japan allowing the group to hold the event]," the source said.” (Yomiuri)
expiring in June closed at 8,845 in Chicago yesterday, down from 8,910 in Osaka, Japan. They were bid in the premarket at 8,860 in Osaka at 8:05 a.m. “Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda on local time. Futures on Australia’s S&P/ Tuesday promised not to allow the U.S. ASX 200 Index dropped 0.7 percent Marine Corps' Futenma Air Station to today. New Zealand’s NZX 50 Index slid permanently remain at its current site in 0.2 percent in Wellington.” Ginowan. At a ceremony marking the 40th anniversary of the U.S. reversion of (Bloomberg) Okinawa to Japan after 27 years of occupation following World War II, Noda said reducing the prefecture's burdens Japan trades nuclear power for fossil stemming from hosting U.S. military fuels bases is ‘one of the most important tasks of my Cabinet.’ The prefecture hosts “Japan has been making up the power about 75 percent of U.S. military bases in gap it faces by importing more fossil Japan. In his speech, Noda emphasized fuels. That approach, of course, the importance of the current security increases the world’s production of system based on the Japan-U.S. greenhouse gases, an environmental black eye in the minds of many. I’ve read alliance.” that the Japanese have been importing (Yomiuri) 18 percent more liqueﬁed natural gas than they were before the earthquake, the lion’s share of which has gone to Japan, China, South Korea alliance generating electricity. (…) Even with the crucial for regional stability increase in burning fossil fuels in Japan, “ D e s p i t e h a v i n g s u c h c l o s e power supplies have been tight. Last geographical, historical and cultural ties, summer, when electricity demands were this year's trilateral summit was only the high, factories ran at night and during the ﬁfth on record. Since the ﬁrst meeting weekends to help spread out electrical took place in 2008 in Japan, chair duties needs. In other words, people had to have rotated every year. With the deal with major disruptions of their lives in secretariat set up in South Korea last order to hold things together over the year, the three-country alliance is ﬁnally warm months. Some analysts see this on its way to establishing itself as an summer as a test case for the possibility ‘international body’ within East Asia. (...) of a no-nuke future in Japan. If the nation Indeed, past history and various other can make it through the summer with sources of friction still exist among the some sacriﬁces but no blackouts, many three countries, and cooperation and citizens will want to keep the shuttered alliance are easier said than done. In fact, nuclear plants off-line.” there were moments during the latest summit meeting where subtle differences (Tri-City Herald) in opinion became evident. The combined GDP of the three nations Japan’s Growth Peaking as Bank of constitutes approximately 20 percent of Japan Pressed to Act the world's GDP. China continues to increase its visibility and presence in “Japan’s economic growth probably international society, South Korea has peaked in the ﬁrst quarter and analysts built up conﬁdence in its economic forecast the pace of expansion will halve strength, and Japan stands at the head b y y e a r- e n d a s t h e b o o s t f r o m of East Asia as a major industrialized earthquake reconstruction fades. Gross democracy. The close cooperation of domestic product rose an annualized 3.5 these three countries is the key to peace percent, compared with a 0.7 percent and prosperity.” contraction in the ﬁnal three months of 2011, according to the median estimate (Editorial - Mainichi Daily News) of 27 economists surveyed by Bloomberg News. The Cabinet Ofﬁce will give the number at 8:50 a.m. in Tokyo Japan Futures Fall as Greek Impasse tomorrow. Persistent deﬂation and the Talks Fail yen’s 5 percent climb against the dollar since mid-March may encourage “Japanese and Australian stock futures politicians to keep pressing the Bank of fell as talks to form a new government in Japan to add more stimulus to support Greece failed, increasing concern the growth in the world’s third-biggest country will be forced to leave the single economy. As the boost from rebuilding European currency and derail efforts to wanes, the nation will increasingly contain the region’s debt crisis. Futures depend on exports just as Europe’s on Japan’s Nikkei 225 Stock Average sovereign-debt crisis and a slowdown in
Noda vows to relocate Futenma base / Okinawa marks 40th anniversary of reversion
J-SOFT POWER WEEKLY BRIEF 16th May 2012
China cloud the outlook for global demand.”
and defense ministries from both countries will be joined by China's State Oceanic Administration and Japan Coast (Bloomberg) Guard. The Japanese delegation will also visit China's maritime surveillance authorities after the consultation. (…) The Japan’s New Growth Engine: Sake? Kyodo News reported that China “As Japan grapples for ways to end its canceled Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi's long slump, with ﬁscal and monetary meeting set for last night with Hiromasa policymakers both claiming they’re out of Yonekura, chairman of the Japan ammunition, ofﬁcials are seeking creative Business Federation, without specifying new growth strategies. One cabinet any reason. Kyodo said the cancellation member suggests the country down on could be linked to the ongoing "World its economic luck turn to drink. Not to get Uyghur Congress" in Tokyo, over which drunk, of course. But for marketing China expressed strong discontent.’” purposes. (…) For many years, domestic consumption of sake has decreased, (Sina English) failing to win over women and a new generation of young drinkers. Exports China and Japan Fall Out Over Uighurs have been increasing, but lag well “Signs of tension are returning to behind, say, French wine exports. (…) Mr. Furukawa said he is optimistic for relations between Japan and China, success, based on his observation at the casting shadows over accelerating efforts annual Davos World Economic Forum, between the two East Asian powers to where sake tasting booths sponsored by strengthen their economic ties. In the the Japan External Trade Organization latest sign of renewed strain, China has draw so much trafﬁc that ofﬁcials end up harshly condemned Japan for allowing a opening bottles that weren’t intended for group of exiled Uighur activists to hold a major conference in Tokyo this week. tasting.” China considers the group, the World Uyghur Congress, an ‘anti-China (Takahashi Moshizuki - Wall Street separatist organization.’ Calling it a Journal) private group, Tokyo says it won't interfere with its activities. (…) In a signal Japanese aid to Myanmar of its dissatisfaction with Tokyo's Uighur “JAPAN has pledged to provide 600 position, China failed to arrange a b i l l i o n y e n ( $ 7 . 5 b n ) o f o f ﬁ c i a l bilateral meeting between President Hu development assistance … in the three Jintao and Japanese Prime Minister years starting ﬁscal 2013 to the ﬁve Yoshihiko Noda on Sunday in Beijing, countries of the Mekong River region — where the two nations and South Korea Myanmar, Thailand, Cambodia, Laos and agreed to start formal negotiations for a Vietnam. Japan’s development aid to the trilateral free-trade agreement. To the region, mainly the least-developed area annoyance of Japanese ofﬁcials, Mr. Hu of the Association of Southeast Asian did meet bilaterally with South Korean Nations … is important. Particularly President Lee Myung-bak.” notable is Tokyo’s decision to forgive, in (Wall Street Journal) stages, 300 billion yen of its past yen loans to Myanmar and supply fresh lending to the country for the ﬁrst time in Japan-Sri Lanka investment and trade 25 years.” promotion (Dawn.com) “A Japanese business delegation led by Kouhei Watanabe - Chairman of the Japan - Sri Lanka Business CoOperation Committee and Senior Corporate Adviser to ITOCHU Corporation of Japan met. Basil Rajapaksa, Minister of Economic Development at the Ministry of Economic Development Tuesday (…) Kouhei Watanabe said the Japan Sri Lanka Business Co-operation Committee is working toward promoting investment and trade between the two countries. The Committee met in Japan last year with the attendance of more than 150 Japanese businessmen and investors and this year a joint meeting will be held
in Sri Lanka between Sri Lankan and Japanese Business Communities. (…) Basil Rajapaksa thanked Japan for the support given by the Japanese government and Japanese people continuously for the upliftment of the country’s economy and well being of its people. He said the Japan Sri Lanka business co - operation has done a very good service to promote economic cooperation between the two countries.” (News.lk) Japan’s royal couple ﬂy to UK for queen’s gala “Japan’s emperor said he is looking forward to congratulating Britain’s Queen Elizabeth II for her “diamond jubilee” marking 60 years on the throne. Emperor Akihito and Empress Michiko left Tokyo on Wednesday to attend celebrations in Britain. He said at the airport he wants to offer the queen his best wishes. They will attend a banquet hosted by the queen on Friday, along with other jubilee events, before returning to Japan on May 20.’” (Khaleej Times)
China, Japan start sea talks “China and Japan will hold a high-level consultation on maritime affairs later today with the Diaoyu Islands expected to take center stage, but analysts warned of a rocky road ahead in terms of making progress. The consultation held in Hangzhou, Zhejiang Province, is the ﬁrst round of the mechanism, which was established by the two sides during Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda's visit to Beijing in December. According to the China News Service, during the one-day consultation foreign
Japan's Emperor Akihito and Empress Michiko smile before boarding their plane at To k y o ' s H a n e d a international airport to visit Britain for the anniversary of Queen Elizabeth II's 60th year on the throne, W e d n e s d a y. ( A F P photo), May 16,
2012. AP Photo
J-SOFT POWER WEEKLY BRIEF 16th May 2012
THINK TANK FOCUS
Taiwan-Japan Relations: Time for a New Strategic Vision? “Taiwan-Japan relations recently experienced a temporary setback as media sources in Taipei were dominated by allegations that a Japanese companion of Taiwanese-Japanese pop starlet Mayiko beat a city cab driver in a drunken rage. Despite the torrent of popular indignation, expressed most vocally by Taiwan netizens, the Japan-Taiwan relationship remains strong. This verdict extends both to public sentiment and the policy level, making the ties between the two countries arguably the closest in Asia—a fact illustrated by frequent opinion polls. The present paper explores this remarkable relationship, which often escapes the analytical gaze of Western commentators given current preoccupations with rising China and renewed U.S. strategic resolve in Asia. (…) The re-election of President Ma Ying-jeou will not alter Taiwan's relations with Japan signiﬁcantly. Especially in the economic sphere, things will be “business as usual.” Tokyo, like Washington, is happy with the stability and predictability of the KMT government. Yet “business as usual” may not be a winning long-term strategy for Japan as well as Taiwan. A friendly, autonomous ROC is critical to Japan's geostrategic position. A former JIA ofﬁcial argued in a recent book that Ma, unwittingly or not, though his “1992 consensus” policy is incrementally ceding the island's sovereignty and perhaps compromising its long-term independence through increasing economic integration with the mainland. Combined with China's increasing military capacity, the fact that Taiwan is only 100km from Japan's vulnerable southern islands and sits across its vital sea lines of communication surely does not escape the attention of strategists in Tokyo. In this connection, it makes sense to move ahead with the collaboration in disaster relief operations and in areas of environmental, scientiﬁc, and technical cooperation in order to bolster their already deep economic ties and overall security. The time is ripe for a new strategic vision.” (Thomas S. Wilkins – JPRI) Responding to "Change" in Myanmar “My ﬁrst visit to Myanmar was in 2000, as an NHK correspondent based in Bangkok. When I checked in at the hotel, I noticed that there was a young Burmese man in a traditional longyi sitting in the corner of the hotel lobby, looking my way. The next morning, the same man was there again, but in khaki pants and a polo shirt was sitting in the same seat. My Burmese friend whispered to me, "Don't look, Aiko san, he is an MI, a military intelligence ofﬁcer, and he is here to keep an eye on you." I understood then what it meant to be a journalist under a military dictatorship. If he was to be a constant presence, why not introduce myself properly, I thought. As I walked towards him, he rose to his feet. "Hello, my name is Aiko Doden..." but before I ﬁnished, he said "I know, Miss Aiko. You are a journalist," and shook my hand. That was my introduction to Myanmar. During my close to 40 visits to Myanmar, he was always there, "keeping an eye on me. The lingering image that I have of Myanmar from those days is of a little girl of about three whom I met in front of the rundown ofﬁce of the opposition NLD, National League for Democracy. She wore a cotton gingham dress that was too large for her, which looked as if it had never been washed. I found that she had fever, and also suffering from diarrhea. When I picked her up to give her a hug, I was stunned by how frail she was. As I cuddled her in my arms, I was reminded of what my mother used to tell me, that during WWII in Japan, children who were malnourished and underweight did not survive to see the end of the war. MOFA statistics show that in Myanmar, out of approximately 1.46 million infants, about 10% or 125,000 died before reaching the age of ﬁve. Myanmar has far to go until the dividends of change can be enjoyed by the entire nation. (…) Reform will be as elusive as a mirage until and unless a solid foundations are laid to secure these emerging changes. There is little doubt that Myanmar is being transformed. Just strolling down a street in Yangon was enough to make show me that it is no longer the country I experienced 10 years ago. Ultimately, I want to believe in change and the true test is whether that tiny girl outside the NLD ofﬁce, and others like her will be able to enjoy the dividend of change-that is when I will know that the change in Myanmar is genuine, and here to stay.” (Aiko Doden – AJISS)
J-SOFT POWER WEEKLY BRIEF 16th May 2012
Emergency Assistance to the Union of the Comoros in Response to the Floods Disaster [http://www.mofa.go.jp/u_news/
Telephone Talks between Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda and President of the Russian Federation Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin
G8 Foreign Ministers' Meeting (Overview)
Visit to Japan by Mr. Harold Caballeros, Minister for Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Guatemala, and Mrs. Cecilia Arimany Tejada de Caballeros
Joint Statement of Cooperation on Sustainable Forest Management, Combating Desertiﬁcation and Wildlife Conservation
Joint Statement on Agricultural Cooperation
The Fifth Japan-China-ROK Trilateral Summit Meeting (May 2012)
J-SOFT POWER WEEKLY BRIEF
Editor: Rui Faro Saraiva Assistant Editor: Eduardo Passos Assistant Editor: Seiko Sakuragi
Osaka, Japan • Editor’s mailbox: email@example.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/
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