12th September 2012

Institutional Partners:

Photo of the week: Japanese exporters to China are braced for repercussions that could range from mob violence to a consumer boycott, and even outright sanctions, amid an escalated standoff over the disputed Senkaku Islands. (AJW Asahi)

Quote of the Week
“The Japanese elite's failure on all these fronts, together with corruption scandals, has led to increasing cynicism about all authorities, whether they be politicians, bureaucrats or technical experts. But it is not possible for democracy to function without at least a minimum 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's populism”.

Richard Katz Editor at the Oriental Economist Alert 1 in Wall Street Journal


Japanese Govt names new envoys to U.S., China, S. Korea “The gover nment on Tuesday appointed Vice Foreign Minister Kenichiro Sasae as ambassador to the United States to succeed Ichiro Fujisaki. Sasae, 60, who entered the ministry in 1974, has served as vice foreign minister since August 2010. Chikao Kawai, assistant chief cabinet secretary, 59, was named Sasae's successor. The government also appointed Shinichi Nishimiya, 60, deputy foreign minister for economic affairs, to replace Uichiro Niwa as ambassador to China. Niwa came under fire recently for expressing concern over the government's purchase of some of the Senkaku Islands in Okinawa Prefecture. The government named Koro Bessho, 59, deputy foreign minister for political affairs, to succeed Masatoshi Muto as ambassador to South Korea. By changing three key ambassadors at the same time, the government hopes to rebuild relations with the United States, which have been strained under the Democratic Party of Japanled government, and those with China and South Korea, which have soured recently over territorial issues.”

strengthened, according to the sources. The bust of Oshchepkov was created to celebrate the 120th anniversary of his birth. He launched a judo club in Vladivostok after learning the sport at the Kodokan Judo Institute in Japan.” (Yomiuri) Gemba hints at delay in Osprey deployment

week. After the ruling Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ) made policy proposals on Sept. 6 that ‘all necessary policy and resources will be devoted to achieving the zero-nuclear policy goal by the 2030s,’ the industrial circle and Aomori Prefecture fiercely opposed the plan, prompting the government to push back the date for the final decision on the new energy policy from Sept. 10 to the end of this weekend at the earliest.” (Mainichi Daily News) Nuclear deterrence can never justify nuclear fuel cycle project “Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda said the government will set a basic direction for its new energy and environment strategy by the end of this week. We urge the government to clearly set a goal of ending Japan's reliance on atomic power based on a convincing road map. In discussions on Japan's new energy strategy, particular attention is focused on the nuclear fuel cycle project, in which plutonium is extracted from spent nuclear fuel and used in fast-breeder reactors. The project has been regarded as the core of Japan's nuclear power policy goal. (...) There is absolutely no need for the continuation of the project if the government aims to achieve a society without nuclear power stations in the wake of the accident at the tsunami-stricken Fukushima No. 1 Nuclear Power Plant. There are calls urging that the nuclear fuel cycle project, which uses plutonium, be maintained to leave the possibility of developing, producing and possessing nuclear weapons in the future. Such an idea is dubbed as a "potential nuclear deterrence." However, such calls are far from convincing the public that Japan should maintain the nuclear fuel cycle project.” (Mainichi Daily News) Japan to Mobilize Coast Guard When Beijing’s Ships Reach Islands “Japan says it will mobilize its coast guard when Chinese government ships reach a disputed archipelago in the East China Sea, raising the possibility of a confrontation between the two powerful Asian nations. In a statement given to VOA Wednesday, the Japanese foreign ministry said the

“Foreign Minister Koichiro Gemba on Tuesday signaled the possibility of a delay in the full deployment of the MV-22 Osprey aircraft at a U.S. marine base in Okinawa Prefecture, southern Japan. At a news conference, Gemba said work will be conducted very carefully for the safety of operations using the tilt-rotor transport aircraft. ‘It cannot be helped if a delay happens as a consequence,’ Gemba said. The U.S. Marine Corps hopes to deploy the aircraft at its Futenma Air Station in Ginowan, Okinawa Prefecture, in early October. Tokyo and Washington are discussing measures to ensure the safe operations of the aircraft, such as adjustments of planned flight routes. But discussions have not progressed rapidly. At a different news conference, (Yomiuri) Defense Minister Satoshi Morimoto announced his ministry's analysis Japan, Russia promote 'judo report that concluded that the crash of diplomacy' a CV-22 Osprey plane in Florida in June was caused mainly by human “Japan and Russia are working to set error.” up the participation of their leaders in a (Yomiuri) judo-related event in Vladivostok, as part of an initiative to strengthen bilateral ties through "judo diplomacy," Zero-nuclear policy ready for inclusion it was learned Saturday. Arrangements in new energy and environment are being made for Prime Minister strategy Yoshihiko Noda and Russian President Vladimir Putin to take part in a “The government has entered the final ceremony on Sunday unveiling a bust stage of incorporating a zero-nuclear of the late Vasili Oshchepkov, known policy into a new energy and as "the father of judo in Russia," environment strategy that is expected informed sources said. Both leaders to be determined as early as the end hold a black belt in judo, with Putin in of this week, government sources fifth degree and Noda in second, a have revealed. The zero-nuclear policy lower degree. At their first summit is to stipulate halting the operations of talks in June on the sidelines of a all nuclear power stations in Japan by Group of 20 summit in Los Cabos, the 2030s, and comes in response to Mexico, the two exchanged national mounting calls among the public for judo uniforms for the 2012 London eliminating all nuclear reactors in the Olympics. If ‘judo diplomacy’ is country in the aftermath of the disaster realized again during the two-day at the Fukushima No. 1 Nuclear Power summit of the Asia-Pacific Economic Plant. (…) The government will make a Cooperation forum held in the city of formal decision on the new energy and Vladivostok in the Russian Far East, environment strategy at an Energy and mutual trust between the Japanese Environment Council meeting to be and Russian leaders will hopefully be convened as early as the end of this


coast guard mobilization will happen ‘when the (Chinese) ships get there, or at least come closer to’ the Japanesecontrolled islands. China's official news agency Xinhua previously reported that the two China Marine Surveillance ships ‘reached the waters around’ the islands Tuesday morning as part of a plan to assert Beijing's claim of sovereignty. Since then, Chinese state media have been silent on the ships' movements. The Japanese foreign ministry said it cannot confirm the location of the Chinese vessels. Xinhua's earlier report said the Chinese agency responsible for the ships would ‘take actions pending the development of the situation.’ It did not elaborate. Japan's coast guard has confronted Chinese fisherman and nationalists in the waters of the archipelago several times in recent years.” (VOA) Japan Osaka mayor seeks national power with new party “ P o p u l a r O s a k a M a y o r To r u Hashimoto formally launches a bid for national power on Wednesday with a new political party that critics say taps simmering nationalist sentiment just as Japan faces increasingly strained ties with China and South Korea. That tension has been growing in recent weeks as Beijing and Seoul both clash with Tokyo over rival claims to islands in the region, disputes that trace back to lingering resentment over Japan's wartime rule in the region. ‘He's definitely pushing Japanese political discourse further to the right,’ said Koichi Nakano, a professor at Sophia University in Tokyo ahead of a fundraising bash in Osaka for Hashimoto's party. ‘A lot of Japanese are looking for a messiah who will turn things around and make everything wonderful.’ Some opinion polls show that Hashimoto's Japan Restoration Party is more popular than the ruling Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ). In one TV survey it even ranked higher than the biggest opposition rival.” (Reuters) Japan's Crisis of Democracy “Yoshihiko Noda's turn as Japanese prime minister appears to be nearing an end, and with it, the tenure of his Democratic Party of Japan. The DPJ's rise to power in 2009 promised a new day, breaking the old ruling Liberal Democratic Party's five-decade near stranglehold on Tokyo. Now, three years and three DPJ prime ministers later, the country is instead headed for a new era of political turbulence, party splits and realignments, and economic uncertainty. (…)The problem is not confined to the DPJ. Behind the political malaise is two decades of economic stagnation, just 0.7% annual per-capita GDP growth. With the economic pie growing so slowly as the population ages, constituencies are at odds with each other over how to divide it. That is the centrifugal force that is causing party splits. To avoid contention, politicians of all stripes are avoiding economic reform plans. This is most striking in the case of the main opposition party. Former Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, a contender to become the new president of the LDP, and hence the next prime minister, spends his time talking about a historical controversy over the military's use of Korean women as sex slaves in World War II. Nor are any other parties offering coherent economic plans at the moment. The platform of maverick Osaka Mayor Toru Hashimoto is short on economics and long on nationalism and administrative reforms such as devolving more power to local governments.” (Wall Street Journal)

“South Korea may have lowered its guard, but China’s stance has hardened, as Japan sought to mend relations with its two neighbors soured by recent territorial disputes over uninhabited islands and islets.” (AJW Asahi)


Politics, debt weighing on Japan economy as in U.S. “Japan's economy is slowing and efforts to change that are being hampered by problems all-too-familiar to the U.S.: A gridlocked legislature and rapidly swelling national debt. This poses one more challenge for America's already-fragile recovery. Revised numbers show the Japanese economy grew at half the already anemic rate reported for the second quarter of the year. Gross domestic product grew an annualized 0.7 percent from April through June, the Cabinet Office said in Tokyo Monday. This is 50 percent less than an earlier calculation of 1.4 percent. In the first three months of the year Japan's economy grew by 5.5 percent -- well ahead that of most industrialized nations. This was fueled by robust consumer and reconstruction spending driven by the nation's effort to rebuild after the devastating earthquake and tsunami in March 2011.” (Reuters) Japan's Russia diplomacy “Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda and Russian President Vladimir Putin met for the first time during the June Group of 20 summit in Mexico. When Noda proposed holding substantive talks over the Northern Territories dispute on the basis of bilateral accords and documents as well as of the principle of law and justice, Putin


reportedly replied that in principle he was prepared to discuss the issue. (…) While observing recent developments in Japan-Russia relations from Akita, I experienced a shocking reality of the bilateral relationship. Akita Inter national University, where I am serving as president, is a university of global standards and has many visitors from Japan and abroad. An observation team from Russia recently visited and when I entered a classroom to give a welcome speech, I found myself facing some 50 young Russians who were waiting to hear what I had to say. After giving my speech, I asked my visitors where they were from. Among the replies were Etorofu, Kunashiri and Shikotan — all part of the Northern Territories. These students came to Japan under the scheme of a visa-free exchange via Kunashiri. These young Russians were born and raised in the Northern Territories and naturally believe these islands are part of their homeland. (…) Putin's connection with judo led to his strong interest in Japan. Through the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation forum held in Vladivostok, Russia has shown strong interest toward the Asia Pacific region, including Japan. This can be seen through my university's exchange programs with the Far Eastern Federal University located in Vladivostok. This expanding university and Moscow State University have many students who are eagerly studying Japanese to realize their dream of studying in Japan. Even from this aspect, I believe that solving the Northern Territories dispute is an urgent issue.” (Mineo Nakajima - Japan Times Online) A Plan to Revive Japan “Japan's leaders want to break out of the malaise of the last 20 years, but they're held back because they often don't understand what went wrong. The National Institute of Research Advancement commissioned us to diagnose the historical problems, which we did in a report released last year, and then come up with future solutions. Our second report called "Policy Options for Japan's Revival" was published in June and offers a plan to confront the malaise. This plan is organized around three broad themes: regulatory reform at home, opening up the Japanese economy, a n d i m p ro v i n g m a c ro e c o n o m i c


policies. These are where Tokyo went most wrong in the 1990s. The first, and perhaps biggest, problem is domestic regulation. By the 1990s, J a p a n n e e d e d d e re g u l a t i o n t o promote innovation since the economy could no longer grow on the back on imitation, but the government avoided this altogether. And when it protected "zombie firms," it made matters worse by delaying creative destruction and undermining the growth of healthy companies. It also spent precious taxpayer resources in unproductive public works projects.” (Takeo Hoshi and Anil Kashyap - Wall Street Journal) Japan must eliminate distractions “Japan has a problem. If it wishes to lead the nations of East Asia into a new age of regional cooperation, it will have to put the past behind it and decide what course will better promote its long-term interests: quarreling with its neighbors over ownership of disputed islands (Dokdo/ Takeshima and Diaoyu/Senkaku) and the content of textbooks or pursuing a policy of reconciliation designed to promote Japan’s leadership and regional cooperation, a proclaimed goal of the Japanese government. (…) Given Japan’s aspirations to play a leading role in forging regional cooperation in East Asia, its interests would appear to be best served by breaking this unproductive cycle. Obviously, neither Japan nor its neighbors benefit from these outbursts of nationalism. The government in Tokyo needs to formulate a consistent policy aimed at promoting regional cooperation. Frankly stated, Japan does not have such a policy. Rather, it has altered between repeated official apologies to its neighbors, which are eventually undercut by “unofficial” contradictory words and deeds. For example, the Japanese government officially refuses to compensate those filing claims against it because of alleged ill treatment during Japan’s imperial period. The government’s official explanation is that all claims were settled by the 1952 peace treaty. Yet the government has provided compensation when Japanese courts have ordered it to do so. This is but one example of perceived duplicity in Japan’s official policy, a perception that greatly complicates Japan’s efforts to put its imperial legacy behind it. It also convinces Japan’s neighbors

that official apologies are insincere, a particularly grievous allegation within the context of East Asian cultural values.” (Korea JoongAng Daily) Japan’s Think Tanks: The Need for Tough Love. “The Prime Minister's Office recently commisioned RAND to conduct a study on Japan's 'Scientific Capacity' and the results seem like they would apply equally to the Think Tank field. The study listed numerous longstanding failings that were crippling Japanese innovative capability and seeing it bypassed by countries such as China and India. Some of the most serious problems were: a widespread lack of English ability and poor communication skills, underrepresentation of women, lack of critical thinking, and funding based upon seniority rather than merit. All of these problems could be addressed by ensuring that Japanese think tanks are composed not only of Japanese scholars but of others from a variety of nations. Better too to exclude American participation as US views already dominant international analysis of Japan and US scholars produce the vast majority of inter nationally distributed work on Japanese foreign and security policy. Instead there is a major gap to be filled in much needed research on Japan from Chinese, Korean, Russian, Southeast Asian and other perspectives and Japanese academia needs to establish the firm ties it has thusfar neglected to build with the Think Tanks of these nations. Such a multinational group would push Japanese scholars to write more in English, aim for a higher standard of material, acknowledge worldviews not tied to Japan-US alliance perspectives and generally think more critically and forcefully.” (Gavan Gray - JFPO)



A Case for Japan-US-Russia Trilateral Cooperation
“APEC Vladivostok, which is just a few days away, is symbolic of Russia's engagement in the Asia-Pacific. Traditionally, Russia has regarded itself as a European rather than an Asia-Pacific power, with a high concentration of its population and major cities in its European part and with its higher strategic interests and closer economic ties with Europe. President Vladimir Putin, who assumed office in 2000 and then again in 2012, has a different perspective. Russia under Putin has paid more attention than ever to the AsiaPacific, both for "positive" and "defensive" interests. Russia saw a vast opportunity in the expanding economies and markets of the Asia-Pacific, often dubbed an "economic powerhouse of the world." At the same time, the rise of giant China just next door has made Russian leaders wary of China's increasing influence, both in terms of immigration and economy, over the Russian Far East, and convinced them of the need to have a coherent development strategy for its Far Eastern region to make sure that it remains a part of Russia de facto as well as de jure. (….) The Japan Institute of International Affairs (JIIA), together with the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) in the United States and the Institute of World Economy and International Relations (IMEMO) in Russia, have conducted a series of trilateral Track 2 dialogues among experts from the three countries since 2010, and produced policy recommendations for the three governments in June this year. (…) The combination of Japan, the US and Russia may be rather unique, and this initiative is a reflection of Russia's reemergence in the Asia-Pacific and growing recognition on the part of Japan and the US of the importance of cooperating with reemerging Russia. While Japan and the US are important stabilizers in the Asia-Pacific that ensure much needed security through their alliance and actively support liberal economic regimes as the largest and third-largest economies in the world, Russia, a major power newly looking east, can join and contribute to such endeavors. From Russia's viewpoint, trilateral cooperation can also provide useful opportunities to strengthen relations with two major powers in the Asia Pacific, reducing risks of having only its giant neighbor to cooperate with. (…) It is said that President Putin selected Vladivostok as a venue for this year's APEC, overriding some of his advisors' views to the contrary. While this is symbolic of the strategic emphasis on the Asia-Pacific by Russia under Putin, geopolitical and economic necessity would continue to warrant Russia's deeper engagement in this region. Trilateral cooperation among Japan, the US and Russia would provide an appropriate platform for engaging Russia in a way conducive to the stability and prosperity of the Asia-Pacific. “ (Hideki Asari – AJISS)

Japan’s territorial disputes: will they lead to constitutional change?
“In recent weeks, Japan has faced escalating tensions over its territorial disputes with China, Russia and the ROK respectively. Pressure is building in Japan and elsewhere to reconcile defence and foreign policy with domestic nationalist agendas. In Japan, the concurrence of this nationalist surge with shifts in the political arena and the pending election cycle could determine the shape of the next government, and facilitate a revision of Japan’s pacifist constitution. (…) Those who favour some kind of revision of Article 9, the pacifist clause of Japan’s constitution, are spread between mainstream parties and new groupings. During the recent skirmishes between China and Japan over rightist landings on the Senkaku/Diaoyu Islands, the DPJ’s Seiji Maehara and the Liberal Democratic Party (LDP)’s Shinzo Abe acknowledged the Japanese hotheads, painting them as patriots responding to provocation. Both are hawkish when it comes to security policy and constitutional revision. For his part, Hashimoto is on the record as aspiring to hold a referendum to revise the pacifist clause and enhance Japan’s individual defence capability. In April the LDP released another draft document containing proposed revisions to the constitution that would acknowledge Japan’s right to collective self-defence. (…) The spike in territorial disputes could become a centripetal force for the formation of new coalitions of securitypolicy cohorts from across the political spectrum in Japan. (…) In the context of political realignment and the foreign/defence policy crisis, nationalist voices from outside the formal political sphere are making themselves heard. And all of this is happening at a time when power transitions are about to take place in China and South Korea as well as Japan. Having recently seen the ROK step back from two bilateral agreements, the General Security of Military Information Agreement and the Acquisition and Cross-Servicing Agreement, it should be clear to Japanese policy makers that appeasing nationalists at home comes at a price.  For Japan, the nexus of political change and territorial disputes could facilitate the elimination of tension in the constitution between passive pacifism and the maintenance of defence forces. It could also extend to Japan embracing the right to collective self-defence, with or without the sanction of a UN-sponsored action.” (Rikki Kersten— East Asia Forum)



The 8th Japan-Iran Human Rights Dialogue was held on Monday, September 10 in Tokyo [http:// www.mofa.go.jp/u_news/20/ H992012091020524601A/] Statement by the MOFA Press Secretary on a series of terrorist attacks in Iraq [http://www.mofa.go.jp/u_news/ 20/H902012091020232101A/] Meeting between Parliamentary Vice-Minister for Foreign Affairs Nakano and Mr. Michael Link, Minister of State at the Federal Foreign Office of the Federal Republic of Germany [http://www.mofa.go.jp/ announce/announce/2012/9/0904_03.html] Minister Gemba’s one-year anniversary as Minister for Foreign Affairs [http://www.mofa.go.jp/announce/ fm_press/2012/9/0904_01.html] Result of the third Japan-EU English Haiku Contest [http://www.mofa.go.jp/announce/announce/ 2012/9/0904_02.html] Japan-Finland Summit Meeting [http://www.mofa.go.jp/region/europe/finland/visit/ meeting1209_pm.html] 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]


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/