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J-SOFT POWER WEEKLY BRIEF Nº34
Photo of the week: Thousands of Chinese besieged the Japanese embassy in Beijing on Sept. 15, hurling rocks, eggs and bottles, and protests broke out in other Chinese cities in an angry dispute over a group of remote islands.. (AJW Asahi)
Quote of the Week
“I am concerned that when these countries engage in provocations of one kind or another over these various islands, that it raises the possibility that a misjudgment on one side or the other could result in violence, and could result in conﬂict”
Leon Panetta US Defense Secretary in RT 1
11 Chinese vessels sail near Senkakus “Ten Chinese surveillance ships sailed into the contiguous zone off the S e n k a k u I s l a n d s o n Tu e s d a y afternoon, following a similar incursion by a ﬁshery monitoring ship in the morning, Chief Cabinet Secretary Osamu Fujimura said. However, Fujimura said the government had not conﬁrmed the arrival of about 1,000 ﬁshing boats that Chinese media reported had left several ports Monday for waters near the Senkaku islets. ‘We haven't conﬁrmed whether a large number of ﬁshing boats’ are in the area, Fujimura said at a press conference Tuesday afternoon. This incident came just days after six surveillance ships of China's State Oceanic Administration entered Japanese waters around the islands. The Japan Coast Guard had described last week's incursion as ‘unprecedented.’ According to the JCG, a patrol vessel conﬁrmed a Chinese ﬁshery monitoring ship was inside the contiguous zone, about 43 kilometers north-northwest of Uotsurijima, one of the ﬁve Senkaku Islands, at about 6:50 a.m.” (Yomiuri) Panetta to visit Japan next week for talks “U.S. Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta plans to visit Japan for talks with Defense Minister Satoshi Morimoto on Monday, according to informed sources. Ahead of his visit to China next week, Panetta is hoping to discuss escalating tensions between Japan and China following the Japanese government's nationalization of the Senkaku Islands in the East China Sea, which are also claimed by China, the sources said. Another issue to be on the table at the meeting is the planned deployment of the MV-22 Osprey tilt-rotor aircraft in Okinawa Prefecture, according to the sources. Panetta is expected to reafﬁrm the aircraft's safety and ask for Japan's support for full-ﬂedged Osprey operations at the Futenma base. Morimoto is expected to call for U.S. cooperation in helping JapanU.S. joint committee members draw up measures to ensure safe Osprey operations as soon as possible, the sources said. Panetta is also planning to meet with Foreign Minister Koichiro Gemba, the sources added.”
(Yomiuri) Cultural exchanges affected “As anti-Japanese demonstrations intensify in China, business activities and cultural exchanges between the two countries are being increasingly affected. Teijin Ltd., a major ﬁber manufacturer based in Osaka, told its employees to refrain from all nonurgent business travel to China. Tokyo-based Idemitsu Kosan Co. told all employees of its group companies in China to conﬁrm their information with the Japanese Embassy in China and other entities. This year marks the 40th anniversary of the normalization of diplomatic ties between Japan and China. Related events planned in both countries have been affected by the recent escalation of tensions. Yakushiji temple in Nara planned to stage an opera about Japanese envoys to China's Tang Court, in Xian and other places in China from October. However, the project has been shelved out of concern over rising anti-Japan sentiment. The chief priest of the temple, Hoin Yamada, said, ‘We're sorry the performance has been postponed.’ The 2012 China-Japan young writers' conference was scheduled to be held at Hosei University in Tokyo on Monday and Tuesday. However, the Chinese side ofﬁcially canceled on Saturday. Hosei University Prof. Minato Kawamura, a literary critic, said, ‘It's a shame that a cultural exchange that promotes mutual understanding among the countries' younger generations has been affected by the diplomatic problem.’ Anti-Japan protests in China ﬂared up in response to the Japanese government's purchase last week of three of the Senkaku Islands in Ishigaki, Okinawa Prefecture.” (Yomiuri) Japanese gov't urged to seek negotiated settlement over Senkaku dispute “Beijing has been using its state-run TV station to deliver powerful propaganda that the Senkaku Islands are part of its territory while submitting a new sea chart, showing that the sea around the Senkaku Islands is part of its territorial waters, to the United Nations. These moves could be interpreted as preparations to resort to
force in an effort to defend its territory. The Japanese gover nment has avoided any argument over the sovereignty of the Senkaku Islands saying that no territorial dispute exists between the two countries on the grounds that the Senkaku Islands are part of Japan's territory both historically and under international law. However, Japan should reconsider whether its refusal to stand on the diplomatic arena over the issue in front of the international community will serve Japan's national interests. Japan should rather demonstrate to the international community sufﬁcient basis that proves that the Senkaku Islands belong to Japan, and if China were to use force to overturn Japan's rule of the islands, Tokyo should appeal to the world that such an act is unjustiﬁable. Failing to do so would put Japan in a disadvantageous position. Japan's silence over the Senkaku issue would run counter to its national interests. Therefore, it is important to step up efforts to win understanding of Japan's position from its neighbors such as Southeast Asian countries and Australia while strengthening the Japan-U.S. alliance. In particular, the United States, which takes the position that the Senkaku Islands are subject to the Japan-U.S. Security Treaty, would be criticized if it stayed on the sidelines over the issue.” (Mainichi Daily News) What is the right to collective self defense? “Q: What is the right to collective self defense? A: It refers to the right of a country to launch a counterattack if an ally is attacked by military force, even if one's own country is not attacked. An example would be if North Korea ﬁred a long-range ballistic missile at the U.S., and Japan shot it down using s e a - b a s e d i n t e rc e p t o r m i s s i l e s deployed on Maritime Self-Defense Force Aegis destroyers. Article 51 of the United Nations Charter approves the right to collective self defense -- a right that is guaranteed to Japan in the introduction of the Japan-U.S. S e c u r i t y Tr e a t y. H o w e v e r, t h e Japanese government's current interpretation of the Constitution forbids it from exercising that right. Q: How can a country have a right that it can't exercise? A: While the government maintains that Article 9 of
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the Constitution, which renounces war, ‘does not deny the inherent right to self defense that Japan is entitled to maintain as a sovereign nation,’ it says that any action must be "limited to the minimum necessary for self defense." The government takes the position that under Article 9, use of force is permissible only if there is an imminent and illegitimate act of aggression against Japan, there is no appropriate means to repel this aggression other than the use of the right to self defense, and the use of armed strength is conﬁned to the minimum level necessary. Because military action overseas generally does not fulﬁll the ﬁrst condition, it is considered unconstitutional. Exercising the right to collective self defense does not fulﬁll the ﬁrst condition, either, and is deemed as exceeding the minimum level of armed strength necessary.” (Mainichi Daily News) Japan's newly-appointed Chinese ambassador dies 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.”
“Chinese authorities fear that violent antiJapan protests gripping Chinese cities could easily spiral out of control, putting a massive strain on security forces as they try to restore order..” (AJW Asahi)
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US, Japan Agree on Missile Defense Radar System “The United States and Japan have agreed to place a new missile defense radar system on Japanese territory to defend against a ballistic missile threat from North Korea. U.S. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta and Japanese counterpart Satoshi Morimoto announced the deal Monday after a meeting in Tokyo. Panetta said the Xband radar is meant to protect Japan as well as the U.S. homeland. He stressed the system is not directed at China. Morimoto said no location has been picked for the radar site. The United States has existing early warning radar systems on ships deployed in the region. Those ships will now have more freedom to move around the area. Panetta also said before ﬂying to China Monday that the U.S. is concerned about the dispute over islands in the East China Sea. "It's in everybody's interest - it is in everybody's interest - for Japan and China to maintain good relations and to ﬁnd a way to avoid further escalation," he stated.” (VOA) Japan opposition pushes for hard line with China “Five candidates vying to lead Japan’s top opposition party, and possibly become the next prime minister, are calling for Japan to get
“The newly appointed Japanese ambassador to China has died after taking ill and collapsing in Tokyo late last week. In a brief statement, the Japanese Foreign Ministry conﬁrmed (Reuters) Shinichi Nishimiya, 60, died on Sunday after spending the weekend in hospital because of his "health Japan’s zero-nuclear dream condition." He collapsed just two days after being appointed to the job. The “IT’S EASY to understand the ministry did not disclose any further Japanese dream of a nuclear-free details about what had happened.” future. During last year’s meltdown at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear (CNN) complex, tens of millions of residents on Japan’s densely populated islands Japan Osaka mayor seeks national feared emergency evacuation and power with new party contamination of scarce land. Yet the “ P o p u l a r O s a k a M a y o r To r u government’s new goal to phase out Hashimoto formally launches a bid for nuclear power over the next few national power on Wednesday with a decades would have serious costs, new political party that critics say taps ﬁnancial and to the climate. Before the simmering nationalist sentiment just as accident, Japan derived a third of its Japan faces increasingly strained ties electricity from nuclear power. Now, with China and South Korea. That most of the country’s 50 nuclear tension has been growing in recent reactors sit idle. The results have been weeks as Beijing and Seoul both clash power shortages and skyrocketing with Tokyo over rival claims to islands imports of oil and natural gas. Not only in the region, disputes that trace back have these taken a toll on Japanese to lingering resentment over Japan's business, harmed the nation’s quality wartime rule in the region. ‘He's of life and turned the country’s trade deﬁnitely pushing Japanese political surplus into a deﬁcit, they portend discourse further to the right,’ said ominously for Japan’s carbon dioxide Koichi Nakano, a professor at Sophia emissions. Nuclear power plants University in Tokyo ahead of a produce almost none.” fundraising bash in Osaka for (Washington Post)
tough with China in an escalating territorial dispute. The candidates — including former Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, former Defense Minister Shigeru Ishiba and party secretary general Nobuteru Ishihara — slammed China in a debate Saturday ahead of the Liberal Democratic Party’s presidential election, scheduled for Sept. 26. They called for Japan to bolster its control of disputed East China Sea islands, saying they are Japan’s inviolable s o v e r e i g n t e r r i t o r y. T h e y a l s o discussed Japan’s sagging economy and its plan to phase out nuclear power. Analysts believe the LDP could win big in upcoming parliamentary elections. If it does, whoever wins the party leadership race could become Japan’s next prime minister.” (AP) Korea-Japan Standoff: Why Americans Should Care “Korea and Japan have spiraled into their worst relations in decades over tensions surrounding a few rocky islets in the ocean between them. Koreans call the islands "Dokdo" and Japanese know them as "Takeshima." Politicians in both countries assure supporters that these barely inhabited spits of land will be defended as theirs at all costs, and the respective foreign ministries have announced multimillion dollar ad campaigns to further publicize their claims. (…)Japan maintains that Korea has "illegally occupied" the islands since 1952 when Koreans sent patrol units to guard a lighthouse there. Since 2004, Japan's Ministry of Foreign Affairs website has explained its rationale equally in Japanese, English and Korean, among other languages: the San Francisco Treaty does not speciﬁcally name the islands Korean, thus the Allies did not not name it Japan's. Koreans respond quizzically that such logic would grant Japan claim to all of Korea's 3,000 additional outer islands. To some, this may be further example of outdated images of Asian diplomatic opera buffa. Matters could not be more different, which Japan's lengthy justiﬁcation demonstrates. Tokyo claims that its right to sovereignty over the islands today -- prime ﬁshing grounds for anyone who could get there long before Korea and Japan even had their contemporary names -- derive
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from a 1905 Japanese Cabinet decision that incorporated the islands into the nation's growing empire. Woefully missing is explanation that Japan was beginning to colonize all of Korea at the time. The islands disputed today are shards of that history's early moments; to make it into anything else simply denies Japan's takeover of Korea.” (Hufﬁngton Post) Japan Advertises Dokdo Claim in Newspapers “The Japanese government placed an advert in the Yomiuri and Tokyo dailies on Tuesday claiming sovereignty over Korea's easternmost islets of Dokdo. This is the ﬁrst time it has advertised the dubious claim in the papers. The advert will run successively in 70 Japanese newspapers for a week, including nationwide dailies and regional papers. The move came just two days after Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda approached President Lee Myung-bak at the APEC Summit in Vladivostok on Sunday and spoke of a "future-oriented relationship." One diplomatic source said Noda pretty much blindsided Lee. Placed by Japan's Foreign Ministry, the ad is headlined "It is time to realize. T h e Ta k e s h i m a i s s u e i s b a s i c k n o w l e d g e . " Ta k e s h i m a i s t h e Japanese name for Dokdo. The ad claims Japan gained sovereignty over Dokdo in the mid-17th century and its will to exercise sovereignty was reafﬁrmed in a Cabinet decision in 1 9 0 5 . " K o re a c l a i m s i t b e g a n administering Dokdo before Japan, but the descriptions in its reference materials are ambiguous, while there is no clear evidence to support its claim," the advert claims.” (ChosunIlbo) Introducing the New Japan Restoration Party “Yesterday, the charismatic mayor of Osaka, Toru Hashimoto, announced he was forming a new national political party, and the race for Japan’s next government seemed to ofﬁcially begin. Hashimoto’s unconventional entry into national politics has galvanized the Japanese media. But beyond his ambition of reforming Japanese
politics, the policy agenda of this much heralded new Nippon Ishin no Kai (Japan Restoration Party) remains unclear. (…) Hashimoto’s idea of reform is a fundamental restructuring from the bottom up. Local autonomy and bottom-up reform has a long tradition in Japanese politics, but Hashimoto’s deliberate appeal to the late 19th century transformation that reinstated the emperor and modernized the nation speaks to a broader aspiration in Japan for rejuvenation. The Meiji era idea of “restoring” good governance by drawing on the intellect and experience of Japan’s regions—rather than the corrupt and stalemated center of the Tokugawa Shogunate— brings an added dose of nationalist excitement to his campaign rhetoric. As he said when he announced his new national party, “Our glorious country Japan has fallen into a state of decline. Let’s ﬁght together…to once again revive a glorious Japan.’ (…) One thing is clear—everyone in Japan expects that Hashimoto and his new ﬂedgling seven-member political party will have a strong inﬂuence on Japan’s next government. His success will lie in the ability to manage the mechanics of Japan’s electoral system. Can he ﬁeld sufﬁcient candidates? Many believe his party will elect candidates in the eleven proportional block districts (180 seats), where the brand name of his new Nippon Ishin no Kai will be sufﬁcient. But can his new party compete in the remaining single member constituencies that sustain the DPJ and LDP advantag e? Speculation abounds about his chances, with the media projecting he will win anywhere from 40 to 100 seats to become in effect Japan’s third major political force in the 480 seat Diet.” (Shelia A. Smith - Council on Foreign Relations)
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THINK TANK FOCUS
Nationalism and the China-Japan Island Disputes
“In the past week mass protests against Japan’s nationalization of the disputed Diaoyu/Senkaku Islands have swept Chinese cities across both coastal and inland areas, unprecedented since 2005 when many Chinese took to the streets to oppose Japan’s revision of history textbooks that whitewashed its wartime aggression. Since then, the damage has been slowly mended thanks to years of painstaking diplomatic efforts on both sides. But in no time things have been pushed back to square one—or even worse. Both long-standing historical grievances powered by nationalist indoctrination and the emerging shift of power in the region account for the new escalation of tension. It all seems to have started in April when the hawkish governor of Tokyo, Ishihara Shintaro, made a bid to purchase the islands. The central government then stepped in with a nationalization deal. But attentive watchers of Sino-Japanese relations can ﬁnd deeper roots of the recent crisis. (…) A more profound cause of mutual animosity is the decades of nationalist preaching in both countries about a traumatic war they fought from 1937 to 1945 (…). In an effort to salvage the weakened legitimacy of the Communist regime, patriotic propaganda emphasizing Japanese wartime atrocities and heroic Chinese resistance have since the 1980′s replaced the tired communist ideology. It fueled victim consciousness and a sense of entitlement toward Japan among the Chinese. Meanwhile, with its economic miracle stunted and political reform stagnating, many Japanese politicians played to nationalist groups in order to boost national conﬁdence and win popular votes. (…) When an ancient feud is inﬂamed by new fears, overreactions occur. Not only are the anti-Japanese demonstrations in China the largest and vandalism the worst since the two countries normalized relations in 1972, but Chinese surveillance ships also entered Japan’s claimed territorial waters near the islands, hiking the danger of a military clash. (…) The timing is also highly sensitive as China’s leadership transition is pending in an upcoming party congress. How to resolve the crisis would be a critical test for both the outgoing leaders concerned with their legacies and new leaders keen on demonstrating their credentials. Restraint is what is needed for all parties, but it will have to be exercised on the condition of saving face for both Beijing and Tokyo. (…) Still, a fundamental solution to the island disputes and other outstanding problems between China and Japan is to confront the monster of xenophobic nationalism that has fed on historical myth and that has been emboldened by the uncertain future of the region. Wise leaders of a rising China and of a Japan wishing for a rebound should not let emotional prejudices eclipse their larger shared interests. “ (Yinan He – Asia Unbound/CFR)
Russia and Japan at the APEC Summit
“ Though the APEC Summit in Vladivostok may not have produced many high-proﬁle multilateral agreements, it may nevertheless lead to some important results. Still, signing papers is not the same as implementing policies—and those hoping for action on intergovernmental and commercial agreements reached at the event should take nothing for granted. Practically speaking, large international summits rarely end with major agreements—truly important accomplishments require extensive preparation, challenging negotiation, and often a powerful motivating force, like a deeply committed leader in a key nation or a looming crisis. None of this was apparent leading up to the meetings of Asia-Paciﬁc Economic Cooperation leaders on Russky Island. (…) Finally, and perhaps most interestingly, Russia made a major effort to use its role as the APEC Summit chair and host to raise its visibility and strengthen its inﬂuence in the region, particularly in East Asia. Moscow spent some $20 billion to prepare for the event, including $1 billion for the world’s longest cable bridge between Vladivostok and Russky Island, where the summit took place. (…) From this perspective, one of the most signiﬁcant announcements at the APEC Summit may well be the $20 billion deal between Gazprom and a consortium of Japanese ﬁrms to build a liquiﬁed natural gas (LNG) plant and other facilities to export up to 10 million tons per year of Russian gas to Japan and elsewhere in Asia. President Vladimir Putin and Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda personally signed the agreement and also announced that Noda would likely visit Russia before the end of the year. Even so, there is a long way to go before Japan could receive LNG from the new plant—the parties have yet to agree on a price for the gas. One key question is whether Japan and Japanese companies can afford to be as ﬁrm in price talks as their European and Chinese counterparts, given Japan’s ongoing energy crisis. While understandable in the context of Japan’s domestic politics, the Noda government’s post-summit announcement of plans to phase out nuclear power by 2040 will not help in negotiations with Gazprom. Still, given its ongoing frustration in Europe and limited prospects for growth in markets there, Gazprom could be somewhat more motivated to proceed with the project. If the LNG plant does move forward, it could be a helpful step in Tokyo’s relations with Moscow, notwithstanding ongoing differences over the Northern Territories, known in Russia as being part of the Kuril Islands. For his part, Putin has often suggested that a better economic relationship could facilitate talks on the islands. It’s difﬁcult to know whether greater trade and investment could truly open a path to agreement on a challenging territorial issue, but given the limited progress in 20 years since Russian independence, it is certainly worth a try.” (Paul J. Saunders— The Tokyo Foundation)
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Visit to Japan by U.S. Secretary of Defense Leon E. Panetta [http://www.mofa.go.jp/announce/event/ 2012/9/0914_01.html] Overview of Japan-Thailand Foreign Ministers Meeting [http:// www.mofa.go.jp/u_news/20/H512012091818180101A/] Statement by the Minister for Foreign Affairs of Japan on the attacks on the U.S. diplomatic facility in Libya [http:// www.mofa.go.jp/announce/announce/2012/9/0912_01.html] Visit to Japan of His Majesty Almu’tasimu Billahi Muhibbuddin Tuanku Alhaj Abdul Halim Mu’adzam Shah ibni Almarhum Sultan Badlishah, The Yang di-Pertuan Agong of Malaysia XIV, and Her Majesty Tuanku Hajah Haminah Binti Haji Hamidun, The Raja Permaisuri Agong XIV [http://www.mofa.go.jp/region/asia-paci/malaysia/ kv_1210.html] Statement by the Minister for Foreign Affairs of Japan on the Situation in Somalia [http://www.mofa.go.jp/announce/ announce/2012/9/0911_02.html] Resolution adopted by the United Nations General Assembly "Follow-up to paragraph 143 on human security of the 2005 World Summit Outcome" [http://www.mofa.go.jp/announce/announce/ 2012/9/0911_01.html] Press Conference by Minister for Foreign Affairs Koichiro Gemba(September 17, 2012) [http://www.mofa.go.jp/ u_news/20/H502012091819590401A/]
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Editor: Rui Faro Saraiva Assistant Editor: Eduardo Passos Assistant Editor: Seiko Sakuragi
Osaka, Japan • Editor’s mailbox: firstname.lastname@example.org 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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