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4th July 2012


Photo of the week: In June 1993, 54 lawmakers bolted from the ruling party, which was replaced by a coalition government two months later. Nearly two decades later, on July 2, 50 lawmakers left the ruling party to form a new political force. (AJW Asahi)

Editor’s Note
By Rui Faro Saraiva PhD Candidate at Osaka School of International Public Policy

The central actor of this week Japanese political events was Mr. Ichiro Ozawa. One of the most influential Japanese politicians, called by many as the “shadow shogun”. Such a charismatic figure always attracts the attention of the media in all sorts of ways. Having many enemies, Mr. Ozawa was often a target of false gossiping and when foreign publications try to write about him, due to the “lost in translation” factor, it is difficult to find true and correct information about any event related with this influential political

figure. If Mr Ozawa was the central actor, the most important political event in Japan this week was the split of DPJ, the party in power. The former DPJ President (Ichiro Ozawa) and 49 members from both houses of the Diet submitted letters of resignation to the party's executive branch. They are expected to launch a new party soon. The 50 members comprise 38 from the Lower House, becoming the third largest force as the number exceeds that of the New Komeito, along with 12 members from the Upper House.

Ozawa is reportedly considering the creation of a united parliamentary group with other parties including the Kizuna Party, which was formed by lawmakers who left the DPJ in December last year. Despite all of this political turmoil, despite the extenuation of the PM Noda and the party in power, it is possibe to affirm that Japan is the beacon of democracy in East Asia. This week events definitely confirm that Japan has consolidated its democratic political system, and therefore defined its political values.



Japan 'ready to discuss new UNSC membership status' “Japan is ready to discuss the introduction of semipermanent membership on the U.N. Security Council, Japanese Ambassador to the United Nations Tsuneo Nishida said Monday. Nishida was speaking at international negotiations on Security Council reform. Semipermanent status would be longer than the current two-year term of nonpermanent members. Japan's conventional stance has been to seek permanent membership on the Security Council because semipermanent membership is considered less prestigious. Discussion on Security Council reform ‘has not brought any tangible results" toward "real negotiations,’ Nishida said. The intergovernmental negotiations on the Security Council reform started in 2009. (…) The semipermanent membership status was originally proposed by countries such as South Korea and Italy who oppose the aspirations of the socalled Group of Four member states--Japan, Brazil, Germany and India--that are seeking permanent membership on the Security Council. By showing a flexible stance toward the semipermanent option, Japan is seeking ways to cooperate with countries that oppose its permanent Security Council membership, diplomatic sources said.” (Yomiuri) Clinton, Ban Ki Moon to visit for Afghan meeting in Tokyo “U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki Moon will visit Japan to attend an international ministerial conference Sunday on support for Afghanistan, the Foreign Ministry said Tuesday. The conference, to be held in Tokyo, will be hosted by the Japanese government.” (Yomiuri) REFLECTIONS ON LEADERSHIP-PART 2 / Consider past and future, too, not just present “(…) A historic new development has been put off, at least for now. On

May 13, Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda and South Korean President Lee Myung Bak agreed at a meeting in Beijing to conclude a general security of military information agreement. The agreement to conclude the first military cooperation accord between Japan and South Korea since World War II is epochmaking. However, cautious views were expressed in some South Korean quarters later and preparations to conclude the accord ground to a halt. Some South Koreans harbor an aversion toward the Self-Defense Forces as the Korean Peninsula was under Japan's colonial rule in the early 20th century. There is a rift between the two countries over historical perceptions, such as the so-called comfort women. In a summit meeting between the two countries in December, Lee toughened his attitude over historical issues as S o u t h K o re a n p u b l i c o p i n i o n hardened and he demanded Japan place priority on resolving the comfort women issue. As the situations vis-a-vis North Korea and China remain tense, Japan has the urgent task of bolstering security cooperation with South Korea. Because of this, many Noda aides and DPJ members suggest the prime minister flexibly deal with the comfort women issue and similar problems and place priority on achieving substantial and strategic results so his administration can score high marks. While the prime minister is apparently considering what course to take, he does not appear ready to deal with South Korea's demand, insisting that the comfort women issue concerns the fundamentals of this country. (…) As to why there are so few politicians today with firm state and historical views, Nakasone said: "Politicians of my age experienced World War II. I attended international meetings [as prime minister] with the same sense of urgency as if I were a soldier sent overseas. We thought about how Japan would be able to survive the Cold War and what form our country should take. But many recent politicians are like salaried workers." Yamauchi said those who did not experience the war should read classics and foster viewpoints to

consider the relationship between Japan and other countries from a historical perspective. What do we expect from Japanese leaders and what kind of leaders do we want to nurture? These are the questions voters should consider before choosing who should represent us.” (Yomiuri) Japan raps Medvedev's visit to disputed Kunashiri Island “Japan lodged a protest with Russia on Tuesday after Russian Premier Dmitry Medvedev visited the d i s p u t e d K u n a s h i r i I s l a n d o ff Hokkaido, with Foreign Minister Koichiro Gemba criticizing it as pouring ‘cold water’ on bilateral relations.  The visit by Medvedev and several ministers came only two weeks after Japanese Prime Minister Yo s h i h i k o N o d a a n d R u s s i a n President Vladimir Putin agreed to reactivate bilateral talks on the longstanding territorial dispute in a calm manner. Medvedev became the first Russian head of state to visit one of t h e f o u r d i s p u t e d i s l a n d s o ff Hokkaido claimed by Japan when he went to Kunashiri as Russian president in November 2010. After the visit, Japan's relations with Russia deteriorated to the lowest point in years. His two visits to Kunashiri, despite warnings from Japan, are widely seen by experts as demonstrating Russia's strong resolve to show its effective control of the islands that lie northeast of Hokkaido. (…) Japan and Russia have been at odds over the sovereignty of the four islands -Etorofu, Kunashiri, Shikotan and the Habomai islet group -- preventing the two countries from signing a postwar peace treaty. The islands were seized by the Soviet Union following Japan's surrender in World War II on Aug. 15, 1945.” (Mainichi Daily News) Japan pledges 6 billion dollars in ODA over next 3 years “Japan will provide a total of 6 billion dollars in official development assistance over three years from



fiscal 2013, Foreign Minister Koichiro Gemba said at the U.N. Conference on Sustainable Development, dubbed Rio+20. Through the aid, the nation will help developing countries establish measures to minimize damage from natural disasters and introduce renewable energy. Gemba said in a speech that Japan wishes to share its disaster prevention technologies and knowhow with developing countries to create communities resistant to disasters. Such knowledge was acquired from the experience of the M a rc h 2 0 1 1 e a r t h q u a k e a n d tsunami, he added. (…) He said Japan plans to send about 10,000 experts to developing countries over the next three years to support their transition to a green economy in which both economic growth and e n v i ro n m e n t a l p ro t e c t i o n a re realized.” (Mainichi Daily News) Defense minister eyes U.S. trip in July, Osprey on agenda “Defense Minister Satoshi Morimoto is making arrangements to travel to the United States as soon as late July to meet with U.S. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta and discuss the planned deployment of the MV-22 Osprey transport aircraft to Okinawa Prefecture, sources close to the matter said Tuesday. Morimoto's trip is being planned amid growing local opposition to allowing Osprey aircraft to be stationed at the U.S. Marine Corps' Futenma Air Station in the Okinawan city of Ginowan. On Sunday, the United States took a major step toward deployment by dispatching a civilian cargo ship carrying the aircraft to Japan. The U.S. Marine Corps said Monday the ship left the United States on Sunday and is headed for the Marine Corps' Iwakuni Air Station in Yamaguchi Prefecture. The U.S. military plans to conduct safety checks and test flights of the tilt-motor Osprey at Iwakuni before being deploying the aircraft to Futenma in August.” (Mainichi Daily News) China’s navy engaging in unprecedented coordination with India, Japan on anti-piracy patrols “China is closely cooperating with the navies of Japan and India in patrolling against piracy off Somalia, a sign of the country’s greater willingness to work with other nations in safeguarding global trade despite mixed sentiments among Chinese toward the country’s main Asian rivals. Japan’s Maritime Self-Defense Force became the lead navy Sunday in the pact that allows the three to synchronize patrols and best allocate each country’s escort resources, Chinese Defense Ministry spokesman Yang Yujun told reporters at a briefing. Analysts say the escort pact is a sign of growing Chinese naval confidence that could reduce the chances of confrontation in waters closer to China where navies from Japan, the U.S. and others operate in increasingly tight proximity. With China expanding its naval capabilities and asserting its interests, it’s important that Beijing’s admirals start working more closely with their foreign counterparts, defense experts say.” (Washington Post) Japan’s Crown Prince makes landmark visit to Laos “His Imperial Highness the Crown Prince of Japan arrived in Vientiane yesterday on his first official visit to Laos. Crown Prince Naruhito is paying a three-day official visit to

"Protesters thronged

the wide streets in front of the prime minister’s office in Tokyo over the weekend, and across the country."
(Washington Post)

Laos from June 29 to July 1, in response to an invitation from President Choummaly Sayasone, (…) who paid an official visit to Japan in March 2010 when the two countries marked the 55th anniversary of diplomatic relations. (…) The visit would enhance the close contact and mutual understanding between highlevel leaders of Laos and the Imperial Family of Japan, he said, as well as understanding between the two peoples. The Lao leader expressed hope that the visit of the prince would promote greater investment by the Japanese private sector in Laos. L a o s h a s re c e i v e d e n o r m o u s assistance from the government and people of Japan. The Japanese government provides about US$80 million in official development assistance (ODA) to Laos every year on average, making Japan Laos’s s i n g l e l a r g e s t O D A p r o v i d e r, according to the Ministry of Planning and Investment.” (Vientiane Times) Japan’s Leader Is Set Back as a Faction of His Party Quits “The unpopular government of Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda suffered another setback on Monday when the largest faction of his Democratic Party quit over a proposed tax increase, leaving the party barely in



control of Parliament’s lower house. (…) Ichiro Ozawa, a former party head and its onetime power broker, led 49 other lawmakers in resigning from the party to oppose a bill backed by Mr. Noda to double the national sales tax to 10 percent by 2015. While the prime minister said the increase was needed to defray the costs of Japan’s rapidly aging population, Mr. Ozawa called it a betrayal of the party’s pledge not to raise taxes, made before a historic election swept it to power three years ago. The defection left the Democrats with only 251 of the 480 seats in the lower house, the more p o w e r f u l o f P a r l i a m e n t ’s t w o chambers because it selects the prime minister.”

sharing of sensitive military data on two major common concerns: North Korea’s nuclear and missile threats and China’s growing military might. The announcement triggered a political firestorm in South Korea. (...) The opposition accused President Lee Myung-bak of ignoring popular anti-Japanese sentiments in pressing ahead with the treaty, the first military pact between the two nations since the end of colonization in 1945. North Korea accused Mr. Lee’s government of “selling the nation out.” The accord, the General Security of Military Information Agreement, provides a legal framework for the two nations to share and protect classified and other sensitive data. It was announced by Cho Byung-jae, the (NY Times) spokesman of the South Korean Foreign Ministry, who said the South First nuclear reactor to go back Korean ambassador to Tokyo, Shin online since Japan disaster met with Kak-soo, and Japan’s foreign protests minister, Koichiro Gemba, plan to sign the treaty on Friday afternoon, “Protesters thronged the wide immediately after the Japanese streets in front of the prime minister’s cabinet’s expected approval.” office in Tokyo over the weekend, and across the country they gathered (NY Times) about a quarter-mile from the entrance of a nuclear plant. They shouted “No to the restart” and Ryuichi Sakamoto reminds Japanese parked cars in front of the plant’s what's the score on nuclear blame access road to block workers from coming or going, according to “’Keeping silent after Fukushima is Japanese media. But the workers barbaric,’ is how composer and were already inside. (…) The restart musician Ryuichi Sakamoto recently at Ohi — with potentially more to made clear his proactive stance follow — will avert dire power toward Japan's ongoing nuclear shortages and sustain the economy, disaster. (…) With a stinging article in Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda has the June 15 edition of the Asahi told the nation. But the restart also Shimbun newspaper, he has set out has divided the country, staging an his opinions on the Japanese increasingly hostile showdown government's energy policies in the between the government and those wake of the Great East Japan doubtful about its atomic safety Earthquake on March 11 last year. claims.” He wrote there: "I have, for a long time, felt troubled by the way things (Washington Post) are decided in Japan, based on 'the mood of the moment' rather than on s o l i d l o g i c . T h e re i s n o re a l South Korea to Sign Military Pact discussion on the principles that With Japan underlie issues. (…)This is not the first social issue that Sakamoto has “In a significant step toward deeply involved himself in. Among overcoming lingering historical others, he has worked tirelessly to animosities with its former colonial preserve forests and encourage treem a s t e r, t h e S o u t h K o r e a n planting to offset carbon emissions. gover nment has unexpectedly After the U.S. invasion of Iraq in announced that it will sign a treaty March 2003, he started an Internet with Japan on Friday to increase the project called ‘Chain Music’ which he

has vowed to keep going until U.S. troops leave that country and the war has ended.” (Roger Pulvers – The Japan Times Online) Japan economy faces same risks as Europe, says Yoshihiko Noda “Japan faces the same risks that plague financially-embattled European states, Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda warned on Saturday, days after he pushed through a divisive tax bill to chip away at the country's mountainous debt. Noda's statement comes a day after leaders from the 17 countries sharing the e u ro s t r u c k a d e a l t o d i re c t emergency measures at Italy and Spain and boost the ailing economy. ‘Japan is now hanging on the edge of whether it can grab the chance of being a role model in the world by o v e rc o m i n g t h i s c h a l l e n g e o r becoming a Far Eastern state without vigour, where many old people live,’ Noda said.” (The Economic Times) Clear As Mud: The Answer to Japan’s Rare Earth Concerns “Amid mud on the seabed 2,000 kilometers from Tokyo, Japan may have found the answer to its rareearth supply concerns for centuries to come. For the first time, Japanese explorers have discovered large deposits of rare-earth minerals on the ocean floor within the country’s exclusive economic zone. The researchers estimate about 6.8 million metric tons of rare earth minerals, including dysprosium, exist in the mud across a 1,000-squarem e t e r s e a b e d n e a r J a p a n ’s easternmost island, Minamitorishima, about 2,000 kilometers southeast of Tokyo. he volume is impressive: The recoverable minerals could be enough to supply Japan’s rare earth metal consumption for at least 200 years, team leader Yasuhiro Kato, an earth sciences professor at Tokyo University, said on Friday.” (JRT – Wall Street Journal)



Community Building or Collective Balancing?: A Japanese gain through a more assertive approach leading to Perspective confrontation with Japan: the PLA navy could more easily justify budget increases, whereas the oil companies could “For several decades, the Japanese have been boost their chances of drilling in disputed parts of the East concerned about China’s rise, but in 2010 they became China Sea. Second, Japanese officials believe that the especially worried. Several events in that year, including a nationalism of Chinese ‘public opinion’ – as expressed clash between a Chinese fishing boat and the Japanese through the blogosphere – is powerful enough to deter the coastguard in the disputed Senkaku Islands, made the country’s leaders from seeking compromises on territorial Japanese think that China was becoming more assertive disputes with neighbours. (…) The Japanese worry about and, potentially, aggressive. By the end of 2010, Japanese China’s military build-up. Last year, Japan’s National officials, experts and politicians had responded with a new Institute for Defence Studies produced the first of what strategy – involving the creation of more mobile forces, a has now become a series of annual reports on China. (…) renewed emphasis on the US alliance and an attempt to From 2001 to 2010, China’s defence budget rose in real strengthen ties with other Asian maritime powers. (…) The terms by 189 per cent. Over the same period Japan’s rose Japanese officials who deal with Beijing believe that many by 1.7 per cent. On current trends, China’s defence Chinese diplomats would welcome a rapprochement with budget will be five times bigger than that of Japan by Japan. After all, this year is the 40th anniversary of the 2020. (…) Many Japanese officials and experts would like restoration of diplomatic relations between the two a closer relationship with South Korea. But that country’s countries. And meeting at a summit in Beijing in May leaders have been reluctant to respond. This may be 2012, the prime ministers of China and Japan, and the because they have to consider South Korean public South Korean president, agreed to start negotiating a opinion, which, because of memories of Japanese imperial trilateral free trade agreement before the end of the year rule and arguments over disputed islands, tends to be (such an agreement would be hard to push through, given suspicious of the Japanese. South Korea’s economic the powerful vested interests in all three countries). dependence on China – much greater than that of Japan – However, Japanese officials do not expect a significantly could also affect Seoul’s willingness to align with Tokyo on warmer relationship with Beijing, for two reasons. First, security issues. (…) The essence of Japan’s strategy these days China’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs seems to towards China is, like that of the US, to engage and have little clout within the Chinese system. Government hedge. The Japanese want to ‘socialise’ China by drawing departments such as the National Development and it into a more active role in the institutions of global and Reform Commission, as well as state-owned oil regional governance. (…) Whatever the meaning of such companies, the PLA and the Communist Party of China, diplomatic moves, China has done nothing significant often count for much more. Some of these bodies could since 2010 to reassure Japan’s policy-makers and public.



There are lobbies within Japan that argue for a soft and even local newspapers covered this year's meeting approach to China – businesses that invest there, and as big news. This increased attention in Japan is a politicians and diplomats that have built up close ties with welcome sign but there is some concern as well. The their Chinese counterparts (one Sinophile is Ichiro media headlines read "Checking growing Chinese Ozawa, the influential DPJ politician). But such people are maritime hegemony" or "Warning against Chinese now reluctant to speak out boldly in China’s favour. maritime expansion," and tried to use the China factor to China’s friends in Japan were badly burned by the events explain the United States' first participation and the of 2010. (…) Defence experts worry that budgetary absence of Fiji. It is true that China's growing presence in constraints may prevent Japan from implementing the the Pacific has changed the international relations among new national defence programme guidelines. They hope those island countries, but the "Island Summit" was that money can be saved by cutting flab out of the initiated by Japan in 1997 and had nothing to do with the defence budget, and by international collaborative Chinese presence in the Pacific. (…) The problem is that projects for new weapons. But they note that both this intent was not necessarily understood among the building new submarines and increasing the readiness general public. This is shown in the short-sighted media and mobility of the SDF will be expensive. (…) If, as coverage that focused on "the protection of fishery and seems likely, the economic imbalance between China sea lanes," "vote-getting at the United Nations," or and Japan becomes more pronounced, the Japanese "checking Chinese advances into the Pacific." Now that will become more dependent on the Americans. If the US the 6th meeting is over, it is time to define the final goal of was to pull out of East Asian security, Japan might have the Island Summit to avoid any misinterpretations. The no choice but to accept ‘Finlandisation’: Japan would run goal should be the establishment of a standing regional its own affairs, as Finland did during the Cold War, but its institution. This is realistic since most regional institutions leaders would feel unable to criticise Beijing or oppose its originate from conferences. As a result of the last Island foreign policy. (…) Friendly relations between China and Summit, the "Pacific Environment Community Fund" was Japan are evidently in both their interests. But in Tokyo established and, as a proponent of this Fund, I intend to there is real concern that the increasing self-confidence develop it into a standing institution in the future. Since of Chinese leaders, the widening number of institutions Japan is the only country among the advanced countries with a say in Chinese foreign policy, the growing hunger that has not formed any regional group, it is important for for oil and gas, and the rising power of nationalist Japan to have a permanent dialogue mechanism and to netizens could tilt China towards a confrontational establish an organization that implements the results of relationship.” dialogues. This will lead to stable regional development and security for Japan, and will enable Japan to deepen solidarity and cooperation with the island countries with (Ryo Sahashi – The Tokyo Foundation) Japan Should Turn the Island Summit Into a Permanent Institution “On May 25 and 26, the Sixth Pacific Islands Leaders' Meeting (Island Summit) was held in Nago City, Okinawa. The Japanese media paid no attention to earlier meetings although the past five meetings had brought together the heads of state of as many as 14 island countries and regions (Papua New Guinea and Fiji were absent from the 6th Meeting). However, major newspapers, television, (Izumi Kobayashi – AJISS-Commentary) which it shares the vast Pacific Ocean. This is a desirable vision for the international contribution required from Japan. Japan cannot maintain a unifying force for the island countries just by organizing the Island Summit every three years without providing a clear future vision.”



Visit to Japan by Mr. Ban Ki-moon, Secretary-General of the United Nations [ 2012/7/0703_02.html] Visit to Japan by U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton [ 2012/7/0703_01.html] Visit to Japan of H.E. Mr. Hamid Karzai, President of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan [ 2012/6/0629_01.html] Meeting between Mr. Yoshihiko Noda, Prime Minister of Japan, and Mr. Nika Gilauri, Prime Minister of Georgia [ meet1206.html] Japan-Slovakia Summit Meeting (Summary) [ meeting1206_pm.html] Fifth Japan-China-ROK Trilateral Summit (Summary) [ 2012/06/0627-01.html] Japan-New Zealand Foreign Ministers' Meeting [hhttp://]


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

Osaka, Japan • Editor’s mailbox: 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/