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J-SOFT POWER WEEKLY BRIEF Nº24
Photo of the week: Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda expressed his willingness to allow Japan to exercise the right of collective selfdefense, an issue that could further split the ruling party but would likely ﬁnd support from the main opposition party. (AJW Asahi)
By Rui Faro Saraiva PhD Candidate at Osaka School of International Public Policy
The Hawks vs. the Doves, this was how a scholar from Osaka University analyzed the decision making battle between the ones who support paciﬁsm and the ones who look for the normalization of the Japanese security and defense policy. These internal struggles seem to be exacerbated with the emerging perception of a challenging regional order and given the US Asia strategic pivot. Some policymakers intend to strengthen its alliance with the US, boosting its value to partner countries and step up
security cooperation. In this context, a Japanese government panel has called for the current interpretation of the Constitution to be reviewed so the nation can exercise its right to collective self-defense. This debate is dividing policymakers and the party in power, but it has also the potential to largely fracture Japanese society. The fact is that there has been strong support for Paciﬁsm amongst the Japanese population and despite persistent attempts by the Japanese government to amend it. The Japanese constitution,
unparalleled in its idealistic vision for the renunciation of war as an instrument of the state, has been the battleground of competing political forces in Japan since its conception in 1946. So there is nothing new with the current debate. Japan should recognize the soft power potential of its paciﬁst legal structure and branding. Balancing it with a comprehensive strategy to face the current security and defense challenges and also respecting its commitments with Japan’s allies or partners - a smart power strategy.
J-SOFT POWER WEEKLY BRIEF 11th July 2012
Govt: Senkaku plan not diplomatic matter “The government hopes to avoid an escalation of political polemics over its planned purchase of the Senkaku Islands in Okinawa Prefecture, although the move has already triggered sharp denunciations from China and Taiwan. As the Senkakus are an integral part of Japanese territory, the government must avoid causing misunderstanding at home and abroad that there is a territorial dispute over the islands. If it fails to do this, it could harm national interests. ‘The purchase of the Senkaku Islands concerns transferring ownership of domestic land. It is not a diplomatic matter,’ a senior ofﬁcial at the Foreign Ministry said Saturday. The government will continue to explain its position to China and Taiwan if they persist in claiming sovereignty over the islands. While the International Court of Justice in The Hague deals with territorial and other disputes between countries, Japan is not considering ﬁling a complaint with the U.N. body, according to sources. A dispute can only be brought before the World Court if the countries involved in the dispute agree to settle it there. Even if China ﬁles a complaint with the World Court, Japan would not respond to such a move, according to the sources. (…) The government hopes to discourage China from escalating its activities in waters around the Senkakus by beeﬁng up surveillance by the Japan Coast Guard, conducting joint exercises with the United States near the islands, and through other measures. As China's top leadership will change this autumn, some Japanese government ofﬁcials say China may want to avoid worsening its relationship with Japan..” (Yomiuri) Gemba to attend talks in Cambodia, Vietnam “Foreign Minister Koichiro Gemba said he will visit Cambodia and Vietnam for six days from Tuesday. In Cambodia, Gemba will attend a meeting of the ASEAN Regional Forum and a foreign ministers meeting of the East Asia Summit.
Both conferences are set to discuss assistance from the nations in the situation in North Korea and safe attendance.” navigation of vessels in the South (Yomiuri) China Sea. Senior Vice Foreign Minister Tsuyoshi Yamaguchi will attend a foreign ministers meeting of Gov't panel urges Japan to allow the Association of Southeast Asian collective self-defense Nations and its three dialogue partners--Japan, China and South “A government panel on Friday Korea--on behalf of Gemba.” recommended that Japan rethink its interpretation of the paciﬁst (Yomiuri) Constitution to recognize the country's right to exercise collective self-defense. The proposal to Prime Japan to offer 3 bil. dollars in aid to Minister Yoshihiko Noda is a bold Afghanistan statement to change the country's ofﬁcial interpretation on such a right, “The government decided Friday to which is a sensitive issue with contribute about 3 billion dollars in neighboring countries given Japan's aid to Afghanistan over ﬁve years wartime past. The panel's through 2016 to help the war-torn recommendation is part of its report country develop its economy and to Noda in drawing up a long-term maintain security, gover nment vision of Japan's future through sources said. Foreign Minister 2050. In it, the panel urged the Koichiro Gemba will announce the necessity for Japan to "boost its plan at a meeting of countries value to partner countries to step up offering assistance to Afghanistan set security cooperation," alluding to its for Sunday in Tokyo. The U.S.-led ally, the United States, in the wake of International Security Assistance the changing environment in the Force (ISAF) is scheduled to hand A s i a - P a c i ﬁ c re g i o n . " S e c u r i t y over combat operations to cooperation must be broadened by Afghanistan security forces and measures such as a review of the withdraw from the country at the end existing system and practice of 2014. To ensure the ISAF's including reconsidering conventional withdrawal does not result in a interpretations of the Constitution," resurgence of the former ruling the report said. Article 9 of the Taliban, the meeting's participants Constitution states: ‘The Japanese will discuss measures to boost people forever renounce war as a Afghanistan's economy and improve sovereign right of the nation and the living conditions for Afghans. The threat or use of force as means of World Bank estimated that settling international disputes.’” assistance for improving the lives of civilians would cost about 3.3 billion (Mainichi Daily News) dollars to 3.9 billion dollars annually. Japan, which will chair the international conference, set a goal of Japan's energy future must be 15.5 billion dollars in aid for decided by its people Afghanistan between 2012 and 2015, from participating nations and “The people of Japan must soon organizations. Japan will offer about choose one option from among three 3 billion dollars as its ofﬁcial mid- and long-term energy policy development assistance, including scenarios -- including levels of c o s t s r e l a t e d t o t h e I S A F ' s reliance on nuclear power ranging w i t h d r a w a l . To m a i n t a i n from zero to 25 percent -Afghanistan's security forces, Japan a n n o u n c e d r e c e n t l y b y t h e also will help pay for salaries of police g o v e r n m e n t ' s E n e r g y a n d ofﬁcers and other ofﬁcials. At the E n v i r o n m e n t C o u n c i l . T h e meeting, which will be attended by government is expected to adopt representatives of about 80 countries one of them by the end of August and organizations, Afghan President based on a national debate, and Hamid Karzai will announce an action map out an "innovative energy and p l a n t o re f o r m t h e c o u n t r y ' s environment strategy" based on it. It g o v e r n a n c e a n d s e e k f u r t h e r will be a crucial choice that will
J-SOFT POWER WEEKLY BRIEF 11th July 2012
determine the future of Japan. It is necessary to hold calm discussions on the issue and draw a conclusion that will convince every member of the public. To that end, it is indispensable for the government to provide accurate information such that the Japanese people can judge each option on its merits, and to hold discussions that will reﬂect the popular will. Under scenarios 1, 2 and 3, the ratio of atomic power to total power consumption in Japan would be lowered to 0 percent, 15 p e rc e n t a n d 2 0 - 2 5 p e rc e n t , respectively, by 2030. Depending on the degree of Japan's dependence on nuclear power, the council estimated how far greenhouse gas emissions could be reduced, how much electricity charges would need to be raised and how much the country's GDP would be impacted.” (Editorial - Mainichi Daily News) Nation falls to 25th in innovation “Japan ranked 25th in the global innovation rankings for 2012, falling from 20th the previous year, the World Intellectual Property Organization and INSEAD has announced. Of 141 economies surveyed, Switzerland remained at the top spot, followed by Sweden and Singapore. The rankings, announced Tuesday, are based on such factors as regulatory environment, information communication technologies, human capital and research. Japan ranked seventh in infrastructure. However, it placed 69th in creative output, outranked by other developed countries including China and South Korea. In the global innovation efﬁciency rankings, China captured the top spot, followed by India. Past accomplishments are necessary to generate innovative power, WIPO said, concerned about government suspensions of measures to assist research and development amid the global economic crisis. Innovation is unlikely to recover soon, even if governments resume assistance after economic recovery, it warned.” (Yomiuri) Japan Steps Up to the South China Sea Plate “The Philippines and Vietnam have been raising a storm about China's assertiveness in the South China Sea, but they're not the only ones voicing worry. Japan has been playing a relatively quiet, though signiﬁcant role. (...) Increasingly Tokyo is acting on that interest. At this week's Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) Regional Forum in Phnom Penh, Japan's foreign minister intends to express serious concern at recent developments, press the parties to clarify their maritime claims and fasttrack diplomatic solutions. While this intervention will be welcomed by Southeast Asian countries like Vietnam, it will almost certainly exacerbate friction in Sino-Japanese relations. It's signiﬁcant that Japan is willing to antagonize China over a territorial dispute in which Tokyo has no direct stake (notwithstanding its own, separate territorial frictions with Beijing). Tokyo has always kept an eye on the South China Sea, but it was not until tensions began to ramp up after 2008 that it felt the need to take a more proactive approach to the dispute. It's now going to the next level by directly confronting China. Japan has two major concerns here. For one thing, lowlevel tension could escalate over time into a larger conﬂict that disrupts
"CUBE-Technology is shown on the screen for visualizing and analyzing network attacks by Cybersecurity Laboratory of the National Institute of Information and Communications Technology (NICT) in downtown Tokyo." (Nippon News)
maritime trafﬁc. This is bad news for Tokyo's economic security, since the South China Sea lanes carry Japanese goods to lucrative markets in Southeast Asia and Europe, and 90% of Japan's crude oil imports pass over those waters. (…) ” (Ian Storey - Wall Street Journal) Fukushima probe shows new openness in Japan “Much has changed in Japan since the March 11, 2011, trifecta of destruction: an earthquake, tsunami, and nuclear disaster at the Fukushima nuclear facility. As the recent independent investigation of the nuclear accident proves, some of that change is reﬂected in the nation’s growing capacity for open self-criticism. The new report states simply that the events at Fukushima were “man-made” in all respects. The thorough analysis blames systemic negligence in the industry and its collusive relationship with the g o v e r n m e n t . T h e re i s a h i g h likelihood, the report indicates, that the damage to the plant came from the earthquake — something to be expected in a seismically active area — rather than the far more unusual tsunami, and that lives could have been saved if the plant’s operator Tepco had taken better security precautions. The report even argues that the initial government response
J-SOFT POWER WEEKLY BRIEF 11th July 2012
o n l y e x a c e r b a t e d Te p c o ’s incompetence and indecision. (…) The commission recognizes that Japan owed the world an explanation. In the powerful report, it related not only how the events unfolded at Fukushima, but why.” (Boston Globe) Japan aims to create $628 billion green energy market: government draft “Japan will aim to create a 50 trillion yen ($628 billion) green energy market by 2020 through deregulation and subsidies to promote development of renewable energy and low-emission cars, a draft of the gover nment's growth strategy showed. (…) The government is in the process of crafting a long-term strategy to boost Japan's growth potential and seek new areas of growth, and hopes to ﬁnalize it by the end of this month.”
— and perhaps different from what political analysts had originally expected from Japan’s ongoing political realignment. To make decisions on important but often unpopular policies, experts now say, multi-partisan cooperation is essential, as demonstrated by the tax pact. (...) It’s the coalition government model used in European nations like Germany and France in recent years, and in Greece currently. ” (JRT - Wall Street Journal) Japan, U.N. agree to prevent provocative action by N. Korea
“Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda and U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki Moon agreed Sunday to work together to prevent North Korea from engaging in provocative acts and to seek resolutions to various issues related to the reclusive state, Japan's Foreign Ministry said. Noda stressed to Ban the importance of the international community showing a (Reuters) uniform and determined stance against Pyongyang over its nuclear Japan’s New Era of ‘Decisive’ and missile programs, and the issue Politics? of its past abductions of Japanese nationals, as they met on the “A long period of rapid leadership sidelines of an international aid changes and legislative paralysis conference for Afghanistan in Tokyo.” have left many Japanese disappointed and disillusioned about (NY Times) politics. With the exception of the Koizumi era, “decisive leadership” has been a rare commodity in Korea-Japan military pact can create Nagatacho over the past quarter leverage against China: researcher century. (…) But the recent multiparty agreement on a tax hike — as “Korea should push ahead with a imperfect and messy as it was — military pact with Japan to gain appears to be bringing in glimmers diplomatic leverage against China's of hope, and popularity for a new foreign policy that is lopsided toward catchphrase: ‘kimerareru seiji,’ or North Korea, a researcher said “politics that can decide. (…) It has Sunday. (…) The report came after been mentioned to give credit to Seoul recently put off signing its Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda for General Security Military Information hammering out an agreement with Agreement (GSOMIA) with Japan o p p o s i t i o n p a r t i e s t o p a s s a amid controversy over the secretive contentious bill to double the national passage of the pact through the sales tax. More often, it is used to Cabinet. Park went on further to u r g e p o l i t i c i a n s t o s e i z e t h e support the idea of South Korea momentum to confront the looming forging a military logistics agreement challenges facing the nation, such as with Japan to secure political s o c i a l s e c u r i t y re f o r m , t r a d e leverage against China's international liberalization and the development of policy favoring Pyongyang over a new energy policy. (…) Decision Seoul. The presidential ofﬁce last politics, Japan style, will likely look week denounced the Foreign Ministry different from the American version for hurriedly pushing for the landmark
military pact with Japan, which still has unresolved territorial and historical disputes over Japan's colonial rule over the Korean Peninsula from 1910-45. The pact, originally scheduled to be sealed by the end of June, was put on hold amid strong protests from political parties and the general public. Bucking the opposition to the pact, however, the researcher argued, "Since China has negative views about widening military exchanges between South Korea and Japan, broadening the South-Japan military ties can become leverage against China, which holds a favorable attitude even during the North's military provocations.” (The Korean Times) U.S.-Japan alliance grows for AsiaPaciﬁc security balance “Japan’s military buildup to play crucial role in countering China. Japan is more aggressively pushing to become a “normal state” with a full-ﬂedged military as China increasingly ﬂexes its naval might and North Korea tests its patience with missile and nuclear tests. Japan’s increasing assertiveness comes as the U.S. is deepening its strategic engagement in the Asia-Paciﬁc to maintain its preeminence challenged by China’s rise. Despite its constitutional ban on war-related activities, the Japanese prime ministerial panel has reportedly claimed the need to recognize Japan’s right for collective selfdefense ― the use of force to respond to an attack on an ally, namely the U.S. Last month, Japan’s legislature passed the ﬁrst revision in 34 years to the Atomic Energy Basic Act including “national security” among its goals, paving the way for the archipelago state’s nuclear armament. These moves have prompted protests from its neighbors that still have bitter memories of Japan’s wartime atrocities. But they are seen as a positive development for the U.S. as Japan’s strategic enhancement may help maintain its primacy in the changing security landscape in the region.” (The Korean Herald)
J-SOFT POWER WEEKLY BRIEF 11th July 2012
THINK TANK FOCUS
A Time For Change? Japan’s “Peace” Constitution At 65
to monitor a ceaseﬁre in Cambodia. Since then, the SDF has participated in numerous similar missions, and since 2011 even maintains an overseas base in Djibouti that supports the international anti-piracy operations of its “Constitutional revision is a perennial topic in Japanese maritime branch off the horn of Africa. Meanwhile, concern political discourse. In May 2011, the ruling Democratic that the U.S.-Japan relationship was coming “adrift” in the Party of Japan (DPJ) reopened its constitutional mid-1990s saw Japan engage in greater defense investigation committee after a four-year hiatus. According cooperation with its ally, which only increased after the to its chair, Seiji Maehara, former minister of foreign affairs, terrorist attacks on the United States on September 11, the committee was formed to “collect the thoughts of the 2001. This intensiﬁcation of alliance cooperation arguably party” on “constructing afresh the constitution, which culminated in the Koizumi Junichirō administration’s forms the basis of our nation.” Maehara declared his dispatch of the SDF to Iraq in January 2004, a move that intention to present a report of the committee’s ﬁndings by was highly controversial in Japan. Nevertheless, there is March the following year, two months before the 65th now broad consensus on the constitutional legitimacy of anniversary of the constitution’s enactment.1 Interparty the SDF, and most Japanese view overseas dispatch of groups also promoted renewed discussion on the forces in non-combat missions as a relatively benign constitutional change, and there were at- tempts to affair. Meanwhile, the SDF’s prominent role in rescue, rereconvene a dormant lower house committee on the topic. lief, and reconstruction efforts after the March 11, 2011, The DPJ committee did not, however, meet its proposed tsunami in Japan’s northeast has increased the level of deadline. Indeed, shortly after being named as the party’s public trust in the forces’ activities. As a result of such new policy chief, Maehara stepped down as committee increased activity, many Japanese lawmakers now see head in September 2011 without ever having convened a Article 9 as overly restrictive, or at best would like to clarify meeting.2 Nevertheless, the opposition Liberal Democratic the roles and responsibilities, and indeed stipulate the very Party (LDP), perhaps in an attempt to take political existence, of the SDF in the constitution. Much of the advantage of the lack of a DPJ pro posal, released details debate is centered on allowing the SDF to engage in of its own draft in March 2012 reiterating its already long- collective self-defense with the United States. standing plans for constitutional revision. (…) The most Conservative commentators, including a commission striking changes over the past two decades, however, assembled in 2006 by the administration of Prime Minister have been those made to the roles and functions of the Abe Shinzō and headed by legal scholar and former SDF. Although politicians in Japan cautiously probed the Ambassador to the United States Yanai Shunji, suggested possibility of allowing the SDF to participate in that current constitutional interpretations that ban the SDF peacekeeping missions during the 1980s, criticism of from coming to the aid of U.S. or other forces under Japanese passivity during the 1991 Persian Gulf War saw attack by a third party can be changed according to Tokyo ﬁrst dispatch troops overseas in September 1992, strategic necessity simply by executive ﬁat.8 For many
J-SOFT POWER WEEKLY BRIEF 11th July 2012
others who approve of the rationale behind collective crop failures in the region would also mean insufﬁcient self-defense, however, such “re- interpretation” would ﬂy rice supplies elsewhere. As a result, not only would the directly in the face of the explicit constitutional ban on livelihood of millions of people in the mainland Southeast using force to settle international disputes. This latter Asia be badly affected but that of a larger population in group, which includes Maehara, believes that other regions could be indirectly inﬂuenced as well. constitutional revision is the only method of appropriately Securing water resources is of great importance to the loosening existing restrictions to allow for collective self- promotion of sustainable development in local economies defense missions. Still other proponents of revision, such and the betterment and security of millions of peoples' as DPJ political heavyweight Ozawa Ichirō, continue to lives. (…) International water law once had four general oppose collective self-defense, but seek clear principles, namely sovereignty equality, freedom of constitutional revision to sanction SDF engagement in navigation, equitable apportionment or sharing, and overseas missions mandated by the United Nations, freedom from harm. More principles have been added even, perhaps, those which involve combat. When the recently, such as prior notiﬁcation, exchange of views of those who continue to simply reject any information, and compensation for damage. The revisions to the constitution are added to the mix, it is effectiveness and efﬁciency of regional institutions clear that debates surrounding Article 9 are highly addressing water security issues such as the Mekong complex.” River Commission should be improved. The role of regional security institutions and mechanisms should also (Bryce Wakeﬁeld – Wilson Center) be enhanced to promote dialogue and cooperation on water as a source of several regional security problems. Water security needs to be elevated to the agenda of regional institutions such as the ASEAN Regional Forum (ARF). (…) Japan was actively involved in drafting the 1997 United Nations Convention on the Law of the NonNavigational Uses of International Watercourses. Japan
Japan Should Turn the Island Summit Into a Permanent Institution
“The term "water security" has become popular among
decision makers and practitioners, as is the case with also strongly supported the activities of some river basin "food security" and "energy security." It implies that water organizations, such as the Mekong River Commission, in security is increasingly becoming a global concern, not international waters. Further efforts of this nature should an issue of any particular region. Water security has two be made in both international and regional contexts. The important aspects: securing water and ensuring water for lack of a master plan in an international water body often security. Failure to secure water within a particular leads to conﬂicts among basin countries. Japan has country tends to lead to insecurity in the surrounding assisted many countries in elaborating national master region. Water scarcity as a result of climate change, plans for water resources. Japan should also give misuse, or improper management of water resources is support on international waters so that basin countries seen as a potential source of conﬂict and instability in will develop a master plan on the use of their shared many regions. We have witnessed various conﬂicts over water resources, and so that such a master plan can water among countries in Asia, e.g., between India and serve as the "agreed upon" basis for the use of water Pakistan over the Indus River, between Thailand and resources by basin countries.” Vietnam over the Mekong River, between China and Russia over the Amur River, between Bangladesh and India over the Ganges River, and among Iraq, Syria and Turkey over the Tigris and Euphrates Rivers. (…) Water security can also be linked to climate change. Lower river levels combined with a higher sea level could form a twin threat to the region, whose civilizations and cultures have long been based on paddy rice production. Moreover, water security is directly related to food security. As the biggest rice exporters are from mainland Southeast Asia, (Mikiyasu Nakayama – AJISS-Commentary)
J-SOFT POWER WEEKLY BRIEF 11th July 2012
Japan-Afghanistan Summit Meeting [http://www.mofa.go.jp/u_news/2/20120710_201955.html] Japan-Iran Foreign Ministers' Meeting (Overview) [http://www.mofa.go.jp/u_news/2/20120710_201005.html] Courtesy Call on Mr. Yoshihiko Noda, Prime Minister, by Mr. Ban Ki-moon, Secretary-General of the United Nations [http://www.mofa.go.jp/u_news/2/20120710_182524.html] Attendance by Mr. Koichiro Gemba, Minister for Foreign Affairs of Japan, at ASEAN-related foreign ministers' meetings, etc. [http://www.mofa.go.jp/u_news/2/20120710_184123.html] Meeting between Minister for Foreign Affairs Koichiro Gemba and UK Secretary of State for International Development Andrew Mitchell [http://www.mofa.go.jp/announce/announce/ 2012/7/0708_01.html] Statement by the Minister for Foreign Affairs of Japan, on Libya's Constitutional Assembly election [http:// www.mofa.go.jp/announce/announce/2012/7/0709_01.html] Courtesy Call on Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda by U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton [http://www.mofa.go.jp/ region/n-america/us/meeting1]
J-SOFT POWER WEEKLY BRIEF
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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