GAIKO FORUM 2003 Summer
Speaking Out and Following Through
The Persian Gulf War of twelve years ago and the September 11th terrorist attacks of two years ago marked crucial turning points in Japan's foreign policy and taught it valuable lessons in"word politics". Having been among the first nations to join the "coalition of the will-ing", Japan finds it is all the more important, now that major hostilities are over, to demonstrate the quality of its contributions toward rebuilding Iraq. Japanese foreign policy so far has focused on humanitarian assistance and economic cooperation. In what form can it make its political commitment to the post-Iraq War international scene? Now is time for Japan to speak out and act on what it says.
Okamoto Yukio, special adviser to Prime Minister Koizumi onforeign affairs, once again shares his candid views of Japanese foreign policy. Together with "Japan's Response to War Overseas: How Not to Make the Same Mistake Twice" (Winter 2002) and ""Across to the Indian Ocean: Japanese Aid to Afghanistan"(Fall 2002), Okamoto's accounts in the pages of the English Edition of Gaiko Forum reveal the development of Japanese foreign policy in the Middle East over the last decade and where it now stands.
The United States may have its "road map" for Middle East peace, but in the Asia-Pacific region, the North Korean problem isnow a major challenge. Strobe Talbott, former U.S. deputy secretary of state, and Richard Halloran, an independent writer based in Honolulu, offer insights for Japan in dealing with North Korea, respectively from the perspective of U.S.--Russian relations and in the context of U.S. views of alliance.
How Japan can best put "soft power" to use in foreign policy was a topic taken up in the spring 2003 issue of Gaiko Forum. The summer issue, too, approaches this topic in terms of the potential of the tourist industry, in an exchange between Fujii Hiroaki, presi-dent of the Japan Foundation, and Aoyama Yasushi, vice-governorof Tokyo at the time the discussion was held. In our era of a whole new kind of war, when ideological and political barriers seem to be rising ever higher, boundaries in other aspects of our lives are steadi-ly growing lower. The dangers of terrorism and contagious diseases like SARS notwithstanding, the vigorous flow of people back and forth across national borders is part of reality. This dilemma is an old yet new challenge for foreign affairs.
Ito Misako Editor
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Toward Reconstruction Aid for Iraq:A Path via the Indian Ocean and the Nile/Okamoto Yukio
Currently adviser to Prime Minister Koizumi on foreign affairs, the author visited Middle Eastern countries immediately after the Iraq war in quest of Japan's own "groad map" in assisting reconstruction of postwar Iraq.
Shifting U.S. Alliances and the New Debate/Richard Halloran
Major changes are taking place in U.S. military deployments, and we can observe four schools of thought in the United States over security affairs. What do alliances mean to Washington in the new era? What are the options open to United States, South Korea, and Japan vis-a-vis North Korea?
A Diplomatic Troika: Japan, Russia,and the United States/Strobe Talbott
The first national leader in the world to call U.S. President Bush following the 9/11 terror-ist attacks was Russian President Putin. How can Japan make the most of the positive U.S.--Russian relationship in dealing with the developments currently unfolding on theKorean peninsula?
Black-Belt President Putin: A Man of Gentle Arts/Yamashita Yasuhiro
A black belt in judo, Russian President Putin’s understanding of and devotion to the spirit of this sport of Japanese origin reawakens Japanese themselves to its potential. Olympic gold-medal winner in judo Yamashita talks about Putin.
Setting History Straight: The International Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia/Taya Chikako
Some critics charge that the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia(ICTY), ignoring NATO's responsibility for civilian deaths in the former Yugoslavia,differs little from the Tokyo Trial, which ignored the atomic bombings of Hiroshima andNagasaki. A Japanese judge on ICTY addresses this charge.
Transmitting the Japanese Story:Toward True Cosmopolitanism/Aoyama Yasushi and Fujii Hiroaki
Tokyo attracts only about 2.8 million foreign visitors annually, whereas 3 million visit Paris's Louvre alone each year. In this age of globalization, can Japan make tourism a source of national prosperity?
Terrorists, Terrorism, and Japan'sCounter-Terrorism Policy/Mizukoshi Hideaki
Asia is no more free of the threat of international terrorism than any other region, as clearly demonstrated by the terrorist bombing of a night club on the peaceful island of Bali in October 2002. Director of the Foreign Ministry’s office on international counter-terror-ism discusses Japan’s anti-terror policy since 9/11.