Feb 8, 2007

Asia's transformation and the future of Japanese diplomacy

Prior to World War II, Japan’s position in the international community was dependent on its power and status in Asia. From the time of the Meiji Restoration in 1868, it was essential for Japan to have considerable stature within Asia so that the country ...

Dec 22, 2006

New base for reconciliation

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s visit to China in early October was important for several reasons. In the short term, it represented a significant contribution to easing tensions between Tokyo and Beijing. From a long-term perspective, it helped to lay the foundations for a stronger ...

Oct 28, 2006

International role of NPOs

All over the world, culture is being pushed to the sidelines. I am not referring here to commercialized, globalized culture produced purely for entertainment. By “culture,” I mean the provision of culture as a public good, such as through foreign-language education, intellectual exchange or ...

Sep 2, 2006

A bridge to Latin America

The amount of Japanese cultural and educational activities conducted in Latin America has been flat or in decline over the last five years. The Japan Foundation, the largest Japanese nonprofit organization engaged in international cultural exchange, spent around 800 million yen on activities related ...

Jul 19, 2006

Cultural diplomacy in the Middle East

Political and economic stability in the Middle East is vital to ensure Japan’s energy security and to reduce risks in the global economic system. In the interests of this region’s mid- and long-term political stability, it is clearly desirable for “democratization” in the region ...

Jun 22, 2006

Freedoms and responsibilities

The international community has been watching the rise of China and India with interest, and two recent events symbolize the growing stature of these two countries. One was the so-called Google incident. In the course of its entry into China’s Internet services market, Google ...

May 20, 2006

Rethinking ties with ASEAN

Japan-ASEAN relations, which have traditionally been underpinned by trade, tourism, investment and official development assistance (ODA), appear to have reached a turning point. This is because most, if not all, 10 members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations have become economically mature and ...

Mar 23, 2006

Responding to new trends in Japanese studies abroad

The world is changing rapidly under the influence of globalization. At the same time, the political, economic and even academic environment surrounding Japanese studies outside Japan has changed a great deal. Traditional motives for studying Japan, such as curiosity in the exotic, the perception ...

Jan 16, 2006

Heretical to the Asia concept

The European Union is a community founded on the concept of Europe. This concept has been nurtured by the historical consciousness of Europeans to overcome national rivalries and to maintain European traditions. The process of consolidating such consciousness has, however, been accompanied by a ...

Nov 10, 2005

Cultural diversity strengthens nations

During UNESCO’s recent biannual conference at its Paris headquarters, the United States remained adamant in its opposition to the conclusion of an international convention on cultural diversity. On the surface it appears that the U.S. position is mainly motivated by trade interests. The U.S. ...