NEW YORK – Joseph Nye, a former U.S. assistant defense secretary and renowned Japan expert, voiced concern Wednesday about what he sees as more nationalistic and inward-looking attitudes in Japan.
“Japanese public opinion is shifting to the right and in a more nationalistic direction” ahead of the Dec. 16 general election, Nye, a professor at Harvard University, said in the Financial Times.
If Japan “turns inward to a reactive populist nationalism rather than play an active role on the world stage, the world as well as Japan will be worse off,” he said.
“The real problem is not that Japan is becoming too powerful in international affairs but that it may become too weak and inward-turning,” he said.
Call for volunteerism
A U.N. General Assembly panel adopted a Japan-led resolution Wednesday calling for support for volunteer activities by youths and others, saying they play a “fundamental role in the promotion of peace and development.”
The Third Committee of the General Assembly, which oversees human rights issues, backed the resolution led by Japan and other members at its headquarters in New York.
The resolution “calls for a people-centered, holistic approach in order to build an inclusive and resilient society, supported by a social bond among the people through community-based approaches that facilitate the integration of volunteers,” according to its text.