Jun.14.2014 KIP Forum "The Issue and Prospect of Japanese Diplomacy"

Forum in June: Mr. Nomura, a diplomatic official, gave us a lecture about the issue and prospect of Japanese diplomacy and his works in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Recent days, Japanese medias say that Japan is losing its power in the world. However, Mr. Nomura stated the opposite, that Japanese is being counted by other countries with its political and economical power, geographical location, soft power or the power Japanese culture posses. This startled me. In these situations, what kind of role does the Ministry of Foreign Affairs play? For example, Japan has dispatched the Self-Defense Forces to Iraq and Afghanistan. This was to secure the import of oil from Middle East and secure the safety of navigation route to Japan. Similarly, the measure against the pirates in Somalia was to secure the safety of trade route by ship between Europe and Japan. As it can be seen from here, it is important to take into consideration the relationship Japan has with other areas in the world, even though that area may seem to have nothing to do with you Japan. And this is the first important step when we think about foreign affairs.

Another thing I found interesting was the comparison between Japan and England, where Mr. Nomura had been working for several years. On one side, it resembles each other in geographically, economically, and politically. However on the other side, there are many points Japan can learn from England, especially how to utilize the power of its own culture and the ability to deliver messages to overseas. This encouraged me that Japan still has the possibility to develop and thrive. Japan could be seen differently seen from the outside or from the inside. From this forum, I felt that Japanese, including me, should have more confidence in their nation. This does not mean to boast about our country, but to be more conscious of our country. Mr. Nomura posed "What kind of role Japan should play in the future international society" as an awareness of Japanese diplomacy. I think Japanese can gain a much better international status making the most of the strong points of Japan by approving and be more conscious about our country. (Yurie Aiura)