II. Developing a Peaceful and Prosperous Asia
Japan is a member of Asia and, therefore, it is in Japan's utmost enlightened national interest to create a peaceful and prosperous Asia. Japan is fortunate to be a member of this fast-growing, very promising Asia. To play an active role in creating a peaceful and prosperous Asia is directly connected to Japan's own security and prosperity. Japan is the most matured democracy in the region, well endowed with industries with high technological and financial capabilities as well as a rich market. Japan can also function as a connector between the United States and Asia by engaging the United States further in Asian affairs through various cooperative schemes, utilizing the alliance as the region's public property, and attempting to communicate various voices from Asia to the U.S. policy-making mechanism. To make Asia the most peaceful and prosperous region in the world, Japan needs to use all of its resources to promote nation building, human resource development, economic partnership, and peacekeeping operations (PKO) in the region. It will be, therefore, absolutely essential for Japan to nurture mutual trust with neighboring countries, particularly China and South Korea.
Economically, Asia has become the most dynamic region in the world. Japan has immeasurably benefited from this sustained growth and peace in Asia. With the globalization of the world economy and their own economic development, Asian countries have been increasingly integrated as an economic group. Interdependence has deepened among China, Japan, South Korea, and ASEAN, which, in turn, has promoted further growth of individual economies. Asia is extremely diverse in terms of ethnicity, religion, culture, degree of economic development, and many other factors, and a number of grave causes for concern in the security field exist including the Korean peninsula, the Taiwan Strait, India-Pakistan rivalry, and terrorist groups in Indonesia and the Philippines, etc. If properly addressed, however, this diversity can prove to be an advantage in promoting further growth, democracy, and interdependence. It will also become important to construct criteria for an East Asian Community, to which member countries should be induced to subscribe, thus contributing to the peace and prosperity of the region.
The most important element in building a peaceful and prosperous Asia is the rise of China. Depending on China's future course of action, the rise of China can be an opportunity for greater peace and prosperity in Asia, on one hand, or a risk bringing confusion and stagnation, on the other hand. It will be greatly in Japan's interest if China maintains its sustainable growth; while properly addressing its environmental and energy problems; overcomes social crises to consolidate political stability; and, contributes, as a major power, to the peace and prosperity of Asia, becoming a responsible force in the region.
India is expected to be a nucleus of Asian economic development in the 21st century along with Japan, China, South Korea, and ASEAN. It projects a unique charisma not only as an economic, demographic, and cultural/ philosophical giant but also as a huge democracy. Establishing and maintaining a close relationship, including strategic, with this India will be in the national interests of Japan and will expand Japan's diplomatic options.
In Asia today, dynamic progress is taking place toward the construction of the new regional order, including the consensus among regional countries on the goal of an East Asian Community. It is the task of the new government of Japan to take the initiative in designing and promoting this regional order. In so doing, Japan should realize that the basic rule of foreign policy in Asia is to play a positive-sum game (where one's gain is others' gain) instead of a zero-sum game (where one's gain is the others' loss). Asia is known for great diversity as well as great gaps in stages of democratic maturity and economic development among countries. This new government of Japan should develop a foreign policy for Asian stability and prosperity that takes this diversity into account. But first, it should acknowledge the past mistake of World War II squarely and humbly in order to obtain the trust of Asian people.
1. Building an East Asian Community
In East Asia, economic interdependence has already surpassed that of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) area, with intraregional trade exceeding 50 percent of total trade. Japan is expected to experience a population decrease, making it further improbable for Japan to continue one-country prosperity. It is, therefore, only reasonable as well as essential for Japan to conclude FTAs and economic partnership agreements (EPAs) with such regional entities as ASEAN, South Korea, China, and India.
Negotiations toward these agreements with East Asian countries have not been advancing as fast as they should, and this is mainly attributable to the lack of awareness of their importance for Japan on the part of the current government. Japan has benefited from free trade in attaining today's high living standards. Japan should, therefore, never forget the absolute importance of free trade or lose sight of the large picture in the coordination of specific interests. Japan should never become introverted. The new government of Japan will vigorously advance the conclusion of these FTAs and EPAs.
As the economic integration of East Asia proceeds, a prompt response will be required vis-?-vis various regional issues such as energy, the environment, and finances. The East Asian Community will address a wide range of issues including economic issues such as trade and investment as well as social issues such as public health, sanitation, population, education, and training. An important preparation toward this community building will be to collect and analyze basic data that will provide the basis for policy dialogue among regional countries. We therefore propose the establishment of a permanent East Asian Community Secretariat that will collect and analyze these data and facilitate policy discussions on common regional issues. At the same time, the function of the Asian Development Bank (ADB) should also be reinforced.
Globalization of the world economy improves living standards, which in turn cause each country to face such issues as democratization, universal rule of law, and protection of human rights. The East Asian Community will address these issues as common regional challenges. The East Asian Community will have a firmer base if parliamentarians representing the inhabitants of member countries can have regular exchange. In this spirit we propose the launching of an East Asian Parliamentarian Congress (provisional name) in order to promote parliamentary exchange and policy dialogue.
The East Asian Community should never become an exclusive institution. India, Australia, and New Zealand will be important partners when building a full-scale East Asian Community. Aiming for a wide membership at the outset, however, will require a longer time for mutual adjustment and, thus, may hamper the institution's maneuverability as in the case of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) forum. It seems natural, therefore, to begin with an East Asian Summit Meeting, as the first step toward East Asian Community building, among the ASEAN-10 plus three Northeast Asian countries. It will be necessary to have a view of an expanded East Asian Community that in the future includes the United States. Meanwhile, it seems realistic for Japan to aim at a conclusion of the bilateral FTA with the United States and function as a connector between the United States and the East Asian Community.
In order to encourage further integration of East Asia and to invigorate Japan, the new Japanese government should precipitate the conclusion of the investment guarantee agreement among China, South Korea, and Japan, and facilitate the enrollment of overseas students and employment of skilled workers from Asian countries within Japan. Furthermore, it should even prepare itself to accept an inflow of unskilled labor into the Japanese market, albeit with a certain time limit, upon the reinforcement of pertinent rules such as rigorous immigration control. These measures will contribute to the further opening of Japanese society.
At the same time, economic cooperation policy should be converted from the current all-inclusive aid to more strategically focused provision of official development assistance (ODA) to such countries as Cambodia, Indonesia, the Philippines, and Vietnam. The focus of ODA should be on the building of human and physical infrastructure of the East Asian Community.
The very first thing that the new Japanese government must do, prior to the above measures, is to build a relationship of mutual trust with neighboring countries. It is a lamentable liability of Japan's foreign policy that, even sixty years after the end of the war, we have not succeeded in building a relationship of mutual trust with the Chinese and Korean peoples. The recent rise of anti-Japan demonstrations in China and Korea was a reminder that the mutual trust between Japan and these countries, a fruit of long and painstaking efforts by our predecessors in the post-war days, can perish instantly. To blame this solely on the other party and indulge in exchange of mutual criticism will not bear any positive outcome. It will be a great loss for all countries concerned if we fail to establish a relationship of mutual trust and we should all make sincere efforts to improve our relationships in order to realize mutual understanding and respect.
The Japanese must bear in mind that the offended will not easily forget the pain and humiliation, while the offenders are liable to amnesia. It is absolutely undeniable, as recorded in Prime Minister Murayama's remark of August 15, 1995, that Japan's invasion and occupation brought tremendous loss and pain to our neighboring countries. After honestly and humbly reflecting on our past conduct, we must work determinedly to build a future-oriented relationship with our Asian neighbors. This will be a common perception within the new Japanese government and the center pillar of its foreign policy. In this spirit, the new government will open a new national facility to pay tribute to past war victims as well as any future casualties of international lines of duty. It will also work steadily to strengthen joint initiatives with neighboring countries toward achieving a shared perception of historical issues.
2. Toward Regional Cooperation including Security Cooperation
While the East Asian Community will start with economic integration and political cooperation, its ultimate goal is to nurture mutual trust and a sense of security among member states. It aspires to be a community in which no member country holds hostility toward other members. In light of differences in political systems and democratic maturity among regional countries, however, it would be more prudent to start with what is immediately attainable, making a full-fledged security community a future aim. It should be noted that the United States will be indispensable for the security cooperation in East Asia.
Thus, as far as security cooperation is concerned, we will start with the nucleus of ASEAN plus three Northeast Asian countries, but we will try to gradually and steadily expand this group, mobilizing all the possible occasions such as the ASEAN Regional Forum (ARF) and the Six-Party Talks. When the Six-Party Talks succeed in accomplishing a nuclear-free Korean peninsula, its framework can be made into a permanent institution geared toward regional stability.
Furthermore, Japan should sponsor joint training and exercise of PKO personnel and civilian police officers in cooperation with other Asian countries and introduce an East Asian PKO training center to Okinawa. Japan can also promote a joint sea lane patrol program against terrorists and pirates in collaboration with ASEAN, China, India, and the United States, naturally paying due respect to the sovereignty of coastal states.
In the overall context of Asian security, WMD proliferation and terrorism are extremely important challenges. The new Japanese government will further promote the Proliferation Security Initiative (PSI) and actively engage itself with the peaceful solution of the Kashmir conflict, which has led to the nuclear armament of India and Pakistan. In order to prevent the permeance of terrorism, it will also assist efforts to enhance governance in Asian countries, including Indonesia, Myanmar, and the Philippines.
3. Institutionalization of Dialogue with China
It is beyond doubt that economic interdependence between Japan and China will deepen further. Yet the political relationship between the two countries has remained cool for quite some time, symbolized by the fact that no state visit of the leaders has been exchanged for the past three years. Mutual understanding on the people-to-people level has not deepened, either, as demonstrated by recent incidents of massive anti-Japan demonstrations in various cities in China. Japan's relationship with China is in the greatest crisis ever since the normalization of bilateral relations in 1972. In order to realize a peaceful and prosperous Asia and to secure our own security and affluence, the new government of Japan must recognize the critical importance of developing a constructive relationship with China and act determinedly to rebuild Japan-China relations. At the same time it is important not to forget that the facilitation of peaceful coexistence between China and the United States and encouragement of active Chinese engagement in the international community is the key to East Asian stability and prosperity. The recent cooling and worsening of the Japan-China political relationship, which does not serve Japan's national interest, should be mainly attributed to the lack of a long-term vision for and a wider perspective on this bilateral relationship on the part of the current government. The reconstruction of Japan-China relations is the biggest challenge facing Japanese foreign policy and it will be one of the most important tasks for a new DPJ government.
We will first start with the reconstruction of mutual trust between the leaders of the two countries and move on to deepen the bilateral policy dialogue on economy, finance, currency, energy, the environment, maritime development, and security. We wish to eventually institutionalize this dialogue. We will also promote Japan-China cooperation in the promotion of the East Asian Community and effective disbursement of respective ODA to third parties. In light of the special importance of the security dialogue, we will launch a Japan-China 2 plus 2 dialogue on the ministerial level in addition to institutionalization of a regular summit meeting. These kinds of regularized high-level dialogue will increase mutual transparency on policy direction and intention, offering a sense of security to Asia and the world as a whole. We wish to develop the dialogue into actions and upgrade the understanding to mutual trust, nurturing the possibility for future consultation on disarmament.
Heightened tension over Taiwan would be extremely dangerous for the stability of East Asia and therefore of no benefit to Japan, China, the United States or Taiwan. Based on the Japan-China Joint Statement of 1972, we oppose both a unilateral declaration of independence by Taiwan and military action by China.
We will solve the dispute with China over the boundary of the exclusive economic zone (EEZ) and natural resources development on the East China Sea through consultations, after we establish firm mutual trust between leaders of the two countries. It is clear to anyone with eyes to see that cooperation between Japan and China, as two of the world's large energy consumers, will be of tremendous benefit to all. In this consultation, while requesting respect of our viewpoints based on international laws and scientific evidence, we will also facilitate joint development of natural gas and oil, aiming to make the East China Sea a sea of peace. Furthermore, we will promote East Asian and North Pacific cooperation in energy with countries, including China, South Korea, and Russia.
4. Toward a Stable Korean Peninsula
Between South Korea and Japan a future-oriented and constructive relationship has gradually emerged, backed by the political reconciliation triggered by the visit of President Kim Dae-jung to Japan in 1998, deepened economic interdependence, and the dramatic escalation of cultural exchange at the grass-roots level, notably through sports, movies, and TV programs. It is therefore all the more unfortunate that recent months witnessed the revival of anti-Japanese sentiment in South Korea. We need to revise the tendency in recent government policy to neglect Asia and return to the starting point of President Kim Dae-jung's visit. To further advance the newly emerging relationship, we will aim to promptly conclude the Japan-South Korea FTA. To further consolidate this future-oriented relationship with South Korea and to transform it into a nucleus of the East Asian Community, we must face the history issue squarely and come up with a constructive solution. The new government of Japan must strive to establish a firm relationship of mutual trust between the leaders of our two countries and promote parliamentary exchanges, especially among younger legislators. We should promptly conclude the Japan-South Korea FTA and further promote economic and cultural exchanges. In addition to intergovernmental and interparliamentary exchanges, it will be equally important to promote exchanges on the grass-roots level aimed at enhancing Japan-South Korea relations from the bottom up.
In order to ensure peace and security in Japan and East Asia as a whole, it will be essential to make Northeast Asia a nuclear-free zone. Therefore, we must successfully conclude the Six-Party Talks, preventing North Korea's nuclear development, promote a Northeast Asian Nuclear-Free Zone, and further proceed to disarmament and arms control throughout East Asia.
Abduction is a gross violation of national sovereignty and human rights and must not be tolerated under any conditions. The new government of Japan will take a firm stance against this issue in consultation and cooperation with the United States, South Korea, and China, and will diplomatically pursue vigorous efforts to achieve an early and complete solution of this issue.