Contemporary Japanese Diplomacy

Wednesday, 10:45-12:45, 503



  • Akiko, Nanami (Hiroshima Shudo University) Should Japan's international cooperation take an 'inward' approach?
  • Mikami, Takanori (Hiroshima Shudo University) Comparing soft power among Japan, China, and Korea
  • Inoue, Mika (Hiroshima Shudo University) Japanese Foreign Policy in Africa
  • Discussant: Otmazgin, Nissim (The Hebrew University of Jerusalem)
  • Chair: Blum , James



This panel deals with some of the main issues surrounding Japan's contemporary diplomacy by looking at three cases which exemplify the internal and external dynamism and forces which influence Japan's foreign policy making. The panel underlines the state of crisis in which Japan's contemporary diplomacy is experiencing, and the need to develop new modes of thinking in Japan's international conduct.

The panel consists of three papers. The first paper, entitled "Should Japan's international cooperation take an 'inward' approach?," by Akiko Nanami, analyzes Japan's aid policy and its repositioning within Japan's foreign policy agenda. It focuses on the notion of "uchimuki", typically translated as inward-looking attitude, which has become a popular word to describe post-recession Japan. In this context, this paper examine whether Japan's aid should be redirected to suit domestic needs or remain oriented outwards in order to serve Japan's "national interest" abroad.

The second paper, "Comparing soft power among Japan, China, and Korea," by Takanori Mikami, analyzes the dynamism of soft power in Japan, China, and South Korea through various world rankings to which some publications in Japan paid attention. It will shed light on vagueness and weakness of Japan's public diplomacy.

Lastly, the third paper, entitled "Japanese Foreign Policy in Africa," by Mika Inoue, accesses the impact, the difficulties, and the opportunities in Japan's foreign policy in Africa, particularly in relation to peace-building and security. The paper examines the history and characteristics of Japan's involvement in Africa in a few selected cases, and especially looks into the dispatch of Japanese Military Personnel to Africa as a part of the UN's peacekeeping operations, These three papers will lead us to better understanding of contemporary Japanese diplomacy.