July 11, 2003
Thank you for inviting me to this symposium marking the 150th
anniversary of Japan-U.S. relations.
150 years ago Commodore Perry sailed into Edo Bay with four
ironclad ships, which opened our eyes to the world. As you
know, my country had been closed to the outside world for two
centuries. Those who left, even Japanese sailors and fishermen
blown away by typhoons, were not allowed to return on threat
of death until a few years before Commodore Perry's arrival.
His arrival was the greatest and last impetus for Japan to end
In the past, nations have adopted isolationism as a policy.
During the Cold War, the sharply divided world permitted some
nations to be ignorant of international concerns. As history
has progressed, however, isolation has become less and less of
an option for advanced nations because of globalization. And
especially after the fall of the Soviet Union, nations could
not revert to isolationism because new security threats
arose-like the one that brought down those magnificent towers
in New York.
I want to talk to you about isolation this afternoon. Looking
back to the past, Japan has suffered from isolation several
times. Sometimes it was a conscious policy we adopted and
sometimes it was one we fell into unconsciously. Japan now has
relationships with almost all the nations in the world.
Needless to say, the most important bilateral relationship is
the one with the U.S.
I saw first hand a few weeks ago how far the Japan-U.S.
relationship has progressed in 150 years. I saw our
relationship manifested in a very personal way. I attended the
summit between Prime Minister Koizumi and President Bush down
at the President's ranch in Crawford, Texas. We were at the
ranch for 24 hours over two days. During that period, the
President and the Prime Minister spent an amazing ten hours
together--sometimes in meetings with others, sometimes alone,
discussing the issues that affect our peoples.
Certainly, there is a personal chemistry between our two
leaders that has grown into trust. At dinner Thursday night,
the President invited Prime Minister Koizumi to attend his
intelligence briefing the next morning. And so, Friday
morning, the Prime Minister of Japan attended the President of
the United States' daily intelligence briefing.
The close relationship between our two countries, however,
goes beyond chemistry. At the press conference in Crawford,
the President called Japan "the very best of friends." Why did
he call us that?
He called us the very best of friends because we are
democratic nations that share important values. We are friends
because of an alliance that has continued for 50 years and
through the darkest days of the Cold War. But let us also be
historically accurate, while Japan has been a dependable ally
during the post World War II era, we largely were on the
sidelines when it came to global security issues. This often
has been attributed to Japanese pacifism as a result of the
horrors of World War II. Perhaps it could be attributed to the
lingering effects of the isolationism that Commodore Perry
broke through. In any event, Japan largely was a bystander on
global security issues for many years.
My premise today is that over the last dozen years-and
especially the last few years-Japan has been moving from
supportive observer to active player. Japan ended its first
isolation when Commodore Perry arrived in Japan. Then the
Meiji Restoration made an enormous effort to open Japan to
modern thought and practices of the Western World.
Unfortunately, Japan fell into the second isolation in 1930's
and the first half of the 1940's. As you know, it was
militarism and it came to an end with Japan's defeat in World
War II. Post World War II, we Japanese decided to pursue
friendship with other nations but unconsciously began another
chapter of isolation-our reluctance to become involved
I think Japan's post World War II insular thinking was first
breached in a serious way when we became one of the world's
largest aid donors. I believe our economic assistance was a
moral and political investment that gave us more of a stake
and interest in other countries' behavior and well being.
During these same years, you can also see the trend toward a
more outward-looking Japan in our increased engagement in and
leadership of multilateral organizations.
Then you begin to see a more expansive perspective on security
issues. Japanese Self Defense Forces had their first actual
overseas mission in 1991, when we dispatched minesweepers to
the Gulf. In 1992, Japanese Self Defense Forces participated
in their first ground operation abroad as part of the UN
peacekeeping operation in Cambodia. Since then, we have
participated in peacekeeping missions in Mozambique, the Golan
Heights and East Timor. Self Defense Forces were sent to Zaire
to assist Rwandan refugees and to Honduras for humanitarian
And while Commodore Perry's ships sailing into Japanese waters
led to the end of isolation, the ships of Japanese Self
Defense Forces sailing into foreign waters as part of the
coalition against terrorism ended another kind of isolation.
For the past two years, whenever I give speeches to general
U.S. audiences I always mention that after the September 11th
attack, the Washington Times newspaper carried a remarkable
photo and headline. On the front page was a color photo of
Japanese navy ships, and the headline read in bold capital
letters, "JAPAN HELPS OUT." That was-and remains-a very
important statement. Japan deployed five naval ships to the
Indian Ocean and also aircraft to provide support to U.S. and
allied forces in the campaign against terrorism. It is not
widely known, but Japan supplied about 40% of all fuel
consumed by the U.S. and allied naval ships in that operation.
This was the first time that Japan had dispatched forces to
assist a military action since World War II.
Then, after the defeat of the Taliban and al Qaeda in
Afghanistan, Japan became committed to rebuilding what the
Taliban and al Qaeda had destroyed. A few months ago, I met
President Karzai, and he was genuinely thankful for the
hundreds of millions of dollars in Japanese assistance and
We are helping provide stability through economic assistance
to the entire region where terrorism thrives. In addition to
Afghanistan, Japan has given-and continues to give-billions of
dollars in economic aid to Jordan, Pakistan and Turkey.
Next we come to Iraq. I tell American audiences that when
President Bush referred to the coalition of the willing, Japan
was--and remains--part of that coalition. When the United
States was obliged to resort to force, the Government of Japan
supported that decision and was part of the coalition effort.
Japan is now cooperating with the United States on Iraq's
rehabilitation and reconstruction. So far we have committed
ourselves to financially assisting Iraq and other nations in
the area. We have dispatched civilian experts to Iraq to help
the U.S. reconstruction activities under what is now called
the Coalition Provisional Authority headed by Ambassador
Bremer. Further, our government has submitted a new bill to
the Diet, which would enable our country to use Self Defense
Forces for humanitarian assistance and reconstruction and for
activities to ensure Iraq's security.
Another thing that changed Japan's outlook on the world and
our engagement in that world occurred in 1998, when North
Korea fired a Taepodong over Japanese territory. The Taepodong
missile flew over our skies and our complacency, and it was a
direct hit on anyone who thought Japan could somehow remain
isolated from the world.
Next we had the DPRK's own admission that it had kidnapped
Japanese citizens from the safety of their own country, an
astonishing infringement on Japanese sovereignty.
We had the incident in our waters where we sank a North Korean
ship equipped for spying and illegal activities.
And, of course, most important, we have the DPRK's military
build-up and nuclear saber rattling.
The DPRK is a heavily armed military dictatorship that poses
an increasing danger to surrounding countries. Its forces are
about 60 percent as big as China's, and yet China's population
is 60 times bigger than North Korea's. What is more, the DPRK
has revealed it has nuclear weapons. What will North Korea do
with these bombs-amass them, use them, sell them?
In all my years as a Japanese diplomat, neither my government
nor I personally have spoken out so critically and frankly as
we have on North Korea. We have said that it is trying to
blackmail the world. And we have warned against paying this
blackmail, because it would only end up aiding the North's
development and dispersion of weapons of mass destruction.
The responsible nations of the world, most importantly the
U.S., the ROK, Japan, and China are for a "peaceful solution"
of the North Korean problem. And yet, a "peaceful solution"
will not mean a "pacifist solution." What is needed here is a
good balance between "dialogue" and "pressure." Japan's
position on North Korean possession of nuclear weapons is
"zero tolerance." I am optimistic that such an aggressive
peace approach will succeed.
As I mentioned above, Japan has become an active player for
the peace and prosperity of the world. The Japan-U.S. Security
Treaty is essential and indispensable asset. Both others and
we call it the "cornerstone" of the stability of the Asia
Pacific region. Recently our alliance has been expanding its
bilateral cooperation and coordination at a global level.
Together with the United States, we are ready to have boots on
the ground for the world's peace.
Since Japan has not a single warhead armed with a weapon of
mass destruction, we have formulated our foreign and defense
policy on the conviction that U.S. deterrence covers Japan. A
clear division of labor is worked out under the Japan-U.S.
Security treaty. To put it simply, the U.S. monopolizes all
offensive capabilities. Japan is expected to focus on
defensive capabilities, such as anti-submarine warfare,
anti-aircraft warfare, surveillance, airborne early warning.
We recently launched our first intelligence satellite.
Also as part of this division of labor, Japan's role is to
pursue an international agenda devoted to economic assistance,
human security, science and technology, environment
protection, disarmament, arms control and non-proliferation.
Grappling with such issues has drawn Japan further into the
In closing, ladies and gentlemen, let me add this brief
It is not surprising that Japan for many years had an insular
outlook on the world. After all, the word "insular" comes from
the Latin word for "island." Although Commodore Perry
instigated an end to Japan's island isolation 150 years ago,
Japan on its own is emerging from its post World War II
insularity as we live up to our own expectations and those of
the community of nations.
We have been passive, for a long time, to what went on in the
world. Nowadays, however, we are becoming more active and
responsible for what we can accomplish in the world.
I would like to assure you that Japan is committed to
fulfilling our role in achieving peace and stability in the
world, as we support the free and democratic values that both
of our countries cherish.
Thank you for inviting me, and thank you for your kind
"From Commodore Perry to Global Partnership"
-In Commemoration of the 150th anniversary of U.S.-Japan
7/11/2003 Symposium at the Japan Information and Culture Center,
Embassy of Japan
Dr. John Dower, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Dr. Shinichi Kitaoka, University of Tokyo
Historical perspective- Go back to Perry.
Perry arrived in Japan on July 8th, 1853. In the Asahi Shimbun
on July 8th, 2003, there was an article in the "Tensei Jingo"
column that told a story. In 1901, the Japanese erected a
monument in Kurihama, and it had an inscription in calligraphy,
"In commemoration of the landing of commodore Perry of the U.S.
Navy." Toward the end of WWII, Perry's arrival was seen as a
symbol of national disgrace. He had pressured Japan, and the
monument was removed, draped in black cloth, and taken away.
When the war ended and before the Americans arrived, the
monument was put up again in the dark of night. This can give us
a sense of the ups and downs of the relationship.
There is another part to this story that is less known. In 1947,
when the war crime trials were going on, a person named Ishiwara
Kanji gave some testimony. He was one of the very large global
thinkers in the Army. He was the mastermind behind the
Manchurian Incident in 1931. Then he turned against Japan's
expansionist policies, so he dropped out of the picture in WWII.
His comments in 1947 are as follow: "Haven't you heard of Perry?
Don't you know anything about your own country's history?
Tokugawa Japan believed in isolation and then came along Perry,
to open those doors. He aimed his guns and said, 'If you do not
deal with us, you had better watch out for these guns. Open your
doors and negotiate with other countries too.' Japan did open
its doors but when it did, it found out that all those other
countries were all extremely aggressive. For its own defense, it
took America as its teacher, and set about learning about how to
be aggressive. Japan became America's disciples. Why don't you
subpoena Perry from the other world and try him as a War
Perry became a war hero in the war against Mexico in 1846-8. He
came out of that war with a very strong sense of American
mission and manifest destiny, and a strong support of gunboat
diplomacy. On the eve of his mission to Japan he said, "Our
people must naturally be drawn into the contest for empire. It
is self-evident that the U.S. extend its jurisdiction beyond the
limits of the Western Continent." His behavior in Japan was very
firm and very imperious. The more I read, the more I think that
MacArthur read Perry before he went over there are as well.
Perry alluded to Mexico saying, "Look what will happen to you if
you do not go along with us." However, there is another side.
There is also the convivial side of Perry. There was a great
deal of socializing between both sides, and an enormous amount
of drinking that took place. The Americans gave many gifts of
whiskey. The most famous banquet took place on the Powhatan in
March 1854. We have accounts of a man on that ship named Preeple.
He said, "We were told to make sure that the plates and glasses
of the Japanese were never empty, and doing my duty, I made sure
that they had everything we had." Japanese officials and
American officers start to dance, and then one of the Japanese
officials comes to Perry throws his arms around Perry's neck and
embraces him enthusiastically saying, "Nippon and America, all
the same heart." Some of Perry's officers were shocked that
Perry would allow such behavior, but Perry said to his
subordinates, "if only they will sign the treaty, he may kiss
I think if we look at what comes out of the early encounter and
look at the 150 years, there are many ways to look. The "clash
of civilizations" ideas are very useful, but I would suggest the
following 4 points or dimensions. We should look at U.S.-Japan
relations like this. We need to think about parallel modernities.
If we look back at this experience through Perry, we can get a
good understanding of the level of American technology in 1853.
Perry goes to Japan to open it primarily to whalers. Moby Dick
was published in 1851, in which Ahab, the captain, loses his leg
and life off of Japan. This is the age of the whaling ships.
Whales are used to lubricate machinery and used to fuel lamps.
Perry uses some steam-driven boats, and this of course impresses
the Japanese. One of the most famous gifts he gave the Japanese
was a ?-scale steam locomotive. One of the additional gifts was
the telegraph. It was very new. The daguerreotype-type camera
was very new. The colt guns were the newest guns at the time.
What you see is that Japan was not so far behind the U.S. and
what you see in both countries is exponential technological
change. The technological culture is something to think about
more than other types of "old-fashioned" cultures.
We always tend to think about Japan being on the receiving side
of things, that is to say that it is "Westernized". When
civilization occurs, it is because of this "Westernization."
However, there is such a thing such as negative Westernization.
An example is the quest of wealth and power that involves
imperialism, colonialism, and the destructiveness of some of
these acts. This is what Ishiwara Kanji was talking about when
he said, "We learned these things from the West." While Japan is
borrowing much from the West, America is borrowing a lot from
the East (Asia and Japan). This is a fascinating area in terms
of aesthetics and philosophy from the mid-19th century up until
modern times. Westerners also look to Japan for individuality
when the U.S. is getting into mass production conformity. The
whole categories get turned around and people look to Asia for
other things. There has always been a two-way street between the
Perry to WWII- Violence is the paradox to progress. In that
process, the U.S. and Japan play a very active role in
contributing to the violence of the modern world. Take Weapons
of Mass Destruction; we go into WWII and the work of Japan and
Unit 731 in producing biological weapons that America learned
about after WWII. Of course, this world ends with the nuclear
age, and Hiroshima and Nagasaki. The U.S. and Japan live in a
world of violence. Here is where Japanese and American views
tend to differ somewhat. When the Japanese look back on this
age, they think that WWII was an age of imperialism, which
includes the Europeans and the Americans as well. They have a
broader sense of that. Because of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, the
sense of victimization is much more keen- that war is evil and
that resorting to weapons is evil. There is also certainly a
greater sensitivity to nuclear weapons.
When the Americans look back on this same time, WWII is a
triumphal narrative. For the Japanese, it is a tragic narrative
and a cautionary lesson. The differences in thought are due to
In a very broad sense; liberty, material benefit for as many as
possible, social justice. In both societies, Japan and America,
democracy is a long, slow, painful struggle. Perry arrives in
1853, and he represents a slave society. Many of the features
that we Americans think of as democratic, are things that have
been struggled for over the decades, including civil rights,
women's rights, and human rights, even today. Democracy is a
living process. When you look at the Japanese side over the past
150 years, you can see the same kind of struggle. Even before
Perry came, there is a real struggle for social justice, and
many popular uprisings. Historians of Japan look for people in
liberty and freedom-rights groups, labor movements, party
politics, etc. Japan has a long history of struggling with
democracy. It is very mistaken to think of democracy being alien
to Japan. When the occupation comes, the Americans are able to
build on this base. What people are thinking about these days is
Japan's attitude toward what it should do in the world, and its
constitution of 1946. This peace constitution is originally
drafted by the Americans, but there is an enormous amount of
Japanese input. Article 9 for example. Nixon went to Japan to
argue that Japan should get rid of that clause. The U.S. has
been asking Japan to revise the constitution since 1950. It has
become part of Japanese consciousness. It links democracy with
peace and anti-militarism, and that in turn with a very sense of
Japan operating under the United Nations in the postwar period.
Those are the issues that link anti-militarism with the peace
and the real skepticism toward war, with the sense of democracy,
with the sense of a real international community, that have come
together now and make it difficult for people to say what
Japan's role in a world with a proliferation of WMD, and other
formidable challenging problems.
Let me first look back at the past 150 years. It is generally
agreed that for the first 50 years, the relationship between
Japan and the U.S. was fairly good. We can explain this two
ways- Japan was a very good student and the U.S. was a good
teacher. That is one reason the relationship was very good. The
other that is more exacting to me is that both countries were on
the same side, particularly in regard to China. The Open Door
doctrine, started in 1899, is psychologically a very important
thing to the American people. The Open Door doctrine meant the
opposition to division of China. Japan was a minor power
compared to Britain, France and Russia. Japan needed a united
China, not a divided one. The U.S. also wanted to have a united
China in order to make advancement in trade into China. That is
my understanding of why our relationship in the period from
Perry to the Russo-Japanese war was very good. Everyone knows
that the U.S. gave a lot of support to Japan at the time of the
Russo-Japanese war, including the Portsmouth Conference. At that
time, President Roosevelt said that Japan was fighting as if for
the U.S. It is said, one of the great intellectuals of that
period, Yoshino Sakuzo, said he supported the Russo-Japanese war
for three reasons:
1. If Russia wins, the Russian military encroachment into China
will become stronger. That would not allow freedom of trade in
that region and will invite more division of China.
2. If Russia wins, the suppression of its people will be
3. If Russia wins, Russia will be an even greater threat to
These are all related to the concept of the Open Door, and are
related to the determination of the people. In that sense, Japan
and the U.S. were are on the same side. That is why the
relationship between Japan and the U.S. became worse after that.
Japan began to monopolize interest in Manchuria. The core of
that was the south Manchurian railway. About this, it is a
typical case of U.S.-Japan conflict. Japan certainly tried to
monopolize the interest in Manchuria through the South
Manchurian railway. There was unfair activity on the side of
Japan. On the other hand, the U.S. argument was very much
exaggerated. A diplomat said that America's future depended on
exporting to Manchuria. That is grossly exaggerated because the
U.S. was a self-sufficient country. It depended very little on
foreign trade. It depended less on trade with China and even
less on trade with Manchuria. There was thought of building a
railway to challenge Japan's South Manchurian railway. From the
Japanese point of view, the South Manchurian railway was the
only prize and monument of the victory over Russia. It was link
being hit in the heart. From the American viewpoint, the railway
was only a minor thing. This kind of thing is one of the
mechanisms that can make conflict between the U.S. and Japan
Japan's efforts to monopolize its interest in China, began to
get worse during WWI. Japan wanted to expand its power over
Mainland China. In the 1920's, it was controlled, partly because
of the statesmanship on both sides. For example, in the 1921~2
Washington Conference, Japan accepted a ratio of 60% of American
capital ships instead of the 70% it had insisted on. It was
impossible for Japan to win against America in shipbuilding. On
the other hand, the U.S. considered accepting the status quo of
military bases in the Western bases, not to threaten Japan in
the Western-pacific. Wise statesmanship can maintain
relationships on both sides.
The relationship really started to go bad after the Manchurian
Incident of 1931. The American response was rather slow. The
real challenge and criticism of Japan, in which the U.S. send a
long list of the violations of the Open Door policy by the
Japanese, was not sent to Japan until September 1938, one year
after the start of the Sino-Japanese War. The U.S. said the
Japanese have violated the legitimate right and interests of the
American people. At that time, Foreign minister Arita Hachiro
and Prime Minister Konoe made it clear that the doctrines before
the Manchurian Incident and Sino-Japanese War were not
applicable or valid anymore. This was the first confrontation
over the Open Door doctrine. Japan had never denied the validity
of that doctrine until then. Until then, with regard to
Manchuria and the Sino-Japanese War, Japan had said that there
could be some exceptions. In September of 1938, however, they
began deny the idea of the Open Door doctrine. I think this is
the ideological starting point of the war between the two
After the war, the third period, which is the second good period
between the two countries, began. Japan gave up the idea of
regional hegemony. In other words, Japan gave up the idea of
promoting security and prosperity through geographical
expansion. Rather, they began to rely on free trade, and with
this, they succeeded. Instead of expanding geographically, they
tried to get the best goods and resources from all over the
world at the cheapest cost. Due to this, Japan became the second
biggest economy. One interesting thing is that in the mid
1980's, when Japan's economy was considered to be at the peak, a
question as to who had won the war, be it the U.S. or Japan.
This is an interesting but wrong question. Of course, the victor
was the U.S., but it was not only the U.S. that won the war. The
victor was also the doctrine/philosophy/value the U.S.
represented- the Open Door doctrine, which was incorporated into
the world by GATT, IMF, and so forth.
That is why the Japan and Germany became core members. They
enjoyed these new principles by switching to these new
doctrines, they could become winners in the post-war period. One
thing left was a kind of pacifism on the side of Japan on which
I differ slightly from Professor Dower. Japanese people had the
sentiment to hate the war for a lot of reasons. It is not
surprising after such a sacrifice to hate the war bitterly. The
"No more war" sentiment was adopted. The constitution, which was
mostly written in February 1946, legitimizes that kind of
pacifist sentiment so pacifist socialists were rather strong in
Japan, especially among intellectuals. Very roughly speaking,
Japan was internally divided into 2 countries. It was not
divided into two countries like Germany, but was divided
internally. 1/3 was pro-pacifist/Socialist. The other 2/3 was
pro-Western. Japan's development was made possible by relying on
the pro-Western camp. The government was all pro-Western. The
pacifist pro-Socialist camp was also strong and they could get
1/3 of votes and seats of the Diet. That was enough to block
constitutional change. That is why it continued so long. No
country can exist without self-defense forces. That is why the
government created a rather new interpretation that Japan can
have a minimum of self-defense forces, purely defensive forces,
despite the second part of Article 9, which clearly denies the
position of military forces. This continued up until 1989~90. Up
until the end of the Cold War, it was okay for Japan to
concentrate on its own self-defense, because the location of
Japan is very important for the Western camp. It was located in
a place that can block Soviet expansion into the Pacific Ocean.
After the Cold War, after the Soviet threat is gone, it is quite
irresponsible for Japan to pay attention only to its own
defense, without paying attention to the security of the world.
That is why Japanese security policy has begun to change very
quickly in the 1990's up until today. This is what I think that
Ambassador Kato said in his excellent presentation before.
Now let me make some concluding remarks:
Looking back to 150 years ago, Japan was already an energetic
country. Japan had a population of more than 30 million people
in mid 19th century at that time. The U.S. population during
this time was the roughly the same, even though now it is
double, mainly because of immigration. Also, what is remarkable
about Japan is its literacy. The literacy rate in mid-19th
century was 40~50% for adult males and 10~20% percent for adult
females which is surprisingly high, maybe even one of the
highest in the world. As Professor Dower pointed out, as
Commodore Perry and his men found, Japan was not an
under-developed country. It had enormous potential. At that
time, the U.S. was a challenger compared to England, France,
etc. Japan was a challenger too. In other words, there was a
kind of modesty between each other. That is an important point
that we should remember. How about a comparison between
Anglo-American relations- U.S.-Canada relations. Those are very
strong, very close and very important relations. However, they
are too close to each other. They are both English-speaking
countries and geographically close. Compared to that, the U.S.
and Japan have very different backgrounds. Still, they can stand
on the same values and principals. Let me quote the second
clause of the contemporary U.S.-Japan Security Treaty:
"The parties [the U.S. and Japan] will contribute to the further
development of peaceful, friendly international relations by
strengthening their free institutions, by bringing about a
better understanding of the principals upon which these
institutions are founded, and by promoting conditions of
stability and well-being."
So far, the U.S.-Japan Security Treaty has provided good things
for East Asia. China was opened, Korea and Taiwan were
democratized, and East Asian countries have so far become
richer. That said, the Anglo-Japanese alliance worked well for
the first several years, and also the U.S.-Japan Security Treaty
has worked well for 50 years. Primarily because they believe in
the same principals. I think this is to promote freedom in East
Asia. I hope this can be expanded further. Thank you very much.
Dr. Kent Calder, Princeton University
Dr. Akihiko Tanaka, University of Tokyo
Mr. Kurt Campbell, Center for Strategic and International
I would like to talk about the past 10 years and the policy
process and its continuities. The last decade of U.S.-Japan
relationships can help lead us to an understanding of the
future, and what might have been done better in terms of policy.
After that, I would like to move onto the topic of
From the past 10 years-
One has to expect surprises. There is a sense of obliviousness,
especially the U.S., of the Japanese reality. This may be
present in the interaction of Perry originally. There have been
many surprises over the last 150 years. Also, new volatilities
exist, and to me a sense of erosion of some of the old bilateral
coordinating, especially in economic areas, it declined. On
security fortunately, it is a much tighter bond. I was next to
Ambassador Foley on the eve of the steel crisis in 1999, we went
by to see Ambassador Saito, and a number of things came up, but
there was not a word about the issues that were to explode on us
a few days later in the steel crisis. Expect surprises.
Certainly, Japan of the last decade has fragmented. The problem
of coordination has been difficult. One can look at a whole
range of issues from the guidelines, to Okinawa to trade policy.
It seems that the reality (problem of coordination) has shown
itself time and time again. Innovation is difficult, except in a
crisis. I think of the 1998 financial crisis when Japan did some
remarkable things. Implementation of agreements is difficult,
certainly not automatic. However, despite this fragmentation,
policy change can occur. Leadership is possible and networks are
important. I think that Ambassadors and Embassies matter.
Strategy needs to set in national capitals, but the information
that isn't a detailed understanding of individual circumstances
can turn out to be wrongheaded, or at the very least, difficult
to implement. If there isn't that kind of interaction between
the local and the international, the policy process can be moved
from the gridlock that is so easy, to something more than that.
Implementation strategy is crucial.
One thing that we cannot forget is the micro. We ran into this
in 1997-99. Understanding the incentive structures of
individuals and firms is crucial. Change has to be come about by
changing the incentive structure. The legal and political sides
of things have to focus on, but ultimately what changes behavior
is change in the incentive structure more than anything else. A
discussion on auto parts with an American auto parts producer
that I recall. Someone asked, "How do you sell to people who
don't want to make money?" This points to the issue of the idea
of corporate governance. If the structure of the firm is such,
it is dominated by the stakeholders concerned with stability and
above all, employment, not necessarily maximizing profit. The
incentive set is different. Some of the issues that might be
most important in producing change on the economic side are
imbedded deeper than policy has often moved. Focusing on
strategic cases it seems is quite important. The issue of the
long-term credit bank, was controversial (nationalization first
and then a competitive bidding process, the privatization of
that, Shinsei bank is now run by an American company and it has
been transformed and had a major impact on the banking
structure. Are 30~40 trade agreements as important as the
occasional focused microeconomic change? These are just some
As for the changing global security environment-
What does this mean for Asia and particularly the alliance? The
first thing we need to think about is how globalization is
differentially affecting the nations of NE Asia. There is an
important difference among them. The sweeping changes in
finance, telecommunications, manufacturing that began in the
mid-1980's, but was strongest in the last decade, I think these
have created a more volatile world that is harder to manage, but
also one in which especially Japan, China and Korea have
responded in rather different ways. This prefigures the major
issues of the future.
In China, the vehicle of transformation has been multinational
corporations and multinational investment or Chinese networks.
In Korea, there was applied IMF pressure, as a result of the
financial crisis, a huge surge of foreign investment since 1998.
This created a more globalized Korea political economy. In the
case of Japan, we have had some tremendously farsighted Japanese
firms, but it is important to recall the structure of the
transformation. It has been Japanese companies that have reached
out to the world rather than foreign companies that have come
into Japan. I think that structural difference is quite crucial
in terms of the type and the pace of the response to the
globalization that has occurred. It has been slower in the case
of Japan, than it has in the others. That may affect the broader
political economy of the Pacific as well in coming years.
The Middle East is an issue of critical uncertainty for the
future of Asia and the U.S.-Japan relationship, mainly because
of energy. Within a decade, Asia will be taking ? of the oil
going out of the Middle East. Already, the U.S. and Japan are
the largest importers in the world. China imports more than a
million barrels a day in 1993. Until then, it was an exporter.
There is also a growing interdependence between Northeast Asia
and the Middle East. It has many implications. But particularly,
there is change in the Big 3 in terms of oil reserves. Saudi
Arabia with a ? of the globe's total, Iran with 10-11% and Iraq
with close to 9%. Together they have close to 50% of world
reserves. The implications of the changes in Iraq are quite
important, bargaining of oil prices and the role of Russia in
the global system. Certain more U.S. influence in the Middle
East, and with the 3 key producers, along this dimension the
influence of the U.S. is important.
Finally, there is North Korea. Changes in N. Korea, when they
happen, might be quite catalytic. South Korea is a geostrategic
island in a sense. It is cut off from the continent of Asia.
Having been in the DMZ about a month ago, looking across at the
special economic zone, everything is in place logistically and
structurally for the deepening of the economic relationship, if
and when the nuclear crisis can be resolved. That in conclusion,
is another critical certainty.
I always feel envious of historians who can speak of many
episodes that we are not familiar with. The task we are
confronted with is to talk about the present and the future.
With the present, we have a lot of episodes. No one knows about
the future episodes. Let me start with the assumption that
Japan-U.S. relationship now seems to be at its best. At least,
better than any other period after the end of the Cold War. The
personal relationship between Prime Minister Koizumi and
President Bush, is at least comparable to the Reagan-Nakasone
relationship, and maybe even better. Japan was one of the
strongest supporters of the U.S. in the Iraq war. Close
coordination between high-ranking officials of the two countries
is taking place with respect to the North Korean problem. On the
economic front, no visible afflictions exist between the two
largest economies in the world. The stagnant economy of Japan is
a problem for the U.S., because it is not a source of strains
between Tokyo and Washington.
After 150 years of ups and downs of the bilateral relationship,
have the two countries found an equilibrium state of steady
friendship? Is the kind of relationship the Armitage report
desired a few years ago, that comparable to the U.S.-UK
relationship now finally realized? My view is that it is too
early to make such judgment. The current good conditions give us
the impression that we have come this far. That is good, but I
do not think the they represent ideal conditions that we can
simply celebrate. We may have been simply lucky for the past few
years. What are the contingency factors that can change very
easily? I think there are three:
1. The leadership factor- The current good conditions between
Tokyo and Washington are to a great extent because of the
personal chemistry between Mr. Bush and Mr. Koizumi. I think the
Koizumi factor is extremely important. In comparison with the
previous prime ministers, he is very different. He may not be of
the highest IQ, not comparable to Mr. Miyazawa (1991~93). He
does not have great detailed knowledge of various issues. He is
not matched with Ryutaro Hashimoto. He is not a master of the
strongest LDP factions like Mr. Takeshita or Mr. Obuchi. He is
different. He is immensely popular by Japanese standards, and
most importantly, at least with respect to Japan-U.S.
relationship, he does not vacillate. He does not use legalistic
rhetoric. He is very straight. As it is well known, the Iraq war
is not particularly popular among the Japanese public. The
majority opposes the resort to arms. But Koizumi was very clear
in his support of the alliance. It is said that he anticipated
at least a 10% drop in the public approval rating. In fact, the
public despite its reluctance to the Iraq war, continue to
support Koizumi. His approval rating actually increased in these
Had we not changed the prime minister two years ago, we would
not have this type of leader. I think the Japanese are lucky
that the person who replaced Mr. Mori was Mr. Koizumi. It also
helps that very little noise was generated around Koizumi with
respect to the Japan-U.S. relations. Our current foreign
minister does not seem to excite people as much as her
predecessor. Mrs. Kawaguchi, well versed in international
affairs, and sometimes very bureaucratic in her exposition,
especially in her Diet responses, is very steady and supportive
of Mr. Koizumi. I think the Japanese are again luck that Mr.
Koizumi dismissed her predecessor 1 and ? years ago.
2. Weakness of the Japanese Economy- Despite the size of Japan's
economy, still the second largest in the world, very few people
feel threatened by it. Very few Japanese are as boastful as they
were in the late 1980's. Americans, though irritated by the slow
recovery, rarely became angry over Japan. Japanese economy now
becomes a source of pity, as opposed to a source of menace.
Well, pity may be akin to love, but it might not be a solid
foundation of a strong alliance.
3. International Situations- The level of threat in East Asia
may be sufficiently menacing to silence pacifist voices in
Japan. The public's continued support of Mr. Koizumi can be
explained by the international environment. Under the current
situation of the menacing North Korean situation, support to the
U.S., even a U.S. dominated by unilateral strategists, is
understood to be necessary. If the probably of war becomes very
high, I would anticipate that the division of opinions may
become more pronounced than now. Positive views of the countries
in East Asia about Japan-U.S. alliance is another important
issue. Despite several issues in China and South Korea, both are
in support of the Japan-U.S. alliance. In comparison with
Beijing's often-hostile attitude to the alliance in the past,
today's attitude seems very positive.
These factors-leadership, economy and international situations-
underline the current good Japan-U.S. relationship. As I
suggest, these are all variable factors. They can be changeable.
The latter two factors, Japan's weak economy and the menacing
North Korea, are in themselves very bad conditions, even if they
functionally strengthen the alliance. Obviously there are many
other factors, more structured factors that now support the good
bilateral relationship between Japan and the U.S. The shared
common values of liberty and democracy, the level of people to
people exchanges are incomparable to times of the WWII. Mutual
influence in areas of culture, both in pop and traditional ones.
More than anything else, common experiences that the two people
share as friends over the last 150 years constitute structural
elements in support of future better relationship over the
Pacific. However, as I explained, there are many more tasks
ahead. If the current conditions are supported by the current
leadership, the Japanese have to consider how we cultivate and
nurture the political system to continuously produce right
leaders. We hope that Americans will also consider how best to
select leaders who can get along well with their allies. If the
current weak Japanese economy is one of the sources of the
current good bilateral relationship, we need to consider it
rather shameful. Japan-U.S. friendship has to be a friendship
between the two strongest economies in the world. If the current
menacing international conditions give favorable influence to
strengthen the alliance, through this strengthened alliance I
think we have to transform E. Asia from a menacing region to the
region of stable peace. The Japan-U.S. alliance under friendship
should become strong enough to prosper even in a more peaceful
Unlike most of the people in this room, I knew very little about
Japan until I started work on it in the mid 1990's. I am going
to talk about the U.S.-Japan strategic and security relationship
and about the future. I want to use an anecdote from Klausvitz.
There is a visual tool that can help us appreciate both
strategies and alliances. It is something called the Bologna
Glass, which any of you who have had chemistry might know about.
The Bologna Glass is an instrument that is used in complex
chemical experiments. It is a device that if you can bang it on
a desk as hard as you want. It is extraordinarily durable and
strong in many applications. If you look at it and hold it the
right way, you can take a thin pin and scratch it and it will
shatter into a thousand pieces. I think it is a perfect metaphor
for the U.S.-Japan security and political alliance. In many
respects, it is very strong. I challenge anyone to come up with
another bilateral relationship that the U.S. has had over the
last 50 years that has experienced and weathered the amount of
tension that the U.S.-Japan relationship has witnessed. It was
only 10 or 50 years that there were many talking about Japan as
an enemy of the U.S. Many of us have a book entitled, The coming
war or conflict between the U.S. and Japan. At the time the
cover of the book was very animating of the relationship. If you
look back at the period of the early 1990's, it is hard to
imagine that when Paul Wolfowitz and company wrote the paper
which ultimately became the basis for the national security
strategy of last year, in which it was enunciated that the U.S.
policy should be to remain the strongest country, that was the
basis for how they thought about U.S. policy in the post-Cold
War environment. Today when that is discussed, the country of
concern when people talk about rising states is China. It is
easy to forget that only a decade ago, these thoughts were
initially directed at a rising Japan, whose economic and
political might would inevitably be transformed into military
power. If you think about this relationship, it has suffered
enormous tensions. Today, it is at least on many levels, the
strongest bilateral relationship that the U.S. has in Asia, and
it is more durable today than at many times in the past. I will
also say that I too will say that this is not a given for the
future. I think there are a number of things that we are going
to have watch closely, those proverbial scratches on the glass
that unless carefully managed, can have profound untoward and
dangerous consequences for an alliance that has served to two
countries very well from the past into the future.
The first thing that is striking to me is that it is hard to
underestimate how much 9/11 has influenced Americans. For them,
it is now ingrained in how we think and act. Most people from
other countries who I talk to are most interested in, not
developments in China, Indonesia, or the Middle East, but
domestic politics in the U.S. and how it influences foreign
policy. There are constant questions about where the U.S. is
going and what can be anticipated of the U.S. in the future. I
think one of the countries that have been very supportive of the
U.S. on the war on terrorism is obviously Japan. But at a
visceral, very deep level, I think unlike other countries in SE
Asia who have learned from tragic experience that the war on
terrorism is not fought elsewhere, I think Japan is something
that is fought elsewhere and not inside Japan, and that Japan is
in a fundamental way either immune or outside of the scope of
potential conflict. I think that as the war on terrorism plays
out, there is likely to be substantial divergences in view in
between Tokyo and Washington. How that plays out will be
absolutely critical in terms of the viability of our alliances
as we go forth.
The second issue-
A potential challenge, and one that we have to be aware of are
any evidence that the U.S. either underestimates or overlooks
Japanese power and Japanese interests. I think the Bush is doing
a great job with dealing with all the political symbols of
appropriate engagement. One of the bitterest debates in the
Clinton administration was whether he should stop in Tokyo after
his visit to China. For those who knew a little about Asia, we
appreciated that Clinton's over flight would become a metaphor
for how the U.S. was dealing in E. Asia. Being aware of that,
and being appreciative of the fact that Japan is the 2nd
strongest economy, as a close ally, how we engage with them
politically is as important as the actual substance of the
The third issue-
What we have seen is a substantial improvement in U.S.-Japan
bilateral relations, and a strategic cooperation on the security
side that has been without parallel in our history. Very
important steps both at legislative and operational levels.
Supporting general opinion polling that Japan is doing the right
thing. The worry is that if Japan continues its economic
malaise, if that continues over not just a couple of years, but
over a long period of time, that kind of cooperation becomes
much more difficult to achieve. I would argue that the biggest
strategic economic issue from the U.S. to Japan is the strategic
consequences of decline. If Japan declines and cannot play the
active role that it should in the Asian-Pacific region, this
cooperation, I am afraid, will be part of a bygone era.
The fourth issue-
It is remarkable how much a little consultation will do in
nurturing a complex alliance. The U.S. has tended to do until
very recently, is that they have not consulted in the way that
is absolutely necessary to sustain the kind of support that
Japan would like to render for the alliance. It is interesting
that the Prime Minister and the President have this interesting
relationship, and that the Prime Minister is prepared to depart
from some of his public opinion polling on Iraq issues.
Ultimately that is based on the ability to consult and do
business well. The interesting and troublesome and recently
development is how the U.S. has handled the basing review issue
in Asia, in which we have had enormous, complex mixed signals.
Some are saying we are moving troops, some say we are not, some
say it's a done deal, some say we are still in the process. It
has been a mess. We need to handle this in a way that will
sustain the importance of our alliance as we go forward.
The fifth issue-
China and Taiwan Policy. Historically, the U.S. and Japan have
consulted almost not at all about either China or Taiwan. That
is neither an issue is exclusively the problem of Washington,
nor of Tokyo. Both countries like their ability in handling
their own bilateral relations with other countries. There have
been numerous on both sides. It is normally the shocks that
Japan cites in terms of U.S. policy towards China and Taiwan,
but there have been other instances where the U.S. has been
surprised in developments in Japanese policy towards China and
Taiwan. My own view is we are moving into an era, that if not
greater coordination, and there are a number of divergences
between the two between conceptualization of prostrate and
bilateral relations with both countries, at least a greater
degree of dialogue about purposes and objectives of large policy
and no surprise, being absolutely critical in how to proceed.
The Sixth issue-
Korea. Ultimately, there is enormous tension among the 3 key
players, U.S., Japan and S. Korea, about how to engage N. Korea.
At the same time, the one thing that is holding this group of
disparate players together is that if it is possible to
implement a less effective foreign and security policy in the
last 6 months than N. Korea, I don't know what it is. It is
absolutely brutally bad. Kim-Jong Il has managed to undercut in
every country, especially S. Korea, any effective voice to reach
out and deal with these folks. The bottom line for Japan is that
whatever it takes, handle the problem peacefully. There can be
substantial tensions, serious potential problems, etc., we
cannot lapse into conflict (Japanese view). There is a profound
realization that given what we are facing on the Korean
peninsula, there are very smart people in a variety of
countries, especially in the 3 key countries, that have spent
the last 40 or 50 years developing the most intricate, horrible
war plan imaginable. It is a magnificent, terrible symphony of
death and if ever unleashed, would lead to hundreds of
thousands, perhaps millions of casualties in short order, in a
way that would leave us astonished and horrified with terrible
consequences in terms of refugees, loss of confidence throughout
Asia. The bottom line for Japan, of course, is for the U.S. in
particular needs to avoid this at almost all costs. The hardest
thing the Bush administration will have to do is to suck it up
and actually and deal with N. Korea. That is going to be
painful, it is going to be hard and it is going to go against a
lot of concerns about moral clarity. The argument I would make
is that I am not sure if you can do diplomacy with N. Korea. I
am not sure can walk back their nuclear program. However, I am
absolutely certain that the way you keep your allies with you,
is that you convince them, and they need convincing. Our allies
believe that the U.S. is fundamentally believe we are looking
for excuses that we can't deal with them because of what N.
Korea has done. That is what the U.S. allies believe. They do
not say that, but that is indeed the case. We need to do our
very best to convince S. Korea, Japan and China, that we are
serious about N. Korea, and we need to test the proposition that
they are potentially willing to join the international
community. If that fails, which I'm afraid that it might, we
have a much better shot at thinking about more difficult
options, if the U.S. had tried the positive act with our allies,
S. Korea and Japan.
What is interesting about U.S. forces being based in Japan, is
that U.S.- Japan relationship is very strong yet at the same
time has profound vulnerability. The U.S.'s substantial basing
number in Okinawa, etc., it has only been 7 or 8 years since the
tragic rapes in Okinawa, in which 1/3 of the population was out
demonstrating against U.S. forces. There is relative quiescence
in Japan about U.S. forward-deployed forces. My sense is that it
is deeply unnatural at a fundamental level to have any country's
forces based over a long and sustained period on another
country's territory. It takes ultimate care to manage this and
think about next steps. I really hail the idea of thinking about
what the U.S. is doing in both Europe and Asia.
This is the most important reorganization of U.S.
forward-deployed forces in 50 years, much more profound than
what was done at the end of the cold war. How you handle this,
both in terms of consultation, when you cross a stream with very
slippery rocks, one of the things you need to be sure about is
that before you take your foot off one rock, that you have your
foot on the next rock. As we put in motion very ambitious
changes, which could mean substantial reductions of certain
kinds in Japan, we need to consult very closely. The U.S. has to
have a very clear idea of where it wants to go and how it wants
to handle it, and the U.S. has to have a public explanation that
is credible and persuasive not only to the leadership, but to
the Japanese people as a whole. Ultimately, I am relatively
optimistic. I look at the alliance during my short period of
working on U.S.-Japan security issues has come, and I am very
proud of the development. The turnout (people at the symposium)
is an ample reminder that U.S.-Japan issues are as important as