November 30, 2012 Vol. 8, No. 7

· Japan-China Relations at a Crossroads

· Newly-Appointed Ambassador Kenichiro Sasae's Opening Statement at his Inaugural Press Conference

· Building Order and Making Rules in the Asia-Pacific Age

· The Closing Event of the Celebration of the 40th Anniversary of the World Heritage Convention


Foreign Minister
Koichiro Gemba
(©Ministry of
Foreign Affairs)

Japan-China Relations at a Crossroads


-Ministry of Foreign Affairs
November 21, 2012

Published in the International Herald Tribune on November 21, 2012.

Over the past decade or more, global security concerns have focused on developments in the Middle East, and the situation there remains worryingly volatile. Recently, however, the security environment in the Asia-Pacific region has also become increasingly unstable and is causing growing concern, as is evident from the U.S. strategic rebalancing toward the region. As a democracy in Asia, Japan has been contributing to peace and prosperity of the entire world, founding on our alliance with the United States.

Following the presidential election in the United States, new leadership has now taken helm of China. Japan's relationship with neighboring China represents one of Japan's most important bilateral relationships. The government of Japan hopes to enhance its relations with China's new leadership.

On the other hand, it is a fact that tension exists between the two countries over the Senkaku Islands. As seen in media reports, large-scale anti-Japan demonstrations have taken place throughout China, and Japanese companies that were attacked are now suffering well over $100 million in total damages and losses.

Nevertheless, Japan has been consistently dealing with the situation with composure. We will continue to promote the "mutually beneficial relationship based on common strategic interests" between Japan and China from a broad perspective. Japan has been reiterating that China's development is an opportunity for the global community, including Japan. This position will remain unchanged.

Newly-Appointed Ambassador Kenichiro Sasae's Opening Statement at his Inaugural Press Conference


-Embassy of Japan, Washington D.C.
November 27, 2012

Good evening Ladies and Gentlemen. I am Ken Sasae, new ambassador to the United States coming from Tokyo. Since this is the first press conference with you, I would like to first of all share with you some of the basic thoughts I would carry through as I embark upon the work of the ambassador here. First, what I would like to do is to function as the glue putting together and binding together the two nations and the two distinctive people. Number two, I'd like to carefully tackle the challenges head-on. There is no panacea to resolve either the security or the economic agendas or problems we are facing today. So, it is necessary for us to go step by step to resolve the issues. Number three is that we need to pursue the alliance goal in accordance with a shared grand strategy. I'd like to clarify a little bit about all these three points.


Foreign Minister Koichiro
Gemba (©Ministry of
Foreign Affairs)

Building Order and Making Rules in the Asia-Pacific Age


-Ministry of Foreign Affairs
October 26, 2012

On October 26, Minister for Foreign Affairs Koichiro Gemba spoke at the 9th CSIS/Nikkei Symposium. His speech, titled "Changes in Leadership and the Future Course of Japan-U.S.-China Trilateral Relations: Building Order and Making Rules in the Asia-Pacific Age", touched on the state of relations between countries in the region.

Minister Gemba: ...Since being appointed Minister for Foreign Affairs about 14 months ago, I have spoken of creating prosperous and stable order that is based on democratic values in the Asia-Pacific region. We are at an extremely important moment now that will define the international order for coming decades, namely, order that will enable the Asia-Pacific region and the entire international community to enjoy peace and prosperity. In that regard, I have been making efforts to create open, multilayered networks and rules consistent with international law. Now indeed is the time to strengthen such efforts.

The Closing Event of the Celebration of the 40th Anniversary of the World Heritage Convention


-Kyoto, Japan
November 6-8, 2012

To commemorate the 40th Anniversary year of the Convention Concerning the Protection of the World Cultural and Natural Heritage, the Government of Japan (Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Agency of Cultural Affairs, Ministry of the Environment and Forestry Agency) and UNESCO World Heritage Centre will jointly organize the closing event in Kyoto, Japan, from 6 to 8 November 2012.