contents• What is soft power?• Methodology• Results obtained• Further remarks on Japan
Need for Power• Most of the Japan’s challenges today cannot be done unilaterally (security, economy, environment, etc.)• It is essential to achieve cooperation from other nations for the success in all these challenges.• Japan has the responsibility to take leadership which requires good followership Question: How do we achieve such cooperation?
Three forms of Power• Force other nations to do what Japan wants (with Military Capacity)• Pay other nations to do what Japan wants• Promote other nations to cooperate with Japan by attracting them
Coercion/Use of Force• Morally wrong• Too costly• Unsustainable• Japan is prohibited to use force by Article 9 of Japanese Constitution and Article 2(4) of UN Charter
Payment• Costly• Valid only in single transactionUnsustainable
Attraction• Country with same values and ideals with Japan can cooperate with Japan.• Easy to gain support from a country with population that loves Japan (culture, values, etc.).• Country that views Japan as moral authority or as a credible partner will support and cooperate with Japan
Soft power• Definition: “getting other countries want the outcomes that a particular country wants.” (J.S. Nye)• Soft power resource • Culture • Political values/ Ideology • Foreign Policy
Soft power • This is what Japan needs to achieve cooperation and take leadership. Questions1. How do we know what Japan’s soft power is? 2. What is Japan’s soft power? 3. What are the challenges and obstacles in projecting soft power?
How do we know?• If you like me, I never know what you like about me.• If you hate me, I never know what you hate about me.• If I assume what you like about me, I will make an ASS out of U and Me.• Japan assumes that popular culture is soft power. • Is it working as soft power? Does it matter? • Is that the only resource Japan has? • What is the negative factor of soft power? Methodology: INTERVIEWS
Focus: Interstate relations• Interviewees are senior diplomats, other relevant government officials, and scholars, who make the foreign policies.• This focus does not preclude the importance of public opinion since they are one of the factors that determines foreign policy.
Four points1. Culture2. Political goals3. Foreign Policy1. Hard Power • Soft power + Hard Power = smart power = what we need. • Showing good practice in hard power can project good values, leadership, and credibility.
Culture• Popular culture, consumer goods, and art are very successful.• Singapore helped Japan establish Japan Creative Centre BUT• Popular culture: Subject to competition with other nations• Consumer goods: So successful that people take them for granted (tradeoff for success). Culture is not the most important asset!
Political values• Not a Prime Minister but Prime MinisterS: Negative Factor• Manageable government with frequent change of PMS: Potential Positive Factor• PMS cannot be viewed as credible partners.• Social values proved to be of excellence in the post disaster effort. Question: why?
Problem of transparency (Political Level)• It is hard to tell what Japan is thinking.• Making deal behind the scene• Honne and Tatemae (Mahbubani)• “Admit mistake so that Japan will be likable (Geoffrey Yu).” Lack of sincerity
Foreign policy• Success of Foreign Aid JSPP21 of today• JICA• Fukuda Doctrine, 1977 (3 points) • Japan will never be a military power • Japan will built relationship with SE Asian Nations based on trust • To be done on equal partnership
Strength in Foreign Policy• Distinctive feature of Japan’s foreign aid:• Sharing experience and work on project together, instead of “I’ll give you money so do as I say.”Such attitude of Japan: soft power
Challenges in Foreign Policy• Lack of long term coherent strategy• Lack of coordination within Japan • Minister recalled birth of APEC.• Information about Japanese foreign policy not being shared
Problem of transparency (Policy Level)• Hard to tell what Japan is doing.• Even though Japan is doing great i.e. development program in Asia, that is not known.• Foreign Aid program is difficult to understand.“What is Japan getting out of this?” Recalling G4 resolution of 2004, UNSC election.• 「背中で見せる国際協力」“Our back shows you our international cooperation” by JICA
Hard Power• What to do with US• Singapore welcomes US-Japan Alliance• Japan is following US too much, not independent.• Lack of vision makes it impossible for Japan to be a leader• Partnership on equal basis preferred (so does US).
Issue of war record• Japan has to come to term for what we did in the Pacific war.• Message is not conveyed well.• Lack of national consensus/policy• Lack of coherence• Note: perception level• Japan is also traumatized by the war.• “Leadership in Asia has been taboo since the end of war.”
Immigration• Why not immigration?• Absence of immigration creates sense of rejection.• “Foreigners are tolerated in Japan and they are not welcomed.”
Mentality• Inward-looking• Still looking at Europe even after Japan became “No.1” and looking down on SE Asia• “If you want to see yesterday, you go to Paris. If you want to see today, you go to New York. If you want to see tomorrow, you go to Singapore (Mahbubani)”• Ambassador at Jakarta going to London is considered promotion.• Singapore indeed would welcome Japanese leadership in the region.
Ambivalence• How Japan engages with Singapore is the most important determinant of the success of soft power.• Singapore’s perception:Singapore’s support > Japan’s engagement• Overall influence of Japan’s soft power is weak but Singapore still supports Japan Why?
Ambivalence• Singapore sees Japan as Japan.• Japan sees Singapore as one of SE Asian countries.• Example: Anti-Piracy Center• Compare: Brussels and Singapore within the context of regional integration Small country never abandons friends.
Concluding remarks• Japan can never know what Japan’s soft power is for other states without asking them.Need for interactive approach to explore soft power• Coordination is essentialNeed for a good facilitator for coordination.• Soft power for S’porean diplomats:How Japan does with its hard power and the factors thatmake Japan a credible partner in IR.
Concluding remarks• More engagement will enhance the influence of Japanese soft power. “Japan will have to be more serious with Asiaand that is when Japanese soft power becomes truly influential (George Yeo).”