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Overview of US and Japan's Digital Diplomacy

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Overview of US Digital Diplomacy's history, success and challenges. Additional brief explanation on the status of Japan's digital diplomacy and its challenges.

Published in: Government & Nonprofit
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Overview of US and Japan's Digital Diplomacy

  1. 1. US Government’s Digital Diplomacy -- History, Success and Challenges -- (+some thoughts about Japan) Makaira KK  Ko Fujii @kofujii #digitaldiplomacy
  2. 2. Public Diplomacy During the Cold War to Pre-Social Media Era Two super powers trying to influence each other’s public via mass media ● VOA:Voice of America ○ Since 1942 -- Started with Radio, TV in the 80’s ○ Using technology to reach ○ audiences behind the Iron Curtain > Operation Vagabond
  3. 3. Public Diplomacy During the Cold War to Pre-Social Media Era ● Cold war ends -- a period of identity loss for US public diplomacy ● USIA (US Information Agency) merged into the State Department (1999) ● The world splinters -- 911 (2001) ● Failure of “Shared Values Initiative” ads-based, but some attempt at social media >> Al Hurra (2004) ● Evolution of Web2.0 but not yet fully embraced “Reinventing Diplomacy for the Information Age” (1998 CSIS)
  4. 4. Public Diplomacy in the 2010s Networked World ● “New Public Diplomacy”(multiple actors; interactive) > “Public Diplomacy 2.0” (digital) > ”21st Century Statecraft” - Alec Ross (social media) ● “Americac’s Edge: Power in the Networked Century” (2009 Ann Marie Slaughter) -- “the measure of power is connectedness” ● Social media is NOT a simple replacement for international broadcasting ● Social media becomes necessary because the landscape of diplomacy is changing
  5. 5. Success and challenges of 21st Century Statecraft Arab Spring (2010) ● Success: e.g. connecting with Egyptian entrepreneurs ● Failure to establish stability ● Alec Ross: “Social media is not good at governance. Good at tearing things down. Not good at building things up.” >> ISIS, Iran, Syria… how will US engage with these issues?
  6. 6. ISIS use of Information Technology ISIS actively uses social media for its recruiting jihadists ● Open communication: Twitter, Tumblr, Facebook, video streaming ● Closed communication: Kik, Surespot, Telegram, etc
  7. 7. ISIS: Decentralized media approach ● A broad base of individual supporters who develop and publish content. ● Even an e-book tour guide of the Islamic State -- published by a young British Jihadist US Countermeasures -- effective?
  8. 8. USA/IRAN: Attempt at positive engagement using social media ● Iran leaders active on Instagram ● Mohammad Javad Zarif, Minister of Foreign Affairs, has 388k followers on Instagram ● US officially opened the “Virtual U.S. Embassy Tehran” despite the lack of diplomatic relations ● White House opens Twitter account @Irandeal to pitch the deal to opposition -- (the line between public diplomacy and public affairs?)
  9. 9. Iran's Rosh Hashana Twitter diplomacy
  10. 10. Positively engaging the world -- country branding, culture and education ● Virtual Exchange Program ● Digital complements real ● “Brand USA” Initiative ● US no.3 in Soft Power ranking (Portland Communications ranking) (Japan no.8)
  11. 11. Digital Diplomacy in 2010s -- becoming more visual, emotional, and viral ● Penetration of P2P / Pictures and videos ○ Rapid and rich information flow: not only mass media but also Instagram and Vine ○ More emotional: eg. picture of a refugee boy washes ashore in Turkey ○ Amplified empathy: find the image through your friends’ share and see it with comments ● Reputation management on digital is a critical issue in this networked era
  12. 12. History of Japan’s public diplomacy ● Mainly cultural exchange since the 70s: ○ Japan Foundation established in 1972, JET Program started in 1987 ● Advocacy and country branding started in the 2000s ○ Advocacy: End of Cold War, global instability, relationship with neighboring countries ○ Country branding: Economic down, rise of “Cool Japan”, Great East Japan Earthquake (311) Challenges ● Organizational -- siloed ministries, lack of concerted efforts ● Human resources -- language, skills to engage in policy discourse ● Culture -- too risk averse? ● Vision -- Do we have a strong vision? Too reactive? (US has philosophy.) Japan’s digital diplomacy and its challenges
  13. 13. So many websites... Advocacy: territorial issues, history... Country branding: “Cool Japan”, “Visit Japan”, “Invest Japan”, “MICE Japan”...
  14. 14. PM and Cabinet: Looks great but limited influence Twitter Facebook YouTube USA (WH) 7.55M 4.76M 595K JP 169K 66K 1.4K Pitching “PM Abe”, “Abenomics” and Japan’s other strength to the world.
  15. 15. PM and Cabinet: Facebook & Twitter Twitter: ● Follower: 169K, Follow:19 ● Contents: conference information and PM message Facebook: ● Fan: 66K ● Contents: conference information and PM message
  16. 16. PM and Cabinet: YouTube ● Subscription: 1.4K ● Average Views: 400~600 ● Contents: PM speech, Dignitaries visiting Japan from overseas, Culture & People, Japanese Cuisine, Travel & Tourism, Health & Education, Slice of life in Japan and International Contribution of Japan ● Top Contents: Robot (472K views) and Washoku (285K views)
  17. 17. MOFA Facebook ● Fan: 53K ● Content: activity updates Twitter ● Follower: 25K, Follow: 37 ● Contents: activity updates YouTube ● Subscription: 15K (but mixed language)
  18. 18. Embassy of Japan in USA: still web1.0?
  19. 19. US Embassy NZ @usembassynz 8月30日 On @nzherald by Marie Damour: Changes affecting the health of oceans: http: //goo.gl/FKcVkd #SIDS2014 #oceanacidification #OurOcean2014 US Embassy NZ @usembassynz 8月29日 US & NZ are working to educate the public about the effects of #oceanacidification: http://youtu.be/k8CEcyZippA #islands2014 @eAsiaMediaHub US-UN Mission Vienna @usunvie 8月28日 @StateDeptOES "Learn more about #oceanacidification: http://goo.gl/5f6chq " You can also check out our video: https://www.youtube.com/watch? v=5gulab5GhHo&list=UUx6l9vXrvV4DJAUp4OJMTdQ … US Embassy NZ @usembassynz 8月27日 "We cannot forget the human side of #oceanacidification." Rachel Allen, leading marine scientist, Jamaica at @samoasids2014 #OurOcean2014 StateDeptOES @StateDeptOES 8月27日 #oceanacidification workshop begins in Samoa. Solomon Islands gov't minister says "workshop is just the start of our campaign" #islands2014 Japan not good at engaging -- using # and @ Citing other media Mentioning other agencies Linking to a video produced by a non-profit Linking to an official video Tweet-casting the event Using theme-based and events-based hashtags How US agencies engage: 2014 International Conference on Small Island Developing States
  20. 20. Israeli Embassy’s Shalom-chan German Embassy’s Cat Embassies in Tokyo localizing content to fit Japanese taste Finnish Embassy in Tokyo Finnish Embassy in DC
  21. 21. Connect and share best practices...
  22. 22. Questions? マカイラ株式会社 | Makaira K.K. 藤井宏一郎 | Ko Fujii  @kofujii Thank you.

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