How a Great Power Falls Apart
Decline Is Invisible From the Inside
In July 1972, amid mounting public clamor for "a change in the political current," Kakuei Tanaka became Prime Minister of Japan. He pledged a policy of "resolution and action." Two months later, in the course of a five-day visit to China, Tanaka turned Japan's China policy completely around.
This dramatic shift, with the earlier visits of President Nixon to Peking and Moscow, has prompted Japanese observers to pose a host of questions. Have we witnessed simply an agreement to open diplomatic relations between the governments of the two big powers in Asia, or are we looking at the still dim outline of a new "Tokyo-Peking axis"? Should not Japan now review completely her other foreign policies, which have been excessively dependent on the United States, and go her own way hereafter amid a general easing of tensions in East Asia? With rapprochement in the air, why does Japan need a special security relationship with the United States? Can Japan achieve a successful, independent foreign policy without becoming a big military power? What sort of impact will Japan's rapprochement with China have on Japan's relations with Southeast Asia and the two Koreas? What effect will recent Japanese moves have on the Soviet-American-Chinese triangle and on the constraints which operate on each of these relationships? Has the fragile balance of power among these three been upset?
Of all the Japanese national sports, judo is perhaps the best known throughout the world. In judo, beginners are first required to undergo thorough training in mastering the passive art of being "thrown down." This defensive technique is intended to enable one thrown by his opponent to fall without being hurt, so that he is ready for the next action. Only after one has attained sufficient adeptness at that art is he allowed to learn a full variety of offensive tactics.
As if in compliance with this art, Japan's postwar diplomacy has always been passive, and has seldom played a positive role on its own in the arena of international politics. This was the result of Japan's loss of self- confidence through her defeat in World War II, and in a sense was inevitable and even natural. Even her policy toward China was no exception to the passive character of Japan's diplomacy. Japan was the last of America's major allies to part from the United States on the question of Taiwan and China, having faithfully followed the U.S. policy ever since the War.
This was precisely why the Japanese were so disturbed when President Nixon announced one day in 1971 his intention to visit Peking. The President's announcement was dubbed "the Nixon shock." Nevertheless, the Japanese government showed enough wisdom and discretion to declare that it welcomed the Nixon move, and thus kept anti-American feelings from erupting among the Japanese people. The response proved perhaps that Japan had finally achieved a mastery of the technique of being thrown down without being hurt.
Now the situation in and around Japan is conducive, in my view, to more positive foreign policy initiatives, affording Japan perhaps the first golden opportunity in the quarter of a century since the War to carry out truly autonomous diplomacy of her own. For instance, the United States, rather shaken by the pervasive effects abroad of its dramatic actions, has apparently recognized the need to pay greater attention to other countries, particularly Japan. Perhaps in recognition of this new independence, the United States hastened to repair the damage of the "Nixon shock," and to avoid further difficulties over Japan's approaches to China or Japan's huge trade surplus. It is significant that last September President Nixon invited Prime Minister Tanaka to meet with him in Hawaii-halfway between Washington and Tokyo.
The Soviet Union likewise has a strong interest in Japan's moves. In Soviet eyes, the prospect of Sino-Japanese coöperation may be almost as unwelcome as that of Sino-American coöperation. It was to counter the latter that Soviet Foreign Minister Andrei Gromyko hurriedly visited Tokyo immediately before President Nixon's visit to Peking, and agreed with Japanese leaders to open negotiations within 1972 for a Japanese-Soviet peace treaty and to endeavor to realize an exchange of visits by the prime ministers of both countries. Japan and the Soviet Union continue to differ over their territorial claims to the northern islands off Hokkaido, and this has prevented them from concluding a peace treaty. Indeed, as some foreign observers point out, the Soviet Union must reckon that an inflexible position on the northern islands could delay not only a peace treaty but also economic and technical coöperation, including the development of Siberia with Japanese assistance. For their part, Japanese sense that too rapid a rapprochement with China could impair Japan's relations with the Soviet Union, thereby making it more difficult to achieve the reversion of the northern territories.
The confrontation between China and the Soviet Union seems to be very serious and deep-rooted. From a purely theoretical point of view, it has provided room for Japanese diplomacy to maneuver, although the Japanese government naturally maintains a stand of strict neutrality and nonintervention on the Sino-Soviet conflict itself.
Since the several dilemmas with which the United States and the Soviet Union seem to be faced in their relations with Japan are not products designed by Japan, they appear fairly strange in the eyes of the Japanese people. However, this is perhaps only one aspect of the so-called multipolarization of the world. The influence of the two superpowers, which maintained dominant power and prestige during the cold-war years, has gradually declined in recent years, whereas the diplomatic options and influence of other countries have increased. Of course, it cannot be denied that only the United States and the Soviet Union have the capability to destroy mankind, and this fact still carries much weight in international politics. Japan realizes that she must come to grips with both old and new great-power situations in the world.
Most basically, however, it is Japan's rapidly growing economy and the vitality of her people that attract the attention of other countries. In a war-devastated Japan, the people concentrated their postwar energies on economic reconstruction and national rebuilding. Although they were aware of the importance of economic growth, they did not pay much attention to the significance and influence of Japan's growing economic power in the field of international politics. During the quarter of a century since the War, it has been the wistful dream of most Japanese that Japan would be able to make some positive contributions to the world. It took considerable time before they came to realize that many peoples around the world had begun in recent years to show very great interest and concern about the future course and international role of Japan, still very much an unknown quantity.
Within the last few years, the Japanese have come to gain growing confidence in their economic and technological capabilities, together with a better understanding of the pressure and urgency of expectations of various other nations about Japan. At this juncture it seems imperative for the Japanese to define their intentions and national objectives in a fluid world, and to ask themselves what role and responsibility they should assume.
"Will Japan go nuclear?'' This has been a favorite question in much of informed and uninformed speculation about Japan's future foreign policy. Foreign analysts who answer this question in the affirmative usually argue, first, that Japan's economic power, science and technology are fully capable of undertaking nuclear armament, and second, that the Japanese are a proud nation with a strong desire to be independent in world affairs. They also note that some public opinion surveys have shown substantial percentages of the respondents, while not necessarily desiring this outcome, believing that Japan would eventually have to go nuclear.
My answer to this question is in the negative for the following reasons. Unlike the United States, China and the Soviet Union, which are all continental countries, Japan is a small insular country with a large, heavily concentrated population and industrial facilities; she is, therefore, highly vulnerable. Also, it is nearly impossible for Japan, which has no substantial uranium resources, to secure uranium in large quantities in order to build an arsenal comparable to those of the United States and the Soviet Union. Moreover, it would entail huge spending to acquire an effective nuclear-weapons system with second-strike delivery capability, for which Japanese would be forced to make a tremendous sacrifice in their personal lives.
Various nations are still feeling the traumatic effects of World War II and are still unable to shake off the nightmare of a "militaristic Japan." They are strongly opposed to Japan's nuclear armament. The United States and the Soviet Union, which have been coöperating in the nuclear field despite their differences in other fields, would attempt to prevent Japan's nuclear armament, and the opposition of other Asian nations would be particularly strong. China, despite her position that nuclear proliferation is theoretically desirable, in practice would undoubtedly feel the gravest threat from a nuclear-armed Japan. If nuclear armament is a means to assure a nation's security against international tension, then what is the "tension" that requires nuclear armament that will create a new tension?
If Japan went nuclear, some Japanese fear there would be a real danger of being isolated from the rest of the world militarily, politically and perhaps even economically. All Japanese, recalling in part 1940 and 1941, are acutely aware that their economy depends on other countries for most key raw materials, such as oil, iron ore, copper ore, bauxite, cotton and wheat, and is extremely vulnerable to international isolation. And utter economic chaos would result if Japanese goods were shut out of foreign markets.
Finally, the Japanese people's deep-rooted "pacifist" sentiment, stemming from their unique experience, serves as a brake on nuclear armament. This earnestly felt pacifist sentiment, born of their miserable experience in World War II, reflects their deep soul-searching and determination never again to be made victims of militarism and never again to attack other countries. Although the arguments against nuclear armament are gradually shifting in emphasis to cool and rational reckoning of merits and demerits, the pacifist sentiment has a deep-rooted bearing on this issue, and no politician can ignore it.
The Japanese national opinion polls concerning nuclear weapons appear to indicate not only that a clear majority of Japanese are absolutely opposed to their acquisition, but that public opposition to nuclear weapons may even have increased. In an April 1969 Mainichi Shimbun poll, 46 percent responded that Japan absolutely ought not to have nuclear weapons; in April 1972 the proportion taking this position had risen to 58 percent. In the 1969 poll, a combined total of 45 percent felt that Japan should acquire nuclear weapons (now-2 percent, in the near future-16 percent, sometime-27 percent). In the 1972 poll 35 percent favored acquisition (now-2 percent, in the near future-11 percent, sometime-22 percent).
Among those in the 1972 poll who are supporters of the ruling conservative Liberal-Democratic Party (LDP)-which is expected to remain in power for a considerable period of time in the future-45 percent are opposed to nuclear- weapons acquisition. Thus, if a conservative government decided on Japan's nuclear armament, it would face the alienation of one-half of its own LDP supporters as well as the almost total opposition of all four opposition parties.
That the majority of the respondents in this opinion poll flatly opposed Japan's nuclear armament under any and all circumstances merits attention. Probably no similar opinion poll in any other country that has the potential ability to go nuclear would show such a high percentage of absolute opposition to nuclear armament.
Thus, it may be natural that the LDP leadership has concluded that nuclear armament by Japan is neither realistic nor desirable. The four candidates in the LDP presidential election in July 1972 (which in fact meant the election of the Prime Minister) all issued lengthy statements declaring that they would never opt for the road to major military power, thereby winning the support and sympathy of the overwhelming majority of the people. Prime Minister Tanaka pledged that he would put Article 9 of the Japanese Constitution (which perhaps is the most thoroughgoing pacifist provision in the world) at the very heart of his foreign policy. This trend seems to form a strong undercurrent within the LDP.
The Japanese government thus intends to ratify the nuclear nonproliferation treaty just as soon as negotiations with the International Atomic Energy Agency have been concluded on safeguard arrangements on a par with those of other nations concerned with the exchange of information on technology for peaceful purposes. I hope this will dispel any remaining doubts that Japan seeks to retain the option of nuclear armament.
All factors being taken into account, it is exceedingly difficult to find any important stimulus that would lead Japan to alter this course, at least in the 1970s, unless the situation should change in some drastic way now hardly conceivable-for example, the unilateral abrogation by America of the Japanese-U.S. security treaty or the use of nuclear threat or blackmail by the nuclear-weapon states. Japan's security policy in the age of multipolarization should thus be essentially as it was forecast in 1969, by myself among others.[i] In brief, Japan will continue to maintain the security treaty, as confirmed at the Japanese-U.S. summit talks in Hawaii last summer. More concretely, we will continue to depend on the U.S. nuclear umbrella and the U.S. Seventh Fleet, and will maintain the effectiveness of the treaty by allowing the United States to retain its key military bases in Japan. On the conventional weapons level, it is desirable for Japan to reinforce qualitatively her minimum requirements for purely defensive purposes to the extent that she can at least initially deter external aggression involving the use of conventional weapons. This, and only this, is the meaning of Prime Minister Tanaka's first military budget.
To be sure, some Japanese advocate the abrogation of the security treaty, asserting that it is a product of the cold war. They demand that "cold-war diplomacy" should be scrapped now that Sino-Japanese relations have been normalized. However, this kind of argument will not win majority public sympathy as long as the treaty is operated flexibly and effectively for the maintenance of the peace and security of Japan and of East Asia by accommodating it to developments in the international situation. The North Atlantic Treaty and the Warsaw Pact still remain in effect, although tension is easing there. Furthermore, it is significant that both China and the Soviet Union, highly critical of the security treaty in the past, have come to refrain from criticizing it and even seem tacitly to condone it.
Proceeding from this security posture, how do the Japanese propose to fulfill their role and responsibility in the international community? Prime Minister Tanaka once observed : "Japan will stake its fate on world peace." To foreigners, this may sound too idealistic or meaningless, flowery words of the kind often uttered by politicians. In contemporary Japan, however, idealism is realism. It is the absolute truth, and forms the basis on which Japan wants to achieve her second postwar miracle. In the light of modern history, one would expect a big economic power like Japan to acquire military power commensurate with her economic strength. Japan's national policies run counter to the traditional point of view. In what deserves to be called a "grand experiment," Japan is determined to try a new path, that of economic power without a major military establishment.
Quite frankly, this even sounds odd to Japanese. They know that no nation has ever done it before ; they also know their own past excesses. So cynics might argue that this experiment is nothing more than idealism without any relationship to the realities. Nevertheless, the policies which I am about to elaborate are not just casual ideas or dreams, but the product of thorough discussion in political, business and academic circles since the latter half of the 1960s-gradually shaped into their present form in the melting pot of serious deliberations and reappraisal. They spring, above all, from a felt need for boldness, for a new and imaginative sense of purpose.
It is clear at once that Japan can contribute most to international society in the field of economic and technical coöperation. Ironically enough, Japan has been criticized most in this field, for the exclusive pursuit of her own economic growth through aggressive industry-oriented, export-first policies, and for lack of consideration for the economic conditions and national feelings of her trading partners. While flooding markets of the world by her overwhelming international competitiveness, Japan has been reluctant to open her domestic market to foreign goods and capital. While amassing dollars earned by exports, she has been close-fisted in giving foreign aid. This attitude has many aspects that lend themselves to criticism.
In recent writings and statements, political and business leaders, as well as influential newspapers, have come to recognize these shortcomings frankly and to call for a more positive Japanese role and greater responsibility in her economic relations with other countries. Japanese leaders, including some influential business executives, have now come to realize that Japan must aim for an expanded equilibrium of world trade and stabilization of the international monetary system even if this means sacrificing in part more immediate gains. Japan must realize that, as others see it, a voracious economic power sometimes can pose a greater threat than a well-controlled military power.
This involves major and sharp change, starting with a much reduced emphasis on exports and far greater stress on national welfare and social overhead capital. Next, Japan must endeavor to create a favorable climate for well- balanced trade by taking drastic trade and capital liberalization measures, lowering tariffs and reducing or eliminating nontariff barriers on her own initiative. This means that we must carry out to the full our announced intent to work with the United States and the European Community (EC) to ensure the success of the New International Round in 1973, to be conducted within the framework of the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade.
More broadly, as Prime Minister Heath of Britain suggested when he visited Japan in September 1972 (as the first British prime minister to travel here), it is indispensable for Japan, North America (the United States and Canada) and the expanded EC to hold close consultations on a wide range of problems of common interest for the development and stabilization of international economic order. In this connection, it would surely be useful if leaders of these major advanced countries were to hold summit talks regularly, in order to strengthen solidarity among them. I propose that Japan take the initiative in realizing this idea.
The proposed summit talks should discuss not only economic problems, but also a wide range of other matters that require international coöperation, such as urban problems, environmental pollution, resources and energy. Japan should be able to make great contributions and benefit greatly in these fields.
As regards bilateral problems, the balance of payments in Japanese-U.S. trade is particularly important. In 1971, Japan's balance of payments in her trade with the United States registered a surplus of $3.2 billion, and the imbalance is expected to grow further in 1972. The Japanese now realize that this abnormal imbalance is a major factor underlying a series of international moves, including President Nixon's drastic economic measures announced in August 1971 and the multilateral currency realignment at the end of 1971, which resulted in the revaluation of the yen, and indeed the continuing pressure for another upward revaluation. Economically, Japan needs to listen and respond to the argument that countries with excessive international payments surpluses are partly responsible for the deficits of other countries. Politically, it is imperative to prevent the worsening of relations with the United States.
Hence, I am of the opinion that Japan should remove trade barriers, make even greater efforts to increase imports and export her goods in an orderly manner and try to reduce her excessive surplus in bilateral trade by 1975 below $2 billion a year. (The figure was suggested by U.S. Ambassador Ingersoll in a speech in Tokyo after the Hawaii talks.)
Worldwide, Prime Minister Tanaka has spoken (at Hawaii) of reducing Japan's surplus in current international transactions to about one percent of her gross national product (perhaps $3 billion) within a few years. This compares with a 1971 trade surplus in current transactions of $7.7 billion. It is an ambitious goal, whose realization would entail many difficulties; the statement can be taken as expressing the Japanese government's thorough recognition of the gravity of its responsibility and also its uncommon determination to carry it out.
Next, Japan is greatly expected to extend her economic coöperation with developing countries and to increase her aid. At the third UNCTAD in May 1972, Japan pledged to achieve by 1975 her previously stated goal of increasing her foreign aid to the equivalent of one percent of her GNP. This should certainly be welcomed: in my opinion, Japan should go further still. Japan's total economic outflow to developing countries in 1971 amounted to the equivalent of 0.96 percent of her GNP. However, her official development aid, which contributes to the improvement of social overhead capital in recipient countries, was the equivalent of only 0.23 percent of GNP, a level much lower than those of other advanced countries. The bulk of Japanese foreign aid was export credits intended to increase Japanese exports.
This self-centered aid policy should be corrected promptly. The Tanaka government should increase Japan's official development aid to the equivalent of 0.7 percent of the GNP by the end of 1975. This will be a decision of enormous magnitude. In realizing this plan, Japan must eliminate tied loans and offer aid on concessionary terms-and also improve promptly her present system of preferential duties. As Japan's GNP in 1975 is estimated at somewhere between $350 and $400 billion, the proposed official development aid would be between $2.5 and $2.8 billion.
To achieve this aid target, it is absolutely necessary for Japan to shift the emphasis of her overseas effort from the conventional industry- oriented, export-first principle to a new approach oriented to welfare and international coöperation. In this connection, I consider it essential for Japan to review thoroughly and critically the role of the Ministry of International Trade and Industry, and to establish a new Ministry for International Coöperation, as suggested by some government leaders.
The problem facing Japan is not only how much to spend but in what manner. To avoid criticism for neocolonialism and economic aggression, Japan must show maximum respect for the industrial-social structure, culture and national feelings of the recipient country, coöperate with it in its efforts for self-help and regional coöperation, and offer aid from the point of view of the long-range development and prosperity of the recipient country or of the region concerned.
For this purpose, it will be most effective to channel aid through international organizations, such as the Asian Development Bank, instead of using the conventional bilateral aid formula. It may be necessary to create new multinational bodies to handle such aid. As another example, in the reconstruction and development of Indochina, including North Vietnam, after the Vietnam War, Japan should take the initiative in creating an international fund and announce her readiness to contribute half of the amount required.
Japan will inevitably come to put greater emphasis on Asia in her economic activities and foreign aid in the future. But it will run counter to the interests not only of other Asian countries, but also of Japan in the long run, if these Asian countries, especially those in Southeast Asia, become too heavily dependent on Japan. Although the American military presence in Asia will gradually diminish, in line with the Nixon Doctrine, a self- controlled and receptive American economic presence will remain indispensable and should be welcomed. Already, Japan is beginning to face in East Asia the same economic problems that the United States apparently has in Latin America, and these problems, which will become more pronounced in the future, require special emphasis.
Japan normalized her relations with China not only to end the long abnormal state of affairs but also to contribute greatly to the easing of tensions in Asia and the world. On this point, the Japan-China joint communiqué states that "the normalization of relations between China and Japan is not directed against third countries." Prime Minister Tanaka stressed at Honolulu the need for a continuing dialogue between Japan and the United States, and Foreign Minister Masayoshi Ohira visited the United States in October. As these actions indicate, whatever meaning the normalization of Sino-Japanese relations may have from the standpoint of Japan's national interests, it must not impair basic Japanese-U.S. relations of friendship and coöperation. This attitude of the Japanese government has won the strong support of the people.
Many Japanese observers in the mass media-some officials as well-are increasingly critical of the continuation in world affairs of inflexible "cold-war diplomacy" and "power games of big-power egoism," despite changing world realities. Japan does indeed turn away from such traditional diplomacy, which seems to many to have outlived its usefulness ; she wants to adopt a new foreign policy that may be called an "all-directional foreign policy for peace."
The normalization of Sino-Japanese relations should be understood as part of this new diplomacy. Japan intends to seek positive diplomatic relations even with countries with different social systems and to work with them in fields where this is possible, thus eliminating unnecessary mutual distrust and apprehensions, and creating coöperative ties of a highly stable and resilient nature. In the present international political situation, the classical idea of a military power balance has become less valid than ever before. Diplomacy today requires the striking of a political and economic as well as a military balance. Japan intends not only to strike such a balance, with emphasis heavily on the economic and political, but also to make constructive contributions to the maintenance of this balance, especially in Asia.
Specifically, most Japanese, while continuing to regard the security treaty with the United States as crucial to the peace and security of Japan, are beginning to think that it may be useful to supplement that treaty by added insurance. Thus, Japan may try to conclude bilateral treaties with the Soviet Union and China based on the principles of nonaggression, non-use of force and peaceful coexistence. The possibility of concluding such treaties is by no means small in view of the fact that leaders of both China and the Soviet Union have expressed their readiness to do so. Those who remember that nonaggression and antiwar treaties were easily abrogated before World War II may doubt and distrust the effectiveness of such treaties. However, one must not lose hope for the future out of disappointment with past events.
Since the summer of last year, Japan has established diplomatic relations with the Mongolian People's Republic and the People's Republic of Bangladesh, and is now considering establishing diplomatic relations with Albania. Japan intends to promote cultural, scientific and commercial exchanges with countries with which it is difficult to maintain diplomatic relations (for instance, Taiwan, with which Japan had to sever diplomatic relations as a result of the normalization of Sino-Japanese relations; and North Korea and North Vietnam).
Japan is second to none in hoping for the peaceful reunification of divided countries, a holdover of the cold war. In the light of the close and varied relations Japan has had with the Korean peninsula, Japan welcomes independent moves of late for the peaceful reunification of the two Koreas. Japan intends to maintain and promote her relations of friendship and coöperation with South Korea, while opening a dialogue with North Korea and promoting as much as possible economic, cultural and personnel exchanges with her. This dual course naturally is not easy, and calls for the understanding and coöperation of other countries concerned. But it is necessary and by no means impossible.
Government and business circles continue to work on plans to offer bank loans totaling about $1 billion and technical aid to the Soviet Union for the development of the Tyumen oil field as one project in Japan's future involvement in the development of Siberia. It is also reported that Japanese business circles are studying various plans for economic coöperation with China. These projects could be a touchstone of Japan's all- directional diplomacy. A proposal has been made for a tripartite arrangement among Japan, the United States and the Soviet Union in the development of Siberia. American participation is desirable to make the plans a success; a coöperative arrangement could have a great and favorable bearing on future possibilities.
To reinforce this diplomacy, there is a need to review the role and functions of the United Nations. Although the United Nations' activities and achievements since World War II have disappointed many, it remains a vital forum for discussion, and no one can deny the reality that in the long run there is no substitute for it, as U.N. Secretary-General Waldheim has said. U.N. achievements in the economic, social and cultural fields have been significant if not spectacular, and it has proved that its limited peacekeeping function can work effectively depending on circumstances, as evidenced by U.N. forces in the Middle East and the Congo.
Perhaps the first thing Japan could do would be to make a unilateral and unconditional contribution toward an emergency fund to cover the $65 million deficit of the United Nations in response to Mr. Waldheim's appeal. Of course, this would be a temporary relief measure only, and Japan should spare no effort to put the finances of the United Nations on a firm basis by effecting an equitable and amicable settlement of the problem of contributions by member countries.
Earnest discussion will have to be conducted to reorganize the United Nations and strengthen its functions, to accommodate it to changes in the international community. In this connection, I believe that Japan, together with other influential non-nuclear countries, should formally seek a permanent seat on the U.N. Security Council in the future in order to represent opinions of the non-nuclear countries and speak on behalf of many countries desiring to make positive contributions to world peace through nonmilitary means. That the permanent members of the U.N. Security Council are all nuclear powers is undesirable because it gives the impression that nuclear armament is the passport to big-power status and gives prestige to the possession of nuclear weapons. It is encouraging to note that a considerable number of countries, including the United States, seem to favor the idea of seating Japan as a permanent member of the U.N. Security Council. If given that seat, Japan will usefully discharge her due obligations and full responsibility.
In or out of the Security Council, Japan is bound as a non-nuclear state to have a particular concern for the issue of nuclear disarmament in the international arena. After she ratifies the nuclear nonproliferation treaty she will surely then take an active lead, inspired by moral conviction and fortified by self-restraint, in calling upon the nuclear powers for a broad halt to the nuclear arms race and for international management and control of nuclear weapons. Inevitably, it appears to the Japanese gravely inconsistent for the nuclear powers to discourage other nations from gaining access to nuclear weapons while maintaining and building up their own nuclear armaments. Although the SALT agreement between the United States and the Soviet Union is a significant step forward, it is far from satisfactory from the Japanese point of view.
Moreover, Japan is also bound to be extremely anxious to have China and France participate in the partial nuclear test ban and nonproliferation treaties. To that end, Japan and other non-nuclear countries will call on the nuclear powers to promise that they will not use nuclear weapons against non-nuclear countries or threaten them with nuclear weapons. In view of the attitude of the nuclear powers, this will not be so difficult to achieve provided they are determined to do so. If this is realized, it will raise the possibility of securing the participation of China, which has declared that she will never use nuclear weapons first, in a nuclear arms-control and disarmament conference.
It seems ironic that a country must maintain armaments in order to seek disarmament. The Japanese people, who have rejected such a notion, are poignantly aware that the possible role and influence of non-nuclear Japan are extremely limited in nuclear arms control. Nevertheless, Japan will continue to oppose the nuclear "chauvinism" of the nuclear big powers that reflects their "arrogance of power," and to make tenacious and steady efforts, in coöperation with other non-nuclear countries, toward disarmament including nuclear disarmament.
In 1972, Japan got the reversion of Okinawa and held summit talks in Hawaii on her relations with the United States; normalized her relations with China ; and opened negotiations with the Soviet Union for a peace treaty. She thereby entered a new, epoch-making phase in her post-postwar diplomacy. The holding of such high-level political negotiations simultaneously with the three big powers should not suggest that Japan intends to keep the United States, China and the Soviet Union at equal diplomatic distances. A leading Japanese newspaper, discussing Japan's relations with these countries in an editorial, likened Sino-Japanese relations to cutting a path in a place where there has been no road, Japanese-Soviet relations to paving a road already built and Japanese-U.S. relations to repairing an existing highway. It would be not only meaningless but a great loss to destroy a highway to build a new one. It is equally useless to close an existing road. Maintenance of Japan's relations of friendship and coöperation with the United States is absolutely necessary for Japan's security, economy and technology in the foreseeable future. It would seriously undermine the peace and prosperity of the world if the present Japanese-U.S. relationship, built through the strenuous efforts of the peoples of both countries over many years, were impaired.
It is neither possible for Japan to play a military game of power politics with the United States, China and the Soviet Union nor conducive to Japan's national interests in the long run. It is very encouraging that Japanese leaders and the nation as a whole seem to be politically mature enough and have the wisdom to appreciate this point sufficiently.
Indeed, in line with the all-directional concept, Japan must deal not only with the three big powers but also with other countries as well. It is very important for Japan to make the distant road to the EC-member countries into an expressway, broaden the road to Australia and New Zealand and improve the narrow and complicated roads to the developing countries, including those in Southeast Asia, in order to eliminate blind alleys and mazes. As already mentioned, Japan's close coöperation with the EC in the economic field is indispensable to the stabilization and development of the shaky international economic-monetary system. And Japan's responsibility and role are great in helping Asia in nonmilitary fields to achieve peace and stability. The Japanese people, therefore, earnestly hope that the rupture of her diplomatic relations with Taiwan-the most serious issue in the process of normalizing her relations with China-will not threaten the peace of Asia and that the future of Taiwan will be decided peacefully between the Chinese themselves.
Accepting that the Sino-Japanese rapprochment must not be at the sacrifice of Japan's relations with the United States, the Soviet Union or other Asian countries, how will Sino-Japanese relations develop? Some people predict that Japan and China will inevitably become rivals on the international scene, especially in Asia. However, they will not become incompatible rivals in the military, political and diplomatic fields provided that Japan carries out, with sincerity, the various measures mentioned above and provided that China observes the five principles for peace and lives up to her announced policy of not becoming a superpower and opposing hegemony and power politics of any kind. Both countries pledged in their joint communiqué that they will not seek hegemony in the Asia-Pacific region. The Japanese are determined to live up to this pledge. It is possible that both countries will emerge as friendly rivals to compete with each other in the field of economic and technical aid for the developing countries. This kind of rivalry is to be welcomed. It is most unlikely that Japan and China will enter into some kind of alliance with each other, because it seems difficult for two countries with different political, economic, cultural and social systems and outlooks on life to have close relations in all fields. The Japanese people hope to maintain as close relations of coöperation as possible on the basis of peaceful coexistence and mutual understanding.
As is evident from the measures of the Japanese government already mentioned and also the proposals made by this writer, Japan's basic foreign policy is "international coöperation" in the true sense of the word. It is noteworthy to find it in complete agreement with President Nixon's words in his U.S. foreign policy report to the Congress in 1972:
The unprecedented advances in science and technology have created a new dimension of international life. The global community faces a series of urgent problems and opportunities which transcend all geographic and ideological borders. It is the distinguishing characteristic of these issues that their solution requires international coöperation on the broadest scale.
Only great progress in international coöperation can provide mankind with a possibility of survival in the twenty-first century on a planet made smaller but increasingly interdependent by revolutionary advances in communication and transportation. This is becoming a belief common to all peoples, including the Japanese. They see their country as a member of the world. Such problems as security, international politics, international trade, science and technology, culture, education, population, resources, energy and environmental pollution (the most pressing problem in Japan) should be dealt with from the global point of view.
Yet the contemporary international community remains an underdeveloped society where sovereign states seeking their own interests alone are still involved in the game of power politics and where there seems to be a deep gap between ideals and realities. By setting a bold example for all to see, Japan seeks to help move the world from almost total dependence on essentially military power politics to a new reliance on economic, political, social, scientific and cultural coöperation. This is the essence of what I have called Japan's grand experiment. No doubt it will be faced with great difficulties and obstacles and attended with risks one after another. But it is the role that Japan can best play: we wish the rest of the world to understand it and strongly welcome it. Not only is the alternative for us much worse, but also, perhaps, among the major powers, Japan is the only country which can attempt this experiment.
[i] See Kei Wakaizumi, "Japan Beyond 1970," Foreign Affairs, April 1969.