Japan's annual report on diplomacy stresses peaceful path

Japan's annual report on diplomacy stresses peaceful path
Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.

Japan has pursued the path of a pacifist nation in the postwar period and that will remain unchanged from now on, the Foreign Ministry stressed Tuesday in its annual report on Japanese diplomacy.

The Diplomatic Bluebook 2015 - which includes a special feature in the opening of the report to mark the 70th anniversary of the end of World War II - stresses that Japan will contribute to global stability and prosperity from the position of "proactive contribution to peace," which Prime Minister Shinzo Abe uses as a slogan.

It also indicates the government's policy to develop security legislation.

At the beginning, the report clarifies that the origin of the nation's path as a pacifist nation lies in its pledge not to fight a war and its vow for peace based on deep remorse for World War II. The report stresses that the nation's 70-year path as a pacifist nation has deeply permeated the people, and there is no doubt that the nation will continue to follow the path.

According to the report, under the banner of proactive contributions to peace, Japan will work on global issues such as peace-building, disaster prevention and human rights, and develop the security legislation to respond to an increasingly severe security environment.

The report says that Japan will strengthen three pillars in the nation's diplomacy, namely the Japan-US alliance, co-operation with neighbouring countries, and economic diplomacy that can contribute to Japan's economic recovery.

As for relations with South Korea, the description in last year's report stating it "shares fundamental values such as freedom, democracy, and respect for basic human rights" was deleted this year. This year's report simply describes South Korea as the most important neighbouring country.

Behind this change is South Korean prosecutors' indictment without arrest of a former Seoul bureau chief of The Sankei Shimbun for allegedly defaming South Korean President Park Geun-hye in his column. The report calls it extremely regrettable from the viewpoints of freedom of expression and freedom of the press as well as the Japan-South Korean relationship.

Regarding the so-called comfort women issue, the Bluebook displays the nation's policy to make the utmost effort to gain the appropriate understanding of facts. Though not mentioning the company's name, the Bluebook also refers to the Asahi Shimbun's retraction of the newspaper's past articles on comfort women.

While the report recognises that the Japan-China relationship is gradually improving, it notes that a total of 88 Chinese government ships entered Japanese waters off the Senkaku Islands in Okinawa Prefecture on 32 occasions in 2014, and criticizes these incursions as unilateral acts to change the status quo.

The Foreign Ministry posted a summary of this year's report on its website Tuesday. The complete version is scheduled to be sold to the public from late June.

With an intention to spread the message overseas, the ministry plans to translate the full version into English, and release it on its website for the first time in nine years.Speech

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