2013年4月22日 星期一

Google Alerts 10 new results for Japan/ Japan needs to build a foreign policy around promoting democracy — and the rights essential to it


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News10 new results for japan
G-20 gives Japan stimulus green light as yen nears four-year low
Washington Post
April 20 (Bloomberg) -- Bank of Japan Governor Haruhiko Kuroda won international endorsement of his stepped-up stimulus push, saying it emboldened him to press ahead with his campaign to defeat 15 years of deflation. Alert to signs of a slowing global ...
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Japan Joins Talks to Form Free-Trade Bloc
Wall Street Journal
SURABAYA, Indonesia—Japan received the green light to become the 12th nation to join talks to form a massive Asia-Pacific free-trade bloc Saturday, gaining approval from final holdout Canada and bringing the world's third-largest economy into a ...
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Japan delays Boeing 787 decision
TOKYO--Japanese air regulators said Saturday that they will wait at least until next week before making a final decision on the resumption of the Boeing 787, taking a more cautious approach than U.S. counterparts towards lifting the hi-tech plane's ...
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Hard-Pressed Japan Puts on Pizzazz
Wall Street Journal (blog)
In its attempt to do so, Toyota put on the biggest, brightest show of its Japanese rivals. It stacked its sprawling display with 52 vehicles–the most of any Toyota auto show display ever, it claimed, including two world premiere concept vehicles and ...
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Wall Street Journal (blog)
Japanese minister visits Tokyo war shrine
Times of India
Visits to the shrine by government ministers and high-profile figures spark outrage in China and on the Korean peninsula, where many feel Japan has failed to atone for its brutal aggression in the first half of the 20th century. Liberal politicians ...
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A 6.1-magnitude earthquake hits off Japan's coast: USGS
Times of India
TOKYO: A 6.1-magnitude earthquake struck off the south coast of Japan's main Honshu island on Sunday, the United States Geological Survey said, but no tsunami warning was issued. The quake hit at 12:22 pm (0322 GMT), 644 kilometres (400 miles) south ...
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Japan's Aso Calls Recovery 'Few Years' Away
Wall Street Journal
WASHINGTON—Japan's finance minister said it may take longer to cure Japan of deflation than the two-year goal that the Bank of Japan has set and a self-sustaining economic recovery is at least “a few years” away. The comments by Finance Minister Taro ...
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Japan joins ugly contest with tsunami of money
... nasty North Korea, but with Japan, a fellow Western-ally. “Japan's economic policies are doing their part to help the world economy recover,” said Hyun Oh-Seok, the South Korean finance minister, on the fringes of last week's G20 summit in Washington.
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Dollar, euro soar against yen as G20 skirts Japan critique
Business Recorder (blog)
The US dollar and euro rallied 1.5 percent versus the yen on Friday after Japan said the Group of 20 countries did not oppose its aggressive monetary easing aimed at beating deflation rather than at weakening its currency. Traders said hedge funds ...
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Italy seizes 1.8 bn euros from Japan's Nomura in fraud probe
Hindu Business Line
Italian police today seized 1.8 billion euros ($2.3 billion) destined for Nomura and placed the former chief of the Japanese bank's European operations under investigation in a fraud probe over a derivatives deal with troubled Italian lender Monte dei ...
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Op-Ed Contributors

The Sun Rises on Human Rights

TOKYO — As U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry arrives in Japan, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is making waves. Known for his aggressive efforts to revive Japan’s economy, his nationalist rhetoric and his openness to military strength, he is also pushing Japan toward a new assertiveness on human rights.

Despite a vibrant democracy at home, the diplomats who guide Japan’s foreign policy are famous for their caution on human rights. To avoid interrupting friendly relations with other countries, harming Japan’s economic interests or risking criticism of Japan’s war record, they discuss human rights, if at all, only quietly, behind closed doors. Tokyo generally votes with its Western allies on human rights matters at the United Nations, but almost never takes the initiative, fearful of sticking its neck out.

Abe may be changing that. Soon after coming to power, he ordered Japanese diplomats to take the lead on an effort at the U.N. Human Rights Council to establish a commission of inquiry to collect evidence of North Korea’s crimes against humanity.

Japanese governments have long faced domestic pressure to resolve the cases of its citizens whom Pyongyang abducted decades ago, apparently to teach Japanese language skills to Korean spies. But to back the U.N. initiative, Abe effectively had to accept that the abductees’ fate reflected the systematic denial of the rights of everyone in North Korea. That’s a reasonable conclusion, but no prior Japanese government had been willing to reach it.

Many other governments were lukewarm about a commission of inquiry for North Korea. Some disliked the (modest) expense. Others questioned its utility. Others may have feared diverting attention from the North’s nuclear program.

Working with South Korea, Japan confronted this skepticism. And it succeeded. Last month, the Human Rights Council unanimously launched a commission of inquiry. North Korean leaders are now on notice that evidence of their criminality will be officially collected, meaning possible international trials if they do not change their ways.
This new assertiveness on human rights was foreshadowed in a speech that Abe gave in January. He embraced a foreign policy built around “the fundamental values of freedom, democracy, basic human rights, and the rule of law.” A Japanese leader has rarely made such a call, let alone acted on it.
But Abe has his work cut out for him in implementing his vision. Last month, Japan’s powerful foreign-policy bureaucracy resisted a parallel U.N. resolution on Sri Lanka’s failure to seriously investigate indiscriminate attacks by its military that caused up to 40,000 civilian deaths in the final months of its conflict with the rebel Tamil Tigers four years ago.
The resolution passed overwhelmingly. But Japan, acting with its traditional caution, abstained.
We asked Japan’s leading diplomat on Sri Lanka how Japan could be so out of step with its peers. He offered various excuses, but the main factor seemed to be a desire to maintain good relations with Sri Lanka, despite the lack of evidence that Japan’s quiet diplomacy has more influence than the U.N.’s visible pressure.
Perhaps Japan’s greatest human-rights challenge is China. Given Japan’s war record, it has had a particularly difficult time raising human rights concerns in China, but after nearly 70 years, it is time for a strong leader to overcome this obstacle.
Like many others, Japan limits the topic to a roughly once-a-year “human rights dialogue.” It typically involves bureaucrats meeting with no outsiders present and little revelation of what was said. For the rest of the year, senior officials can cite this charade to avoid addressing China’s repression themselves.
The result does no good for the rights of the Chinese people — or Japan’s reputation. The Chinese people are left to think of Japan as preoccupied with allegedly trying to steal “their islands” but indifferent to their rights. In an age of Sina Weibo, a Chinese version of Twitter, and government-permitted attacks on the Japanese Embassy, Chinese public opinion matters.
For decades, Japan’s foreign policy has been built around the country as a donor nation, with few strings attached. Japan has been extraordinarily generous, but China can now play that game as well, with even deeper pockets.

Abe seems to recognize that Japan has been squandering its greatest foreign-policy asset — its democracy. Building a foreign policy around promoting democracy — and the rights essential to it — will require overcoming the sclerotic perspective of the foreign ministry mandarins. The response to Japan’s North Korea initiative shows that much of the world will welcome Tokyo assuming such a leadership role. John Kerry should encourage that.

Kenneth Roth is executive director and Kanae Doi is the Japan director of Human Rights Watch.



東京——美國國務卿約翰·克里(John Kerry)訪問日本之際,安倍晉三(Shinzo Abe)首相正在國內掀起不少波瀾。他為復蘇日本經濟採取的激進手段,他的民族主義措辭,以及他談及軍事實力時的坦率,都分外惹眼,此外他還試圖讓日本在 人權問題上建立一種新的自信。
雖然在國內有着暢所欲言的民主,主導日本外交策略的外交官們在人權問題上卻是出了名的謹慎。由於擔心阻礙和其他國家的友好關係,損害日本的經濟利 益,或引發對日本戰爭歷史的批評,他們極少談人權,即便要談也是關起門來悄悄談。在聯合國的人權問題決議中,東京通常和西方盟友保持一致,但因為害怕做出 頭鳥,幾乎從來不主動提出什麼。
安倍可能會改變這種狀況。上台後沒多久,他就指示日本外交官在聯合國人權理事會(U.N. Human Rights Council)發起呼籲,要求成立一個調查委員會,收集朝鮮犯下反人類罪行的證據。
幾十年前發生過多起日本國民被朝鮮政府綁架的案件,朝鮮方面當時的動機似乎是為了給朝鮮間諜找日語老師,日本政府為此一直承受着國內輿論的壓力。但 是如果要支持在聯合國的提案,安倍實際上就等於要承認,這些被綁架國民的遭遇反映了朝鮮無視該國所有民眾的權利。這是個合乎情理的結論,但此前的幾屆日本 政府都不願意這麼說。
但是要實踐這樣的構想,安倍有不少困難需要克服。上個月在聯合國一項針對斯里蘭卡的決議中,手握重權的日本外務省官員就拒絕投下贊成票。決議涉及四 年前斯里蘭卡軍方造成平民傷亡一事,當時政府軍與叛亂武裝泰米爾猛虎組織的交戰已近尾聲,政府軍發起的恣意襲擊導致多達4萬平民傷亡,而政府事後沒有對此 展開有力的調查。

看來安倍意識到日本沒有利用好它最強的外交財富——民主。以促進民主進程及其包含的基本權利為核心,構建外交政策,首先需要克服的是外務省官僚的僵 化思維。日本此次就朝鮮問題發起倡議所得到的反響表明,很多國家是樂見東京擔負起這方面的領導職責的。約翰·克里應該對此加以鼓勵。

肯尼思·羅斯(Kenneth Roth)為人權觀察組織(Human Rights Watch)執行董事,土井香苗(Kanae Doi)為該組織日本代表。