The Courteous Power: Japan and Southeast Asia in the Indo-Pacific Era 0472074970, 9780472074976

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The Courteous Power: Japan and Southeast Asia in the Indo-Pacific Era
 0472074970, 9780472074976

Table of contents :
Series page
Title page
Copyright information
Table of contents
1 | From the Fukuda Doctrine to the FOIP: The Evolution of Japanese Engagement in Southeast Asia
Phases of Japanese Engagement
Economic Engagement with Strategic Subordination
The Fukuda Doctrine and a More Activist Approach
Added Autonomy after the Cold War
Abe and the Indo- Pacific Era
Understanding Japan’s Importance in Southeast Asia
Relations on the International Political Plane
The Roles of Non-State Actors: Business, Development, and Culture
Part I: Relations on the International Political Plane
2 | Japan as the Key to Southeast Asian Diversification
The Relevance of Diversification
Distinguishing Hedging and Diversification
The Merits of Diversifying
Japan’s Facilitation of Southeast Asian Diversification
Aid Diversification
Trade and Investment Diversification
Diversifying through Multilateral Diplomacy
The New Frontier: Maritime Security
Implications for Regional Order
3 | Japan’s Defense and Security Cooperation in Southeast Asia: Developing Security Networks, Capacities, and Institutions
Security Networking
Joint Training and Exercises
Bilateral Defense Diplomacy
Formation of the “Vientiane Vision”: A Comprehensive Approach
Capacity Building
Regional Security Cooperation: Institutional Development
4 | Wedge Strategies, Japan–ASEAN Cooperation, and the Making of the EAS: Implications for Indo-Pacific Institutionalization
“Wedge Strategies” in Multilateral Institutions: The Case of ASEAN
The EAS Establishment Process: Tug-Of-War among Japan, China, and ASEAN Member States
Analysis: Japan and ASEAN Cooperation
Conclusion: Implications for the Indo-Pacific
5 | Japan’s Relations with ASEAN: Unity and Diversity in a Changing Regional Environment
Japan in the Changing Regional Environment: The “Free and Open Indo-Pacific Strategy”
Japan’s Relationship to ASEAN
The Importance of Intra-ASEAN Unity
ASEAN and Vietnam’s Invasion/Occupation of Cambodia
ASEAN and the Financial Crisis 1997–1999
Japan, ASEAN and the FOIP: How Should Japan Manage Its Relations with ASEAN?
6 | Not Quite a Follower: ASEAN’s Response to Japan’s Regional Initiatives
Why Regional Initiatives?
Case 1: The Nakayama Proposal and the ASEAN Regional Forum
Policy Areas
Normative Values
ASEAN’s Responses
Policy Areas
Normative Values
Case 2: The Koizumi Vision and ‘ASEAN+6’ Framework of the East Asian Summit
Policy Areas
Normative Values
ASEAN’s Responses
Policy Areas
Normative Values
Case 3: The Free and Open Indo-Pacific Strategy and ASEAN Outlook on the Indo-Pacific
Policy Areas
Normative Values
ASEAN’s Responses
Policy Areas
Normative Values
Part II: Development, Culture, and the Roles of Non-State Actors
7 | From Japan Inc. to the FOIP: The Evolving Role of Japanese Businesses in Japan’s Southeast Asia Policy
ODA and Investment (1960s–1980s)
Japanese Businesses and Regional Economic Policy (1990s–2000s)
Economics and Security Mixed in the FOIP Era (2010s and Beyond)
Diversifying Foreign Policy and Diversifying Businesses
Co-existence of Strategic and Business Interests
8 | The Japanese Business Community as a Diplomatic Asset and the 2014 Thai Coup d’État
The U.S. and Japanese Critiques of the 2014 Thai Coup
The Junta Reaching Out: Japanese Business in Bangkok
Japan as the Third Choice for Thailand?
The Role of the Japanese Business Community
NotesThe author would like to acknowledge support for this research from the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science (JSPS) Kakenhi grant numbers 19H04349, 17H02230, and 19K12505.
9 | Japan’s NGOs and Effective Development Cooperation in Mekong Countries
Japanese NGOs in Aid Processes
Emergence: Pre-1995
Turning Point: Post-1995
The Indo-Pacific Era: A Struggle for Growth and Independence
Japan and Development in Mekong Countries: Interactions between Japanese and Local Actors
Development of the Mekong Region and Japan’s Aid Policy: Pre-2009
From the Tokyo Strategy for Mekong–Japan Cooperation to the FOIP Strategy
Water Resources Management and the Green Mekong Initiative
10 | Japan–Southeast Asia Engagements on the Ground: Japanese Women in Southeast Asia
Contemporary Transnational Mobility of Japanese Women to Southeast Asia
The Pull of Southeast Asia as a Destination
New Japanese Women Migrants and the Desire for Self-Discovery
Work Employment: Serving as a Linguistic and Cultural Bridge
Japanese Working Women as Local Hires
Japanese Language Teachers
Becoming Entrepreneurs in Local Communities: Creating Opportunities for Engagements
Japanese Women in Philanthropy
Transnational Marriage: Japanese Women Marrying Local Southeast Asians
11 | Revisiting “Cool Japan”: The Southeast Asian Gaze toward Japanese Manga and Anime
What Is Soft Power?
“Look to Japan”
FANtasizing Japan
Hijab Cosplay in Indonesia
Duterte Manga/Anime
Doraemon Tofu
12 | Japan as a Courteous Power: Continuity and Change in the Indo-Pacific Era
Japan’s Distinctive Modes of Influence
A Courteous Power
Why Be Courteous?
Influence via Diplomacy and Defense
Impact on Economic and Political Development
Grassroots Interactions and “Soft Power”
Continuity and Change in the FOIP Era
A Widening Security Role
Boosting Economic Connectivity
The Question of Democratic Values
ASEAN Centrality
Looking Forward

Citation preview


Courteous Power

Japan and Southeast Asia in the Indo-Pacific Era

John D. Ciorciari and Kiyoteru Tsutsui, EDITORS

The Courteous Power

michigan monograph series in japanese studies number 92 center for japanese studies university of michigan

The Courteous Power Japan and Southeast Asia in the Indo-​Pacific Era

Edited by John D. Ciorciari and Kiyoteru Tsutsui

University of Michigan Press Ann Arbor

Copyright © 2021 by John D. Ciorciari and Kiyoteru Tsutsui All rights reserved For questions or permissions, please contact [email protected] Published in the United States of America by the University of Michigan Press Manufactured in the United States of America Printed on acid-​free paper First published November 2021 A CIP catalog record for this book is available from the British Library. Library of Congress Cataloging-​in-​Publication data has been applied for. Library of Congress Control Number: 2021945426 LC record available at ISBN 978-​0-​472-​07497-​6 (hardcover: alk. paper) ISBN 978-​0-​472-​05497-​8 (paper: alk. paper) ISBN 978-​0-​472-​12929-​4 (e-​book) Cover photo: Myanmar State Counselor Aung San Suu Kyi is escorted by Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe as she reviews a guard of honor before their meeting at the state guest house in Tokyo on November 2, 2016. REUTERS/​Eugene Hoshiko/​ Pool






1  | From the Fukuda Doctrine to the FOIP: The Evolution of Japanese Engagement in Southeast Asia John D. Ciorciari and Kiyoteru Tsutsui


Part I:  Relations on the International Political Plane 2  | Japan as the Key to Southeast Asian Diversification John D. Ciorciari 3  | Japan’s Defense and Security Cooperation in Southeast Asia: Developing Security Networks, Capacities, and Institutions Ken Jimbo 4  | Wedge Strategies, Japan–​ASEAN Cooperation, and the Making of the EAS: Implications for Indo-​Pacific Institutionalization Kei Koga 5  | Japan’s Relations with ASEAN: Unity and Diversity in a Changing Regional Environment Shaun Narine 6  | Not Quite a Follower: ASEAN’s Response to Japan’s Regional Initiatives Kalvin Fung






vi | Contents

Part II:  Development, Culture, and the Roles of Non-​State Actors   7  | From Japan Inc. to the FOIP: The Evolving Role of Japanese Businesses in Japan’s Southeast Asia Policy Kitti Prasirtsuk


  8  | The Japanese Business Community as a Diplomatic Asset and the 2014 Thai Coup d’État Nobuhiro Aizawa


  9  | Japan’s NGOs and Effective Development Cooperation in Mekong Countries Siriporn Wajjwalku


10  | Japan–​Southeast Asia Engagements on the Ground: Japanese Women in Southeast Asia Leng Leng Thang and Mika Toyota


11  | Revisiting “Cool Japan”: The Southeast Asian Gaze toward Japanese Manga and Anime Karl Ian Uy Cheng Chua


12  | Japan as a Courteous Power: Continuity and Change in the Indo-​Pacific Era John D. Ciorciari and Kiyoteru Tsutsui






Digital materials related to this title can be found on the Fulcrum platform via the following citable URL:


We were able to undertake this project with the generous support of the Japan Foundation. Its U.S.–​Southeast Asia–​Japan Collaboration and Exchange Initiative was designed to foster networks of scholars working across the Pacific on issues of common concern, and it enabled us to assemble an interdisciplinary group of leading analysts from Asia and North America. The contributors to this book hail from Thailand, the Philippines, Singapore, Hong Kong, Canada, the United States, and Japan, and we are grateful to the Japan Foundation for making it possible to engage this diverse set of scholars to share perspectives on the vital relationship between Japan and Southeast Asia. Our project benefitted greatly from a pair of workshops. We thank Ken Jimbo for hosting the first at Keio University in Tokyo in May 2019, with assistance from Jonathan Webb. At that workshop, Hiro Katsumata and Takeshi Yuzawa provided thoughtful and constructive comments as discussants, and Shingo Miyamoto shared expert insights from his role as director of the Second Southeast Asia Division in the Japanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The University of Michigan’s Center for Japanese Studies and International Policy Center hosted the second workshop in Ann Arbor in December 2019, and we thank Yuri Fukazawa, Dan Ellis, and Erica Selesky for their support. We appreciate the insights that Noriyuki Shikata provided as discussant, drawing on his experience as a senior Japanese diplomat, as well as helpful comments from Charles Crabtree, and we benefitted from a rich discussion of Japanese foreign relations with Tsutomu Nakagawa, the Japanese Consul-​General in Detroit. Eitan Paul served ably as our managing editor for the project, providing valuable insights and careful edits for each chapter in the volume. We also received valuable feedback on the project from other scholarly experts including Donald Emmerson and Bhubhindar Singh. We also

viii | Acknowledgments

thank Christopher Dreyer and the outstanding staff at the University of Michigan Press for helping to bring this book to fruition. The Japan Foundation generously supported the two workshops and other relevant activities toward the publication of this volume, and we are deeply indebted to Tomonori Hayase and Kenichi Yanagisawa for helping us with the original idea and to Takeshi Yoshida, Christy Bahr, Kanako Mabuchi, and Nobuyuki Minagawa for their sustained support throughout the development of the project.


ADB Asian Development Bank ADMM ASEAN Defense Ministers’ Meeting ADMM-​Plus ADMM plus dialogue partners (Australia, China, India, Japan, New Zealand, Republic of Korea, Russia, and the United States) AFTA ASEAN Free Trade Area AIIB Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank AMRO ASEAN+3 Macroeconomic Research Office AOIP ASEAN Outlook on the Indo-​Pacific APEC Asia-​Pacific Economic Cooperation forum ARF ASEAN Regional Forum ASEAN Association of Southeast Asian Nations ASEAN+3 ASEAN Plus Three (South Korea, China and Japan) CCP Chinese Communist Party CLV Cambodia, Laos and Vietnam CMLV Cambodia, Myanmar, Laos and Vietnam CPTPP Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-​ Pacific Partnership EAS East Asia Summit EPA Economic Partnership Agreement EWG Expert Working Group FDI Foreign direct investment FOIP Free and Open Indo-​Pacific FOIPS Free and Open Indo-​Pacific Strategy GGP Grant Assistance for Grassroots Projects (Japan) GMS Greater Mekong Subregion HA/​DR Humanitarian assistance and disaster relief IMF International Monetary Fund JCC Japanese Chamber of Commerce


x | Abbreviations


Japan External Trade Organization Japan International Cooperation Agency Japan Maritime Self-​Defense Force Japan Self-​Defense Forces Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (Japan) Ministry of Foreign Affairs (Japan) Mekong River Commission National Council for Peace and Order (Thailand) Non-​governmental organization Overseas development assistance Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership Self-​Defense Forces (Japan) Sustainable Development Goals Senior Officials Meeting Treaty of Amity and Cooperation Trans-​Pacific Partnership

1  |  From the Fukuda Doctrine to the FOIP The Evolution of Japanese Engagement in Southeast Asia John D. Ciorciari and Kiyoteru Tsutsui

Japan’s engagement in Southeast Asia has deep roots. A long-​term major economic and political partner to Southeast Asian states, Japan has contributed greatly to development in the region for decades, earning the trust of many leaders and citizens in those states. It has also played a central role in the contemporary international order in and around Southeast Asia by spearheading multilateral diplomacy and economic integration, facilitating U.S. engagement, and helping to manage the rise of China.1 Japan is arguably the external actor that has done most to nurture the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and the broader multilateral framework that helps ASEAN maintain a central diplomatic position in the region.2 Its influence in the cultural and civil society spheres has also been well established, arguably rivaled only by the United States. Nevertheless, Japan’s role in Southeast Asia is often underappreciated, both in academic and policy circles. Most contemporary studies of Southeast Asia’s external relations focus on how states in the region are responding to China’s rise and waxing Sino–​American competition.3 Policy analysts now routinely present Southeast Asia as a region pulled between two poles—​“ground zero” in an emerging “New Cold War” between China and the United States.4 While those dynamics are clearly important, accounts spotlighting Sino–​ American rivalry often belie Southeast Asia’s complexity and the crucial part played by Japan. This volume contributes to a richer and more nuanced understanding of the region by examining the essential and multifaceted role that Japan has played in contemporary Southeast Asia.

2 | The Courteous Power

The chapters in this book discuss the historical evolution of Japan’s ties to the region from the Cold War era to the present but focus primarily on the elements of continuity and change in Japan’s relations with Southeast Asia in the “Indo-​Pacific era.” This refers roughly to the period since 2012, when Shinzo Abe began his second term as Japan’s prime minister. Abe embraced a focus beyond the “Asia-​Pacific,” intent on building Japan’s links across the broader area stretching across the Indian Subcontinent to East Africa and the Middle East. The Abe administration pioneered the concept of a “Free and Open Indo-​Pacific” (FOIP), an idea with profound potential implications for Japan’s foreign policy and its relations with Southeast Asia. Given the challenges that Southeast Asia faces today—​ such as surging Chinese influence, inconsistent American foreign policy, ASEAN disunity, domestic nationalism, and populist anti-​democratic forces—​understanding Japan’s contemporary engagement in the region is critical. This volume has three unifying themes. The first is to demonstrate that Japan has long played a more active, autonomous, and multidimensional role in Southeast Asia than is generally appreciated. Scholars of Japanese foreign relations have shown that portrayals of Japan as an economic actor, shying away from politics and deferring to the United States on security, have long been outdated and have become increasingly obsolete.5 Nevertheless, Japan continues to get short shrift in many policy discussions, media accounts, and academic analyses of Southeast Asia, which increasingly is characterized as falling beneath a Chinese shadow.6 This volume shows Japan’s active and independent engagement in the region before and during the Indo-​Pacific era in many domains, including multilateral diplomacy, maritime security, private investment, development assistance, civil society engagement, and educational and cultural initiatives conducive to the cultivation of “soft power.” Through this multi-​faceted engagement, Japan has been a crucial contributor to regional order. In particular, this volume shows how Japan is able to play a pivotal role in Southeast Asia, standing shoulder-​to-​ shoulder with the United States on some issues while carving out its own space for engagement and influence on others. One key to Japan’s ability to play this pivotal role is its unique status as a close strategic ally of the United States with some of the world’s most formidable economic, technological, diplomatic, and even military capabilities of its own. Another is its dual identity as an Asian country and a wealthy established democracy. Japan’s autonomous action enables ASEAN members to diversify their international engagement in many respects, and it gives the regional

From the Fukuda Doctrine to the FOIP | 3

order a more complex, adaptive, and resilient character than popular references to a new Sino–​American Cold War suggest. The second major theme in this volume is the blend of continuity and change in Japan’s relations with Southeast Asia during the Indo-​Pacific era. The FOIP concept was a bold pronouncement—​evidence of a more confident foreign policy approach and one that stressed certain aspects of security and democratic ideology more clearly than Japan had done in the past. Japan’s engagement with the region has indeed shifted in areas such as maritime security and strategic infrastructure development. Yet, as this volume will show, other traditional pillars of its approach remain largely intact, such as Japan’s commitment to ASEAN centrality and its preference for relatively low-​key, consensus-​seeking diplomacy. This volume’s third major theme is the importance of non-​state actors in Japan’s relations with Southeast Asia. This aspect of the relationship often receives inadequate attention in studies focused on interstate relations and multilateral institutions. In fact, business firms, civil society organizations, cultural institutions, and enterprising individuals all contribute to the formulation of foreign policy in Tokyo and to the interpersonal interactions that give shape and meaning to Japan–​Southeast Asian relations on the ground. The weight of non-​state actors also helps to illustrate why and how changes in high-​level policies and strategies do not always translate neatly into changes at the grassroots level. Emerging from this analysis is a picture of Japan as a “courteous power”—​a state that wears its formidable capabilities lightly, listening respectfully to Southeast Asian partners to identify convergent interests rather than seeking to exercise its influence assertively. Using a guiding hand rather than a threatening fist, Japan has often given a nudge to Southeast Asian nations in the direction it wants them to go. However, Japan rarely has sought to force their hands aggressively or insistently, even at the height of its economic might in the 1980s and 1990s, instead prioritizing continued engagement and partnerships. Understanding Japan’s status and function as a courteous power has great academic value and policy relevance. Southeast Asia has long been the prime area in which Japan has sought international leadership and pursued policy innovation.7 It is no coincidence that Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga and his predecessor, Shinzo Abe (in his second term), both chose Southeast Asia as the destination for their first trips overseas.8 Japan’s engagement in the region has covered the full range of its overseas activities—​from peacekeeping to building infrastructure to promoting popular culture—​and thus offers an important window into

4 | The Courteous Power

its foreign relations more generally. This volume will show that Japan’s distinctive approach has vital implications for Southeast Asian security, autonomy, development, democracy, and human rights. Phases of Japanese Engagement

Since World War II, Japan arguably has been the external power most consistently focused on Southeast Asia and engaged in the region. Nevertheless, Japan’s approach to the region has evolved considerably over time. That engagement has involved a mutual process of socialization in which both sides have grappled with their shared history and redefined Japan’s regional role and identity. The phases of its engagement include an early period focused on economic investment and political subordination to the United States, followed by a more active approach after the end of the Vietnam War and the 1977 enunciation of the Fukuda Doctrine. After the end of the Cold War, Japan further embraced a leading political role, particularly in multilateral diplomacy. More recently, Japan again adjusted course as the second administration of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe (2012–​20) developed and implemented its vision for a FOIP—​a vision that his successor Yoshihide Suga has followed.9 In this Indo-​Pacific era, Japan has issued bolder statements of its foreign policy principles. At the same time, however, this latest phase has been characterized by a resurgence of Japanese realpolitik in Southeast Asia and elsewhere as Chinese influence waxes and doubts linger about the value and reliability of the U.S. commitment to Asian security.10 Economic Engagement with Strategic Subordination

During the early Cold War era, the “Yoshida Doctrine” of Prime Minister Shigeru Yoshida (1948–​54) guided Japan’s foreign policy in Southeast Asia and elsewhere. Its hallmark was seikei bunri—​the separation of politics from economics. Japan accepted a subordinate political and security role beneath a protective U.S. umbrella, and its foreign policy throughout Asia was highly constrained by this dependency on the United States as well as by fresh memories of the war and associated “Greater East Asia Co-​ Prosperity Sphere” promoted by Imperial Japan. In that context, Japan’s engagement with Southeast Asia after World War II was limited and focused largely on commercial ventures to secure natural resources and promote exports.

From the Fukuda Doctrine to the FOIP | 5

Japan’s approach to Southeast Asia initially built largely upon the hub-​and-​spokes frame defined by U.S. alliances with Thailand and the Philippines and the cooperative relationships that later emerged with conservative regimes in South Vietnam, Indonesia, Malaysia, and Singapore. Despite Japan’s key role in establishing the Asian Development Bank in 1966, officials in Tokyo generally favored “asymmetric bilateralism” with weaker Southeast Asian neighbors.11 When ASEAN was created in 1967 (with Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, and Thailand as members), Japanese leaders were skeptical of the Association’s cohesion and capacity to wield much influence, and they were wary of helping ASEAN cultivate such influence lest it emerge as a collective bargaining body.12 The Fukuda Doctrine and a More Activist Approach

During the 1970s, two forces prompted a reorientation of Japan’s approach to Southeast Asia toward a more proactive policy and a greater focus on multilateral ventures. The first was a gradual seismic shift as the United States pursued rapprochement with China, withdrew from Vietnam, refused to normalize ties with Hanoi, and otherwise disinvested in Southeast Asia. The second was a more punctuated shock in the form of the 1974 “Tanaka riots” in Bangkok and Jakarta—​violent anti-​Japanese demonstrations against perceived Japanese predation of Southeast Asian resources.13 Japanese Prime Minister Takeo Fukuda (1976–​ 78) responded on the tenth anniversary of ASEAN’s creation in 1977, announcing a new doctrine with three basic elements. Fukuda reassured Southeast Asia of Japan’s commitment to peace and rejection of military power, pledged to be an “equal partner” and build trust through “heart-​to-​heart understanding,” and committed to cooperation with ASEAN collectively and with the Indochinese states of Vietnam, Laos, and Cambodia. Bundled with those commitments was a concrete, US$1 billion program to support “regional projects.”14 The Fukuda administration also launched a series of cultural and educational initiatives to address Japan’s image problem in Southeast Asia, such as an ASEAN Cultural Fund and Youth Scholarship.15 In some respects, the Fukuda Doctrine was an acknowledgment of the special relationship that already had developed between Japan and Southeast Asia. By the late 1970s, Southeast Asia had emerged as “something approaching a Japanese hinterland,” hosting the lion’s share of Japanese foreign direct investment (FDI) in the developing world and a

6 | The Courteous Power

majority of Japanese official development assistance (ODA).16 However, the Fukuda Doctrine also broke new ground by upgrading ASEAN and by signaling a more proactive political role for Japan in the region—​an aim made explicit in a subsequent Japanese Foreign Ministry White Paper.17 The enunciation of the Fukuda Doctrine helped bury the notion that Japanese foreign policy was strictly reactive. Rather, as Shaun Narine argues, successive Japanese governments exhibited “a subtle but persistent desire to lead.”18 Prime Minister Yasuhiro Nakasone (1982–​87) sought to transform Japan into an “international state” that would play a more proactive role in global affairs and within the U.S.-​led Cold War security framework.19 Economic engagement continued to constitute the forward edge of Japan’s relations with Southeast Asia. Its aid, trade, and investment in the region surged over the ensuing decade—​particularly after the 1985 Plaza Accord, in which Japan agreed to strengthen the yen to address a widening trade imbalance with the United States. The revaluation of the yen made manufacturing in Japan more costly and spurred a tidal wave of Japanese investment in Southeast Asia, attracting renewed attention to the model of Japanese leadership at the apex of a formation of “flying geese” with Japan at the head and other Asian nations following it. In 1987, Prime Minister Noboru Takeshita essentially updated the Fukuda Doctrine, adding emphasis on Japan’s economic role in the region and launching a US$2 billion ASEAN–​ Japan Development Fund that included substantial private sector funding. The production networks that sprawled from Japan across Southeast Asia provided the basis for market-​based, informal regional economic integration that later served as the scaffolding for formal initiatives such as the Japan–​ASEAN Comprehensive Economic Partnership.20 Added Autonomy after the Cold War

The end of the Cold War, coinciding with the passing of Emperor Hirohito, served as another watershed in the punctuated evolution of Japan’s approach to Southeast Asia. The departure of Soviet forces and closure of key U.S. installations in the Philippines created a power vacuum that Japanese leaders feared China could exploit—​a concern magnified by Beijing’s promulgation of a 1992 law asserting sovereignty over large swaths of the South China Sea. These and other regional threats led Japanese officials to seek to reinvigorate the U.S. alliance.21 At the same time, Japan began to seek a more autonomous path. The 1990–​91 Gulf War sent shock waves through Japan, which had little influence over the

From the Fukuda Doctrine to the FOIP | 7

U.S.-​led intervention but was pressured into picking up the tab.22 Japan thus sought, in the words of its Ministry of Foreign Affairs, to “establish its own identity” by focusing on leadership in Asia and by embracing multilateral security as a means to take independent action without jeopardizing the U.S. alliance.23 This approach was most visible in Southeast Asia, where Japan exercised leadership in United Nations peacekeeping missions in Cambodia and East Timor. Economically, Japan entered the 1990s as an acknowledged heavyweight. Its subsequent descent into a “lost decade” of economic stagnation did not prevent Japan from serving as a model for Southeast Asian states keen to develop through controlled capitalism and import substitution. Japan’s own efforts to translate its large economic role into regional leadership materialized into its proposal of an Asian Monetary Fund in response to the 1997 financial crisis and its investment in follow-​on mechanisms such as ASEAN+3 and the Chiang Mai Initiative of protective currency swaps.24 Ventures such as annual ASEAN–​Japan summits and the ASEAN–​Japan free trade pact and Comprehensive Economic Partnership were further instantiations of what Sueo Sudo calls Japan’s “proactive multilateralism” in Southeast Asia.25 In ideational terms, Japan’s foreign policy and approach to Southeast Asia also evolved and became more visibly independent from those of the United States.26 Japan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs concluded in 1991 that the “end of the Cold War … made the conceptual meaning of the ‘West’ ambiguous.”27 As Western states pursued a “New World Order” prioritizing market liberalism, democracy, and human rights, Japan began to re-​identify more strongly with Asia and carve out intermediate and often ambivalent positions on normative feuds between Southeast Asian leaders and their Western counterparts. This was on display in cases such as the 1993 Bangkok Declaration on Human Rights, international sanctions against Myanmar and Indonesia, and the “Asian values” debate.28 Japan’s interest in finding common normative ground with Southeast Asian partners was also evident when Prime Minister Ryutaro Hashimoto (1996–​ 98) reaffirmed the Fukuda and Takeshita Doctrines in 1997, adding an emphasis on cultural cooperation and mutual understanding. To some degree, Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi (2001–​06) shifted back to ideational and strategic identification with the United States. Koizumi emphasized alliance cooperation after the September 11 attacks and highlighted democratic values and free markets in a 2002 speech on Japan’s engagement with Southeast Asia29—​an approach that some dubbed the “Koizumi Doctrine.”30 Abe made the values component of Japan’s

8 | The Courteous Power

approach to Asia much more salient during his first term as prime minister in 2006–​07, when he and his foreign minister Taro Aso introduced an early precursor to the FOIP concept: the idea of an “Arc of Freedom and Prosperity.”31 This was seen partly as an effort to emphasize Japan’s brand as a democracy and thereby to solidify the U.S.–​Japan alliance and attract support from India, Australia and others at a time of mounting Japanese concerns about China’s rise.32 During Abe’s first term, Japan also began building strategic partnerships across Southeast Asia—​agreements setting out common strategic goals and modes of cooperation to achieve them. By 2009, Japan had such partnerships with Indonesia, Vietnam, Thailand, and the Philippines. Despite these developments, Japan’s approach to Southeast Asia was marked by strong continuities. Prime Minister Yasuo Fukuda (2007–​08) did not update his father’s doctrine in 2007 as his predecessors had done in 1987 and 1997, but as Lam Peng Er contends, the Fukuda Doctrine continued to provide “the basic framework for Tokyo’s relations with Southeast Asia.”33 Japan’s foci on economic cooperation, low-​key diplomacy, and multilateralism remained intact. Japan also continued to promote ASEAN’s strength and centrality in the region by advocating for an expanded membership in the East Asia Summit to forestall Chinese dominance and by concluding a free trade agreement with ASEAN in 2008. Japan’s steady support for ASEAN-​centered multilateralism represents one of Japan’s signature contributions to Southeast Asia.34 Abe and the Indo-​Pacific Era

Shortly after Abe returned as prime minister in 2012, he promulgated what became known as the “Abe Doctrine.” His “five new principles for Japanese diplomacy” emphasized Japan’s commitment to advance maritime security, liberal values, and open economic exchange across the Pacific and Indian Oceans—​modifying if not replacing the Fukuda Doctrine.35 As maritime tension and economic competition with China mounted, Abe sought to bolster Japan’s engagement across the Indo-​ Pacific region, including Southeast Asia. In 2013, during his first year in office, he became the first world leader to visit all ten ASEAN countries, soon forging strategic partnerships with Cambodia, Malaysia, and Laos. Abe introduced an agenda for a “proactive contribution to peace” in Southeast Asia through enhanced maritime security cooperation, trade and investment, and commitment to the rule of law.36 In a 2014 speech in Singapore, he described the “new Japanese” as a people keen to “shoulder

From the Fukuda Doctrine to the FOIP | 9

the responsibilities of peace and order in the Asia-​Pacific region, working together with our regional partners with whom we share the values of human rights and freedom.”37 Abe’s subsequent enunciation of the “Free and Open Indo-​Pacific” concept in 2016 provided a mantra that captured Japan’s vision for a regional order built on expanded connectivity, open institutions, and freedom in politics, commerce, and navigation.”38 The introduction of the FOIP concept was a bold stroke in Japanese diplomacy. Still, Japan’s tactful approach to Southeast Asia remained apparent. The Abe administration left the edges of the FOIP concept blurry, both in geographic and policy terms. Rather than trying to assert clear parameters, the Japanese government introduced the concept gradually, encouraging other key actors to adopt and adapt the FOIP idea. From the start, the FOIP concept has been more a broad vision than a policy doctrine or strategy. It nevertheless has potentially profound policy implications, particularly for Southeast Asia, which sits at the geographic heart of the Indo-​Pacific. Some of the FOIP concept’s component parts align easily with the Fukuda Doctrine, such as renewed emphasis on development financing and infrastructure and an open form of regionalism characterized by strong multilateral institutions. Other aspects of the FOIP vision do not align as neatly with Japan’s pre-​existing approach to Southeast Asia. To the extent that freedom and openness refer to good governance practices and freedom of navigation, the FOIP concept implies a more assertive role for Japan in values diplomacy and maritime security, domains in which it has long kept a low profile. For decades, Japanese involvement in Southeast Asian defense has been limited to modest capacity-​building assistance and facilitation of U.S. power projection via the U.S.–​Japan alliance.39 The FOIP concept suggested a more forward-​leaning approach, especially in view of China’s expanding naval reach. Japan’s promotion of human rights and democracy has also been limited, partly as a consequence of its economic and strategic interests and partly due to its sympathy for the sovereignty claims of fellow Asian governments.40 The notion of a “free” Indo-​ Pacific suggests a more fulsome embrace of democratic governance norms in Japanese foreign policy, but it also suggests a focus on protecting states’ sovereign autonomy in a period of rising Chinese clout. This double entendre captures well Japan’s identity as a democracy sensitive to Westphalian sovereignty norms. Japan continues to offer Southeast Asia an alternative to the East-​West ideational dichotomies that characterized the Cold War and that are ever more apparent in Sino–​American competition.

10 | The Courteous Power

The FOIP concept’s security and political implications relate to the two elephants in the room—​China and the United States. Foreign policymakers in Japan have had to grapple with the question of how Japan will adjust to China’s burgeoning role in the region and to recent and prospective changes in U.S. policy in the context of widening fissures within ASEAN. The same challenges have led policymakers and scholars to consider whether Japan can continue to operate within the basic parameters of the Fukuda Doctrine and remain “a courteous power” or whether Japan should adopt a substantially different approach to Southeast Asia.41 This volume examines the extent to which Japan’s relations with Southeast Asia have evolved across specific policy domains, before and during the Indo-​Pacific era. While the Abe administration inaugurated a new phase of Japanese foreign policy in many respects, certain ballasts such as an emphasis on economic connectivity and open institutionalism have provided stability. Indeed, a hallmark of Japan’s foreign policy—​and one greatly appreciated by many Southeast Asian officials—​has been moderate adaptation that aligns with the general ASEAN preference for incrementalism. In each period, some elements of Japan’s complex engagement with Southeast Asia have changed, while others have provided strong continuity. The phases of Japanese policy toward Southeast Asia have not been marked by sharp turns, but rather by a gradual process of punctuated evolution. Understanding Japan’s Importance in Southeast Asia

This volume examines the pivotal and distinctive role that Japan has played, and continues to play, in contemporary Southeast Asia. Organized in two parts, it offers conceptual models for understanding Japan’s engagement in the region in the past and present and provides focused case studies to illustrate Japan’s contribution to Southeast Asian politics, security, development, and culture. At the same time, this volume highlights the challenges and constraints that Japan has faced in a region where the legacy of World War II casts a long shadow, where China has risen rapidly, and where American staying power often has been in doubt. Recognizing that Japan’s role has special relevance in the current era, this volume pays close attention to Japan’s recent engagement, examining how the FOIP concept extends and modifies the basic tenets of the Fukuda Doctrine, how Southeast Asian governments and societies have responded, and how

From the Fukuda Doctrine to the FOIP | 11

other forms of engagement have evolved alongside these changes in official interstate relations. Relations on the International Political Plane

Part I of the book focuses on the Japanese government’s bilateral and multilateral engagement with official Southeast Asian counterparts. The five chapters in Part I shed light on Japan’s role in the Southeast Asian regional order, its evolving security posture, and its capacity and inclination to shape ASEAN-​linked institutions and initiatives. Collectively, these chapters help conceptualize Japan’s relations with Southeast Asia. Over the past fifteen years, studies of Southeast Asian responses to the rise of China and adjustments to U.S. policy have spawned a rich theoretical discussion around the concept of “hedging.”42 Scholars also have analyzed Japan’s own strategic behavior vis-​à-​vis China and the United States and related it to the hedging literature.43 However, the strategic role that Japan plays in Southeast Asia remains under-​theorized. If hedging is the key concept for understanding how contemporary Southeast Asian states relate to Beijing and Washington, what is the key concept for understanding how they relate to Tokyo? John Ciorciari argues in Chapter 2 that the answer is “diversification.” Although the U.S.–​Japan alliance has long constrained Japan’s freedom of action in Southeast Asia, the many autonomous aspects of its approach to the region set it up as a key enabler of diversification. While many Southeast Asian states hedge in relation to the United States and China, Ciorciari contends that Japan has been the most critical actor in parallel ASEAN-​wide efforts to diversify. He explains how diversification differs from hedging, offering support for hedging strategies, but also serving as a partial substitute—​most notably by helping Southeast Asian states reduce reliance on the United States. He also discusses the relationship between diversification and the institution-​building strategy that has been central to Japan’s engagement with Southeast Asia.44 Japan’s support for diversification has long been apparent in areas such as trade, investment, and development assistance. Over the past decade, the more proactive and assertive political and military approaches now embedded in the FOIP concept have made Japan a more significant option for security diversification as well.45 Japan’s rising role as a security provider reflects the changing regional environment. Japan’s enhanced contribution to maritime security—​ among the most novel features of Japan’s approach to the region over

12 | The Courteous Power

the past decade—​was prompted primarily by China’s assertive behavior along the vital sea-​lanes of Southeast Asia. More precisely, China’s de facto annexation of disputed territory in the South China Sea in recent years has raised serious security concerns in Tokyo and many Southeast Asian capitals, leading to significant recalibration among Japanese officials and others of Japan’s rightful maritime security role.46 In Chapter 3, Ken Jimbo analyzes past, present and prospective security cooperation between Japan and Southeast Asian partners, including maritime security and capacity building, to highlight these transformations. Security cooperation may be the single most important bellwether regarding Japan’s adherence to the original tenets of the Fukuda Doctrine or shift toward more explicit realist power balancing. Another frontier in Japan’s foreign policy pertains to its institutional strategy for effectuating the Indo-​Pacific vision. Japan has been a seminal actor in supporting the development of strong Asian regional institutions centered around ASEAN, often shaping developments through subtle forms of leadership.47 However, that complex array of multilateral forums is generally strongest at its ASEAN core. Forums with broader membership and geographic scope have struggled to move beyond the “talk-​shop” moniker attached to them by critics. This is true to some extent of the Asia-​Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) forum and even more so for the East Asia Summit and the ASEAN Regional Forum, which has lost luster in the eyes of many Japanese officials once keen to see its establishment.48 The Western reaches of the Indo-​Pacific area—​including South Asia, the Persian Gulf Region, and East Africa—​are neither well connected to the ASEAN-​centered bodies nor home to particularly strong regional institutions of their own. This raises the question of how Japan and ASEAN can work together beyond Southeast Asia—​the subject Kei Koga addresses in Chapter 4. Koga argues that such cooperation is difficult in part due to the “wedge strategies” that major powers have used to deny one another closer ties to ASEAN or to forestall consensus among its member states. He illustrates the argument by examining how Japan helped to shape the East Asia Summit (EAS). When Malaysian and Chinese leaders proposed the EAS, they sought to drive a wedge between ASEAN members and the United States, envisioning the EAS as an extension of ASEAN+3, the Asian-​only forum devised after the Asian Financial Crisis between ASEAN members, China, Japan, and South Korea. Koga shows how Japanese officials campaigned subtly and effectively to support broadening EAS membership to include India, Australia, and New Zealand and thus insert a wedge

From the Fukuda Doctrine to the FOIP | 13

curtailing the scope for Chinese influence. The availability of wedge strategies continues to limit outside powers’ ability to cultivate privileged ties with ASEAN as a group and often frustrates ASEAN members’ ability to forge consensus on issues of concern to major external partners. ASEAN’s institutional clout and capacity to take collective action hinge heavily on whether its members can reach consensus. As Shaun Narine shows in Chapter 5, Japan has long promoted the principle of ASEAN unity, which has been crucial to the Association’s ability to respond collectively to challenges such as the Vietnamese occupation of Cambodia in the 1980s. By contrast, disunity inhibits ASEAN’s ability to act, as it did during the 1997–​98 financial crisis. This presents Japan with an incentive to deal with subsets of ASEAN members in a way that may weaken ASEAN unity. Narine argues that Japan advanced the FOIP concept in part to revise its relationship with ASEAN, as disunity among the Association’s members undermined its ability to address issues of vital interest to Japan—​most notably the South China Sea. However, when faced with ASEAN resistance and the assertion of the ASEAN Outlook on the Indo-​Pacific, Narine finds that Japan reverted to a more traditional posture in support of ASEAN unity. Thus far, Japan’s engagement with ASEAN shows stronger elements of continuity than change in the Indo-​Pacific era. Japan’s rising role in regional security affairs and its impact on the evolution of ASEAN and related regional forums point to the crucial issue of leadership. In Chapter 6, Kalvin Fung explores the extent and style of Japanese leadership in the process of regional institution-​building. He does so by examining three important historical cases—​Japan’s role in the emergence of the ASEAN Regional Forum in the 1990s, in the creation of the EAS, and in the development of the FOIP concept more recently. Fung shows that in each case, Japan was in a favorable position to lead given the convergence of its interests with a number of key ASEAN member states. Japan’s low-​key “courteous” approach in these cases contrasted with more overt bids for influence by China and the United States and helped Japan avoid similar backlash. By leading from behind, Japan was able to help steer ASEAN in directions broadly consonant with its interests. Nevertheless, Fung’s study also shows the limits of Japan’s ability to lead in shaping regional institutions in and around Southeast Asia. Like other external powers, Japan generally has struggled to advance initiatives that meet ASEAN resistance or to persuade ASEAN members to change their preferences on key matters of concern. To some extent, the constraints Japan faces are the products of its own past success. Japan has long invested in ASEAN-​centered regional institutions to prevent other

14 | The Courteous Power

great powers from dominating Southeast Asia, but that investment is also self-​constraining. The Roles of Non-​State Actors: Business, Development, and Culture

Part II of the book concentrates on Japan’s relations with particular Southeast Asian states and communities, emphasizing the roles of key non-​state actors from businesses and non-​governmental organizations (NGOs) to individual Japanese citizens. The five chapters comprising Part II show how non-​state actors function alongside officials and state agencies to shape Japan’s overall engagement with Southeast Asia, particularly in the areas of business, development, and culture. Private business has long provided a central pillar for Japan’s relations with the region. Even before the pronouncement of the Fukuda Doctrine, Japan was a leading provider of FDI and ODA in Southeast Asia, and the primary source in some ASEAN member states. Private investment was a foundation for growth in Southeast Asia and provided critical glue for Japan’s political role in the region, which in turn contributed to surging Japanese development assistance. In Chapter 7, Kitti Prasirtsuk examines how private firms have shaped Japan’s investment and development aid practices in Southeast Asia over time. He argues that business interests remain crucial to Japan’s engagement with Southeast Asia in the FOIP era, but the relationship between Japanese businesses and foreign policy-​makers has evolved. Prasirtsuk shows that the old model of “Japan Inc.,” in which a handful of Japanese conglomerates had outsized influence on Japanese policy toward Southeast Asia, has given way to a more complex give and take between economic and strategic interests. Indeed, recent Japanese economic policy in Southeast Asia has been driven increasingly by strategic considerations at a time when China’s Belt and Road Initiative and leadership of the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank present new challenges to Japan. The strategic turn in Japan’s economic engagement was manifest in the 2015 revision of its ODA charter to support “national interests,” as well as its adoption of the Partnership for Quality Infrastructure and redoubling of support for the Asian Development Bank.49 Security and economic considerations thus have converged in Japan’s formulation of the FOIP concept. In particular, the Abe administration highlighted the need for diversified infrastructure investment and high standards of economic governance throughout the Indo-​Pacific region as China presents an alternative model.

From the Fukuda Doctrine to the FOIP | 15

The rising prominence of security in Japan’s engagement with Southeast Asia has not prevented businesses from impacting key foreign policy decisions where commercial and strategic interests align. This was the case in 2014, when Japanese businesses helped to shape government responses to the Thai military coup. In Chapter 8, Nobuhiro Aizawa demonstrates how leaders from the Japanese Chamber of Commerce (JCC) engaged with senior Thai military officers, the Japanese Embassy, and officials in Tokyo to help manage the delicate relations between Japan and Thailand after the coup. He shows how the JCC advocated for a roadmap to democracy that put heavy emphasis on the preservation of economic stability and how the Japanese government came to adopt a similar line. With the JCC playing an important role, Japan thus steered between its normative commitment to democracy and its interest in finding a modus vivendi with the new Thai military government and facilitating continued business links. Alongside businesses, NGOs have contributed greatly to Japan’s economic and social engagement with Southeast Asia—​particularly in the design and implementation of development programs. ODA has long been a central pillar of Japan’s relations with Southeast Asia. It has focused on advancing mutual economic payoffs, pursuing strategic goals, and promoting sound governance practices linked to democracy and human rights.50 Japan’s aid agencies have pursued these governance aims much more quietly than their Western counterparts and Western-​led international financial institutions and sometimes have been criticized on that basis. However, its low-​key approach also has permitted useful engagement with troubled Southeast Asian regimes at times of Western estrangement. Japan’s model of development assistance is under challenge in the era of the Belt and Road, as China has supplanted Japan as the primary source of development finance in a number of strategically important states. This has prompted a shift in Tokyo toward more strategic use of ODA in a process that André Asplund refers to as “securitization.”51 A related challenge is that China has given illiberal and corrupt governments easier access to development funds with fewer governance strings attached, setting off a potential race to the bottom in aid competition. These challenges raise the questions of how Japan’s current ODA model functions in practice and how it may adapt. Siriporn Wajjwalku tackles this subject in Chapter 9. She analyzes the role of Japanese NGOs in the design and implementation of aid programs in the Mekong—​a sub-​region in which governance challenges and geostrategic competition are acute. As part of that analysis, she discusses the relationships between the Japanese government, Japanese NGOs, and

16 | The Courteous Power

their local civil society partners in recipient Southeast Asian states. She notes that increasingly close proximity to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and other key agencies gives Japanese NGOs helpful access to the policy process and program design, but it tends to undermine their actual or apparent independence.52 This can cut against Japanese NGOs’ interest in fostering deep linkages with local civil society and thus implanting sustainable reforms at the grassroots level.53 Her analysis of civil society in Japan’s overseas development programs represents an understudied and underappreciated factor with great relevance in Southeast Asia, where NGOs are often major governance actors in both service delivery and in advocacy for values such as democracy and human rights.54 Beyond business firms and civil society organizations, students, tourists, visiting professionals, and their families all contribute to the exchange of knowledge, norms, and cultural practices that color Japan’s engagement with Southeast Asia. In Chapter 10, Leng Leng Thang and Mika Toyota explore diverse ways in which Japanese citizens residing in Southeast Asia have engaged with their local communities through channels including formal employment, community service, and intermarriage. They focus in particular on the movement of Japanese women in Southeast Asia since the 1990s. They identify a new wave of Japanese women who have migrated to Southeast Asia outside of the confines of the role that predominated in the past—​that of male expatriates’ wives. These independent female migrants have forged new paths in the workplace, through civic service, in the arts, and through intermarriage with Southeast Asian families. The analysis by Thang and Toyota offers a compelling reminder that while trade, aid, and diplomacy may set structural contexts for interpersonal interaction, the agency of Japanese and Southeast Asian individuals and communities has contributed greatly to the character of the relationship on the ground. The importance of grassroots interactions is also apparent in Karl Cheng Chua’s study of the popularity of Japanese anime/​ manga in Southeast Asia in Chapter 11. Soft power is a commodity much-​studied in Chinese and American relations with Southeast Asia, but Japan’s cultural appeal in the region has gotten less attention. Cheng Chua shows that cultural connections have been a significant source of Japan’s soft power in Southeast Asia alongside its economic development, democratic governance, and other factors. He examines the influence of Japanese popular culture in Southeast Asia and how local actors project their image of Japan in cultural products that may not be authentically Japanese. Regardless of the legitimacy of these cultural products, they have multiplier effects

From the Fukuda Doctrine to the FOIP | 17

on the popularity of Japanese culture and of Japan by extension, which provides Japan with some significant advantage vis-​à-​vis other external powers. Interestingly, he also shows that while the Japanese government has played a part in that process, the primary driving forces have come from non-​state actors, particularly Southeast Asian fans who avidly consume Japanese popular culture. Conclusion

Although studies of Southeast Asia often treat Japan as a second-​tier external actor, this volume shows how pivotal Japan is to the region. It illustrates the many innovative, proactive, and independent aspects of Japan’s engagement across specific policy domains and over time. It also shows how Southeast Asians have responded to the various phases of Japanese engagement, and it highlights the challenges and constraints that Japan has faced. The chapters that follow demonstrate the depth and complexity of Japan’s engagement with Southeast Asia, which blends realist power politics, a long-​term liberal commitment to a rules-​based international order, robust commercial interests, and adherence to Asian cultural norms and values with profound political and societal implications. As a key domain in which Japan has sought leadership, Southeast Asia provides fertile ground for examining Japan’s past, present, and prospective conduct of foreign affairs. The concluding Chapter 12 ties these threads together and offers our argument about the essence of Japan’s engagement with Southeast Asia. Drawing on the ten empirical chapters, we develop our characterization of Japan as “a courteous power.” We explain what that means, what factors led Japan to adopt that approach, and how Japan’s identity as a courteous power may or may not be changing in the Indo-​ Pacific era. NOTES 1. Evelyn Goh, “How Japan Matters in the Evolving East Asian Security Order,” International Affairs 87, no. 4 (2011). 2. Sueo Sudo, Japan’s ASEAN Policy: In Search of Proactive Multilateralism (Singapore: Institute of Southeast Asian Studies, 2015). 3. Indeed, three recent books have provided robust treatment of China’s evolving relations with Southeast Asia. See Donald K. Emmerson, ed., The Deer and the Dragon: Southeast Asia and China in the 21st Century (Stanford, CA: Walter H. Shorenstein Asia-​Pacific Research Center, 2020); Murray Hiebert, Under Beijing’s

18 | The Courteous Power Shadow: Southeast Asia’s China Challenge (Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield, 2020); Sebastian Strangio, In the Dragon’s Shadow: Southeast Asia in the Chinese Century (New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 2020). 4. Elizabeth Becker, “Southeast Asia is Ground Zero in the New U.S.-​ China Conflict—​and Beijing Is Winning,” Foreign Policy, August 29, 2020; Zha Wen, “Southeast Asia Needs Clear Stance Against New Cold War,” Global Times, August 6, 2020. 5. See, e.g., Bhubhindar Singh, “Japan’s Security Policy: From a Peace State to an International State,” Pacific Review 21, no. 3 (2008); Brendan Howe, “Between Normality and Uniqueness: Unwrapping the Enigma of Japanese Security Policy Decision-​ Making,” Modern Asian Studies 44, no. 6 (2010): 1315–​22; See Seng Tan, “Japan and Multilateralism in Asia,” in Navigating Change: ASEAN-​Japan Strategic Partnership in East Asia and in Global Governance, ed. Rizal Sukma and Yoshihide Soeya (Tokyo: Japan Center for International Exchange, 2015); Sudo, Japan’s ASEAN Policy. 6. Hiebert, Under Beijing’s Shadow; Strangio, In the Dragon’s Shadow. See also Jonathan Stromseth, “The Testing Ground: China’s Rising Influence in Southeast Asia and Regional Responses,” Brookings Institution, November 2019, https://​www.​research/​the-​testing-​ground-​chinas-​rising-​influence-​in-​southeast-​asia-​ and-​regional-​responses/​; Charles Dunst, “Battleground Southeast Asia: China’s Rise and America’s Options,” LSE Strategic Update, March 2020, https://​​ideas/​ Assets/​Documents/​updates/​LSE-​IDEAS-​Battleground-​Southeast-​Asia.pdf. 7. Bernard K. Gordon, “Japan, the United States, and Southeast Asia,” Foreign Affairs 56, no. 3 (1978): 582. 8. See Japanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA), “Prime Minister Abe’s Visit to Southeast Asia (Overview & Evaluation), January 18, 2013, https://​​ region/​asia-​paci/​pmv_​1301/​overview.html; MOFA, “Prime Minister Suga Visits Viet Nam and Indonesia,” October 20, 2020, https://​​a_​o/​na1/​page3e_​ 001069.html. 9. See Yoshihide Soeya, “What the Biden-​Suga summit means for the region,” East Asia Forum, April 23, 2021, https://​​2021/​04/​23/​what-​the-​ biden-​suga-​summit-​means-​for-​the-​region/​. 10. Christopher W. Hughes, “Japan’s ‘Resentful Realism’ and Balancing China’s Rise,” The Chinese Journal of International Politics 9, no. 2 (2016): 109–​50; Giulio Pugliese and Alessio Patalano, “Diplomatic and Security Practice under Abe Shinzo: The Case for Realpolitik Japan,” Australian Journal of International Affairs 74, no. 6 (2020); Andrew L. Oros, Japan’s Security Renaissance: New Policies and Politics for the Twenty-​First Century (New York: Columbia University Press, 2017), ­chapter 5. 11. Corey Wallace, “Japan’s Strategic Contrast: Continuing Influence Despite Relative Power Decline in Southeast Asia,” Pacific Review 32, no. 5 (2019): 871. 12. Shaun Narine, The New ASEAN in Asia-​Pacific and Beyond (Boulder, CO: Lynne Rienner, 2018), 210. 13. John K. Emmerson, Arms, Yen and Power: The Japanese Dilemma (New York: Dunellen, 1971), 303–​306; Yoshihide Soeya and Robert D. Eldridge, “The 1970s: Stresses on the Relationship,” in The History of Japan-​U.S. Relations: From Perry to the Present, ed. Makoto Iokibe (New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2017), 177–​78 and 188. 14. Speech by Japanese Prime Minister Takeo Fukuda, Manila, August 18, 1977, available at https://​​documents/​texts/​docs/​19770818.S1E.html (accessed May 4, 2021).

From the Fukuda Doctrine to the FOIP | 19 15. Sueo Sudo, “From Fukuda to Takeshita: A Decade of Japan-​ASEAN Relations,” Contemporary Southeast Asia 10, no. 2 (1988): 134. 16. Gordon, “Japan,” 583. 17. Gordon, “Japan,” 580. 18. Narine, The New ASEAN, 216–​17. 19. Singh, “Japan’s Security Policy,” 308–​17. 20. Kitti Prasirtsuk, “Japan’s vision of an East Asian Community: A perspective from Thailand,” Japanese Studies 26, no. 2 (2006): 222–​24. 21. Takashi Inoguchi, “Japan’s Foreign Policy Line After the Cold War,” in The Troubled Triangle: Economic and Security Concerns for the United States, Japan and China, eds. Takashi Inoguchi and G. John Ikenberry (Palgrave Macmillan, 2013). 22. Michael J. Green, “The US-​Japan Alliance: A Brief Strategic History,” Education about Asia 12, no. 3 (2007): 28. 23. Japanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA), “Objectives and Priorities of Japan’s Foreign Policy,” in Diplomacy Bluebook (Tokyo: MOFA, 1991), section 2(1)–​(4). 24. John D. Ciorciari, “Chiang Mai Initiative Multilateralization: International Politics and Institution-​Building in Asia,” Asian Survey 51, no. 5 (2011). 25. Sudo, Japan’s ASEAN Policy. 26. See Michael J. Green, Japan’s Reluctant Realism: Foreign Policy Challenges in an Era of Uncertain Power (New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2001). 27. MOFA, “Objectives and Priorities,” section 2(3). 28. Fumitaka Furuoka, “Challenges for Japanese Diplomacy After the End of the Cold War,” Contemporary Southeast Asia 24, no. 1 (2002). 29. See, e.g., Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi, “Japan and ASEAN in East Asia: A Sincere and Open Partnership,” Speech in Singapore, January 14, 2002, available at https://​​region/​asia-​paci/​pmv0201/​speech.html (accessed May 4, 2021). 30. “A ‘Koizumi Doctrine’ for Asia,” Japan Times, January 16, 2002. 31. Taro Aso, Japanese Minister of Foreign Affairs, “On the ‘Arc of Freedom and Prosperity,’ ” Address on the Occasion of the 20th Anniversary of the Founding of the Japan Forum on International Relations, Tokyo, March 12, 2007, available at https://​​policy/​pillar/​address0703.html (accessed May 4, 2021). 32. Tomohiko Taniguchi, “Beyond the ‘Arc of Freedom and Prosperity’: Debating Universal Values in Japanese Grand Strategy,” Asia Paper Series 2010 (Washington, DC: German Marshall Fund of the United States, 2010), 1–​3. 33. Lam Peng Er, “The Fukuda Doctrine: Origins, Ideas, and Praxis,” in Japan’s Relations with Southeast Asia: The Fukuda Doctrine and Beyond, ed. Lam Peng Er (London: Routledge, 2013), 10. 34. Sudo, Japan’s ASEAN Policy, 237–​39. 35. Japanese Prime Minister’s Office, “The Bounty of the Open Seas: Five New Principles for Japanese Diplomacy,” January 18, 2013, available at http://​www.kantei.​jp/​pages/​jan18speech.html (accessed May 4, 2021). See also Corey Wallace, “Japan’s Strategic Pivot South: Diversifying the Dual Hedge,” International Relations of the Asia-​Pacific 13, no. 3 (2013): 504–​506. 36. See David Arase, “Japan’s Strategic Balancing Act in Southeast Asia,” ISEAS Perspective no. 94 (2019): 3–​6. 37. Shinzo Abe, “Peace and Prosperity in Asia, Forevermore,” Keynote Address at the 13th IISS Asian Security Summit—​Shangri-​La Dialogue, Singapore, May 30,

20 | The Courteous Power 2014, available at https://​​fp/​nsp/​page4e_​000086.html (accessed May 4, 2021). 38. See Shinzo Abe, Address at the Opening Session of the Sixth Tokyo International Conference on African Development, Nairobi, August 27, 2016, available at https://​​afr/​af2/​page4e_​000496.html (accessed May 4, 2021). 39. Ian Storey, “Japan’s Maritime Security Interests in Southeast Asia and the South China Sea Dispute,” Political Science 65, no. 2 (2013): 138–​139. 40. Hiro Katsumata, “Why Does Japan Downplay Human Rights in Southeast Asia?” International Relations of the Asia-​Pacific 6, no. 2 (2006). 41. Kei Koga, “Transcending the Fukuda Doctrine: Japan, ASEAN, and the Future of Regional Order,” Center for Strategic and International Studies, 2017, https://​www.​transcending-​the-​fukuda-​doctrine-​japan-​asean-​the-​future-​of-​the-​asian-​ order/​; Bhubhindar Singh, “Japan-​ASEAN Relations: Challenges, Impact, and Strategic Options,” in ASEAN at 50: A Look at Its External Relations (Singapore: Konrad Adenauer Stiftung, 2017); Michael K. Connors, “Between a Doctrine and a Hard Place: Japan’s Emerging Role,” in The New Global Politics of the Asia-​Pacific: Conflict and Cooperation in the Asian Century, 3rd edition, eds. Michael K. Connors, Rémy Davison, and Jörn Dosch (Abingdon: Routledge, 2017). 42. For a thorough review and critique of the hedging literature on Southeast Asia, see Jürgen Haacke, “The Concept of Hedging and Its Application to Southeast Asia: A Critique and a Proposal for a Modified Conceptual and Methodological Framework,” International Relations of the Asia-​Pacific 19, no. 3 (2019). 43. See, e.g., Kei Koga, “The Concept of ‘Hedging’ Revisited: The Case of Japan’s Foreign Policy Strategy in East Asia’s Power Shift,” International Studies Review 20 (2018); Adam Liff, “Unambivalent Alignment: Japan’s China Strategy, the U.S. Alliance, and the ‘Hedging’ Fallacy,” International Relations of the Asia-​Pacific 19, no. 3 (2019). 44. John D. Ciorciari, “Japan as Southeast Asia’s Key Diversifier,” in this volume. 45. See Nobuhiro Aizawa, “Japan’s Strategy toward Southeast Asia and the Japan-​U.S. Alliance,” in Strategic Japan: New Approaches to Foreign Policy and the U.S.-​Japan Alliance, eds. Michael J. Green and Zack Cooper (Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield, 2015). 46. See Ken Jimbo, “Japan Should Build ASEAN’s Security Capacity,” AJISS-​ Commentary (The Association of Japanese Institutes of Strategic Studies, 2012); Storey, “Japan’s Maritime Security Interests”; H.D.P. Envall, “The ‘Abe Doctrine’: Japan’s New Regional Realism,” International Relations of the Asia-​Pacific 20, no. 1 (2020). 47. See Tan, “Japan and Multilateralism,” 62–​69. 48. Takeshi Yuzawa, “Japan’s Changing Conception of the ASEAN Regional Forum: from an Optimistic Liberal to a Pessimistic Realist Perspective,” Pacific Review 18, no. 4 (2006). 49. Hidetaka Yoshimatsu, “New Dynamics in Sino-​ Japanese Rivalry: Sustaining Infrastructure Development in Asia,” Journal of Contemporary China 27, no. 113 (2018): 722–​ 25; Japanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs, “Cabinet Decision on the Development Cooperation Charter” (February 10, 2015), available at https://​www.​files/​000067701.pdf (accessed May 4, 2021). 50. Japanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Japan’s ODA White Paper, Part 1: The Revision of the “ODA Charter” and Japan’s New Approach (Tokyo: MOFA, 2003). 51. André Asplund, “Aligning Policy with Practice: Japanese ODA and Normative Values,” in Japanese Development Cooperation: The Making of an Aid Architecture Pivoting to Asia, eds. André Asplund and Marie Soderberg (London: Routledge, 2016).

From the Fukuda Doctrine to the FOIP | 21 52. See Frank J. Schwartz and Susan J. Pharr, The State of Civil Society in Japan (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2006). 53. Siriporn Wajjwalku, “Japan’s NGOs and Development Effectiveness in Mekong countries,” in this volume. 54. Takeshi Yuzawa, “ASEAN-​Japan Cooperation on Democracy and Human Rights Promotion: Challenges and Opportunities,” in Beyond 2015: ASEAN-​Japan Strategic Partnership for Democracy, Peace and Prosperity in Southeast Asia, eds. Rizal Sukma and Yoshihide Soeya (Tokyo: Japan Center for International Exchange, 2013).

Part I  |  R  elations on the International Political Plane

2  |  J apan as the Key to Southeast Asian Diversification John D. Ciorciari

In recent years, numerous studies have analyzed and depicted Southeast Asian relations with major external powers. Many have focused on the triangular relationships between the members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), China, and the United States. International relations scholars have developed concepts such as “hedging” and “limited alignment” as useful antidotes to the strictures of the traditional realist dichotomy of balancing and bandwagoning.1 Scholars also have examined the development of regional institutions and norms designed to enmesh and socialize external giants operating in Southeast Asia.2 These concepts have been embedded in larger studies that aim to explain and understand the nature of the evolving regional order—​its hierarchical elements, its competitive dynamics, its role in identity formation, and its behavioral norms.3 Most contemporary analyses of the international relations of Southeast Asia have drawn attention to the importance of Chinese and American “poles” in shaping individual state behavior, challenging or constraining ASEAN, and defining the larger regional order. Viewing Southeast Asia through this prism tends to downplay the crucial role of Japan, emphasizing its significance as a U.S. treaty ally more than its autonomous impact on the region. However, Japan has long been much more than an American sidekick in Southeast Asia—​a fact that is no secret to those who have studied the subject in depth.4 Indeed, since the end of World War II, Japan arguably has been more proactive, innovative, and autonomous in the ASEAN region than in any other geographic domain. Japan’s initiatives to provide development assistance, construct regional supply 25

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chains, help to launch multilateral forums, and support human security cooperation are examples of areas in which it has contributed profoundly to the shape of the regional order. The autonomous elements of Japan’s approach to Southeast Asia do not negate the importance of Sino–​American competition or the U.S.–​ Japan alliance, but they contribute vitally to the three-​dimensional character of international politics in the region. That prompts the questions of how best to capture Japan’s distinct role conceptually and how best to explain it theoretically. This chapter argues that Japan has emerged as the prime external actor enabling ASEAN members to pursue diversification strategies—​a core component of each Southeast Asian government’s foreign policy. Diversification is not the same as hedging, nor is it equivalent to multilateralism or enmeshment, but it is closely related and is no less central to the international politics of Southeast Asia and the resulting regional order. For Southeast Asian governments, cultivating a favorable balance of external influence is more complex than putting equal weight on each side of a two-​pan scale—​the metaphor that comes readily to mind when one conceives of the region as a locus for Sino–​American competition. A better analogy would be to a large serving tray. Too much weight on one side makes the tray topple over, but arranging the mass around two opposite poles is also somewhat unstable. The most favorable distribution spreads the weight around, which essentially amounts to diversification. In that schema, Japan’s role is crucial. By giving Southeast Asian governments the capacity to diversify in multiple dimensions—​economically, diplomatically, and to some extent in security affairs—​Japan is a key to preserving ASEAN’s central position in the regional order. As Evelyn Goh argues, Japan’s strategic orientation will have a crucial effect on the extent to which a Sino-​centric order emerges after a prolonged period of U.S. primacy that Japan actively abetted. In that regard, Japan is “the major variable in the ongoing East Asian order transition.”5 Its engagement helps ASEAN members address China’s surging influence, the dangers of retrenchment or domineering behavior by the United States, and broader risks emanating from global markets, climate change, transnational crime, and other sources. Japan is thus key to Southeast Asian achievement of long-​standing aims of building resilience, prolonging “ASEAN centrality,” and preventing any outside power from ruling the region. The extent to which Japan facilitates diversification varies across domains. In the economic domain, Japan has long been a major player in

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Southeast Asia, exercising substantial autonomy. Once a dominant source of external trade and investment, Japan continues to occupy a crucial role in Southeast Asian economies alongside China, the United States, and the European Union, among others. In the arena of multilateral diplomacy, Japan arguably has been the external actor most instrumental in developing regional forums through which ASEAN members can diversify their ties. Japan also has begun to provide opportunities for Southeast Asian states to diversify in security affairs as its domestic restraints on defense operations have loosened, largely in response to waxing Chinese military power. The concept of a “Free and Open Indo-​Pacific” (FOIP)—​pioneered by former Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and endorsed by his successor, incumbent Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga—​has both enhanced and limited Japan’s role as a diversifier. Abe’s push to expand Japan’s independent defense activity contributed to Japan’s ability to offer limited security support to ASEAN members outside of the framework of the U.S.–​Japan alliance. At the same time, Abe’s initial adoption of a more confrontational stance toward China and emphasis on strategic partnerships posed challenges to ASEAN’s efforts to occupy a diplomatic middle ground and emphasize multilateral solutions. Although Japan and China since have taken steps to mend fences, the FOIP concept’s implicit emphasis on countering Chinese power has contributed to repolarization in the region, making it more difficult in some respects to diversify. This chapter begins by discussing the character and importance of diversification strategies and then discusses Japan’s role in Southeast Asian diversification, beginning with areas of longstanding strength and then considering the new frontier of maritime security. The chapter ends with brief reflections on the implications for regional order. The Relevance of Diversification

The literature on international relations is replete with references to diversification by Southeast Asian states and many others.6 Diversifying external relations is widely understood to be a basic principle of sound diplomacy, and perhaps for that reason the merits of the practice are often treated as self-​evident, and the concept remains under-​theorized. This is a particular shortcoming of the growing literature on hedging in international politics. The concept of hedging is central to contemporary scholarly accounts of contemporary Southeast Asia, typically denoting

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an alternative to balancing or bandwagoning, which in turn are normally conceived as efforts to resist or accommodate a major external actor perceived as an immediate or potential future security threat.7 Diversification is often mentioned, explicitly or obliquely, but is seldom distinguished adequately from hedging and is sometimes conflated, obscuring its distinct strategic logic. Distinguishing Hedging and Diversification

Hedging and diversification have similar aims and often go together, but they should not be equated. In financial markets, hedging typically connotes addressing risk through protective options. Investors worried that the value of their gold will plunge can procure options to sell their gold later at today’s price. Diversification is different: it implies holding some gold, some silver and some copper to spread the risk. Similarly, hedging in international relations generally refers to addressing security-​ related risks,8 and it is usually considered to have an oppositional quality. For small states and middle powers operating amid great-​power rivalry, hedging is a risk management strategy that entails avoiding decisive alignment with either rival power while pursuing enough cooperation with one or both sides to provide a protective option if a potential threat materializes.9 This is what Evelyn Goh aptly calls “triangular hedging.”10 Diversification implies going outside of the triangle to spread risk, lower dependency on either great power, and reduce the likelihood of domination by any single outside actor. Some scholars treat diversification as a component of broader hedging strategies. Cheng-​ Chwee Kuik identifies economic diversification as one of the key “risk-​contingency options” embedded in a hedging strategy.11 Van Jackson argues that states operating within complex networks hedge in part through “diversification of cooperative relationships.”12 Others have equated diversification and hedging. For example, Alexander Korolev describes hedging as an “insurance policy” whereby states “manage potential economic and political risks by means of diversification.”13 Further studies present diversification as equivalent to hedging in the foreign policies of individual states such as Thailand and the Philippines,14 Vietnam,15 and Japan.16 Conflating the concepts is problematic, however. Hedging and diversification differ in important ways, and treating them as synonymous suggests that even states engaged in unambiguous balancing can simultaneously be hedging. This may be true in the everyday sense of the

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term—​where hedging is simply shorthand for measures taken to reduce risk—​but it stretches the concept well beyond the more specific meaning it has come to possess in the international relations literature, which generally treats hedging and balancing as clearly distinct forms of behavior. Hedging and diversification do often coincide. Just as an investor can address a risk both by spreading assets and buying a countervailing option, a state can manage an identified security risk both by forging multiple partnerships and cultivating a more targeted protective option. This is the modal behavior in Southeast Asia. One benefit of hedging rather than balancing against a potentially threatening state is that a hedging posture tends to leave more room to diversify; stalwart balancing can close doors to commerce and diplomacy.17 Nevertheless, hedging and diversification do not always go together. A state can engage in triangular hedging without meaningful diversification. For example, Suharto’s Indonesia leaned toward the United States to hedge against risks from China without diversifying its ties much in the security domain. For a brief period in the 1990s, after the departure of U.S. forces from Subic Bay and Clark Air Field, the Philippines also allowed its U.S. alliance to wane and experimented with an approach that amounted to triangular hedging without much diversification. It is also possible to diversify without hedging. Even tightly aligned states such as Japan and South Korea have looked to diversify to manage the inherent alliance risk of abandonment by the United States, for example.18 In fact, Japan’s expanding strategic ties to Southeast Asia have been a core component of its own diversification strategy.19 States that lack a viable protective option may also seek to diversify as an alternative to triangular hedging, rather than a complement. This was the posture of Vietnam in the early post-​Cold War period, before warmer ties with the United States offered a viable triangular hedging option vis-​à-​vis China as well.20 A further difference is that hedging and diversification do not necessarily address the same range of risks. When used as a term of art in international relations, hedging normally refers to measures to manage security-​related risks related to conflict or fallout with major powers.21 Diversification can help address such contingencies, as it provides protection against abandonment by any single partner.22 However, it is also widely understood as a means to mitigate exposure to a wider array of risks extending well beyond the interstate security sphere, such as economic contractions, diplomatic rifts, energy shortfalls, domestic political crises, or disasters requiring substantial foreign aid. Southeast Asian

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states generally have sought to combine hedging and diversification strategies, but this is only possible when suitable partners are available for both purposes. This is where Japan has been pivotal. The Merits of Diversifying

Whether ASEAN members have pursued triangular hedging strategies or adopted other security strategies such as balancing, all ten ASEAN governments have sought to diversify. For several Southeast Asian states, diversification has been a means to buttress triangular hedging mechanisms. Malaysia and Indonesia have used limited security cooperation with the United States as a means to hedge against a potential Chinese threat while leaving room to engage with Beijing and diversifying to lessen their exposure to domination by either great power. ASEAN members with deeper security ties to Washington, including formal allies in Bangkok and Manila and robust strategic partners in Singapore, also have sought to diversify. The same is true of Vietnam, both during its period of relative international isolation and in the current era, when some analysts consider it to be balancing rather than hedging against China. Myanmar, Cambodia and Laos likewise have endeavored to diversify, though none possesses sufficient security links to the United States to cultivate a strong triangular hedge. Diversification has multiple benefits. Importantly for the middle powers and small states of Southeast Asia, diversification is a common way to avoid dependency and thus to preserve or pursue policy autonomy.23 It also promotes a complex web of connectivity that fosters interdependence and engages a range of external actors in the regional community. A web of ties to diverse partners can contribute to the frame of bilateral relations upon which multilateral institutions are built. Those institutions then offer regular opportunities to diversify further by engaging regularly with existing or potential partners of many stripes. Diversification thus goes hand in hand with the pursuit of an inclusive regional order and open institutional framework. However, as Van Jackson argues, diversification strategies are not only driven by “a logic of embracing inclusiveness”—​they are also about “mitigating downside risk.”24 In some ways, diversification supports and buttresses hedging strategies. For example, security ties to multiple friendly partners can strengthen a protective option if those partners reasonably can be expected to act in concert against the source

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of a potential security threat. This is one way in which the U.S.–​Japan alliance is relevant to Southeast Asian hedging strategies. Should the United States move to support a partner in need, Japan may reasonably be expected to do the same. To the extent that external partners’ policies and expected behavior align, diversification and hedging strategies converge, and added partners simply augment the expected payoff of a protective option. Diversification can also help address risk by reducing a state’s reliance on triangular hedging strategies. First, diversification reduces the danger of undue dependency on a potentially menacing foreign power. A state that relies overwhelmingly on a single outside actor for trade and investment is highly vulnerable to domination, for example, while diversifying commerce and sources of capital provide added leverage and autonomy. To the extent that diversification projects inclusiveness and facilitates stronger regional norms and institutions, it may also contribute to a less threating security environment. Diversifying may therefore reduce the need to hedge. Moreover, diversification may carry a lower political cost than hedging, as the latter suggests a more pointed perception of a potential threat. Where it is possible to manage perceived risks adequately through diversification without reliance on an oppositional arrangement vis-​à-​vis a potentially threatening foreign power, a government is likely to choose that path. Diversification is premised on the assumption that a state’s foreign partners will not move in lockstep. If one partner takes an unwanted turn in policy, experiences an economic contraction, or falls into domestic political disarray, another can help cushion the shock. In other words, diversification does not amount to a strategy of seeking multiple partners with closely congruent interests and policy preferences. It means cultivating an array of options, some of which may be available even when others fail. If Japan were to operate like an appendage of the United States, Southeast Asian cooperation with Tokyo would not achieve diversification. Japan would simply serve as a supplement to a balancing or hedging strategy involving the United States. In some policy domains, this is a reasonable portrayal of the state of play. For example, Japan helps in various ways to support U.S. naval power projection in and around Southeast Asia but does not conduct substantial independent blue-​water naval activities in the region. In most other areas, where Japan exercises more autonomy and Japanese and U.S. policies diverge to a greater

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extent, Japan gives ASEAN members an opportunity to diversify. Trade, development assistance, and multilateral diplomatic engagement are all cases in point. Shaun Narine rightly notes that ASEAN members generally regard Japan as “a necessary and valued economic and security counterweight to the rise of China.”25 The argument in this chapter highlights Japan’s utility to ASEAN members as a counterweight both to China and the United States. Nobuhiro Aizawa captures this basic logic by arguing, “Japan’s role and its importance is that it can offer a low-​risk hedge that prevents Southeast Asian countries from being drawn into a zero-​ sum game between the United States and China.”26 Japan gives Southeast Asian partners an option to exercise should China assert itself militarily or use its burgeoning economic influence to compromise ASEAN states’ autonomy. The same option helps address the risks that the United States will pull back significantly from the region or press Southeast Asian governments to adopt policies they disfavor. Japan’s Facilitation of Southeast Asian Diversification

Diversification is a core strategy embraced to varying extents by all ten ASEAN member states to preserve leverage and flexibility and minimize the scope for overreach by any external power. Although Japan has not had a stated policy of facilitating Southeast Asian diversification, its effort to give ASEAN members multiple choices has been readily apparent in several areas. Japan has been a stable source of overseas development assistance (ODA) to Southeast Asian governments, including those ostracized by the West and thus subject to heavy Chinese influence. It has been a major partner for Southeast Asian trade and investment, both bilaterally and through regional initiatives such as the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-​Pacific Partnership (CPTPP). Japan has led the development of regional economic vehicles, in part to give Asian governments options beyond U.S.-​led institutions such as the International Monetary Fund (IMF), and has helped develop new regional diplomatic forums such as the East Asia Summit that offer further opportunities for Asian states to diversify their foreign policies. Importantly, Japan has done so with enough autonomy to present an alternative, and not simply a supplement, to the public goods provided by its American ally. More recently, Japan has emerged as a more significant provider of maritime security assistance as well.

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Aid Diversification

Japanese ODA was a major facet of its re-​engagement in Southeast Asia after the World War II. Japan initially focused on developing Southeast Asian markets for Japanese exports but increasingly emphasized inclusive development, partly in response to the regional frustrations that crystallized in the 1974 Tanaka riots. Japan continues to be the largest bilateral ODA provider to many ASEAN states, including Vietnam, Indonesia, the Philippines, Myanmar, and Thailand.27 Japan’s central position at the Asian Development Bank (ADB) in Manila, where, by tradition, the president has always been Japanese and where Japan and the United States have a commanding presence on the governing board, add to its clout in the regional development space. In an era of surging Chinese aid and investment and stagnating U.S. and European roles in regional development, Japan is the key to Southeast Asian aid diversification. Japan has long exhibited a high degree of autonomy in its aid provision in Southeast Asia, and Japanese ODA flows have not tracked U.S. and European flows neatly. In contrast to the United States and some European donors, Japanese ODA generally eschews explicit governance and policy conditionality, following a less hierarchical model of “demand-​based” assistance that emphasizes the recipient’s autonomy.28 Southeast Asian governments generally welcome this approach, which is an important aspect of Japan’s appeal as a “courteous power.” The U.S. government often has been among the first to withhold aid from ASEAN members on governance grounds. U.S. sanctions have curtailed aid to Cambodia and Myanmar on multiple occasions, and at times Thailand and other ASEAN members have had U.S. aid programs suspended or called into question. Although U.S.-​led international opprobrium often comes in response to clear violations of human rights and may thus be justified, it has contributed to the general sense of high uncertainty about U.S. reliability and consistency in Southeast Asia.29 Tokyo has been a more reliable source of aid for ASEAN members ostracized by the West for governance failures—​sometimes causing strains between Tokyo and Washington, as in the case of Myanmar.30 In general, when U.S. aid and investment have retracted, Japanese flows have remained more constant.31 This exemplifies the strategic logic of diversification. That pattern has continued in the FOIP era, despite Abe’s initial rhetorical emphasis on democracy promotion. In 2013, as anti-​democratic practices in Cambodia soured its relations with the West, the Hun Sen government welcomed a strategic partnership with Japan. Fallout with

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the United States and European Union has contributed to rising fears in Phnom Penh about undue Chinese influence and limited Cambodian negotiating leverage.32 In that context, Japan has offered a crucial option to diversify.33 The same was true in Thailand after the 2014 coup, when Japan issued a statement of regret and pressed for a roadmap to democracy but signaled reassurance to the governing junta by voicing respect for Thai sovereignty.34 In Myanmar, Japan likewise has offered comfort to the incumbent authorities amid the Rohingya crisis, abstaining from a UN General Assembly resolution on the matter and supporting the Myanmar government’s favored Commission of Enquiry.35 In each instance, human rights advocates have criticized Japanese officials for failing to advance core democratic values and basic rights.36 For the embattled Southeast Asian regimes in question, however, Japan’s accommodative responses communicated stability that has made it an attractive, low-​risk partner ideally suited for an aid diversification strategy. Japan has remained the largest bilateral provider of ODA to most Southeast Asian states during the Indo-​ Pacific era, in addition to its indirect contribution through the ADB and other channels (see Figure 2.1).

Fig. 2.1. Diversified ODA in Southeast Asia. Share of ODA received in 2010–​18 from key donors. Data from the OECD Creditor Reporting System, https://​​Index.aspx? DataSetCode=crs1 (accessed May 4, 2021)

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These figures notably omit China, which does not report official ODA statistics and provides development loans that are not easily subject to an apple-​to-​apple comparison. However, the best available data suggest that Chinese development lending outstripped ODA from 2010–​14 in several Southeast Asian countries, including Laos (in which Chinese lending amounted to 464% the volume of total ODA), Cambodia and Malaysia (175% each), and Indonesia (104%).37 China is also a sizable player in Myanmar and Vietnam, and its development lending role across the region has only grown in recent years. In this context, Japan’s role is not only as a source of diversification to reduce reliance on Western ODA, but also to diversify away from Chinese forms of assistance. Trade and Investment Diversification

For decades, Japan has been a crucial factor in Southeast Asian trade and investment. For many years, Japan was the primary extra-​regional economic partner for a number of ASEAN member states. In that context, economic diversification sometimes meant shifting away from Japan toward China and other emerging markets. More recently, as China has vaulted ahead to become Southeast Asia’s primary source of trade and development finance, Japan has been crucial to ASEAN’s effort to remain economically diversified. Japan’s various forms of economic engagement in the region have helped ASEAN members retain the flexibility, negotiating leverage, and security that flow from possessing multiple viable options. In the Cold War era, Southeast Asian states looked to Japan largely to diversify away from exports to the United States and other Western markets—​particularly in the late 1980s, when Japan was seen as a means to replace the United States as an engine for growth.38 In some markets, Japan emerged as the leading (if not dominant) trading partner. More recently, China has risen rapidly. A decade ago, China’s annual bilateral trade with ASEAN was roughly $200 billion, on par with that of Japan and the United States. By 2019, China accounted for roughly $508 billion in two-​way merchandise trade—​nearly as much as Japan ($226 billion) and the United States ($295 billion) combined.39 Within a decade, China became the top trading partner for nearly all ten ASEAN states, but Japan continues to play a major diversifying role (see Figure 2.2).

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Fig. 2.2. Diversified trade in Southeast Asia. Share of total annual two-​way trade. Data from Asian Development Bank, ADB Key Indicators 2020 (Manila: ADB, 2020)

Most Southeast Asian states are still reasonably well diversified, trading robustly with neighbors and with extra-​regional partners, but there is clear awareness that the pace and scale of China’s ascent poses a challenge. China’s share of ASEAN’s external merchandise trade grew from 16 percent in 2010 to 23 percent by the end of the decade.40 Singaporean Ambassador-​at-​Large Tommy Koh thus chided Japan publicly in early 2019 for having “lost so much ground” in ASEAN trade to Beijing and describing Japan’s reinvestment as crucial if Japan sought “to reduce dependence on China.”41 In that context, Japan’s leadership in the partial reconstitution of the Trans-​Pacific Partnership (TPP) was significant for Southeast Asia’s economic diversification. Shortly after President Trump announced the U.S. withdrawal from the TPP in January 2017, Japan took the lead in reassembling the other TPP participants and forging agreement on

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the revised CPTPP in 2018.42 With four Southeast Asian participants—​ Malaysia, Singapore, Vietnam, and Brunei—​the CPTPP covers roughly half of Japan’s trade in Southeast Asia. While it is unlikely to reverse the trend of waxing regional trade with China, the CPTPP does establish a framework that could spur additional trade among participants and draw others into the fold, potentially including the United States. Perhaps more importantly, the CPTPP’s passage reaffirmed Japan’s willingness to provide an economic counterweight to China, even when doing so required acting independently from the United States. Despite Japanese invitations, the Biden administration did not seek to rejoin the CPTPP promptly upon arriving in office. Japan may thus have to continue exercising leadership in this area as China moves toward a potentially dominant position in trade. Japan retains a stronger relative role in foreign direct investment (FDI), partly due to its legacy of engagement and large stock of historical investment in the ASEAN region. After the 1985 Plaza Accord, a surge of Japanese investment created the basis for strong economic integration between several Southeast Asian markets and Japan, typically through integrated production networks—​often for exports bound for the United States. Japan became the top external source of FDI in the ASEAN region. In some markets, such as Thailand and Myanmar, Japan was a dominant FDI provider. In the major maritime ASEAN markets, Japan accounted for one of three roughly comparable pillars of external investment alongside the European Union countries and the United States. More recently, China has emerged as a fourth major contributor in Malaysia, the Philippines, Indonesia, and to a lesser extent in Thailand, but Japan retains a much larger stock of FDI in Southeast Asia than China, and in none of the major ASEAN markets has China come to predominate. All of those states remain highly diversified with respect to both the stock and flow of FDI (see Figure 2.3). Investment diversification is now under stress in Myanmar, Laos, and Cambodia, however. In each of those states, new Chinese investment has outstripped that of the Western states in recent years. Southeast Asian neighbors such as Thailand and Singapore continue to play major investment roles in all three states, but extra-​regional investment is imbalanced in ways that have obvious implications for political influence and the evolution of the regional order. In this context, the role of Japan (and India and South Korea) is particularly important. As Nobuhiro Aizawa argues, “Southeast Asia’s priority is to keep diversification feasible.”43 This means preventing China or any other power from

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Fig. 2.3. Diversified FDI in Southeast Asia. Share of country’s FDI inward flows in 2009–​18 from key investors.

Data from ASEAN, ASEAN Statistical Yearbook 2019 (Jakarta: ASEAN Secretariat, 2019), 127–​44

becoming so preponderant that ASEAN members lose the practical capacity to diversify. The same principle applies to infrastructure finance. China has invested large sums in Southeast Asia through its Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) and leadership of the new Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB)—​a venture Japan initially opposed. Recent Chinese loans have supported a dam in Borneo worth nearly $18 billion, a Malaysian rail project valued at $8 billion, road and rail projects in Java totaling more than $7.5 billion, and a $2 billion Lao dam project, among many others.44 As part of the Free and Open Indo-​Pacific agenda, Japan has refocused on infrastructure and sought to offer an alternative to Chinese lending through the BRI.45 The Abe administration launched a Partnership for Quality Infrastructure program precisely to enable diversification by

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giving prospective recipients multiple options for infrastructure finance and thereby to improve their bargaining language. In promoting quality infrastructure and seeking to counterbalance China in the development sphere, Japan shares common cause with the United States, World Bank, ADB and others. Yet Japanese funds are the crucial ingredient. The U.S. government passed the BUILD Act in 2018, committing to $60 billion in development finance worldwide, but only a small share will likely go to infrastructure in Southeast Asia. Between 2015 and 2017, Japan committed $13 billion to transport and energy infrastructure in the ASEAN region. No Western donor reached $1 billion in the same period.46 The ADB and World Bank also have dedicated fewer of their resources to infrastructure over time. By 2019, Japan was the only serious rival to China in Southeast Asian infrastructure finance. In fact, one study found that Japan had a greater share of the infrastructure lending market than China, with $367 billion compared to China’s $255 billion invested in the sector, headlined by Japan’s support for the $58 billion high-​speed rail between Hanoi and Ho Chih Minh City.47 Looking forward, Japan is indisputably the key to Southeast Asian efforts to maintaining multiple options in infrastructure finance. Diversifying through Multilateral Diplomacy

Japan has shown resolve in supporting ASEAN institution-​ building initiatives and resilience in pressing forward with certain of its own regional initiatives. These have helped Southeast Asian governments diversify in a few senses: by giving them more international institutional options, including forums not led by the United States, and opening channels to build a wider array of bilateral relationships. In 1991, Japanese Foreign Minister Taro Nakayama launched a proposal to use the ASEAN Post-​Ministerial Conference for a multilateral political dialogue. U.S. officials moved to derail the proposal, seeing it as a threat to the hub-​and-​spokes system of bilateral alliances connecting the United States to its Asian allies, which had defined the Asia-​Pacific security order for decades. Japan pressed forward, however, and ultimately was instrumental in the establishment of the ASEAN Regional Forum (ARF) in 1994.48 In this and other instances, Japan helped create the diplomatic space for an institutional alternative to the largely bilateral U.S.-​led framework. Southeast Asian governments subscribed, partly as a means to diversify their channels for diplomatic engagement. While hardly a

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panacea for regional security, the ARF has given its member states useful means to engage in regular structured dialogue on issues of concern.49 Japan was also a crucial actor in the formation of the East Asia Summit (EAS) in 2005. The establishment of the EAS, initially without the United States, represented an effort to diversify to ease reliance on the U.S.-​ centric security framework. Japan has seen the ARF, in which the United States has been a central actor from the start, more as a means to keep the United States engaged in Asia-​Pacific security. Viewed from Southeast Asian perspectives, these overlapping forums have similar appeal. To the extent that they help keep the United States engaged, they may buttress triangular hedging strategies. Takeshi Yuzawa thus argues that Japan’s promotion of multilateral security initiatives has two faces: a “decentering imperative” of “diversifying security ties and hence reducing the relative reliance on a central security partner,” as well as a “recentering imperative” of strengthening reliance on the central security partner—​in this case the United States.50 At the same time, the ARF and EAS give ASEAN members a choice of multilateral forums in which to raise issues and opportunities to diversify bilaterally by cultivating relationships in the many sidebar meetings that occur within such forums. Importantly in that regard, Japan played a key role in advocating for India’s inclusion in the EAS—​part of a broader process of responding to India’s “Look East” policy that has helped draw New Delhi further into Southeast Asia as another option to cultivate for diversification.51 Japan’s autonomy has been particularly apparent in its bids to launch regional economic and financial institutions. In this domain, Japan clearly has charted a path somewhat independent of the United States, both to build its own regional economic influence and to address issues on which its views diverge from those of its U.S. ally. For example, Japan at times has been more enthusiastic about the pursuit of regional trade deals, in part due to the size of its export market. Japan also has tended to favor economic engagement over sanctions with illiberal governments in Southeast Asia and sometimes has been ambivalent about austerity measures imposed by the United States and IMF on Asian economies in crisis.52 Japan helped spearhead the creation of the Asia-​Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) forum in 1989 at a time when the U.S. government was highly ambivalent about a trans-​Pacific trade grouping.53 In 1990, when Malaysian Prime Minister Mohamad Mahathir proposed a Japan-​ led and Asian-​only East Asian Economic Grouping, Japan balked under pressure from the United States.54 However, Japan did participate in a new

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forum that excluded the United States—​the Executives’ Meeting of East Asia-​Pacific Central Banks—​and launched annual Japan–​ASEAN finance ministers meetings.55 Japan’s tension with the United States rose during the 1997 Asian Financial Crisis, when Japanese officials were concerned that IMF austerity programs would set back ailing Southeast Asian economies such as Thailand and Indonesia. Japan’s proposal of an Asian Monetary Fund during the crisis was a bold challenge to the primacy of the United States and IMF in the monetary domain. Although that proposal foundered on U.S. and Chinese opposition, it helped rekindle the idea for an Asian-​only economic grouping in the form of ASEAN+3.56 Japan’s instrumental role in establishing ASEAN+3 and subsequent Chiang Mai Initiative made clear that it was prepared to exercise leadership in providing regional alternatives to reduce reliance on U.S.-​led systems and institutions. The subsequent multilateralization of the Chiang Mai Initiative, which established a pooled fund for emergency financial assistance, was a significant step to give Southeast Asian governments a multilateral emergency liquidity option outside of the IMF. The creation of a small ASEAN+3 Macroeconomic Research Office to conduct regional economic surveillance had similar significance.57 The New Frontier: Maritime Security

In the security arena, unlike the economic and multilateral diplomatic spheres, Japan has functioned much more in support of the U.S. presence in Southeast Asia than as an autonomous external power enabling ASEAN members to diversify. The United States encouraged Japan to assume some added security responsibility after the Cold War, and Japan broke new ground in 1992 by implicitly reinterpreting Article 9, the pacifist clause in Japan’s Constitution, to enable the dispatch of peacekeepers for the UN transitional administrations in Cambodia and later East Timor. Japan also advocated for a broad regional security mechanism—​a proposal that helped create the ASEAN Regional Forum.58 Nevertheless, alliance constraints, the lingering shadow of World War II, and strong domestic legal and political constraints on Japanese military engagement overseas all contributed to a very low defense profile in the region. Southeast Asian and American observers continued to view the U.S.–​Japan alliance as a desirable constraining device.59 To the extent that ASEAN members sought to diversify, they had to look to other military providers. For Malaysia and Singapore, the

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Five-​Power Defence Arrangements with the United Kingdom, Australia, and New Zealand have provided some diversification in terms of training, air defenses, and potential crisis support. For Indonesia, suspension of U.S. military assistance after the 1999 East Timor crisis and over human rights abuses in Papua prompted modest efforts to diversify through training and arms purchases with Australia, South Korea, Russia, and others.60 Australia, Britain, Russia, and increasingly India have all provided significant defense support for Southeast Asian states through bilateral channels, and some have joined multilateral joint exercises such as Cobra Gold. Of course, intramural defense cooperation among ASEAN members also helps them diversify. Each state has endeavored in its own way to spread security ties to reduce reliance on any single external power and supplement security assistance from its primary partner—​usually either China or the United States. For example, Vietnam has relied considerably on Russia as a source of military hardware and has increased purchases from India. Brunei has long-​standing and close defense cooperation with Singapore, Britain, and Australia. Only gradually has Japan emerged as a significant player in this equation, offering a modest additional option for Southeast Asian states keen to diversify their sources of security support. In the late 1990s, Japan began linking its ODA provision to its regional security agenda under the broad rubric of “human security,” which encompassed non-​traditional security concerns such as the fallout from the Asian Financial Crisis, natural disasters, and transnational crime.61 Japan channeled strategic ODA toward humanitarian assistance and disaster relief, peacekeeping, anti-​ piracy initiatives, and civilian policing agencies in Southeast Asia.62 The Japanese Coast Guard became involved in some such programs, and the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) has funded patrol ships, training seminars, and joint exercises with Indonesia, Thailand, and the Philippines.63 Strategic ODA enabled Japan to inch into a larger role in Southeast Asian security within the constraints of Japan’s constitution, the wartime legacy, and domestic political misgivings about an overseas military role. In the 2000s, rising Japanese alarm about Chinese naval activity, North Korean nuclear provocations, and concerns about the possibility of U.S. retrenchment all contributed to Japanese interest in pursuing a greater security role in Southeast Asia. Anti-​piracy cooperation and humanitarian and disaster relief in Southeast Asia were early Japanese foci—​relatively uncontroversial pursuits that opened the door to more substantial maritime security cooperation. In 2007, the Japanese navy took

Japan as the Key to Southeast Asian Diversification | 43

an important step by joining expanded Indo–​U.S. Malabar exercises in the Bay of Bengal, which also included Southeast Asian participation. Thus, in addition to making itself more available as a potential security partner, Japan helped pull the Indian Navy into a greater role in the region—​an indirect way of facilitating diversification. Domestic changes in the 2000s also gave the Prime Minister and the Cabinet Office added authority to set the agenda and coordinate defense policy.64 Shinzo Abe took further steps after his return as prime minister in 2012, creating a National Security Council, issuing Japan’s first-​ ever national security strategy, and reinterpreting Article 9 to allow for the exercise of collective self-​defense.65 Abe’s policy of a “Proactive Contribution to Peace” aimed to bolster Japan’s security capabilities both to reinforce the Japan–​U.S. alliance and to expand Japan’s scope for providing security assistance to other Asia-​Pacific partners.66 Among other steps, the Abe administration relaxed its decades-​long ban on the transfer of military equipment and technology.67 Although these changes provoked heated debate in the Diet, they succeeded in creating domestic political space for Japan to adopt a more proactive security policy, including deeper security cooperation with Southeast Asia.68 Maritime security has been Japan’s main focus, driven primarily by concerns about China’s naval reach.69 Japan’s 2010 National Defense Program Guidelines described “securing maritime security and international order” as essential Japanese interests, stipulating for the first time that Japan would use the Self-​Defense Forces to provide capacity-​building assistance to foreign militaries.70 Japan’s first National Security Strategy in 2013 emphasized its identity as a “maritime state” committed to “open and stable seas.”71 Three years later, Defense Minister Tomomi Inada outlined Japan’s “Vientiane Vision” for security cooperation with ASEAN, stressing Japan’s intent to promote maritime security and international law by helping to build Southeast Asian capacity through training, equipment, and technology for search and rescue operations, intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance, and other uses.72 The Japan Maritime Self-​Defense Force (JMSDF) also built a quiet operational presence in the South China Sea through periodic exercises and goodwill visits,73 though Japan has stopped short of joining U.S. freedom of navigation operations, which Chinese officials have described as a “red line.”74 With one of the world’s most sophisticated militaries, the eighth largest defense budget, and an advanced defense technology sector, Japan clearly has the prowess to be a major source of security assistance. The U.S. government has also pushed Japan to engage in more

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burden-​sharing. Given the political sensitivity of the enterprise, in Tokyo and in other Asian capitals, Japan has edged onto the scene and worked in close alignment with the United States beside (and sometimes through) U.S. defense relationships with Vietnam, the Philippines, and other key ASEAN states.75 Japan’s maritime security assistance has been concentrated primarily in Vietnam and the Philippines—​the two principal front-​line states in the South China Sea. Both have been keen to engage with Japan on the maritime defense front, even at the risk of antagonizing Beijing. In 2014, as Japan and Vietnam elevated their relations to an “extensive” strategic partnership, Japan offered Vietnam six second-​hand maritime patrol vessels, which it delivered in 2015 with training to boost Vietnam’s maritime capacity. In 2017, the Japanese Coast Guard and Vietnamese Maritime Police held their first joint exercise off the coast at Da Nang. In October 2020, shortly after Japan agreed to sell Vietnam six new patrol ships for use in the South China Sea, Suga and Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc took a “major step” by inking a broader deal to establish a framework for the transfer of defense equipment and technology.76 Japan thus has emerged alongside Russia and India as an important option for Vietnam’s defense diversification.77 Diversification is crucial for Vietnam, because reliance on a triangular hedge with the United States is problematic. Mistrust of the United States lingers within the Vietnamese Communist Party, and drawing close to Washington would invite the ire of a Chinese neighbor with many economic levers to pull in Vietnam. Legitimate doubts also exist about whether the U.S. government would come to the aid of a distant Asian state along China’s mainland frontier.78 Despite its longstanding alliance with the United States, and in part because of it, the Philippine government also has regarded diversification as a necessity. That aim has been readily apparent since President Rodrigo Duterte took office in 2016. At that point, the United States was the source of 75 percent of Philippine defense technology acquisitions,79 for example, and had an extensive presence bolstered by the 2014 Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement. Duterte pledged to rebalance his country’s external relations by seeking defense cooperation and arms from China and Russia, though resistance within the Philippine armed forces and many public and elite Filipinos has constrained his ability to do so. Japan has offered the Philippines a less politically charged partner with which to diversify. In 2016, the two countries signed an agreement to

Japan as the Key to Southeast Asian Diversification | 45

facilitate defense equipment and technology transfer, and Japan provided ten maritime patrol vessels and soon afterward donated five maritime patrol aircraft to the Philippines. Since 2017, the JMSDF has taken part alongside Australia in annual Balikatan joint exercises between the United States and the Philippines. Duterte went so far as to depict relations as entering a “golden age.”80 In 2019, a Japanese destroyer’s goodwill visit to Manila set the stage for planned joint exercises, and the Japanese aircraft carrier Izumo later arrived to participate alongside U.S., Indian and Philippine vessels in new naval drills in the South China Sea. In 2020, the Philippines contracted for a set of new Japanese air defense radars—​ the first transfer of newly built Japanese defense equipment to a foreign partner since World War II.81 Japan broke another barrier in 2021, sending some of its own military equipment to a foreign state for the first time to help Philippine disaster-​relief efforts. Japan has also taken smaller steps to enhance maritime security cooperation with other Southeast Asian partners. In 2017, Japan inked an agreement with Indonesia to strengthen their strategic partnership, partly through providing defense equipment and technology.82 Suga and Indonesian President Joko Widodo agreed in October 2020 to deepen that partnership by establishing a “2+2” foreign and defense ministerial meeting, and in March 2021 they inked a deal enabling defense and technology transfers. Japan has continued to support anti-​piracy efforts, humanitarian assistance and disaster relief, and funding for maritime capacity building initiatives, such as regional training programs at Malaysia’s Maritime Enforcement Agency. Japan has engaged in talks with Thailand over providing an air defense radar system,83 and it conducted a modest joint exercise with the Singapore Navy in late 2018. Japanese officials also have issued joint statements with Southeast Asian partners on shared commitment to the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea and peaceful dispute settlement.84 Japan also has engaged in extensive defense diplomacy, including active participation in the ASEAN Defense Ministers’ Meeting-​Plus,85 as Ken Jimbo discusses in this volume. Thus far, Japan’s maritime security engagement has served primarily to bolster or supplement balancing or triangular hedging strategies by ASEAN states concerned about developments in the South China Sea. Unlike the trade or development arenas, Japan does not offer an alternative model as much as an additional source of material support and training. Nevertheless, Japan has demonstrated both the willingness and the domestic political capacity to furnish significant security assistance,

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giving ASEAN members the means to diversify to a modest extent in the maritime security arena. Over the past several years, however, Japanese strategists have begun exploring pathways to a more independent defense policy, particularly as President Donald Trump’s criticism of allies and erratic, “America-​first” foreign policy eroded Japanese trust in the United States.86 China’s military expansion in Southeast Asia continues to raise alarm bells in Tokyo, where nationalists chafe at Japan’s subordinate role within the U.S.–​Japan alliance and defense planners worry about the reliability of a U.S. security umbrella.87 Like Abe, Suga has pushed to revise Article 9 to allow Japan’s Self-​Defense Forces to engage in a wider array of military ­activities.88 A constitutional amendment is unlikely in the near term, requiring a two-​thirds majority in both houses of the Diet and a majority vote in a national referendum. Popular opinion remains divided, and the ruling Liberal Democratic Party governs in coalition with Komeito, a party with strong Buddhist roots that has long disfavored amending Article 9.89 Nevertheless, Suga has pursued a more active and independent defense policy in other ways, such as endorsing Abe’s bold 2020 proposal for Japan to develop a first-​strike capability to deter and defend against nuclear and ballistic missiles.90 A more assertive and independent Japanese defense policy would give ASEAN members greater capacity to diversify in the security sphere, and there is greater Southeast Asian receptivity to this concept than in the past. The legacy of Japan’s wartime occupation has receded more in Southeast Asia than Northeast Asia, and since the 1990s, key ASEAN leaders have embraced Japan’s right to normalize its international behavior.91 While a precipitous turn toward militarization in Japan would likely fuel concerns, most Southeast Asian audiences are apt to regard continued incremental shifts in Japanese defense policy as legitimate or desirable. Japan offers a potential means to preserve a favorable balance of military influence in the region, moderate surging Chinese clout, and reduce dependency on the United States. There is an important caveat, however. The Abe administration’s FOIP concept established a framework for enhanced cooperation with India, Australia, and the United States—​the other three members of the Quadrilateral Dialogue that had foundered on Chinese opposition in the late 2000s.92 Although the “Quad” states did not move in lockstep, they converged around a strong perception of a Chinese threat and began meeting again in 2017, just as the Trump administration adopted its own FOIP strategy with a more explicit anti-​China focus. The Abe

Japan as the Key to Southeast Asian Diversification | 47

administration’s pursuit of an easing of tension with Beijing did not reverse the general trend toward repolarization of regional security affairs, with Beijing on one side and the “Quad” on the other. Polarization may leave ASEAN members somewhat less able to diversify. While strengthening ties to Tokyo or New Delhi gives ASEAN states additional options should U.S. support falter, security cooperation with Japan and India looks more like hedging or balancing than diversification when viewed from Beijing. ASEAN members must therefore weigh the benefits of additional security providers against the risk of being seen to take sides. This latter consideration is a source of great concern in Southeast Asian capitals. Unless Japan achieves meaningful rapprochement with China, its scope for facilitating security diversification in Southeast Asia will be limited. Implications for Regional Order

This chapter supports the view that Japan occupies a critical, if often underappreciated, position in the regional order. A Sino–​Japanese condominium is highly unlikely in the near term, and the U.S.–​Japan alliance is not apt to crumble, but Japan still has considerable latitude in orienting its foreign policy and its approach to Southeast Asia in particular. In an era in which the United States was ascendant, when China was weaker, and when memories of World War II were fresher, Japanese strategic (though not economic) subordination to Washington was conducive to the balance of external influence most ASEAN member states wished to see in the region. A more robust and independent Japanese role in politico-​ military affairs was not necessary to check Chinese influence and might have tipped the overall balance of influence too far toward Washington. Conditions have changed. China’s influence across multiple domains makes the option of Japanese support beyond the economic realm more attractive. To the extent this occurs through the portal of the U.S.–​Japan alliance, it may contribute to an overall balance of influence in Southeast Asia that has a stabilizing effect. However, lockstep Japanese cooperation with the U.S. government would pose twin risks to ASEAN states. First, it would magnify the dangers of the more confrontational U.S. posture toward China taken in recent years—​a posture that has earned relatively bipartisan support in Washington. Stalwart Japanese support for that approach would draw clearer lines in the sand and would clearly contribute to the “new Cold War” dynamics already apparent in the region.

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This could raise conflict risks and put more pressure on Southeast Asian governments to take sides, which none wishes to do decisively. A second risk of a subordinate Japanese role pertains to abandonment. Should the United States pull back from the region, few Southeast Asian strategists would wish for Japan to follow. The alternative is for Japan to operate more assertively and independently in the politico-​military sphere. This has obvious drawbacks from a U.S. perspective, and it raises strategic uncertainty by magnifying the importance of the Japanese policy variable in the international relations of Southeast Asia. Nevertheless, a more autonomous Japan could provide benefits to regional peace and stability if it were to use its role as a key diversifier prudently. Greater Japanese involvement in Southeast Asian politico-​military affairs could provide helpful shock absorption to cushion the adverse effects of episodic swings in U.S. policy—​a pattern observed frequently in the past and likely to continue. Japan’s long-​term, geographically, and commercially rooted interest in Southeast Asia has contributed to steadier engagement, which offers a useful ballast for regional security and development. NOTES 1. See, e.g., Evelyn Goh, “Meeting the China Challenge: The U.S. in Southeast Asian Regional Security Strategies,” Policy Studies 16, Washington, DC: East-​West Center, 2005; Cheng-​Chwee Kuik, “The Essence of Hedging: Malaysia and Singapore’s Response to a Rising China,” Contemporary Southeast Asia 30, no. 2 (2008); John D. Ciorciari, The Limits of Alignment: Southeast Asia and the Great Powers since 1975 (Washington, DC: Georgetown University Press, 2010); Van Jackson, “Power, Trust and Network Complexity: Three Logics of Hedging in Asian Security,” International Relations of the Asia-​Pacific 14, no. 3 (2014): 331–​356; Kei Koga, “The Concept of ‘Hedging’ Revisited: The Case of Japan’s Foreign Policy Strategy in East Asia’s Power Shift,” International Studies Review 20 (2018): 633–​660. 2. See, e.g., Alice D. Ba, (Re)Negotiating East and Southeast Asia (Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press, 2009); Amitav Acharya, Constructing a Security Community in Southeast Asia, 3rd ed. (London: Routledge, 2014); Ralf Emmers and Sarah Teo, Security Strategies of Middle Powers in the Asia-​ Pacific (Carlton, VIC: Melbourne University Publishing, 2018). 3. See, e.g., Evelyn Goh, “Great Powers and Hierarchical Order in Southeast Asia: Analyzing Regional Security Strategies,” International Security 32, no. 3 (2007/​08): 113–​157. 4. See, e.g., Pavin Chachavalpongpun, “From Cautiously Reactive to Eagerly Proactive: Japan’s Policy Toward Southeast Asia,” in Japan’s Foreign Policy in the Twenty-​ First Century: Continuity and Change, eds. Lam Peng Er and Purnendra Jain (Lexington Books, 2020); Sueo Sudo, Japan’s ASEAN Policy: In Search of Proactive Multilateralism (Singapore: Institute of Southeast Asian Studies, 2015).

Japan as the Key to Southeast Asian Diversification | 49 5. Evelyn Goh, The Struggle for Order: Hegemony, Hierarchy & Transition in Post-​ Cold War East Asia (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2013), 26. 6. See, e.g., Jürgen Haacke, Myanmar’s Foreign Policy under President U Thein Sein: Non-​aligned and Diversified (Singapore: Institute of Southeast Asian Studies, 2016); Nicholas Chapman, “Mechanisms of Vietnam’s Multidirectional Foreign Policy,” Journal of Current Southeast Asian Affairs 36, no. 2 (2017): 34–​38. 7. See Adam P. Liff, “Whither the Balancers? The Case for a Methodological Reset,” Security Studies 25, no. 3 (2016): 420–​459. 8. See Jürgen Haacke, “The Concept of Hedging and Its Application to Southeast Asia: A Critique and a Proposal for a Modified Conceptual and Methodological Framework,” International Relations of the Asia-​Pacific 19, no. 3 (2019): 375–​417. 9. John D. Ciorciari, “The Variable Effectiveness of Hedging Strategies,” International Relations of the Asia-​Pacific 19, no. 3 (2019): 523–​555. See also Darren J. Lim and Zack Cooper, “Reassessing Hedging: The Logic of Alignment in East Asia,” Security Studies 24, no. 4 (2015): 696–​727. 10. Evelyn Goh, “Southeast Asian Strategies toward the Great Powers: Still Hedging after All These Years?” The Asan Forum, February 22, 2016. 11. Cheng-​Chwee Kuik, “How Do Weaker States Hedge? Unpacking ASEAN States’ Alignment Behavior toward China,” Journal of Contemporary China 25 (2016). 12. Jackson, “Power,” 347. 13. Alexander Korolev, “Systemic Balancing and Regional Hedging: China-​Russia Relations,” Chinese Journal of International Politics 9, no. 4 (2016): 377. 14. Olli Suorsa, “Hedging Against Over-​dependence on U.S. Security: Thailand and Philippines,” RSIS Commentaries no. 317 (2016) (describing Bangkok, Manila, and many of their neighbors as engaging in “omni-​directional hedging” through “rational diversification of security relationships”). 15. Ann Marie Murphy, “Great Power Rivalries, Domestic Politics and Southeast Asian Foreign Policy: Exploring the Linkages,” Asian Security 13, no. 3 (2017): 165–​182; Phuc Thi Tran, Alena Vysotskaya G. Vieira, and Laura C. Ferreira-​Perreira, “Vietnam’s Strategic Hedging vis-​à-​vis China: The Roles of the European Union and Russia,” Revista Brasileira de Política Internacional 56, no. 1 (2013); Le Long Hiep, “Vietnam’s Hedging Strategy against China since Normalization,” Contemporary Southeast Asia 35, no. 3 (2013): 341. 16. Malcolm Cook, “Southeast Asia and the Major Powers: Engagement not Entanglement.” Southeast Asian Affairs 2014 (Singapore: ISEAS-​Yusof Ishak Institute, 2014), 42. 17. See Ciorciari, The Limits of Alignment, 222–​224. 18. J.J. Park, “The US-​Led Alliances in the Asia-​Pacific: Hedge against Potential Threats or an Undesirable Multilateral Security Order?” Pacific Review 24, no. 2 (2011): 137–​158. 19. Corey J. Wallace, “Japan’s Strategic Pivot South: Diversifying the Dual Hedge,” International Relations of the Asia-​Pacific 13, no. 3 (2013): 479–​517. 20. See Carlyle A. Thayer, “Vietnam’s Foreign Policy in an Era of Rising Sino-​US Competition and Increasing Domestic Political Influence,” Asian Security 13, no. 3 (2017): 185–​189. 21. See, e.g., Haacke, “The Concept of Hedging”; Kuik, “The Essence of Hedging”; Lim and Cooper, “Reassessing Hedging”; Brock Tessman, “System Structure and State Strategy: Adding Hedging to the Menu,” Security Studies 21, no. 2 (2012).

50 | The Courteous Power 22. See Neil Narang and Brad L. LeVeck, “International Reputation and Alliance Portfolios: How Unreliability Affects the Structure and Composition of Alliance Treaties,” Journal of Peace Research 56, no. 3 (2019) (discussing this logic in the context of military alliances). 23. See, e.g., Tullo Vigevani and Gabriel Cepaluni, “Lula’s Foreign Policy and the Quest for Autonomy through Diversification,” Third World Quarterly 28, no. 7 (2007); Nicola P. Contessi, “Foreign and Security Policy Diversification in Eurasia; Issue Splitting, Co-​alignment, and Relational Power,” Problems of Post-​Communism 62, no. 5 (2015). 24. Jackson, “Power,” 342. 25. Shaun Narine, The New ASEAN in Asia Pacific and Beyond (Boulder, CO: Lynne Rienner, 2018), 214. 26. Nobuhiro Aizawa, “Japan’s Strategy toward Southeast Asia and the Japan-​U.S. Alliance,” Center for Strategic and International Studies, April 2014, 7. 27. See The Donor Tracker, “Donor Profiles,” https://​​countries (accessed May 4, 2021). 28. Sakiko Fukuda-​Parr and Hiroaki Shiga, “Normative Framing of Development Cooperation: Japanese Bilateral Aid between the DAC and Southern Donors,” JICA Research Institute Working Paper no. 130 (June 2016), 28–​34. 29. See John D. Ciorciari, “Distance and Dominance: China, America and Southeast Asia’s Northern Tier,” in The Deer and the Dragon: Southeast Asia and China in the 21st Century, ed. Donald K. Emmerson (Stanford, CA: Walter H. Shorenstein Asia-​Pacific Center, 2020), 304–​312. 30. David Steinberg, “Introduction,” in The United States and Japan: Assisting Myanmar’s Development (Washington, DC: Sasakawa Peace Foundation USA, 2015), 1–​4. 31. See Donald M. Seekins, “A ‘Special Relationship’: Japan and Myanmar, 1941-​ 2105,” in The United States and Japan: Assisting Myanmar’s Development (Washington, DC: Sasakawa Peace Foundation USA, 2015), 17–​30. 32. Vannarith Chheang, “Cambodia and Japan Consolidate Ties,” Khmer Times, July 3, 2014. 33. Prashanth Parameswaran, “Limits of Hun Sen’s Post-​election Foreign Policy Rebalance,” Straits Times, October 18, 2018. 34. Maiko Ichihara et al., “Asian Democracies and Thailand’s Military Takeover,” Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. October 13, 2015. 35. Teppei Kesai, “Tokyo’s ‘Values Free’ Diplomacy and the Rohingya Crisis,” Japan Times, December 19, 2018. 36. See, e.g., Human Rights Watch, “Japan: Hold Myanmar to Account for Atrocities,” Press release (October 19, 2019); Human Rights Watch, “Japan: Foreign Minister Should Raise Rights Abroad,” Press release (August 20, 2020). 37. Data from the OECD Creditor Reporting System and AidData,” Global Chinese Official Finance Dataset, 2000-​ 2014, Version 1.0,” https://​​china (accessed May 4, 2021). 38. Ba, (Re)Negotiating East and Southeast Asia, 145–​147. 39. ASEAN, ASEAN Statistical Yearbook 2020 (Jakarta: ASEAN Secretariat, 2020), 57. 40. ASEAN, ASEAN Statistical Yearbook 2020. 41. Li Xueying, “Japan Must Return to Being South-​ East Asia’s Top Trade Partner: Tommy Koh,” Straits Times (Singapore), March 19, 2019.

Japan as the Key to Southeast Asian Diversification | 51 42. See Takashi Terada, “How and Why Japan Has saved the TPP: From the White House to Davos,” The Asan Forum, February 19, 2018; T.J. Pempel, “Japan in the Driver’s Seat? Reshaping the Regional Trade Order without the United States,” in Joint U.S.-​Korea Academic Studies (2018). 43. Aizawa, “Japan’s Strategy,” 1. 44. See David Dollar, “China and the West Competing Over Infrastructure in Southeast Asia,” Brookings Institution, April 2020, Table 1. 45. Tobias Harris, “ ‘Quality Infrastructure’: Japan’s Robust Challenge to China’s Belt and Road,” War on the Rocks, April 9, 2019. 46. Dollar, “China,” 3. 47. Mireya Solis, “China, Japan, and the Art of Economic Statecraft,” Brookings Institution, February 2020, 6. 48. Takeshi Yuzawa, “The ASEAN Regional Forum: Challenges and Prospects,” in The Routledge Handbook of Asian Regionalism, eds. Mark Beeson and Richard Stubbs (London: Routledge, 2012), 339–​340. 49. Yuzawa, “The ASEAN Regional Forum,” 346–​348. 50. Takeshi Yuzawa, “From a Decentering to Recentering Imperative: Japan’s Approach to Asian Security Multilateralism,” Pacific Review 31, no. 4 (2018): 461. 51. Kai He, Institutional Balancing in the Asia Pacific: Economic interdependence and China’s rise (Abingdon: Routledge, 2009), 156; Rohan Mukherjee, “Japan’s Strategic Outreach to India and the Prospects of a Japan-​India Alliance,” International Affairs 94, no. 4 (2018): 835–​859. 52. Saori Katada, Banking on Stability: Japan and the Cross-​Pacific Dynamics of International Financial Crisis Management (Ann Arbor, MI: University of Michigan Press, 2001), ­chapter 8. 53. See John Ravenhill, APEC and the Construction of Pacific Rim Regionalism (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2001), 50–​58. 54. See Mohamed Aslam, “Japan’s Reluctance in East Asian Economic Regionalism,” Asia Europe Journal 7, no. 2 (2009): 283–​284. 55. Shintaro Hamanaka, “Asian Financial Cooperation in the 1990s: The Politics of Membership,” Journal of East Asian Studies 11 (2011): 78–​84. 56. Philip Lipscy, “Japan’s Asian Monetary Fund Proposal,” Stanford Journal of East Asian Affairs 3, no. 1 (2003). 57. William W. Grimes, “The Asian Monetary Fund Reborn? Implications of Chiang Mai Initiative Multilateralization,” Asia Policy 11 (2011): 79–​104. 58. Grimes, “The Asian Monetary Fund Reborn?” 175–​180. 59. Ba, (Re)Negotiating East and Southeast Asia, 160. 60. Evan A. Laksmana, “Indonesia’s Rising Regional and Global Profile: Does Size Really Matter?” Contemporary Southeast Asia 33, no. 2 (2011): 173; Evan A. Laksmana, “Are Military Assistance Programs Important for US-​Indonesia Ties?” East Asia Forum, April 18, 2018. 61. Brendan Howe, “Human Security, Peacebuilding, and the Responsibility to Protect in East Asia,” Asian Journal of Peacebuilding 7, no. 2 (2019): 187–​188. 62. See David M. Potter, “Japan’s Foreign Aid, Human Security, and Traditional Security,” Journal of the Nanzan Academic Society Social Sciences 8 (2015): 47–​52. 63. Paul Midford, “Japan’s Approach to Maritime Security in the South China Sea,” Asian Survey 55, no. 3 (2015): 525–​547.

52 | The Courteous Power 64. See Richard Samuels, Securing Japan: Tokyo’s Grand Strategy and the Future of East Asia. (Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press, 2007), 71–​76. 65. Andrew Oros, Japan’s Security Renaissance: New Policies and Politics for the Twenty-​First Century (New York: Columbia University Press, 2017); Mayumi Fukushima and Richard J. Samuels, “Japan’s National Security Council: Filling the Whole of Government?” International Affairs 94, no. 4 (2018): 1–​18. 66. Adam P. Liff, “Proactive Stabilizer: Japan’s Role in the Asia-​Pacific Security Order,” in The Crisis of Liberal Internationalism: Japan and the World Order, eds. Yoichi Funabashi and John Ikenberry (Washington, DC: Brookings Institution Press, 2020), 60–​64. 67. See Alexandra Sakaki and Sebastian Maslow, “Japan’s New Arms Export Policies: Strategic Aspirations and Domestic Constraints,” Australian Journal of International Affairs 74, no. 6 (2020). 68. Kei Koga, “Japan’s ‘Strategic Coordination’ in 2015: ASEAN, Southeast Asia, and Abe’s Diplomatic Agenda,” Southeast Asian Affairs 2016 (Singapore: ISEAS-​Yusof Ishak Institute, 2016), 67–​68. 69. See Jeffrey W. Hornung, “Japan’s Growing Hard Hedge Against China,” Asian Security 10, no. 2 (2014): 107–​111. 70. Japanese Ministry of Defense, National Defense Program Guidelines for FY2011 and Beyond (provisional translation), December 17, 2010, 4–​12, available at https://​​e/​d_​act/​d_​policy/​pdf/​guidelinesFY2011.pdf (accessed May 4, 2021). 71. Prime Minister of Japan and His Cabinet, “Provisional English Translation of Japan’s National Security Strategy (2013),” December 17, 2013, available at http://​www.​foreign/​96_​abe/​documents/​2013/​_​_​icsFiles/​afieldfile/​2013/​12/​17/​NSS. pdf (accessed May 4, 2021). See also Takuya Matsuda, “Explaining Japan’s Post-​Cold War Security Policy Trajectory: Maritime Realism,” Australian Journal of International Affairs 74, no. 6 (2020). 72. Japanese Ministry of Defense, “Vientiane Vision: Japan’s Defense Cooperation Initiative with ASEAN,” November 2016, available at https://​​e/​d_​act/​ exc/​vientianevision/​ (accessed May 4, 2021). 73. John Bradford, “Southeast Asia: A New Strategic Nexus for Japan’s Maritime Strategy,” Center for International Maritime Security, September 21, 2020. 74. Ankit Panda, “China’s ‘Red Line’ Warning to Japan on South China Sea FONOPs Is Here to Stay,” The Diplomat, August 29, 2016. 75. David Adebahr, “Strategic Diversification towards Southeast Asia? Analyzing Japan’s Security Initiatives in the Asia-​ Pacific between 2012–​ 2016,” Japan Studies Association Journal 5, no. 1 (2017): 164–​165. 76. Hau Dinh and Mari Yamaguchi, “Japan to Export Defense Tech to Vietnam Under New Agreement,” Associated Press, October 19, 2020. 77. Hiep, “Vietnam’s Hedging Strategy,” 358. 78. Thi Bich Tran and Yoichiro Sato, “Vietnam’s Post-​ Cold War Hedging Strategy: A Changing Mix of Realist and Liberal Ingredients,” Asian Politics & Policy 10, no. 1 (2018): 94–​95. 79. Suorsa, “Hedging.” 80. Japanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs, “Japan-​ Philippines Foreign Ministers’ Meeting,” October 31, 2017, available at https://​​press/​release/​press4e_​ 001781.html (accessed May 4, 2021).

Japan as the Key to Southeast Asian Diversification | 53 81. Bradford, “Southeast Asia.” 82. Japanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs, “Japan-​ Indonesia Joint Statement on Strengthening Strategic Partnership,” January 15, 2017, paras. 3–​4, available at https://​​mofaj/​files/​000218457.pdf (accessed May 4, 2021). 83. Prashanth Parameswaran, “Japan-​Thailand Defense Relations in the Spotlight,” The Diplomat, December 23, 2016. 84. Koga, “Japan’s ‘Strategic Coordination,’ ” 73–​75. 85. Ken Jimbo, “Anchoring Diversified Security Cooperation in the ADMM-​Plus: A Japanese Perspective,” Asia Policy 22 (2016): 102–​106. 86. Richard J. Samuels and Corey Wallace, “Introduction: Japan’s pivot in Asia,” International Affairs 94, no. 4 (2018): 703–​710; Toshihiro Nakayama, “Can the Japan-​US alliance survive the Trump presidency?”, May 16, 2017, available at https://​​en/​currents/​d00313/​ (accessed May 4, 2021). 87. Narine, The New ASEAN, 228. 88. “On Constitution Day, Suga takes stronger stance toward revisions,” Asahi Shimbun, May 4, 2021. 89. Adam P. Liff and Ko Maeda, “Why Shinzo Abe faces an uphill battle to revise Japan’s constitution,” Brookings Institution (December 15, 2018). 90. Mari Yamaguchi, “Japan’s Abe seeks preemptive strike capacity in policy shift,” Associated Press, September 11, 2020. 91. Yamaguchi, “Japan’s Abe,” 214. 92. See Ryosuke Hanada, “The Role of the ‘Quad’ in the Free and Open Indo-​ Pacific Concept: A Policy Coordination Mechanism for Rules-​Based Order,” Center for Strategic and International Studies, April 10, 2019, http://​​the-​ role-​of-​the-​quad-​in-​the-​free-​and-​open-​indo-​pacific-​concept-​a-​policy-​coordination-​ mechanism-​for-​rules-​based-​order/​.

3  |  J apan’s Defense and Security Cooperation in Southeast Asia Developing Security Networks, Capacities, and Institutions Ken Jimbo

Since the inception of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), a main driver of Japan’s strategic engagement in Southeast Asia has been strong commercial interests. With Japan’s large-​scale foreign direct investment (FDI) accumulated over past decades, Southeast Asia became the hub for production networks of Japanese firms and their joint ventures in Asia. As early as August 1977, then Prime Minister Takeo Fukuda articulated a benchmark speech in Manila, laying out a set of principles known as the Fukuda Doctrine.1 While Japan cautiously rejected the role of a military power, it was determined to promote the peace and prosperity of Southeast Asia by supporting ASEAN’s solidarity and resilience. For many years, Japan avoided a direct military role in the region while becoming a major provider of Official Development Assistance (ODA).2 These principles laid the foundation for subsequent Japanese prime ministers, irrespective of their ideological orientations, to embrace the diplomatic template of the Fukuda Doctrine.3 Throughout the decades of the post-​World War II security environment, in the absence of a region-​wide multilateral architecture, Japan’s “indirect” security role in Southeast Asia has been to provide the platform for the U.S. Pacific Command’s forward presence in the Western Pacific through the U.S.–​Japan Security Treaty. Nevertheless, the geographical coverage of Article 6 of the Treaty, which refers to “maintenance of international peace and security in the Far East,” was defined in 1960 to pertain to an area “north of Philippines and surrounding Japan.”4 The 54

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U.S. security engagement in Asia comprises a set of bilateral arrangements with Japan, South Korea, the Philippines, Thailand, Australia, and New Zealand. These alliances were formed distinctly, but as a whole they provided for a favorable balance of power in Southeast Asia from the standpoint of Japanese strategic interests.5 Japan’s direct security presence in Southeast Asia began in the early 1990s in the nontraditional security realm. The most significant first step was Japan’s participation in the UN peacekeeping mission in Cambodia in 1992–​93, when Japan sent Self-​Defense Force (SDF/​JSDF) engineering units and a small number of cease-​fire observers and civilian police.6 In May 1998, in response to the anti-​government demonstrations in Jakarta, Indonesia, Japan sent Air SDF aircraft to Singapore to evacuate Japanese citizens. In 2002, the JSDF also participated in the UN peacekeeping mission in East Timor by sending 680 Ground SDF personnel. Following the Indian Ocean earthquake and tsunami in 2004, the JSDF conducted its largest-​ever joint disaster relief operation in Indonesia. Japan maintained a low profile and careful approach in the military domain, while gradually socializing itself in the non-​traditional security arena through measures including participation in humanitarian and disaster relief (HA/​DR) operations, anti-​piracy, combating transnational organized crimes, and a series of exchanges among high-​level officials. For Japan, overcoming the wartime legacy and normalizing its role in Southeast Asian security required building trust through relatively uncontroversial areas of defense cooperation. This meant providing assistance requested by Southeast Asian partners in a low-​key, non-​confrontational way and acting as what this volume calls a “courteous power.”7 The strategic landscape of the twenty-​first century, however, brought about opportunities and challenges that caused Japan to reassess its engagement in Southeast Asia. The main drivers of change were the rise of China and the changing strategic balance between the United States and China in East Asia.8 The modernization of China’s air and naval power and of its missile forces have heightened China’s anti-​access capability in areas where China’s core interests are involved while also elevating its area denial capability in theaters where U.S. forward deployed forces had previously boasted uncontested supremacy. The strategic rivalry between the United States and China also began casting a deep shadow over the geopolitics in Southeast Asia. The change in the balance of power affected perceptions of Japan and ASEAN member states about the hierarchical structure in Asian geopolitics, which led to a reorientation of state behavior of balancing, hedging, and accommodation.9

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In the maritime domain, China’s advancement of its influence in both the East and South China Seas led Japan to reorient its security priorities. Hence, for example, Japan’s traditional focus on counter-​piracy and sea-​ lane safety for merchant vessels, a main focus of non-​traditional maritime security cooperation, increasingly came to be viewed through the balance-​ of-​power paradigm, which led to competition of coast guards and navies between China and its neighboring states.10 Thus, preserving the stability of two vital seas for Japan’s sea-​lanes of communication—​the South China Sea and East China Sea—​emerged as an increasingly important policy priority in Tokyo. Japan has emphasized its significant commercial and security interests in the South China Sea, as well as the importance of consolidating rules and mechanisms for maritime security, such as the need for a regional code of conduct for the South China Sea. Indeed, these emphases on connecting the Indian and Pacific Oceans and providing free and secure navigation have been key pillars of the concept of a “Free and Open Indo-​Pacific” (FOIP) from the start. In the same vein, ASEAN also began striving to create a favorable balance of power by reconfiguring the role played by the United States and China in Southeast Asia, as well as by undertaking capacity building of its own. From the Japanese perspective, ASEAN’s own strength and resilience against China’s growing maritime pressure is an important vanguard for denying China’s creeping expansion in contested territorial waters. Such resilience also helps to sustain the status quo, which creates better conditions for ASEAN’s diplomatic negotiations vis-​à-​vis Beijing. These concerns led Japan and ASEAN states to transform their relationships in recent years toward “strategy-​driven” or security-​driven relations. Over the past decade, Japan’s “strategy-​driven” approach to ASEAN has been the key platform for its new security engagement in the region, both in the years leading up to the enunciation of the FOIP concept and since its introduction. This chapter examines these evolving security engagements between Japan and ASEAN in three dimensions along which they are developing most dynamically: security networking, capacity building, and developments within relevant regional institutions. Together, these three aspects of cooperation constitute the essence of Japan’s “courteous” approach to security in Southeast Asia. Stronger networks help Southeast Asian partners diversify and lay the groundwork for more robust defense partnerships if regional security conditions deteriorate. Capacity-​building initiatives aim to make Japan’s contributions responsive to the needs and wants of its Southeast Asian partners. Last but not least, multilateral defense diplomacy through regional forums

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helps engage both Southeast Asian partners and other regional actors in communication, confidence-​building measures, and discussions about regional rules and norms that can reduce the need for adversarial defense arrangements. Japan has sought to be an important security actor in Southeast Asia, but not a provocative one. Security Networking

Japan’s effort to develop more robust security partnerships and networks in Southeast Asia has been the first major dimension of its enhanced security engagement in Southeast Asia. This has included joint training exercises, bilateral defense diplomacy, and the establishment of a vision for Japan–​ASEAN security cooperation to guide those initiatives. Joint Training and Exercises

The JSDF’s overseas operational experience since the 1990s in the form of peacekeeping and HA/​DR operations provided new momentum for Japan’s security engagement in the region. With increasing regional awareness of the role of military organization in disaster relief operations in Asia, bilateral and multilateral joint exercises focused on HA/​DR emerged as increasingly important platforms for Japan to engage in regional security affairs. Since the early 2000s, the JSDF has stepped up its profile to participate in bilateral and multilateral joint exercises and trainings for HA/​DR and non-​combatant evacuation operations. Japan has also become much more active in joint naval exercises and peacekeeping preparation. In 2005, the JSDF became a formal participating member in the annual Cobra Gold combined exercise, co-​hosted by the United States and Thailand. In 2007, the JSDF sent medical and engineering personnel to the Pacific Partnership, the annual regional humanitarian and civic assistance deployment led by the U.S. Navy. In July 2011, Japan conducted its first joint maritime military exercise with the United States and Australia in the South China Sea off the coast of Brunei. In 2012, the JSDF also began participating in the Balikatan series, a multilateral exercise hosted by the United States and the Philippines. Japan has also supported the Global Peace Operation Initiative, a security assistance program to enhance capacity for international peacekeeping. For example, Japan helped conduct joint exercises in Malaysia in 2015 and Indonesia in 2018, and Japan partnered with the U.S. Indo-​Pacific Command in 2020

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to lead training for women civilian protection advisors and to prevent gender-​based violence.11 With increased participation in multilateral joint military exercises and training, Japan has significantly increased its networks, communications, and security cooperation with regional states. Even in the FOIP era, when Japan has taken a more “strategy-​driven” approach to Southeast Asian security, initiatives such as HA/​DR and peacekeeping also remain crucial to Japan’s overall effort to build and preserve trust and a positive reputation as a defense partner committed to advancing Southeast Asian priorities. Bilateral Defense Diplomacy

Japan’s security engagement in the region has also been enhanced through multiple forms of bilateral defense cooperation. According to the Japanese Ministry of Defense, Japan began defense cooperation with ASEAN member states mainly in the 1990s for the purpose of enhancing mutual understanding and confidence (the “initial stage”). Throughout the 2000s, such defense cooperation became more practical and operational through a series of joint trainings and exchanges (the “developing stage”). Then in the 2010s, Japan–​ASEAN defense cooperation encompassed further specific and practical activities, capacity building, defense equipment and technology cooperation, and cooperation in the regional defense cooperation framework such as ASEAN Defense Ministerial Meeting Plus (ADMM-​Plus) (the “deepening stage”) (see Figure 3.1). Japan and Indonesia initiated the Foreign and Defense Ministerial Meeting (2+2 Meeting) in December 2015. Indonesia is the first ASEAN member state to hold a 2+2 Meeting with Japan, whose existing 2+2 Meetings include the United States, Australia, Russia, France, and the United Kingdom. The Japan Maritime Self-​Defense Force (JMSDF) participated in KOMODO, a joint naval exercise organized by the Indonesian Navy, carried out in seas and airspace surrounding Indonesia. Defense diplomacy with ASEAN member states has included numerous port calls by JMSDF vessels in recent years. In March 2016, a JMSDF vessel made port in Malaysia for the first time in three years, and the following month, the JMSDF participated in friendly training drills with the Royal Malaysian Navy. In April 2016, the JMSDF submarine Oyashio, along with the Japanese destroyers Ariake and Setogiri, made port at Subic Bay in the Philippines, the first such visit in approximately 15 years.12 Shortly afterward, the Ariake and Setogiri made a port call at

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Fig. 3.1. The Evolution of Japan–​ASEAN Defense Cooperation: deepening “exchanges” toward “cooperation” Source: Japanese Ministry of Defense

Cam Ranh Bay in southern Vietnam for the first time.13 During that time, the large Japanese destroyer Ise crossed the South China Sea for the first time to participate in an international fleet review and multilateral exercises held in Indonesia. Since 2017, the JMSDF has conducted longer-​term deployment of naval vessels such as the destroyers Izumo and Murasame throughout Southeast Asia and the broader Indo-​ Pacific region. In 2019, those vessels made port calls in Singapore, Malaysia, Vietnam, Brunei, and the Philippines over a period of three months, carrying out training and joint exercises with those navies and with external partners including India, Australia, and the United States.14 In recent years, Japanese submarines also have observed some U.S.–​Philippine Balikatan joint exercises and made more regular port calls in the Philippines. For the first time in 2018, the Japanese government disclosed a submarine warfare training exercise in the South China Sea. The submarine Kuroshio thereafter made the first-​ever JMSDF submarine port visit to Vietnam.15 That visit had symbolic importance at a time when Vietnam was actively developing its own submarine capabilities.

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Formation of the “Vientiane Vision”: A Comprehensive Approach

In November 2016 during the second ASEAN–​Japan Defense Ministers’ Informal Meeting, the Japanese Ministry of Defense announced the “Vientiane Vision” which aims to provide a comprehensive view of the future direction of Japan’s defense cooperation with ASEAN. According to the Vientiane Vision, Japan–​ASEAN defense cooperation would be focused on the following three areas: (1) principles of international law governing peaceful conduct among states, especially in the field of maritime and air space; (2) maritime security, including efforts to build up capabilities for Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance and Search and Rescue at sea and in air space; and (3) multi-​sector capacity building to cope with increasingly diverse and complex security issues.16 The Vientiane Vision provided direction for security networking beyond bilateral defense cooperation with individual ASEAN member states. The Vision stated the importance of expanding “ASEAN-​wide” cooperation through practical defense cooperation including promotion of international law, capacity building cooperation, defense equipment and technology cooperation, joint training and exercises, and human resource development and academic exchange. Based on the vision, Japan invited all ASEAN member states’ navies to be on board the JMSDF destroyer Izumo to conduct the Japan–​ASEAN Ship Rider Cooperation Program in June 2017. In the same month, Japan also invited all ASEAN member states to Japan’s large-​scale disaster relief exercise: the Japan–​ASEAN Joint Exercise for Rescue Observation Program.17 The framework for Japan–​ASEAN defense cooperation was further updated by the “Vientiane Vision 2.0,” adopted in November 2019 at the Japan–​ASEAN Defense Ministers’ informal meeting in Bangkok.18 The updated vision outlines the framework for Japan’s defense cooperation with ASEAN in line with the FOIP concept, Tokyo’s overarching regional engagement policy since 2016. The Vientiane Vision 2.0 focuses on ensuring the rule of law, strengthening maritime security, and assisting ASEAN’s organizational responses to regional challenges such as natural disasters and non-​traditional security threats. Like the original version of the Vientiane Vision, the 2.0 version also incorporates cooperation measures such as defense equipment and technology transfer. In that sense, the 2.0 version affirmed Japan’s basic strategy and indicated an intent to maintain strong elements of continuity in the Indo-​Pacific era.

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Capacity Building

The second major component of Japan’s enhanced security engagement with Southeast Asia in recent years has been its effort to help build the capacity of regional partners, particularly in the maritime domain. The concept of maritime capacity building first appeared in the National Defense Program Guidelines in December 2010, which stated: “Japan will also strive to establish and strengthen regional cooperation practice and support the capacity building of countries in the region” in the context of maintaining the stability of the Asia-​Pacific region.19 After this statement, the Japanese Defense Ministry established the Capacity Building Assistance (CBA) Office under the International Policy Division in April 2011.20 The CBA Office, launched with a relatively modest budget, focuses operationally on the following five areas: (1) humanitarian assistance and disaster relief, (2) demining, (3) military medicine, (4) maritime security, and (5) United Nations peacekeeping operations.21 The Defense Ministry’s initial focus on capacity building was a “soft” approach focusing on human resource development.22 In 2012, the JSDF was dispatched to Cambodia and Timor-​ Leste and provided human resources development assistance for road building and vehicle maintenance. The JSDF also provided short-​ term seminars for Vietnam, Indonesia, and Mongolia. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) of Japan has also become eager to promote maritime capacity building in Southeast Asia as a “strategic use of ODA.”23 In June 2006, Japan donated three patrol boats to Indonesia through Japanese ODA. Japan took careful steps to honor the principles of its non-​arms export pledge, by removing the weapon system from these vessels and by limiting their usage for antiterrorism and anti-​ piracy operations.24 In 2009, the Japanese International Cooperation Agency (JICA) transferred high-​tech equipment to the Philippine Coast Guard for use in maritime safety and security.25 Under this scheme, Japan transferred various equipment including satellite communications systems, a VHF/​HF radio system, a microwave communications system, and transmitting and receiving equipment for various stations. Since 2002, the Philippine Coast Guard has received staff from the Japanese Coast Guard for anti-​piracy training. As Japanese staff are stationed regularly in the headquarters of the Philippine Coast Guard in Manila, they consult to help with capacity building for a wider array of functions.26 In 2006, Japan helped Cambodia improve the security facilities and equipment in its main international ports. Likewise, Japan has funded

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various infrastructure projects including ports, airports, power generation stations, roads, and telecommunication systems in Southeast Asia, which can be related to security capacity building.27 The most important benchmark for “strategic use of ODA” was the decision to provide ten Japanese Coast Guard vessels to the Philippines.28 In February 2012, Foreign Minister Koichiro Gemba offered a speech to specifically reiterate the connection to maritime security as follows: “I intend to strategically use ODA and other appropriate schemes to address maritime issues, which are also important for national security. Specifically, I will promote measures to defend the security of sea lanes and to improve maritime security of coastal developing countries, including the provision of patrol boats to fight piracy and terrorism at sea.”29 Japan’s proposal to provide ten patrol boats to the Philippine Coast Guard through Japan’s ODA, which later led to the delivery of the vessels between 2016 and 2018, has been regarded as a most visible commitment for Japan to engage in promoting maritime capacity building in Southeast Asia. After the landslide victory of the Liberal Democratic Party in the 2012 general election, the new administration, led by Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, further raised the priority on capacity building in Japan’s security strategy. Japan’s first National Security Strategy, released in December 2013, mentioned: “Japan will further strengthen capacity building” in the fields of maritime order, outer space, and cyberspace.30 The strategy also reiterated that utilization of ODA and capacity building assistance should contribute to seamless assistance in security-​ related areas. The 2013 National Defense Program Guidelines further specified the objectives of Japan’s capacity building efforts as follows: • Japan will also further strengthen its relationships with partner ­countries in the region, including Southeast Asian countries, and will actively promote joint training and exercises and capacity building assistance. • Promoting capacity building assistance: Utilizing the capabilities of the JSDF, Japan will continuously engage in capacity building assistance such as human resource development and technical support on a regular basis in order to enhance the ability of developing ­countries themselves, thereby improving the security environment with particular focus on active creation of stability in the Asia-​ Pacific region.

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• Ensuring maritime security: As it is particularly vital for Japan as a maritime state to maintain an “Open and Stable Seas” order which serves as the cornerstone of peace and prosperity, Japan will take all possible measures to secure the safety of maritime traffic. Japan will also conduct anti-​piracy activities in cooperation with countries concerned, and will promote various efforts including capacity building assistance of coastal states in this field and enhancement of joint training and exercises by taking various opportunities in waters other than those surrounding our country.31

Fig. 3.2. Japan’s Capacity-​Building Assistance (June 2016–​June 2017) Source: Japanese Ministry of Defense

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Although the scope of Japan’s capacity building in Southeast Asia was modestly defined at the outset, it has the potential to be expanded, as the Abe administration significantly relaxed its longstanding principle banning arms exports. On April 1, 2014, the Japanese government set out “the Three Principles of Transfer of Defense Equipment and Technology.”32 Under those principles, transfers of defense equipment may be permitted if the case “contributes (1) to active promotion of peace contribution and international cooperation, or (2) Japan’s security.” The 2014 principles enabled Japan to pursue a wider range of options to transfer its defense equipment and technologies to Southeast Asia. The Japanese government has begun to use this authority to expand its capacity-​building activities in the ASEAN region. In July 2020, the Vietnamese government signed an agreement with JICA to finance a project to build six patrol vessels for the Vietnamese Coast Guard in Japan.33 In October, during Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga’s first trip to Southeast Asia, he agreed to explore an agreement to enable transfer of defense technology and equipment with Vietnam. This reflects the continuity in Japan’s strategy-​driven approach to Southeast Asia during the Indo-​Pacific era. Regional Security Cooperation: Institutional Development

The third key dimension of Japan’s rising security role in Southeast Asia has been a strong investment in multilateral institutions to help facilitate and structure defense cooperation. Since the inception of the ASEAN Regional Forum (ARF) in 1994, Japan has been an active and staunch supporter of the ASEAN-​led regional security dialogue process. While Japan maintained a security policy centered on the Japan–​U.S. security alliance, multilateral security cooperation provided a supplementary platform for non-​zero-​sum confidence-​building in the region amid the post-​Cold War security environment.34 Japan’s confidence in the ARF, however, gradually waned from the late 1990s given the slow progress and poor record in promotion of confidence-​building measures and preventive diplomacy.35 In the eyes of Japanese officials, a lack of full participation of defense officials and military services in the ARF had become a major obstacle to adopting practical security cooperation measures. Subsequently, as early as in 2002, Gen Nakatani, then Director of the Japan Defense Agency, the precursor to the Japan Defense Ministry, suggested that the ARF, predominantly a forum led by Foreign Ministry officials, should be complemented by a parallel defense forum. Nakatani

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suggested using the newly established Shangri-​ La Dialogue, a non-​ official defense dialogue organized by the International Institute for Strategic Studies in London, as a basis for future Asian defense ministerial meetings.36 However, the proposal for the defense ministerial meeting was met with a “cool response” from ASEAN counterparts due to a lack of prior consultation.37 Against this backdrop, Japan welcomed ASEAN’s proposal to expand the format of the ASEAN Defense Ministers Meeting (ADMM) to invite the “plus” members to join the ADMM Protocol in 2007, and the formal decision was adopted at the ADMM in May 2010. At the first meeting of the ASEAN Defense Ministers’ Meeting Plus (ADMM-​Plus), Deputy Defense Minister Jun Azumi called for “converging various security cooperation measures” among member states.38 In his speech, Azumi reiterated that: (1) ASEAN should continue to be the driving force of the region, (2) ADMM-​Plus should promote specific measures for humanitarian assistance and disaster relief, and (3) it was important to share rules and values through a dialogue process. Since 2010, Japan has been an active participant and supporter of ADMM-​Plus. Japan and Singapore served as co-​chairs of the Expert Working Group (EWG) on military medicine until March 2014, and Japan proactively supported the role of military medicine, especially at a time of disaster relief.39 Furthermore, at meetings of the EWG on maritime security, Japan emphasized the importance of establishing shared customary norms by which all countries abide, in order to avoid unintended collisions and the escalation of situations when navy and government vessels approach and encounter each other at sea. In June 2013, Japan participated in the first ADMM-​Plus field training exercise held in Brunei, organized by the EWG on humanitarian assistance and disaster relief and the EWG on military medicine. In September 2013, Japan also participated in a tabletop exercise held in Indonesia, organized by the EWG on counter terrorism, as well as the field training exercise held in Australia, organized by the EWG on maritime security. Japan co-​chaired the EWG on HA/​DR with Laos from 2014–​17 and has co-​chaired the EWG on peacekeeping operations with Vietnam since 2020.40 The Japanese government regards ADMM-​Plus as uniquely important due to four key features. First, ADMM-​Plus ensures regular multilateral meetings among the defense ministers of 18 countries—​a group of appropriate size to focus on Asia-​Pacific security, compared to the ARF, which includes 27 countries and is therefore unwieldy. Second, ADMM-​Plus engages defense officials and military services for practical cooperation, including multilateral training and exercises. Third, the forum includes

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appropriate inter-​ governmental coordination through annual senior officials’ meetings—​the ASEAN Defense Senior Officials Meetings Plus (ADSOM-​Plus)—​and its Working Group. Fourth, ADMM-​Plus enhances its future functions through recommendations of the EWGs, which now cover seven issue areas: HA/​ DR, peacekeeping operations, maritime security, counterterrorism, cybersecurity, humanitarian mine action, and military medicine.41 Through these functions, ADMM-​Plus offers building-​block opportunities for Japan to cultivate common regional capacity to deal practically with intra-​regional security issues and to do so in a relatively non-​confrontational way.42 For Japan, ADMM-​Plus offers three major strategic opportunities. First, ADMM-​Plus can become the most promising platform for rules-​ based, principled, and inclusive security cooperation in the Asia-​Pacific. As Defense Minister Gen Nakatani mentioned in the third ADMM-​ Plus meeting, Japan eagerly pursues a rules-​based international order in which laws and practices of maritime and air navigation are effectively shared.43 As the only official meetings among defense ministers in Asia-​ Pacific, Japan perceives ADMM-​Plus as a platform to converge various confidence-​building measures, crisis management mechanisms, and a variety of non-​traditional security cooperation measures. Second, Japan endorses the centrality and leading role of ASEAN in the ADMM-​Plus process as it engages major players in defense diplomacy. In order to ensure ADMM-​Plus’s continued relevance, ASEAN’s ability to navigate agendas and dispute resolution mechanisms is essential. Thus, ADMM-​Plus offers an important platform for Japan–​ASEAN strategic cooperation. Third, ADMM-​Plus provides an important interface of defense diplomacy with China. ADMM-​Plus is the only venue where the defense ministers of Japan and China are expected to have regular official exchanges. At the third ADMM-​Plus ministerial meeting in 2015, Gen Nakatani met with Chang Wanquan, Chinese Minister of Defense, the first meeting between Chinese and Japanese defense ministers in over four years. Despite Japan’s concerns over the South China Sea as well as its calls for freedom of navigation, which obviously displeased the Chinese government, Japan and China agreed to have a bilateral meeting and came up with an agreement on the need to set up maritime and air communication mechanisms for crisis management.44 The next meeting of Japanese and Chinese defense ministers occurred three years later in October 2018 in Singapore, also on the margins of ADMM-​Plus. They agreed to establish a hotline and additional defense

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exchanges to help avoid any unwanted clash between the two militaries.45 ADMM-​ Plus also offers opportunities for joint trainings and table-​ top exercises between Japan’s Self-​Defense Force and China’s People’s Liberation Army, including training and exercises related to military medicine, HA/​DR, maritime security, and counter-​terrorism. In 2009, 2011, and 2019, the JSDF and Chinese navy conducted very limited “goodwill exercises” in this vein.46 Alongside ADMM-​Plus, Japan also has upgraded its own defense exchanges with ASEAN. Since 2009, the Japanese Defense Ministry has held an annual Japan–​ASEAN Vice-​Ministerial Forum, with the purpose of strengthening bilateral and multilateral relationships through establishing networks between vice-​ministerial level defense officials.47 Based on a proposal made at the Japan–​ ASEAN Commemorative Summit in December 2013, the first Japan–​ASEAN Defense Ministers’ Meeting took place in Myanmar in November 2014. The second Japan–​ ASEAN Defense Ministers’ meeting was held in Laos in November 2016, where Japan proposed the aforementioned “Vientiane Vision.” The third meeting was held on the sidelines of the ADMM-​Plus meeting in October 2017. Japan’s Defense Ministry established the Committee for Japan–​ASEAN Defense Cooperation, led by the Parliamentary Senior Vice-​Minister of Defense to carry out Japan’s practical defense cooperation with ASEAN. Japan’s multilateral defense diplomacy therefore reinforces its efforts to develop regional security networks and build the capacity of Southeast Asian partners. ADMM-​Plus in particular offers regular opportunities for engagement, helps Japan identify the security needs of Southeast Asian and other partners, and provides a multilateral mechanism for providing defense assistance that is less likely to be interpreted as hostile to China or other area powers. In all of these respects, multilateral defense diplomacy helps Japan maintain its posture as a “courteous power” even as it expands its activity and visibility as a regional security actor. Conclusion

Japan’s role in regional security cooperation had been modest and “indirect” for many decades after the end of World War II. However, Japan carefully began regional defense exchanges for confidence building in the 1990s, developed practical defense cooperation in the 2000s, and deepened its scope in the 2010s—​a process that has continued during the FOIP era.

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As this chapter has discussed, China’s rise and increasing Sino–​American strategic competition have been the major drivers of this evolutionary process in developing security networks, capacities, and institutions. A structural approach to international security would draw attention to the effects of geostrategic forces on states’ behavior, suggesting that Japan’s deepening security cooperation in Southeast Asia represents an effort to balance against a rising China. Whether such theories can explain Japan–​ASEAN security relations in the wider East Asian regional security order remains an open question. The minimalist answer would regard the Japan–​ASEAN leg of cooperation as an extension of confidence-​building measures, not having a major effect on the strategic equilibrium in the region. Indeed, as ASEAN needs to secure strategic room for maneuver in the U.S.–​China rivalry, a distinct deepening of security cooperation with Japan might squeeze ASEAN’s space for strategic choice if Japan is seen as tightly allied to the United States and intent on balancing against China. While Japan and the ASEAN states have developed security cooperation, both have carefully avoided forms of engagement that would be seen as obvious counter-​balancing toward China. This logic continues to lead the direction of Japan–​ ASEAN defense exchanges, and it remains a very important aspect of Japan’s regional identity as a courteous power. However, Japan–​ ASEAN security networks and capacity and institution-​building will continue to have a distinct role to play in the regional security dynamics of Southeast Asia. With increasing defense capacities and accumulated cooperation practices between Japan and ASEAN, a significant scope of operations has emerged that can be jointly conducted, especially in the realm of non-​traditional security. In maritime security, the Philippines, Vietnam, Malaysia, and Indonesia are aiming to develop more reliable capability for maritime domain awareness, which could become a platform for expanded maritime cooperation with external powers including Japan, the United States, Australia, and India. Moreover, Vietnam’s growing naval capability, especially underwater anti-​ submarine warfare capability, could produce its own local anti-​access capacity in the South China Sea, preventing any hostile power from occupying or traversing the area. These growing capabilities, with cooperation with Japan and other major powers, would constitute regional resiliency toward maritime coercion. Most importantly, ASEAN continues to be the sole player to lead the regional institutionalization process. Any set of agreements, rules, and norms for regional security cooperation can only be formalized through

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ASEAN’s expanded dialogue process. The institutional strength of ASEAN in the regional security order is indispensable and irreplaceable. Japan’s strategic goal of realizing a “rules-​based regional order”—​one that upholds principles such as freedom of navigation and relies on shared norms and institutions to foster peaceful and predictable interstate relations—​will find ASEAN-​led institutional processes as the key policy platforms. NOTES 1. “Prime Minister Fukuda Takeo’s Doctrine Speech” text available in “Appendix 1: Fukuda Doctrine,” in Japan’s Relations with Southeast Asia, ed. Lam Peng Er (London and New York: Routledge, 2012), 158–​162. 2. Lam Peng Er, “The Fukuda Doctrine: Origins, Ideas and Praxis,” in Japan’s Relations with Southeast Asia, 11–​14. 3. Surin Pitsuwan, “Fukuda Doctrine: Impact and Implications on Japan-​ASEAN Relations,” in Japan’s Relations with Southeast Asia, 163–​172. 4. See Christopher Hughes, “Japan’s Re-​emergence as a “Normal” Military Power,” Adelphi Paper 368-​9 (London: International Institute for Strategic Studies, 2004), 24–​26. 5. Victor Cha, Power Play: The Origin of the U.S. Alliance System in Asia (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2016). 6. Japanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Japanese Participation in UN Peacekeeping: Cambodia, available at https://​​policy/​un/​pko/​pamph96/​ 02_​2.html (accessed May 4, 2021). 7. See John D. Ciorciari and Kiyoteru Tsutsui, “Japan as a Courteous Power: Conti­ nuity and Change in the Indo-​Pacific Era,” in this volume. 8. Japan’s National Security Strategy, adopted in December 2013, highlighted the “shift in the balance of power” as the main security challenge facing Japan. See Cabinet Secretariat, National Security Strategy (December 17, 2013), available at https://​www.​jp/​siryou/​131217anzenhoshou/​nss-​e.pdf (accessed May 4, 2021). 9. Cheng-​Chwee Kuik, “How Do Weaker States Hedge? Unpacking ASEAN States’ Alignment Behavior towards China,” Journal of Contemporary China 25, no. 100 (2016), 500–​514. 10. Similar arguments can be found in following articles: Ken Jimbo, “Japan Should Build ASEAN’s Security Capacity,” AJISS-​Commentary (May 30, 2012), http://​www2.​en_​commentary/​201205/​30-​1.html; Euan Graham, “Maritime Security and Capacity-​ Building: The Australia-​ Japan Dimension,” in Beyond the Hub and Spokes: Australia-​Japan Security Cooperation, eds. William Tow and Tomonori Yoshizaki (Tokyo: The National Institute for Defense Studies, 2014): 43–​57; Corey J. Wallace, “Japan’s Strategic Pivot South: Diversifying the Dual Hedge,” International Relations of the Asia-​Pacific 13, no. 3 (2013): 479–​517; Celine Pajon, “Japan and South China Sea: Forging Strategic Partnerships in a Divided Region,” Asie Visions 60 (Center for Asian Studies, IFRI, January 2013), http://​​sites/​default/​files/​atoms/​files/​ asievisions60celinepajon.pdf. 11. Japanese Ministry of Defense (MOD), “Active Promotion of Security Cooperation,” in Defense of Japan 2016 (Tokyo: MOD, 2016), 322; U.S. Department of

70 | The Courteous Power State, “U.S. Security Cooperation with Japan,” Fact sheet (July 9, 2020), https://​www.​u-​s-​security-​cooperation-​with-​japan/​. 12. Jesse Johnson, “Japanese Submarine, Destroyers Arrive in Philippines for Port Call Near Disputed South China Sea Waters,” Japan Times, April 3, 2016. 13. Japanese Ministry of Defense, Defense of Japan 2017 (Tokyo: MOD, 2017), 370. 14. Tomohiko Satake, “Japan: Initiatives for a Free and Open Indo-​Pacific,” in East Asian Strategic Review 2020 (Tokyo: National Institute for Defense Studies, 2020), 202–​204. 15. See John F. Bradford, “Japanese Naval Activities in Southeast Asian Waters: Building on 50 Years of Maritime Security Capacity Building,” Asian Security (2020), 17–​20. 16. Japanese Ministry of Defense, “Vientiane Vision: Japan’s Defense Cooperation Initiative with ASEAN” (November 2016), available at https://​​e/​d_​act/​ exc/​vientianevision/​pdf/​161116_​1.pdf (accessed May 5, 2021). 17. Japanese Ministry of Defense, “Achievements of Japan-​ ASEAN Defence Cooperation Based on the “Vientiane Vision” (October 2017), available at https://​www.​e/​d_​act/​exc/​vientianevision/​pdf/​achivements_​201710_​e.pdf (accessed May 5, 2021). 18. Japanese Ministry of Defense, “Updating the ‘Vientiane Vision: Japan’s Defense Cooperation Initiative with ASEAN’ ” (November 2019), available at https://​www.mod.​e/​d_​act/​exc/​admm/​06/​vv2_​en.pdf (accessed May 4, 2021). 19. Japanese Ministry of Defense, National Defense Program Guidelines for FY2011 and Beyond (December 17, 2010), available at https://​​e/​d_​act/​d_​policy/​ pdf/​guidelinesFY2011.pdf (accessed May 5, 2021). 20. National Institute for Defense Studies, “Japan: Examining the Dynamic Defense Force,” in East Asian Strategic Review 2013 (Tokyo: NIDS, 2013), 124. 21. See Japanese Ministry of Defense, “Japan’s Defense Capacity Building Assistance” (April 2016), available at https://​​info:ndljp/​pid/​11591426/​www.mod.​e/​publ/​pamphlets/​pdf/​cap_​build/​pamphlet.pdf (accessed May 5, 2021). 22. National Institute for Defense Studies, “Japan,” 124; Tomoaki Honda, “Boeisho Jieitai niyoru Hidentoteki Anzenhosho Bunya no Noryoku Kochiku Shien” (Ministry of Defense and Self-​Defense Force’s Capacity Building in the Non-​Traditional Security), Senryaku Kenkyu 15 (Strategy Studies) (2015). 23. See, e.g., Japanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs, “Foreign Policy Speech by Foreign Minister Motegi to the 201st Session of the Diet,” January 20, 2020, available at https://​​fp/​pp/​page3e_​001153.html (accessed May 4, 2021). 24. See Japanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs, “Provision of Patrol Vessels to Indonesia,” Official Development Assistance White Paper 2006 (December 2006), available at http://​​policy/​oda/​white/​2006/​ODA2006/​html/​honpen/​hp202040400. htm (accessed May 4, 2021). 25. See Johan Bergenas and Richard Sabatini, “Japan Takes the Lead in Coordinating Security and Development Aid,” World Politics Review, August 1, 2012, http://​​articles/​12220/​japan-​takes-​the-​lead-​in-​ coordinating-​security-​anddevelopment-​aid. 26. Interview with a senior staff member of the Japanese Coast Guard, September 8, 2014. 27. The aforementioned article by Johan Bergenas and Richard Sabatini wisely describes the objective of such aid as follows: “Significantly, none of these efforts were

Japan’s Defense and Security Cooperation in Southeast Asia | 71 aimed at militarizing a country or region, nor do the initiatives seek to ‘securitize’ aid. Instead, the programming is closely coordinated with recipient states’ development needs, while seeking to respond to a more complex global environment in which sustainable development through security capacity-​ building is a critical component.” Bergenas and Sabatini, “Japan Takes the Lead.” 28. For the details of the JICA loan agreement, see “Maritime Safety Capability Improvement Project for the Philippine Coast Guard”, in JICA, Ex-​Ante Evaluation (for Japanese ODA Loan), December 14, 2013, available at: http://​​ english/​our_​work/​evaluation/​oda_​loan/​economic_​cooperation/​c8h0vm000001rdjtatt/​ philippines_​131214_​01.pdf (accessed May 4, 2021). 29. Foreign Minister Koichiro Gemba, “Japan’s Efforts in the Global Agenda-​ Implementing ‘Full-​Cast Diplomacy’ and Expanding the Frontiers of International Cooperation”, Speech Delivered at the National Graduate Institute for Policy Studies, Tokyo (February 18, 2012). 30. The Cabinet Secretariat of Japan, “National Security Strategy,” Provisional Translation, English Version, December 17, 2013, http://​​jp/​siryou/​ 131217anzenhoshou/​nsse.pdf (accessed on May 4, 2021). 31. Japanese Ministry of Defense, National Defense Program Guidelines for FY2014 and beyond (December 17, 2013), 16–​ 17, available at https://​​ info:ndljp/​pid/​11591426/​w​j/​approach/​agenda/​guideline/​2014/​p df/​ 20131217_​e2.pdf (accessed on May 5, 2021). 32. Japanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs, “The Three Principles on Transfer of Defense Equipment and Technology,” available at http://​​press/​release/​ press22e_​000010.html (accessed on May 4, 2021) 33. Xavier Vavasseur, “Japan to Build Six Patrol Vessels for Vietnam’s Coast Guard,” Naval News, August 8, 2020. 34. Glenn D. Hook, “Japan and the ASEAN Regional Forum: Bilateralism, Multilateralism or Supplementalism?” Japanstudien 10 (1998), 159–​88. 35. Takeshi Yuzawa, Japan’s Security Policy and the ASEAN Regional Forum: The Search for Multilateral Security in the Asia-​Pacific (London and New York: Routledge, 2007). 36. Tan See Seng, “Japan and Multilateralism in Asia,” in Navigating Change: ASEAN-​ Japan Strategic Partnership in East Asia and in Global Governance, eds. Rizal Sukma and Yoshihide Soeya (Tokyo: Japan Center for International Exchange, 2015), 67–​68. 37. Sukma and Soeya (eds.), ASEAN-Japan Strategic Partnership in East Asia and in Global Governance, 68. 38. Jun Azumi, “Speech of Deputy Defense Minister Jun Azumi at the ASEAN Defense Ministers’ Meeting Plus” (in Japanese, October 13, 2010). 39. Japanese Ministry of Defense, Defense White Paper 2015 (Tokyo: MOD, 2015), 270–​273. 40. Japanese Ministry of Defense, “Defense Minister Kono’s Participation in the 6th ASEAN Defence Ministers’ Meeting-​Plus, the 5th ASEAN-​Japan Defence Ministers’ Informal Meeting, and Bilateral and Trilateral Defense Ministerial Meetings,” November 19, 2019, available at https://​​e/​d_​act/​exc/​admm/​admmplus_​6.html (accessed May 4, 2021). 41. Japanese Ministry of Defense, “Defense Minister Kono’s Participation in the 6th ASEAN Defence Ministers’ Meeting-​Plus, the 5th ASEAN-​Japan Defence Ministers’ Informal Meeting, and Bilateral and Trilateral Defense Ministerial Meetings,” November

72 | The Courteous Power 19, 2019, available at https://​​e/​d_​act/​exc/​admm/​admmplus_​6.html (accessed May 4, 2021). 42. Ken Jimbo, “The ADMM-​Plus: Anchoring Diversified Security Cooperation in a Three-​Tiered Security Architecture,” in The Future of the ADMM/​ADMM-​Plus and Defense Diplomacy in the Asia Pacific, eds. Sarah Teo and Bhubhindar Singh (Singapore: S. Rajaratnum School of International Studies, 2016). 43. Gen Nakatani, “Speech of Defense Minister Gen Nakatani at the ASEAN Defense Ministers’ Meeting Plus” (in Japanese), November 4, 2015. 44. Yukio Tajima, “Defense Chiefs Agree on Quick Launch of Communication Mechanism,” Nikkei Asian Review, November, 5, 2015. 45. Isabel Reynolds, “Japan, China Defense Ministers Meet for First Time in 3 Years,” Bloomberg, October 19, 2018. 46. See Julian Ryall, “Japan and China Hold First Joint Maritime Drills in Eight Years in Sign of Warming Ties,” South China Morning Post, October 22, 2019. 47. Japanese Ministry of Defense, Defense of Japan 2017, 356.

4  |  W  edge Strategies, Japan–​ASEAN Cooperation, and the Making of the EAS Implications for Indo-​Pacific Institutionalization Kei Koga

Japan–​ ASEAN cooperation has been steadily strengthened since the Japan–​ ASEAN cooperative partnership in 1973. However, it was the Fukuda Doctrine that significantly improved relations between Japan and Southeast Asia. The Fukuda Doctrine was meaningful to Southeast Asian states because it reassured the ASEAN member states that Japan would contribute to peace and prosperity in Southeast Asia; would not become a military power; and would build mutual trust through “heart-​to-​heart” understanding.1 Since then, Japan has nurtured political and social trust with ASEAN, culminating in Japan’s strong support for the establishment of the ASEAN Regional Forum (ARF).2 Japan also has been supportive of ASEAN’s institutional initiatives, including the establishment of ASEAN+3 in 1997, the East Asia Summit (EAS) in 2005, and the ASEAN Defense Ministers Meeting Plus (ADMM-​Plus) in 2010.3 Through such cooperation, the image of Japan in Southeast Asia gradually improved. This is well illustrated by 2019 and 2020 surveys indicating that Southeast Asians perceived that Japan was more trustworthy and likely to contribute to global peace, security, and governance than China and the United States.4 At the same time, ASEAN–​Japan cooperation has been inward-​looking in the sense that it has focused primarily on supporting development and stability within Southeast Asia.5 It is relatively rare for Japan and ASEAN to discuss their cooperative relationship beyond Southeast Asia despite the 2013 ASEAN–​Japan Vision Statement that envisioned cooperation in the global arena.6 In fact, while Japan has supported ASEAN-​led institutions, 73

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such as the ARF, ASEAN+3, and ADMM-​Plus, those institutions have “ASEAN” in their names and have focused largely on consolidating the ASEAN political-​security, economic, and socio-​cultural communities—​an aim acceptable both to ASEAN and various external actors. This inward-​ looking focus is understandable for ASEAN, as its core geographical scope is fundamentally Southeast Asia, and because the power projection capabilities of its member states are significantly limited in comparison with great powers, such as China and the United States. That said, the current strategic dynamics of Asia, mainly shaped by the power shifts and the great power rivalry between the United States and China, has propelled both Japan and ASEAN to seek to expand the strategic scope of their cooperation beyond Southeast Asia.7 Obviously, other states also attempt to do the same. China in particular has enhanced its socio-​economic cooperation with Southeast Asian states through the Belt and Road Initiative, seeking ASEAN’s diplomatic support for its development initiatives beyond Southeast Asia while gaining political influence over the region. In this context, ASEAN has diplomatic traction to expand its cooperation with regional powers beyond Southeast Asia. In fact, cooperation beyond Southeast Asia has become more important for Japan and ASEAN given the emergence of the strategic concept of the Indo-​Pacific region. Japan has been disseminating its own concept of the “Free and Open Indo-​Pacific” (FOIP) with other regional powers, such as Australia, India, and the United States, since 2016. Within this concept, Japan has emphasized ASEAN unity and centrality, which plays an important role in nurturing the FOIP.8 The term “Indo-​Pacific” gained currency after Japan successfully persuaded the United States to use it in 2017, though many ASEAN observers worried that the Trump administration would use the FOIP concept to press for changes to the regional order to confront China, which it branded a “revisionist” state.9 Indonesia thus took the initiative to discuss and develop ASEAN’s own concept of the Indo-​Pacific.10 Consequently, ASEAN issued the “ASEAN Outlook on the Indo-​Pacific” (AOIP) in June 2019 to alleviate uncertainty and defuse great power tensions that would potentially marginalize ASEAN in the region. The AOIP has essentially aimed to prevent great power tensions from deteriorating by emphasizing such cooperative principles as “inclusivity,” which do not exclude either the United States or China and place ASEAN in a neutral position.11 In other words, one of the focal points in the Indo-​Pacific has become the future of institution-​building to facilitate cooperation and mitigate tensions among regional great powers, such as Japan, the United States,

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and China. In this context, a crucial question arises: can Japan and ASEAN expand their cooperation beyond Southeast Asia to the Indo-​Pacific, particularly in terms of institution building, given that Japan–​ASEAN cooperation has generally been limited to Southeast Asia in the past? In this chapter, I argue that it is difficult for ASEAN’s cooperation with Japan and other external powers to expand in geographic scope from Southeast Asia to the Indo-​Pacific because of the availability of wedge strategies. A wedge strategy refers to “a state’s attempt to prevent, break up, or weaken a threatening or blocking alliance at an acceptable cost.”12 Multilateral institutions are susceptible to wedge strategies by major powers that seek to prevent each other from gaining more influence over the institution. An institution is even more vulnerable if its decision-​ making mechanism is consensus-​based as in ASEAN, and this remains the case even if a norm like ASEAN centrality becomes a key institutional principle. Wedge strategies make it less likely that an effective Indo-​Pacific regional institution based on ASEAN will be established. The importance of wedge strategies in the development of regional institutions is evident in one institution that experienced geopolitical competition between Japan and China during its establishment—​the East Asia Summit (EAS). This is a unique institution for multiple reasons. First, it does not have “ASEAN” in the institutional name, unlike the ARF, ASEAN+3, and ADMM-​Plus. Second, its geographical scope goes beyond Southeast Asia, focusing on East Asia—​the combination of Northeast Asia and Southeast Asia. Third, it was not initially based on the assumption that ASEAN would play the central role, unlike other ASEAN-​led institutions. Admittedly, the EAS eventually became an ASEAN-​led institution that values ASEAN centrality. However, the EAS had the potential to be a different type of regional institution—​one led more decisively by China—​ if ASEAN was not the primary player in shaping its agendas and functions. In this sense, the establishment process of the EAS is worth exploring in order to deepen the understanding of ASEAN’s cooperation with external powers beyond Southeast Asia, particularly in the Indo-​Pacific region. Methodologically, this chapter examines the process of establishing the EAS by employing a modified theoretical model of a wedge strategy. The concept of a wedge strategy is situated in the balance of power theory, closely associated with the concept of balancing. The difference is that while balancing is conventionally concerned about the aggregation of the capabilities vis-​à-​vis target states through either external or internal balancing, wedging is specifically focused on weakening the target states’ external balancing.13 In the case of the EAS, Japan engaged

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a wedge strategy called “selective inducement” in order to hinder China’s ambition to increase its political influence in East Asia by persuading ASEAN to transform ASEAN+3 into the EAS. Eventually, Japan’s wedge strategy succeeded for two main reasons. First, ASEAN’s consensus decision-​making process guided the EAS establishment process. This made it easier to implement a wedge strategy, because one member state’s objection can prevent ASEAN from making any decision. Second, ASEAN retained the norm of ASEAN centrality in the EAS by proposing its own criteria for EAS membership. This explicitly provided ASEAN with a large advantage to shape the institutional format and agenda of the EAS, leading to significant compromises from Japan and China. At the same time, however, these conditions for a successful wedge strategy also made it difficult for the EAS to play a significant strategic role in the expanded East Asia and beyond. The rest of the chapter is structured in four parts. First, it discusses concepts and theories of wedge strategies and applies them to the multilateral institutional setting. Second, it examines the case of the EAS, theoretically and empirically. Third, the chapter discusses the results of Japan–​ ASEAN interactions in establishing the EAS, while analyzing the validity of the theoretical framework. Lastly, it concludes with the implications for ASEAN–​Japan cooperation in the Indo-​Pacific region. “Wedge Strategies” in Multilateral Institutions: The Case of ASEAN

Any international institution faces political dilemmas in reconciling institutional interests and member states’ national interests. When member states pursue their own national interests at the expense of institutional interests, they may weaken the institution or reveal its inherent fragility. Consistent with neoliberal institutionalism, institutions provide an opportunity for the member states to exchange information, coordinate policy, monitor behavior of other states, and punish them if necessary. However, these functions are not necessarily available to all institutions, exposing some institutions to difficulties in creating a unified front and the risk of the “divide and rule” strategy by external actors.14 Therefore, the member states, which still believe in the utility of the institution for ensuring their security or pursuing their interests, attempt to prevent external actors from fundamentally dividing the institution.15 An external actor that attempts to influence institutional decisions may consider employing a “wedge strategy.”16 By driving a wedge between

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allies or partners, the strategy aims to neutralize or weaken the institution that is or has the potential to be a strategic risk against the wedger. There are two types of wedge strategies: selective inducement and confrontation. Selective inducement refers to a strategy of mixing carrots and sticks to “create divergent pressures on members or potential members of an opposing alliance.”17 With this strategy, a wedger attempts to induce cooperation from the target state and weaken the cohesion of the institution. Confrontation attempts to consistently apply pressure on one or more member states to create a divergence in their commitment to the institution and thereby weaken it.18 These theoretical models of wedge strategies are useful in understanding the dynamics of coalition-​breaking in a multilateral institution. However, these theories are essentially built on the alliance politics literature, which is generally based on cases of bilateral or trilateral partnership, including traditional military alliances.19 Wedging has somewhat different dynamics in multilateral institutions. When approaching a multilateral institution, a state can pursue intra-​ institutional or extra-​institutional wedge strategies. An intra-​institutional wedge is a conventional wedge strategy in which a wedger attempts to prevent the institution from creating a unified front against the wedger’s interests through either selective inducement or selective confrontation. By targeting certain member state(s) within the institution to induce cooperation or pose pressure, the wedger attempts to drive a wedge among the member states (Figure 4.1). In an extra-​institutional wedge strategy, a wedger attempts to prevent a rival state from creating a coalition with the institution against the wedger’s interests through collective inducement or collective confrontation. Collective inducement refers to inducing cooperation from the institution as a whole, while collective confrontation refers to applying pressure to the institution. The underlying assumption here is that the existence of the institution is at least strategically neutral for the wedger,

Fig. 4.1. Intra-​institutional wedge

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and thus, its primary objective is not to break the institution. Unlike conventional wedging, this extra-​institutional wedge strategy has not been studied in the existing literature (Figure 4.2). Another distinctive feature of wedging against a multilateral body is that a wedger has a different level of “reward power”—​that is, resources to induce cooperation from a target state—​vis-​à-​vis each member state within the institution. Given that a multilateral institution includes more than three member states, a wedger would likely have a different degree of political leverage over each member by utilizing its political, economic, and military resources unless the member states are ideationally and materially relatively homogeneous. As this discussion suggests, there are four types of wedge strategies toward a multilateral institution and a rival state: collective inducement, collective confrontation, selective inducement, and selective confrontation. Collective inducement refers to a strategy that induces cooperation from all members in the institution to weaken or break the existing link between the institution and a rival state. Collective confrontation refers to a strategy that applies pressure or imposes costs in maintaining or strengthening the link between the institution and a rival state. These are difficult to achieve since the wedger needs to persuade or force a group of states within the institution to change their behavior. As such, the reward or the threat needs to be much larger. That said, in comparison with collective confrontation, it is relatively easier for the wedger to use a collective inducement strategy toward the institution as a whole if member states in the institution are relatively unified. This is because the risk of collective confrontation is likely to be much higher. If that strategy failed, the wedger would face backlash from not only the rival state but also the member states from the multilateral institution. As such, collective inducement is a less risky way to achieve the objective of an extra-​institutional wedge. Selective inducement and selective confrontation are strategies that target one or more members to prevent the institution from reaching any

Fig. 4.2. Extra-​institutional wedge

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agreement to create, maintain, or strengthen alignment with a rival state. While selective inducement aims to induce cooperation from a particular member state(s) in the institution, selective confrontation refers to a confrontational strategy against one or a group of the member states. For these strategies, two conditions are particularly conducive. The first condition is that the institution’s decision-​making process is based on supermajority, unanimity, or consensus. This is because a wedger has to induce a certain degree of cooperation from only a few member states to create disagreements within the institution. The second condition is that the institution is relatively open to suggestions and ideas from external actors in terms of the institution’s decision-​making process. Such openness would likely provide opportunities for external actors to shape the institution’s internal discussion. Among these four types of wedge strategies, a wedger is likely to choose collective inducement first, because it has a higher strategic benefit than an intra-​institutional wedge. Even if it is not successful, the wedger can shift its strategy to pursue other strategies: namely selective inducement or selective confrontation (Figure 4.3).20 Wedge strategies often encounter resistance. Rivals to the wedger may respond by adopting wedge strategies of their own, trying to frustrate the wedger’s effort to induce cooperation from some or all members of an institution. Likewise, a multilateral institution is not always receptive to a wedger’s strategy. The institution needs to counteract the strategy in order to maintain institutional cohesiveness, because a divided institution is highly likely to be ineffective. Among the four wedge strategies, selective inducement or selective confrontation would more likely facilitate intra-​institutional division and break down the institution than collective inducement or collective confrontation, and thus the institution needs to prevent or mitigate the effects of that strategy.21 To this end, a given group of the institution’s member states, particularly those who believe in the strategic utility of the institution, would conduct negative or positive

Fig. 4.3. Processes of a wedge strategy toward an institution. Please see note 21

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sanctions internally against each other. Positive sanctions refer to “promised or actual provisions of what [other member states] desire,” such as economic assistance, and negative sanctions refer to “actual or contingent deprivations of what [another member state] positively values,” such as trade barriers.22 Thus, strategic interactions between a wedger and an institution can be depicted as follows (Figure 4.4). Generally, the best strategy for a wedger is likely to be selective inducement. This is because collective confrontation would invite stronger backlash if it failed, which makes the strategic situation worse for a wedger.23 Selective inducement has a lower risk of failure than collective inducement, because the strategy seeks cooperative actions from only one or more selected members of the institution. Even if selective inducement fails, a wedger’s cooperative posture is less likely to produce antagonism with a target state than confrontation. Of course, this does not mean that a wedger always avoids confrontation entirely, and selective confrontation would likely be taken as a last resort. Selective inducement is likely to be the default strategy for a wedger. In the case of ASEAN, the association employs consensus decision-​ making, particularly for important political and security issues, by which institutional decisions can be made if there is no opposition from any member state. This form of consensus is different from “unanimity,” by which everyone needs to agree affirmatively. Since ASEAN consists of ten diverse Southeast Asian states, it is relatively easy to prevent it from making a decision. Also, since ASEAN does not legally prevent each member state from engaging with particular external powers as shown in the cases of the U.S.–​Philippines alliance and the U.S.–​Thailand alliance, each member has a right to determine its external relations. Consequently, each member may be susceptible to an external state’s wedge strategy. To prevent this, ASEAN advocated for institutional unity and created the principle of “ASEAN centrality” that facilitates a respect for ASEAN’s

Fig. 4.4. A wedger’s strategies and an institution’s reactions

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control over agendas and procedures.24 However, this does not mean that ASEAN can always reach agreements prior to its consultations with external actors, particularly in the areas of cooperation beyond its core geographical scope, Southeast Asia. The diversity of views within ASEAN makes it difficult for any external power to pursue a wedge strategy of collective inducement. In this context, Japan is likely to use an intra-​institutional wedge—​ selective inducement or even selective confrontation toward the ASEAN member states. In fact, in the case of the EAS establishment process, Japan pursued selective inducement. Malaysia and China took the initiative to quickly establish the EAS on the basis of an ASEAN+3 framework in the early 2000s, partly to create East Asia’s own regional institution without external powers, particularly the United States. One key reason was resentment of the U.S. response to the 1997 Asian Financial Crisis. This initially created a quiet consensus among the ASEAN member states in favor of an EAS based on ASEAN+3, which includes China, Japan, and South Korea in addition to ASEAN member states. In response, Japan wanted to thwart this proposal, because it would have potentially created “closed regionalism,” excluding the United States, and because Japan had been concerned about rising Chinese political influence in Southeast Asia.25 Japan’s wedge strategy eventually succeeded, because it used selective inducement to create division among ASEAN, preventing ASEAN from endorsing the original proposal to limit EAS membership to ASEAN+3. The EAS took the membership expansion to include democratic states, namely Australia, India, and New Zealand, which Japan requested. At the same time, as the selective inducement created division among the ASEAN member states in the process. Japan’s wedge strategy helped like-​ minded ASEAN member states establish the EAS with the principle of ASEAN centrality to fend off external influences on particular member states as much as possible. The next section examines the historical process of establishing the EAS, particularly focusing on Japan’s reaction to the original proposal and the ASEAN member states’ reaction to it. To understand Japan’s wedge strategy, the trend of Japan’s relations with each ASEAN member state in terms of diplomacy, trade, and foreign direct investment (FDI) will be compared to China’s rising regional influence and examined mainly through media reports, official documents, and academic articles. In this way, Japan’s influence in each ASEAN member state in relation to China can be illustrated.

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The EAS Establishment Process: Tug-​Of-​War among Japan, China, and ASEAN Member States

The original concept of the EAS derived from the 2001 East Asia Vision Group Report, “Toward An East Asian Community: Region of Peace, Prosperity and Progress,” which envisioned the “evolution of the annual summit meetings of ASEAN+3 into the East Asian Summit.”26 On the basis of this report, the East Asia Study Group was formed, consisting of 13 Senior-​Official-​Meeting leaders from ASEAN+3 states. That group provided its report in 2002, which proposed the establishment of “an East Asian Summit” on the basis of ASEAN+3 as “medium-​term and long-​ term measures.”27 With these reports, a diplomatic tug-​ of-​ war ensued among the ASEAN+3 member states. The main initiators of establishing the EAS were China and Malaysia. Although the establishment of the EAS was considered a long-​term objective, China had already begun to consider convening the EAS in early 2003.28 Since it was decided that Japan would hold the very first ASEAN summit meeting outside the ASEAN member states, the Japan–​ASEAN Commemorative Summit in Tokyo in December 2003, China also considered it important to take its own initiative to facilitate East Asian regionalism.29 In this context, China showed its willingness to host the first EAS in China in the ASEAN+3 Senior Officials Meeting in April 2004.30 Responding to China’s initiative, Malaysia also counter-​ offered to host the first EAS in May 2004 on the occasion of the China–​ Malaysia summit.31 Malaysia’s intention to base the EAS on ASEAN+3 was also illustrated by the fact that, when Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi visited Japan for the Nikkei conference on the “Future of Asia” in June 2004, he emphasized the importance of consolidating regional economic cooperation among ASEAN+3 member states and proposed the creation of an “Asian Monetary Institute.”32 During this period, China and Malaysia advanced bilateral cooperation to facilitate the establishment of the EAS based on their shared interests. Both states were interested in creating a regional summit with only ASEAN+3 members. While Malaysia had long considered the institutionalization of the East Asia Economic Group (EAEC) in the early 1990s in order to counterbalance the economic blocs created in Western Europe and North America, China envisioned the establishment of a regional institution in which China could have stronger influence without interference, particularly from the United States.33 China also considered that the EAS could be chaired by non-​ASEAN states by rotating the chairpersonship

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among the ASEAN+3 member states.34 In addition, by accepting the first EAS in Malaysia, China secured Malaysia’s support for the second EAS in China.35 In this regard, Malaysia’s Deputy Prime Minister Najib Razak identified China as an ASEAN “ally” and considered China an imperative partner for ASEAN to secure its rightful position in the world in a July 2004 speech.36 As such, China and Malaysia aligned with each other in order to push forward the ASEAN+3-​based EAS from 2004. On the other hand, Japan and other ASEAN member states, such as Indonesia and Singapore, were concerned about the vague objectives and structure of establishing the EAS in such a short time. Particularly, Japan was eager to clarify the role of the EAS. Japan’s concern partly came from the prospect that Japan might not be able to shape the structure and agendas of the EAS, if the proposal by China and Malaysia was accepted. Following the ASEAN practice of chairperson rotation, which proceeds in alphabetical order of the member states’ names, Japan would not be able to chair EAS until 2008, because the first meeting would be held in Malaysia in 2005, the second in China in 2006, and the third in the Philippines in 2007. Furthermore, the frequency of the summit meeting was not definitively determined at that time.37 Given that an organization’s rules and procedures often are largely shaped at its formative stage, Japan was concerned about missing such an opportunity.38 Thus, in response to the initiatives by China and Malaysia, it produced three conceptual “Issue Papers” in June 2004, focusing on “East Asian community,” “functional cooperation,” and “East Asia Summit.”39 The underlying political objective of the issue papers was to strike a balance between creating a regional cooperative framework that could nurture regional identity and checking China’s rising influence in the region. Japan therefore emphasized open regionalism, where ASEAN+3 could potentially invite other states into the framework, and principles, including “transparency,” “inclusiveness,” and “conformity with global norms and systems.”40 Although Japan did not explicitly advocate the inclusion of particular regional states in the EAS, it showed its willingness to include Australia, New Zealand, and India as contributing players in community building efforts in East Asia through the “issue papers” prepared by the Japanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs.41 Further, given the existence of the U.S.–​Japan alliance, Japan was concerned about the exclusion of the United States, particularly in the security field.42 For some ASEAN member states, certain political concerns persisted, particularly the possibility of the political marginalization of ASEAN. ASEAN might lose its diplomatic centrality by the establishment of the

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EAS because the summit would be dominated by regional powers, particularly China and Japan. Although Indonesia did not raise a formal objection, it expressed this concern at an early stage.43 To alleviate this concern, Japan proposed the idea of co-​chairpersonship.44 However, Indonesia then refused to support the idea of transforming ASEAN+3 into the EAS in November 2004.45 Because of these concerns among the ASEAN member states, namely the loss of ASEAN centrality and great powers’ domination of the institution, the association did not have a clear idea about what objective the EAS should have. As such, ASEAN states faced an acute political dilemma. On the one hand, if ASEAN let the EAS have equal membership with Northeast Asian states, ASEAN would likely lose its political leverage over the more developed Northeast Asian members. On the other hand, if ASEAN remained a driving force, there would be no difference between ASEAN+3 and the EAS.46 In this context, Japan’s options for a potential wedge strategy were (1) an intra-​institutional wedge vis-​à-​vis Malaysia—​driving a wedge between China and Malaysia by approaching Malaysia through either selective inducement or selective confrontation; or (2) an intra-​institutional wedge vis-​à-​vis other ASEAN member states, such as Indonesia, through either selective inducement or selective confrontation. Given that there existed no consensus among the ASEAN member states on the EAS, there was no option for collective inducement while collective confrontation was unlikely to be successful. In this context, pursuing selective inducement vis-​à-​vis other ASEAN member states was easier for Japan, because some states, such as Indonesia, had been already interested in modifying the EAS structure and membership. What leverage did Japan have over the ASEAN member states? East Asia’s strategic stability was largely managed by the U.S. military presence, and there was a lingering legacy of Japan’s militarism in Southeast Asia, albeit not as much resentment as Japan faced in South Korea and China. As a result, there was not much Japan could contribute militarily despite some relaxation of constitutional constraints in Japan’s Self-​Defense Force in the post-​Cold War era, such as the 1992 International Cooperation Law. On the other hand, Japan was economically a dominant player in Southeast Asia along with the United States. Therefore, at least in theory, Japan could use its economic leverage to induce cooperation from some ASEAN member states. However, ASEAN needed to consider Japan’s economic role in combination with China’s rapid economic growth and engagement toward Southeast Asia in the post-​Cold War era. In fact, China’s trade relationship

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with ASEAN was increasingly strong. From 1995 to 2004, ASEAN’s total exports to China increased six-​fold from US$620 million to US$3.8 billion while exports to Japan remained US$4-​5 billion in this period.47 In addition, ASEAN’s total imports from China rose approximately six times from US$712.9 million in 1995 to US$4.3 billion while its imports from Japan remained between US$5-​7 billion.48 In this sense, Japan still maintained the lead in trade, yet it was only a matter of time before China would become a stronger trade partner to ASEAN, making ASEAN’s strategic calculation more complicated. Additionally, it became increasingly unclear whether economic relations between Southeast Asian states and Japan would remain strong in the future, although Japan still had some comparative advantages toward particular ASEAN member states. In fact, Brunei, Indonesia, Thailand, and Vietnam had stronger export and import trade relationships with Japan, while Cambodia, Malaysia, Singapore, and the Philippines, exported most to Japan but imported more from China in 2004.49 On the other hand, China became the stronger trade partner with Myanmar and Laos compared to Japan. To be sure, in terms of FDI, Japan was much stronger than China with respect to investment in Brunei, Laos, Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand, the Philippines, and Vietnam.50 Even Indonesia, despite Japan’s temporary divestment after the 1997 Asian Financial Crisis, saw quick recovery of Japanese investment. Given these economic trends, Japan and China were both important economic partners for the ASEAN member states, and it was unclear which country, Japan or China, had and would have stronger economic leverage over a particular Southeast Asian state. However, given China’s expected economic growth and influence in the region, collective inducement would not be as effective as it had been for Japan in the past. Selective or collective confrontation were also unlikely to be effective, as either strategy would drive Southeast Asian states further toward China. For this reason, Japan’s best option was to attempt selective inducement by politically supporting those ASEAN member states that had similar views as Japan. This is a good example of a context in which Japan had incentives to be what this book calls a “courteous power,” listening to its ASEAN partners and trying to capitalize on areas where its preferences and theirs align. For their parts, ASEAN member states considered that continued internal division was likely to weaken the institution itself. ASEAN faced a similar political challenge soon after the end of the Cold War, when the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation forum and ASEAN Regional Forum

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were established, resulting in the creation of ASEAN centrality as an institutional principle.51 If ASEAN centrality were not preserved in the EAS, all the member states would become politically worse off because individual member states were not strong enough to shape policies of external powers on their own. Therefore, the ASEAN member states needed to eventually compromise, particularly between Indonesia and Malaysia. Against this backdrop, Japan’s selective inducement was to pitch policy options that could alleviate ASEAN member states’ fear of political marginalization while preventing China from dominating the EAS. Japan’s posture was essentially defensive, because it regarded China’s political maneuver as an effort to increase its political influence over the ASEAN+3 region and to drive a wedge between the United States and East Asia. Japan was aware of the U.S. concerns about regional forums in which the United States did not participate. Richard Armitage, then Deputy Secretary of State, was “less happy” about the ASEAN+3 arrangement in 2004.52 However, since the United States did not show an active interest in participating in the EAS, Japan’s best option was to leave the door for EAS membership open in the future. As such, Japan aimed to maintain a possibility to add external states to ASEAN+3 while reassuring ASEAN by ensuring that ASEAN would have a leading role. Aware that some ASEAN members feared losing ASEAN centrality, Japan attempted to conduct collective inducement, proposing co-​ chairmanship and a “tiered” system to ASEAN.53 While Japan aimed to rotate the chairpersonship between ASEAN and non-​ASEAN member states, Japan proposed a three-​tiered system in the EAS. The core group included ASEAN+3 members; the second tier was new members, such as Australia, India, and New Zealand; and the third tier was observers, such as the United States, if they agreed to join. This attempt was to strike a balance between maintaining ASEAN+3’s autonomy and including external powers, particularly the United States, to check China’s behavior. However, this proposal was immediately rejected by ASEAN. ASEAN was hesitant to accept the tiered system and rotate the chair, because both proposals would possibly dilute ASEAN’s centrality.54 In the meantime, intra-​ ASEAN compromises were also made. Although Indonesia once refused to transform ASEAN+3 into the EAS, it agreed in November 2004 with the idea of organizing the first EAS in Malaysia in December 2015 and asked the ASEAN+3 Senior Officials’ Meeting to study the details, such as the structure the EAS would take.55 In turn, Malaysia’s position began to change, and Prime Minister Badawi indicated a possibility of including Australia and New Zealand and institutionalizing the EAS through the creation of the “East Asian Community

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Charter.”56 The possibility of membership expansion therefore persisted, yet there was still a disagreement on which states would be invited.57 Even after the failure of the “tiered system” proposal, Japan consistently supported the idea of the membership expansion in the EAS, because such expansion would make it possible to differentiate the EAS from ASEAN+3 while retaining ASEAN centrality. For example, in March 2005, Japanese Foreign Minister Nobutaka Machimura asked Vietnamese Foreign Minister Nguyen Dy Nien to encourage other ASEAN member states to broaden the scope of the EAS by including external states.58 Japan consulted closely with Indonesia as a form of selective inducement.59 On the other hand, China still opposed the idea of the expanded membership in the EAS. China particularly opposed including Australia, which had been strengthening ties with Japan and the United States.60 As such, there was no easy compromise between the ASEAN member states, as well as between Japan and China. It was in this context that ASEAN came up with three criteria for EAS participation in April 2005. These criteria were “substantive relations with ASEAN,” “full dialogue partner status,” and accession to the Treaty of Amity and Cooperation (TAC).61 Although the idea of establishing the EAS did not clarify that the institution was solely led by ASEAN, this proposal illustrated that ASEAN took the initiative to resolve the tensions within ASEAN+3. Also, setting the criteria was a clear method to decide whether external states outside ASEAN+3 could be EAS members, while promoting the principle of ASEAN centrality within the EAS. From ASEAN’s perspective, this was the best compromise that ASEAN could offer because all three criteria were based on ASEAN’s norms and principles and opened the possibility of membership expansion. India fulfilled these criteria by April 2005, and New Zealand and Australia were considering whether they should sign TAC to participate in the EAS. The compromises within ASEAN were reached because both Indonesia and Malaysia faced negative sanctions—​losing ASEAN centrality—​if they did not agree. For Indonesia, ASEAN centrality was the essential principle to prevent the EAS from being hijacked by any great power, while for Malaysia, the principle was important to prevent East Asian characteristics in the EAS from being significantly diluted by the expanded membership. From then on, the discussion of membership among ASEAN and other participants shifted to who would be included in the EAS rather than whether states outside ASEAN+3 should be included in the EAS. Even China made a concession, implicitly consenting to the expanded membership of the EAS. In fact, after ASEAN’s initiative to establish

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three criteria for EAS participation, China lost its enthusiasm toward the EAS and changed its diplomatic focus from the EAS to ASEAN+3 in terms of East Asia community-​building efforts. In fact, China argued that there would be a collective action problem, because the number of the EAS members would be greater than that of the ASEAN+3.62 Admittedly, China took the initiative to present five priority areas for the EAS just before the first EAS in December. However, these were focused on non-​ controversial socio-​ economic issues, namely, transportation, energy, tourism, culture, and public health.63 In this sense, China’s reaction to the irreversible trend of EAS membership expansion was to dilute the importance of the EAS by focusing on non-​controversial issues. Eventually, the EAS was established by including Australia, India, and New Zealand in December 2005. Analysis: Japan and ASEAN Cooperation

In the process of establishing the EAS from 2004 to 2005, Japan and ASEAN in the end came to the same conclusion that membership expansion should be accepted. Japan supported external states’ desire to participate in the EAS, while ASEAN set the three criteria to participate in the EAS, which were already fulfilled by the ASEAN+3 member states. In this sense, the EAS eventually came to fulfill both Japan’s and ASEAN’s political interests. However, Japanese and ASEAN’s institutional preferences did not align from the outset. Rather, the case study illustrates a series of diplomatic tugs-​of-​war within ASEAN, between ASEAN and regional powers, and between regional powers, by which Japan’s wedge strategies shifted ASEAN’s perspective on the establishment of the EAS. This case study yields four main findings with regard to wedge strategies directed at a multilateral institution. First, the case illustrates that institutional decision-​making rules play an extremely important role in determining whether a wedge strategy can be successful. In the process of establishing the EAS, Japan had an obvious advantage. Because the discussion on the EAS was conducted within the ASEAN+3 framework, the decision-​making rule was based on ASEAN’s consensus decision-​ making process. In this setting, it was easier to successfully drive a wedge between the ASEAN+3 member states, because one member state’s objection could stop the process. China and Malaysia, the initiators of discussion on the EAS, pursued collective inducement, trying to drive a wedge between ASEAN and the United States and its allies. However, China

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and Malaysia had difficulty mobilizing a consensus, because even one ASEAN member’s objection could kill their proposal. Indeed, China and Malaysia’s initiative was easily resisted by Japan and Indonesia, and Japan did not have to use collective confrontation against ASEAN. It was relatively easy for Japan to make its wedge strategy successful only through selective inducement. Second, a competition between a wedger and a rival state provides an institution with strategic options to maintain its diplomatic autonomy. In fact, Japan’s counterproposals in the establishment of the EAS played an important role in reducing the political burden for some ASEAN member states to explicitly oppose the China–​Malaysia proposal. There would always be a potential risk of diplomatic and economic pressures from China if a state explicitly opposed its proposal. This would be likely particularly because, after the 1997 Asian Financial Crisis, Southeast Asian states began to rely more on China as well as Japan for their economic recovery. Therefore, when Japan provided an alternative approach to the establishment of the EAS, this helped some ASEAN member states overcome concerns about Chinese pressure. Japan’s approach helped bolster ASEAN member states’ diversification strategy, by which they explore strategic options in order to reduce strategic risk of excessive dependence on a particular state.64 Given that, Japan’s wedge strategy provided ASEAN member states a strategic option, and thus, this case shows the convergence between strategic diversification and wedge strategies. Third, the ambiguities on institutional principles would likely create tension between China and Japan and between both major powers and ASEAN. The case study shows that it became increasingly difficult to establish the EAS or perhaps, any regional institution, without having foundational principles that every actor was able to agree upon. Since the original idea of the EAS was not based on ASEAN centrality, both Japan and China actively proposed their own ideas. While they respected the pivotal role of ASEAN, they had similar interests, albeit weaker, in maintaining influence over chairpersonship and agenda setting. The ideas of rotating the chair, co-​chairpersonship, or the “tiered” system, illustrate this point. However, precisely because Japan and China were seen as promoting ideas to advance their own interests, ASEAN’s concern rose, and it became unlikely that they would be able to determine the structure of the EAS. In other words, there was a prolonged period when there was not only competition between Japan and China but also tension between ASEAN on the one hand and Japan and China on the other. This dual competition structure emerged because of the lack of agreed principles

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for the EAS and hindered consensus on the EAS structure despite the agreement that the first EAS would be held in December 2005 in Malaysia. Fourth, Japan’s intra-​institutional wedge indicates that the outcome of the EAS establishment did not necessarily confirm the consistency of Japan–​ASEAN cooperation. As the process of establishing the EAS illustrates, Japan, China, and ASEAN member states all used wedge strategies to promote their own interests. The structural setting, however, forced them to compromise, as everyone would likely lose if each pursued its own interests too much. Japan would not be able to further gain trust and influence with ASEAN member states; China would not be able to create a regional institution that excluded the United States in East Asia; and ASEAN would not be able to create a more institutionalized Asia-​Pacific grouping that was useful to tackle regional problems. In this situation, the question is how much compromise they could make. Japan was consistent with regard to membership expansion, which was an attractive option for some ASEAN member states, such as Indonesia, because they considered that an ASEAN+3-​based EAS with equal membership would weaken ASEAN centrality in East Asia. This is because they considered that without explicitly embedding ASEAN centrality in the EAS and without support from other regional powers such as Australia, China as the rapidly rising power would be able to have greater influence over the EAS and dominate the institution in the near future. Therefore, Japan and those states had been consistent in resisting Malaysian and Chinese ideas—​limiting the EAS to ASEAN+3 members. This political resistance then led ASEAN to come up with the three criteria for EAS participation. After implicitly accepting the membership expansion, Malaysia was more concerned about ASEAN unity than insisting the ASEAN+3-​based EAS, which created room for Japan and other ASEAN member states to wedge. In order to mitigate the effect of wedge strategy and prevent external powers, including Japan, from making decisions over the institution, ASEAN incorporated those criteria. In this sense, one of the most important factors that made Japan’s wedge strategy successful was a gradual compromise between ASEAN’s demand for ASEAN centrality in the EAS and Japan’s demand for membership expansion. These findings illustrate the basic validity of the theoretical framework of institutional wedging advanced in this chapter. Nevertheless, it is important to remember that the strategic conditions in 2004–​05 were relatively unique in two ways. First, collective inducement was relatively difficult for both Japan and China to pursue. While Japan still had more

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economic influence over Southeast Asia, China’s rapid economic growth attracted Southeast Asian states. In this sense, both sides did not have decisive reward power to successfully conduct collective inducement, and the outcome of such strategies was uncertain. Second, the ASEAN member states were not always aware of the consequences of creating a non-​ASEAN-​led EAS. Some ASEAN member states would have benefitted from an ASEAN+3-​based EAS, which China supported. However, if ASEAN loses its privilege of ASEAN centrality, such as agenda-​setting and chairpersonship, Southeast Asian states would likely be disunited. This makes it easier for regional powers, such as Japan and China, to further conduct wedge strategies, which would eventually lead to a stronger political division in Southeast Asia. Malaysia at the initial stage was not as concerned about this fact as Indonesia. However, after the idea of expanding the membership was proposed, Malaysia gradually realized that limiting EAS membership to ASEAN+3 would not necessarily be beneficial to Southeast Asian states. Conclusion: Implications for the Indo-​Pacific

What lessons from the past experience of establishing the EAS can be applied to the current strategic situation in the Indo-​Pacific region? Simply put, it will be difficult for ASEAN to make the EAS a strategically effective institution in the Indo-​Pacific because of ASEAN’s indecisiveness derived from its consensus decision-​making process and because of the availability of great powers’ wedge strategies that make it more difficult for ASEAN-​led institutions to reach consensus. Furthermore, while each regional power would commit rhetorically to ASEAN unity and centrality, its actions would not always support ASEAN’s ideas or political interests. If Japan’s national interests become at risk, it would attempt to implement a wedge strategy by keeping ASEAN from moving closer to China or preventing the cohesion of ASEAN. Admittedly, it is not entirely impossible for ASEAN member states and regional great powers to reach consensus. However, such consensus is more likely on non-​sensitive issues as demonstrated in China’s proposal of five priority areas in the EAS in December 2005, which were based on socio-​economic cooperation. Given that the “Indo-​Pacific” concept has strategic implications for the future of the regional balance of power, ASEAN would likely face an institutional dilemma between institutional effectiveness and member states’ national interests. On the one

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hand, pursuing strategic effectiveness requires regional powers’ assistance, but this may weaken ASEAN’s utility to have a central role. Also, without striking a fine balance between those regional powers, ASEAN may be susceptible to wedge strategies. On the other hand, focusing on ASEAN member states’ national interests would narrowly define the Indo-​Pacific region to ASEAN’s core area of Southeast Asia, which might not induce the cooperation of regional powers. In addition, one of the most controversial points in establishing the EAS was the membership issue, because the membership would likely define not only the geographical scope of “East Asia” but also common regional political agendas through the institution.65 In this sense, the EAS with solely ASEAN+3 membership would have created different political and security dynamics in East Asia. This logic can be applied to the “Indo-​Pacific.” Nevertheless, without the foundational principles of the institution, there is nothing that binds the member states together, and it becomes relatively easy for member states to conduct a wedge strategy. Indeed, the EAS had neither clear institutional principles nor objectives while the hasty decision to establish the EAS was made without enough consultation among ASEAN+3 member states. These circumstances made it easy for Japan and China to use a wedge strategy. As such, the availability of a wedge strategy and the probability of its success are dependent on whether there would be agreed principles and objectives among the members. So, is the future of the Indo-​Pacific for ASEAN bleak? Not necessarily. ASEAN’s consensus decision-​making process can set a legitimate norm-​ making and rule-​making mechanism in the Indo-​Pacific. To be sure, such a mechanism is imperfect. It is susceptible to regional powers’ wedge strategies. Its policy coordination process is extremely slow. The mechanism prevents the institution from responding rapidly to a regional contingency. However, the mechanism enables each member state to consider various ideas and reject them if they become harmful to a particular member state’s interests. Deadlock may ensue, but the iteration of this exercise may generate new ideas to break through as illustrated by ASEAN’s proposal for the three criteria for EAS membership. Despite some procedural inefficiencies, the mechanism then contributes to creating legitimate norms and rules in the region. In this sense, regional powers’ participation in the ASEAN process, regardless of whether or not they engage in wedge strategies, becomes important. As a courteous power, Japan has long respected ASEAN’s principles, particularly ASEAN centrality, and strengthened cooperation with it.

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While Japan may continue to pursue wedge strategies against ASEAN, the best possible future cooperation depends on ASEAN’s willingness to focus on long-​term norm-​making and rule-​making functions in the Indo-​ Pacific and Japan’s consistent commitment to that end. NOTES 1. Japanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA), “Fukuda sori daijin ni okeru spichi (waga kuni no tonan ajia seisaku) (fukuda dokutorin enzetsu)” [Prime Minister Fukuda’s Speech (Japan’s Southeast Asia Policy) (The “Fukuda Doctrine” Speech)], Diplomatic Bluebook 22 (1977): 326–​330. 2. See Hiro Katsumata, ASEAN’s Cooperative Security Enterprise: Norms and Interests in the ASEAN Regional Forum (London and Basingstoke: Palgrave MacMillan, 2009); Takeshi Yuzawa, Japan’s Security Policy and The ASEAN Regional Forum: The Search for Multilateral Security in the Asia-​Pacific (Oxon and New York: Routledge, 2010). 3. John D. Ciorciari, “ASEAN and the Great Powers,” Contemporary Southeast Asia 39, no. 2 (2017): 252–​258. 4. ISEAS-​Yusof Ishak Institute, The State of Southeast Asia: 2019 Survey Report (Singapore: ISEAS-​Yusof Ishak Institute, 2019), 26–​30; The State of Southeast Asia: 2020 Survey Report (Singapore: ISEAS-​Yusof Ishak Institute, 2020), 26–​30, 49–​50. 5. Kei Koga, “Japan, ASEAN, and the Future of the Regional Order,” CSIS: Strategic Japan Working Paper (2017). 6. Japanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs, “Vision Statement on ASEAN-​ Japan Friendship and Cooperation: Shared Vision, Shared Identity, Shared Future,” December 14, 2013. 7. See, e.g., See Seng Tan, “Consigned to Hedge: South-​East Asia and America’s ‘Free and Open Indo-​Pacific’ Strategy,” International Affairs 96, no. 1 (2020): 131–​148; Yuichi Hosoya, “FOIP 2.0: The Evolution of Japan’s Free and Open Indo-​Pacific Strategy,” Asia-​ Pacific Review 26, no. 1 (2019): 18–​28. 8. Kei Koga, “Japan’s ‘Indo-​Pacific’ Question: Countering China or Shaping a New Regional Order?” International Affairs 96, no. 1 (2020): 49–​73. 9. White House, National Security Strategy of the United States of America, December 2017, available at https://​​wp-​content/​uploads/​2017/​12/​NSS-​ Final-​12-​18-​2017-​0905.pdf (accessed November 10, 2020). 10. Kei Koga, “Japan’s ‘Free and Open Indo-​ Pacific’ Strategy: Tokyo’s Tactical Hedging and the Implications for ASEAN,” Contemporary Southeast Asia 41, no. 2 (2019): 286–​313. 11. ASEAN Secretariat, “ASEAN Outlook on the Indo-​Pacific,” June 23, 2019, https://​​asean-​outlook-​indo-​pacific/​. 12. Timothy Crawford, “Preventing Enemy Coalitions: How Wedge Strategies Shape Power Politics,” International Security 35, no. 4 (2011): 156. 13. For example, Crawford argues that “[w]‌edge strategies seek to divide alliances or to prevent them from forming.” Timothy Crawford, “Wedge Strategy, Balancing, and the Deviant Case of Spain, 1940–​41,” Security Studies 17, no. 1 (2008): 1. 14. Robert Keohane and Lisa Martin, “The Promise of Institutionalist Theory,” International Security 20, no. 1 (1995): 39–​51; Kei Koga, Reinventing Regional Security

94 | The Courteous Power Institutions in Asia and Africa: Power Shifts, Ideas, and Institutional Change (Oxon and New York: Routledge, 2017). 15. Koga, Reinventing Regional Security Institutions. 16. Crawford, “Preventing Enemy Coalitions”; Kai He, “Undermining Adversaries: Unipolarity, Threat Perception, and Negative Balancing Strategies after the Cold War,” Security Studies 21, no. 2 (2012): 154–​191. 17. Crawford, “Preventing Enemy Coalitions,” 160. Crawford uses the term “selective accommodation” for selective inducement. 18. Crawford, “Preventing Enemy Coalitions,” 161–​162. 19. For example, Izumikawa used the Sino-​Soviet alliance during the Cold War, while Crawford used several bilateral and trilateral alliances, such as the failure of an Anglo-​ Franco-​Soviet alliance in 1939. 20. Two conditions conducive to pursuing inducement are (1) possessing “reward power” and (2) seeking to maintain relations with a target actor that are not considerably negative. If these conditions are not met, a wedger may choose collective confrontation. See Yasuhiro Izumikawa, “To Coerce or Reward? Theorizing Wedge Strategies in Alliance Politics,” Security Studies 22, no. 3 (2013): 506. 21. This is similar to the concept of “binding strategy”—​a “state’s attempt to maintain or enhance an ally’s loyalty to their alliance.” Yasuhiro Izumikawa, “Binding Strategies in Alliance Politics: The Soviet-​Japanese-​US Diplomatic Tug of War in the Mid-​1950s,” International Studies Quarterly 62, no. 1 (2018): 110. 22. Izumikawa also distinguished the binding strategies into general and specific: “A general binding strategy is a middle-​or long-​term comprehensive approach to maintain or enhance the loyalty of an ally,” whereas a specific strategy is “activated in response to an adversary’s specific wedge attempt.” However, this conceptualization is not necessarily important for the institution, because the diverse national interests of the member states makes it difficult to conduct a general binding strategy and maintain a strong relationship between the institution and a particular external state. Therefore, the institution’s reaction is primarily a “specific” one. Izumikawa, “Binding Strategies in Alliance Politics.” 23. Crawford, “Preventing Enemy Coalitions,” 162. 24. Alice Ba, “ASEAN and the Changing Regional Order: The ARF, ADMM, and ADMM-​Plus,” in Building ASEAN Community: Political-​Security and Socio-​Cultural Reflections, vol. 4, eds. Aileen Baviera and Larry Maramis (Jakarta: Economic Research Institute for ASEAN and East Asia, 2017): 147–​150. 25. Jürgen Haacke, “The Concept of Hedging and Its Application to Southeast Asia: A Critique and a Proposal for a Modified Conceptual and Methodological Framework,” International Relations of the Asia-​Pacific 19, no. 3 (2019): 375–​417; John D. Ciorciari, “The Variable Effectiveness of Hedging Strategies,” International Relations of the Asia-​ Pacific 19, no. 3 (2019): 523–​555; Kei Koga, “The Concept of ‘Hedging’ Revisited: The Case of Japan’s Foreign Policy Strategy in East Asia’s Power Shift,” International Studies Review 20, no. 4 (2018): 633–​ 660; Kei Koga, “ASEAN’s Evolving Institutional Strategy: Managing Great Power Politics in South China Sea Disputes,” The Chinese Journal of International Politics 11, no. 1 (2018): 49–​80. 26. East Asia Vision Group, “Towards an East Asian Community: Region of Peace, Prosperity and Progress,” Report (2001), available at http://​​wp-​content/​ uploads/​images/​archive/​pdf/​east_​asia_​vision.pdf (accessed May 5, 2021). 27. East Asia Study Group, “Final Report of the East Asia Study Group (ASEAN+3 Summit, 4 November 2002, Phnom Penh, Cambodia),” Report (2002), 4, available at

Wedge Strategies, Japan–ASEAN Cooperation | 95 https://​​region/​asia-​paci/​asean/​pmv0211/​report.pdf (accessed May 5, 2021). 28. Ren Xiao, “Between Adapting and Shaping: China’s role in Asian regional cooperation,” Journal of Contemporary China 18, no. 59 (2009): 312. 29. Takeshi Terada, “Forming an East Asian Community: A Site for Japan-​China Power Struggles,” Japanese Studies 26, no. 1 (2006): 7. 30. “Senior ASEAN Plus Three Officials Discuss East Asia Summit Initiative,” Jiji Press Ticker Service, April 29, 2004; The Council on East Asian Community (CEAC), “Higashiajia kyodotai hyogikai: “seisaku hon kaigi” dai ikkai kaigo” (The first Policy Plenary Meeting), June 24, 2005, 8–​9. 31. “East Asia Summit Proposal to Discuss ‘New Era of Regional Co-​operation’,” New Straits Times, May 30, 2004. 32. Hardev Kaur, “Make Asean+3 Forum a Regular Summit,” New Straits Times, June 4, 2004. 33. Mohan Malik, “The East Asia Summit,” Australian Journal of International Affairs 60, no. 2 (2006): 208; Jae Cheol Kim, “Politics of Regionalism in East Asia: The Case of the East Asia Summit,” Asian Perspective 34, no. 3 (2010): 118–​120; Koga, Reinventing Regional Security Institutions, 179–​181. 34. Ralf Emmers, Joseph Chinyong Liow, and Tan See Seng, “The East Asia Summit and the Regional Security Architecture,” Maryland Series in Contemporary Asian Studies no. 3, article 1 (2010): 23. 35. Terada, “Forming an East Asian Community,” 8. 36. CEAC, “Higashiajia kyodotai hyogikai: “seisaku hon kaigi” dai nikai kaigo,” (The second Policy Plenary Meeting), July 26, 2004, 18. 37. Mie Oba, Jusoteki chiiki toshiteno ajia: Tairitsu to kyozon no kozu (Asia as a Multi-​ layered Region: In Search for Co-​existence in Conflicts), (Tokyo: Yuhikaku, 2014), 164. 38. Interviews with a Japanese researcher by the author on May 16, 2019. 39. Japanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs, “Issue Papers prepared by the Government of Japan,” June 25, 2004. 40. Japanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs, 1. 41. Japan also believed EAS would be “an important institutional framework to promote community building in East Asia” and its creation would “have historic significance for the future of an East Asian Summit.” Japanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs, 8 and 15. 42. CEAC, “The First Policy Plenary Meeting,” 9. 43. Nuraina Samad and Farrah Naz Karim, “Consensus on Summit, Says Syed Hamid,” New Straits Times, July 1, 2004. 44. CEAC, “Higashiajia kyodotai hyogikai: “seisaku hon kaigi” dai yonkai kaigo,” (The fourth Policy Plenary Meeting), October 19, 2004, 18. 45. Aye Aye Win, “Malaysia’s Plan to Host East Asia Summit Fails to Win Consensus,” Associated Press International, November 27, 2004. 46. This point was articulated by Shinichi Nishimiya (then Deputy Director-​General/​ Deputy Assistant Minister, Japanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs). CEAC, “The fourth Policy Plenary Meeting,” 18. Also, this is possibly why China and Malaysia began to place more emphasis on the importance of ASEAN+3 for an East Asian community-​ building effort than that of EAS during the 8th ASEAN+3 Summit in November 2004. See Oba, Jusoteki chiiki, 164. 47. ASEAN Statistical Year Book 2005 (Jakarta: ASEAN Secretariat, 2005).

96 | The Courteous Power 48. ASEAN Statistical Year Book 2005. 49. The World Bank, The World Bank Open Data 2019, https://​​. 50. The World Bank, The World Bank Open Data 2019. 51. Koga, Reinventing Regional Security Institutions, 51–​70. 52. The U.S. Department of State, “U.S.-​Japan Relationship Continues to Grow in Importance; Armitage Lauds Japan’s Role in Iraq, Assesses Security Situation in Asia,” December 2, 2004; “U.S. Wary as East Asian Community Nears Reality,” The Nikkei Weekly, December 13, 2004. 53. Eric Teo Chu Cheow, “E. Asia Summit’s Birthing Pains; States Inside and Outside Asean Split Over Which Countries to Include,” The Straits Times, February 22, 2005. 54. Cheow, “E. Asia Summit’s Birthing Pains.” 55. “ASIA: ASEAN Oks Malaysian plan to host East Asia Summit,” AAP Newsfeed, November 28, 2004. 56. “Mahathir Says No Place for Australia in E. Asia Grouping,” Japan Economic Newswire, December 6, 2004. 57. Teo, “E. Asia Summit’s Birthing Pains.” Indonesia and Malaysia still had different perspectives by March 2015. “East Asia Summit: ‘Let it be an ASEAN+3 Affair’,” New Straits Times, March 18, 2005; “Indonesia differs with Malaysia over East Asian Summit,” Xinhua General News Service, March 19, 2005. 58. “Japan Proposes Wider Scope for East Asia Summit,” Japan Economic Newswire, March 8, 2005. 59. Personal interview with a senior official in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Japan, on November 14, 2012. However, it is not clear whether Japan consulted with Indonesia about proposing the “tiered” system to ASEAN. 60. Hamish McDonald and Mark Forbes, “China Looms as a Summit Spoiler,” The Age, April 12, 2005. 61. Michelle Quah, “ASEAN Sets Out Summit Criteria, Mulls Myanmar’s Chairmanship,” The Business Times Singapore, April 12, 2005. 62. “Japan, China Clash Over E. Asia summit,” The Daily Yomiuri, November 25, 2005. 63. Jackson Sawatan, “China Proposes Five New Priority Areas—​ Syed Hamid,” Malaysia General News, December 9, 2005. 64. For the diversification strategy, see John D. Ciorciari, “Japan as the Key to Southeast Asian Diversification” in this volume. 65. A regional organization could facilitate a securitization process among the member states, which would create a collective identity to the region and organization. For example, see Kei Koga, “Regional Security Institutions as a Tool for ‘Securitization:’ Comparative Case Study on ASEAN and ECOWAS,” Kokusai Seiji (International Relations in Japanese) 189 (2017): 161–​176.

5  |  Japan’s Relations with ASEAN Unity and Diversity in a Changing Regional Environment Shaun Narine

Japan and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) have had a long and mutually beneficial relationship. Japan has been the great power most responsible for shaping modern Southeast Asia, largely through its development assistance, industrial and infrastructure investment, and economic leadership. At ASEAN’s inception, Japan was not supportive of the regional organization, fearing that it could lead to Southeast Asian states bargaining with external actors as an organized bloc.1 Over time, however, Japan came to place enormous value on ASEAN’s role in the Asia-​Pacific, to the point that good relations with ASEAN (and its member states) are one of the pillars of Japan’s foreign policy. ASEAN has been extremely successful in ensuring that it remains at the center of the networks that bind the Asia-​Pacific in increasingly complex ways.2 Almost all of the major regional organizations have ASEAN at their core or playing a significant role in their formal structure. At the same time, however, ASEAN’s efficacy is highly contested. Despite its considerable evolution over more than 50 years, ASEAN faces intense pressures that threaten to divide it from within. Historically, Japan has generally recognized its national interest in encouraging ASEAN’s unity. But does Japan’s strategic approach to ASEAN change when ASEAN disunity threatens key Japanese goals? It is evident that other great powers operating in the region—​notably the United States and China—​have few qualms about exploiting weaknesses in ASEAN when it suits their interests. Does Japan take the same approach? 97

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The key argument in this chapter is that Japan’s relationship to ASEAN, while undergoing some change before and during the Indo-​Pacific era, has enjoyed a high degree of continuity. In the past, Japan’s desire to maintain and promote ASEAN’s unity limited its ability to pursue its narrow national interests when dealing with the organization. Today, the regional environment is in a process of significant evolution and upheaval. As many analysts have noted, Japan has become increasingly assertive in the Asia-​Pacific as the region’s political, security, and economic environments have undergone profound transformations over the past decade.3 Even so, Japan’s basic approach to ASEAN has remained consistent. The main reasons for this lie in Japan’s unique position as a great economic power with a limited ability to exercise political and military leverage over its neighbors. At the same time, support from Southeast Asian states remains critical to Japan’s subtle but persistent efforts to exercise regional leadership. Approaching the ASEAN states with respect is important to Japan’s strategy and its identity as a “courteous power.”4 Nonetheless, Japan’s assertiveness and its long-​term regional planning run into the reality that ASEAN’s ambivalent approach to issues at the core of Japan’s regional political, and security interests reflect key intra-​ ASEAN concerns and a method of conflict management that remains essential to ASEAN’s continued viability. Ultimately, Japan’s efforts to accommodate ASEAN may conflict with its desires to pursue its evolving national interests. How long Japan can remain true to its established ASEAN policy depends on a number of shifting variables. These include the reliability of the United States as a regional power, the ability of ASEAN to adopt a unified position on some key issues, and Japan’s willingness to take the next steps toward becoming a “normal country”—​ i.e., a state willing to use its economic and military power to pursue its national interests, unconstrained by historical constitutional restrictions and the limitations imposed by its status as a state highly dependent on U.S. defense support.5 This chapter examines Japan’s more assertive role in the Asia Pacific by exploring its “Free and Open Indo-​Pacific” (FOIP) concept. It shows how Japan modified the FOIP, partly in response to the ASEAN Outlook on the Indo-​Pacific (AOIP), ASEAN’s reaction to the FOIP. Japan remains sensitive to the interests of its regional neighbors. However, ASEAN’s ability to be a relevant regional actor depends on its unity. The chapter uses historical examples to illustrate the importance of “ASEAN unity” to the organization. The chapter then analyzes some of the factors in the changing regional environment that challenge ASEAN’s unity and centrality and

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that may pressure Japan’s established approach to ASEAN, but concludes that Japan remains committed to a policy of support for ASEAN, at least for now. This analysis complements Ciorciari’s examination of “diversification” in Chapter 2. Japan is going to face difficult choices about its future regional role and what it may mean to Southeast Asia as the region undergoes rapid and destabilizing change. The United States may be forcing its regional allies into choosing sides in a conflict with China that none of them want, limiting their ability to diversify. This chapter also reinforces Koga’s argument in Chapter 4 by providing further support for the observation that division within ASEAN limits the organization’s influence within larger regional bodies. Japan in the Changing Regional Environment: The “Free and Open Indo-​Pacific Strategy”

Since the 1990s, Japan has taken on more responsibility for maintaining security in the Asia-​Pacific. Some of this happened under pressure from the United States, such as Japan’s decision to expand the range of its naval activities far out into the Pacific Ocean. Other measures have been pursued by Japan itself, such as its important role in peacekeeping in Cambodia, in pursuit of its own regional leadership ambitions. Under former Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, Japan has become a much more assertive actor in the military and political environments of the Asia-​Pacific.6 Abe’s political inclinations have been broadly motivated by the reality that the Asia-​ Pacific region is undergoing radical change as China re-​emerges as a major actor in the region’s economic and security environments. In 2016, the Abe government articulated its vision of a “Free and Open Indo-​Pacific Strategy” (FOIPS). The original FOIPS had “…the following aims: to ensure America’s continued commitment to the region; to check and balance China’s growing influence; and to mutually empower ASEAN, Australia and India through coalition building and capacity building support.”7 The motivating reason for the FOIPS was China’s expanding influence through the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI). Another major factor was ASEAN’s disunified response to the 2016 arbitral tribunal ruling under the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea, which ruled against China’s claims to the South China Sea. As expected, China rejected the tribunal’s decision, but ASEAN’s inability to unite behind the ruling illustrated the limitations of international law and convinced Japan

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that China would become more assertive in the maritime realm. This led Japan to want to reinforce its security ties with the United States and nurture an alliance of “like-​minded” powers to resist Chinese influence and re-​emphasize its commitment to international law.8 Australia and India had advanced their own earlier versions of the concept, but the FOIPS only gained significant international attention after the Trump administration put forward its version of the “Free and Open Indo-​Pacific” in November 2017. The U.S. “FOIP” was “heavily influenced” by the Japanese version.9 Many observers saw the strategy as a joint U.S.–​ Japan effort to contain China. Nonetheless, as Koga notes, Japan’s FOIPS is conceptually vague and has created confusion among policymakers and researchers. It takes many of Japan’s previously established positions and perspectives on the region and puts them into one package. Thus, it is not clear how much of it is new or simply pre-​existing ideas that have been repackaged. Significantly, for our purposes, “…the role of ASEAN in FOIPS was missing in the initial phase despite its geographical location at the center of the Indo-​Pacific region.”10 By late 2018, the Japanese government stopped referring to FOIPS as a “strategy” and dropped the word from the acronym. The FOIP’s major concern is to give Japan the strategic space to understand how regional circumstances are evolving and respond accordingly. Japan has consulted with the United States and ASEAN states as it has continued to shape its concept of the FOIP. However, there is a clear division emerging between the confrontational approach the United States is taking toward China and the more conciliatory, cooperative vision of the Indo-​Pacific advocated by ASEAN. Where Japan stands on this division is unclear. According to Koga, “…Japan needs to clarify its political vision in the near future if it wants to maintain its own FOIP concept as a viable strategic vision.”11 If the FOIP began as a Japanese effort to offset Chinese regional influence, it has been evolving into something far less confrontational and potentially more accommodating of China’s regional role.12 Koga determines that the FOIP went through three phases of conceptual evolution. The first phase defined the geographical scope and basic areas of focus. Maritime security and “connectivity” were singled out for attention, though the details of precisely what these meant were uncertain. In the second phase, the new Trump administration in the United States adopted the “Indo-​Pacific” concept as its own and agreed with Japan that the FOIP would be an “inclusive” concept that would be open to any state, including China, willing to adhere to its principles. These principles were “promotion and establishment of fundamental values,” “pursuit of

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economic prosperity,” and “commitment to peace and stability.”13 At the time, it was already becoming apparent that the United States was just as great a threat to most of these principles as China, a point we shall return to below. The final phase began in early 2018. Japan announced three pillars constituting the FOIP: 1. The promotion and establishment of the rule of law, freedom of navigation, and free trade. 2. The pursuit of economic prosperity by enhancing connectivity, including through “quality infrastructure” development in accordance with international standards. 3. Initiatives for ensuring peace and stability that include assistance for capacity building of maritime law enforcement, anti-​piracy and disaster risk reduction.14 In this final phase, Japan began moving away from emphasizing the FOIP’s efforts to link the United States, India, Australia, and Japan in a “strategic collaboration.”15 This shift, in part, reflected Japan’s growing awareness that its original articulation of the FOIP would not gain ASEAN’s support. In explaining and defending the FOIP, Kentaro Sonoura, Special Adviser to Japan’s Prime Minister, stated: The ASEAN countries are key to the realization of this strategy… mistaken is the opinion that this strategy threatens ASEAN’s unity and centrality…(h)ow can we realize this strategy without the cooperation of ASEAN that connects the Indian Ocean and the Pacific Ocean?16 Japan’s Relationship to ASEAN

Southeast Asia is critical to Japan’s regional ambitions and perspective.17 Japan’s efforts at regional leadership have revolved around influencing Southeast Asia, as most of the potential “follower” states of the Asia-​Pacific are in this one area. ASEAN is at the heart of all of the most important and expansive regional multilateral institutions. Its principles and practices, in particular the “ASEAN way” of consensus decision-​making, define those institutions. The ASEAN way requires that organizational decisions are made by consensus, a strategy that enables any single member to veto institutional action if such an action conflicts with its national interests.

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For ASEAN, this has meant that the organization supports its members’ goals without setting organizational objectives that could create unacceptable pressure or force unpalatable choices on those members.18 According to Singh: ASEAN is an important element in Japan’s emerging strategic policy towards East Asia. Japan has strengthened its relationships with all ASEAN states bilaterally and multilaterally. For Japan, ASEAN’s unity, ASEAN centrality in the East Asian multilateral order, and ASEAN regional norms are absolutely critical for regional stability. Japan has developed an important role in assisting ASEAN states involved in the South China Sea territorial disputes in capacity-​building, training and the provision of equipment—all to strengthen the capabilities of these states so that they hold firm to their claims and not be intimidated by a bigger claimant state. Through bilateral and multilateral cooperation, Japan’s policy is to contribute to the creation of a network of ASEAN states to resolve issues collectively.19 Gaining ASEAN’s approval of the FOIP is critical to the concept’s survival. According to Koga, if “ASEAN rejects FOIP, Japan would lose political legitimacy in Southeast Asia. Far worse would be if ASEAN openly opposed the concept.”20 Japan conducted bilateral diplomacy with each Southeast Asian state to support the FOIP idea. Throughout 2017 and 2018, individual ASEAN states, such as Brunei, Cambodia, Laos, Malaysia, and Myanmar expressed their general agreement with the principles of the FOIP. Yet “…there (was) an undeniable tendency to avoid articulating clear approval or unequivocal support for the strategy.”21 The ASEAN Chair for 2018, Singaporean Prime Minister Lee Tsien Loong, made clear that ASEAN hoped the FOIP would evolve into an initiative supportive of “an inclusive and open regional architecture, where all countries engage one another peacefully and constructively.” He rejected the idea of “rival blocs” forcing countries to “take one side or the other.”22 ASEAN reacted to the FOIP as the concept gained ground in the political rhetoric of the most powerful regional actors. Indonesia submitted a proposal for the “ASEAN Outlook on the Indo-​Pacific” to ASEAN in April 2018. The concept emphasized the need to promote peaceful and prosperous regional relations and to maintain ASEAN centrality. In November 2018, ASEAN announced its intention to create its own Indo-​Pacific

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concept, to complement and help shape existing initiatives.23 Harkening back to one of ASEAN’s earliest purposes, the organization was concerned not to allow the great powers to define the regional environment. In June 2019, after the 34th ASEAN Annual Summit, ASEAN released the “ASEAN Outlook on the Indo-​Pacific” (AOIP).24 ASEAN’s approach to the “Indo-​Pacific” recognizes the rise of new powers in the region and the opportunities for peaceful co-​existence, economic cooperation, and prosperity they represent. It emphasizes the need to avoid “the deepening of mistrust, miscalculation, and patterns of behavior based on a zero-​sum game” and ASEAN’s need to be an “honest broker within the strategic environment of competing interests.” It asserts the need for ASEAN to reinforce the “ASEAN-​centered regional architecture,” using the Outlook to “enhance ASEAN’s Community building process.” ASEAN centrality is the “underlying principle for promoting cooperation in the Indo-​Pacific region.”25 The ASEAN Outlook on the Indo-​Pacific states: Consistent with decades of ASEAN’s role in developing and shaping regional architecture in Southeast Asia and beyond, and with ASEAN’s norms and principles as contained in the ASEAN Charter and other relevant ASEAN documents, ASEAN Outlook on the Indo-​Pacific envisioned by ASEAN consists of the following key elements: • ​A perspective of viewing the Asia-​Pacific and Indian Ocean regions, not as contiguous territorial spaces but as a closely integrated and interconnected region, with ASEAN playing a central and strategic role; • ​An Indo-​Pacific region of dialogue and cooperation instead of rivalry; • ​An Indo-​Pacific region of development and prosperity for all; • ​The importance of the maritime domain and perspective in the evolving regional architecture.26 ASEAN’s take on the Indo-​Pacific strongly emphasizes that it should be a region of cooperation and mutual benefit and is “meant to contribute to the maintenance of peace, freedom and prosperity.”27 The approach reinforces ASEAN’s commitment to international law and multilateral treaties, structured around ASEAN’s regional architecture. Institutions such as the East Asia Summit and ASEAN’s Treaty of Amity and Cooperation are singled out as instruments that can promote

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this cooperative vision. The UN Convention on the Law of the Sea is at the heart of the Outlook’s discussion of maritime cooperation, as well as the need to manage the resources and problems of the shared maritime space, such as pollution, cooperatively. The Outlook emphasizes ASEAN’s desire to build and reinforce all forms of “connectivity” between the peoples of the region. The UN’s Sustainable Development Goals form another guiding objective. The document concludes by listing ten other “economic and other possible areas of cooperation,” including “deepening economic integration” through free trade agreements like the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP).28 ASEAN’s concept of the Indo-​Pacific is at odds with many of the measures implicit in other versions of the FOIP, especially those advanced by the United States. Beyond the trade war that it launched against China’s economy, the Trump administration was explicit in its desire to “contain” China and prevent its political, economic, and technological rise.29 This was especially apparent in the increasing U.S. efforts to undermine China’s technological progress and development, exemplified in its war against Huawei, the Chinese telecommunications giant.30 The Trump administration expected its allies to fall into line as it pursued policies that might well lead to the decoupling of the U.S. and Chinese economic and technological sectors—​a prospect with profound regional and global implications.31 This expectation is a non-​starter in the Asia-​ Pacific and appears to have been rejected in Japan’s newest iteration of the FOIP. As Miller notes, in 2018 Japan started referring to the FOIP as a “vision” rather than a “strategy” in order to make it easier for regional states to endorse. Japan has also emphasized that the FOIP is inclusive and not directed against any state.32 Even before the AOIP, Japan began to back away from the more confrontational aspects of the FOIP. Given the intentional ambiguity of the concept, this was not difficult to do. Japan’s current reading of the regional environment seems more ambiguous, though it may also be positioning itself to play a more assertive and independent security role. This is a point we shall return to below. For now, what is relevant is how Japan can and should respond to the AOIP. The AOIP is a strong statement of ASEAN intentions and desires. However, ASEAN has a long history of issuing aspirational documents that do little to change its members’ actions and policies. The AOIP presents a positive vision of how ASEAN hopes to steer the region, but it runs into the limitations caused by ASEAN member states acting in their own narrow self-​interests. ASEAN unity is critical to the organization’s political efficacy. Japan’s decisions on how to respond

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to ASEAN’s aspirations depend on a calculation of how likely it is that ASEAN can act as a coherent body on the AOIP. The Importance of Intra-​ASEAN Unity

ASEAN’s political unity is fundamentally important to its influence on the global stage. The idea that ASEAN represents the collective voice of more than 650 million people and 10 states in an economically and politically critical region of the world adds enormous weight to the organization’s declarations and positions. The importance of adopting a common front, however, lies in the implication that it may lead to collective action. This may not be a sensible conclusion to reach with respect to ASEAN. The organization is designed to put the sovereignty of its members above all other considerations and it has proven difficult to unite ASEAN on a number of important issues facing the region. The first consideration is whether or not ASEAN unity is critical to the organization’s international influence. Can ASEAN continue to be the central organizing actor in the Asia-​Pacific if its members cannot speak with one voice on the most important issues of the day? ASEAN and Vietnam’s Invasion/​Occupation of Cambodia

The best historical example of the importance of ASEAN’s unity to its political efficacy was its effort to deal with Vietnam’s invasion and occupation of Cambodia (called Kampuchea at the time of the invasion) from 1978–​89 and the immediate aftermath. Before the Vietnamese invasion, the international community saw ASEAN as a largely ineffectual body, created by the non-​communist states of Southeast Asia to further their political and economic cooperation, with little notable success.33 In the aftermath of Vietnam’s action, ASEAN became a critical player in the international response to the crisis. It presented itself as the united voice of a large part of Southeast Asia, striving to uphold basic principles of international law and offering a vision of regional relations that eschewed conflict and promoted economic development.34 Dealing with this issue occupied most of ASEAN’s attention and activities during this period. Nonetheless, the geopolitics surrounding the Vietnamese invasion were much more complex than this initial summation suggests, and maintaining ASEAN’s political unity was difficult. ASEAN was only one

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piece in a game of international chess played by much larger actors. The United States and China maneuvered to pin down the Soviet Union in Southeast Asia by entangling its regional ally, Vietnam, in an endless struggle in Cambodia. ASEAN was a useful tool in this strategy. Even so, ASEAN gained international notice and influence by organizing UN General Assembly votes that condemned Vietnam’s actions and that kept its imposed regime in Cambodia from claiming its seat at the United Nations. Despite the appearance of regional unity, ASEAN concealed significant strategic differences between its member states. Indonesia and Malaysia saw China as the major long-​term regional threat and regarded Vietnam as a potential bulwark against future Chinese expansionism. Singapore was concerned to keep the United States engaged in the region and the USSR out. It regarded Vietnam as a Soviet regional beachhead and fully supported ASEAN’s collective actions against it. The Philippines opposed Vietnam’s actions to register its support for international law and to support the ASEAN consensus. Thailand was the ASEAN member sharing a border with Cambodia, making it a “frontline state” with the most at stake if Vietnam’s actions proved to be part of a larger pattern of aggression. Thailand dictated ASEAN’s collective policy and expected its ASEAN colleagues to offer it unconditional support. During this period, Thailand developed strong security ties to China. Thus, Indonesia and Malaysia found themselves having to choose between supporting Thailand’s national security priorities at the expense of their own or minimizing their opposition to Vietnam’s actions in order to prevent China from expanding its regional influence, at the risk of Thailand abandoning ASEAN. In the end, they chose ASEAN unity.35 Throughout the 1980s, ASEAN maintained its common front in public in its confrontation with Vietnam. Behind the scenes, however, the strategic differences between the states created growing tensions. Indonesia was concerned with the continued weakening and ostracization of Vietnam to the benefit of China. Indonesia also saw itself as ASEAN’s foremost state and leader and was upset that Thailand was the ASEAN state dictating the organization’s regional policy. Indonesia made various efforts to assert its strategic perspective, such as getting itself named ASEAN’s “interlocutor” with Vietnam. This allowed it to engage with Vietnam and seek a diplomatic solution to the crisis without breaking ASEAN unity. However, Indonesia found its efforts foiled by the larger external powers, who did not want a diplomatic solution at that time. Indonesia’s decision to set aside its short-​term national interest to accommodate Thailand’s

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interest reflected its long-​term belief that ASEAN played a critical role in Indonesia’s regional policy and, therefore, was worth preserving. In the end, however, ASEAN’s policy toward Vietnam shifted when a new government in Thailand abandoned its predecessor’s policies and began to re-​engage with Vietnam, economically and politically. Thailand’s new approach challenged ASEAN’s established policy and shattered ASEAN unity.36 ASEAN learned a number of lessons from its experience in dealing with the Cambodian–​Vietnamese War. The most important was the realization that ASEAN, the organization, gave its members an international profile and recognition as a collective entity that they could not achieve as individual states. Standing together enhanced their international voice and influence. Since that time, ASEAN has protected that influence by ensuring that it remains at the heart of every major regional multilateral initiative. However, ASEAN’s effectiveness in dealing with Vietnam was severely compromised by Thailand’s defection. Fortunately, the conflict was coming to an end as the Cold War wound down, minimizing the damage to ASEAN’s international image. Thailand’s unilateral action was a statement on the relative lack of importance of ASEAN to the institutionalized foreign policy making priorities of the state.37 This may no longer be true. In the intervening decades, ASEAN’s figurative importance to its member states has become better established. All of ASEAN’s members now recognize the international political advantages of seeming to possess a collective regional voice. However, the lack of consensus within ASEAN on shared security and economic policies has made the difficulties of speaking with that voice much more acute in the post-​Cold War era. This is largely due to ASEAN expanding to include Vietnam in 1995, Laos, and Myanmar in 1997 and Cambodia in 1999. These states added their own complex political, security and economic calculations to ASEAN’s already complicated equation and entered the organization with a strong commitment to the traditional understanding of the “ASEAN way.” Thus, they have opposed reforms that would legitimize efforts to articulate a collective “ASEAN interest” that might conflict with members’ national interests, particularly in the political and security realms. They have been much more open to measures that differentiate between ASEAN states based on levels of economic development, but this does not conflict with their interests. However, it is not just the newer members of ASEAN who have opposed some elements of institutional reform. Many older members are also leery of the organization becoming too independent and intrusive.38

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ASEAN and the Financial Crisis 1997–​1999

A second critical demonstration of the link between ASEAN’s global influence and its unity is found in the negative lessons of the organization’s response to the Asian Financial Crisis of 1997–​1999. In that situation, ASEAN found that it had created an impression of its unity and effectiveness that led most of the international community to believe that the organization would act to protect its members from the worst effects of the crisis. However, nothing in ASEAN’s organizational structure, history, or actual material capabilities supported the idea that ASEAN could effectively address an economic crisis. The belief was the product of ASEAN’s successful influence-​building exercises and its cultivation of an image of a cohesive organization. It suggests that, until the economic crisis, ASEAN exercised disproportionate influence on the global stage. The revelation that ASEAN was less united and effective than the international community assumed was devastating to the organization’s global standing.39 In the aftermath of the crisis, ASEAN undertook a major effort to rehabilitate its international image and prove its utility in the twenty-​first century. The idea of the ASEAN Community and its three pillars (the ASEAN Economic, Political and Security, and Socio-Cultural Communities) is a product of this dynamic. So is ASEAN+3, a regional grouping including the ASEAN members, Japan, China, and South Korea, which established a regional financial facility after the crisis that became the Chiang Mai Initiative Multilateralization.40 For ASEAN, a key concept that emerged from this period was “ASEAN centrality”—​the idea that ASEAN should be at the core of any regional organization. This concept had been exercised in the past, as when ASEAN demanded a key role in the Asia-​Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Forum, but it became more prominent as the number of regional organizations and structures exploded.41 Again, the concept of “ASEAN centrality” is underpinned by ASEAN unity. However, even as ASEAN understood that its political clout depended on its internal unity, the organization made allowances for a divided approach to the world. In particular, in the economic realm, the ASEAN states realized that different levels of development between member states led to very different economic interests. Efforts to make ASEAN function as an economic bloc had been historically unsuccessful, largely because of the competitive and non-​complementary nature of the regional economies. The inclusion of the states of mainland Southeast Asia in the 1990s exacerbated this situation.

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The “ASEAN way” kept ASEAN united but came under increasing pressure after the economic crisis as critics insisted the organization needed more flexibility if it wished to address regional crises. After trying, unsuccessfully, to bridge their many gaps and arrive at ASEAN-​wide economic agreements, the ASEAN states adopted the “ASEAN Minus X” formula. This meant that ASEAN, the organization, could enter mutually beneficial economic arrangements with ASEAN and non-​ASEAN actors and not require that all of the members sign onto the arrangement. This approach allowed more developed and economically open ASEAN states to pursue their own economic interests without being held back by the need for organizational consensus and unity.42 The ASEAN Framework Agreement on Services is an example of this principle. It allows ASEAN member states to liberalize their financial sectors at their own pace. Thus, Singapore, Thailand, and Malaysia have forged ahead while other ASEAN members have held back. Various observers have suggested that “ASEAN Minus X” is a concept that can be applied to the ASEAN states’ political and security disagreements. Ralf Emmers notes that this has already happened, to a limited degree. For example, the ASEAN Convention on Counter-​ Terrorism came into force before all ten ASEAN members ratified the agreement.43 Bhubhindar Singh suggests that ASEAN could “embrace the ASEAN Minus X approach informally at first, but in a more institutionalized manner subsequently, not only in economic matters but in security issues as well.”44 The concept of “ASEAN Minus X” proceeds from the principle that ASEAN’s purpose is to further the interests of its member states and protect their sovereignty. ASEAN is not supposed to force its members to choose between organizational interests and national interests. National interests should always come first. Thus, ASEAN states should not be prevented from pursuing their national economic interests because other member states are not prepared to make the commitments and concessions necessary to enter certain kinds of trade agreements. This acknowledgment of the realities of different levels of economic development and associated political considerations within Southeast Asia, and the willingness to be flexible, enhances ASEAN’s standing. However, the ASEAN Minus X formula only really applies when there is a prior consensus that it should.45 Moreover, what works with economics may not work as readily with political/​security considerations. In the political realm, the principle that the organization shall not force states to choose between their national and organizational interests is

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more complex. As we have seen, during the Cambodian–​Vietnamese War, Indonesia and Malaysia chose to put ASEAN unity ahead of their own immediate strategic calculations. However, they were not happy about sublimating their interests. This created tensions within ASEAN, and there were signs it was unsustainable. The ASEAN of today has many more members and diverse political views, strategic interests, and assessments of the organization’s purposes and utility. To the various ASEAN states, the ability to use their leverage within the organization to gain benefits from outside actors may be an important political and strategic advantage that they do not want to give up. Expecting a state to abdicate its power within ASEAN on a political issue that directly affects its national interests is unreasonable and unlikely to gain much support. In recent years, the issue has become particularly pertinent with respect to China’s aspirations in the South China Sea. ASEAN has been unable to adopt a coherent position on the issue. In principle, China accepts “ASEAN centrality” in regional multilateralism and supports ASEAN’s regional role. However, part of its enthusiasm for ASEAN’s methods lies in the fact that consensus decision-​making allows a single state to block expressions of collective will. In 2012, China used its powerful economic leverage with Cambodia, the ASEAN Chair that year, to get Cambodia to block the annual ASEAN Ministerial Meeting joint communique, the first time the communique was not issued in ASEAN’s history. Cambodia objected to proposed statements that would have mentioned the conflicts between China and specific ASEAN members over the South China Sea. In 2016, China used its influence with Cambodia and Laos to block another ASEAN joint statement on the South China Sea that resulted from a special foreign ministers’ meeting.46 According to Singh, the problem of internal division within ASEAN is not attributable to tension over China alone: ASEAN is in a critical position in the regional strategic landscape and has to decide what its place should be in the evolving strategic landscape. The weaknesses in domestic politics within several ASEAN states and the lack of leadership shown by the traditional leader of ASEAN, Indonesia, have led some to use “adrift” to characterize ASEAN. The longer ASEAN takes to plan for its place in the evolving regional order, the less relevant or useful it might become in regional affairs.47 Southeast Asia and ASEAN are at the core of Japan’s foreign policy. Building up and supporting ASEAN, the organization, as well as the

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individual Southeast Asian states, has been an important part of its leadership strategy. However, ASEAN’s innate weaknesses, combined with the rapidly changing regional order, raise serious questions about how Japan should approach ASEAN going forward. Japan, ASEAN and the FOIP: How Should Japan Manage Its Relations with ASEAN?

The preceding discussion established that ASEAN unity is essential for the organization’s ability to exercise political influence within the Asia-​Pacific region. The Vietnam–​Cambodia experience proved that a united ASEAN could have a significant presence on the world stage. ASEAN’s inability to unite and face the financial crisis of 1997–​99 disappointed international expectations and undermined ASEAN’s international influence. The previous discussion also established that Japan’s approach to its version of the FOIP is an evolving posture, one that reflects Japan’s calculations about the changing strategic, economic, and political environments. What are the major factors in that environment and how are they likely to affect Japan’s approach to ASEAN? The first consideration is that Japan’s FOIP has, as one of its major goals, the continued engagement of the United States in the economic and security architecture of the Asia-​Pacific. Most Asia-​Pacific states see the United States as a useful counterweight to China’s growing power; many local states have entered security relationships with the United States. At the same time, the regional consensus is that Asian states do not want to have to make a choice between the United States and China. They want economic and political relations with both. China is a critical actor in regional economic and technological development. It is the main trading partner of almost every Asian state. Its infrastructural initiatives, particularly the BRI but also the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank, fill an aching need in the region for necessary investment that is not coming from Western governments or Western-​controlled institutions. China has proven itself to be a strong supporter of most of the existing structures and institutions of the established order.48 China has helped drive regional institutionalism, such as ASEAN+3. It is a major supporter of the United Nations and its organizations.49 It is strongly committed to the global liberal economic system and is instrumental in pushing for regional trade agreements.50 Nonetheless, the harsh reality is that the United States has decided to launch an economic and technological campaign against China that

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will redefine the regional environment and force Asian states to make the choices they have not wanted to make. The question of American commitment to its relationships in the Asia-​ Pacific has been an issue of regional concern for some time. The George W. Bush administration’s focus on East and Southeast Asia was almost exclusively through the lens of “the War on Terror” and largely ignored the economic and political concerns of the regional states.51 The Obama administration tried to “rebalance” U.S. foreign policy to make the Asia-​ Pacific the center of American attention and focused particular attention on ASEAN. It negotiated the Trans-​Pacific Partnership (TPP) to indicate the U.S. commitment to remaining a major economic and political actor in the Asia-​Pacific. Despite this, most Asian states felt that the promise of the Obama years went unrealized. The administration was distracted by crises in the Middle East and Eastern Europe and paid correspondingly less attention to the Asia-​Pacific. Under Obama, the United States resisted China’s expansion into the South China Sea but regional states felt those actions were not sufficient.52 Furthermore, growing Chinese power throughout the twenty-​first century created strong doubts in the region about U.S. willingness and even ability to take the potentially costly risk of honoring its commitments. Given these existing doubts, the Trump administration’s conduct in the Asia-​ Pacific has done considerable damage to the long-​ term U.S. presence in the region. One of Trump’s first presidential acts was to cancel U.S. involvement in the TPP. This sent the immediate message that the United States was not interested in mutually beneficial economic engagement with the Asia-​Pacific. Trump asserted a political narrative that portrayed the United States as the victim of its various economic and security allies. The United States insisted on working out bilateral trade agreements that would guarantee it an advantageous position at the expense of its trade partners. The administration attacked the concept of “free trade,” an idea that had been promoted by past U.S. administrations and that animated much of the economic development in the Asia-​Pacific. Over the course of the next few years, the Trump administration rejected globalism and multilateralism as international ordering principles and implemented policies that undermined international law. The administration sabotaged the World Trade Organization. Trump cast doubt on the efficacy of NATO, threatened to withdraw the United States from the security alliance, and imposed tariffs on some of its most reliable allies (such as Canada and the European Union) on the grounds of “national security.” The United States also took advantage of its position in the

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world financial system to enforce unpopular policies on its allies. At the global level, the United States undermined the very international order that it had established in the post-​World War II world.53 While all of this was happening at the international level, the Trump administration was attacking many of the basic institutional structures of the U.S. political and legal systems, undermining the global appeal of American “soft power.” It is important to note that the attack on China, unlike many of the Trump administration’s other foreign policy moves, has bipartisan support in the United States. A new “red scare” is rocking Washington and the likelihood that the United States and China may be able to return to a “normal” relationship is increasingly low.54 During the Cold War, there was a bipartisan consensus in the United States on how to approach the world. In the post-​Cold War era, the American right defines foreigners as a threat to American political, economic, and social stability. In foreign policy, this rising anti-​foreign sentiment translates into a rejection of international norms, agreements, and multilateral structures. This implies that future Republican presidents may prove just as hostile to multilateral institutions as George W. Bush and Donald Trump.55 For Japan, all of these issues are of grave concern. The FOIP promotes international law and free trade. The United States can no longer be counted on as a staunch supporter of these values. The “shared values” that link Japan with the rest of the “Quad” (Australia, India, Japan, and the United States) that were once a part of the FOIP are also in question. India and the United States both have recently been controlled by governments pursuing ethno-​nationalist agendas and that have been prepared to attack the rule of law within their own states.56 Japan is clearly hoping for the United States to remain engaged in the Asia-​Pacific, but the growing U.S. economic, technological, and military confrontation with China will force Asian states to choose sides between the two superpowers. Making such a choice would alienate and antagonize China as it is under assault, and there will eventually be consequences for doing so. Usually, Asian states are fairly narrowly focused on their own region and relatively unconcerned about what the United States does in other parts of the world. However, learning lessons from U.S. actions elsewhere—​such as the Trump administration’s abandonment of U.S. treaties and agreements and its mistreatment of long-​ standing allies—​may be unavoidable.57 Moreover, the reality remains that the United States can choose to disengage from the Asia-​Pacific, or at least to greatly reduce its regional presence. China and Japan cannot.

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Over the past decade, a great deal has been written about Japan’s quest to become a “normal country.”58 Many observers argue that one of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s key goals had been to redefine Japan’s ability to utilize its military forces in a less restricted way. The government’s redefinition of the Self-​Defense Forces terms of engagement is an example of this tendency. Stepping out of the American shadow is a very difficult undertaking for Japan, but it is a move that is becoming increasingly necessary as the trans-​Pacific relationship with the United States becomes more problematic. If Japan becomes more politically and militarily assertive in the region, it will certainly stir up antagonism in South Korea and China. It is becoming increasingly apparent, however, that Japan may not be able to avoid making this decision much longer. Under these conditions, there is a strong case for Japan to operate in a manner similar to China in its dealings with ASEAN. If China has already rendered ASEAN too divided to adopt united positions on key security issues of interest to China, then the organization’s authority and the credibility of its claim to be “central” to regional multilateralism are already suffering. For Japan to restrain itself would put it at an unnecessary disadvantage. Moreover, for many ASEAN states, if the United States is becoming too provocative and unreliable an actor, Japan is a logical potential counterweight to growing Chinese power. In the past, different ASEAN states have encouraged Japan to take a stronger and more independent leadership role. Southeast Asian support for this strategy is likely to increase, though this is a development that may also leave ASEAN divided between member states that support Japan and those that tilt toward China. In January 2020, Foreign Minister Toshimitsu Motegi gave a speech on Japan’s ASEAN policy before the ASEAN Secretariat in Jakarta. He stated: Japan fully supports the goals presented in the AOIP…the future image of the Indo-​Pacific indicated in the AOIP has much in common with what Japan envisions as the future of the Indo-​ Pacific…It is indispensable for building any regional order to firmly maintain the rule of law under the principles of international law. The AOIP is precisely underpinned by this unmistakable philosophy…ASEAN Centrality is an essential driving force for the development of the entire Indo-​Pacific…a great crossroads is emerging in the Indo-​Pacific, as bright as the Southern Cross in the sky, connecting the Pacific and Indian Oceans, and connecting

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the Northern and Southern Hemispheres. Southeast Asia is located at its intersection…ASEAN is destined to be the hub of the Indo-​ Pacific, and in the AOIP, it has clearly expressed its will to further enhance cooperation in connectivity and maritime security…Japan will continue to create, hand-​in-​hand with you, this image of the future Indo-​Pacific with an ever more vibrant ASEAN as its hub.59 This statement strongly indicates that Japan is continuing to pursue its established policies with respect to ASEAN. Japan has decided to support ASEAN unity and act as though ASEAN can act in a concerted manner, despite the uncertainty associated with this position. Japan continues to enhance its relations with individual ASEAN states, but not in a way that put it at odds with ASEAN’s institutional cohesion. In 2018, Japan became the largest foreign investor in ASEAN (US$21 billion) and it remained active in negotiating the RCEP trade agreement.60 Japan has remained consistent in implementing a foreign policy in respect to its Asian neighbors that is not too critical of their domestic policies. Critics have chastised Japan for its willingness to take a soft approach to Myanmar on its treatment of the Rohingya people, for example, or its quietly supportive approach to the repressive government in Cambodia. However, these actions are in keeping with Japan’s established regional strategy, arguably a cost of being a courteous power.61 Japan adheres to the position that the best way for it to pursue its regional goals is through a united ASEAN. Conclusion

Japan’s relationships with ASEAN, the organization, and individual Southeast Asian states are crucial to its leadership ambitions in the Asia-​ Pacific and its ability to build regional multilateralism. ASEAN’s unity is critical to the organization’s political influence. However, ASEAN is also more divided within itself than it has been in decades. This is largely the result of the rapidly changing regional environment, something over which local states have very little influence, and the tensions this has created between different ASEAN members with different interests. If ASEAN cannot unite behind common positions, what is Japan’s best strategy in dealing with Southeast Asia? The United States is the single largest piece on the chessboard of the Asia-​Pacific. The doubts it has cast on its ability and willingness to offer responsible regional leadership have ripple effects across the Pacific. Other actors must decide how to respond. For Japan, its

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desire to be a “normal country” with fewer restraints on its ability to use military force, may become a strategic and practical necessity. In any scenario, Japan has to decide how to approach ASEAN. Japan has been supportive of ASEAN’s unity and of its bilateral relations with ASEAN states. It has been careful not to undermine the organization but, instead, to offer economic and security assistance to its ASEAN neighbors. This relationship with ASEAN continues to be a key element of its overall approach to Southeast Asia as a courteous power. Given the changing environment, however, should and can Japan do more? Should it adopt a more intrusive relationship with its selected allies in ASEAN? Should it be prepared to empower allies within ASEAN that support its vision of regional order and be willing to divide the organization from within, as China has done? There are strong reasons for Japan to resist following policies that may create or exacerbate divisions within ASEAN. The most important is the reality that ASEAN forms the foundation of the region’s multilateral structures. While multilateralism may be under attack from many nationalist movements around the world at the moment, it remains a critical necessity to any regional or global efforts to deal with pressing transnational problems. Climate change, the single most consequential threat facing the human race, is a problem that will have a massive effect in the Asia-​Pacific and that requires concerted, multilateral, cooperative efforts. ASEAN is the structure on which regional multilateralism is built. Undermining it or weakening its ability to function is counterproductive to the larger goal of building a more cooperative Asia-​Pacific. ASEAN’s key role in the Asia-​Pacific has been shaped by its ability to act as a neutral platform for interaction between the great powers of the region. The growing confrontation between the United States and China may require an actor playing such a function more than ever, but it also exacerbates tensions within ASEAN that could tear the organization apart. Japan may have to make difficult decisions about how far it wants to be an independent security actor before it can determine how it wants to interact with ASEAN. For now, it appears committed to supporting and enhancing ASEAN’s regional role. NOTES 1. Sueo Sudo, “Southeast Asia in Japanese Security Policy,” Pacific Strategic Paper no. 3 (Singapore: Institute of Southeast Asian Studies, 1991), 20–​21. 2. Mely Caballero-​ Anthony, “Understanding ASEAN’s Centrality: Bases and Prospects in an Evolving Regional Architecture,” Pacific Review 27, no. 4 (2014).

Japan’s Relations with ASEAN | 117 3. Shujiro Urata, “Japan’s Trade Policy With Asia,” Public Policy Review no. 10 (2014); Yose Rizal Damuri, “Managing Integration in East Asia: Behind Borders Issues in Japan-​ ASEAN Trade Agreements,” in ASEAN-​Japan Relations, eds. Takashi Shiraishi and Takaki Kojima (Singapore: Institute of Southeast Asian Studies, 2014), 160–​183; Sueo Sudo, Japan’s ASEAN Policy: In Search of Proactive Multilateralism (Singapore: Institute of Southeast Asian Studies, 2015). 4. John D. Ciorciari and Kiyoteru Tsutsui, “Japan as a Courteous Power: Continuity and Change in the Indo-​Pacific Era,” in this volume. 5. Yoshida Soeya, Masayuki Tadokoro, and David Welch, eds. Japan as a “Normal Country”? A Nation in Search of Its Place in the World (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2011). 6. Yul Sohn, “The ‘Abe Effect’ in Northeast Asia: The Interplay of Security, Economy, and Identity,” Asian Perspective 39 (2015); Sheila Smith, “The Abe Factor,” Georgetown Journal of International Affairs 16, no. 1 (2015); Xiaoming Zhang, “China’s Perceptions of and Responses to Abe’s Foreign Policy,” Asian Perspective 39 (2015). 7. Kei Koga, “Japan’s ‘Free and Open Indo-​Pacific’ Strategy: Tokyo’s Tactical Hedging and the Implications for ASEAN,” Contemporary Southeast Asia 41, no. 2 (2019): 287. 8. Lavina Lee and John Lee, “Japan-​ India Cooperation and Abe’s Democratic Security Diamond: Possibilities, Limitations and the View from Southeast Asia,” Contemporary Southeast Asia 38, no. 2 (2016). 9. Koga, “Japan’s ‘Free and Open Indo-​Pacific’ Strategy,” 288. 10. Koga, “Japan’s ‘Free and Open Indo-​Pacific’ Strategy.” 11. Koga, “Japan’s ‘Free and Open Indo-​Pacific’ Strategy,” 289. 12. Kei Koga, “Japan’s ‘Indo-​Pacific’ Question: Countering China or Shaping a New Regional Order,” International Affairs 96, no. 1 (2020); Yuichi Hosoya, “FOIP 2.0: The Evolution of Japan’s Free and Open Indo-​Pacific Strategy,” Asia Pacific Review 26, no. 1 (2019); Shinichi Kitaoka, “Vision for a Free and Open Indo-​Pacific,” Asia Pacific Review 26, no. 1 (2019). 13. Koga, “Japan’s ‘Free and Open Indo-​Pacific’ Strategy,” 297. 14. Koga, “Japan’s ‘Free and Open Indo-​Pacific’ Strategy,” 298. 15. Koga, “Japan’s ‘Free and Open Indo-​Pacific’ Strategy.” 16. Kentaro Sonoura, “Speech by Kentaro Sonoura,” Japan-​Mekong Cooperation Seminar (March 23, 2018), 4–​5. 17. Sudo, Japan’s ASEAN Policy. 18. Shaun Narine, Explaining ASEAN: Regionalism in Southeast Asia (Boulder, CO: Lynne Rienner, 2002), 31–​32. 19. Bhubhindar Singh, “Japan-​ASEAN Relations: Challenges, Impact and Strategic Options,” in ASEAN at 50: A Look at Its External Relations (Singapore: Konrad Adenauer Stiftung, 2017), 103. 20. Koga, “Japan’s ‘Free and Open Indo-​Pacific’ Strategy,” 300. 21. Tomotaka Shoji, “ASEAN’s Ambivalence Towards the Vision of a ‘Free and Open Indo-​Pacific’ Mixture of Anxiety and Expectation,” International Information Network Analysis (September 18, 2018), https://​​iina/​en/​articles/​shoji-​southeastasia-​ foips.html. 22. Tomotaka Shoji, “ ‘Belt and Road’ vs. ‘Free and Open Indo-​Pacific’: Competition Over Regional Order and ASEAN,” NIDS Commentary no. 88 (January 9, 2019): 4. 23. Koga, “Japan’s ‘Free and Open Indo-​Pacific’ Strategy,” 301.

118 | The Courteous Power 24. Nazia Hussain, “ASEAN Joins the Indo-​Pacific Conversation,” East Asia Forum, August 16, 2019, https://​​2019/​08/​16/​asean-​joins-​the-​indo-​ pacific-​conversation/​. 25. ASEAN, “ASEAN Outlook on the Asia Pacific,” June 23, 2019, available at https://​​en/​news/​asean-​outlook-​on-​the-​indo-​pacific/​ (accessed May 5, 2021). 26. ASEAN, “ASEAN Outlook on the Asia Pacific.” 27. ASEAN, “ASEAN Outlook on the Asia Pacific,” 2. 28. ASEAN, “ASEAN Outlook on the Asia Pacific.” For further commentary on the AOIP, see Prashanth Parameswaran, “Assessing ASEAN New Indo-​Pacific Outlook,” The Diplomat, June 24, 2019, https://​​2019/​06/​assessing-​aseans-​new-​indo-​ pacific-​outlook/​. 29. David Sanger and Steve Erlanger, “ ‘The West is Winning,’ Pompeo Said. The West Wasn’t Buying It,” New York Times, February 15, 2020. 30. David McCabe, Nicole Hong and Katie Benner, “US Charges Huawei with Racketeering, Adding Pressure on China,” New York Times, February 13, 2020. 31. David Goldman, “Trump Bets the Farm on Huawei Equipment Ban,” The Asia Times, May 18, 2020, https://​​2020/​05/​trump-​bets-​the-​farm-​on-​huawei-​ equipment-​ban/​?mc_​cid=420c8b0ac4&mc_​eid=8a28dbcf5e. 32. J. Berkshire Miller, “Japan’s Changing Vision of a Free and Open Indo-​Pacific,” Global Asia 14, no. 1 (2019). 33. Michael Leifer, ASEAN and the Security of Southeast Asia (London: Routledge, 1989). 34. Narine, Explaining, 39–​66. 35. Narine, Explaining, 44–​49. 36. Narine, Explaining, 52–​58. 37. Amitav Acharya, Constructing a Security Community in Southeast Asia (London: Routledge, 2001), 90–​95. 38. Acharya, Constructing a Security Community in Southeast Asia, 118–​123. 39. Shaun Narine, “ASEAN in the Aftermath: The Consequences of the East Asian Economic Crisis,” Global Governance 8, no. 2 (2002). 40. Shaun Narine, The New ASEAN in Asia Pacific and Beyond (Boulder, CO: Lynne Rienner, 2018), 47–​116. 41. Mely Caballero-​ Anthony, “Understanding ASEAN’s Centrality: Bases and Prospects in an Evolving Regional Architecture,” Pacific Review 27, no. 4 (2014), 563–​584. 42. Mely Caballero-​Anthony, “The ASEAN Charter: An Opportunity Missed or One that Cannot Be Missed?” in Southeast Asian Affairs, eds. Daljit Singh and Tin Maung Maung Than (Singapore: ISEAS, 2008), 78–​79. 43. Ralf Emmers, “ASEAN Minus X: Should This Formula Be Extended?” RSIS Commentary, no. 199 (2017). 44. Singh, “Japan-​ASEAN,” 104. 45. Caballero-​Anthony, “The ASEAN Charter,” 79. 46. Narine, The New ASEAN, 158–​159. 47. Singh, “Japan-​ASEAN,” 103–​104. 48. Rosemary Foot and Andrew Walter, China, the United States and Global Order (New York: Cambridge University Press, 2011). See also David Welch and Kobi Logendrarajah, “Is China Still an Outlaw in the South China Sea?”, July 29, 2019, https://​​features/​china-​still-​outlaw-​south-​china-​sea/​.

Japan’s Relations with ASEAN | 119 49. “Is China Contributing to the United Nations’ Mission?” Center for Strategic and International Studies (updated January 24, 2020), https://​​china-​un-​ mission/​. 50. Nana de Graaff, Tobias ten Brink and Inderjeet Parmar, “China’s rise in a liberal world order in transition—introduction to the FORUM,” Review of International Political Economy 27, no. 2 (2020), 191–​207. 51. Alice Ba, “Systemic Neglect? A Reconsideration of US-​Southeast Asia Policy,” Contemporary Southeast Asia 31, no. 3 (2009). 52. Narine, The New ASEAN, 174–​181. 53. Kori Schake, “The Trump Doctrine Is Winning and the World is Losing,” New York Times, June 15, 2018; Eliot A. Cohen, “America’s Long Goodbye: The Real Crisis of the Trump Era,” Foreign Affairs 98, no. 1 (2019); Henry Farrell and Abraham Newman, “The Twilight of America’s Financial Empire: Washington’s Economic Bullying Will Erode Its Power,” Foreign Affairs, January 24, 2020, https://​​articles/​2020-​ 01-​24/​twilight-​americas-​financial-​empire. 54. Ana Swanson, “A New Red Scare is Reshaping Washington,” New York Times, July 20, 2019. 55. Narine, The New ASEAN, 199–​ 200. See also Shaun Narine, “US Domestic Politics and America’s Withdrawal from the Trans-​Pacific Partnership: Implications for Southeast Asia,” Contemporary Southeast Asia 40, no. 1 (2018): 50–​70. 56. “Intolerant India: Narendra Modi Stokes Divisions in the World’s Biggest Democracy,” The Economist, January 23, 2020. 57. Sharon Stirling, ed., Assessing the US Commitment to Allies in Asia and Beyond (Washington, DC: German Marshall Fund of the United States, 2018); “American Steadfastness is in Doubt in South Korea Thanks to Trump’s Policies,” The Washington Post, November 23, 2019; Nina Hachigian, “Why America’s Relationship with Asia Has Shifted So Rapidly,” Time Magazine, November 3, 2017; Eric Johnston, “16 Nation RCEP Talks Resume in Wake of TPP’s Demise,” The Japan Times, February 27 2017. 58. Soeya, Tadokoro, and Welch, Japan. 59. Toshimitsu Motegi, “ASEAN Policy Speech by Foreign Minister Motegi Toshimitsu: Towards a New Stage of Cooperation in the Spirit of Gotong-​Royong,” Speech in Jakarta, January 10, 2020), available at https://​​s_​sa/​sea2/​ page3e_​001148.html (accessed May 5, 2021). 60. Motegi, “ASEAN Policy Speech by Foreign Minister Motegi Toshimitsu.” 61. Michimi Muranushi, “Japan’s Defense of Myanmar and the Rohingya Genocide,” Middle East Institute, October 22, 2019, https://​​publications/​japans-​ defense-​myanmar-​and-​rohingya-​genocide; Kitaoka, “Vision,” 15–​16; Hiro Katsumata, “Why Does Japan Downplay Human Rights in Southeast Asia?” International Relations of the Asia Pacific, 6, no. 2 (2006): 249–​267; Andrew Nachemson, “Cambodia’s Silent Investment from Japan: Reform or Realpolitik?” Nikkei Asian Review, April 30, 2019.

6  |  Not Quite a Follower ASEAN’s Response to Japan’s Regional Initiatives Kalvin Fung

This chapter examines how the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) has responded to Japan’s regional community-​building initiatives in the post-​Cold War era. Through three case studies, I challenge the dominant narrative about Japan’s leadership role in the region, and offer a more nuanced understanding about Japan’s contributions to the regional community-​building. Ultimately, my analysis shows that Japan is unable to impose its visions of regional community on the Southeast Asian states, and ASEAN often resists foreign ideas when they contradict its goals and preferences, thereby weakening claims about Japan’s ability to dominate the discursive field—an essential quality of leadership—in the region.1 However, Japan’s readiness to accommodate concerns from ASEAN members, synergizing their visions to achieve outcomes acceptable to both, corroborates the editors’ argument about Japan being the courteous power in the region (see Chapter 12). Even though Japan lacks the ability to reconfigure the regional visions of ASEAN members, its initiatives often bolster some of their pre-​existing views on the mode of regional community-​building and, thus, keeps the discussion alive. Japan’s aspiration to regional leadership in Southeast Asia is not a new topic.2 The Fukuda Doctrine, enunciated in 1977, had set Japan on a course to actively engage in economic (e.g., providing economic assistance) and political (e.g., mediating in the Cambodian peace process) realms of cooperation in the sub-​region.3 This “special relationship” continues, in spite of the rise of regional competitors—notably China—against Japan’s decades-​long preeminence in Southeast Asia. Some scholars attribute the resilience of Japan’s leadership to the 120

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country’s capacity to influence quietly the ASEAN states in accepting its regional vision and rejecting its competitors’ initiatives.4 It was such influence that enabled Japan to shape other actors’ preferences regarding the regional community in the Asia-​/​Indo-​Pacific. Other scholars, who contend that Japan alone would not be sufficient to shape the trajectory of regionalism, have taken the collective—and sometimes competitive—relations among China, the United States, and Japan as the key determinants of regional community-​building.5 In spite of these differences, both groups of scholars concur that Japan has played a role as a regional leader in the Asia-​/I​ndo-​Pacific. In examining Japan’s influence over Southeast Asia, this chapter responds primarily to the first view and sheds light on ASEAN’s responses to Japan’s regional initiatives. There are manifold ways to exercise leadership, ranging from brute force, materialistic dominance, persuasion, to attraction that is based on ideational power.6 Given that Japan is known as an “ideational facilitator” to some—instead of a hegemonic power that relies on brute force and coercion—this chapter focuses on Japan’s ideational power in shaping the preferences, visions, and discourses of its “followers.”7 Possessing such power does not imply that the followers would automatically buy into Japan’s regional initiatives. However, if Japan’s ideas and narratives are deemed attractive, governments on the receiving end of Japan’s influence should eventually change their preferences accordingly. Through three case studies concerning Japan’s promotions of its own regional initiatives, this chapter explores the limits of Japan’s ability to change ASEAN’s collective preferences. Notwithstanding these limitations, the concluding section discusses how Japan, as a courteous power, has been a key partner of ASEAN for creating and advancing the regional community. Why Regional Initiatives?

What kind of attributes should a regional leader possess? In the Asia-​ Pacific, where regionalism is characterized by multi-​layered and overlapping institutional architectures, observers generally agree that regional leadership is indispensable to the creation and maintenance of regional order. Christopher Dent highlights that one of the functions of a regional leader lies in its ability to “lead the regional community-​ building process generally.”8 Il Hyun Cho and Seo-​Hyun Park underscore that the content and nature of Asian leadership is inseparable from

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“issues of regional boundaries and membership.”9 Dirk Nabers writes that a regional leader is expected to present its “own particular worldview as compatible with the communal aims.”10 In summary, a leader-​ follower relationship is inextricably linked with the acceptance of a particular vision of regional community.11 ASEAN plays a special role in Japan’s regional diplomacy, and, due to its comparative weakness in material terms, is often seen as a follower to Japan’s leadership. Japan has viewed Southeast Asia as a strategically essential area over the last two decades, mainly because of the imperative to address China’s increasing prominence in the region. Diplomatically speaking, winning recognition from ASEAN is critical to Japan’s claim to regional leadership, because while ASEAN is composed of small-​to-​ middle powers, it represents a legitimate voice in the management of regional affairs.12 As a result, in order to consolidate its influence over Southeast Asia, Japan not only provides developmental assistance and enhances defense capacities of individual ASEAN members; it also seeks to appeal to ASEAN consistently with its regional initiatives. To better capture ASEAN’s reactions toward Japan’s initiatives, this chapter selects three cases of regional initiatives for further illustration. These cases include: (1) the 1991 Nakayama proposal, which aimed to build a region-​wide dialogue-​based security forum upon the ASEAN Post Ministerial Conference (PMC); (2) the Koizumi initiative of 2002–​ 05, which sought to create an East Asian community that includes states beyond ASEAN members and the “plus three” countries of China, South Korea, and Japan to enhance regional cooperation; and (3) the “Free and Open Indo-​Pacific” (FOIP) strategy announced in 2017–​18, through which Japan pledged to commit itself to both infrastructure development across the region and to uphold the rules-​based international order. These cases are selected for two particular reasons. First, Japan introduced these initiatives to cope with changing external environments, which opened up political space for competition among regional powers for leadership. The Nakayama proposal emerged out of regional uncertainties in the post-​Cold War era, particularly over the potential withdrawal of U.S. forces from the region. The Koizumi initiative responded to the post-​ Asian Financial Crisis consensus that a closer, tighter, and self-​sustained regional cooperation was necessary to prevent another region-​wide financial tsunami. The FOIP strategy was motivated by both uncertainty over the future of U.S. Asia policy and China’s mounting assertiveness. These shifts—or shocks—in the regional structure have affected both Japan and the rest of the regional community, creating a sense of urgency that

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demanded new solutions. These cases exemplified Japan’s efforts to propose solutions in response to the shifts, thus allowing us to test Japan’s leadership capacity in mobilizing ASEAN members to pursue the regional order it envisions. Second, these cases should be easy tests for Japan’s leadership traits as these initiatives, which covered all of Southeast Asia, aligned with the interests of most ASEAN members. For instance, these initiatives backed ASEAN’s assumption of occupying the “driver’s seat” in Asian regionalism, as Japan sought to allay suspicions among non-​aligned countries like Malaysia and Indonesia, which have traditionally sought to avoid taking sides in great-​power rivalry. Furthermore, given ASEAN’s preference for protecting the regional status quo, these initiatives could have found support from ASEAN easily, since they did not challenge the status quo. Thus, if ASEAN does not buy into the substances of Japan’s initiatives, then claims about Japan’s regional leadership need to be moderated.13 The rest of this chapter traces how ASEAN members have responded, individually and collectively, to Japan’s initiatives about regional community-​ building. It compares ASEAN’s preferences over the dimensions of membership, policy areas for cooperation, and normative values before and after Japan’s interventions: a. ‘Membership’ informs which countries would be included/​excluded in the initiative, and the conditions regulating those decisions. b. ‘Policy areas’ refer to the policy realms—economic, political-​security, or socio-​cultural—and the key objectives to be prioritized in the initiative. c. ‘Normative values’ describe the ideational structures, mainly the standard of appropriate behaviors in the region, embedded in the initiative. The case studies below show that Japan has seldom successfully changed ASEAN members’ preferences regarding these three dimensions. Sometimes Japan achieved partially what it wanted, but it was more likely to fail if the initiatives did not fit with the existing thoughts and practices of those Southeast Asian countries. In order to maintain friendly ties with its counterparts, Japan compromised on its original vision and was willing to seek solutions acceptable to the ASEAN states. If leadership is about Japan’s capacity to co-​opt its potential “followers,” then it is obvious that Japan has not performed the tasks well.

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Nevertheless, it is exactly such non-​ coercive, non-​ assertive, and respectful attitude—or, “courteousness”—toward Southeast Asia that solidified Japan’s image as an indispensable and reliable partner to back up the ASEAN-​led visions. Besides, presenting itself as a more friendly and respectful alternative to other major powers’ regional visions, Japan’s initiatives have created and broadened the discursive space about regional community, which in turn catalyzed the ASEAN members to voice out their own ideas. Thus, while Japan–​ASEAN ties are not so much about leader-​follower relationships, the pair has always produced considerable synergy that bolstered the regional community. Case 1: The Nakayama Proposal and the ASEAN Regional Forum

On July 22, 1991 in Kuala Lumpur, Japan’s foreign minister Taro Nakayama announced a plan to utilize the ASEAN Post-​Ministerial Conference (PMC) as a base for political dialogue dedicated to the strengthening of mutual reassurance.14 Nakayama’s call for embracing multilateralism was not a unique voice in the region: Australia, Canada, and the Soviet Union had also advocated their own versions of multilateral security initiatives which tried to emulate the template of the Conference on Security and Cooperation in Europe (CSCE). Highlighting its Asian identity, Japan dismissed those proposals as “unfit” to the regional security environment and asserted the Nakayama proposal as the rightful representative of Asian and ASEAN voices.15 Japan’s turn to multilateralism was driven by the shift in external environment associated with the reduction of U.S. troop deployment—the primary security provider to Japan—in the region in the early-​1990s. The fear of U.S. disengagement, coupled with the “Iraqi shocks” after the Gulf War (1990–​91), alarmed Japan about its vulnerabilities to possible military threats from China, the Soviet Union and, in general, the post-​Cold War international order. Constitutional restrictions over the use of military force and lingering Southeast Asian apprehension about Japanese remilitarization prompted Japan, an economic powerhouse in the region, to explore the development of multilateral political dialogue as a means to reduce the regional security dilemma and ensure regional stability.16 The following sub-​ section examines the essence of the Nakayama proposal based on its three dimensions: membership, policy areas, and normative values.

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The Nakayama proposal explicitly underlined that the proposed political dialogue would only engage “friendly countries in the region,” implying that both socialist countries and political adversaries would be excluded from the institution at the nascent stage.17 Although Japan’s relations with many socialist countries began to improve in the late 1980s, Japanese officials remained suspicious of the intentions of some socialist states, including the Soviet Union. When Nakayama introduced this proposal in 1991, existing members of the ASEAN PMC were all U.S.-​friendly and capitalist countries.18 Therefore, Japan’s objective to isolate China and the Soviet Union was discernible as Nakayama suggested using the PMC, instead of creating a stand-​alone conference dedicated to security affairs, as the venue for the dialogue.19 Policy Areas

The Nakayama proposal did not plan to invest as much energy in confidence-​building and arms-​control measures as the Australian and Soviet proposals for CSCE-​like initiatives did.20 Rather, Nakayama wanted the PMC to extend the dialogue mechanism from economic issues to political and security affairs, through which Japan could strengthen the political foundation of mutual cooperative relations with ASEAN and other like-​minded countries.21 From Japan’s viewpoint, a politico-​security dialogue with ASEAN facilitated its logic of reassurance, i.e. reducing ASEAN’s apprehensions about Japan’s remilitarization through frank exchange of opinions and enhancing transparency. Normative Values

The Nakayama proposal did not specify the normative values embedded in the new dialogue framework. But by utilizing the ASEAN PMC mechanism for extended dialogue, it implied that Japan endorsed ASEAN’s position in the “driver’s seat” of regionalism in Asia-​Pacific. Furthermore, Nakayama’s emphasis on political dialogue comported strongly with the constructivist arguments about trust-​building, relationship-​building and, thus, making war unthinkable. This was also a reflection of the legal-​ rational norms practiced among ASEAN members.22

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ASEAN’s Responses

ASEAN’s immediate response to the Nakayama proposal was far from enthusiastic.23 Japan was criticized for not consulting its ASEAN counterparts earlier enough and was seen as “stealing the ASEAN’s ideas and initiatives.”24 Still, three years later, ASEAN developed a stand-​alone multilateral security framework—the ASEAN Regional Forum (ARF)—to promote security cooperation with key regional actors. Based on the institutional design of the ARF and the negotiation process behind its formation, the following sub-​section evaluates the roles of Japan’s initiative in shaping this outcome. Membership ASEAN’s response to Japan’s proposal on membership was mixed. ASEAN members generally did not embrace Japan’s initiative to build a political dialogue mechanism exclusive to “like-​minded-​countries.” Prior to the arrival of Japan’s proposal, there was already an emerging consensus within ASEAN that its security networks should be extended to all regional powers, regardless of their political regimes, in order to ensure regional autonomy in Southeast Asia.25 Japan’s initiative of isolating non-​ like-​minded countries would inevitably clash with ASEAN’s pursuit for “deeper engagement” with all regional powers.26 Even Brunei, Malaysia, and the Philippines, all of which had territorial disputes with China over the South China Sea, agreed to uphold the ASEAN vision by formally inviting China, seven dialogue partners, and four non-​dialogue-​partners to the ARF in 1994. In this regard, the Nakayama proposal failed to shape ASEAN’s preferences over the membership of the ARF. The ASEAN Summit in 1992 showed that its members generally welcomed Japan’s idea of utilizing the PMC as a venue for discussing regional political and security affairs with external powers.27 It also began to utilize the PMC to discuss regional security issues with PMC members in the same year.28 This, however, did not mean that the Nakayama proposal transformed ASEAN’s preferences. As early as the late 1980s, Indonesia’s foreign minister Ali Alatas had already floated the idea of expanding the PMC dialogue and had mustered consensus well before Nakayama voiced his plan.29 In addition, by 1993, ASEAN ultimately decided to create a new security framework for political and security dialogue with all the regional powers—including China, Russia, and the existing PMC members—in contrast to Nakayama’s idea of restricting security discussions to “like-​ minded countries” only.30

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Policy Areas Non-​ aligned countries in ASEAN were generally cautious about endorsing the Nakayama proposal at the beginning, because they worried that Japan would eventually convert the PMC into a forum exclusively focusing on security issues. That would only serve Tokyo’s interests at the expense of ASEAN. Indonesia and Malaysia, in particular, were unsettled by Nakayama’s suggestion of forming a Senior Officials’ Meeting (SOM), which could eventually turn the PMC into a formal security forum.31 ASEAN’s reluctance also reflected its newly developed aspiration of exercising impartiality, a means to protect regional autonomy from major power rivalries.32 If the PMC became a security forum and blocked China’s and the Soviet Union’s access, then ASEAN might be misconstrued as forming a confrontational bloc against them.33 Malaysia, for example, was concerned that it would prompt the formation of “counter-​blocs” and would damage regional stability.34 The prevailing attitudes in ASEAN toward creating a security forum, however, changed afterwards. In 1992, ASEAN leaders concluded that ASEAN would intensify political and security dialogues with external powers through PMC.35 By 1993, ASEAN leaders announced the decision to create the ARF, which would “cover full range of security issues from arms transfers … to refugee and labour movements.”36 This implied a significant departure from ASEAN’s original skepticism about creating a security forum. Nevertheless, little evidence supported the view that ASEAN’s about-​face was caused by the appeal of the Nakayama proposal. Rather, ASEAN’s change in attitude happened in parallel to China’s rising assertiveness in the South China Sea, exemplified by the latter’s declaration of sovereignty over the disputed territories in February 1992, which directly impaired national interests of Brunei, Malaysia, and the Philippines. Meanwhile, Indonesia and Singapore had been more preoccupied with socializing China through the ARF than courting Japan, suggesting that the influence of the Nakayama proposal was less significant than the China factor.37 In spite of Japan’s economic presence in Indonesia, the primus inter pares in ASEAN, its bilateral relations were “surprisingly thin” in the early post-​Cold War era.38 Nonetheless, ASEAN leaders generally agreed with Japan’s logic of reassurance that treated dialogue and relationship building as the primary means to promote regional security. Japan’s logic greatly matched with the modus operandi of the ASEAN founding members, which mediated their internal differences through a habit of dialogue. Indeed, Malaysia

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appreciated Japan’s non-​coercive manner in promoting the Nakayama proposal, a signal that Tokyo’s reassurance strategy was gaining more trust from ASEAN states.39 Besides, when being asked about the goal of forming a security dialogue, some ASEAN officials shared Japan’s views that it was important to build confidence by having discussions “more often” in order to get “more comfortable” with one another.40 Such a notion of confidence building was adopted in the mission statement of the ARF when the forum was established in 1994.41 Thus, although the Nakayama proposal may not have been the primary force leading to the formation of a formal forum for security dialogue in the ARF, Japan saw that its and ASEAN’s preferred mode of relationship-​building overlapped, thus incentivized ASEAN states to move one step further, and successfully pursued such a venue. As further evidence of Japan’s commitment in this regard, Japan consistently persuaded the United States to back the ASEAN-​led security forum.42 Normative Values ASEAN welcomed Japan’s recognition of the ASEAN PMC as the key venue for a security forum. Such recognition was important to the self-​ esteem of all ASEAN members, which had been deeply dissatisfied with the Association’s marginalization in the Asia-​Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) forum.43 Having said that, Japan was only a supporter—but not an initiator—of the norms guiding the new security forum. ASEAN notably imported the principles of its own Treaty of Amity and Cooperation as the code of conduct in the ARF.44 The ARF also institutionalized the narratives of “peace through dialogue” and “peace through engagement” in promoting cooperative security in the region but, again, these normative values were deeply rooted in ASEAN’s DNA. It suggested that the normative pillars of the ARF resulted more from the indigenous efforts of ASEAN than an adaptation to foreign influence. Case 2: The Koizumi Vision and ‘ASEAN+6’ Framework of the East Asian Summit

In 1997, the Asian Financial Crisis brought another disruption to the region, economically and politically. The crisis exposed ASEAN’s own inadequacies in coordinating its own responses to prevent the turbulence from spilling over. Meanwhile, the Asian Financial Crisis also challenged

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the legitimacy of the Asian development model pioneered by Japan and, thus, its legitimacy as a regional leader. And more essentially, in Asia, the financial crisis had evoked a sense of resentment against the United States and the international financial institutions under its influence, thereby encouraging aspiring regional leaders to challenge U.S. leadership.45 To advance political and economic cooperation in the region without the United States, ASEAN intensified cooperation with China, Japan, and South Korea through the ASEAN+3 framework. ASEAN+3 participants established an East Asia Vision Group comprised of prominent representatives from each of the thirteen states, which recommended building an “East Asian community.”46 In the face of a stronger China, Japan was compelled to retain its leading position by blocking any region-​ building initiative coming from Beijing.47 In this case, the Sino–​Japanese rivalry took place in terms of their competing visions for the East Asian community (i.e., the regional bloc) and the East Asian Summit (EAS), i.e. the annual summit meetings designed to facilitate community-​building. China wanted the future community and the EAS to be based on the ASEAN+3 model, whereas Japan wanted to establish the ASEAN+6 model by expanding the membership to India, Australia, and New Zealand on top of ASEAN+3 model (see Koga’s chapter in this volume).48 Given that the East Asian community has not materialized, this section mainly examines the EAS. In 2002, Japan, led by Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi, countered China’s rising influence by proposing to build the East Asian Community (with a capital C to denote Japan’s specific vision) “that acts together and advances together.”49 This speech, together with the Tokyo Declaration issued in the Japan–​ ASEAN Commemorative Summit in December 2003, established the foundation of the regional community model that Koizumi envisioned. Membership

Koizumi’s statement in January 2002 clearly envisioned that the future East Asian Community—which should be “by no means an exclusive entity”—would be composed of “core members” including ASEAN countries, China, Japan, South Korea, Australia, and New Zealand.50 This idea contrasted starkly with China’s proposal of keeping ASEAN+3 as the basis for the future regional community.51 Later, Japan further expanded its desired composition of the EAS by including India, and even welcomed the participation of Russia (though Japan later withdrew its support for

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Russian participation) and the United States.52 Japan’s motivations were deeply influenced by its rivalry with China over regional leadership. Hence, Japan sought to dilute or balance against China’s influence in the future regional community by approaching U.S. friends and allies, i.e., India, Australia and New Zealand.53 Policy Areas

Japan did not articulate explicitly the exact policy areas for cooperation in the EAS. The issue paper prepared by Japan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs stated that the EAS would be “an important institutional framework to promote community-​building in East Asia,” which should include a range of functional cooperation, people-​to-​people contacts, a region-​ wide free trade area and regional financial facility.54 This description of the EAS apparently overlapped with the tasks concurrently undertaken by ASEAN+3, though Japan had reiterated that there should be division of labor between both institutions.55 Normative Values

In general, Koizumi continued to endorse ASEAN norms in the proposed EAS. In the Tokyo Declaration, the future regional community was supposed to be endowed with “the shared spirit of mutual understanding and upholding Asian traditions and values.”56 It implied that the “ASEAN Way”—the practice of consultation and consensus—would continue to be the central normative pillar of the East Asian Community and its facilitator, the EAS. Meanwhile, Japan constantly showed support to the norm of “ASEAN centrality” by keeping ASEAN in the “driver’s seat” of the new institution. A Japanese official described positioning ASEAN at the core of the EAS as “a natural format in Asia.”57 However, in operational terms, the Japanese proposal might also dilute ASEAN’s influence on other fronts. For instance, to counter China’s offer of hosting the second EAS in Beijing in 2004, Koizumi counter-​proposed to co-​chair the first meeting with Malaysia to reflect Japan’s relative importance vis-​à-​vis China.58 Both suggestions from China and Japan ran against the traditional practice of “ASEAN centrality,” according to which only ASEAN member states would have the credentials to host summits and meetings in ASEAN-​led initiatives.

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Furthermore, Koizumi’s proposal of creating an “outward looking” community, by embracing “non-​ Asian” countries like Australia, challenged China’s and Malaysia’s preferences of building an “Asian-​only” region, which manifested in the form of ASEAN+3.59 Although Japan’s proposal might contradict its own notion of upholding “Asian traditions and values,” it also provided an alternative imagination of “East Asia” defined by liberal values, rather than geography or ethnicity. ASEAN’s Responses

ASEAN members’ responses to Koizumi’s initiative were, again, mixed. At the time when Koizumi introduced his vision, China was also actively promoting its ASEAN+3-​based formula for the EAS. Given that both the Chinese and the Japanese visions contrasted starkly, ASEAN members were divided over their reactions to these proposals. By early 2005, Singapore and Indonesia were reportedly more supportive of ASEAN+6, while Malaysia was skeptical. The abrupt retraction and “correction” of the Chairman’s Statement of the ASEAN+3 Summit in 2004 after distribution revealed the extent of divisions among the ASEAN members.60 Ultimately, ASEAN pursued the ASEAN+6 model, but it also maintained that ASEAN+3 and the EAS should coexist and should be treated separately. While Japan might regard the final adoption of the ASEAN+6 model as a “diplomatic victory” over China, one should not overrate Japan’s leadership behind ASEAN’s decisions.61 Membership In the first summit in 2005, the EAS membership, built on the basis of the ASEAN+6 model, was clearly in alignment with Japan’s goal. Australia, New Zealand, and India successfully acceded to the framework, thereby allowing Japan to constrain Chinese influence in the institution. This was a remarkable outcome, given that ASEAN was still mired in divisions on the membership issue in the preceding year. At the ASEAN+3 Senior Officials’ Meeting in Vientiane in November 2004, Indonesia remained a vocal critic against hastening the process of forming the EAS whereas Malaysia continued to oppose extending the EAS membership to Australia, New Zealand, and, to a lesser extent, India.62 Changes took place after the Senior Officials’ Meeting decided to host the first EAS Summit in 2005. After that point, Indonesia became more proactive in advocating to invite India, Australia, and New Zealand into the EAS, while Malaysia began

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to moderate its anti-​Australian position.63 Noticing these changes, Japan invited all ASEAN+3 foreign ministers for an informal meeting in Kyoto in May 2005 to consolidate the emerging consensus among these key members.64 Nevertheless, ASEAN leaders’ acceptance of pursuing the ASEAN+6 model was more a reflection of changing domestic context than the effects of Japan’s influence. Indonesia’s new President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, elected in 2004, was wary of Chinese dominance in the ASEAN+3 settings and had a more favorable view toward cooperating with Australia.65 In a similar vein, Malaysia’s new Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi, who had a more inclusive worldview than his predecessor Mahathir Mohamad, steered the country away from exclusionist narratives.66 These changes paved the way to their openness toward ASEAN+6 model. Although Japan’s firm support for the ASEAN+6 model provided “indirect psychological insurance” to states like Indonesia, it was more a supplementary role in comparison to the change in ruling elites in ASEAN.67 Since the ASEAN+6 model prevailed as the EAS framework, the impact of the Koizumi vision cannot be denied, even though other domestic factors also played a role. The limits of Japan’s influence became apparent when it failed to persuade ASEAN to support the inclusion of the United States—in addition to Australia, New Zealand, and India—as an EAS member.68 Still, Japan constantly revived the discussion about the indispensable link between the United States and ASEAN, and thus keeping the Koizumi vision alive among ASEAN members.69 With the United States finally joining the EAS in 2011, partly owing to the stronger self-​initiatives taken by the Obama administration, the Koizumi vision was achieved. Policy Areas The Kuala Lumpur Declaration issued at the first EAS meeting stated that the institution would be “a forum for dialogue on broad strategic, political and economic issues of common interest and concern.”70 The ambiguity of the description, which failed to address the real functions of the EAS, implied that the members could only reach consensus on working toward non-​contentious cooperation.71 More importantly, it was obvious that the EAS could not replace ASEAN+3, and it remained unclear which institution should be the key venue for community-​building ultimately.72 Although the coexistence between the EAS and ASEAN+3 was a better option to Koizumi than seeing the EAS dominated by China under the ASEAN+3 framework, it was far from the most desirable outcome for

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Japan. Nevertheless, some ASEAN states welcomed both the ambiguity and the coexistence because they preferred to maintain impartiality amid the Sino–​Japanese competition. An Indonesian official wrote that he would rather see the coexistence of the two institutions than replacing ASEAN+3 with the EAS because the replacement scenario would treat Southeast Asian countries as individual states—but not a collective—and, thus, would undermine ASEAN unity.73 Indonesia, in particular under Yudhoyono, and Singapore preferred engagement with as many external powers as possible, rather than siding with either China or Japan and alienating the other74—a prime example of the diversification discussed in John Ciorciari’s chapter in this volume.75 Such impression of impartiality could be preserved if ASEAN decided to keep both the EAS and ASEAN+3 alive. Normative Values Japan and ASEAN shared convergent views over retaining “ASEAN centrality” in the EAS. In the Kuala Lumpur Declaration, the EAS members agreed that the institution should be “consistent with and reinforce the realization of the ASEAN community” and acknowledge that ASEAN would be its “driving force.”76 The EAS also adopted Japan’s narrative that the institution would be “open, inclusive, transparent and outward-​ looking,” suggesting the marginalization of the exclusivist narratives of ASEAN+3. Nevertheless, retaining ASEAN centrality also implied that several ambitions highlighted in Koizumi’s proposal were thwarted. Given that the ASEAN chair would be the only host of EAS meetings, Koizumi’s plan to co-​host the inaugural EAS meeting—a sign of its leading position in the institution—was doomed. Besides, in 2005, when ASEAN was laying out the entrant requirements of the EAS, it also insisted that all non-​ASEAN members had to first accede to the Treaty of Amity and Cooperation (TAC). Knowing that Australia had been a long-​term critic of ASEAN’s interpretations of “centrality” in the treaty, upholding the sacrosanct status of the TAC posed a direct challenge to Japan’s interests of having Australia on board.77 This again showed ASEAN’s collective interest in giving priority to ASEAN norms rather than heeding Japan’s concerns. Last but not least, ASEAN’s embrace of an inclusive narrative was driven by its members’ strategic interests and their domestic contexts. Thus, ASEAN’s support for inclusivity reflected the synergy between Japan and ASEAN’s visions, and Japan’s ability to influence the region when it aligns its initiatives with ASEAN’s preferences.

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Case 3: The Free and Open Indo-​Pacific Strategy and ASEAN Outlook on the Indo-​Pacific

In late 2016, Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe introduced the “Free and Open Indo-​Pacific” (FOIP) concept in the sixth Tokyo International Conference on African Development (TICAD VI). The FOIP strategy that followed (FOIPS)—with strong emphasis on “freedom” and “openness”—was widely perceived as Japan’s effort to contest for regional leadership and a symbol of Abe’s commitment to make Japan “the defender of a liberal, rules-​based order in the region.”78 The FOIPS was designed to cope with two evolving trends in the external environment. First, China’s ambition to assert regional leadership was becoming more palpable. China’s launch of the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), the creation of the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank, and the rejection of an arbitral tribunal ruling over its “nine-​dash line” claims in the South China Sea constituted serious challenges to the regional order from which Japan had long benefited. Second, the Trump administration brought significant challenges to both Japan’s national security and the foundation of the regional security architecture. Alongside the Japan-​bashing rhetoric in the 2016 presidential election, Trump’s swift decision to withdraw from the long-​awaited Trans-​Pacific Partnership in 2017 undermined Japan’s confidence in the U.S. commitment to the region. These unfolding events motivated Japan to develop more proactive policies to manage the imperiled regional order. As expressed by the then foreign minister Taro Kono, Japan wanted to demonstrate to the world that it was poised to become “a beacon for the world” but never “a follower” (see Chapter 5 in this volume).79 Membership

The geographical coverage of the FOIPS originally encompassed two continents and two oceans, ranging from Africa to Asia, from the Indian Ocean to the Pacific Ocean. The coverage overlapped with the focal point of the BRI, but Japan did not specify the exact members to be included in its vision. To Japan, the FOIPS played a dualistic role—​it was concurrently facilitating both cooperation and competition with China. Thus, the FOIPS highlighted principles of “openness” and “inclusiveness,” hinting that it was nothing close to an isolation strategy against China.80 But after the United States introduced its own vision of the “Indo-​Pacific,” Japan

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has gradually shifted its focus to the area between India and Australia so as to stay aligned with its key ally.81 Policy Areas

The FOIPS primarily targeted development assistance and maritime security. Based on Kono’s foreign policy speech in 2018, the FOIPS was built on three pillars: ensuring freedom of navigation and spreading the rule of law, pursuing economic prosperity by improving connectivity, and ensuring peace by supporting the development of maritime law enforcement capabilities.82 These domains—​particularly disbursing official development assistance, providing countries in the region with coast guard vessels, and maintaining the principle of international rule of law—​ were not new elements in Japan’s foreign policy. What was notable, however, was Japan’s effort to underscore the dualistic nature of the FOIPS. For example, Japan offered competitive infrastructure assistance to check China’s influence and, meanwhile, explored mutual complementarities with Chinese companies to collaborate in promoting business activities in the wider region.83 Normative Values

Japan continued to place ASEAN at the center of its initiative. In a media interview with The Straits Times in 2018, Kono emphasized that ASEAN was “at the heart” of the FOIPS.84 Japan also indicated its respect for “ASEAN centrality” and its intention to utilize the EAS as the framework to manage issues concerning the FOIPS.85 In addition, the FOIPS was designed to reinforce the norms prevailing in the post-​Cold War regional order, including upholding the rule of law, promoting universal values like democracy, free trade, and cooperative security. Through emphasizing “quality infrastructure,” the FOIPS was also trying to export Japan’s own standard of infrastructure financing to the wider region. These normative values, again, displayed the continuity in Japan’s regional diplomacy. ASEAN’s Responses

ASEAN members’ responses to Japan’s FOIPS were generally ambivalent. They failed to generate a unified reaction toward the concept of the “Indo-​Pacific” when the strategy was first introduced. By mid-​2018, only

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five ASEAN states (Brunei, Cambodia, Laos, Malaysia, and Myanmar) announced their agreements with the principles of the FOIPS.86 The others were more reserved. Indonesia adopted a wait-​and-​see approach and did not openly endorse those principles at the beginning. Singapore was concerned about the linkages between the FOIPS and the Quadrilateral Security Cooperation (Quad)—​an ad hoc maritime coalition between the United States, Australia, Japan, and India against Chinese aggressive behaviors in the sea—​and worried about Chinese retaliation if it openly embraced the idea of the “Indo-​Pacific.” Nevertheless, the term “Indo-​Pacific” gained more attention after the U.S. government began to adopt it. The widening use of “Indo-​Pacific,” despite its fluid meaning, prompted Indonesia to respond by creating an ASEAN “outlook” on the concept before the non-​ASEAN states completely seized discursive authority over the term. The internal disagreement over the concept “Indo-​Pacific,” however, once again surfaced, when the title of the concept paper was reportedly amended—​from “ASEAN Indo-​Pacific Outlook” to “ASEAN Outlook on the Indo-​Pacific (AOIP)”—​at the last minute in order to demonstrate that ASEAN kept a “discernable distance” from the “Indo-​Pacific” concept.87 Meanwhile, it is noteworthy that the FOIPS was not the only initiative that tried to shape ASEAN’s regional vision. Apart from China’s BRI, Japan was also facing competition from other Indo-​Pacific strategies sponsored by the United States and, to a lesser extent, Australia and India. Throughout the negotiation process of the AOIP, the dominant discourse within ASEAN was mainly about maintaining the precarious balance between China and the United States, rather than concerning what Japan wanted most.88 The following sub-​section explains why, in spite of ASEAN’s recognition of the emergence of the “Indo-​Pacific” concept, the AOIP should not be seen as a product of Japan’s leadership traits. Membership The AOIP acknowledged the geostrategic importance of both the Asia-​ Pacific and Indian Ocean regions and adopted a view similar to Japan’s that both regions had become closely integrated and interdependent.89 Like the FOIPS, ASEAN did not delineate the boundaries of membership for the Indo-​Pacific. Nevertheless, the AOIP differed from the FOIPS in terms of its implications. The AOIP laid out that the EAS should be the main vehicle for dialogue and Indo-​Pacific cooperation. Under the principle of ASEAN

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centrality, ASEAN would have the sole power to determine the ultimate outlook of EAS membership.90 Although Japan supported having the EAS as the main framework for Indo-​Pacific cooperation, it was unclear if it would want to confer such an exclusive power on ASEAN to decide on the issue of membership in practice. Besides, in view of the Sino–​U.S. rivalry, the principle also implied that both great powers would exert direct pressure on ASEAN—​as the sole arbiter—​to block membership proposals coming from the opposite side. Most importantly, ASEAN was concerned about its centrality being diluted if the EAS extended its reach beyond the Asia-​Pacific, which was the only region central to its strategic interests. In other words, the principle of ASEAN centrality made it difficult for Japan to achieve its vision of creating an inclusive Indo-​Pacific. Policy Areas The AOIP sought to promote Indo-​Pacific cooperation in four areas, namely, fostering maritime cooperation, enhancing connectivity, achieving the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), and deepening economic and other areas of cooperation.91 The emphasis on cooperation matched with how the AOIP characterized the nature of the Indo-​Pacific as “a region of cooperation instead of rivalry.” On the surface, the policy areas of the AOIP aligned with Japan’s FOIPS at large. Both initiatives shared similar concerns on improving the quality and quantity of infrastructure in the region. Indonesia, deeply interested in the FOIPS’s attention on infrastructure development, openly voiced its interests to “synergize” the Indonesian-​initiated Indo-​Pacific concept with the FOIPS.92 Even skeptics like Singapore also praised the core principles of the FOIPS for fitting well with ASEAN’s priorities in the ASEAN Summit in 2018.93 However, it should be noted that these areas of cooperation had been prevalent in ASEAN’s agenda before the arrival of the FOIPS. Instead of reconfiguring ASEAN’s approach to regional cooperation, the FOIPS legitimizes and reinforces it. The idea of promoting connectivity had been adopted in the Master Plan on ASEAN Connectivity in 2010 and in 2016, and the AOIP merely provided a platform for ASEAN to draw attention from external powers to channel resources into the infrastructural development of the sub-​region. In a similar vein, the emphases on the SDGs and economic cooperation in the AOIP were consistent with the pre-​ existing projects undertaken by respective member states. Furthermore, the forms of maritime cooperation proposed in the AOIP were vastly different from those in the FOIPS. The AOIP mainly

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addressed cooperation over areas concerning non-​traditional security issues such as combatting transnational crimes and promoting maritime commerce. It shied away from sensitive issues related to maritime territorial claims in the South China Sea or capacity building that involves enhancing the coast guard vessels, a key area of the FOIPS, for fear of antagonizing China. Normative Values ASEAN members in general agreed to maintain ASEAN centrality, which reaffirmed ASEAN’s importance as the key actor in the regional community-​ building process and, thereby, legitimizing its discursive authority over the meanings of “Indo-​Pacific.” The AOIP aimed at protecting the existing regional order amid regional uncertainty, and it reflected similar concerns with the FOIPS about the importance of prevailing regional norms. As a reflection of its support for continuity, the AOIP specified that it had no intention to replace existing mechanisms with new ones, “but to give led mechanisms” to cope with new momentum for existing ASEAN-​ the new external environment. Moreover, the AOIP reinforced values like openness, inclusivity, transparency, rules-​based framework, respect for sovereignty, and respect for international law—​signifying ASEAN’s preferences for upholding the normative pillars in the Asia-​/​Indo-​Pacific. Given that ASEAN had long championed these ideas, it was unlikely that the FOIPS was the force that shaped such preferences. Meanwhile, the AOIP had skipped some FOIPS principles concerning the rule of law and democracy, which would contradict the principle of non-​interference held dear by some authoritarian members in ASEAN. Different from the dualistic nature of FOIPS vis-​à-​vis China, the AOIP only emphasized the norm of cooperative security, which had been the guiding principles in all ASEAN-​led mechanisms and initiatives. There was also a lack of clear evidence showing that the AOIP adopted Japan’s notion of “quality infrastructure,” possibly for fear of stoking suspicion from China about its impartial stances. In summary, Japan’s leadership traits were not quite palpable in this case either. Conclusion

This chapter demonstrates mixed records of Japan’s engagement with ASEAN states in three initiatives that vary in their time and scope. These

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three cases represent relatively rare instances in which Japan sought to promote its vision in the region. The outcomes generally indicate that ASEAN did not make major concessions to facilitate Japan’s visions, and Japan did not seek to impose such concessions either. The limitations of Japan’s influence have been most palpable when Japan’s initiatives have run against the prevailing understandings in ASEAN. And Japan was most successful in realizing its visions when they aligned with ASEAN members’ interests. This chapter does not, however, intend to question Japan’s importance to Southeast Asia. Indeed, Japan is not the only regional power that fails to “sell” its regional initiatives to ASEAN members, thus demonstrating ASEAN’s strength in resisting outside influence. In the ARF case, Australia failed to promote its CSCE-​like security forum to ASEAN. In the EAS case, China’s preferred ASEAN+3 model was not adopted as the institutional framework. In the FOIPS case, American efforts to enlist ASEAN into its Indo-​Pacific strategy were thwarted when AOIP dismissed ideas associated with military-​strategic cooperation against China.94 These failures have revealed the complexity of how leader-​follower relationships operate in the region, in particular when ASEAN is able to leverage its “centrality” to project its particular regional vision amid major power competition. While Japan may not have shifted ASEAN’s preferences dramatically, Japan’s initiatives of regional community-​building often catalyzed ASEAN states, particularly those with similar views, to be more vocal in negotiating the trajectory of regional development. In spite of their limited effects upon ASEAN’s prevailing thoughts, the Nakayama proposal, the Koizumi vision, and the FOIPS have laid the discursive foundations for like-​minded states such as Singapore and Indonesia to voice out and to materialize the ASEAN visions. And although Japan’s initiatives seldom directly appeal to its counterparts, the essence of these plans always reinforces—instead of undermines—the modalities of ASEAN. Such interactions created synergy between ASEAN and Japan in the regional community-​building process and allowed both to bear fruit from it. From time to time, Japan also made concessions on certain issues in the face of ASEAN opposition, and gave diplomatic countenance to the outcome desired by ASEAN. For instance, Japan vigorously persuaded the United States to support the ARF even though the forum did not align with the Nakayama proposal of excluding the non-​like-​minded countries.95 The outlooks of the ARF and EAS might have been vastly different if Japan had chosen not to back ASEAN and bridge them with America and its allies.96 Similarly, Shinzo Abe decided to downgrade the FOIPS from a

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“strategy”—​a term easily misunderstood as an “intention to defeat another country”—​into a “vision” in November 2018 after recognizing concerns from some ASEAN members about its hostile tone toward China.97 The gentler connotation brought relief to many Southeast Asian countries, which originally hesitated to endorse the idea of “Indo-​Pacific” for fear of provoking China. As a result, Japan’s shift has removed some obstacles for ASEAN to come up with its own perspective on the “Indo-​Pacific.” As a major power, Japan’s endorsement of ASEAN-​led initiatives lent legitimacy to ASEAN’s centrality in the community-​building process in the Asia-​/​Indo-​Pacific. On a reciprocal basis, these efforts as the courteous power have rendered Japan the most trusted major power and the most preferred strategic partner in America’s absence in the eyes of most observers in Southeast Asia.98 Although such influence might be different from the quality of leadership tested in this chapter, it was indispensable to the consolidation of Japan–​ASEAN partnership. From this viewpoint, Japan’s influence in Southeast Asia is by no means insignificant, and this relationship is likely to persist in the Indo-​Pacific era. NOTES 1. Dirk Nabers, “Power, Leadership, and Hegemony in International Politics: The Case of East Asia,” Review of International Studies 36, no. 4 (October 2010): 940. 2. Lindsay Black, “Japan’s Aspirations for Regional Leadership—Is the Goose Finally Cooked?” Japanese Studies 37, no. 2 (2017): 151–​170. 3. Sueo Sudo, “Japan-​ASEAN Relations: New Dimensions in Japanese Foreign Policy,” Asian Survey 28, no. 5 (May 1988): 513–​514. 4. See, e.g. Sueo Sudo, “Japan’s ASEAN Policy: Reactive or Proactive in the Face of a Rising China in East Asia?” Asian Perspective 33, no. 1 (2009): 152–​154; Yul Sohn, “Japan’s New Regionalism: China Shock, Values, and the East Asian Community,” Asian Survey 50, no. 3 (2010): 517–​519; Rok Zupančič and Miha Hribernik, “ ‘Discovering’ Normative Power as a State Strategy in the Framework of Security, Foreign, and Defense Policy: The Case of Japan,” Philippine Political Science Journal 35, no. 1 (2014): 89–​90; Andrea Pressello, “The Fukuda Doctrine and Japan’s Role in Shaping Post-​Vietnam War Southeast Asia,” Japanese Studies 34, no. 1 (2014): 55–​56; Hidetaka Yoshimatsu, “Japan’s Role Conception in Multilateral Initiatives: The Evolution from Hatoyama to Abe,” Australian Journal of International Affairs 72, no. 2 (2018): 129–​144. 5. See, e.g. Nabers, “Power, Leadership, and Hegemony,” 948–​949; Chien-​Peng Chung, “China and Japan in ‘ASEAN Plus’ Multilateral Arrangements: Raining on the Other Guy’s Parade,” Asian Survey 53, no. 5 (2013): 824; Jinsoo Park, “Critical Strategic Practice and Sino-​ Japanese Pluralized Regional Leadership: Collective Leadership, Competitive Coexistence and a Blocking Power Relationship,” Japanese Journal of Political Science 15, no. 1 (2014): 70; Yun Zhang, “Multilateral means for bilateral ends: Japan, regionalism, and China-​Japan-​US trilateral dynamism,” The Pacific Review

Not Quite a Follower | 141 27, no. 1 (2014): 20–​21; Corey Wallace, “Japan’s strategic contrast: continuing influence despite relative power decline in Southeast Asia,” The Pacific Review 32, no. 5 (2019). 6. Terada, “Directional Leadership,” 198. 7. Sudo, “Japan’s ASEAN Policy,” 152–​154; Terada, “Directional Leadership,” 198. 8. Christopher M. Dent, “What Region to Lead? Developments in East Asian Regionalism and Questions of Regional Leadership,” in China, Japan and Regional Leadership in East Asia, ed. Christopher M. Dent (Cheltenham: Edward Elgar, 2008), 21–​22. 9. Il Hyun Cho and Seo-​Hyun Park, “Domestic Legitimacy Politics and Varieties of Regionalism in East Asia,” Review of International Studies 40, no. 3 (2014): 592. 10. Nabers, “Power, Leadership, and Hegemony,” 938–​948. 11. See, e.g. Shaun Breslin, “Theorising East Asian Regionalism(s): New Regionalism and Asia’s Future(s),” in Advancing East Asian Regionalism, eds. Melissa G. Curley and Nicholas Thomas (Oxon: Routledge, 2007), 26. 12. Evelyn Goh, “Institutions and the Great Power Bargain in East Asia: ASEAN’s Limited ‘Brokerage’ Role,” International Relations of the Asia-​ Pacific 11, no. 3 (2011): 383–​386. 13. Shiro Armstrong, “Global Economic Uncertainty and Japan’s leadership in the Asia Pacific.” East Asia Forum, June 25, 2018, https://​​2018/​ 06/​25/​global-​economic-​uncertainty-​and-​japans-​leadership-​in-​the-​asia-​pacific/​; T.J. Pempel, “Japan: Working to Shape the Regional Order,” in Japan and Asia’s Contested Order: The Interplay of Security, Economics, and Identity, eds. Yul Sohn and T.J. Pempel (Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, 2019), 231. 14. Japanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA), “Statement by Foreign Minister Taro Nakayama to the General Session of the ASEAN Post Ministerial Conference,” in Diplomatic Bluebook 1991: Japan’s Diplomatic Activities, available at https://​www.mofa.​policy/​other/​bluebook/​1991/​1991-​appendix-​2.htm#(5)%20Statement%20by%20 Foreign%20Minister%20Taro%20Nakayama%20to%20the%20General%20Session%20 of%20the%20ASEAN%20Post%20Ministerial%20Conference, (accessed May 4, 2021). 15. See, e.g. “Japan, South Korea see Soviet Asia-​Pacific Proposal Unfit,” Reuters, April 24, 1991. 16. Kuniko Ashizawa, “Japan’s Approach toward Asian Regional Security: From ‘Hub-​ And-​Spoke’ Bilateralism to ‘Multi-​Tiered’,” The Pacific Review 16, no. 3 (2003): 362–​363. 17. MOFA, “Statement by Foreign Minister.” 18. By July 1991, these dialogue partners included Australia, Canada, the European Community, Japan, New Zealand, and the United States. 19. Midford, “Japan’s Leadership Role,” 383. 20. David Dewitt, “Common, Comprehensive, and Cooperative Security,” The Pacific Review 7, no. 1 (1994): 2. 21. MOFA, “Statement by Foreign Minister.” 22. Amitav Acharya, Constructing a Security Community in Southeast Asia: ASEAN and the Problem of Regional Order, 2nd ed. (Oxon: Routledge, 2009), 54–​55. 23. “ASEAN Reacts Cautiously to Japan Security Proposal,” Reuters, July 22, 1991. 24. Takeshi Yuzawa, Japan’s Security Policy and the ASEAN Regional Forum: The Search for Multilateral Security in the Asia-​Pacific (Oxon: Routledge, 2007), 31. 25. Ralf Emmers, “Unpacking ASEAN Neutrality: The Quest for Autonomy and Impartiality in Southeast Asia,” Contemporary Southeast Asia 40, no. 3 (2018): 363.

142 | The Courteous Power 26. Jusuf Wanandi, “ASEAN’s China Strategy: Towards Deeper Engagement,” Survival 38, no. 3 (1996): 117. 27. ASEAN, “Singapore Declaration of 1992 Singapore, 28 January 1992,” available at https://​​?static_​post=singapore-​declaration-​of-​1992-​singapore-​28-​january-​ 1992 (accessed May 4, 2021). 28. “S’pore to Push for More Talks among Members and with Dialogue Partners,” The Straits Times, July 27, 1992. 29. Midford, “Japan’s Leadership Role,” 379–​382. 30. “ASEAN to Propose Asia-​Pacific Security Forum,” Reuters, July 21, 1993. 31. Midford, “Japan’s Leadership Role,” 385. 32. Emmers, “Unpacking ASEAN Neutrality,” 363. 33. Alice D. Ba, (Re)negotiating East and Southeast Asia: Region, Regionalism, and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press, 2009), 179. 34. “ASEAN Reacts Cautiously.” 35. ASEAN, “Singapore Declaration.” 36. “ASEAN to Propose Asia-​Pacific Security Forum,” Reuters, July 21, 1993. 37. Ba, (Re)negotiating East and Southeast Asia, 179; Noel M. Moroda, “The ASEAN Regional Forum: Origins and Evolution,” in Cooperative Security in the Asia-​Pacific: The ASEAN Regional Forum, eds. Jürgen Haacke and Noel M. Moroda (Oxon: Routledge, 2010), 15. 38. Andrew MacIntyre, “Can Japan Ever Take Leadership? The View from Indonesia,” Asian Perspective 24, no. 4 (2000): 304. 39. Michael Antolik, “The ASEAN Regional Forum: The Spirit of Constructive Engagement,” Contemporary Southeast Asia 16, no. 2 (September 1994): 132; Bhubhindar Singh, “ASEAN’s Perceptions of Japan: Change and Continuity,” Asian Survey 42, no. 2 (2002): 292. 40. Pauline Kerr, “The Security Dialogue in the Asia-​Pacific,” The Pacific Review 7, no. 4 (1994): 404–​405. 41. ASEAN, “About ASEAN Regional Forum,” http://​​ about-​arf/​. 42. Yuzawa, Japan’s Security Policy, 44–​48. 43. “ASEAN Wants Lead Role in any Asia-​Pacific Grouping,” Reuters, February 15, 1990. 44. ASEAN, “Chairman Statement of the First Meeting of the ASEAN Regional Forum, Bangkok, 25 July 1994,” http://​​wp-​content/​ uploads/​2019/​01/​Chairmans-​Statement-​of-​the-​1st-​ARF.pdf. 45. Richard Higgott, “The ASEAN Economic Crisis: A Study in the Politics of Resentment,” New Political Economy 3, no. 3 (1998): 349–​350. 46. East Asia Vision Group (EAVG), “Towards an East Asian Community: Region of Peace, Prosperity and Progress,” Report (2001), available at http://​​wp-​ content/​uploads/​images/​archive/​pdf/​east_​asia_​vision.pdf (accessed May 4, 2021). 47. Jae Cheol Kim, “Politics of Regionalism in East Asia: The Case of the East Asia Summit,” Asian Perspective 34, no. 3 (2010): 118–​119. 48. EAVG, “Towards an East Asian Community.” 49. Kantei (Prime Minister of Japan), “Speech by Prime Minister of Japan Junichiro Koizumi: Japan and ASEAN in East Asia—A Sincere and Open Partnership, Singapore,

Not Quite a Follower | 143 January 14, 2002,” available at https://​​koizumispeech/​2002/​01/​ 14speech_​e.html (accessed May 4, 2021). 50. Kantei (Prime Minister of Japan), “Speech by Prime Minister of Japan Junichiro Koizumi.” 51. Kim, “Politics of Regionalism,” 116. 52. “Australia, N.Z., India Could Be Involved in E. Asian Community,” Kyodo News, June 28, 2004; “India Invited to E. Asia Summit, U.S. Left Out,” Kyodo News, May 9, 2005; “Machimura Backs Russia’s Participation in East Asia Summit,” Kyodo News, May 31, 2005. 53. Mohan Malik, “The East Asia Summit,” Australian Journal of International Affairs 60, no. 2 (2006): 208–​9; He, Institutional Balancing in the Asia-​Pacific: 108–​9. 54. Japanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs, “Issue Papers Prepared by the Government of Japan, June 25, 2004,” available at https://​​region/​asia-​paci/​issue.pdf (accessed May 4, 2021). 55. ASEAN, “Tokyo Declaration for the Dynamic and Enduring ASEAN-​ Japan Partnership in the New Millennium,” available at https://​​?static_​post=external-​ relations-​ j apan-​ tokyo-​ d eclaration-​ for-​ t he-​ dynamic-​ and-​ e nduring-​ a sean-​ j apan-​ partnership-​in-​the-​new-​millenium-​tokyo-​12-​december-​2003 (accessed May 4, 2021). 56. ASEAN, “Tokyo Declaration.” 57. “SE Asia Forges Closer Ties with China, Japan, S. Korea,” Reuters, November 30, 2004. 58. Kim, “Politics of Regionalism,” 125. 59. ASEAN, “Tokyo Declaration.” 60. “ASEAN Leaders Agree to Hold ‘E. Asia Summit’ Next Year,” Kyodo News, November 29, 2004. 61. Sohn, “Japan’s New Regionalism,” 511. 62. By November 2004, Marty Natalegawa, then the director general of ASEAN cooperation at the Indonesian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, commented that “ASEAN + 3 summit is still considered a suitable forum” to maintain dialogue with external powers. See “RI Continues to Be Against Holding East Asia Summit,” Antara News, November 26, 2004. 63. Marty Natalegawa, “ASEAN + 3 versus the East Asia Summit,” The Jakarta Post, February 5, 2005. See also Barry Wain, “ASEAN to Invite India, Australia, New Zealand to Regional Summit,” Wall Street Journal, April 13, 2005. 64. Benny Teh Cheng Guan, “Japan-​China rivalry: What role does the East Asia Summit play?” Asia-​Pacific Viewpoint 52, no. 3 (2011): 350. 65. Michael Richardson, “Australia-​Southeast Asia Relations and the East Asian Summit,” Australian Journal of International Affairs 59, no. 3 (2005): 355. 66. Richardson, “Australia-​Southeast Asia Relations,” 355. 67. Daniel Novotny, Torn between America and China: Elite Perceptions and Indonesian Foreign Policy (Singapore: ISEAS Publishing, 2010): 279. 68. “India Invited to E. Asia Summit, U.S. Left Out,” Kyodo News, May 9, 2005. 69. “Japan hopes moves toward economic integration in Asia involve U.S.,” Kyodo News, October 7, 2010. 70. Japanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs, “Kuala Lumpur Declaration on the East Asia Summit, Kuala Lumpur, 14 December 2005,” available at https://​​ region/​asia-​paci/​eas/​joint0512.html (accessed May 4, 2021).

144 | The Courteous Power 71. Kei Koga, “ASEAN’s Evolving Institutional Strategy: Managing Great Power Politics in South China Sea Disputes,” The Chinese Journal of International Politics 11, no. 1 (2018): 61–​62. 72. Kim, “Politics of Regionalism,” 128. 73. Natalegawa, “ASEAN+3.” 74. Emmers, “Unpacking ASEAN Neutrality,” 363. 75. John D. Ciorciari, “Japan as the Key to Southeast Asian Diversification,” in this volume. 76. MOFA, “Kuala Lumpur Declaration.” 77. “ASEAN Sets Conditions for East Asia Summit Membership,” Jiji Press, April 12, 2005. 78. Michael Auslin, “Japan’s New Realism: Abe Gets Tough,” Foreign Affairs 95, no. 2 (2016): 131. 79. “Japan to Become a ‘Beacon,’ not a ‘Follower,’ ” Kyodo News, September 22, 2017. 80. Kei Koga, “Japan’s ‘Free and Open Indo-​ Pacific’ Strategy: Tokyo’s Tactical Hedging and the Implications for ASEAN,” Contemporary Southeast Asia 41, no. 2 (2019): 297–​299. 81. Koga, “Japan’s ‘Free and Open Indo-​Pacific’ Strategy,” 297–​298. 82. Japanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs, “Foreign Policy Speech by Foreign Minister Kono to the 196th Session of the Diet,” available at https://​​fp/​unp_​a/​ page3e_​000816.html (accessed May 4, 2021). 83. Tomohiko Satake “Japan’s ‘Free and Open Indo-​ Pacific Strategy’ and its Implication for ASEAN,” Southeast Asian Affairs 2019 (Singapore: ISEAS-​Yusof Ishak Institute, 2019), 76. 84. “ASEAN is at the heart of Japan’s Free and Open Indo-​Pacific Strategy: Foreign Minister Kono,” The Straits Times, July 26, 2018. 85. Koga, “Japan’s ‘Free and Open Indo-​Pacific’ Strategy,” 301. 86. Tomotaka Shoji, “ASEAN’s Ambivalence Toward the Vision of a ‘Free and Open Indo-​Pacific’: Mixture of Anxiety and Expectation,” International Information Network Analysis, May 10, 2019, https://​​iina/​en/​articles/​shoji-​southeastasia-​foips. html. 87. Hoang Thi Ha and Glenn Ong, “Revised Title ‘ASEAN Outlook on the Indo-​ Pacific’ Hints at Ambivalence,” ISEAS Commentaries 55, June 28, 2019, https://​www.​medias/​commentaries/​item/​9899-​revised-​title-​asean-​outlook-​on-​the-​ indopacific-​hints-​at-​ambivalence-​by-​hoang-​thi-​ha-​and-​glenn-​ong. 88. Haong Thi Ha, “ASEAN Outlook on the Indo-​Pacific: Old Wine in New Bottle?” ISEAS Perspective 2019, no. 51, June 25, 2019. 89. ASEAN, “ASEAN Outlook on the Indo-​ Pacific,” available at https://​asean. org/​storage/​2019/​06/​ASEAN-​Outlook-​on-​the-​Indo-​Pacific_​FINAL_​22062019.pdf (accessed May 4, 2021). 90. Mely Caballero-​ Anthony, “Understanding ASEAN’s Centrality: Bases and Prospects in an Evolving Regional Architecture,” The Pacific Review 27, no. 4 (2014): 571. 91. ASEAN, “ASEAN Outlook on the Indo-​Pacific.” 92. David Scott, “Indonesia Grapples with the Indo-​Pacific: Outreach, Strategic Discourse, and Diplomacy,” Journal of Current Southeast Asian Affairs 38, no. 2 (2019): 206–​207.

Not Quite a Follower | 145 93. David Scott, “The Geoeconomics and Geopolitics of Japan’s ‘Indo-​ Pacific’ Strategy,” Journal of Asian Security and International Affairs 6, no. 2 (2019): 148. 94. Amitav Acharya, “Why ASEAN’s Indo-​Pacific Outlook Matters,” East Asia Forum, August 11, 2019, https://​​2019/​08/​11/​why-​aseans-​indo-​pacific-​ outlook-​matters/​. 95. Yuzawa, Japan’s Security Policy, 40–​42. 96. Takeshi Terada, “The United States and East Asian Regionalism: Inclusion-​ Exclusion Logic and the Role of Japan,” in A Pacific Nation: Perspectives on the US Role in an East Asia Community, eds. Mark Borthwick and Tadashi Yamamoto (Tokyo: JCIE, 2011), 153. 97. Yukio Tajima, “Abe Softens Tone on Indo-​ Pacific to Coax China’s ASEAN Friends,” Nikkei Asian Review, November 13, 2018. 98. Siew Mun Tang et al., The State of Southeast Asia: 2020 (Singapore: ISEAS Yusof Ishak Institute, 2020), 42–​49.

Part II | Development, Culture, and the Roles of Non-​State Actors

7  |  From Japan Inc. to the FOIP The Evolving Role of Japanese Businesses in Japan’s Southeast Asia Policy Kitti Prasirtsuk

Japanese businesses and NGOs have long played important roles in Southeast Asia, both independently and in concert with the Japanese government.1 Foreign direct investment (FDI) from Japan started in the early 1960s, particularly in Thailand and Indonesia, and has grown extensively since the mid-​1980s. Generating production networks and supply chains that led to massive employment, such investment has been crucial for industrialization and overall development in the region.2 Japanese NGOs have also been active in this period, notably in slum districts in Bangkok, Jakarta, and Manila.3 Japan’s foreign policy toward Southeast Asia is thus multi-​faceted and driven by both official agencies and private actors. It is difficult to segregate the roles of government and business in the economic realm, as the government generally works for the national economic interest. In the case of Japan, it is even harder since the government and business tend to work in tandem. This was particularly true in the postwar period until the 1980s, when Japan was dubbed “Japan Inc.,” a phrase which emphasized the cozy relationship between business and the government.4 There are several mechanisms that bind them together. The Japan Business Federation, known as Keidanren, has always been influential. The practice of amakudari, whereby retired bureaucrats go to work in companies or business associations, helps keep a strong connection between business and government.5 Regular contact and consultation with high-​level Japanese officials are prevalent through various occasions like monthly breakfast meetings (choshokkai).6 149

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Compared to the several decades after World War II, Japanese state-​ business relations are less tightly coupled in the twenty-​first century, as foreign investment and subsequently foreign executives have increased in quite a few industries in Japan. The identity of several industry associations is now not purely Japanese. Yet, the Japanese government still works closely with Japanese business overseas through the channel of Japan’s local Chambers of Commerce in countries around the world. This chapter attempts to highlight the roles of Japanese businesses in shaping Japan’s foreign policy toward Southeast Asia. It does so by analyzing the topic chronologically, but also thematically. The analysis is divided into three phases, covering the 1960s–​1980s, the 1990s–​2000s, and the 2010s and beyond. While the first two phases were largely economically focused, the third phase is marked by Japan’s increasing strategic and security interests in the region, as pronounced in the Free and Open Indo-​Pacific (FOIP) concept. This current phase thus can be called the FOIP era. Specifically, this chapter demonstrates how two factors have shaped businesses’ role in Japan’s Southeast Asia policy over time: Japan’s evolving foreign policy and the changing nature of Japanese business. During the 1960s–​1980s, Japan’s foreign policy was driven primarily by economic considerations, while Japanese businesses were relatively insular and very close to the government. This made it natural that business would have a central role in foreign policy. In the 1990s and 2000s, Japan’s foreign policy sought a greater regional leadership role and to spur regional integration, while Japanese businesses sought to position themselves centrally in the burgeoning pan-​Asian supply chains. The FOIP era shows Japan moving into a greater security role and prioritizing strategic competition with China, while Japanese business has evolved to feature many more service-​ oriented companies, and Japanese firms have become more global in composition. These changes have exposed Japanese businesses more to direct market forces in Southeast Asia and beyond, reducing the need for them to influence Japan’s foreign policy. ODA and Investment (1960s–​1980s)

This period was characterized by Japanese Overseas Development Assistance (ODA) and subsequent business expansion in Southeast Asia. Japanese activities during this period were focused in the original five ASEAN countries, namely Indonesia, Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore, and

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the Philippines, as the Indochinese states remained in Cold War turbulence, while Burma remained economically and politically isolated under the “Burmese Way to Socialism.” Notably, postwar Japan was well known for the close relationship between the government and businesses.7 Keidanren (Japan Federation of Economic Associations) was the main platform for big businesses to voice demands to the government. Their members included those in manufacturing and construction industries, such as Toyota, Toshiba, Shimizu, and Kobayashi. The federation also functioned as a channel for political donations to the Liberal Democratic Party (LDP), the long-​reigning party in the Japanese government. As the Cold War was underway, Japanese big businesses were keen to advance into Southeast Asia, as mainland China was not accessible yet. Upon completing war reparation payments, Japan began to provide ODA to Southeast Asian countries in the 1960s. ODA included technical assistance, scholarships, grants, and soft loans. Since then, ODA has become an important element in Japan–​Southeast Asia relations. Though ODA was not that large during the 1960s, when Japan was still low in assistance capability, the first postwar wave of Japanese investment came to Southeast Asia, particularly in Thailand and Indonesia.8 Thailand embarked on its first economic and social development plan and aimed to reduce import dependence through industrialization. The first batch of Japanese investment included Toyota, Nissan, and Toshiba, which initially came as joint ventures with Thai capital. In Indonesia, meanwhile, Japanese politico-​ business connections made it easier for Japanese business to make inroads. Japanese politicians and leading businessmen had close relations with Indonesian President Soekarno, whose sixth wife was Japanese. However, substantial investment came only after President Suharto took over in 1967 whereby the business climate, including the newly issued Foreign Investment Law, was more conducive to foreign investment.9 Japanese ODA was instrumental in growing the East Asian economy, particularly in Southeast Asia.10 ODA mostly consisted of soft loans and brought about necessary infrastructure, particularly in transportation and power plants, which contributed to better investment conditions and business operations. The Fukuda Doctrine, articulated by Japanese Prime Minister Takeo Fukuda in 1977, also pledged to contribute more ODA to Southeast Asia.11 Japan promised to double its ODA between fiscal years 1977 and 1982.12 At the first ASEAN Summit in 1976, ASEAN leaders agreed to embark on an ambitious scheme called the “ASEAN Industrial Projects,” aiming to build up large-​scale industrial plants and to establish a division of labor. In

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this plan, each ASEAN member would be solely assigned to set up a plant, based on its need or preference, without competition from other member countries. For instance, a petrochemicals plant was allotted to Indonesia, a fertilizer facility to Thailand, and an engine factory to Singapore. In this regard, Prime Minister Fukuda pledged that Japan would respond positively to ASEAN’s request for loans totaling $1 billion for the five major intraregional projects that its members were planning.13 This move represented an effort to expand Japan’s regional role, but perceivably came out as a reactive response to ASEAN, rather than a proactive one. In any event, the projects failed to materialize for several reasons, including a lack of overall readiness, insufficient funding, and competition among ASEAN members, which were unwilling to give each other exclusive production rights. For example, while ASEAN assigned Indonesia to have a petrochemical plant, Singapore and Thailand later set up similar plants. Japanese businesses worked with ODA in two ways. First, Japanese contractors won bidding in most ODA-​funded construction projects. While most local contractors had lower capacity than their Japanese counterparts, bidding conditions tended to favor Japanese firms to the discontent of local and third-​party international contractors. Not surprisingly, related and subsequent procurements favored Japanese suppliers as well. For example, in the 1980s Japanese ODA provided infrastructure, such as ports, expressways, and airport expansions, to Thailand, which laid down the foundation for FDI. In 1982 and 1983, Thailand was consecutively the largest recipient country of Japanese ODA.14 During the early 1980s, Japan sympathized with Thailand for facing a security threat from Vietnam, which occupied Cambodia, causing border tensions and generating massive refugee flows into Thailand. Other ASEAN countries at that time tended to top the list of Japanese ODA recipient countries as well. Infrastructure in ASEAN funded by Japanese ODA in that period has not only been beneficial to economic development in the recipient countries but also proven to be long-​lasting in terms of quality.15 For example, the Eastern Seaboard project, featuring deep sea ports and export-​processing zones, funded by yen loans, has become the backbone of Thailand’s economic development since the late 1980s. The expressways in Bangkok, constructed by a major Japanese contractor, have been kept well and have become indispensable transportation routes in the capital. The expansion of Don Muang Airport was also crucial for Thailand’s economic takeoff in the late 1980s and the 1990s. The Thai Cultural Center Auditorium, built with Japanese ODA in the 1980s, remains in good shape without massive maintenance. Criticisms toward self-​serving Japanese ODA, by and large, thus eventually dissipated.16 There is no longer such concern,

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as several Southeast Asian countries are soliciting infrastructure projects and seeking soft yen loans from Japan nowadays. Second, Japanese businesses benefited from the ODA-​funded infrastructure, which facilitated FDI. This was particularly true after the 1985 Plaza Accord, which strengthened the yen, in effect pressuring the Japanese manufacturing industry to move overseas to cut production costs and to remain competitive. Southeast Asia thus emerged among the first choices for production base relocation.17 Owing considerably to massive Japanese FDI, the economies of Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, and Thailand entered a high economic growth period.18 Dubbed the new Asian economic tigers, these four countries were continually booming from the latter half of the 1980s until the 1997–​1998 Asian Financial Crisis. By the early 1990s, Thailand and Malaysia became hubs for Japanese investment in the automotive and electronics industries, respectively. Japanese manufacturers tended to come as a set led by a final assembler, followed by a cluster of parts and component suppliers for that product. By the late 1990s, Japanese businesses also contributed to the development of supporting industries in terms of parts and components through joint ventures and technological transfer.19 With the relaxation of foreign ownership in the wake of the economic crisis, manufacturing clusters from Japan came to take root more firmly in several Southeast Asian countries. In this regard, the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI, known as MITI until 2001) was helpful in providing important information and valuable guidance for Japanese investors, through its Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO) offices located in most ASEAN countries. It was not only physical infrastructure that the Japanese businesses contributed. Japanese companies also partnered with the Japanese government to carry out many human resource development initiatives for Southeast Asians. By 2011, 170,000 ASEAN workers were trained in Japan in various fields, particularly in technology, which has been important for industrialization in Southeast Asia. Meanwhile, the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) dispatched 48,000 experts, including many from the business sector, for technical assistance.20 Japanese businesses also began contributing to develop human capital in the region. As Japanese companies needed their local personnel to know more about how to run a factory, the Thai-​Japan Institute for Technological Promotion, established in 1973 with the support from Japanese businesses, provided assistance, such as short training courses on Japanese management for operational, mid-​level, and executive personnel. The Institute was later spun off into a full university focusing

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on technology and management, called the Thai-​ Japan Institute of Technology. By the late 1980s, relations between Japan and Southeast Asia significantly improved, thanks to significant FDI, which helped spur economic growth in the region and increased their mutual interdependence in terms of trade and employment.21 Notably, Japan–​Southeast Asia relations during this period were predominantly bilateral, as Japan tended to deal with Southeast Asia country by country, particularly on ODA. It was not until the 1990s that Japan came to engage more multilaterally with regional policies and institutions in Southeast Asia. Japanese Businesses and Regional Economic Policy (1990s–​2000s)

This period was characterized by Tokyo’s proactive promotion of regional economic integration, pushed and supported by Japanese businesses. By the early 1990s, it was clear that regional production networks were being formed in East Asia, resulting in a high degree of interdependence between Japan and Southeast Asia.22 Thanks to the massive Japanese FDI in Southeast Asia, production networks and clusters were initially emerging in automobile and electronics industries. Accordingly, market-​led regional economic integration was taking shape. In the early 1990s, Tokyo, with the backing of Japanese businesses, came to support intra-​ASEAN cooperation schemes ranging from ASEAN Industrial Joint Ventures (AIJV), Brand-​ to-​ Brand Complementation (BBC), and ASEAN Industrial Cooperation (AICO), which started in the 1980s after extensive Japanese FDI came to the region. These schemes span from tariff reductions to facilitation measures of trade and investment. Japan has continually urged ASEAN to cooperate more for smoother operation of production bases in the region. Japanese subsidiaries in the region kept an eye on the benefits and privileges offered by these arrangements. Unfortunately, such schemes were not easy to use and less than effective, owing to insufficient tariff reduction and poor implementation capability. Later on, these various ASEAN schemes were combined into the ASEAN Free Trade Area (AFTA) signed in 1992. Japanese businesses were in the position to benefit the most from ASEAN integration schemes, having expansive networks of FDI in several ASEAN countries, while ASEAN local business themselves were yet to invest much overseas during that time. In effect, AFTA thus helped further Japanese production networks and regionalization in Southeast Asia.

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In the early 1990s, Japan also eyed regionalization beyond the original ASEAN-​5 members (Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, and Thailand) through the development of the Greater Mekong Subregion (GMS). That project focuses on infrastructure and human capital development, largely funded by the Asian Development Bank (ADB), in which Japan holds the largest single share of capital and voting power and in which the president has always been Japanese. Key projects include the East-​West Economic Corridor, which connects land transportation from Vietnam to Myanmar, and the North-​South Economic Corridor, which links Southern China to Indochina. In its early stage, the GMS program aimed to develop and promote economic integration of Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, Thailand, Vietnam, and Southern China. GMS later became an integral part of ASEAN connectivity more broadly. Japanese businesses, particularly big conglomerates like Mitsubishi, Mitsui, and Itochu, have supported its development with an eye to business opportunities in the region. Major trading firms, for instance, were particularly interested in agricultural development, which could be done through contract farming with lower costs and could take advantage of the proposed logistics network. The Japan Chamber of Commerce (JCC) in Bangkok, the world’s largest JCC during the 1990s, formed a JCC-​GMS Committee to discuss business opportunities and related policy proposals. The JCC has worked closely with its Thai counterparts, the Federation of Thai Industries and the Board of Trade of Thailand, to communicate their policy preferences to the Japanese and Thai governments.23 Meanwhile, during the 1990s–​2000s, Japan took a unique approach in dealing with Myanmar, a GMS country which was then under a military regime rife with human rights problems regarding several ethnic groups and political dissidents. While the United States and the European Union imposed strict sanctions against Myanmar, Tokyo tended to be more lenient and quicker in relaxing restrictions by giving grants, loans, and other support to the nation.24 Japanese businesses worked as an important communication channel between Japan and Myanmar during the time of sanctions. The Japan-​Myanmar Association, mainly consisting of Japanese businesses that had interests in Myanmar, sent a petition to the Japanese government in 1989 to advocate economic engagement with the regime, despite the military crackdown on the famous “8888” popular pro-​democracy uprising that began on August 8, 1988. This agenda was also reflected in the establishment of a parliamentarian group “the League to Encourage Support to the Myanmar Government” led by a prominent LDP member, Kabun Muto, in May 1988. Muto later provided a strategic

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rationale to maintain relations with Myanmar as follows: “Because it is coming under China’s influence, Myanmar may have conflict with India, causing regional instability. In order to avoid this, it is necessary for Japan to support the present government, including the reopening of yen loans.”25 In 1994, Keidanren sent a special delegation of about 50 members, headed by the chairman of Marubeni, a major trading firm, to meet with the junta’s top leaders in Yangon. The visit paved the way for Japanese businesses to establish a presence in Myanmar. In late 1994, Daiwa Securities, one of Japan’s “Big Four” securities trading houses, signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the Myanmar government to assist in setting up the Yangon Stock Exchange. Tokyo-​Mitsubishi Bank reopened its Yangon office in 1995, followed by Fuji, Sanwa, Sumitomo, and Tokai banks. By the early 1990s, most major trading firms had established offices in Yangon. Abundant natural resources represented a major interest for Japanese businesses. In 1996, Mitsui joined Unocal and Total to sign an MoU with the junta government for the so-​called “three-​in-​one project,” valued at $800 million, to construct a pipeline of the offshore Yadana natural gas field to Yangon. Keidanren also established a Japan-​Myanmar Economic Committee, chaired by the successor chairman of Marubeni, in 1996.26 However, by the late 1990s, Japanese business interests in Myanmar subsided after realizing that the business environment in Myanmar was not only politically risky but also insufficient in terms of infrastructure and exchange-​rate systems. Mitsui, for instance, later pulled out from the three-​in-​one project. In any case, Japanese businesses’ engagement with Myanmar reflected Tokyo’s relaxed stance toward the junta government during this period. Quantitatively, Tokyo remained Myanmar’s largest aid donor, disbursing an average sum of $63.7 million annually and a total of $827.9 million during 1989–​2001.27 In short, the Myanmar case reveals how Japanese businesses were instrumental in Tokyo’s lenient policy toward the military regime. In this light, Japan’s approach toward Myanmar aligned well with ASEAN’s “constructive engagement” policy, with the aim of incorporating Myanmar into ASEAN. In January 1997, Prime Minister Ryutaro Hashimoto conveyed Japan’s position to the leaders of ASEAN member states as follows: Japan does not feel international isolation is the optimal way for the improvement of domestic situation in Myanmar. Rather, Japan thinks it important to give Myanmar incentives to behave

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in line with international norms by drawing it out as a member of the international community. From that point of view, Japan appreciates ASEAN’s recent agreement to grant official membership to Myanmar sometime in the future. On the other hand, Japan also thinks that ASEAN membership should not provide a smokescreen for oppression in Myanmar. Accordingly, Japan hopes that ASEAN will handle the membership issue in such a manner as to contribute to the improvement of the domestic situation in Myanmar.28 ASEAN eventually granted membership to Myanmar on the occasion of the organization’s 30th anniversary in August 1997. Not unlike Japan, businesses in ASEAN countries were instrumental in pushing their governments to integrate Myanmar into Southeast Asian regional institutions.29 By that time, private investors from Thailand, Singapore, and Malaysia had invested in a number of businesses in Myanmar. Having Myanmar in ASEAN, coupled with the GMS development schemes, would encourage and help Myanmar to open up, which could provide economic benefits for businesses from both ASEAN and Japan. In terms of human capital development, Japanese businesses continued to contribute to ASEAN in tandem with the Japanese government. In the early 1990s, Keidanren gave substantial financial support in setting up an engineering institute, called Sirinthorn International Institute of Technology (SIIT), at Thammasat University. During that time, Japanese companies in the region were suffering from a severe shortage of engineers. The Japanese government thus gave a large number of scholarships to Southeast Asians to pursue their graduate studies in Japan, many of which were in engineering. Thais were among the top grantees in terms of number, apart from Indonesia and Malaysia. Many of them returned to teach at universities back in Thailand to produce more engineers. Accordingly, many Thai faculty in science and technology, including the majority of SIIT professors, received their doctoral degrees from Japan. Such contributions greatly helped supply engineers for Japanese manufacturing companies in Thailand. This represents a win-​win situation for both Japan and the ASEAN countries embarking on industrialization. The 1997–​1998 Asian Financial Crisis lifted Japan–​ASEAN relations to new heights. Once the crisis broke out in the region and damages ASEAN economies as well as Japanese businesses, Japan was swift to take action. Initially, Tokyo proposed establishing the Asian Monetary Fund (AMF) to provide rescue funds for the countries low on foreign

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reserves. The proposal was shot down by the United States, which argued that the International Monetary Fund (IMF) already performed this function.30 China, meanwhile, was rather lukewarm toward the AMF proposal.31 Then, Japan came up with the Miyazawa Initiative, which provided soft loans totaling $30 billion to help boost the ailing economies, which were hit hard by the economic crisis, including South Korea. Even Malaysia, which declined to borrow from the IMF, accepted and subsequently benefited from the Miyazawa Initiative. Importantly, Japanese subsidiaries in the region would indirectly benefit from the soft loan scheme which would help boost the local economies. Japanese businesses were instrumental in pushing Tokyo to swiftly supply the fund. In 2000, Keidanren asked the Japanese government to provide the second phase of the New Miyazawa Initiative to Asian countries without delay.32 Significantly, the ASEAN+3 process also emerged in late 1997 as an overarching framework for cooperation among increasingly integrated economies in East Asia. Thanks to its economic prowess at the time, Japan continued to be instrumental in proposing the Chiang Mai Initiative (CMI) in 2000. The CMI consists of bilateral currency swap arrangements, aiming to function as a safety net to help member countries that are low on foreign reserves. The scheme was further developed into the Chiang Mai Initiative Multilateralization (CMIM) in 2009 in response to the global economic crisis. Doubling the swappable amount to US$240 billion, the arrangements now have moved from bilateral to multilateral, which would be more convenient for a country in need of greater liquidity. In this light, Japan has been instrumental in regional financial cooperation.33 Japanese businesses were very keen to promote financial and currency stability in the region to smooth their operations. As many companies in the region received investment or loans from Japanese private sources, the CMI and CMIM would help provide liquidity in times of crisis. That would be a good form of insurance for Japanese companies and banks investing in Southeast Asia.34 In addition, using the term “a government-​private sector consensus,” Keidanren argued for the wider use of the yen for varied purposes, such as trade settlements, investments and loans, and implementation of Japan’s assistance programs for Asian nations.35 This vision aligned with that of the Japanese government, which had long aspired to promote internationalization of the yen. Accordingly, Japan developed some bilateral yen-​based swaps, and later the CMIM was amended to allow for yen-​ denominated swaps too.

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Apart from finance, Japan was also actively promoting both bilateral and regional free trade agreements under the Economic Partnership Agreements (EPAs) in the 2000s. While pursuing the Japan–​ASEAN Comprehensive Economic Partnership (CEP) at the regional level, Tokyo was actively negotiating with most ASEAN countries for bilateral EPAs. By that time, Japanese FDI was even more extensive, covering emerging economies in ASEAN like Vietnam. Japan was not only interested in tariff reductions but also various trade and investment facilitation measures. Conditions for free investment was also at the top of Japan’s priority list. What Japan had in mind was a business free zone, which later should be applicable to China as well.36 During the 1990s–​ 2000s, Japan also invested extensively in China. Concluding free trade agreements with ASEAN would be a good strategy for Japan to set a standard, particularly if any agreements or measures were later brought to ASEAN+3. As Hidetaka Yoshimatsu demonstrates, Japanese businesses, led by Keidanren, were steadily pushing forward for free trade agreements with many countries. The business federation has promoted trade deals by playing the role of pressure group and information provider for the Japanese government.37 Among the major beneficiaries of the trade agreements with ASEAN countries were Japanese manufacturers in automobile and electronic industries, which by then had firmly established production networks in the region. The EPAs would help facilitate stronger trade links with Japan. Automobile makers could maintain their production of core and high-​value components, such as electronic control units (ECU), in Japan, while keeping competitive pricing in local and third-​country export markets. Nissan even shifted its production of “March,” an eco-​car model, to Thailand completely to export back to Japan as well as to other countries. In the Japan-​Thailand EPA, Japan asked Thailand to open up the market for luxury cars. Toyota was behind the request, aiming to promote Lexus, Toyota’s luxury vehicle division, into the Thai market, which had traditionally been dominated by Mercedes-​Benz and BMW. In addition to large firms, smaller companies could also have considerable influence on the Japanese government in negotiating the trade deals in the 2000s. One such example is the case of Yamasaki, a bakery house, which planned to expand into a coffee shop business in Thailand. Under the Thai Alien Business Law, investment in most services needs to have Thai majority share. However, Starbucks, which had already made successful inroads by that time, was exempted from that law. Thanks to the privileges given

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under the U.S.–​Thailand Treaty of Amity and Friendship signed in 1966 at the peak of the Vietnam War, American businesses could invest freely in Thailand even in service sectors, such as banking. Yamasaki hoped to do so without the requirement of finding a Thai partner, which could be challenging for a smaller and less-​established firm, compared to those in automobiles and electronics. The Japanese negotiating team took the issue seriously and kept pushing the Thai side on this. Though the negotiation was unsuccessful, it showed how Tokyo was attentive to business interests even from smaller firms.38 Furthermore, in order to protect their interests, Japanese businesses were instrumental in pushing Tokyo to play a greater role in security in Southeast Asia, though a non-​traditional one. Concerned about frequent piracy along the Strait of Malacca, which was increasing after the Asian Financial Crisis, Japan established the Information Sharing Centre of the Regional Cooperation Agreement on Combating Piracy and Armed Robbery against Ships in Asia (ReCAAP ISC) in Singapore in 2006. The Strait of Malacca serves as a global shipping superhighway. Each year, more than 120,000 ships traverse these waterways, accounting for a third of the world’s marine commerce. Between 70 percent and 80 percent of all the oil imported by Japan transits the straits. Japanese cargo vessels, including oil tankers, were among major targets for piracy, to the distress of Japanese businesses. In fact, Southeast Asia was the location of 41 percent of the world’s pirate attacks between 1995 and 2013. During those years, 136 seafarers were killed in Southeast Asian waters as a result of piracy.39 The center thus aims to share relevant information, promote cooperation, and enhance coordination among 20 member countries and seven partner organizations, including Interpol, so as to prevent piracy and armed robbery. Keidanren even went further in launching a policy proposal regarding Japan’s anti-​piracy measures law. In 2011, the organization called for Japan to dispatch more Self-​Defense Force escort ships, patrol planes, and personnel, expand the scope of the escort ships’ operations, and increase the frequency of their dispatches through maritime oil supply.40 Accordingly, Japanese businesses were instrumental in all these policies. In other words, Japanese businesses were engaged in the making of foreign policy toward the region, which tended to be economically focused. Japan has been forging regionalization through production networks induced by FDI and regionalism through state-​to-​state collaboration in free trade agreements, financial arrangements, and other cooperation schemes.

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Economics and Security Mixed in the FOIP Era (2010s and Beyond)

The 2010s started with the momentum for regional cooperation from the previous decade. The ASEAN+3 Macroeconomic Research Office (AMRO) was established in Singapore in 2011 and transformed into an international organization in 2016. The AMRO is designed to monitor macroeconomic situations in member countries. This function moves the ASEAN+3 financial cooperation a little closer to a regional monetary fund, because monitoring is a major function of monetary funds including the IMF. Diversifying Foreign Policy and Diversifying Businesses

Overall, the past decade has been marked by the mixture of Japan’s economic and security policy. Japan has played an increasingly assertive role in the security realm, which later culminated in the FOIP. Increasing competition with a rising China has motivated Japan’s stronger security role in Asia. As China surpassed Japan as the world’s second largest economy in 2010, coupled with heightened tensions over territorial disputes and historical issues, the rivalry between China and Japan has been intensifying.41 Though the China–​Japan rivalry has taken shape since the 2000s, the competition became clearer during the 2010s. Japan has reoriented its foreign policy to focus on security as well, particularly since Prime Minister Shinzo Abe took office for a second time in 2012. Tokyo is now increasingly interested in security issues embedded in Japan’s FOIP strategy, including Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief (HA/​DR), as well as supplying coast guard vessels to the Philippines and Vietnam. In a 2013 written address, which Prime Minister Abe intended to deliver orally in Jakarta before a Mideast hostage crisis required his return to Tokyo, he laid out several principles of Japanese diplomacy. The first two focused on political rights and security. The first is protecting freedom of thought, expression, and speech in this region where two oceans meet. These are universal values that humanity has gained and they must be allowed to flower to the fullest. The second is ensuring that the seas, which are the most vital commons to us all, are governed by laws and rules, not by might. In connection with these two goals, I wholeheartedly welcome the American rebalancing to the Asia-​Pacific region.

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The third principle is pursuing free, open, interconnected economies as part of Japan’s diplomacy. We must secure the power of networking by bringing our national economies closer together through flows of trade and investment, people, and goods.42 The principle on economics comes only third, after the first two principles that have direct implications regarding China. Given the importance of trade and investment in China, it is not in the interest of Japanese business for Japan to agitate China by supporting the U.S. rebalancing or involving itself more in the South China Sea disputes. Keidanren, for example, has always cited the significance of China’s market to Japan.43 Compared to Japan’s economic-​focused foreign policy in the previous decades, its foreign policy priorities now include more prominent elements that may not be as relevant to business interests. This development implies that the proportion of business roles in Japan’s foreign policy making may be shrinking, as Tokyo is diversifying its roles in Southeast Asia to include a security one. Another reason why Japanese businesses may be less involved in foreign policy than before is that a growing proportion of FDI in ASEAN has gone toward the service sector, following the trend of middle-​class expansion, which led to new consumption in the region. Companies in this sector include retail, restaurants, and recently, health.44 Such Japanese companies tend to be smaller and less connected to the Japanese government, compared to traditional large corporations. Working under market forces, these smaller companies do not need Tokyo’s support, such as ODA, to operate their businesses. Yet, they are members of the Japan Chamber of Commerce, through which they can air their voices. Though smaller companies operate independently in accordance with market conditions, government agencies like the Japanese Embassy and JETRO, which is affiliated with METI, always provide useful information and help communicate their needs and problems to the government in the host nation.45 Currently, there are JETRO offices in all ASEAN countries except Brunei. Smaller companies can also lobby through parliamentarians in their constituency or those who have policy interests in small and medium-​ sized enterprises (SMEs), specific businesses, or the FDI recipient country itself. There are also many business ventures initiated by Southeast Asian businesses that solicit Japanese counterparts to invest as either a joint venture or franchise. These Japanese companies thus tend to rely on their local business partners to advance their interests in the country.

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Japan’s local governments represent another channel through which smaller firms can communicate their policy demands. Recent Japanese investment in Southeast Asia includes regional companies based outside Japanese big cities, which tend to be smaller in size and less connected to the central government. Instead, they receive assistance from the local government and local banks in their prefecture. A number of prefectural representative offices have been set up to perform this function. Examples include small-​or medium-​sized prefectures like Mie, Fukui, Akita, and Shimane. Some prefectures use their local bank branch or a local company as their representative office. Japanese governors usually visit the countries that host companies from their prefecture. Facilitated by their representative offices, the governors tend to pay courtesy calls to related government agencies, such as the Board of Investment and the Department of Industrial Promotion in Thailand. The Mie governor, for example, signed a MoU with these two agencies with the aim of supporting companies from his prefecture that invest in the country.46 Though economic and business interests have not been as dominant in shaping Japanese foreign policy in Southeast Asia during the FOIP era, when security concerns have risen in importance, the Japanese government continues to support Japanese businesses of all types. METI in particular continues to support Japanese businesses steadily, and this constitutes a crucial part of Japan’s foreign policy. However, Japan’s backing of businesses and their influence on policymakers now occur in the context of an overall foreign policy outlook that puts more weight than before on Japan’s strategic interests. Co-​existence of Strategic and Business Interests

For larger strategic policy issues, particular focus seems to be on at least two fronts, namely infrastructure and FTAs. First, Tokyo has eyed infrastructure, particularly medium-​and high-​speed trains, which came to be a key issue in Southeast Asia. ASEAN has advocated “ASEAN Connectivity” at least since 2010 when the Master Plan on ASEAN Connectivity (MPAC) was promulgated. For more developed Southeast Asian countries, high-​ speed trains have become issues of status, not just transportation. China was fast to respond through its grand strategy, the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI). As mentioned earlier, Japan was a pioneer in connecting the GMS and did not want to remain on the sideline. As a part of the FOIP strategy, Japan came up with the slogan “quality infrastructure,” which clearly aims to counter China.

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In fact, “quality infrastructure” was initially proposed in 2013 by the Abe government as a part of the Japan Revitalization Strategy, aiming to raise its infrastructure sales from 10 to 30 trillion yen by 2020. During his international visits, including to all ten ASEAN countries, Abe proposed “Partnerships for Quality Infrastructure” with many counterpart governments. As the FOIP strategy took shape, Keidanren issued a policy proposal titled “Towards Strategic Promotion of Infrastructure Export” in 2015. Identifying the regions/​countries and infrastructure segments of interest as well as challenges, the federation pledged to cooperate with the Japanese government in promoting “Partnerships for Quality Infrastructure” through public-​ private partnerships.47 This coincides with the reorientation of several traditional companies, such as Toshiba, Hitachi, and Panasonic, which are moving from electric appliances toward infrastructure and corporate clients, rather than general customers. Toshiba, for example, has sold its audio-​visual section to Skyworth from China and now earns more from operations systems and nuclear power plants. Meanwhile, the electric appliance segment represents only one among the four segments of Panasonic, whose major revenue streams now are in automotive and industrial systems, eco-​solutions (such as solar power generation systems and energy storage systems), and connected solutions (including broadcast systems, commercial terminals, and avionics products).48 In addition to having significant political implications for China–​ Japan competition, the train projects also cater to Japanese business interests. Train lines in Thailand, Indonesia, and between Malaysia and Singapore represent cases in point. However, compared to their Chinese counterparts, Japanese companies are reluctant to invest in long inter-​city lines, worrying about unclear profitability and feasibility. The Japanese government shared some of these concerns. For example, while Thailand was eager to solicit joint investment with Japan for 670-​km bullet train project between Bangkok and Chiang Mai, Tokyo insisted on Thailand investing alone in the entire project.49 The project is thus suspended with no clear future. Accordingly, the Japanese government is apparently not inclined to push Japanese businesses into strategic infrastructure investment if the prospects for profitability and feasibility are uncertain. Instead, both Japan’s public and private sectors have paid more attention to city train and subway lines, like those in Jakarta and Bangkok, which promise to serve abundant daily commuters. Soft loans from JICA and the Japan Bank of International Cooperation (JBIC), in combination with the consortiums led by large Japanese companies, such as Mitsubishi,

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Marubeni, East Japan Railway, Tokyu, Toshiba, and Shimizu Construction, are instrumental in such projects. Japan seems to consider these city train projects strategic enough to cultivate influence in ASEAN states, steering away from costlier high-​speed train projects in which host countries may incur huge debts. Japan, not China, is the biggest investor in Southeast Asia’s infrastructure. Japan’s infrastructure projects in Southeast Asia are valued at $367 billion, while China’s account for $255 billion.50 In addition to funding from government sources, Japanese private companies are eager to finance infrastructure projects in Asia. Mitsubishi UFJ Lease & Finance and Hitachi Capital jointly set up a venture company, called the Japan Infrastructure Initiative, to finance overseas infrastructure projects taken on by Japanese companies. The new company aims to provide around 100 billion yen ($878 million) in investments and loans to support private-​ sector infrastructure exports, particularly railways, within a few years after its establishment in 2017.51 Interestingly, there is no longer criticism like past references to “Japan Inc.” In the postwar period until the 1980s, Southeast Asian countries criticized the intermingling of Japanese business and government interests because the Japanese ODA tended to impose bidding conditions which favored Japanese companies, often at the expense of local contractors. However, Japan’s recent infrastructure projects enjoy more support from ASEAN members. In fact, regional countries place a high hope and trust on Japan’s technology and funding, which comparatively tend to come with lenient conditions.52 In short, the Japanese government is working with Japanese businesses in advancing strategic and economic interests simultaneously. Second, Tokyo had been pushing forward the Trans-​ Pacific Partnership (TPP), a wide-​scale free trade agreement (FTA) that would benefit Japanese businesses. After President Donald Trump withdrew the United States from the TPP, Japan worked on the successor TPP11, which was later concluded as the Comprehensive and Progressive Trans-​ Pacific Partnership (CPTPP). The agreement already includes Malaysia, Vietnam, Singapore, and Brunei. As Thailand represents one of Japan’s major production bases overseas, Tokyo is now soliciting Thailand to join the CPTPP. In May 2018, Toshimitsu Motegi, then Japanese Minister in charge of the TPP, visited Thai Deputy Prime Minister Somkid Jatusripitak to convince Thailand of the benefits of joining and subsequently received a positive response from Bangkok.53 Both the Japanese government and businesses have been lobbying Bangkok to ink the CPTPP deal. On his visit to Bangkok again, now as foreign minister, in

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early 2020, Motegi pledged all possible support for Thailand to join the pact. Japanese businesses have tried to persuade the Thai government and the Thai business community in various occasions, including when Prime Minister Prayut Chan-​ocha visited Japan, to show how both Thailand and Japan would benefit from the trade deal. In one of his statements, the Keidanren chairman mentioned Thailand showing interest in joining the CPTPP as an example of the trade pact’s progress.54 Both the Japanese government and businesses advocated for another regional FTA, called the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP), which aimed to include China and India. RCEP stands to benefit Japanese businesses, which have extensive production networks and supply chains in these countries. The negotiations for RCEP were eventually concluded in late 2019, and 15 nations joined: the ten ASEAN members, China, Japan, Korea, Australia, and New Zealand, but not India. Japan later ratified RCEP in 2021. Furthermore, there is an interesting case to show how businesses can influence Japanese relations with Thailand. After the 2014 military coup, Japan generally followed Western democracies to desert the self-​appointed Thai government. Japanese businesses were swift to try to get Japan–​ Thailand relations back to normal. Through the military government’s initiatives on Thailand 4.0 and the Eastern Economic Corridor (EEC), aiming to upgrade the Thai economic structure, the Japanese business circle pledged to assist Thailand in these endeavors. The Thai government thus has aimed to have Japanese businesses as a key partner to help Thailand transform its industrial structure and to overcome the middle-​ income trap. Japanese businesses also responded positively to Deputy Prime Minister Somkid during his roadshow promoting investment into Thailand. Bilateral relations apparently returned to normal when the Thai Prime Minister was invited by Prime Minister Abe to visit Tokyo in early 2015, whereby two important memoranda were signed: one on cooperation in the rail system and another on trade and investment between JETRO and the Joint Committee of the Thai Chambers of Commerce, Federation of Thai Industries and Thai Bankers’ Association. No less important, the Thai Prime Minister also held talks with the chief of the Thailand-​Japan Business Forum and the President of Keidanren in Tokyo, as well as high level executives of important economic organizations in Osaka.55 After that, Prime Minister Prayut visited Japan several times. It is quite clear that the Japanese businesses facilitated warming of Japan–​Thai relations after the coup in Thailand (see more details in Chapter 8 of this volume).

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Business interests have always influenced Japan’s foreign policy. This is particularly true when Japan focused its attention in Southeast Asia in the economic realm until the 2010s. Thanks to the Fukuda Doctrine and the subsequent increase in ODA, the original ASEAN-​5 members developed some of the necessary infrastructure conducive to FDI. Japanese businesses thus worked in tandem with and benefited from the Japanese government’s policy, particularly during the 1960s–​1980s. Construction contractors and general trading firms won most ODA infrastructure projects, while manufacturing companies came to invest later, taking advantage of the infrastructure. Extensive Japanese FDI gave rise to production networks in Southeast Asia, which have become an important part of global production networks and supply chains. Japan pursued ODA quite effectively for its economic interest, which is not only a win-​ win situation for the Japanese government and private sector, but also for both Japan and Southeast Asian countries that were interested in industrialization. In this regard, the Fukuda Doctrine, though initially reactive to anti-​Japanese sentiments in Southeast Asia, has expanded continually to be proactive and to remain relevant. During the 1990s–​2000s, Japan came to advocate more regional policy as a regional leader with the largest share of investment and production networks. Japan exercised leadership during the turbulent time following the financial crisis by offering soft loans and regional financial initiatives. In the 2000s, Tokyo emphasized FTAs, both bilateral and multilateral, in ASEAN. Business interests were implicated in all these endeavors. In short, Japan has been advancing regionalization and regionalism in several dimensions, including production, trade, and also finance. However, since 2010, the business-​government relationship in Japan’s foreign policy arena has taken a different turn for two reasons. First, an assertive Japan has increasingly reoriented its policy toward the security realm. Second, more investment in service and by smaller companies are less connected to the Japanese government, compared to established large firms in the past. Yet, Tokyo remains attentive to Japanese business interests, as demonstrated in the efforts to push forward the TPP and later on the CPTPP, as well as to enlist key countries in Southeast Asia, like Thailand and Indonesia, to join. Significantly, businesses were also successful in swiftly restoring Japan–​Thailand relations after the 2014 coup. The range and depth of Japanese businesses remain entrenched, thanks to their extensive FDI and production networks in the region.

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Given that Japan has been instrumental in regionalization and regionalism in greater East Asia, Tokyo will continue to pay close attention to its business interests. Policy focus on security and economic affairs are not zero sum, but positive sum. Business interests have expanded to cover different forms, like services and infrastructure. Accordingly, Japan may use businesses even more to advance its strategic and security interests in terms of infrastructure projects and even procurements of vessels and some armaments. For instance, as a part of the joint Japanese-​Philippine Maritime Safety Capability Improvement Project, the Philippines Department of Transportation signed a procurement contract with Japan’s Mitsubishi Heavy Industries for two 94-​meter Multi-​Role Response Vessels for the Philippine Coast Guard. The contract value is approximately $132.6 million, with financing from JICA. Likewise, the Japanese government is negotiating the sale of amphibious aircrafts made by ShinMaywa to India, and may offer them to other ASEAN countries as well. In short, Japan’s government-​business relations remain strong in the FOIP era, but they have taken on a new character due to the rise of security considerations alongside economic interests. At any rate, Japan will continue to be a good source of economic and strategic diversification for Southeast Asia, so that the region does not have to be overly reliant on China. Indeed, Japan is not just an alternative; it preceded China as the leading economic partner for many ASEAN member states. Japan has traditionally moved swiftly and firmly to work with ASEAN and has proven less conflictual and more complementary. In that way, Japan has played and continues to play a critical role in Southeast Asia through its engagement as a “courteous power.” NOTES 1. Keiko Hirata, “Whither the Developmental State? The Growing Role of NGOs in Japanese Aid Policy Making,” Journal of Comparative Policy Analysis 4, no. 3 (2002). 2. Walter Hatch and Kozo Yamamura, Asia in Japan’s Embrace (New York: Cambridge University Press, 1996). 3. Tatsuya Hata, “An Overview of Japanese NGO Activities and Scope in ASEAN,” forthcoming. 4. See Daniel Okimoto and Thomas Rohlen, Inside the Japanese System: Readings on Contemporary Society and Political Economy (Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press, 1988). See also Gregory Noble, “The Japanese Industrial Policy Debate,” in Pacific Dynamics: The International Politics of Industrial Change, eds. Stephan Haggard and Chung-​in Moon (Boulder, CO: Westview Press, 1989), 53–​95.

From Japan Inc. to the FOIP | 169 5. Chalmers Johnson, MITI and the Japanese Miracle (Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press, 1982). 6. Kitti Prasirtsuk, “Reluctant Liberalization,” Ph.D. Dissertation, University of California, Berkeley, 2001. 7. Peter Drucker, “Behind Japan’s Success,” Harvard Business Review 58, no. 1 (1981). See also Walter Hatch and Kozo Yamamura, Asia in Japan’s Embrace: Building a Regional Production Alliance (New York: Cambridge University Press, 1996.) 8. J. Thomas Lindblad, “Structural Characteristics of Japanese Investment in Indonesia,” Economics and Finance in Indonesia 33, no. 2 (2005): 197. 9. Lindblad, “Structural Characteristics of Japanese Investment in Indonesia.” 10. Tang Siew Mun, “Japan in the Foreign Relations of the ASEAN States,” in Japan’s Relations with Southeast Asia, ed. Lam Peng Er (London: Routledge, 2013), 95. 11. Sueo Sudo, The Fukuda Doctrine and ASEAN (Singapore: Institute of Southeast Asian Studies, 1992). See also Japan’s Relations with Southeast Asia: The Fukuda Doctrine and Beyond, ed. Lam Peng Er (London: Routledge, 2013). 12. William Haddad, “Japan, the Fukuda Doctrine, and ASEAN,” Contemporary Southeast Asia 2, no. 1 (1980): 11. 13. Haddad, “Japan, the Fukuda Doctrine, and ASEAN.” 14. Chaiwat Kamchoo and E. Bruce Reynolds, Thai-​Japanese Relations in Historical Perspective (Bangkok: Institute of Asian Studies, 1988). 15. See The Rise of Asian Donors: Japan’s Impact on the Evolution of Emerging Donors, eds. Jin Sato and Yasutami Shimomura (New York: Routledge, 2012). 16. See The Rise of Asian Donors: Japan’s Impact on the Evolution of Emerging Donors. 17. Masahiro Kawai and Shujiro Urata, “Are Trade and Direct Investment Substitutes of Complements? An Empirical Analysis of Japanese Manufacturing Industries,” in Economic Development and Cooperation in the Pacific Basin: Trade, Investment and Environmental Issues, eds. Hiro Lee and David W. Roland-​Holst (New York: Cambridge University Press, 1998). 18. Lee and Roland-Holst (eds.), Economic Development and Cooperation in the Pacific Basin: Trade, Investment and Environmental Issues. See also Hatch and Yamamura, Asia in Japan’s Embrace. 19. Dieter Ernst, “Searching for a New Role in East Asian Regionalization: Japanese Production Networks in the Electronics Industry,” in Beyond Japan: The Dynamics of East Asian Regionalism, eds. Peter Katzenstein and Shiraishi Takashi (Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press, 2006), 161–​187. 20. “History of Japan’s ODA Ties with ASEAN,” JICA’s World (September 2013), 11. 21. Mireya Solis, “Japan’s Foreign Economic Policies,” in The Oxford Handbook of the International Relations of Asia, eds. Saadia Pekkanen, John Ravenhill, and Rosemary Foot (New York: Oxford University Press, 2014), 143–​146. See also Ernst, “Searching.” 22. See Peter Katzenstein and Takashi Shiraishi, eds., Network Power (Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press, 1997). 23. Keidanren, “The 21st Japan-​Thailand Joint Trade and Economic Committee Meeting: Summary of Proceedings,” November 17, 2008, https://​​ english/​policy/​2008/​092.html (accessed May 5, 2021). 24. See Catharin Dalpino, “The Role of Human Rights: The Case of Burma,” in Japan in International Politics: The Foreign Policies of an Adaptive State, eds. Thomas Berger, Mike Mochizuki, and Jitsuo Tsuchiyama (Boulder, CO: Lynne Rienner, 2007).

170 | The Courteous Power 25. Donald Seekins, Burma and Japan since 1940: From Co-​ prosperity to Quiet Dialogue (Copenhagen: NIAS Press, 2007), 115. 26. Seekins, Burma and Japan since 1940, 118–​119. 27. Seekins, Burma and Japan since 1940, 124. 28. Japanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs, “Japan’s Position Regarding the Situation in Myanmar,” March 1997, https://​​region/​asia-​paci/​myanmar/​myanmar. html (accessed May 4, 2021). 29. See Robert Cribb, “Burma’s Entry into ASEAN: Background and Implications, Asian Perspective 22, no. 3 (1998): 49–​62. 30. Lam Peng Er, “Japan’s Rivalry with China in Southeast Asia: ODA, the AIIB, Infrastructure Projects, the Mekong Basin and the Disputed South China Sea,” in Japan’s Foreign Relations in Asia, eds. James Brown and Jeff Kingston (London: Routledge, 2018), 165. 31. Brown and Kingston (eds.), Japan’s Foreign Relations in Asia. 32. Keidanren, “For Asia’s Economic Revival: A proposal by Japan’s business community,” March 13, 2000, https://​​english/​policy/​2000/​007/​proposal. html (accessed May 4, 2021). 33. ASEAN Investment Report 2019, available at https://​​en/​ PublicationsLibrary/​unctad_​asean_​air2019d1.pdf (accessed May 5, 2021). 34. “Asian Business Summit Joint Statement: Building Global Prosperity through Sustainable Asian Growth,” March 15, 2010, https://​​english/​ policy/​2010/​016.html (accessed May 5, 2021). 35. Keidanren, “For Asia’s Economic Revival.” 36. Interview with Prof. Shujiro Urata, Tokyo, July 2005. 37. Hidetaka Yoshimatsu, “Japan’s Keidanren and Free Trade Agreements,” Asian Survey 45, no. 2 (2005): 258–​278. 38. Interview, MOFA official, Bangkok, December 2005. 39. Adam McCauley, “The Most Dangerous Waters in the World,” Time, August 2014. 40. Keidanren, “Proposal to Take Stronger Measures to Control Piracy,” October 18, 2011, https://​​english/​policy/​2011/​100/​proposal.html (accessed May 5, 2021). 41. Kent Calder, “China and Japan’s Simmering Rivalry,” Foreign Affairs 85, no. 2 (2006). See also Giulio Pugliese and Aurelio Insisa, Sino-​Japanese Power Politics: Might, Money and Minds (London: Palgrave Macmillan, 2017). 42. Japanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs, “The Bounty of the Open Seas: Five New Principles for Japanese Diplomacy,” Address by Prime Minister Shinzo Abe in Jakarta, January 18, 2013, available at https://​​announce/​pm/​abe/​abe_​0118e. html (accessed May 4, 2021). 43. Keidanren, “Jiyude hikareta Indo-​Taiheiyo no jitsugen wo mezashite” (Towards the Realization of the Free and Open Indo-​Pacific), Keidanren Times: Policy and Action no. 3458, June 25, 2020, http://​​journal/​times/​2020/​0625_​01.html (accessed May 4, 2021). 44. “Japanese investments in Southeast Asia: What Risks to Expect in 2019,” https://​ www.fticonsulting-​​ ~ /​ media/​ F iles/​ apac-​ f iles/​ i nsights/​ articles/​ j apanese-​ investments-​southeast-​asia_​english.pdf (accessed May 5, 2021). 45. “Japanese companies team up for infrastructure exports,” Nikkei Asian Review, December 1, 2016.

From Japan Inc. to the FOIP | 171 46. Kitti Prasirtsuk and Nirinthorn Mesupnikom, “Thailand-​Japan Relations at the Local Level” (in Thai language), Research Report, Thailand Research Fund, 2019. 47. Keidanren, “Towards Strategic Promotion of the Infrastructure Export,” November 17, 2015, https://​​en/​policy/​2015/​105.html (accessed May 4, 2021). 48. See Panasonic, “Business Segments,” http://​​global/​corporate/​careers/​aboutpanasonic/​businesssegments.html (accessed May 4, 2021). 49. Om Jotikasthira, “Japan rejects calls to invest in bullet train,” Bangkok Post, February 8, 2018. 50. Panos Mourdoukoutas, “Japan, Not China, Is The Biggest Investor In Southeast Asia’s Infrastructure,” Forbes, June 26, 2019. 51. “Japanese companies team up for infrastructure exports,” Nikkei Asian Review, December 1, 2016. 52. “Indonesia woo Japan as China’s high-​speed-​rail project stalls,” Nikkei Asia, June 8, 2020. 53. Jeffrey Wilson, “Has Japan Become the Kingmaker for Trade Deals in the Indo-​ Pacific?,” The Diplomat, December 18, 2019. 54. Hiroaki Nakanishi, “Chairman Nakanishi’s Statements and Comments at His Press Conference,” June 25, 2018, https://​​en/​speech/​kaiken/​2018/​ 0625.html (accessed May 5, 2021). 55. “Prayut Is Ready for Japan,” Bangkok Post, February 8, 2015.

8  |  T  he Japanese Business Community as a Diplomatic Asset and the 2014 Thai Coup d’État Nobuhiro Aizawa

On May 22, 2014, the Thai Army Commander Prayut Chan-​ocha intervened in the political contestation between the Yingluck government and anti-​government protesters. He declared control of the government and grabbed both executive and legislative power. This was the 19th coup in Thailand since 1932, under the constitutional monarchy. This time, not a single bullet was shot from the military; the power grab was executed smoothly and swiftly. The success of a coup relies first and foremost on the art of internal power consolidation after the action. It is a well-​planned action against party politicians and political masters, or “the technique of judo,” as described in Edward Luttwak’s Coup D’etat: a practical handbook. However, equally important, as also pointed out in this classic text, is the need to be swiftly endorsed by peer nation-​states. ASEAN members disagreed on their response. Indonesia criticized the coup as a breach of the ASEAN Charter, which barred extra-​constitutional transitions of power. On the other hand, the ASEAN chair Myanmar accommodated the political change, supporting the Thai military action in a time of political crisis. Other neighboring countries—​Cambodia, Malaysia, and Laos—​endorsed the coup with the condition that their border relations with Thailand remain the same as with the previous government.1 The next vital international reactions were sought from the major powers. China, with no surprise, endorsed the coup with silence.2 The United States, Thailand’s longstanding security ally, criticized the military 172

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intervention and followed by suspending military assistance.3 The question then turned to Japan’s response. Japan faced a dilemma. Thailand was one of the most important manufacturing hubs not only within the Southeast Asian supply chain network but also for sustaining the overall Japanese domestic manufacturing supply chain.4 As the two economies grew increasingly interdependent over the decades, Japan could not structurally afford an unfriendly Thailand. The Japanese economy has been deeply invested in Thailand and had strong reasons to maintain “business as usual” despite the coup. On the other hand, the Japanese government’s diplomatic priority has been to deal with the rising power of China and to maintain the liberal regional order. As the Senkaku/​Diaoyu Islands dispute developed into a frequent naval standoff, it tested Japanese defense resiliency in a grey zone security area. Consequently, strengthening the U.S.–​Japan security alliance has increasingly become the top overall priority for Japanese foreign policy. The Thai coup took place when U.S.–​Japan ties were becoming increasingly strong in response to changing geopolitics in Asia. U.S. President Barack Obama, in April 2014, had made a state visit to Japan and reaffirmed U.S. commitment to defend the Senkaku Islands, which was precisely the top diplomatic goal of the Japanese government at the time. The overall message was that in Asia, the U.S.–​Japan alliance was solid, and it would form the anchor of stability in the region.5 Therefore, when the United States labeled Thailand’s military intervention a coup and condemned the move, Japan perceived it as necessary to keep the same stance and not to proceed with “business as usual.” The Japanese government could not botch its response to Thailand and spoil its strong diplomatic relations with the United States. Thus, for Japan, this was a major test. It was a test either to show how close and accommodating Japan’s relationship was with Thailand, a de facto economic ally in Southeast Asia, or to show that Japan would stand firm on shared democratic principles with its ever more important security ally, the United States. This chapter discusses how this Japanese diplomatic dilemma unfolded. In particular, the chapter highlights the role of the Japanese business community in Bangkok for several reasons. First, the Japanese business community in Thailand had grown to such a scale that it influenced Japanese foreign policy. According to a survey conducted by Nikkei in 2013, top Japanese CEOs identified Thailand as the number one country in terms of enhancing production base outside of China at a time when political tension between Japan and China is growing.6 According to another survey conducted one month after the coup, 94 percent of

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Japanese CEOs who operate in Thailand responded with confidence that they could maintain their businesses unchanged.7 It is worth noting that the largest accumulation of Japanese foreign direct investment (FDI) in Southeast Asia was in Thailand. Likewise, for Thailand, Japan was the most important source of FDI, accounting for approximately 60 percent.8 Existing scholarship has limited its analysis to the role of Japanese investment in shaping the development policy and industrialization policy of Southeast Asia.9 Here, however, I take a further step and examine how the power of Japanese business communities abroad shapes policy options not only in economic domains but also in foreign policy in the two countries. Asking whether the business community became an asset or a liability for Japanese foreign policy, I argue that the Japanese business community in Thailand helped the Japanese government navigate its dilemma between the U.S. and Thai governments. It did so by providing a key channel of communication between the Thai military junta and the Japanese government and facilitating reconciliation of two interests of the Japanese government—demands for democracy and preservation of strong economic ties. One key strategy in achieving this goal was to reframe democracy in terms of government transparency and predictability rather than civil and political liberties. This leads to the second reason for focusing on the Japanese business community in Thailand: businesses affect Japan’s role in the Southeast Asian diversification strategies that John Ciorciari’s chapter discusses in this volume.10 This chapter seeks to identify the diplomatic effects of the presence of sizeable Japanese capital in Southeast Asia. Put another way, it questions under what conditions Japan can form a diplomatic “third option” for Southeast Asian countries. Observers generally agree that every Southeast Asian country wants to avoid being forced to choose between the United States and China in pursuit of its foreign policy, while ASEAN is too weak to be relied upon. In the Southeast Asian context, due to its accumulated wealth and social network, Japan could logically be a viable alternative. However, cases illustrating whether and when Japan can be a viable “third option” are few and far between. This chapter will focus on Japan–​ Thailand relations, because Thailand is Japan’s most significant economic partner in Southeast Asia. Furthermore, it will focus on the moment of the coup d’état in 2014, when Japan–​Thailand relations faced their greatest political test. Japan has frequently been regarded favorably in Southeast Asia and has won Southeast Asian countries’ trust. This chapter explores what makes Japan different from the United States and China in Southeast Asia in an era of intensified

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U.S.–​China competition. I will argue that the Japanese business community, through its size, diversity, and greenfield FDI, has established itself as a ballast for the Thai economy in times of political volatility and thus as a crucial political actor.11 The U.S. and Japanese Critiques of the 2014 Thai Coup

The United States was quick to criticize the 2014 Thai coup, as Secretary of State John Kerry announced: “I am disappointed by the decision of the Thai military to suspend the constitution and take control of the government after a long period of political turmoil, and there is no justification for this military coup. And I urge the restoration of civilian government immediately, a return to democracy, and respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms, such as press freedoms.”12 The U.S. government’s decision to define Thailand’s military intervention as a “military coup” led to a suspension of military cooperation in compliance with Section 508 of the U.S. Foreign Operations Appropriations Act. This contrasted with the Obama administration’s refusal to label as a coup Egyptian Army Chief General Abdel Fattah el-​Sisi’s action in ousting President Morsi in 2013 and suspending the 2012 constitution.13 The Pentagon Press Secretary, Rear Admiral John Kirby, reiterated the Secretary of State’s concerns: “While we have enjoyed a long and productive military-​to-​military relationship with Thailand, our democratic principles and U.S. law require us to reconsider U.S. military assistance and engagements.” One significant action taken by the United States was the suspension of the annual military training exercise of Cooperation Afloat Readiness and Training (CARAT), which was ongoing at the time of the coup. Military training was cut in the middle of the program. The United States, following its previous post-​coup practices, also swiftly suspended approximately US$3.5 million in unspent and unobligated Foreign Military Financing (FMF) assistance to Thailand. Most of this assistance to Thailand consisted of training and education programs. The remainder of the International Military Education and Training (IMET) budget, which was US$85,000 out of US$1.3 million, was suspended, and all IMET and FMF-​funded courses for Thailand were canceled.14 Japan initially echoed the U.S. position. Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga quickly responded, “it is extremely regrettable and [we] would like to urge [the Thai government] to have the democratic system to be restored swiftly.”15 Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida also

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emphasized Japan’s critical stance by stating first, “It is deeply regrettable that the National Council for Peace and Order (NCPO) headed by Army Commander in Chief General Prayut Chan-​ocha has assumed the full power of the government in Thailand on May 22 and second, Japan strongly urges those concerned that democracy in Thailand be quickly restored.”16 The next day on May 23, Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Akitaka Saiki called Thai Ambassador Thanatip Upatising to the Ministry. He conveyed his message that he was deeply concerned with basic rights and freedom in Thailand, as the foundation of democracy was being undermined. He also urged the Thai government to make every effort to restore the democratic order in Thailand. Saiki also requested the safety and security of Japanese personnel and companies in Thailand, which include more than 56,000 people and several thousand companies. Ambassador Thanatip responded that he understood Japan’s concern, and the NCPO assured the safety of all foreigners, including the Japanese.17 Hence, a security ally and the largest foreign investor country both criticized the power grab. Southeast Asian governments sent out mixed reactions. The de facto leader of the region, Indonesia, heavily criticized Thailand for breaching the ASEAN Charter, which had just been ratified by all ten members. The Charter emphasizes advancing democratic principles in the region as strategically critical.18 However, Southeast Asian countries had neither effective means nor the collective will to pressure Thailand over the coup. Neighboring countries like Cambodia, Laos, and Myanmar expressed some concerns but ultimately accommodated the NCPO. Neighboring Cambodia saw no strategic gain to criticize Thailand, because Cambodian leaders were much more concerned with maintaining stable ties than standing up for democracy. Responding to the coup was particularly sensitive for Cambodia, as shortly after the coup there was speculation that Cambodia might be backing ousted Thai Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra to support establishing a government in exile in its territory. Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen rejected these rumors and assured his support for the new military junta in Thailand.19 In this situation, Thailand had both political and economic incentives to strengthen its ties to China—​politically to build an international environment that would accommodate the junta, and economically to fill the potential economic loss due to the negative impact of a coup. Although it was still small in terms of FDI, by 2013 China had become the largest export market for Thailand, exceeding Japan and the United States.20 Not only the United States but also major partners such as Europe and

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Australia suspended and downgraded their ties with Thailand. The international environment was seemingly split in two: those who would push Thailand on democratic principles and those who would not. For General Prayut and his supporters, this was not an ideal political environment. Their ideal choice was to detach economic relations from political relations as much as possible so that they could maintain “business as usual.” For General Prayut to remain in power, he needed to reward the supporters of the coup, namely the Bangkok elites whose wealth was built on FDI and export markets. Rewarding the Bangkok elites meant maintaining good foreign relations, especially with the largest FDI source, Japan.21 Despite Japan’s past history of accommodating Thai coups, with the new geopolitical context pushing Japan closer to the United States, there was a legitimate concern that the Japanese position this time could be a problem for Prayut. Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe had asserted in a 2013 speech that his administration would pursue its foreign policy privileging as its first principle, “protecting freedom of thought, expression, and speech in this region where two oceans meet.”22 In that speech, he also emphasized the importance of Japan’s relationship with the United States and noted, “The development of the ASEAN members has been marked by respect for the rule of law and human rights, along with steady moves toward deeply rooted democracy.”23 In recent years, China has overtaken the economic scale of Japan to a level that could enable China to redesign the regional liberal order through its power. Japan and the United States used to have a greater degree of rivalry in the region, and in that era, Japan was in a position to support Southeast Asian countries weathering U.S. policy pressure intended to promote democracy and human rights.24 But that era has ended. Ties between United States and Japan are ever stronger, and as a result, Japanese foreign policy’s emphasis on democracy was growing. This was not a favorable situation for the Thai junta as it reached out to the Japanese to stabilize the post-​coup economy. The Junta Reaching Out: Japanese Business in Bangkok

The day after the coup, General Prayut started to take steps that were needed to consolidate his power and govern. One of the priorities was to minimize the negative impact of the coup on the economy. The junta had to keep its relationship with significant Thai business players, which constitute a vital group of its supporters. It could not afford for

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the political shock to result in an economic crash. On May 23, General Prayut requested a Thai businessperson who has established ties with the Japanese business community “to gather the Japanese businesspeople” for a meeting within the next two days. The request was conveyed to the Director of Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO) in Bangkok Setsuo Iuchi and then to Japanese Chamber of Commerce (JCC) Secretary General Ishii, and finally to JCC Chairman Hisamichi Koga late at night. The JCC, at this point, was not sure about what the agenda would be at the meeting. Logically, the purpose of the meeting could have been a P.R. stunt for the junta to demonstrate Japanese endorsement of the coup, which the JCC had to be careful to avoid. However, receiving a request from the coup leader on the very next day after he had staged a coup, the JCC had to take into account that there were more than 60,000 Japanese in the country who were in dire need of security. Since it was General Prayut himself that requested the meeting, declining the request was not a viable option.25 The only convincing clue they had about the purpose of the meeting with the NCPO came from a meeting they held with the Thai Business Chambers only a few hours before they received the call on May 23. The conversation took place during the scheduled meeting of the Thai–​Japan friendship association. During the exchanges, the Thai representative promoted the idea that the coup would be “an effective reset button for the lingering economy.”26 The JCC member vehemently opposed this perspective and explained the reasons for the disagreement. JCC members were alarmed by the coup’s potential negative impact on the Thai economy as a whole. There were at least two major reasons behind the JCC’s perspective. First, the JCC’s economic analysis foresaw that the coup would have a negative impact on the demand side. Domestic demand had already been primed through the Yingluck government’s subsidy policies, such as a first-​ time car buyer scheme. Hence, the future growth of the Thai economy was considered to rely heavily on foreign demand for Thai exports. The coup, therefore, could be a massive hindrance to foreign exports, as political backlash from the United States, Europe, and even Japan could discourage orders.27 The second concern for the JCC was the low transparency and predictability of the junta regime, which could discourage overall private investment due to concerns about political and legal risks and possible trade sanctions. The past two post-​coup military regimes, which started in 1991 and 2006, each lasted approximately a year. They were unpredictable in terms of their political duration, and both governments enacted

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numerous laws without proper scrutiny. Any long-​term private greenfield investment—​the primary form of Japanese investment in Thailand, in which Japanese companies establish subsidiaries in Thailand and build them from the ground up—​would thus likely be discouraged.28 The JCC’s perspective on democracy was, therefore, shaped by an economic purpose. It was not primarily about human rights, elections or freedom of speech, which both the U.S. and Japanese governments prioritized. The JCC wanted to keep democracy in order to promote a conducive business environment. On May 24 the JCC members convened together with JETRO and also in communication with the Japanese embassy to discuss what to convey in the meeting with the NCPO members. They agreed that the key message that they had to convey was that the JCC was “regretful” that the coup took place. They would defend the line never to be quoted as “the Japanese have supported the military action.” And most importantly, they sought to convey why democracy was vital for the Thai economy to flourish, especially through FDI as noted above.29 On May 25, the chairperson of JCC, Hisamichi Koga, and his team, together with representatives from JETRO, visited the Army Club (the headquarters of the NCPO) to meet the Chairman, Prayut Chan-​ocha. This was the first direct meeting for the NCPO chairman and a foreign representative. All critical economic portfolio members attended, including Air Chief Marshal Prajin Juntong (an original NCPO member, later Minister of Transportation), M.R. Pridiyathorn Devakula (NCPO economic advisor, later Deputy Prime Minister), and Somkid Jatusripitak (NCPO foreign economic advisor, later NCPO full member and Deputy Prime Minister).30 NCPO chairman Prayut broke the ice by saying he loved Japan, its people, and its food.31 He also continued that he would assure the safety of economic activities. Although the curfew was still active, Prayut also assured the JCC that he would allow logistical transportation and factories to operate at nighttime. He tried to convince the Japanese investors that they could feel safe in conducting “business as usual.”32 It was clear that the purpose of the meeting was to make the Japanese businesses feel safe in operating. The primary purpose of the meeting was not to ask the JCC to pressure the prime minister’s office in Tokyo as anticipated. Chairman Koga conveyed the messages discussed with his colleagues the previous day: that it was regretful to see the coup take place. He emphasized the economic importance of democratic transition and transparency. Koga also pointed out that it is best to manage the economy with market mechanisms and also anti-​corruption measures and demanded the safety

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of all Japanese. The NCPO members listened carefully and took notes. Prayut insisted that “At this moment, we have to focus on restoring security and order, but I assure you the physical safety of the foreign investors, and we would be greatly taken care of. Furthermore, if there is any issue, difficulty in conducting business in Thailand, please contact me as I would take care of [it] one by one.”33 The meeting was concluded by promising a follow-​up meeting for details with NCPO members. After a successful meeting between the JCC and the NCPO Chairman Prayut, the JCC then tried to engage the Japanese government in Tokyo. As the initial reaction of Tokyo to the coup was in tandem with the United States, stating regret, Japanese business leaders in Thailand worried that officials in Tokyo would follow the U.S. position further. The NCPO quickly became frustrated by U.S. officials’ verbal criticism and U.S. sanctions leveled after the Thai government’s arrest of political protesters, scholars and journalists. The U.S. and Thai governments thus alienated each other, and the Japanese business community anticipated a similar dynamic if the Japanese government’s stance aligned with that of the United States.34 After the JCC talked with Prayut, it reported back to the prime minister’s office in Tokyo. After that point, Chief Cabinet Secretary Suga and Foreign Minister Kishida moderated their remarks toward Thailand, and their expression of “regret” was never repeated. While the Japanese consistently demanded that the Thai junta return to democracy as soon as possible, unlike the U.S. response, Japan did not attack the junta for human rights violations or impose sanctions on Thailand. Before the JCC meeting with Prayut, Japanese officials had taken a harder line. For example, on May 23, Permanent Secretary of Minister for Foreign Affairs Akitaka Saiki held a meeting with Thanatip Upatising, Ambassador of Thailand, and Saiki criticized the coup by saying, “basic human rights and freedom, the foundation of democracy, have been greatly undermined.” This language was never repeated afterwards. What made the JCC communication naturally influential on the Japanese government’s foreign policy was the fact that during the four months after the coup, the JCC was the only channel for establishing a direct dialogue with the top NCPO members. While the Japanese government held its meetings with its foreign service counterparts (e.g., Ambassador Shigekazu Sato with the Acting Thai Foreign Minister Sihasak on June 19 and Foreign Minister Kishida also with his counterpart on September 4), JCC Chairman Koga met with NCPO Chairman Prayut on May 25 and with NCPO deputy chair Prajin Juntong on July 9 and August 27. Japanese government officials did not have any meetings with those top NCPO

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members until October 1, when State Minister for Foreign Affairs Minoru Kiuchi visited Thailand to meet with General Prayut, Air Chief Marshal Prajin, and General Tanasak. During the time the Japanese official channel had little direct communication with the top NCPO leadership, the JCC had multiple meetings and shared the meeting contents with the Japanese government. It was clear who was in charge of the negotiation during the critical first four months after the coup.35 During that time, the JCC made detailed business requests, such as requests to end curfews, allow free media coverage, and establish an NCPO English website. The JCC also demanded infrastructural connectivity with the neighboring countries and customs control improvements to reduce corruption at the border. In order to have all of the above policies moving forward, JCC Chairman Koga insisted that democratization would be crucial, demanding that Thailand follow the “roadmap to democracy”—​but with a tacit understanding that the JCC’s emphasis on democracy was for Thailand’s economic well-​being and stability, not for political rights and civil liberties per se. The JCC argued that the coup would hurt Thai economy at least in three ways. First, due to the political uncertainty, domestic consumption would cool down. Second, the coup would have negative impact on exports to U.S. and European markets. Third, net FDI to Thailand would decrease due to the military junta’s unpredictable governance style of less transparency and less accountability.36 NCPO deputy Chair Prajin accepted the policy requests, and acknowledged his understanding on the need for “Transparency in Public Administrative Services,” “Respect for Market Mechanisms,” and “Enhancing Market Competitiveness through Free Trade Agreements.” Prajin and his staff meticulously responded with updates to the previous JCC requests, and those responses showed that the JCC’s voice was well heard and that the JCC held the NCPO’s trust.37 The NCPO’s choice to hold regular meetings between Prajin Juntong, who oversaw all economic policies under the junta, and the JCC, rather than the Japanese ambassador to Thailand, reflects the NCPO’s understanding of the importance of support from the Japanese business community.38 JCC members, with this trust from the NCPO and having repeatedly been told by their Thai business counterparts that they expect “Japan is different from the U.S.,” now had to convince the prime minister’s office in Tokyo to take an approach similar to the JCC’s—​one that advocated for a path to democracy but prioritized stability in Thailand and in the Thai–​Japan relationship.

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The JCC and JETRO’s effort seemingly succeeded, judging from how the government-​ to-​ government relationship unfolded.39 The strong remarks by the Japanese Chief Cabinet Minister and especially from the Permanent Secretary of the Foreign Ministry on May 23 demanding political rights and freedom receded, and the Japanese leadership changed its language toward the junta. They no longer “urge,” but they now “expect” to restore democracy. The exchange of remarks in high-​level meetings that took place in the latter half of 2014 had three things in common: first, a wish to strengthen bilateral ties; second, the Japanese expectation of democratization; and third, the need to assure a free and fair investment environment. These meetings included Thai Permanent Secretary Sihasak Phuangketkaew’s visit to Japanese Foreign Minister Kishida on September 4 and Japanese State Minister for Foreign Affairs Kiuchi’s meeting with Prime Minister Prayut and Deputy Prime Minister Prajin in Thailand on October 1 and 2. Then, on November 4, Prayut and Prime Minister Abe met in Milan on the sidelines of the Asia-​Europe Meeting. This was one of the first high-​level meetings for Prayut with a leader of a democratic country outside Southeast Asia. In this meeting, “Prime Minister Abe conveyed his strong expectation that the restoration of democracy in Thailand would be achieved promptly through national reconciliation.”40 Prayut responded by seeking an understanding “in bringing about democratization in Thailand, the emphasis is on maintaining stability in the domestic situation, and Thailand will listen to the voice of the international community, including Japan, while moving ahead with reform and working toward democratization.” Furthermore, the Thai side stated that to encourage economic relations with Japan, Thailand would “engage in promoting a domestic investment environment that is fair and transparent” and would hope for Japan’s cooperation “in infrastructure areas such as rail, water resources management and energy” and would “direct that the consideration of food import restrictions be accelerated.”41 Prime Minister Abe’s remark, while sticking to democratic principles, was by this point not taken as an offensive remark, thanks in part to the frequent talk between the JCC and NCPO in Bangkok.42 Prayut’s response in committing to enhancing the transparency of the investment environment was exactly what the JCC and NCPO had been working together on for four months, seeking a platform that the two parties could agree on. Prayut did not take Abe’s remark as an attack, and Abe and Prayut quickly held a follow-​up meeting on November 13, 2014, when Abe visited Naypyidaw for an ASEAN related summit.43 Prayut also agreed to attend a public event hosted by the JCC in Bangkok promoting Thai–​Japan

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business ties on November 7, which was also an expression of his trust in the communication channel established and coordinated by the JCC. The JCC-​NCPO meetings laid the foundation and created a space to discuss democracy with the junta without offending and furthermore, to maintain economic ties. The key here was how the JCC and then the Japanese government approached democratization in Thailand, putting priority on an investment-​ friendly economic environment and de-​ emphasizing civil and political liberties. Despite the Japanese government taking a firm stance on the usage of the phrase “expecting to return to democracy as soon as possible,” the JCC’s role in repeating the concept of democratization as part of building an investment-​friendly economic environment signaled to the NCPO that Japan would be patient with the democratic process, provided that mutual economic interests were addressed. This opened a significant window of dialogue between the Japanese government and the Thai government. Japan as the Third Choice for Thailand?

The Japanese business community in Thailand proved to be a major asset for not only Japanese diplomacy, but also for the Thai government. While Japan in general was regarded by Southeast Asian intellectuals as inclined to “do the right thing” and uphold the rules-​based order,44 the 2014 post-​coup Thai experience clarifies Southeast Asian countries’ unique positive attitudes toward Japan. Favorable attitudes toward Japan were reinforced by the realization that, especially for Thailand, there are two Japans: the business community and the Japanese government in Tokyo. The uniqueness of the Japanese community in Thailand lies in its size, its independence from the Japanese government, and its interconnectedness with the Japanese supply chain. These three features of the Japanese community in Thailand offer Thailand different diplomatic options compared to its relationship with the United States and China. The American Chamber of Commerce office does not carry the economic weight the JCC has for Japan and, thus its bargaining power with the U.S. government is more limited. Chinese companies also differ, as the major players are state-​owned enterprises and lack independence from the central government. For Thailand, in 2014, Japan turned out to be more than a third choice in between the United States and China. The fact that the junta’s first meeting with a foreign group was with the JCC speaks for itself. Japanese

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support was essential as a ballast to maintain “business as usual” due to its size and broad network, especially during periods of political volatility. As for the junta, consolidating its power was the purpose of diplomacy more than anything else. The junta sought support from the United States, China, and Japan in three aspects. First, the junta sought political support to acknowledge junta’s legitimate rule. Second, the junta wanted assurance that no foreign intervention threatening their power consolidation would take place. Third, the junta wanted to maintain economic relations, so that the Thai people could minimize the impact of political shock and accept the military government.45 From the junta’s perspective, the relationship with the United States became a challenging one after Secretary Kerry’s remark. The first and foremost reason was the U.S. denial of political legitimacy to the junta. Second, U.S.-​imposed sanctions, despite being small in scale, over military cooperation by freezing its assistance budget, confirmed the unreliable nature of the relationship despite its diplomatic label as “treaty ally.” More importantly, the United States and Thailand realized the scope of differences in their primary threat perceptions. Such differences could undermine the strategic rationale to sustain the U.S.–​ Thai alliance. The times when the communists were common adversaries for both governments were long in the past. In contrast, since 2014, the primary adversary for the Thai junta has been the democratic movement, which, in principle, is a group the United States seeks to empower. For the United States, the threat is a hegemonic rise of China, which the Thai junta does not perceive as a threat.46 On the economic front, the United States is one of the top business partners as the second largest foreign investor and also a top three destination for exports. In this regard, the United States is a strong economic partner with whom Thailand would never want to diminish its ties. However, in view of the stern reaction they received from the U.S. government, Thailand also had to be aware of the increasing risk in the U.S. economic engagement. It was unclear whether or not U.S. corporations could pursue “business as usual” when their government chose a critical stance toward the Thai government. The U.S. Department of State announced its recommendation that U.S. citizens reconsider any non-​essential travel to Thailand, and a month following the coup, a TIP (Trafficking in Person) report was published, which downgraded Thailand’s position to Tier 3 (the same as Libya and North Korea), adding another source of diplomatic discomfort.

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In contrast, China emerged as a much more amicable partner for the NCPO to work with. First, China responded with silence, which meant a de facto endorsement of the coup. Second, China was not an immediate security threat to Thailand, unlike for the Philippines and Vietnam, which have active territorial disputes with China in the South China Sea. Unlike the United States, China had no direct tools to damage the Thai military’s standing, thus the security risk was perceived as comparatively lower. And most importantly, the Thai junta and the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) shared the same internal adversaries: democratic civil society. In a way, the junta could see that the CCP shared some similar political and strategic interests. On the economic front, China in 2014 was yet to be a major foreign direct investor. However, with political endorsement together with growing trade, tourism, and portfolio investment, China has become the rising partner that Thailand desperately needed, especially to diversify its economic portfolio.47 On the other hand, Thai leaders also understood that China is not a benign power. Their ties with neighboring countries such as Myanmar, Laos, and Cambodia have been stronger than with Thailand over the past decade.48 And that relative position undermined Thailand’s defensive posture. China also already demonstrated that it can cast its influence along the Mekong by controlling the water dams upstream, which could damage the livelihoods of the Thai people.49 The problem for Thailand was clear. The United States and China are both necessary but insufficient. Thailand needs more of an economic support than a security support, and this is when the Thai junta needed Japan’s support. And to be precise, Thailand needed to maintain its industrial cluster that Japanese investment had established to survive in the era of economic regionalization in Southeast Asia. Regional headquarters and industrial clusters in the Eastern Seaboard and around the Chao Phraya river basin, which are dominated by Japanese companies, needed to stay and needed to reinvest.50 Otherwise, Thailand could lose its prime position in the regional business network, which allowed Thai elites and workers to reap the benefits of integrated economic growth in the Greater Mekong Subregion.51 Should that prime position be undermined due to the coup, the junta could lose its support from its people and business elites. Therefore, especially for the junta and for the Thai business network, Japan was an indispensable partner to keep the Thai economy strong when the United States and China both had committed too little economically to rely upon.

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The Role of the Japanese Business Community

The Japanese model of a reliable partnership in the midst of U.S.–​China competition, as we see from the 2014 Thai case, could be attributed to the strength of the Japanese business community in the region. Due to its rooted network, the Japanese community in Thailand stood in between Japan and Thai society, creating a hybridized frame of interest that balanced both the local interest and the Japanese diplomatic interest. The JCC’s approach to discussing democracy opened up the channel to dialogue and even influenced Tokyo’s stance toward Thailand. The JCC repeatedly emphasized that democracy is the key for regaining trust from the global markets and for thriving through FDI-​led economic growth. Democracy was framed in terms of enhancing transparency and rule of law, almost as an economic policy by economists and business specialists, and clearly different from focusing on human rights and freedom of speech.52 This business-​centered approach to democratization, which has been conceptualized by the JCC, created a platform on which a military junta and foreign businessmen could talk candidly about the desired policy packages. This idea logically could be applied to other countries, especially for non-​democratic countries. It is an understanding of democracy that does not define authoritarian rule as an existential threat, but instead sees that it could lead to prosperity and stability. The JCC’s nuanced approach toward democracy can be attributed to several factors. First, the Japanese business group was composed of private companies. They were not arms of their home country. They make decisions based on profit potential rather than geo-​political strategic goals. Thus, they blend easily into the Thai economy and align their interests with local Thai business partners. As a result, the JCC could advocate for democracy in Thailand for the sake of economic stability, and the NCPO would understand clearly that the JCC put primary emphasis on economic stability rather than civil and political rights. Second, the Japanese business community was not only large but also diverse and longstanding. According to 2013 FDI data by the Thailand Board of Investment, Japan constituted 60.1 percent of total FDI stock in Thailand, while China constituted 1 percent and the United States 2 percent. Japanese companies, based on JETRO data, were spread across many sectors as 47 percent to manufacturing, 49.5 percent to service and construction 3 percent, while for manufacturing, 57.2 percent of intermediate goods are supplied domestically in Thailand, and when it comes to automobile industry, 90 percent of intermediaries are supplied locally.53 This

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shows not only the dominance of Japanese among the foreign investors but the extent the network is locally rooted, which anchors the Japanese capital in a vast network of supply chains. That is exactly why it made sense for Japan to prioritize economic stability and opportunity in Thailand that is open and not restricted to certain countries: because the strength of a vast network is that any country’s investment can connect with the existing business network locally. This was a positive position for Thailand, as it wanted to pursue its strategy for economic diversification amid this Sino–​American rivalry, when major countries were using economic policy tools and sanctions for strategic and political gain. For Thailand in 2014, the challenge was how to invite China further into the Thai market while trying not to burn bridges to the United States. Thailand clearly took advantage of Japan’s willingness to engage and its conceptualization of democracy as an economic strategy by securing the economic fundamentals through retaining Japanese capital and other Western capital. But, on the other hand, Thailand also moved aggressively to invite as much Chinese investment as possible through incentives such as tax rebates and deductions, preferential visa policies, and significant deregulation. The 2014 coup was seen as a moment of shift in Thai foreign relations from the United States to China. But for a country with no immediate foreign security concerns, what we now know is that Japan was the first priority for the junta to stabilize its post-​coup foreign relationships beyond Southeast Asia, while China and the United States were its secondary priorities. The outcome, of course, was not what the Japanese government in Tokyo hoped for, as democracy has not fully resumed after seven years. On the other hand, Japan’s accommodating approach to democracy promotion with the NCPO was a creative choice to help ties between Japanese and Bangkok remain and strengthen amid those domestic and international political dynamics.54 This case demonstrates that despite the global trend in weaponizing economics in pursuit of political gains, if the investments are private, diverse, and structured as greenfield FDI, countries can help decouple politics by partnering with local Japanese business and minimize the negative effect on investments. Thus, although the Japanese business network in Thailand could be considered a rather special case in Southeast Asia, the case still has clear implications for countries looking for a third choice in the region. Additionally, for Thailand, having this major Japanese economic presence was a significant and unique asset of diplomacy and a new role

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as an economic stabilizer in Southeast Asia in the era of U.S.–​China competition. Japan was the ballast while the United States was wavering and China was challenging. The Japanese business community in Thailand, due to its size and the spread across sectors, played an important role in keeping the negative impact of the coup on the Thai economy to a minimum. First, they convinced the Japanese government to listen to the JCC. In contrast to the initial remarks by the Japanese foreign ministry, which conveyed the idea of democracy as political rights and freedom, the JCC framed the democratization process more in a business perspective, which was more palatable and friendly to Thai interests. Second, the JCC set a precedent and opened the NCPO’s conversation with other foreign business chambers such as those from China (June 6), the EU (August 24) and the Joint Foreign Chambers of Commerce (U.S., Australian, UK, etc.) (December 3). Third, in substance, the JCC put together a list of recommendations and feedback directly to NCPO members in designing a foreign investment economic policy. Key policies to attract foreign investments, especially the high value-​added investments such as transparency, anti-​corruption, tax incentive policies on regional headquarters and new investment regulation. The talks between the NCPO and the JCC were always followed up by respective ministries and Thai business groups.55 In 2014, despite the economic downturns, Japan kept its position as the biggest source of FDI, accounting for 37.6 percent of the total FDI in Thailand, while the United States accounted for 10.4 percent and China for 7.9 percent.56 Another trend was that more and more Japanese small and medium businesses were investing in the service sector. What this means is that the Japanese business community was even more concerned about the Thai domestic consumption market, hence the incentive to maintain a high standard of political stability and transparency. As the military junta aims to boost higher wage jobs, Japanese investment, beyond its size, but also due to its structure, is a much-​needed partner for the Thai economy.57 One of the remaining questions is how the United States viewed Japanese tactics in dealing with Thailand. No records indicate U.S. frustration toward Japan’s frequent contact with Prayut and his cabinet or the way Japan pursued democracy in Thailand. First, this could conversely be attributed to the fact that the Japanese repeatedly demanded “democracy” to the military junta in every high-​level meeting with the NCPO leadership. While U.S. officials held no meetings with the top ranked generals, Japan’s emphasis on democracy may have convinced the U.S. government that Japan was “doing the right thing.”

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Second, the United States itself was divided internally. The U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) took a quiet but solid position in its interest to maintain Cobra Gold (the largest multinational military exercise in the Indo-​Pacific held in Thailand annually) and other military activities, while the State Department and the National Security Council said the coup made it impossible to conduct diplomacy as “business as usual.” From the State Department’s perspective, especially the human rights bureau, Japan’s approach was no different from the position of the DoD. One could even argue, the Japanese position was better than that advocated by the DoD, as Japan repeated the point of democracy toward the junta. Facing the Chinese security challenge, it is logical that the Japanese government and the DoD prioritized geostrategic interests above human rights and democratic challenges. Third, the United States may have accommodated Japan’s approach to Thailand for geo-​political reasons. What has become clear is the significant difference in Thailand’s importance for their respective foreign policy portfolios. For the United States, Thailand comparatively does not have as strategic and economic importance as it does for Japan, thus it commands less attention by U.S. leadership. Egypt for the United States is Thailand for Japan in the sense that political-​economic interests far exceed the importance of value-​based diplomacy.58 The asymmetrical interest between the United States and Japan toward Thailand created a political space in which Japan had to and could maneuver, particularly in the period before the United States normalized ties with the NCPO-​led Thai government. Therefore, in sum, due to the lack of attention by the United States in Southeast Asia and the strength of the local Japanese community, it is essential to analyze Japan’s Southeast Asia policy by factoring in the interests of local Japanese businesses. More and more business foreign relocation and professional migration is occurring in the region due to Japan’s aging society and slow growth. Consequently, this new aspect of Japan’s foreign policy—​looking through the perspective of a triangular relation between Japan, local government, and the local Japanese business community—​shall be ever more critical in understanding the international relations of the region. Conclusion

Japanese businesses advocated for stability and rule of law in Thailand, not through sanctions and pressure, but in discussions with the NCPO.

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Being cautious not to denounce the legitimacy of the military junta, as both governments in Tokyo and in Washington initially did, yet trying to convey their concerns about the negative impact of the coup, they emphasized government transparency and predictability, not civil and political rights. They were also instrumental in prompting the Japanese government to make a similar point and in making the Japanese government’s usage of the word democracy more acceptable to NCPO leaders, thus making it possible for the Japanese government to look like it is pressing for democracy in Thailand without damaging the Japan–​Thailand relationship. The key to this strategy was to emphasize to the NCPO the economic risk of oppressing civil and political rights. This case shows the Japanese business’s influence over Japanese government to be vocal but cautious in its criticism of Southeast Asian domestic practices—​one aspect of its identity as a “courteous power.” Through this cautious and courteous approach, Japanese businesses in Thailand have set an alternative path in managing the diplomatic dilemma the Japanese government faced between condemnation and negligence. Ironically, the JCC may not have helped the Japanese businesses per se in Thailand as much as they could have hoped. The JCC chose to negotiate with the NCPO not only for Japanese company interests, but for foreign investors more broadly, including the Chinese. The JCC’s calculation was that the net gain in overall FDI investment would have a positive overall economic effect and benefit all foreign investors, primarily through generating domestic demand in Thailand. However, this logic did not work out as much in the case of rising Chinese investment during the Prayut government’s term, because China has built supply chains that are not well integrated with those of Japan. Finally, what we explored on the role of Japanese community in Thailand 2014 might be something very unique to Thailand. Japan was by far the biggest investor in Thailand in the early 2010s but is not in other countries. Therefore, it is difficult to think of other cases of such high-​level political access as the JCC could obtain. But two lessons from the case are significantly important beyond Thailand. First, the increasing overall size of the foreign business community could become another diplomatic asset. Whether those local communities become a diplomatic asset or a liability depends on their relationship with both the local embassies and those in their home country. Second, this chapter shows how business can affect the way in which the Japanese government promotes democratic principles in the Indo-​ Pacific era. The framing by the JCC in Thailand shows that the diplomatic

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principle of democracy is not a zero-​sum choice between being completely silent and endorsing undemocratic practices for geopolitical or economic interests or opting to pressure, criticize, and sanction a country over violations of political rights. This new business-​led approach framed democracy as an investment-​ led economic model bringing potential damage to the economy into the conversation. While the Japanese government recognizes the strategic importance of aligning its political position with the United States in the Indo-​Pacific era, this business-​led approach put a brake on the Japanese government’s vocal approach and led to a more moderate one of addressing democracy issues with caution and without shaming. NOTES The author would like to acknowledge support for this research from the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science (JSPS) Kakenhi grant numbers 19H04349, 17H02230, and 19K12505. 1. Myanmar as ASEAN Chair in 2014 stayed away from making any joint statement on the Thai coup, while Indonesian Foreign Minister Marty Natalegawa said in a written statement, “Indonesia calls on the armed forces of Thailand and the various relevant civilian elements to work together in an atmosphere of reconciliation to quickly restore the political situation in Thailand.” In an interview with the Associated Press on the sidelines of the World Economic Forum on East Asia in Manila, Marty also said the situation was a setback and would be inconsistent with ASEAN’s collective support for democratic principles and constitutional government. “Asean chair mum on Thailand’s coup,” The Nation, May 27, 2014. Later in July, Myanmar’s Armed Forces Supreme Commander Gen. Min Aung Hlaing, meeting with Prayut, said Myanmar had had a similar and worse situation in which the military had to step in, citing the Tatmadaw’s coup in 1988 after a popular uprising against the Ne Win government. “Junta did right thing: Myanmar Chief,” The Nation, July 5, 2014. Other neighbors such as Cambodia were also quick to embrace the power transition. On May 31, just over a week after the Thai coup, Cambodia’s Deputy Prime Minister and Defense Minister General Tea Banh visited Bangkok and expressed his confidence in the leadership of the Thai military in bringing peace and order to Thailand. Pavin Chachavalpongpun, “Prayuth’s Visit to Phnom Penh Reveals Cambodia’s Pragmatism,” Prachatai English, October 30, 2014, (http://​​english/​node/​4453). 2. The Chinese government was silent initially, and on June 16 at the 10th defense and security consultation between China and Thailand held in Beijing, Deputy Chief of General Staff of the Chinese People’s Liberation Army Wang Guanzhong said that he hoped “the Thai military hopes to push forward the domestic reconciliation process, safeguard national stability and development, and bring happiness, peace and health to the people.” “10th defense and security consultation between China and Thailand held in Beijing,” China Military Online, June 16, 2014, http://​​news-​ channels/​china-​military-​news/​2014-​06/​16/​content_​5965508.htm.

192 | The Courteous Power 3. Secretary Kerry denounced the coup by saying “there is no justification for this military coup” and confirmed that: “We are reviewing our military and other assistance and engagements, consistent with U.S. law.” U.S. State Department, “Coup in Thailand,” press statement, https://​2009-​​secretary/​remarks/​2014/​05/​226446.htm. 4. The Chao Phraya river flood in 2011 inundated the majority of industrial zones along the river. Therefore, Japanese intermediary manufacturing halted, and production sites in Japan also stopped due to a lack of supply shipments. 5. President Obama made this evident in his press conference, stating: “And let me reiterate that our treaty commitment to Japan’s security is absolute, and Article 5 covers all territories under Japan’s administration, including the Senkaku Islands.” White House “Joint Press Conference with President Obama and Prime Minister Abe of Japan,” Tokyo, April 24, 2014, available at https://​​the-​ press-​office/​2014/​04/​24/​joint-​press-​conference-​president-​obama-​and-​prime-​minister-​ abe-​japan (accessed May 5, 2021). 6. “Survey on 100 CEOs,” Nikkei, December 24, 2013. 7. “Survey on 100 CEOs,” Nikkei, June 23, 2014. 8. According to JETRO FDI statistics, at the end of 2013, the value of cumulative Japanese FDI to Thailand was US$44.6 billion, followed by Singapore’s US$36.5 billion, Indonesia’s US$19.8 billion, and Malaysia’s US$13.8 billion. As a comparison, Thailand attracts approximately 50 percent more than South Korea (US$30 billion). Also, in 2013 alone, FDI from Japan to Thailand reached US$10.2 billion, which exceeded Japanese FDI to China’s US$9.1 billion. See JETRO, “Direct Investment Statistics,” https://​www.​world/​japan/​stats/​fdi.html (accessed May 5, 2021). 9. The second-​ranked is Hong Kong, which consists of 8 percent of total FDI to Thailand. JETRO, Thailand 2014, Report (2014), https://​​ext_​images/​ world/​gtir/​2014/​pdf/​2014-​th.pdf. 10. John D. Ciorciari, “Japan as the Key to Southeast Asian Diversification,” in this volume. 11. On favorability ratings, see Bruce Stokes, “How Asia-​Pacific Publics See Each Other and Their National Leaders Japan Viewed Most Favorably, No Leader Enjoys Majority Support,” Pew Research (2015), https://​​global/​2015/​09/​ 02/​how-​asia-​pacific-​publics-​see-​each-​other-​and-​their-​national-​leaders/​. 12. John Kerry, U.S. Secretary of State, “Coup in Thailand,” Press Statement, Washington, DC, May 22, 2014, available at https://​2009-​​secretary/​ remarks/​2014/​05/​226446.htm (accessed May 5, 2021). 13. A critical question was why the U.S. government took a different stance between Egypt and Thailand, while the U.S. government tried to deny the relevancy of the comparison to defend its position from charges of an indefensible double standard. Adam Taylor, “If Thailand is a coup, why wasn’t Egypt?” Washington Post, May 22, 2014. 14. Office of the Spokesperson, U.S. State Department, “Response to the Coup in Thailand,” Washington, DC, May 28, 2014, available at https://​2009-​​r/​ pa/​prs/​ps/​2014/​05/​226620.htm (accessed May 5, 2021). 15. Chief Cabinet Minister Yoshihide Suga’s Remarks at the Press Conference, May 23, 2014. 16. “Statement by Mr. Fumio Kishida, Minister for Foreign Affairs, on the coup d’État in Thailand,” May 22, 2014, available at https://​​press/​release/​press4e_​ 000285.html (accessed May 5, 2021).

The Japanese Business Community as a Diplomatic Asset | 193 17. “Representations by Mr. Akitaka Saiki, Permanent Secretary of Minister for Foreign Affairs to H.E. Mr. Thanatip Upatising, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Thailand to Japan,” May 23, 2014. 18. Indonesian Foreign Minister Marty Natalegawa said Indonesia was following with deep and profound concern the developments in Thailand. “Without intending to interfere in the internal affairs of Thailand, as part of the ASEAN Community, in particular the ASEAN Political and Security Community, and in accordance with the Charter of ASEAN which emphasizes adherence to democratic principles and constitutional government, the developments in Thailand merit Indonesia’s and ASEAN’s attention,” he said. Yohanna Ririhena, “RI Calls for Restoration of Democracy in Thailand,” The Jakarta Post, May 24, 2014. 19. In a speech delivered at the ceremony for graduates from the Royal University of Phnom Penh, Hun Sen reportedly said publicly that: “Our attitude is to work hard to keep a normal relationship with the Thais whether there is a civilian government or military government… Now I hear that the Thai king signed [off the military] to lead the country, so it is finished because their king has signed to lead the country.” Although Hun Sen admitted to being a good friend of Thaksin, he added, “I hope that former prime ministers Yingluck and Thaksin will understand about Cambodia’s stance, because now Yingluck and Thaksin are not the prime ministers leading their country.” Khy Sovuthy, “Hun Sen Rules Out Hosting Exile Thai Gov’t,” The Cambodia Daily, May 28, 2014. 20. In 2013, exports to China consisted of 11.9 percent of total Thai exports, while those to the United States amounted to 10.1 percent, and Japan accounted for 9.7 percent of total Thai exports. JETRO Country Report 2014, Thailand, (https://​www.jetro.​ext_​images/​world/​gtir/​2014/​pdf/​2014-​th.pdf). 21. The U.S. State Department insisted on describing the putsch as a “coup,” considering the message they send to countries such as North Korea and Myanmar. At the same time, the U.S. Defense Department tried to avoid the term to retain military to military relationship as “business as usual.” Ultimately, the U.S. National Security Council decided in favor of the State Department’s approach, which led to Secretary Kerry’s remark. 22. “The Bounty of the Open Seas: Five New Principles for Japanese Diplomacy,” Address by H.E. Mr. Shinzo Abe, Prime Minister of Japan, January 18, 2013, Jakarta, available at https://​​announce/​pm/​abe/​abe_​0118e.html (accessed May 5, 2021). 23. “The Bounty of the Open Seas: Five New Principles for Japanese Diplomacy.” The speech was not orally delivered due to the cancellation of an event in Jakarta due to the prime minister’s early return to lead the response to terrorist attacks against a Japanese energy plant in Libya. The scheduled speech was published afterward. 24. Prime Minister Morihiro Hosokawa, Remarks at the Asia-​Pacific Economic Cooperation forum, Seattle, November 19, 1993. 25. Interview, Anonymous. 26. Interview, Anonymous. A similar account appears in Toru Takahashi, “Hard-​ driving Thai Coup Leader Shows Soft Side for Japanese Business,” Nikkei Asia Review, June 27, 2014. 27. Interview, Anonymous. 28. The JCC’s logic is consistent with the study of democracy and FDI, such as Nathan M. Jensen, “Democratic Governance and Multinational Corporations: Political

194 | The Courteous Power Regimes and Inflows of Foreign Direct Investment,” International Organization 57, no. 3 (2003): 587–​616. 29. Interview, Anonymous. 30. Air Chief Marshal Prajin Juntong later became the Minister of Transportation and Energy. M.R. Pridiyathorn Devakula would become the Deputy Prime Minister, managing economic policies and personnel as the chief economic architect of the military junta. Somkid Jatusripitak was one of only two civilians who became a member of the NCPO as part of the top executive board of the Thai military government. He mainly took charge of overseeing foreign economic policies, which importantly entailed managing Thailand’s relationships with Japan and China. 31. Takahashi, “Hard-​Driving.” 32. Takahashi, “Hard-​Driving”; interview, Anonymous. 33. JCC Announcement, May 26, 2014. 34. Interview, Anonymous. 35. Whether the Japanese embassy could not establish its relationship with the NCPO or deliberately limited its contact with the NCPO is unknown. What is clear is that the NCPO chose to approach the JCC before Acting Thai Foreign Minister Sihasak requested that Japanese Ambassador Sato visit the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. While the JCC regularly shared meeting information with the Embassy, possibilities are that the Japanese government chose to refrain from being proactive, as the Japanese government did not want to be misinterpreted as endorsing the coup. In that case too, one could argue that the JCC played a fitting role to bridge the gap that the Japanese government faced in maintaining the relationship with Thailand. 36. Anonymous Interview, JCC. 37. JCC Press Release, July 10, 2014; JCC Press Release, August 27, 2014. 38. The first official meeting between the Ambassador Sato and Prajin Juntong was on October 28, 2014. 39. Meetings between the JCC and the NCPO preceded the first ministerial-​level bilateral meetings between Thailand and Japan, when State Minister for Foreign Affairs Minoru Kiuchi visited Bangkok on October 1 and October 2 and made courtesy calls on Prime Minister Prayut Chan-​ocha, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Foreign Affairs Tanasak Patimapragorn, and Minister of Transport Prajin Juntong. The points of the talk, such as the “expectation that Thailand will move democratization forward in line with the ‘roadmap’ on restoring democracy” and to “ensure an investment environment to Japanese companies” were well within the lines that the JCC had discussed with Prajin before the meeting. 40. Japanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs, “Japan-​Thailand Summit Meeting,” October 16, 2014, available at https://​​s_​sa/​sea1/​th/​page23e_​000341.html (accessed May 5, 2021). 41. Japanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs, “Japan-Thailand Summit Meeting.” 42. The Prayut government may have also controlled the information that Prime Minister Abe conveyed so that it would not be regarded as offensive. According to the Bangkok Post, Prayut said: “Mr. Abe praised Gen. Prayut for his leadership and his swift action to try and solve the country’s problem.” “Protesters jeer Prayut outside Abe talks,” Bangkok Post, October 17, 2014. This praise did not appear in the summary of the talk on the website of the Japanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA), which instead focused on how Thailand pledged its commitment to its return to democracy. See MOFA, “Japan-​Thailand Summit Meeting (October 16).”

The Japanese Business Community as a Diplomatic Asset | 195 43. Japanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs, “Japan-​ Thailand Summit Meeting,” November 13, 2014, https://​​s_​sa/​sea1/​th/​page24e_​000064.html (accessed May 5, 2021). As a comparison, the first time Prime Minister Prayut met with President Obama was in February 2016 in California, when the United States hosted the U.S.-​ASEAN Summit. 44. See Seng Tan et al., The State of Southeast Asia: 2020 (Singapore: ISEAS-​Yusof Ishak Institute, 2020). 45. Thailand has been particularly good in decoupling the political turmoil from business. Despite the 2005–​2006 political unrest that ended with a coup and the continuous street protests and the judicial coup that took place in 2008–​2010, the Thai economy was experiencing solid growth. Once, Prime Minister Abhisit joked that in Thailand, stocks rose on the day when the Stock Exchange Market building was set on fire. 46. Zachury Abuza, “America Should be Realistic about its Alliance with Thailand,” War on the Rocks, January 2, 2020, https://​​2020/​01/​america-​ should-​be-​realistic-​about-​its-​alliance-​with-​thailand/​. 47. The junta first ratified major Chinese portfolio investment for strategic telecommunication deals between China Mobile and True. The junta also relaxed its tourist visa policy for Chinese tourists to attract them. Chinese tourists became Thailand’s number one source of tourism revenue, and Thailand became the top destination for Chinese tourists throughout the globe. 48. Pavin Chachavalpongpun, “Prayuth’s Visit to Phnom Penh Reveals Cambodia’s Pragmatism,” Prachatai English, October 30, 2014, http://​​english/​ node/​4453. 49. Following an attack on a Chinese cargo ship on the Mekong River in October 2011, China advanced its security presence and capabilities in the river area. In 2013, the Yunnan Border Police launched a new unit, called the Waters Division, and to set up headquarters for an international joint patrol center with Laos, Myanmar and Thailand in Jinghong, China. 50. This view is presented in Thailand’s economic policy of “Thailand 4.0” and its Eastern Economic Corridor (EEC) project. While Thailand together with foreign investors identify the labor cost in Thailand as a competitive disadvantage, the key has been how to invite high value-​added industrial clusters and regional headquarters to the kingdom. Thus, for the military junta, listening to the foreign investors’ demand is a much-​needed aspect of governance. See Muk Sibunruang, “Thailand’s Eastern Economic Corridor” (ca. 2017), https://​​upload/​content/​Aviation_​ BOI%20roadshow_​Full%20version_​5ab4f81a06c70.pdf. 51. Elite reliance to foreign investment and the real estate market is described in Pasuk Phongpaichit, “Inequality, Wealth and Thailand’s Politics,” Journal of Contemporary Asia 46, no. 3 (2016): 405–​424. The strategy to position Thailand together with the Japanese supply chain was advanced not only from the business community but also from government leaders. Japanese Prime Minister Abe described Thailand as the “hub” of the Mekong Subregion. Japanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs, “Japan-​Thai Summit Meeting,” May 23, 2013, available at https://​​ mofaj/​kaidan/​page6_​000068.html (accessed May 5, 2021). 52. JCC Press Release, “On the Meeting with ACM Prajin Juntong at the Airforce HQ,” July 10, 2014.

196 | The Courteous Power 53. “Thailand Investment Environment and Investment Opportunity,” BOI Tokyo, July 14, 2014; Hiroki Mitsumata, “Investment Trend of Japanese Business in Thailand (Zai Tai Nikkei Kigyo no Toshi Doko),” Jan 31, 2019. 54. Despite its long-​term anxiety and frustration over the military rule and high labor costs, Japan still invested US$6.6 billion in Thailand in 2018, which is double the size of Japanese investment in India and Indonesia. In that sense, Thailand, through its negotiation with the local business groups, managed to depoliticize the Japanese business groups and prevent them from transferring abroad. This would not have happened to a country where the Japanese community was not as large and integrated as in Thailand. For example, Malaysia is a contrasting case, as Japanese investment had fallen 40 percent from 2014 to 2018 while Thailand grew by 120 percent during the same period. 55. The earliest exchange was between the JCC and the Thai Chamber of Commerce on June 3 to discuss how to restore international image of the post-​coup Thailand. The second contact took place when the JCC had a meeting with the Federation of Thai Industries specifically on the food processing industry on June 11. 56. See JETRO, 2015 Global Trade and Investment Report (Tokyo: JETRO, 2015). 57. JETRO, Analysis Report on Japanese-​ Thai business and investment in 2014 (Bangkok: JETRO, June 2015). 58. Secretary of State John Kerry, in his statement responding to the coup in Egypt in July 2013, never used the word “coup” or “democracy.” In his first meeting with President El Sisi in June 2014, one month after he criticized the “coup” and demanded “democracy” in Thailand, Kerry carefully avoided any usage of the term “democracy” in his speech and in his press conference. John Kerry, Secretary of State, “Violence in Egypt,” Press Statement, Washington, DC, July 6, 2013, available at https://​2009-​​ secretary/​remarks/​2013/​07/​211574.htm (accessed May 5, 2021); John Kerry, Secretary of State, “Remarks With Egyptian Foreign Minister Shoukry After Their, Meeting,” Remarks, Cairo, Egypt, June 22, 2014, available at https://​2009-​​secretary/​ remarks/​2014/​06/​228234.htm (accessed May 5, 2021).

9  |  J apan’s NGOs and Effective Development Cooperation in Mekong Countries Siriporn Wajjwalku

In 2016, at the 6th Tokyo International Conference on African Development in Kenya, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe delivered a speech introducing the Free and Open Indo-​Pacific (FOIP) concept with a focus on the importance of connectivity between two oceans and two continents. One pillar of Japan’s efforts toward this strategy is the pursuit of economic prosperity through enhancing connectivity, including quality infrastructure development.1 Based on this strategy, the Japanese government has provided development assistance to countries in Asia and Africa to improve and expand their infrastructure networks.2 As is well known, development assistance has been utilized as an economic and foreign policy tool by many countries, including Japan.3 However, the aid landscape has changed dramatically since the early 2000s, particularly with the inclusion of new aid actors, and the aid process has become more complicated.4 Increasingly, nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) have played a vital role in aid processes, as they are able to promote rights-​based approaches, shape development policy and partnerships, and oversee project implementation. Some of them also provide services in areas that are complementary to those provided by states.5 Accordingly, international aid experts have encouraged the governments of both developed and developing countries to involve NGOs in their aid policy process and project implementation, as well as in impact assessments for aid effectiveness. In addition, official debates on best practices have advanced beyond traditional approaches to “aid effectiveness” to focus on effective development cooperation, a concept that gives more attention to the development outcomes for beneficiaries in the recipient countries.6 197

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Japan has responded to the changing international aid environment by issuing a Development Cooperation Charter in 2015 outlining principles for effective and efficient development cooperation with its developing partner countries. Moreover, this charter also recognizes the importance of a partnership with civil society both within and outside Japan, including NGOs, other civil society organizations, and private foundations.7 The Japanese government and its leading aid agency, the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), have involved NGOs in their official development assistance (ODA) policy process since the late 1980s. As noted by Keiko Hirata and by Ampa Kaewkumkong and Watunyu Jaiborisudhi, in light of the increasing number and influence of Japanese NGOs, government officials have taken them as important partners shaping Japan’s ODA policy with the expectation of enhancing aid effectiveness in recipient countries.8 In addition, JICA has involved local NGOs in the partner developing countries by providing ODA to Japanese NGOs to work with local NGOs. At the same time, as the study by Hirata notes, many Japanese NGOs have established partnerships with local NGOs in developing countries as counterparts for policy formulation and project implementation by providing financial and material assistance, as well as knowledge and technology transfer. Some projects initiated and launched by Japanese NGOs are later transferred to local NGOs, supporting long-​term sustainability. Realizing the significance of local NGOs, many Japanese NGOs also work closely with local NGOs through regular meetings or joint projects.9 However, the Organization of Economic Cooperation and Development’s (OECD) 2014 peer review of Japan’s development practices reported: “Japan has improved its engagement with Japanese NGOs since the last peer review [in 2009], but its engagement with civil society in partner countries does not appear to be guided by clear policy or strategic objectives.”10 The report also suggested that “Japan should further engage with civil society in the countries where it works, based on a strategy and clear guidelines.”11 These comments by the OECD and information from Japanese agencies and scholars suggest that the engagement between Japanese aid implementing agencies, Japanese NGOs, and local NGOs has been a weak link in Japan’s aid provision. Kim Reimann argues that Japanese NGOs have limited autonomy due to their historical evolution and financial status.12 This lack of autonomy may make it difficult for Japanese NGOs to engage and support local NGOs, in terms of both financial assistance and policy advocacy.

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While agreeing with Reimann’s explanation, I argue in this chapter that Japanese NGOs’ limited autonomy is not the only factor impeding their collaboration with local NGOs. Different views between the Japanese government and local NGOs on Japan’s development cooperation policy toward the recipient country can also either prevent or support active engagement between Japanese and local NGOs. In particular, Japan’s focus on infrastructure-​led development has sometimes presented a barrier to cooperation between Japanese and local NGOs. To understand this more clearly, it is important to examine how Japanese NGOs function in aid processes to promote effective development cooperation in recipient countries with reference to development policy and projects concerning infrastructure construction and utilization of natural resources. At the same time, on the recipient side, local NGOs in many developing countries still have limited capacities, particularly in terms of policy dialogue, analysis, and advocacy.13 In addition, as local NGOs in developing countries have evolved based on their own political, economic, and social conditions, their perspectives and policy approach may differ from those of the Japanese NGOs, particularly on issues related to development policy and natural resources. Some local NGOs are known for being oriented against government policy, especially for policies related to development focusing on big infrastructure projects that may cause relocation and adverse environmental impacts for local people. In some cases, there have been conflicts between local people on one side and their governments and aid providers on the other. Local NGOs usually take part in those situations as supporters and/​or representatives of local communities.14 When aid projects generate this type of conflict, Japanese NGOs face the question of whether and how to engage with local NGOs. This chapter examines the challenges that Japanese aid agencies and NGOs face in their efforts to engage more productively with local NGOs. Both the Japanese government and NGOs may struggle to improve cooperation with local NGOs due to Japan’s development cooperation policy and practice and the limited autonomy of its NGOs. Local NGOs have always been concerned about development policy that emphasizes infrastructure projects, particularly when those projects have been formulated without proper local consultation and have possibility to cause environmental problems and forced relocation.15 Based on its own successful experience, Japanese development policy has promoted infrastructure-​ based growth as a key engine for development of the recipient countries.16 In addition, Japanese NGOs are typically partners of the Japanese government implementing government-​supported projects in the recipient

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countries.17 Different perspectives on development policy approaches as well as project formulation and implementation can be a source of tension between Japanese and local NGOs, which may limit opportunities for collaboration. Some Japanese NGOs are rather independent from the government in terms of funding and policy approach, and they are able to cooperate with local NGOs that share common principles of development. However, such NGOs have fewer channels to communicate with the Japanese government. As a result, the Japanese NGOs that are most effective at building trust and cooperation with local NGOs and understanding local development priorities may lack the ability to bring about policy change. This chapter will use the case of Japan’s aid policy to Mekong countries, with a focus on Cambodia and Thailand, to examine the validity of these arguments. This case is both illustrative and important, as the Mekong region has received significant attention and assistance from the Japanese government in recent years. With the Abe administration’s emphasis on the FOIP concept, the Mekong region has become the target of connectivity improvement, as evidenced by the announcement of the Tokyo Strategy for Mekong–​Japan Cooperation in 2018 and the promise of financial support for three years under the strategy.18 Under this strategy, the leaders of Japan and the Mekong countries agreed to collaborate with other stakeholders to support regional development and address water-​related issues in the Mekong River Basin. In fact, the Japanese government initiated and has sustained this strategy since 2010, and concurrently has assisted Mekong countries in several ways, including quality infrastructure development and water resources management under the Green Mekong Initiative. However, Japanese and local NGOs have doubted the effectiveness of those development projects, concerned that negative impacts have occurred due to inadequate consultation with local communities.19 This study employs mixed methods of data collection, namely documentary research and in-​depth interviews of involved persons and organizations, particularly JICA and selected Japanese NGOs focusing on natural resources and working in Mekong countries. I selected two Japanese NGOs, Mekong Watch and Japan Water Forum, as case studies. Mekong Watch is small but important, as it is operationally and financially independent from the Japanese government. It is also a rare type of Japanese NGO owing to the policy priority it places on the people of Japan’s aid-​recipient countries, who are usually under-​represented in Japan’s decision-​making process. In addition, Mekong Watch has strong

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grassroots ties with local NGOs in Japan’s aid-​recipient countries in the Mekong region, illustrating the potential for strong cooperation with local NGOs.20 Japan Water Forum, on the contrary, is a typical type of Japanese NGO that was established following the 3rd Water Forum—​ an event hosted by Japan in 2003 as a contact point for exchange and cooperation among water stakeholders in Japan and abroad. Its activities in Japan’s aid-​recipient countries involve partnerships among relevant stakeholders to produce effective results. Japan Water Forum has a former Japanese prime minister as the president of its advisory council and has the former vice minister of Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism as an advisory council member, together with chairpersons or directors or representatives from corporations, local authorities, and research institutions as partners and members.21 It thus maintains a good relationship with those actors, including government officials, and supports the government’s policy objectives while conducting development projects in the recipient countries.22 To understand local NGOs’ perspectives, I focused on two key NGOs in Mekong countries—​3S Rivers Protection Network in Cambodia and Rak Chiang Khong in Thailand—​both of which advocate for environmental justice and sound water resource management and support communities threatened by dam projects.23 This chapter proceeds in two parts: (1) an exploration of Japanese NGOs’ role in Japan’s aid policy and implementation and (2) a discussion of Japan’s development policy and the engagement between Japanese and local NGOs related to natural resources in the Mekong region. Japanese NGOs in Aid Processes

As a member of the OECD’s Development Assistance Committee, the world’s premier aid policy forum, Japan has committed to pursue the mission of effective development cooperation, particularly through the inclusion of new aid actors and a results-​oriented approach for development projects granted to recipient countries. This section will illustrate how Japanese NGOs evolved and transformed to become partners of the government, as well as how the government interacted with and included NGOs in its aid process. I argue that the partnership with NGOs helped the government to lessen domestic demands for political reform in Japanese society, and to fulfil Japan’s international commitments regrading deve­ lopment aid. For Japanese NGOs, partnership with the government provided opportunities to fund their activities abroad and strengthened their

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organizations, but it turned them largely into implementing agents of the government’s projects in the recipient countries. To support this argument, this section will explain the historical evolution of Japanese NGOs, their engagement with the Japanese government, and the conditions that support or limit their role in the aid process.24 Emergence: Pre-​1995

Despite their long history since the late nineteenth century,25 advocacy groups in Japan, compared with those in western democratic countries, have not consistently had a strong impact on the policy-​making process. This is particularly true in the area of foreign aid policy. As Hirata argues, foreign aid was considered a diplomatic tool of the government in the recipient countries, and as such, Japanese NGOs had little cooperation or contact with the government officials working on foreign aid policy until the end of the 1980s.26 Masaaki Ohashi notes that Japanese NGOs were critical of Japan’s ODA policy through the first half of the 1980s. Their first organized advocacy activity happened in 1986 in protest of the long-​term and large-​scale ODA to the Philippines that contributed to corruption issues by Philippine authorities.27 During the 1980s, Japanese NGOs existed without much recognition by the government, lacking legal status, financial resources, and official communication venues with the government. However, they were able to continue their advocacy work, focusing on social development and environmental conservation in the recipient countries.28 By the early 1990s, following criticism of aid effectiveness and several scandals, the Japanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) invited Japanese NGOs to apply for grants and implement development projects under the Grant Assistance for Grassroots Projects (GGP) scheme. This was an effort to increase domestic public understanding in Japan about the government’s ODA policy—​particularly the transparency, accountability, and effectiveness of aid.29 The GGP scheme and the involvement of Japanese NGOs in aid provision were expected to have two major positive effects. First, as ODA projects were granted and implemented in local communities with the cooperation of local governments or NGOs in the recipient countries, the scheme was expected to assure taxpayers in Japan about transparency and accountability. Second, as this type of project gave priority to direct contribution of aid to project beneficiaries, not government agencies as counterparts, the scheme was expected to deliver more effective development aid.

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Turning Point: Post-​1995

As a result of ODA reform following several scandals and criticism of aid effectiveness, MOFA changed its policy and practice toward NGOs after 1995. Instead of treating NGOs as a tool for domestic publicity only, MOFA involved NGOs in several aspects of aid policy, such as ODA reform, the aid provision process, and project implementation. By the late 1990s, MOFA had invited NGOs to join the ODA Reform Committee to provide comments and suggestions for improvement of ODA policy. In addition to focusing on efficiency and effectiveness of aid, MOFA tried to engage more with NGOs by initiating several new frameworks to collaborate and support them, such as the MOFA-​NGOs Regular Meeting, JICA-​NGOs Meeting, and other dialogues with NGOs on some specific issues.30 In terms of grant assistance, MOFA also provided subsidies for NGO projects, as well as continued existing programs, such as the GGP scheme and Volunteer Dispatch Project.31 As NGOs were still weak in terms of finance, organizational structure, and human resources, several new schemes and mechanisms were designed to support NGOs to be efficient implementing partners in the recipient countries as a supplement to activities and projects conducted by government agencies. The New Consultant Framework was one of several measures to strengthen NGOs by providing consulting services to them, particularly the know-​how related to organizational management, the procedure to gain legal status, access to information on aid-​receiving countries,32 and project implementation and budgeting.33 These MOFA initiatives signified the increased importance of NGOs and an attempt of the government to support and engage with them. However, these initiatives also saw many NGOs become grantees of Japanese government funds to implement government projects in developing countries for their own financial security and progress.34 Concurrently, after the Hanshin-​Awaji earthquake in 1995, Japanese NGOs became more active in social issues of both national and global import. However, the lack of a legal framework to recognize NGOs made it difficult to access resources. This was the critical obstacle preventing NGOs from actively conducting activities and participating in the newly initiated government scheme. This experience made NGOs demand a regulation that would support them to overcome such difficulties.35 The Law to Promote Specified Nonprofit Activities, or “NPO Law” for short, was issued by the government in 1998 to address such concerns. Essentially, this law enabled unincorporated associations to gain the legal status of

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specified non-​ profit activity associations, which helped them access more public and private funding. Consequently, through application and approval by authorities indicated in the law, the number of NGOs with legal status increased sharply in what became known as the era of the NGO boom.36 In addition, in this environment, NGOs shifted their orientation toward the government. As the Japan NPO Center notes, compared with the pre-​1998 NGOs’ anti-​government attitude, the post-​1998 NGOs adjusted to the new environment of the NPO Law to take advantage of more available government and private funding.37 In general, NGOs became less critical of the government as they sought legal status and the benefits that came with the relationship with the government. By the end of the decade, two parallel trends were evident. While the government had tried to formalize NGOs and incorporate them into the government’s structure of ODA policy and strategy, the NGOs also tried to figure out their survival and expand their roles in aid processes. In addition, while the government’s practice might weaken NGOs by making them more dependent on the government’s funds, the NGOs with more opportunities to communicate with the government and access to its funding gained recognition in aid policy and process.38 NGOs thus became partners of the government and project implementers in the recipient countries. In the 2000s, the inclusion of NGOs in the Japanese aid process was firmly institutionalized due to MOFA’s concerns about aid e­ ffectiveness,39 and the increasing role and engagement of NGOs at both national and international levels. Domestically, the Revised Official Development Assistance Charter of 2003 referred to NGOs and their roles as partners with the government.40 In practice, MOFA continuously invited NGOs to participate in the ODA Reform Committee to obtain their comments, signifying the importance of NGOs. MOFA also provided support to them through several existing channels, such as subsidies for NGO projects, GGP projects, and capacity building support for NGOs,41 as well as some new channels such as the JICA Partnership Program and country-​based ODA Task Forces.42 Internationally, due to increasing disasters and political conflicts in many places around the world, Japanese NGOs with support of the Japanese government became involved in humanitarian operations abroad more frequently and on a larger scale.43 These activities led to much closer and deeper collaboration between the government and NGOs. From the NGOs’ side, the distinguishing milestone during this period might be their contribution in the process of drafting the Japan Bank

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for International Cooperation (JBIC)’s Guidelines for Confirmation of Environmental and Social Considerations in 2002 and JICA’s Revised Guidelines for Environmental and Social Considerations during 2003–​ 2004.44 As environmental issues gained more attention from the international community in which Japan sought to play a leading role, Japanese aid implementing agencies, namely JICA and JBIC, needed to take measures to guarantee and promote sustainable development in recipient countries. Concurrently, as the role of NGOs became more accepted at both domestic and international levels for being conducive to sustainable development, Japanese NGOs were included in the drafting process of those guidelines.45 The NGOs involved, such as Mekong Watch, with its experience gathered from local areas and people affected by environmental degradation, viewed this participation and partnership with government agencies as essential to convince government officials to incorporate their ideas and local concerns into the guidelines.46 The government also appreciated this process, as it provided legitimacy for the government to conduct large-​scale infrastructure projects in the recipient countries with the application of these guidelines.47 The Indo-​Pacific Era: A Struggle for Growth and Independence

The second decade of the twenty-​first century, corresponding roughly to the Indo-​Pacific era, opened a new page in Japan’s aid policy and NGOs’ role. Partly, this was a result of the inclusion of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) at the center of aid policy. The SDGs provided more opportunities for the government and NGOs to collaborate both within the donor country and in the recipient countries. The partnership between NGOs and the government had been institutionalized in documents and actual processes undertaken by MOFA and JICA through three schemes. These included regular meetings, dialogues, and consultations with NGOs regarding aid policy and NGO partnerships; financial assistance for NGO projects overseas; and mechanisms to support NGOs’ capacity building.48 In addition, MOFA and NGOs jointly developed a plan outlining the direction of their collaboration over the next five years.49 For NGOs, the government’s available funding and other types of support were perceived as important sources to continue and expand their activities as well.50 As discussed above, the relationship between the Japanese government and NGOs has been developed along the line of a “partnership” to serve the purposes of each side. While the government involved NGOs to satisfy

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demands for public participation and understanding, as well as to meet its international commitments, NGOs have engaged with the government for access to resources, namely projects and funding. This type of relationship, which seems to satisfy both sides, reflects the significant degree to which Japanese NGOs have been “invited by the state.”51 Through this partnership, NGOs have engaged in the aid process as implementing agents of the government’s project. Although there exists regular dialogue and occasional consultation, they are initiated and conducted by MOFA. This partnership was seen as a double-​edged sword. On the one hand, with its authority to select organizations and projects that it wishes to support, MOFA may gain both financial and political influence over NGOs.52 On the other hand, the involvement of NGOs helps increase the efficiency of aid policy and practice.53 In the end, as Hirata argues, this partnership has both positive and negative effects for both sides, and it is important for both sides to increase opportunities for engagement.54 Japan and Development in Mekong Countries: Interactions between Japanese and Local Actors

Since the end of the Cold War, the Mekong Region has been a target of Japanese aid provision. During the past three decades, Japan has provided a huge amount of aid to the Mekong countries in three forms: grants, loans, and technical cooperation.55 This has occurred through a large number of projects in many sectors, mainly economic development, infrastructure construction, and natural resource management. This section will explain how Japan and the Mekong countries engage with each other regarding the development of the Mekong River Basin, particularly the area along the mainstream of the Mekong River and its tributaries in Cambodia and Thailand.56 The main topic of discussion is the evolution of Japan’s development cooperation policy and projects based on the principle of national ownership and a results-​oriented approach in those recipient countries. Specifically, the role of Japanese and local NGOs and their engagement with each other and with governments of both sides will be examined in order to understand factors that prevent or support close cooperation and smooth relationships. Development of the Mekong Region and Japan’s Aid Policy: Pre-​2009

After the peace settlement in the region in the early 1990s, developing countries in the Mekong region turned to economic development and

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looked for financial support from the international community and partner countries. During the 1990s, Japan provided support to Mekong countries, mainly bilaterally, with the aim of reconstruction and economic transition. Region-​wide development policies were also initiated, such as the Ministerial Forum for the Comprehensive Development of Indochina in 1995.57 In the 2000s, while bilateral cooperation continued, support also grew through multilateral channels, such as a regional cooperation framework called the Greater Mekong Sub-​region (GMS) and international and regional organizations, including the Asian Development Bank and Mekong River Commission (MRC).58 In addition, before the end of the decade, MOFA launched several more policies to support Mekong coun­tries, such as the Cambodia–​Laos–​Vietnam (CLV) Development Triangle, Japan–​Mekong Partnership Program, and Japan–​CLV Summit.59 These activities increased communication between Japan and Mekong countries on several levels, and they provided greater opportunities for Mekong countries to access financial sources for development projects. Consequently, through those policies and cooperation, Mekong countries were connected into a regional development platform and gradually deepened their relationship with Japan. From the Tokyo Strategy for Mekong–​Japan Cooperation to the FOIP Strategy

The year 2009 marked significant progress in Japan–​Mekong relations, particularly in terms of development cooperation. As the ASEAN integration process advanced steadily, the need to narrow the development gap between the founding ASEAN members and the newly entered ASEAN members was obvious.60 Japan realized its crucial role, as a development partner, to facilitate this process by providing both financial support and capacity building to those countries following their requests. Announced as the “Mekong-​Japan Exchange Year” in 2009, the First Mekong–​Japan Summit was convened to establish a “New Partnership for the Common Flourishing Future.” This summit has since occurred annually. To solidify the policy, the Tokyo Declaration of the first meeting and Japan Action Plan 63 were announced in 2009 and followed by an Action Plan for “A Decade toward the Green Mekong” Initiative in 2010, which set out guidelines for JICA and for project formulation and implementation in recipient countries. Due to the dynamic development of the Mekong countries, the development strategy and action plan continue to be renewed and improved every three years.61

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Through regular summits, Japan and the Mekong countries confirm their cooperation and commitment for both national and regional development, address their common concerns, and promote collective and peaceful management and utilization of trans-​boundary resources for development of the whole river basin. The Tokyo Strategy for Mekong–​ Japan Cooperation, revised and announced every three years, has set a common development direction and predictable financial support for development projects in those countries. In particular, according to the Tokyo Strategy 2018 for Mekong–​Japan Cooperation announced following the introduction of the FOIP strategy in 2016, the Japanese government has drafted a plan and budget for projects in the Mekong region under a platform called “Mekong-​Japan Cooperation Projects in synergy with Japan’s policy to realize a free and open Indo-​Pacific.” This platform lists projects with their locations, type of projects and amount of budget, as well as the purpose of projects following the FOIP’s objectives.62 The core idea of all these strategies was the comprehensive and sustainable development of Mekong countries by strengthening connectivity, creating quality growth, and ensuring human security. In practice, connectivity was interpreted as infrastructure construction projects,63 with the belief that infrastructure would lead to economic growth.64 In addition, infrastructure projects would create jobs and contribute to growth.65 This belief has been one prominent principle of Japanese aid derived from Japan’s own experience of development focusing on infrastructure and industrialization since the post-​war period.66 The social and environmental impacts in the recipient countries were taken into consideration, however, by applying environmental and social consideration guidelines to the project approval and implementation process. With the principles of request-​based aid and non-​interference, the Japanese government respected the responsibility and decision made by the governments of recipient countries in management of the development projects including the relocation of and compensation for local communities.67 The recipient governments of Mekong countries, eager to accomplish their development goals, generally welcomed the Japanese government’s approach to the promotion of economic growth, and they certainly welcomed the infrastructure projects supported by Japanese aid.68 Following the achievement of those infrastructure projects based on development plans and strategies of recipient countries,69 the recipient governments and the Japanese government could claim that the Japanese development

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policy and projects were relevant to the recipient countries’ development goals. This aligned with the principle that effective aid requires strong national ownership, codified in documents such as the Paris Declaration on Aid Effectiveness and Global Partnership for Effective Development Cooperation.70 This is one important way that Japan engages with Southeast Asian partners as a “courteous power,” listening to their preferences and accommodating them to a considerable extent.71 However, from both Japanese and local NGOs’ perspectives, this infrastructure-​focused development aid policy was initiated and decided by governments on both sides through “high politics,”72 in which there was no space for both Japanese and local NGOs to join. Without invitations, it would be difficult for NGOs to join the meetings convened by government officials of any line ministries. Again on the practical level, JICA implemented development projects—​particularly those involving loans for infrastructure construction—​in cooperation with recipient governments through their counterpart organizations. As a result, Japanese and local NGOs were not closely involved in the process. Although JICA had engaged Japanese NGOs in the aid process as an implementing unit, the projects granted to NGOs were usually small in terms of size and budget due to the fact that most entailed grants or technical cooperation.73 In fact, among Japanese NGOs, different views and practices regarding aid policy making and development project implementing should be noted. Japanese advocacy NGOs such as Mekong Watch, which are concerned about the environment and livelihood of local people, as well as being intentionally independent, chose not to participate in the MOFA-​ NGOs Regular Meeting. This gave them limited communication channels with MOFA, the key organization responsible for ODA policy.74 Taking a different policy approach to development, Mekong Watch believes that development should produce benefits to local people without trading off their livelihood or making them victims of destructive development projects, particularly large-​scale infrastructure.75 Specifically, Mekong Watch has given strong emphasis to human security and called for fundamental changes to Japanese ODA policy, particularly the shift of funding direction from infrastructure construction to health care, education, and other areas of human security.76 Mekong Watch has advocated for development policy with a focus on human security through several channels, for example, by joining the meetings convened by government agencies (such as the Ministry of Finance, JICA, and JBIC); conducting research about the effects of development projects in Mekong countries; and disseminating information to both Japanese and local people to raise

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awareness about environmental impact.77 Mekong Watch sometimes has conducted these activities in cooperation with other Japanese NGOs, such as Friends of Earth, Global Environmental Forum, Japan Center for a Sustainable Environment and Society, and others.78 However, Mekong Watch primarily has pursued activities to educate or support common people in Mekong countries and has engaged far less often in formal meetings and policy debates with government officials, resulting in fewer opportunities to direct or re-​direct development policy initiated by both the Japanese and Mekong governments.79 Unlike Mekong Watch, some NGOs receive financial support from and maintain communication with the Japanese government, particularly MOFA. However, they generally have not participated in policymaking processes due to its nature as high politics, nor have they been a part of big project implementation owing to the normal practice of JICA’s project management process. Generally, they have carried out small-​scale development projects in the recipient countries in collaboration with either local authorities or NGOs. These projects were mainly grant projects providing basic needs to support local communities.80 Other Japanese NGOs with closer ties to government ministries, besides MOFA, also conducted development projects at the grassroots level in developing countries, including the Mekong countries. Japan Water Forum, for example, has served as a coordinator among water stakeholders both within and outside the Mekong region. It communicated with the Japanese Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism and other government authorities, as well as the business sector and NGOs, to achieve its aims of providing policy recommendations, conducting grassroots activity, transmitting Japanese know-​how to the world, raising awareness, and conducting capacity building.81 To foster cooperation with local NGOs in Mekong countries, Japan Water Forum supported a new Grassroots Activity Program, applying Japanese experience to help developing countries such as Laos with water resource management.82 Those projects, including the one in Laos, were rather small in size and budget, and focused on basic needs for local communities.83 While local NGOs were involved, their cooperation was limited to project implementation. In view of the basic needs provided by the project, those local NGOs were satisfied with this type of cooperation, as seen in the project called Water Supply Improvement in Rural Village of Ban Paen Village, Xiengkhouang Province in Laos.84 However, there was another type of local NGO in the Mekong region, such as 3S Rivers Protection Network in Cambodia and Rak Chiang

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Khong in Thailand. These local NGOs have paid more attention to the impact of infrastructure projects. They have demanded serious consultation prior to project formulation and implementation regarding positive and negative impacts of development projects.85 Although MOFA has seriously considered information collected by the ODA Task Forces located in the recipient countries,86 this process might not include sufficient local voices, as task force reports have been conducted mainly by Japanese government officials and NGOs. While both Japanese and local governments have regarded Japan’s pro-​infrastructure and economic growth-​oriented development policy to be appropriate and effective, local NGOs have had doubts about the wealth distribution and impacts to beneficiaries.87 Specifically, while the recipient governments have applauded the infrastructure projects that contributed to the achievement of national economic growth, many local communities have been negatively affected by those infrastructure projects and have not benefited economically. Local communities required to relocate to make way for infrastructure projects have faced job and food insecurity, environmental degradation, and inadequate compensation.88 In response, the local NGOs as representatives of affected local communities have demanded a reorientation of national development policy to place greater emphasis on people-​centered development.89 They expected that Japan and other donor countries would agree with their proposals, which were different from their national governments’ plans. Under these circumstances, local NGOs concerned about the impact of development infrastructure found that they could cooperate with Japanese NGOs that shared the same development principles, such as Mekong Watch.90 They found less basis for cooperation with Japanese NGOs that were partners of and supported by the Japanese government. Water Resources Management and the Green Mekong Initiative

Realizing the significance of water resources, Japan has continuously provided development assistance in the water sector to many developing countries, including those in the Mekong Region. JICA’s basic policies in the water sector have focused on steady safe water supply, comprehensive water management, water quality improvement, and water for agriculture and irrigation systems.91 To align with Japan’s agreements and commitments at the global level, such as World Water Forums and the SDGs, JICA also has prioritized integrated water resources management, ensuring efficient and sustainable supply of safe water, and managing

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water related disasters.92 Japan’s aid in the water sector has concentrated on relatively uncontroversial projects. Most have involved technical cooperation for capacity building, with an emphasis on data collection and monitoring systems, which are useful for beneficiaries and require coordination at the grassroots level.93 Since 2010, the Green Mekong Initiative, as a part of the Tokyo Strategy for Mekong–​Japan Cooperation, has been implemented. It has employed the concept of human security with significant attention on sustainable development and eco-​conscious utilization of natural resources in the Mekong Region. Under this initiative and together with JICA’s basic policy on water, JICA has provided financial support as well as capacity building to Mekong countries.94 In addition, with its successful experience of water management, Japan has promoted and applied its knowledge and technology to development projects granted to Mekong countries.95 This policy approach, for some Japanese NGOs, opened the opportunity to collaborate with and attract several types of resources including funding and know-​how from several sources, including JICA and MOFA and other related ministries and private funds. In practice, several projects related to water issues were implemented by Japanese NGOs, either with government support or their own funds and with the cooperation of either local NGOs or communities, such as construction of wells or reservoirs for water supply, or dredging mud or building dikes for flood prevention.96 Japan Water Forum, for example, has a wide network with the private sector and the Ministries of Land, Infrastructure, Transport, and Tourism; Economy, Trade and Industry; Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries; and Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology.97 It is thus able not only to conduct activities at both policy and implementation levels, but also to secure its finances. In addition, through donations, Japan Water Forum manages to grant several selected small projects annually to grassroots organizations in the recipient countries, including countries in the Mekong region.98 On the one hand, this activity reflects the same practice as that of a majority of NGOs in Japan. Japan Water Forum acts as a partner of the government, communicating frequently with the government and pursuing projects that align with the government’s policy focusing on water supply. On the other hand, by granting financial support to selected projects conducted by grassroots organizations including local NGOs in recipient countries, the practice of Japan Water Forum also illustrates the donor-​recipient relations between Japanese and local NGOs.

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Some local NGOs, such as Rak Chiang Khong and its network, believed that, in order to secure the water supply and prevent water-​ related disasters, the application of local knowledge about sound water management together with modern technology might be a more sustainable solution.99 In addition, local NGOs and some Japanese NGOs with similar views—​such as Mekong Watch—​believed that local consultation and participation was critical for project success and aid effectiveness. These NGOs conducted several activities to call for reconsideration and revision of proposed plans and projects so their formulation and decision-​making processes would involve local voices and reflect local concerns.100 Similar to the approach taken in infrastructure projects, Japanese and local NGOs were able to cooperate on water resource management issues. At the same time, the way that the Japanese government framed water issues in the Mekong region reflected its emphasis on water resource management with the reference to Integrated Water Resource Management (IWRM) and regional organizations, such as the Mekong River Commission (MRC).101 Managing the Mekong River Basin requires coordination and cooperation among riparian countries, and Japan, through JICA, has been a long-​time supporter in terms of both financial and human resources for the MRC, the regional organization coordinating among Mekong countries, particularly those that are mid-​and downstream. However, as an intergovernmental organization that gives high respect to state sovereignty, the MRC had a limited ability to fulfill the expectations of its members, which caused dissatisfaction, particularly at the local level.102 In addition, since 2008, the MRC has pursued an Initi­ ative on Sustainable Hydropower, a coordinated program across MRC’s other existing programs to help member countries that are interested in hydropower development to secure energy and promote growth.103 Local NGOs were concerned that the development of hydropower would cause problems related to water allocation between upstream and downstream countries. They believed dam constructions in the Mekong River could result in unsustainable development and harm to local people’s livelihoods.104 Several local NGOs sent a petition to the MRC as well as governments of the MRC’s members asking for inclusive consultation with a wide group of stakeholders.105 Mekong Watch, as an ally of local NGOs, also sent requests to the MRC and the Japanese government asking them to reconsider support for the study related to the dam construction project.106 This effort failed to stop the construction. Nevertheless, it created opportunities for Japanese and local NGOs to cooperate on the

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issue. For example, they collaborated on data collection about impacts of the project and information dissemination to local communities, as well as awareness raising.107 Conclusion

In the current Indo-​Pacific era, the Mekong region has gained more attention from the Japanese government as a crucial destination for development aid, but the record of collaboration among several actors in the aid process is mixed. Although JICA has continued its main function of aid provider and project implementer in the region, the distinguishing role of Japanese NGOs as coordinators and project implementers has been increasing. Depending on their legal status, financial source, and type of activities, Japanese NGOs’ relationship with their own government and local NGOs are varied. Some scholars believe the lack of autonomy and weakness of Japanese NGOs has prevented the development of stronger ties with local NGOs.108 However, the role and function of Japanese NGOs in aid processes as implementing agents of the government and their limited ability to challenge the government’s policy are also important factors. This represents an important drawback of Japan’s status as a courteous power, as its official efforts to respect and accommodate Southeast Asian government preferences can limit the local credibility and efficacy of Japanese NGOs. This chapter has shown that it is possible for Japanese NGOs to cultivate close ties to local NGOs, as Mekong Watch has done. On sensitive issues like water management and infrastructure, however, Japanese NGOs with enough independence to forge ties with local civil society may lack the ties to the Japanese government to influence key policy choices. This needs to change if Japanese ODA is to have the best possible development impact. Local NGOs perspectives on development should be taken seriously into consideration. In addition, more attention should be paid to Japan’s policy and strategy toward Mekong countries, particularly its development cooperation policy, which influences aid process and effectiveness. In order to promote more collaboration with local NGOs, the Japanese government may need to not only improve its relationship with NGOs, but also reconsider its policy related to development cooperation with the region by giving priority to local beneficiaries rather than the recipient governments, as well as shifting the emphasis on infrastructure to more multidimensional development projects.

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In addition, the local context of the Mekong region regarding water issues should not be neglected. Local NGOs have emerged or evolved in response to the inaccessibility or over-​utilization of natural resources, which heavily affects the livelihoods of local communities. In order for Japan to accomplish the goals identified in the OECD-​DAC Peer Review, establish itself as a leading development partner, and meet the development goals embedded in the FOIP strategy, the Japanese government and Japanese NGOs need to alter their perspective and approach toward local actors in recipient countries. NOTES 1. Japanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA), MOFA’s Diplomatic Bluebook 2019 (Tokyo: MOFA, 2019). 2. Japanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs, White Paper on Development Cooperation 2017 (Tokyo: MOFA, 2017); Japanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs, White Paper on Development Cooperation 2018 (Tokyo: MOFA, 2018). 3. Carol Lancaster, Foreign Aid: Diplomacy, Development, Domestic Politics (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2008). 4. Wolfgang Fengler and Homi Kharas, “Overview: Delivering Aid Differently,” Delivering Aid Differently: Lessons from the Field, eds. Wolfgang Fengler and Homi Kharas (Washington, DC: Brookings Institution Press, 2010), 1–​42; Myles A. Wickstead, Aid and Development: A Brief Introduction (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2015). 5. Organisation for Economic Co-​operation and Development (OECD), Busan Partnership for Effective Development Co-​operation (Paris: OECD, 2011), available at https://​​development/​effectiveness/​busanpartnership.htm (accessed May 5, 2021). 6. Shannon Kindornay and Bill Morton, “Development Effectiveness: Towards New Understandings,” Development Cooperation Series (2009), 1–​6. 7. Japanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs, White Paper on Development Cooperation 2015 (Tokyo: MOFA, 2015). 8. Keiko Hirata, Civil Society in Japan: The Growing Role of NGO’s in Tokyo’s Aid and Development Policy (Springer, 2002), 56–​57; Ampa Kaewkumkong and Watunyu Jaiborisudhi, “The Role and Participation of Japanese NGOs in Environmental Conservation in Cambodia,” International Journal of East Asian Studies 20, no. 1 (2016): 56. 9. Hirata, Civil Society, 73. 10. Organisation for Economic Co-​operation and Development (OECD), OECD Development Co-​operation Peer Reviews: Japan (2014), 18, available at https://​www.​dac/​peer-​reviews/​peer-​review-​japan.htm (accessed May 5, 2021). 11. OECD, OECD Development Co-operation Peer Reviews: Japan. 12. Kim Reimann, “Building Global Civil Society from the Outside in? Japanese International Development NGOs, the State, and International Norms,” The State of Civil Society in Japan, eds. Frank J. Schwartz and Susan J. Pharr (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2003), 313.

216 | The Courteous Power 13. Japan NGO Center for International Cooperation, JANIC Issue Paper No. 1: NGOs and Development Effectiveness in Japan: Strengthening Advocacy, Accountability and NGOs Support (2010), 28. 14. The cases of 3S Rivers Protection Network in Cambodia and Rak Chiang Khong in Thailand are explicit examples. 15. Sunil Subhanrao Pednekar, “NGOs and Natural Resource Management in Mainland Southeast Asia,” The TDRI Quarterly Newsletter 10, no. 3 (1995); Ektewan Manowong and Stephen O. Ogunlana, “The Roles of Non-​Governmental Organizations in Development Projects: Experiences from Thailand,” www.irbnet. de>daten>iconda>CIB6072.pdf. 16. Ryo Fujikura and Mikiyasu Nakayama, “Origins of Japanese Aid Policy–​Post-​ war Reconstruction, Reparations, and World Bank Projects,” Japan’s Development Assistance: Foreign Aid and the Post-​2015 Agenda, eds. Hiroshi Kato, John Page, and Yasutami Shimomura (Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, 2016), 39–​55. 17. Japanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Japan’s ODA White Paper 2003 (Tokyo: MOFA, 2003); Japanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Japan’s Official Development Assistance Charter 2003 (Tokyo: MOFA, 2003). 18. Japanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Tokyo Strategy 2018 for Mekong-​Japan Cooperation (Tokyo: MOFA, 2018). 19. This concern was raised explicitly in Mekong Watch’s annual reports during 2010–​2012. After that, it has been raised through the projects monitoring on infrastructure conducted by Mekong Watch in each country of Mekong region until recently. See Mekong Watch, Annual Reports 2010-​2018, available at http://​​ english/​about/​index.html#SEC6 (accessed May 5, 2021). 20. Mekong Watch, “About us,” https://​​english/​about/​index. html (accessed May 5, 2021); interview by author, May 22, 2019. 21. Japan Water Forum, “About us,”​en/​about-​us/​ (accessed May 5, 2021). 22. Japan Water Forum shares the same idea as the Japanese government regarding the transmission or utilization of successful Japanese experiences in development for recipient countries. See more information in Japan Water Forum, “Norther Water Network,” https://​​en/​what-​we-​do/​nownet/​ (accessed May 5, 2021). 23. 3S Rivers Protection Network serves as a coordinating body of local NGOs in the country working on support for communities affected and threatened by hydropower dam construction on the Sesan, Srepok, and Sekong Rivers, which are the Mekong’s tributaries in Northern Cambodia. See “3S Rivers Protection Network,” https://​www. ccc-​​en/​ngodb/​ngo-​information/​1807; Mark Grimsditch, 3S Rivers Under Threat, International Rivers (2012), https://​​sites/​default/​ files/​attached-​files/​3s_​rivers_​english.pdf; discussion with author, October 8, 2019. Rak Chiang Khong is a local NGO in Northern Thailand focusing on sustainable water utilization and management. In addition to focusing on sustainable resource management, Rak Chiang Khong also conducts activities related to dam or dike construction over Mekong’s tributaries in Northern Thailand and navigation issues in the Mekong River. See “Rak Chiang Khong Group,”​organizations/​view/​749; discussion with author, October 8, 2019. 24. This chapter uses the term NGOs, applying Hirata’s definition. According to Hirata, “NGOs refer to non-​profit organizations in Japan engaged in overseas aid

Japan’s NGOs and Effective Development Cooperation | 217 programs, such as development assistance and emergency relief. They are voluntary, non-​profit, self-​governing, non-​political (i.e., whose primary goal is not promoting candidates for electoral office), and non-​proselytizing organizations engaged in international affairs.” Hirata, Civil Society, 12. 25. Sheldon Garon, “From Meiji to Heisei: The State and Civil Society in Japan,” in The State of Civil Society in Japan, ed. Frank J. Schwartz and Susan J. Pharr (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2003), 42–​62; Mary Alice Haddad, Building Democracy in Japan (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2012), 46–​72. 26. Hirata, Civil Society, 57. 27. Masaaki Ohashi, “NGOs and Japan’s ODA: Critical Views and Advocacy,” in Japan’s Development Assistance, ed. Hiroshi Kato, John Page, and Yasutami Shimomura (Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, 2016), 328. 28. Masahiko Moe, Between Co-​operation and Confrontation: The Government-​NGO Relationship in Japan’s Official Development Assistance (Master’s thesis, University of Victoria, 2012), 68–​70; Ohashi, “NGOs and Japan’s ODA,” 336–​338; Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), Understanding Japanese NGOs from Facts and Practices (2008),​pdf/​11881265.pdf. 29. Japanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Japan’s Official Development Assistance (ODA) Annual Report 1994 (Tokyo: MOFA, 1994). 30. Japanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Japan’s Official Development Assistance (ODA) Annual Reports 1997, 1998, 1999, available at https://​​policy/​ oda/​evaluation/​index.html (accessed May 5, 2021). 31. Japanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Japan’s Official Development Assistance (ODA) Annual Report 1998 (Tokyo: MOFA, 1998). 32. Japanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Japan’s Official Development Assistance (ODA) Annual Report 1999 (Tokyo: MOFA, 1999). 33. Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), interview by author, May 20, 2019. 34. The information about self-​financed NGO cooperation reported in Japan’s 1999 ODA Annual Report showed Japan with the highest ratio of NGO grants to ODA at 1:42 (compared to 1:2.7 for the United States, 1:6.2 for Germany, and 1:11 for the United Kingdom). MOFA, Annual Report 1999. 35. Yamamoto Tadashi, “Emergence of Japan’s Civil Society and Its Future Challenges,” in Deciding the Public Goods: Governance and Civil Society in Japan, ed. Yamamoto Tadashi (Tokyo: Japan Center for International Exchange, 1999), 97–​124; Japan NPO Center, “About NPO Law,”​en/​nonprofits-​in-​japan/​about-​npo-​law/​ (accessed May 5, 2021). 36. Koichi Hasegawa, “Volunteerism and the State in Japan,” The Asia-​Pacific Journal/​ Japan Focus 5, no. 12 (2007); JICA, Understanding Japanese NGOs. 37. Staff of the Japan NPO Center, discussion with author, May 21, 2019. 38. Fumitaka Furuoka, “The Role of Non-​Governmental Organizations (NGOs) in Japan’s Foreign Aid Policy,” MPRA Paper No. 7418 (2008). 39. The Japanese MOFA realized the capacity of NGOs in terms of good knowledge on local conditions and needs, speed and flexibility in aid delivery, and close cooperation with local NGOs, communities, and people. The involvement of NGOs would complement MOFA’s activities in recipient countries, resulting in effective aid. MOFA, Japan’s ODA White Paper 2003.

218 | The Courteous Power 40. MOFA, Japan’s ODA Charter 2003 (Revised). 41. Japanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Japan’s Official Development Assistance White Paper 2002 (Tokyo: MOFA, 2002). 42. MOFA, Japan’s ODA White Paper 2003; Japan International Cooperation Agency, Annual Report 2004 (Tokyo: JICA, 2004); Japan International Cooperation Agency, Annual Report 2005 (Tokyo: JICA, 2005). 43. Japanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Japan’s Official Development Assistance White Paper 2006 (Tokyo: MOFA, 2006). 44. Ohashi, “NGOs and Japan’s ODA,” 336–​338. 45. Ohashi, “NGOs and Japan’s ODA.” 46. Mekong Watch, interview by author, May 22, 2019. 47. After organizational reform in 2008, the JICA Guidelines for Environmental and Social Consideration have been applied to development projects requested by the recipient countries. The main content of the guidelines aims for the avoidance or minimization of risks that must be realized as an integral part of the project itself, with its cost included into the development cost. Such risks include negative impacts on the environment or society, such as pollution, loss of natural habitats, involuntary resettlement, infringement of people’s rights, etc. Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), Guidelines for Environmental and Social Consideration 2010 (Tokyo: JICA, 2010). 48. Japanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Development Cooperation Charter 2015; Japanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Japan’s Official Development Assistance White Paper 2015; Japan International Cooperation Agency, Annual Report 2017; Japan International Cooperation Agency, Annual Report 2018; Japan International Cooperation Agency, Annual Report 2019. 49. Japanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs, White Paper on Development Cooperation 2015. 50. Japan NPO Center and Japan NGO Center for International Cooperation, discussions with author, May 21, 2019. 51. Akihiro Ogawa, Failure of Civil Society? The Third Sector and the State in Contemporary Japan (Albany, NY: SUNY Press, 2009), 93–​116. 52. Moe, Between Co-​operation and Confrontation, 59–​60. 53. Furuoka, “The Role of Non-​Governmental Organizations.” 54. Keiko Hirata, “Whither the Developmental State? The Growing Role of NGOs in Japanese Aid Policy Making,” Journal of Comparative Policy Analysis 4, no. 3 (2002): 165–​188. 55. See Japanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs, “Japan’s ODA data by country,” https://​​policy/​oda/​data/​index.html (accessed May 5, 2021). 56. In this chapter, the Mekong countries refer to Cambodia, Lao PDR, Myanmar, and Vietnam (CLMV) with a focus in this chapter on Cambodia as the case study. Although Thailand is located in the Mekong region, due to its better economic status, Japan has regarded Thailand as a partner to support the CLMV. 57. Japanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Japan’s Official Development Assistance Annual Report 1996 (Tokyo: MOFA, 1996). 58. Japanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Japan’s Official Development Assistance White Papers 2001-​2008, available at https://​​policy/​oda/​page_​000017. html (accessed May 5, 2021). 59. MOFA, Japan’s ODA White Papers 2006, 2007, 2008.

Japan’s NGOs and Effective Development Cooperation | 219 60. The first six ASEAN members were Thailand, the Philippines, Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia, and Brunei. Vietnam, Laos, Myanmar, and Cambodia joined later. 61. Japanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Tokyo Strategy and Action Plan 63 (Tokyo: MOFA, 2009); Tokyo Strategy 2012 for Mekong-​Japan Cooperation (Tokyo: MOFA, 2012); New Tokyo Strategy 2015 for Mekong-​Japan Cooperation (Tokyo: MOFA, 2015); Tokyo Strategy 2018 for Mekong-​Japan Cooperation (Tokyo: MOFA, 2018). 62. See details in Japanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs, “Mekong-​Japan Cooperation Projects in Synergy with Japan’s Policy to Realize a Free and Open Indo-​Pacific,” https://​​files/​000406735.pdf (accessed May 5, 2021). 63. For example, according to JICA’s Country Assistance Policy for Cambodia in 2012, the basic assistance policy for Cambodia was steady and sustainable economic growth and balanced development. Following this basic policy, three priority areas were identified, namely, strengthening of the economic base, promotion of social development, and strengthening of governance. Under the area of strengthening the economic base, the development of economic infrastructure was emphasized particularly on five specific issues, namely, the development of road network systems centered on the Southern Economic Corridor; the development of the areas around the Sihanoukville Port; the development of a stable electric supply system; the development of ICT infrastructure; and the improvement of logistics systems. See details in Japan International Cooperation Agency, “Maps of JICA Major Projects: Cambodia,” July 1, 2019, libportal.​library/​Data/​PlanInOperation-​e/​SoutheastAsia/​021_​Cambodia-​e.pdf. 64. Hiroshi Kato, John Page, and Yasutami Shimomura, “Japan’s Foreign Assistance at 60: Reflecting on the Past and Looking to the Future,” in Japan’s Development Assistance, eds. Hiroshi Kato, John Page, and Yasutami Shimomura (Springer, 2016), 354. 65. Akio Hosono, “Catalyzing Transformation for Inclusive Growth,” in Kato, Page and Shimomura, eds., Japan’s Development Assistance, 169–​187. 66. Hiroshi Kato, “Japan’s ODA 1954–​2014: Changes and Continuities in a Central Instrument in Japan’s Foreign Policy,” in Kato, Page and Shimomura, eds., Japan’s Development Assistance, 8–​11. 67. Non-​intervention has long been the main principle of Japanese ODA, as declared in its ODA Charter. 68. Yasutami Shimomura, “The Political Economy of Japan’s Aid Policy Trajectory: With Particular Reference to the Changes and Continuity under the ODA Charter” in Kato, Page and Shimomura, eds., Japan’s Development Assistance, 83–​84. See also lists of projects, particularly projects with yen loans, in MOFA, “Japan’s ODA Data by Country.” 69. All four Mekong countries had national development plans and strategies: Cambodia’s National Strategic Development Plan 2014-​2018; Lao PDR’s Eighth Five-​ Year National Social-​ Economic Development Plan 2016-​ 2020; Myanmar’s Framework for Economic and Social Reforms: Policy Priorities for 2012-​2015 Toward the Long-​term Goals of the National Comprehensive Development Plan; and Vietnam’s Socio-​Economic Development Strategy for the Period of 2011-​2020. 70. Siriporn Wajjwalku, Japan and Development Cooperation: Policies and Practices in Mekong Countries (Bangkok: Chulalongkorn University Publishing House, 2017) (in Thai). The Paris Declaration on Aid Effectiveness is a practical, action-​oriented roadmap to improve the quality of aid and its impact on development. It gives a series of specific implementation measures and establishes a monitoring system to assess progress and assure that donors and recipients hold each other accountable for their commitments.

220 | The Courteous Power The declaration outlines the following five fundamental principles for making aid more effective: ownership, alignment, harmonization, results, and mutual accountability. Organisation for Economic Co-​operation and Development (OECD), Paris Declaration and Accra Agenda for Action (2005), available at https://​​dac/​effectiveness/​parisdeclarationandaccraagendaforaction.htm (accessed May 5, 2021). The Global Partnership for Effective Development Cooperation is a multi-​stakeholder platform to advance the effectiveness of development efforts by all actors, to deliver results that are long-​lasting and contribute to the achievement of SDGs. The work of the partnership is based on the four shared principles of effective development cooperation, namely ownership of development priorities by developing countries, a focus on results, inclusive development partnership, transparency, and accountability to each other. See Global Partnership for Effective Development Co-​operation, “About the Partnership,” https://​​landing-​page/​about-​partnership; Global Partnership for Effective Development Co-​operation, “Principles,” https://​www.effectivecooperation. org/​landing-​page/​effectiveness-​principles (accessed May 5, 2021). 71. See John D. Ciorciari and Kiyoteru Tsutsui, “Japan as a Courteous Power: Continuity and Change in the Indo-​Pacific Era,” in this volume. 72. Carol Lancaster, Foreign Aid: Diplomacy, Development, Domestic Politics (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2008); Maria Soderberg, “Japanese Development Assistance: Economic and Political Win-​Win Proposals” in Aid Powers and Politics, eds. Iliana Olivie and Aitor Perez (London: Routledge, 2020), 116–​130. 73. Japanese NGOs usually receive grants through the JICA Partnership Program or “Grant for Grassroots Projects,” which are small scale projects implemented in collaboration with local governments or NGOs. 74. Mekong Watch, interview by author, May 22, 2019. 75. Mekong Watch, Annual Reports 2008-​2019. 76. Mekong Watch, Annual Report 2010. 77. Mekong Watch, Annual Reports 2008-​2019. 78. Mekong Watch, Annual Reports 2011, 2012. 79. From 2010–​2015, Mekong Watch joined meetings with government officials three to four times per year on average except in 2013. Since 2016, Mekong Watch has met government officials more than 10 times per year. Mekong Watch conducted activities for the public including seminars and publications at the average of 45 times per year. Mekong Watch, Annual Reports 2010-​2019. 80. Japanese NGOs usually receive grants through JICA Partnership Program or “Grant Assistance for Grassroots Projects” program. See details of these programs on the JICA website at​english/​our_​work/​types_​of_​assistance/​citizen/​ partner.html;​cambodia/​english/​office/​about/​ngodesk/​jpp.html; www.​laos/​english/​office/​about/​ngodesk/​index.html; and​vietnam/​ english/​activities/​activity19.html. 81. See details in Japan Water Forum, “What We Do,”​en/​what-​ we-​do/​ (accessed May 5, 2021). 82. See details in Japan Water Forum, “JWF Fund,”​en/​what-​we-​ do/​jwf (accessed May 5, 2021). 83. See details at Japan Water Forum, “What We Do”; Japan Water Forum, “JWF Fund”; and on the Japan Water Forum website at-​​en/​what-​we-​do/​ darvish;​en/​what-​we-​do/​ yondoshi; and​en/​ what-​we-​do/​kyoto-​prize.

Japan’s NGOs and Effective Development Cooperation | 221 84. See details in Japan Water Forum, “JWF Fund.” 85. Rak Chiang Khong and 3S Rivers Protection Network, discussion with author, October 8, 2019. 86. MOFA, Japan’s ODA White Paper 2003; Wajjwalku, Japan and Development Cooperation, 156. 87. Pednekar, “NGOs and Natural Resource Management”; Ektewan Manowong and Stephen O. Ogunlana, “The Roles of Non-​Governmental Organizations in Development Projects: Experiences from Thailand” (n.d.),>daten>iconda>CIB6072. pdf. 88. The Highway No. 1 Project in Cambodia was one example among others. See Mekong Watch, Annual Reports 2008–2014. 89. Both Rak Chiang Khong and 3S Rivers Protection Network, with their evolution as local NGOs and long experience working in local communities, had been advocating for development policy and projects that gave priority to people and nature, specifically to maintain their livelihoods without exploitation of the environment. Rak Chiang Khong and 3S Rivers Protection Network, discussion with author, October 8, 2019. 90. Mekong Watch, interview by author, May 22, 2019. 91. JICA, JICA Annual Report 2003. 92. JICA, JICA Annual Report 2005. 93. Japanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs, “The Mekong-​Japan Initiative for SDGs Toward 2030” (2019),​files/​000535957.pdf. See also Japan International Cooperation Agency, “Water Resources,”​english/​our_​work/​thematic_​ issues/​water/​study.html (accessed May 5, 2021). 94. Japanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs, “Japan-​Mekong Cooperation,” https://​www.​region/​asia-​paci/​mekong/​cooperation.html (accessed May 5, 2021). 95. Examples include the West Tonle Sap Irrigation and Drainage Rehabilitation and Improvement Project in Cambodia (loan); Thakhek Water Supply Development Project in Lao PDR (grant); and Enhancing Community Resilience and Livelihood Security to Cope with Natural Disaster in Central Vietnam (GGP). See Wajjwalku, Japan and Development Cooperation, 204–​285. 96. For example, Japan Water Forum implemented a water supply improvement project with its own funds in a rural village in Xiengkhouang Province, Laos in 2018. Through the JICA Partnership Program, a Japanese NGO, Taisetsu LID, conducted a basic irrigation agriculture technology dissemination project in Lao PDR from 2013–​ 2016. Interview with Japan Water Forum on May 23, 2019; Japan Water Forum, http://​​en; JICA, JICA in Lao PDR 2014-​2015, https://​​laos/​ english/​office/​others/​c8h0vm000082pqu5-​att/​brochure.pdf. 97. Japan Water Forum, interview by author, May 23, 2019. 98. Interview with Japan Water Forum on May 23, 2019. See also Japan Water Forum, “What We Do.” 99. Rak Chiang Khong had argued that the traditional way of life of local people that respect nature together with rules or regulations based on people’s basic rights should also be considered as a solution for sustainable natural resources management. Siriporn Wajjwalku, “Civil Society and Water Governance in Northern Thailand: Local NGOs and Management of Mekong’s Tributaries in Chiang Rai,” in Interactive Approaches to Water Governance in Asia, ed. Kenji Otsuka (Springer, 2019), 123–​154; Rak Chiang Khong, discussion with author, October 8, 2019.

222 | The Courteous Power 100. Mekong Watch, Annual Reports 2010, 2011, 2012. 101. Japanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs, “The Mekong-​Japan Initiative for SDGs Toward 2030” (2019),​files/​000535957.pdf; Japanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs, “Tokyo Strategy 2018 for Mekong-​ Japan Cooperation” (2018),​files/​000406731.pdf 102. Paritta Wangkiat, “Thai Communities Vow to Appeal Against Laos dam,” Mekong Eye, February 17, 2016,​2016/​02/​17/​thai-​communities-​vow-​to-​ appeal-​against-​laos-​dam/​; Pratch Rujivanarom, “Bangkok Admits Inability to Regulate New Lao Dam,” The Nation, July 25, 2016; The Mekong Butterfly, “Circumventing State’s Responsibility in Transboundary Investment: The Case of Pak Beng Hydropower Project in Lao PDR” (2017), https://​​2017/​12/​22/​ circumventing-​states-​responsibility-​in-​transboundary-​investment-​the-​case-​of-​pak-​ beng-​hydropower-​project-​in-​laos-​pdr/​. 103. Mekong River Commission, Initiative on Sustainable Hydropower: Work Plan 2009, available at​​ISH/​ISH-​2.htm (accessed May 5, 2021). 104. International Rivers, “Briefing on Pak Beng Dam Lawsuit,” https://​www.​resources/​briefing-​on-​pak-​beng-​dam-​lawsuit-​16498; The Mekong Butterfly, “Circumventing”; Wangkiat, “Thai Communities.” 105. Save the Mekong Coalition, Letter to Suwit Khunkitti, December 1, 2009, archive.​​ISH/​save-​the-​Mekong-​petition-​2.pdf. 106. Mekong Watch, Annual Report 2013. 107. Mekong Watch and local NGOs in Thailand, Cambodia, and Lao PDR, from time to time, conducted collaborative project on monitoring and data collection related to hydropower projects in these three countries. See details in Mekong Watch, Annual Reports 2016, 2017, 2018. 108. Reimann, “Building Global Civil Society,” 313; Moe, Between Co-​operation and Confrontation; Ohashi, “NGOs and Japan’s ODA,” 336–​338.

10  |  J apan–​Southeast Asia Engagements on the Ground Japanese Women in Southeast Asia Leng Leng Thang and Mika Toyota

As a significant partner in politics and trade to Southeast Asia, Japan’s engagements with the region often prompt references to high-​level international affairs, security, regionalization efforts, economic agreements, and financial exchanges.1 In this chapter, we cast a spotlight on grassroots engagements of Japanese in Southeast Asia, emphasizing the Japanese women who have arrived since the 1990s and their roles in bridging Japan and Southeast Asia. This group of new female Japanese migrants represents a different type of actors than Japanese corporate expatriates predominant in Southeast Asia. Although they may be less visible in comparison, we argue that they have made their own contributions by deepening the nature and improving the perception of Japan–​Southeast Asia engagements on the ground. With Japanese business expansion into Southeast Asia since the 1970s, the large number of Japanese corporate expatriates, usually men sent by their companies together with their trailing spouses and children, has come to characterize the image of Japanese residents in Southeast Asia.2 Indeed, data on long-​term Japanese residents in Southeast Asia (defined as staying for three months and longer) have shown that male expatriates employed by private corporations and their family consistently predominate in this category (Table 10.1). However, their sheer preponderance in numbers does not necessarily indicate the depth in their engagement with and adaptation to the host society. Fitting in with Cohen’s concept of an “expatriate community” as an enclave,3 Japanese expatriate communities in Southeast Asia 223

224 | The Courteous Power TABLE 10.1.  Overseas Japanese residents (long-​term stay only) in Southeast Asia* by occupation and gender (2005–​2015)

Male Female Total

Overall number of long-​term stay Japanese persons

Private corporation employment (including family members)







60,030 33,848 93,878

71,421 39,341 110,762

105,979 59,587 165,566

50,332 25,052 75,384

56,493 26,541 83,034

84,057 40,429 124,486

Source: Annual Report of Statistics on Japanese Nationals Overseas, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, various years. *Figures are collated only from the following six Southeast Asian countries that recorded the greatest number of Japanese residents: Thailand, Indonesia, Singapore, Malaysia, the Philippines, and Vietnam.

and beyond are generally recognized as exclusive, discernable through a plethora of establishments, services, and networks in the host countries that enable them to stay within a bubble environment in the familiarity of Japan.4 Besides language and cultural barriers, the transient nature of their overseas assignments—​usually for a period of three to five years as part of career advancement—​discourages efforts to integrate into the host society. The privileged circumstances of corporate expat postings that include generous expatriate packages such as luxurious condominium housing, a car, a golf club membership, children’s educational support, and extra allowances also disincentivize them to move outside the comfort of the bubble.5 Reports on the Japanese expatriate communities in Thailand and Malaysia in the 1980s further suggest that the Japanese attitude of disdain and prejudice against local populations in less developed areas contributed to their disinterest in engaging with host societies in Southeast Asia.6 In contrast, since the mid-​1990s, we observe the rising phenomenon of a group of new female Japanese migrants who have opted to leave Japan voluntarily to live in Southeast Asia. They constitute part of the overall feminized trend of Japanese overseas sustained since the total number of women overseas overtook men in 1999 (Figure 10.1). Thus far, limited scholarly attention on the new female Japanese migrants in Southeast Asia has tended to focus on them as single and young (mostly in their 20s and 30s) working expatriates mainly employed in Japanese subsidiaries and branch offices overseas.7 Most came as “local hires,” referring to those who are hired on local employment terms receiving lower salaries without expatriate packages. Hence, they are regarded as a non-​privileged group in contrast to the privileged corporate expatriates.8 Eyal Ben-​Ari and Vanessa Yong, in their pioneering study

Japan–Southeast Asia Engagements on the Ground | 225 8,00,000 7,00,000

6,00,000 5,00,000

4,00,000 3,00,000 2,00,000 1,00,000 0






Male Permanent Resident

Female Permanent Resident

Male Long Term Stay

Female Long Term Stay



Fig. 10.1. Number of Japanese nationals overseas by gender and category of stay (1990 to 2019)

Source: Annual Report of Statistics on Japanese Nationals Overseas, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, 2020. Survey of overseas Japanese, https://​​mofaj/​toko/​tokei/​hojin/​05/​pdfs/​2.pdf

on local hires in Singapore, referred to them as “twice marginalized.”9 As young and single Japanese women, they are being marginalized from the male dominated working environment in Japan and from the Japanese corporate expatriate community in Singapore.10 The Japanese local hires are often characterized in contrast with the corporate expatriates in their lifestyle, motivations, and engagements with the host society. Positioned in between the corporate expatriates and their Southeast Asian co-​ workers, they tend to adapt to the local lifestyle, living in local housing areas and eating out in local places like their local co-​workers. Leng Leng Thang et al.’s study on local hires in Singapore found that compared with the male expatriates bounded by company order to stay or leave, they enjoyed greater job and geographical mobility.11 While some chose to return to Japan after a few years of working experiences overseas, others stayed on or moved to work in another country. The fluidity of their stays overseas further motivated their interest to engage with the local society and culture. It is important to recognize the increasing presence of Japanese women overseas. Other than the large presence of local hires, there are

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also some company employees and government-​related officers sent to work overseas on expatriate packages, as well as Japanese language teachers and NGO workers. Besides employment, they are diverse in their pursuits and activities, ranging from engagements in education, volunteer and philanthropic activities, artistic hobbies and small entrepreneurship. In addition to young and single female expatriates, there are also those who marry local men and take up permanent residency. Beginning in the 2000s, older women arriving as retirees either alone or with their spouses further constitute a part of the increasing female Japanese resident population in Southeast Asia.12 Due to the predominantly masculine image of the corporate expatriates, little attention has been paid to the female migrants in the region. However, as anthropologists living in Southeast Asia with research interests in gender and Japan,13 we contend that Japanese women contribute to Japan–​ Southeast Asia engagements through their bridging roles, which foster friendship, enrich the social and cultural lives of local communities, and promote deeper cross-​cultural interaction. In order to focus on Japanese women who have moved to live in Southeast Asia, we draw mainly on data collected from our earlier project examining the gendered process of regionalization in Asia through the presence of Japanese women in Southeast Asia.14 In this project, we interviewed a total of 65 Japanese women from different walks of life ranging in age from their 20s to 80s in the following sites in Southeast Asia: Indonesia (Bali), Thailand (Bangkok and Chiangmai), and the Philippines (Manila and Cebu) between 2009 and 2010.15 Our subjects were non-​corporate expatriates who usually visited Southeast Asia for the first time as tourists before they decided to quit their jobs in Japan to find work and/​or other pursuits in Southeast Asia on their own. The fieldwork also included interviews with more than 50 informants on Japanese presence such as government officials and active members in Japanese networks, companies, and organizations. From there, we obtained leads and used snowball-​sampling methods for recruitment.16 We conducted in depth interviews, mostly on a one-​on-​one basis, to understand the lived experiences of the female respondents. Elsewhere, we have examined the push and pull factors cumulating in the movement, everyday experiences, and social practices of Japanese women in the host country, including the challenges they encountered and strategies they adopted, the process of self-​discovery, and the impact on their identity as Japanese women.17 By revisiting these interview data, we now focus on how such individualized transnational movement of Japanese women

Japan–Southeast Asia Engagements on the Ground | 227

could contribute to Japan’s role in Southeast Asia. Although the Japanese women’s initial motivations were personal, we argue that their bridging role in the local community through everyday activities is a consequential form of people-​ to-​ people communication that builds trust-​ base relationships critical for grassroots diplomacy.18 Contemporary Transnational Mobility of Japanese Women to Southeast Asia

First, we discuss what motivated the transnational movement of Japanese women and what initiated the push to Southeast Asia. To trace the trajectory of gendered mobility, it is necessary to first recognize that for Japanese women the imagination of “going overseas” has for decades generally meant going to the West, which was hailed as holding the promise of cosmopolitan life, freedom, and gender equality.19 Since the 1970s, there have been small streams of Japanese women leaving to live and work in the West, usually starting with learning English before taking up employment overseas.20 The 1980s was a period of enthusiastic promotion of internationalization (kokusaika) by the Japanese government. During this period, new opportunities for young Japanese (age 18 to 30) afforded by “working holiday visa” programs in British Commonwealth countries were attractive as a pathway whereby young Japanese women could experience living and working overseas for a year.21 Australia, Canada, and New Zealand were popular working holiday destinations, where Japanese usually work in low-​wage jobs such as sales assistants and waitressing.22 The expansion of leisure international travel during the “bubble economy” in the late 1980s further feminized overseas travel dominated by affluent “OLs” (office ladies, referring to female office workers in non-​career generalist track). Among them, those frustrated with gender discrimination in the workplace and seeking new alternatives quit to pursue further studies in the United States and other Western countries, leading to a study-​abroad boom among the young Japanese women.23 Dissatisfaction with gender discrimination in the workplace and the lack of long-​term job prospects for women have consistently been major push factors driving women overseas since the 1970s. Until the enactment of Equal Employment Opportunity Law (EEOL) in 1986, female office workers could only work as OLs in the dead-​end generalist track, playing

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supporting roles to the male workers on the elite managerial track. They were also expected to “retire” upon marriage. Although women were able to apply for the managerial track after 1986, they were still discriminated against by women-​unfriendly work practices inherent in the managerial track, such as the pressure of long workings hours that are more difficult for women because of the conventional expectations about women’s household and childcare work at home.24 Besides work issues, marriage pressure from the family and society also worked as a push factor that accelerated their decision to leave Japan.25 After the implosion of Japan’s credit bubble and the “employment ice age” between 1995 and 2005, the women were further pushed to consider overseas work opportunities. During this period, the fresh out-​of-​college women were especially hard hit in their search for regular long-​term employment. As many corporations shifted from regular jobs to temporary positions to withstand the economic downturn, many women were pushed toward temporary contract employment offered through recruitment agencies, leading to the proliferation of such temporary staff agencies.26 Such a changing labor market regime makes working overseas a viable option for a growing minority, who may find being local hires overseas more attractive because of the added international exposure not possible as a temporary contract staff member in Japan. The Pull of Southeast Asia as a Destination

Despite the preference for emigration to the West, the 1990s also saw shrinking opportunities to work in Western countries as a result of local unemployment and more stringent visa conditions. This coincided with an expansion in human resource needs, particularly from Japanese companies in Asia, resulting in the attention toward Asia. The so-​called “Japanese women work in Asia” boom was said to have started with a strong demand for Japanese-​English bilingual staff in Hong Kong in 1993, as Japanese companies expanded into Hong Kong hoping to benefit from the thriving local economy and the huge Chinese market potential. However, the economic downturn and rising unemployment in the mid-​1990s in Hong Kong soon narrowed job opportunities and shifted attention to the potential in Southeast Asia. Singapore was the first country in Southeast Asia that witnessed the “influx” of Japanese working women in the 1990s.27

Japan–Southeast Asia Engagements on the Ground | 229

Several factors have contributed to sustain the attractiveness of Southeast Asia as a destination for Japanese women since the 1990s. First, job opportunities in Japan-​related companies have grown as Japan’s foreign direct investment expanded in Southeast Asia especially since the 2000s (see Chapter 7 in this volume). As more Japanese corporate expatriates and their families enter Southeast Asia with their companies, there is also a parallel increase in the need for services to facilitate their daily living, such as Japanese-​speaking medical clinics, travel agencies, hair salons, education services, and supermarkets. Second, the popularity of Southeast Asia for Japanese tourists as well as long-​term stayers has created work and business opportunities for Japanese women.28 Besides, increasing interest among Southeast Asians in Japanese popular culture such as anime and manga has led to an increase in Southeast Asian interest in studying the Japanese language, creating a demand for Japanese language teachers. Finally, Japanese women are particularly sought after by Japanese companies overseas, as the employment of local hires is also deemed an effective cost-​cutting strategy to reduce the high cost of sending corporate expatriates. The presence of recruitment agencies active in marketing work opportunities in Southeast Asia plays a critical role in facilitating the transnational movement of Japanese women for such overseas placement. Furthermore, their familiarity with the Japanese style of work made Japanese female local hires more desirable than local people proficient in Japanese language. They are also often expected to play the role of cultural mediators between Japanese and the locals at work, with better mastery of the local language and/​or English. By the 2000s, Southeast Asia’s relationships with Japan deepened and the region became more popular among Japanese as a tourist destination and for overseas immersion programs and study trips, partly because of its affordability.29 These experiences enhanced the sense of familiarity and appeal of Southeast Asia among Japanese women considering moving overseas to live and work. New Japanese Women Migrants and the Desire for Self-​Discovery

In conceptualizing the transnational movement of Japanese women who “escape” Japan, scholars studying their migration to the more advanced Western, English-​speaking countries in search of better quality of life

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and career have varyingly termed them “cultural migrants,”30 “spiritual migrants,”31 “lifestyle migrants,”32 and “self-​searching” migrants.33 Distinguished from economic migrants who moved for better economic prospects, these notions depict a personal quest for self-​realization among the women as they engage in a self-​reflexive search to discover the true self.34 In a similar vein, the women we met in Southeast Asia often articulated the desire for self-​discovery and self-​fulfillment as a motivation to leave Japan. However, leaving Japan does not mean one is discarding Japan. As our research has shown, the women re-​discovered their “Japaneseness” and strengthened their connections with Japan while living abroad.35 Nonetheless, the break from the social structures and institutions that suppressed one’s sense of self is a necessary process to discover the self. As Foucault articulated in his notion of the technologies of the self,36 the self is an ongoing project that has to be constantly worked on not just by oneself, but deployed in one’s relations with others.37 This suggests the inter-​relatedness of bridging with others as integral to the process of self-​discovery. In the following sections, we introduce cases of Japanese women from three categories and explore how they have contributed to bridging Japan with Southeast Asia (see their profiles in Table 10.2). We begin first with the salaried working women, since working as local hires in Japan-​related companies and as Japanese language teachers are popular job options, especially for women who are entering Southeast Asia for the first time. The next category is often regarded as contributing toward a sense of self-​ fulfillment among the women. Here we introduce an owner of a unique café in Chiangmai to explore the meaning of her small entrepreneur business in the local community and the founder of an orphanage for HIV-​infected children in Chiangmai to explore women’s involvement in volunteer and philanthropic activities. The final category focuses on the experiences of Japanese women who married local men in Bali. While the generalizability of the findings in this chapter may be limited by the small number of cases presented, the vignettes illustrate the diverse patterns of Japanese women’s life courses and their bridging roles on the ground, resonating with findings on Japanese women’s agency and their active civil society efforts in shaping and impacting the lives of people in the communities.38

TABLE 10.2.  Profile of the respondents* (N=12) No.

No of years Current Respondents Age In the country Work/​activity

Marital status and number of children

Thailand (Bangkok (BKK) and Chiangmai (CM)) 1 BKK Rika



Japanese language teacher Japanese language teacher Japanese language teacher Café owner and interpreter in hospital Art illustrator

2 BKK Sawa



3 BKK Kuniko



4 CM Seiko



5 CM Mieko



6 CM Maki



Indonesia (Bali)

Age Age when first visited Bali

Years married in Bali

Current work/​ activity

Number of children/​living with extended family

7 8

Chie Momo

42 40

26 21

9 12

1 child/​Yes 2 children/​No











Owns a shop Operates guest house Operates Japanese restaurant Operates Japanese restaurant











Runs an orphanage

Single Single Married to Japanese expatriate met in Singapore Married to Thai Married to Thai, 2 children Divorced with a child

2 children/​No 3 children from husband’s former marriage/​Yes Nil/​No

Operates guest house Helps 2 children/​No husband with travel business (husband is tour guide and driver)

*Pseudonym names are used here, and the age indicated is the respondent’s age at the time of the interview.

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Work Employment: Serving as a Linguistic and Cultural Bridge Japanese Working Women as Local Hires

In the mid-​1990s, Singapore’s open policy toward foreign talent made the attainment of work visas relatively easy compared to other popular destinations such as Hong Kong, Britain, and the United States. This made the country a popular destination for Japanese women interested in working in Asia.39 Compared with other Southeast Asian countries, Singapore is also preferred for reasons such as safety, political stability, gender equality, a high standard of living, and the use of the English language.40 Although Japanese women constituted only a small percentage of the Singapore workforce, estimated at approximately 1,500 individuals in 2010,41 they caught local media attention as early as 1994 when they were featured in a major English newspaper in the country and referred to as “new Japanese expats” who are “young, educated and female”.42 Along with the description of the Japanese women as educated and unusual for accepting employment on local hire terms, they are compared with the male corporate expatriates. Hired with lesser pay and without expat perks, the local hires typically work in Japanese subsidiaries and branch offices, assuming a supportive role to assist the corporate expatriate managers in sales, administration, and secretarial work similar to women’s responsibilities in Japan.43 In a way, this put the women back to a gender-​discriminating Japanese work environment that they wanted to avoid in the first place. Working in a foreign country without much company support further led to a sense of insecurity. Despite the disadvantages, many of the women in the study on Japanese working women in Singapore44 learned how to negotiate their gendered tasks in a more gender egalitarian local work environment. They also resorted to job hopping, common in Singaporean work culture, to find work with better conditions matching their desires. For example, after working for a year as a sales coordinator in a Japanese trading company, Hiromi, one of the respondents in our data on the Japanese working women in Southeast Asia, was troubled with the heavy workload and decided to take up an offer from a recruitment agency to change to a Japanese manufacturing company for better pay and work conditions. She quit the second company two years later to accept an offer from her church to study theology full time, as it was her dream to return to Japan to strengthen the church.45 Whether they are single or married, Japanese working women are generally more adept in English than their fellow Japanese expat co-​workers

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as a result of their positive attitudes toward English learning.46 They are thus known for playing the role of a cultural mediator between Japanese and the locals at work.47 The women were aware of their English language advantage over the male expatriates and their empowering role as linguistic and cultural mediators. As a local hire aptly claimed, “We are serving as a bridge between Japanese companies and Singapore.”48 One of the few women working as a corporate expatriate in Singapore noted how English deficiency has changed Japanese men overseas: “although they’re acting like kings in Japan, once they step outside Japan … they become … timid.”49 Similarly, the local co-​workers also rely on the Japanese women as mediators. This mediating role brought a sense of achievement to a Japanese female manager (who first started as a local hire) who talked about her role as one of the few Japanese in a 300-​person company: “my (local) colleagues are relying on me because they need to know how to handle the Japanese.”50 Outside work, the Japanese women’s ability to communicate in English encouraged them to connect more with the local people and culture. The extent to which one feels immersed in the host society depends on their personal initiative, among the Japanese women in the study. Some had no contact with locals outside work, while others made many local friends through common hobbies. The local people’s reception also plays a role in facilitating the connection. Hiromi felt that she was treated differently by Singaporeans but in a positive way: “They are very patient listening to my Japanese-​English…. They even try to use our way of speaking, like calling me Hiromi-​san. It really gives me a warm feeling.”51 To enhance communication, the Japanese women spoke of picking up Singlish (a version of English common among the Singaporeans) and studied Chinese language also commonly used in Singapore. With the more recent expansion of Japanese businesses to Singapore and the region, it is expected that there will be more demand for employees with Japanese language skills to mediate between Japan and local/​regional operations. Despite the increasing emergence of locals trained with Japanese language skills, the Japanese local hires remain desirable for providing the “Japanese feeling” and familiarity for Japanese co-​workers and clients.52 Delivering on expectations of cultural familiarity could lead to the perpetuation of the gendered system of Japanese corporations that still largely privilege corporate expatriates as the powerholders, leaving the underprivileged local hires in the margins.53 Undoubtedly, however, the Japanese women maintain a niche in their bridging role between Japanese businesses and the

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locals and contribute to the smooth operation of Japanese corporations in the region and even to a better mutual understanding between local employees and Japanese expats. Japanese Language Teachers

Going overseas to work as a Japanese language teacher has been and still is one of the popular job choices available for Japanese women.54 The increasing presence of Japanese women moving overseas since the 1990s has contributed significantly to the expansion and development of Japanese language education abroad.55 In the past, many language programs overseas had to resort to employing untrained wives of Japanese expatriates to teach Japanese language. However, by the 2000s, Japanese language teaching became more professionalized with more structured pathways to become a qualified Japanese language instructor.56 It is not uncommon to find Japanese women in our data who had at some point worked as Japanese language teachers overseas. There are diverse opportunities for employment as Japanese language teachers overseas. Besides the conventional routes of working in Japanese language schools and Japanese language programs in higher educational institutions, one can be employed as an individual language trainer to teach local employees in Japanese corporations. In some countries, Japanese language teachers are also hired in primary and secondary schools to teach Japanese as a foreign language for the promotion of multiculturalism.57 Vietnam, which recorded the third highest number of Japanese language learners in Southeast Asia after Indonesia and Thailand, is expecting to have heightened demand for Japanese language teachers with the recent introduction of Japanese language in elementary school classrooms.58 By the nature of the job, Japanese language teachers readily play a bridging role between the host society and Japan. Besides gaining opportunities and experiences to learn about local culture and languages through their students, Japanese language teaching is also a significant contact point for local students to learn more about Japanese society and culture, which can motivate and equip them to work for Japan-​related businesses. In our Thailand data, the two young women, Rika and Sawa (in their 20s) are certified Japanese language teachers, graduating from a regional university in Japan with a major in Japanese language education. They decided to work overseas after failed attempts at the job search in Japan. During the era of the “employment ice age” in the 1990s and early 2000s,

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they faced double jeopardy as fresh female graduates looking for full-​time Japanese language teaching positions. Although the number of Japanese language learners and teachers has consistently increased in Japan, it did not lead to a corresponding rise in full-​time Japanese language teaching positions. As a 2015 report on Japanese language education in Japan reveals, of the 36,168 Japanese language teachers in the nation, full-​time teachers only made up 11.5%, with part-​time teachers (28.5%) and volunteer teachers (60%) forming the majority.59 Leaving Japan thus seemed inevitable if they desired a full-​time position. Whether to work overseas or in Japan seemed to matter little to them. Both Rika and Sawa felt little difference between working in Bangkok and in Japanese cities like Osaka or Tokyo, since they were equally unfamiliar with the big Japanese cities, coming from small regional cities in Japan. In fact, having visited Thailand and other Southeast Asian countries on study trips when they were undergraduates, coming to work and live in Southeast Asia was not a big deal, especially when they could live in a convenient metropolitan city like Bangkok. Despite lower salaries, they saw more opportunities for employment in Thailand, which has the second largest number of Japanese language learners in Southeast Asia. In 2012, there were close to 130,000 students and 465 institutions offering Japanese language in the country.60 As full-​time Japanese language teachers at a university in Bangkok, Rika and Sawa led a localized lifestyle similar to the Japanese local hires. They were eager to make friends with Thais and learn Thai culture and language. However, they did not foresee themselves staying in a place for too long and planned for a maximum stay of three years, hoping to find a full-​time job back in Japan after accumulating relevant work experience overseas. Nonetheless, they were also open to moving to teach in another country or to continue to stay in Thailand depending on the opportunities available. Unlike Japanese expatriates who can plan their career moves with each posting overseas, the Japanese working women faced much uncertainty about their career as well as the possibility that they may eventually marry local men or other expatriates. Kuniko, in her 40s, met her husband, who was an expatriate from Japan, when she was working as a Japanese language teacher in Singapore. When her husband was sent to Thailand, she came along and regarded herself as unusual for continuing to work as a Japanese language teacher in Bangkok over the past nine years while also being a trailing spouse. Rika and Sawa are the two youngest respondents in the cases selected for discussion. Different from the pioneering group of women who were

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10 years or so older than them and had experienced affluence during the bubble economy, they suggest a nuanced change in the perception of working overseas. Parallel with Etsuko Kato’s observation of the impact of prolonged economic recession in changing the nature of self-​search overseas,61 working overseas may become attractive to accumulate the right work experience needed to secure the type of job that one desired back in Japan. Becoming Entrepreneurs in Local Communities: Creating Opportunities for Engagements Japanese Women Running Small Businesses

Although a majority of working Japanese women in Southeast Asia work as company employees, data show an increase in the number of Japanese who are self-​ employed. In 2005, 973 women were classified as self-​ employed (1,881 male). The figure rose to 1,669 (3,193 male) in 2010, and 2,694 (4,727 male) by 2016.62 Becoming an entrepreneur evokes a sense of independence and an opportunity to achieve self-​actualization doing the business one desires. Cognizant of the capacity of women entrepreneurs to link Japan and Southeast Asia in a unique way, a government program on female entrepreneurship, launched in 2016, labeled these women “bridge women.”63 The profiles of some active bridge women in Southeast Asia show the diverse work experiences they had—​as a corporate expatriate, an NGO worker and a Japanese language teacher—​before they took on the challenge of becoming successful entrepreneurs. Here we define entrepreneurs broadly as those who are self-​employed, who may be engaging in small-​ scale business and/​ or philanthropic pursuits that include creative works, art and craft, and volunteering. The Japanese women thought it easier and less costly to try out small ventures in Southeast Asia than in Japan. Seiko, discussed at length in this section, is one example of a small entrepreneur who owns a café in a unique mud hut with four other Japanese women in Chiangmai. The café has gained popularity since opening in 2007, and Seiko has also been interviewed in magazines and newspapers to discuss the café and her vision. The café is not only an entrepreneurial project, but also a lifestyle declaration, a social enterprise, and a place where Japanese culture could interact with local cultures. The café depicts Seiko’s quest for a simple lifestyle, with a natural-​themed Japanese café ambience serving a variety of food, desserts, and beverages, including vegetarian options of Japanese, Thai,

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Indian, and fusion cuisine. It also sets aside space for the sale of a variety of home-​made and handicraft products from jam, accessories as well as art goods. When we were there, the café was selling postcards designed by another one of our respondents, Mieko, also living in Chiangmai. Mieko graduated with a Master’s from a fine arts university and landed a job in 1993 working in an art gallery in Tokyo that paid her relatively well. But the desire to try out a new life brought her to Chiangmai to learn pottery, where she met and married a Thai sculptor and has two children. As an illustrator, she could be seen as bridging Japan and Thailand through her artwork and activities, including teaching art to Thai children on the weekends. During the interview, she showed us her illustrated book project on the life of her mother-​in-​law living in rural Central Thailand that she was planning to publish in Japan with the objective of introducing Japanese readers to what a healthy “slow life” living in Thailand is about. As the display and sales of Mieko’s postcards in the café indicate, for Seiko and her fellow Japanese women owners, the café is not merely about running a business. It also serves as a community nexus, fostering the bond between the Japanese community and local Thais plus others living in Chiangmai. In addition to serving food and drinks and selling small items, the café organizes events like musical evenings that transform the café into a community space for art, comfort, friendship, and cross-​cultural interaction. The café thus takes the character of a “third place,” defined by Roy Oldenburg as a space allowing informal and intimate relations to be created;64 having the social “levelling” impact of de-​emphasizing differences of people, and finally, as a place where playfulness is present. Besides running the café, Seiko also works at the hospital as an interpreter and translator mainly for long-​stay Japanese retirees who visited the hospital. Among the cases introduced here, Seiko is a good illustration of Japanese women focused on a “self-​searching” journey. She quit a stable job in a design company in Tokyo to come to live in Chiangmai after falling in love with Thailand during her first holiday trip to the country. When she left Japan more than a decade ago, her plan was to be involved with volunteer work in Thailand. After spending the first year learning the Thai language, she met Maki (featured in the next section) who started an orphanage. Seiko worked at Maki’s establishment for six years. After this experience, Seiko decided to try something else and was offered a highly paid job at a Japanese multinational company in an industrial estate near Chiangmai. Japanese women with local language proficiency are assets to Japanese companies operating in the region. However, she declined the job offer because she could not imagine herself working again at a Japanese company.

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Perhaps she would be economically better off if she had taken up the job offer to work for a Japanese company, but she is certain that the road she has chosen is more meaningful, especially to be able to play a role in enhancing cross-​cultural connections between the Japanese and the Thais. Grassroots initiatives like this, although not widespread, are also present in various forms.65 The social enterprise efforts by Maki discussed in the next section are another example. Together, they illuminate the diverse manners in which Japan’s engagements with Southeast Asia can be creatively (re)imagined and developed. Japanese Women in Philanthropy

This section introduces Maki, a woman in her mid-​60s who started the philanthropic work of building an orphanage for HIV-​infected children in Chiangmai when she was in her early 50s. Maki belongs to the elite class that has close connections with Europe, having received a degree in commercial design from a well-​reputed institute in Germany in the 1970s. She soon started her own design studio company in Tokyo but became discouraged with the selfish and money-​minded Japanese she met at work. At the age of 45, she made the decision to leave Japan and settled in Europe. Her life was transformed during one chance visit to Chiangmai, when she was invited by a German doctor friend who volunteered at a hospital catered to HIV-​patients. She was deeply moved by the women she met, whom at the end of their lives could not stop worrying about their HIV-​infected children that would become orphans once they passed away. This encounter sparked her desire to build an orphanage for the HIV-​ infected orphans. Two years later, the orphanage was established with the help of her Japanese and other international connections. The orphanage started with 12 orphans, and eventually expanded to 30 ranging from 7 to 19 years old. She found advanced medication for them and managed to keep them healthy. She sent the children to schools in a nearby village, but they initially faced discrimination and were even forced to quit school. Maki was determined to change the situation and started with education outreach efforts to raise community understanding of the HIV disease. From the donations raised, she built a library, computer room, and activity hall on the orphanage premises and opened these facilities to the community. This was effective in promoting interaction between the community and

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the orphanage children and over time, decreasing discrimination against the children. To ensure the sustainability of the orphanage, Maki started a social enterprise beginning with the establishment of a handicraft workshop to train women from the community to produce handicrafts for sale. She also built guest houses on the compound for tourist rental, opened restaurants in the city, and taught the children drawing, pottery, and cloth dyeing. To secure a market for the children’s art and handicrafts, Maki targeted Japanese consumers. She opened a shop in Kamakura, operated an online shop, and also set up counters in big Japanese department stores. She returned to Japan once every six months to accept interviews and encourage people in Japan to help support the cause. The orphanage turned 11 during the time of the interview. By that point, she had built up a group of volunteers who were mostly Japanese women. The place has become more sustainable as profits from the various projects were able to cover half of the operation cost, thus lowering the need for charitable donations. To drive toward a self-​sustaining model, she had plans to plant organic vegetables and fruits, and also hoped that the children who grew up in the orphanage would return to work there and serve other children in need. Maki is undoubtedly an extraordinary example among the Japanese women who displayed determination and leadership in making a difference to the lives of the local Southeast Asians in need. We do not have data showing the extent of volunteer engagements among the Japanese women living in Southeast Asia, but it was not unusual to hear of some form of volunteer or civic participation during fieldwork. The varied range of involvements included volunteering at an elephant camp, serving as civilian police, helping in the building of shelters for marginalized women and children, getting involved in art for charity, and cultural activities. Although these may be considered ‘small acts’ when compared with the scale of philanthropic work that Maki has established, the women’s eagerness to be involved as volunteers in the local community resonate with women’s active citizenry through local volunteerism in Japan.66 In her study on women volunteers in Japan, Paola Cavaliere asserts that such community involvement confirms that “the basic idea of social harmony and individual responsibility in creating a good society is well rooted in Japanese social ethics.”67 Outside Japan, these courteous efforts on the ground that enable female Japanese expatriates to come in close contact with the local communities further contribute to a positive projection of Southeast Asia’s perception of Japan.

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Transnational Marriage: Japanese Women Marrying Local Southeast Asians

As Figure 10.1 on Japanese living permanently overseas shows, there are consistently more women in the category because of international marriages of Japanese with foreign men. International marriages largely reflect the norm of transnational hypergamous paradigm where Southeast Asian women marry up to Japanese men. In contrast, the Japanese women we met in Southeast Asia reveal a pattern of reverse international marriage, where they were married to men from less affluent parts of Southeast Asia. This section focuses on the Japanese women married to Balinese men and staying in Bali.68 These Japanese women have the following characteristics. First, moving from an economically more affluent society to live in a less affluent society, they moved away from the familiar “urban” lifestyle into a “traditional,” “rural” lifestyle at the destination, which entailed marrying into an extended conservative family. Second, as most of them had college education and some even had graduate degrees from abroad, they are more highly educated than their husbands. Third, they tended to marry men younger than them due to the common trend for Balinese men to marry young; one of our respondents, Chie, married her dance teacher who is 14 years younger. These marriages are not uncommon. Marriage applications to the Japanese consulate in Bali revealed an average of over 90 Japanese women marrying local men per year. Our female Japanese respondents in Bali left Japan for similar reasons described in early sections. They saw gender inequality at workplaces in Japan as a push factor; thus, leaving Japan became a way to seek freedom from the constraints of Japanese society. They emphasized the desire for self-​discovery as the main driving force for relocating overseas. As most of them went to college in the boom years of Japan in the 1980s, they had opportunities to travel abroad. Bali was attractive for them as it has a rustic resemblance to the nostalgic Japan of the past and was thus perceived as a paradise for one to seek “healing” from the hustle and bustle of hectic city life. Upon marrying into the Balinese families, the majority of them embraced Hinduism and performed everyday religious rituals. They learned Balinese customs from their mothers-​in-​law and other relatives to carry out their role as a wife in a Balinese family and came to realize that marrying a Balinese man means marrying into the whole village. Eriko, who was married for 14 years with two children, recalled the difficulties of

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trying to keep up with Balinese religion and tradition and facing the fear of being ostracized by the village if she failed to participate. Ironically, the bi-​cultural children of the Japanese women sometimes faced marginalization from other Japanese. When the Japanese weekend school (hoshu gakko) attended by the children sought funding from the Japanese Club in Bali, there were instances of reluctance to help as the children were looked down upon as “surfers’ kids.”69 When the children went back to Japan for a brief period and attended school there, some further faced ostracism by their Japanese classmates for being different. To overcome financial constraints, these Japanese women worked hard to ensure a stable livelihood for their families. Momo chose to return back to Japan with her Balinese husband six months after their marriage so that the family could be financially better off with her husband working in a factory. However, eight years later, they moved back to Bali with their two children, believing that Bali is more suitable for the children. They have since been running a small guest house business. Going back to Japan for temporary work (dekasegi) often serves as a fallback among the Japanese–​Southeast Asian families. In Cebu, Philippines, we came across a case where the Filipino husband went to Japan to work as a construction worker while the Japanese wife stayed back to raise their children, living in a three-​generation household with the mother-​in-​law. The Japanese wives were entrepreneurial. Atsuko and Eriko became the main breadwinners and operated restaurants that provided work for the extended family members. Momo and Rieko opened guest houses, and Chie owned a small provision shop. Hiromi created a travel website to advertise her husband’s transport service for Japanese travelers. Their forays into businesses, however small in scale, help in some ways to raise the quality and attractiveness of Bali tourism with the infusion of Japanese aesthetics and Japanese hospitality standards into the services. As they gained recognition and respect for their contribution to the extended family, they also learned to draw boundaries to gain their own space and maintain their own way of doing things. During the fieldwork, we also heard stories of failed marriages and even cases of Japanese women being cheated out of money through their marriages. Around the time we did fieldwork, Japanese women in Bali were in the limelight due to a recent murder of a Japanese woman in Kuta. She was said to have divorced twice and had lived in Bali for 12 years. However, problematic relationships and failed marriages between the Japanese and locals constituted a minority of cases. The women we encountered showed their commitment as an integral member of the family and the

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local community, embodying the everyday practices of engagements with Southeast Asia as Balinese daughters-​in-​law and wives. Besides fostering future links between Japan and Southeast Asia, these Japanese women make significant contributions in improving the livelihood of the extended family through their entrepreneurial efforts. Moreover, they continue to maintain intimate ties with Japan through regular contact with their families in Japan, moving back to work in Japan, reaching out to help retiree migrants who moved from Japan to Bali, socializing their children into Japanese culture, and introducing Japanese elements into businesses and services. They demonstrate their capacity to bridge communication between Japan and Southeast Asia through their multiple roles as wives, mothers, entrepreneurs, and long-​term residents with a rich knowledge of local culture. Conclusion

Through the diverse narratives of the Japanese women’s experiences and lives in Southeast Asia, we learn that although these women may fall outside the mainstream image of Japanese male expatriates and their trailing spouses, they contribute in their own unique ways, enriching and enhancing Japan–​Southeast Asia relations. Although most of the discussions have focused on the women’s bridging roles to Southeast Asia, they also contributed to bridging Japan’s understanding and appreciation of the region such as through Mieko’s book plan to introduce Thailand’s “slow” life to Japanese readers, and Maki’s social enterprise which set up physical and online shops in Japan. In a way, they contribute to grassroots citizen diplomacy in deepening Japan–​Southeast Asian relations. It is worth noting that the individualized desire of Japanese women to live in Southeast Asia was motivated by structural conditions in Japan, which pushed the women out, seeking self-​discovery. We also acknowledge that in some cases government assistance and corporate donations facilitate their activities in Southeast Asia. However, their commitment to opening a café as a community nexus, set up an orphanage to provide for the HIV-​infected children, to marry into the traditional Balinese family, and lead a rural lifestyle, for example, should be understood more fundamentally as expressions of Foucault’s “technologies of the self ” 38 in an on-​going journey of self-​discovery. That their actions and activities came to fulfil the bridging role between Japan and Southeast Asia was an unintentional positive outcome.

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Our discussions have encompassed Japanese women from quite a diverse range of ages and experiences. Underlying these diversities, however, are similar structural constraints such as gender biases in Japanese workplaces across time that have consistently triggered stories of self-​ discoveries overseas among the women. Future research might examine how recent developments in Japan would affect the desire among younger women to experience life overseas. Would Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s “womenomics,” which pushed policies to create a “Japan in which women shine,” encourage more women to stay in Japan to work and have a family? Although fewer young Japanese are travelling overseas, in 2017, about 31 percent of Japanese female overseas travelers were aged between 20 to 29 years, constituting the largest group travelling abroad.70 Will self-​ discovery remain an important motivation for Japanese women to move overseas? Finally, this chapter reveals different sets of challenges confronting Japanese women who have chosen to live in Southeast Asia. Besides having to overcome linguistic, cultural, and economic difficulties affecting their everyday life, paradoxically, they also need to brave discrimination from Japanese emanating from gender and cultural differences. Their dilemma also underscores the need to advocate for policy initiatives that would support them as they play a unique role serving as a bridge linking Japan and Southeast Asia. We contend that the underappreciated contributions of the Japanese women in Southeast Asia should be acknowledged more widely. While these women are more focused on their lives and contributions to the local communities, they can also play important roles in enhancing Japan’s image in the region as a courteous power. NOTES 1. Sueo Sudo, The International Relations of Japan and South East Asia: Forging a New Regionalism (London: Routledge, 2013); Lam, Peng Er ed., Japan’s Relations with Southeast Asia: The Fukuda Doctrine and Beyond (London: Routledge, 2013). 2. Eyal Ben-​ Ari, “The Japanese in Singapore: The Dynamics of an Expatriate Community,” in Global Japan: The Experience of Japan’s New Immigrant and Overseas Communities, ed. Roger Goodman, Ceri Peach, Ayumi Takenaka and Paul White (New York: Routledge, 2003), 116–​130; Harumi Befu and Nancy Stalker “Globalization of Japan: Cosmopolitanization or Spread of the Japanese village?” in Engaging the World: A Century of International Encounter, ed. Harumi Befu (Denver, CO: Center for Japan Studies at Teikyo Heights University, 1996), 101–​110. 3. Erik Cohen, “Expatriate Communities,” Current Sociology 24, no. 3 (1977): 5–​133. 4. Ben-​ Ari, “The Japanese in Singapore”; Befu and Stalker, “Globalization of Japan”; Gunther Glebe, “Segregation and Intra-​urban Mobility of a High-​status Ethnic Group: The Case of Japanese in Dusseldorf,” Ethnic and Racial Studies 9 (1986): 461–​483.

244 | The Courteous Power 5. Ben-​Ari, “The Japanese in Singapore”; Befu and Stalker, “Globalization of Japan.” 6. Kazuhiro Ebuchi, Ibunka-​kan kyoiku-​gaku josetsu (Introduction to Intercultural Communication) (Fukuoka: Kyushu Daigaku Shuppankai, 1994), cited in Befu and Stalker, “Globalization of Japan,” 109. 7. Eyal Ben-​Ari and Vanessa Yong, “Twice Marginalized: Single Japanese Female Expatriates in Singapore,” in Japanese Presences in Singapore, ed. John Clammer and Eyal Ben-​Ari (London: Curzon Press, 2000); Leng Leng Thang, Elizabeth MacLachlan and Miho Goda, “Expatriates on the Margins: A Study of Japanese Women Working in Singapore,” Geoforum 33 (2002): 539–​551; Takashi Nakazawa, Yoshimichi Yui, Hiroo Kamiya, Reiko Kinoshita and Yuko Takeda, “Kaigai shushoku no keikan to nihonjin toshite no aidentiti—Shingaporu de hataraku genchi saiyo nihonjin jyosei o taisho ni -​(Experience of International Migration by Japanese Women: A Study of Locally Hired Employees in Singapore),” ’ Geographical Review of Japan 81 (2008): 95–​120; Takashi Nakazawa, Yoshimichi Yui, Hiroo Kamiya, “Nihonjin jyosei no genchi saiyo rodoshijo no kakudai to sono haikei: 2000 nendaihanba no shingapo-​ru no jirei (The Expansion and Background of the labor market for Japanese Women as Local Hires: The case of Singapore in later half of 2000s),” Geographical Science 67, no. 4 (2012): 153–​172; Takahashi Kaori, “Malaysia kankogyo ni jujisuru genchisaiyo nihonjin jyosei no rodo ni tsuite: Kuala Lumpur oyobi Selangor shu no hoterugyo o jirei toshite (The Work of Locally Employed Japanese Women Working in the Tourism Industry in Malaysia: A Case Study on the Hotel Industry in Kuala Lumpur and Selangor,” Journal of Feminist Economics Japan 3 (2018): 75–​88; Kato Etsuko, “Asianisms in Motion: Asian Selves and Customized Asia among Japanese Sojourners in the Pacific West and East,” Asian Anthropology (2020). 8. Etsuko Kato, “When a Man Flies Overseas: Corporate Nationalism, Gendered Happiness and Young Japanese Male Migrants in Canada and Australia,” Asian Anthropology 13, no. 3 (2015): 220–​234. 9. Ben-​Ari and Yong, “Twice Marginalized,” 82–​111. 10. Ben-Ari and Yong, “Twice Marginalized,” 82. 11. Thang et al., “Expatriates on the Margins.” 12. Leng Leng Thang, Sachiko Sone and Mika Toyota, “Freedom Found? The Later-​ life Transnational Migration of Japanese Women to Western Australia and Thailand,” ’ Asia and Pacific Migration Journal 21, no. 2 (2012): 239–​262; Mika Toyota and Leng Leng Thang, “Transnational Retirement Mobility as Processes of Identity Negotiation: The Case of Japanese in South-​east Asia,” Identities: Global Studies in Culture and Power 24, no. 5 (2017): 557–​572. 13. First author Leng Leng Thang is Singaporean with a research focus on Japan and living in Singapore. Second author Mika Toyota is Japanese with a research focus on Southeast Asia and Japan, and worked at the National University of Singapore from 2002 to 2012. 14. The discussion on Japanese working women draws reference from an earlier project in 1999–​2000 on Japanese working women in Singapore. Data from this study included 194 surveys and 24 in-​depth interviews with women ranged from 21 to 56 years old. Selected publications from the project are Thang et al., “Expatriates on the Margins” and Leng Leng Thang, Miho Goda and Elizabeth MacLachaln, “Negotiating Work and Self: Experiences of Japanese Working Women in Singapore,” in Japanese Diasporas: Unsung Pasts, Conflicting Presents and Uncertain Futures, ed. Nobuko Adachi (New York: Routledge, 2006), 254–​271.

Japan–Southeast Asia Engagements on the Ground | 245 15. The breakdown of interview data is as follows: 27 in Indonesia, 28 in Thailand, and 15 in the Philippines. This chapter focuses on the data from Thailand and Indonesia. 16. The field sites also included Tokyo, where we interviewed non-​profit organizations, travel agencies, recruitment companies, and Southeast Asian book publishers to understand the trend of Japanese movement to Southeast Asia. 17. Selected publications are as follows: Thang et al., “Freedom Found?”; Mika Toyota and Leng Leng Thang, “Reverse Marriage Migration?: A Case Study of Japanese Brides in Bali,” Asia and Pacific Migration Journal 21, no. 3 (2012): 345–​364; and Leng Leng Thang and Mika Toyota, “Making ‘Traditional’ Families in Trasnational Settings: Japanese Women in Balinese-​Japanese Marriages,” in Configurations of Family in Contemporary Japan, ed. Tomoko Aoyama, Laural Dales and Romit Dasgupta (London: Routledge, 2014), 125–​137. 18. Andrew Hinton, Kate Ortbal, and Khanjan Mehta, “The Praxis of Grassroots Diplomacy for Social Entrepreneurship,” International Journal for Service Learning in Engineering 9, no. 2 (2014): 116–​134. 19. Karen Kelsky, “Gender, Modernity, and Eroticized Internationalism in Japan,” Cultural Anthropology 14, no. 2 (1999): 229–​255. 20. Junko Sakai, Japanese Bankers in the City of London: Language, Culture and Identity in the Japanese Diaspora (London: Routledge, 2000). 21. Etsuko Kato, “Self-​ searching Migrants: Youth and Adulthood, Work and Holiday in the Lives of Japanese Temporary Residents in Canada and Australia,” Asian Anthropology 12, no. 1 (2013): 20–​34. 22. Kato, “Self-searching Migrants.” 23. Kato, “When a Man Flies Overseas.” 24. Joy Hendry, Understanding Japanese Society, Fifth Edition (London and New York: Routledge, 2017). 25. Thang et al., “Expatriates on the Margins.” 26. Mary Brinton, Lost in Transition: Youth, Work, and Instability in Postindustrial Japan (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2011). 27. Ben-​Ari and Yong, “Twice Marginalized”; Thang et al., “Expatriates on the Margins.” 28. Toyota and Thang, “Transnational Retirement Mobility”; Thang et al., “Freedom Found?” 29. Statistics from the ASEAN Secretariat have shown that Japan consistently has ranked among the top 10 countries/​regions as sources of visitors to ASEAN from 2011 to 2015. See ASEAN, “Tourism Statistics,” https://​​?static_​post=tourism-​ statistics (accessed May 5, 2021). For more details on Japanese tourists in Southeast Asia, see for example Yamashita, Shinji, “Southeast Asian Tourism from a Japanese Perspective,” in Tourism in Southeast Asia: Challenges and New Directions, eds. Michael Hitchcock, Victor T. Kingkkj and Mike Parnwell (Copenhagen and Abingdon: NIAS, 2009), 189–​205; Tomohara Yoshihiko, Nihonjin Bakkupakka no yido to kodo -​Tonan ajia o rei ni (The Movement and Activities of Japanese Backpackers -​Southeast Asia as a case), Japanese International Tourism Society Paper Collection, Vol. 18 (2011): 55–​60. 30. Yuiko Fujita, Cultural Migrants from Japan: Youth, Media and Migration in New York and London (Lanham, MD: Lexington Books, 2009). 31. Machiko Sato, Shin kaigai teijujidai: osutoraria nihonjin (The New Era of Migration—The Japanese in Australia) (Tokyo: Shinchosha, 1993).

246 | The Courteous Power 32. Machiko Sato, Farewell to Nippon: Japanese Lifestyle Migrants in Australia (Melbourne: Trans Pacific Press, 2001). 33. Kato, “Self-​searching Migrants.” 34. Kato, “When a Man Flies Overseas,” 221. 35. Thang et al., “Expatriates on the Margins”; Thang and Toyota, “Making ‘Traditional’ Families.” 36. Michael Foucault, Technologies of the Self: A Seminar with Michael Foucault, ed. Luther H. Martin, Huck Gutman and Patrick H. Hutton (Amherst, MA: University of Massachusetts Press 1988). 37. Toyota and Thang, “Reverse Marriage Migration?” 355. 38. Linda Hasunuma, “Beyond Formal Representation: Case Studies of Women’s Participation in Civil Society in Japan,” Women’s Studies International Forum 72 (2019): 1–​ 8; Millie Creighton, “Wasuren!–​ We won’t forget! The work of remembering and commemorating Japan’s and Tohoku’s (3.11) triple disasters in local cities and communities,” Journal of Global Initiatives: Policy, Pedagogy, Perspective 9, no. 1 (2014): 97–​119. 39. Kaigai de hataraku (Working Overseas) (Tokyo: Aruku, 2001). 40. Nakazawa et al., “Experience”; Thang et al., “Expatriates on the Margins.” 41. Japanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Heisei 23 nen Kaigai zairyu hojin ninsu chosa tokei (Annual Report of Statistics on Japanese Nationals Overseas) (2011), https://​www.​mofaj/​toko/​tokei/​hojin/​11/​pdfs/​2.pdf. 42. John Lui, “The New Japanese Expats -​Young, Educated, Female,” The Straits Times, August 27, 1994. 43. Nakazawa et al., “Experience.” 44. See note 14 above. 45. Thang et al., “Negotiating Work,” 544. 46. Yoko Kobayashi, “The Role of Gender in Foreign Language Learning Attitudes: Japanese Female Students’ Attitudes towards English Learning,” Gender and Education 14, no. 2 (2002): 181–​197. 47. Befu and Stalker, “Globalization of Japan.” 48. Ben-​Ari and Yong, “Twice Marginalized,” 99. 49. Thang et al., “Expatriates on the Margins,” 548. 50. Thang et al., “Expatriates on the Margins.” 51. Thang et al., “Expatriates on the Margins,” 547. 52. Nakazawa et al., “Experience,” 105. 53. Ben-​Ari and Yong, “Twice Margainlized”; Takahashi, “Locally Employed Japanese Women.” 54. Evidence of the popularity can be found on Japanese websites discussing working overseas. For example: https://​​howto/​japanese-​language/​, https://​​kaigai (Accessed May 5, 2021). 55. Japan Foundation, Survey Report on Japanese-​Language Education Abroad 2018 (Tokyo: Japan Foundation, 2020). 56. There are three ways in which a Japanese language teacher is certified: (a) by graduating with a major (or minor) in Japanese language education; (b) by graduating with at least 420 hours of certified Japanese language teacher training seminars; or (c) by passing the Japanese Language Teaching Competency Test organized by the Japan Educational Exchanges and Services. See Brush Up, “Do I Need a Qualification to Become a Japanese Teacher?” https://​www.brush-​​guide/​sc8 (accessed May 5, 2021).

Japan–Southeast Asia Engagements on the Ground | 247 57. Barbara Hartley, “Just Return for Dedicated Investment: Internationalisation, Japanese Language Teacher Education, and Student Expectations,” in Australian Perspectives on Internationalising Education, ed. Anthony J. Liddicoat, Susana Eisenchlas and Susan Trevaskus (Melbourne: Language Australia, 2003), 53–​64. 58. Ko Hirano, “Japanese Language Studies Taking Root in Vietnam Elementary Schools,” The Japan Times, May 8, 2016. 59. Agency for Cultural Affairs, Heisei 27 nen kokunai no nihongo kyoiku no gaiyo (2015 Overview of Domestic Japanese language education) (Japan: National Language Division, Agency for Cultural Affairs), 7, available at https://​​ tokei_​hakusho_​shuppan/​tokeichosa/​nihongokyoiku_​jittai/​h27/​pdf/​h27_​zenbun.pdf (accessed May 5, 2021). 60. Japan Foundation, 2012 Survey Report on Japanese Language Education Abroad: Excerpt (2012), 7, available at https://​​e/​project/​japanese/​survey/​ result/​survey12.html (accessed May 5, 2021). 61. Kato, “Self-​searching Migrants.” 62. Japanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Heisei 30 Kaigai zairyu hojin ninsu chosa tokei (Annual Report of Statistics on Japanese Nationals Overseas) (2018), available at https://​​mofaj/​toko/​page22_​003338.html (accessed May 5, 2021). 63. For information about the “Bridge Women” program, see “Overview of the Bridge Women,” http://​​research/​kenkyu/​pdf/​asia_​h30/​en/​04.pdf; “Key Findings,” http://​​research/​kenkyu/​pdf/​asia_​h30/​en/​06.pdf. 64. Roy Oldenburg, The Great Good Place: Cafes, Coffee Shops, Bookstores, Bars, Hair Salon and Other Hangouts at the Heart of the Community (New York: Marlowe and Company, 1999). 65. For example, see Magdalena Osumi, “Japanese Women Works to Give Impoverished Filipinos Path to Education and Jobs,” The Japan Times, September 8, 2018; Kathryn Wortley, “Yu Nakamura: A Sweet Affinity Between Japan and Thailand,” The Japan Times, February 9, 2019. 66. Robin LeBlanc, Bicycle Citizens: The Political World of the Japanese Housewife (Berkeley, CA: University of California Press, 1999); Paola Cavaliere, Understanding Women in Faith-​based Volunteering: Gender, Religion and Civil Society Factors (Leiden, The Netherlands: Brill, 2015). 67. Cavaliere, Understanding Women, 14. 68. Toyota and Thang, “Reverse Marriage Migration?”; Thang and Toyota, “Making ‘Traditional’ Families.” 69. In Japan, romantic and sexual encounters of young Japanese female tourists with local beach boys (and surfers) in Bali and other parts of Southeast Asia have been popular and sensationalized in mass media. This phenomenon peaked especially during late 1980s to mid-​1990s bubble economy period. Mika Toyota, “Consuming Images: Young Female Japanese Tourists in Bali,” in Tourism, Consumption and Representation, ed. Kevin Meethan, Alison Anderson and Steven Miles (Wallingford, UK: CAB International, 2006), 158–​177. This has led to the negative stereotyping of Japanese women marrying beach boys in Southeast Asia. 70. Statista Research Department, Distribution of Japanese Overseas Travelers as of 2017, by age group and gender (2019), https://​​statistics/​939024/​japan-​ share-​overseas-​travelers-​by-​age-​group-​and-​gender/​.

11  |  Revisiting “Cool Japan” The Southeast Asian Gaze toward Japanese Manga and Anime Karl Ian Uy Cheng Chua

Japanese popular culture has been part of Southeast Asian consumption for decades. Saya Shiraishi drew attention to this in the late 1990s by writing about the spread of Japanese manga into the region.1 Doraemon, one of the most iconic Japanese manga written and illustrated by Fujiko Fujio since 1969, reached Singapore and Thailand as early as the 1970s and has become popular in the Philippines, Malaysia, Indonesia, and Vietnam since the 1990s. Anime followed the same trend in the 1970s, with national television stations purchasing contents from Japan. The Philippines television station GMA broadcast five anime shows—Tosho Daimos (1978), Mechander Robo (1977), Mazinger Z (1972), UFO Robo Grendizer (1975), and Chodenji Machine Voltes V (1977)—in 1978. The number grew to seven in 1979 before it was abruptly banned by then president Ferdinand Marcos. The popularity of anime grew steadily in the following decades in other countries, and by 2004 Singapore-​based Animax, a premium television channel, launched broadcasting services for much of Southeast Asia.2 It became the first channel in Asia dedicated to broadcasting only anime with over 45 million viewers in 16 markets including Hong Kong, Taiwan, and India.3 Highlighting the strong presence of Japanese popular culture in the region, Kadosh Nissim Otmazgin has stated that the cultural landscape of Southeast Asia since the 1990s is shaped by the confluence of American, Japanese, Chinese, and Korean popular cultures.4 A 2013 survey by Hakuhodo Global corroborates this argument. Figures 11.1 through 11.3 summarize the consumption patterns of manga/​anime, movies, and music 248

Revisiting “Cool Japan” | 249

respectively, demonstrating that people in many major Southeast Asian cities are voracious consumers of Japanese popular culture. Japan’s cultural presence is particularly strong in manga/​ anime. According to this survey, respondents from Metro Manila, Jakarta, Bangkok, and Singapore prefer Japanese manga/​anime vis-​à-​vis local, Western, Chinese, or Korean counterparts. Only Ho Chih Minh City and Kuala Lumpur preferred manga/​anime from Western countries.5 Japanese popular culture has some strong appeal in other genres such as movies and music as well, but in those areas, Japanese products tend to trail Western products in popularity, as well as Korean products in some cities.6 Thus, it is safe to say that manga/​anime is Japan’s most popular cultural product in Southeast Asia and a powerful tool in Japan’s engagement in the region. How has manga/​anime gained this status, and what role does it play in Japan’s post-​war engagements in Southeast Asia? Efforts by the Japanese government and public-​private collaborations, such as official development assistance and corporate soft power offensives, have contributed to the popularity of Japanese popular culture in the region. However, these efforts were relatively scarce in the field of manga/​anime, particularly before the government adopted “Cool Japan” initiatives in the 2010s. In

90 80 70 60 50 40 30 20 10 0





Fig. 11.1. In which countries/​regions is manga or anime read or watched frequently? Percent of respondents watching or reading manga or anime from various sources

Source: Hakuhodo Global, “Content Market Growing in Asia” (September 2013), https://​www. hakuhodo-​​wp_​admin/​wp-​content/​uploads/​2017/​09/​2013.pdf (accessed May 12, 2021)

100 90 80 70 60 50 40 30 20 10 0





Fig. 11.2. What types of movies are preferred? Percent of respondents who like movies from various sources Source: Hakuhodo Global, “Content Market Growing in Asia” (September 2013)

100 90 80

70 60 50 40 30 20 10 0





Fig. 11.3. What types of music are often listened to in various countries /​regions? Percent of respondents who listen to music from various sources Source: Hakuhodo Global, “Content Market Growing in Asia” (September 2013)

Revisiting “Cool Japan” | 251

this vacuum, local fans in Southeast Asia found ways to consume their favorite manga/​anime outside of the formal channels. I argue that such local grassroots support for Japanese popular culture offer productive alternative channels for Japan’s engagement in Southeast Asian societies, helping Japan build a positive regional reputation and perhaps lessening its need to rely on official levers of influence. In this chapter, I first briefly discuss the concept of soft power and Japan’s soft power diplomacy in Southeast Asia—​a crucial topic in the era of the “Free and Open Indo-​Pacific,” as Japan seeks an even more prominent role in the region. I will then introduce the theoretical concepts of “aspirational consumption” and “creative misreading” to explain how Japanese popular culture gained popularity in Southeast Asia despite very limited interventions by the Japanese government. To examine the processes through which local bottom-​up activities contributed to the rise of Japanese popular culture, I present case studies from Indonesia, the Philippines, and Vietnam, focusing on the genre of manga/​anime, Japan’s most potent instrument in soft power diplomacy. Finally, the chapter will end with some notes on how Japan can further enrich its engagements in Southeast Asia. What Is Soft Power?

Joseph Nye introduced the concept of soft power, defined as the ability to influence the behavior of others (or in this case, a state) to get the outcomes one wants through cooptation rather than coercion.7 Nye further cautioned that soft power is a difficult instrument to wield, as the critical resources are outside the primary scope and control of governments (unlike with hard power) and a desired outcome cannot be verified for years. Nonetheless, Japan has adopted soft power as a foreign policy tool in the Southeast Asian region. Japan’s toolkit has included official development assistance (ODA) projects. The 2018 white paper for bilateral ODA summarizes the following engagements with Southeast Asia: grant aid and technical cooperation at a total of US$755 million, as well as loan aid disbursed at a total of US$2.2 billion;8 free trade agreements in the economic realm with signed Economic Partnership Agreements (EPAs) with Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, Indonesia, Brunei, Philippines, Vietnam, and a separate comprehensive agreement with ASEAN;9 “defense diplomacy” in the security domain including the expansion of presence, strengthening of partnerships, and sharing of norms and general rules

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with ASEAN;10 and finally, its “Cool Japan” promotion in popular culture. Douglas McGray defines “Cool Japan” as an expression of Japan’s popular culture, from J-​pop, manga, and film to fashion, consumer electronics, and cuisine.11 McGray states that through its “Gross National Cool,” Japan has been able to successfully wield its influence globally despite economic and political problems since the 1990s. However, Lam Peng Er and Koichi Iwabuchi have criticized this approach as monodirectional, where Japanese culture is introduced to Southeast Asia, as opposed to diplomacy, which engages and also learns from the culture of Southeast Asia.12 An early example of this kind of Japanese soft power projection in Southeast Asia, which precedes the “Cool Japan” brand, was the relaxing of international distribution rights to television shows such as Oshin, which was distributed and televised in Singapore and Thailand in 1984, Malaysia and Indonesia in 1986, Vietnam in 1993, and Myanmar in 1994 with the cooperation of the Japan Foundation, a government-​supported organization whose mission is to promote Japanese culture and research on Japan.13 Hiroshi Aoyagi notes that audience response was extremely positive in those countries, contributing to positive perceptions of Japan.14 With the Oshin phenomena in Southeast Asia as a major precedent, the Japanese government began investing in efforts to support and promote the development of exemplary Japanese products and services abroad, establishing the Cool Japan Fund, a public-​private fund, in November 2013.15 The fund is comprised of $500 million over 20 years with the hopes of generating $600 million in matching private investor partnerships. The Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI) released four reports concerning the government’s “Cool Japan Strategy” in 2012 and 2014. The earliest plan in January 2012 identified Thailand, Indonesia, and Singapore as potential markets for cultural industries to expand into and proposed a strategy for promoting food products in Singapore, making the country the base for disseminating Japanese cuisine to Southeast Asia.16 It was only in 2014 that there was a conscious effort to promote Japanese contents besides food in Southeast Asia.17 The Cool Japan Strategy rolled out plans to implement Japan Localization and Promotion of contents (J-​ LOP), including digital comics distribution via Gramedia (Indonesia) from November 2013, and three national channels: Hello! Japan (Singapore) from February 2013 and New Japan Channel (Indonesia) and JAPAN Channel (Cambodia) from January 2014. The strategy also scheduled Cool Japan World for content festivals and business matching events—​ networking events to connect small businesses or foreign businesses with major corporations and government agencies.

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This type of cultural diplomacy is not entirely new, as developed countries like Britain, France, and Germany have invested in institutions such as the British Council, Alliance Française, and Goethe-​Institut respectively. The British Council has had a strategy of cultural promotion that complemented Britain’s political diplomacy with projects such as English language teaching, operating British libraries, and promoting educational exchanges through scholarships.18 The British Council has received 6.6 million visitors at its offices worldwide, lent out 6.7 million books and videos from its libraries, and taught over 1.1 million class hours about British culture, language and history.19 Alliance Française is the oldest among the three institutions, and despite being a private organization, is directly linked with the French Foreign Ministry and affiliated with the French Ministry of Education. It runs a total of 850 institutes globally. Among its projects is French language teaching, which also has a dimension of multiculturalism through the sending of teachers from its former colonies, where French is their first language. Gail Dexter Lord, a Toronto-​based museum planner who was appointed to an office in the Order of Arts and Letters in 2014, commented that Alliance Française exercises soft power by connecting with people who identify with French culture and creating bridges with interested outsiders.20 Formally known as the Goethe-​Institut Inter Nationes, this German government-​funded institute has around 141 institutes in 77 countries, with most of them situated in Europe and about 21 in Asia. While most of its projects are limited to teaching German language and occasional introductions to German culture, an innovative feature of the Goethe-​ Institut is its interactions and collaborations with cultural institutes of other countries such as the tri-​national institute in Luxembourg with Luxembourg, France, and Germany, and its cooperation with Spain’s Cultural agency, Instituto Cervantes.21 As a latecomer to international cultural diplomacy, has Japan been effective in establishing its soft power through international initiatives? There are a couple of well-​known rankings of countries in terms of their soft power that would be useful in evaluating Japan’s success. First, according to The Soft Power 30, a soft power index developed by a media company called Portland, Japan ranked eight out of the top 30 in the world in 2019 with a score of 75.71.22 The breakdown of the index reveals that Japan placed seventh in Digital, seventh in Enterprise, sixteenth in Education, sixth in Culture, fifth in Engagement, and sixteenth in Government.23 This ranking is based on a mixed methods approach that

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included a digital component in collaboration with Facebook to create and collect metrics on countries’ digital diplomacy, an international polling of 12,500 people from 25 different countries that would represent every major region in the world, and over 75 metrics based on the six sub-​indices mentioned above. Another soft power index ranked Japan number one in 2019. Developed by Monocle, a global affairs and lifestyle magazine run by the Institute for Government, an independent think tank in the United Kingdom,24 it follows a similar methodology to Portland but taps Pew Global Attitudes Survey for its data instead of Facebook, and works with 40 countries and 50 metrics-​based data. Monocle attributes this top ranking to a series of global events that improved Japan’s image, such as the 2019 Rugby World Cup, the G20 Summit, and the plans for the now postponed 2020 Summer Olympic and Paralympic Games. Furthermore, the transition from the Heisei era to the Reiwa era that resulted from the abdication of the emperor Heisei also contributed to the positive image of the peaceful Imperial House. The growing global popularity of Japanese kyara or mascots, such as Kumamon created by the Kumamoto prefectural government, also enhanced Japan’s image as a friendly nation.25 The success of soft power seems to have translated into an overall positive perception of Japan in Southeast Asia. In 2015, on the occasion of the 70th anniversary of the end of World War II and the 60th anniversary of the restoration of Japan–​Southeast Asia relations, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan through its embassies in Southeast Asia conducted public surveys on Japan–​ASEAN relations. The survey, administered to a total of 3,000 respondents aged 18–​59 residing in the capital cities of all ten ASEAN countries, presented an overall positive attitude by the ASEAN public toward Japan. According to the survey, respondents were attracted to Japanese culture—​travel, language, education, food, and popular culture. This was derived from three general questions asked to the respondents: (1) What are topics you want to know about Japan?; (2) Do you want to study Japanese language?; and (3) What is your motivation in learning Japanese language? Overall, 73 percent of respondents had a positive perception of Japan. Indonesia (91%) and the Philippines (90%) had especially high approval rates of Japan. Vietnam (88%), Malaysia (84%), and Thailand (83%) also ranked Japan high, followed by Singapore (74%), Myanmar (66%), Laos (56%), Cambodia (48%), and Brunei (45%).26 Japan’s approval rating was equally high in a survey by the Pew Research Center conducted in the same year with Malaysia (84%), Vietnam (82%),

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the Philippines (81%) and Indonesia (71%) leading the way. The Pew Research Center survey also asked questions about public perception of other countries such as China, India and South Korea. China’s approval rating was the highest with Malaysia (78%), followed by Indonesia (63%), the Philippines (54%) and very low in Vietnam (19%). India is viewed favorably by Vietnam (66%), Indonesia (51%), the Philippines (48%) and Malaysia (45%). Finally, South Korea is viewed positively by Vietnam (82%), the Philippines, (68%), Malaysia (61%), and Indonesia (41%).27 These results demonstrate the high approval rates for Japan in Southeast Asia relative to those for other major countries in Asia, despite the aggressions and atrocities in the region wrought by the wartime Japan only a couple of generations ago. These results might prompt one to label the Cool Japan campaign as a major success. While it has undoubtedly contributed to Japan’s soft power today, we need to note the gap between the Oshin phenomena of the 1980s and 1990s and the launching of the Cool Japan initiative in 2013. Studies have documented earlier successes of Japanese popular culture in Southeast Asian cities such as Bangkok, noting the targeting of a younger generation of Thais with animated programs and manga, which planted favorable impressions of Japanese culture.28 Similarly, in Manila, the anime “Voltes V” was a formative precursor to Filipinos’ positive perceptions of Japan.29 The Cool Japan efforts may have simply ridden on the coattails of the early successes led by the private sector. If so, what was happening in the period before 2013 that created a favorable context for the major success of Japan’s popular culture in Southeast Asia? “Look to Japan”

Before turning to the cultural domain, it is important to acknowledge an important factor that contributed to Japan’s positive image in Southeast Asia: its economic success in the post-​World War II era. Southeast Asia was in awe of Japan’s “economic miracle” emerging from the devastation of World War II and the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki to become the world’s second largest economy. Southeast Asians observed the economic miracle firsthand through the siting of factories by Japanese manufacturing companies within the region, and by the late 1990s, Japan accounted for more than 10 percent of foreign direct investment in the ASEAN region.30

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Observing Japan’s rapid economic growth, Southeast Asian countries implemented policies that sought to emulate Japan’s development strategy. For example, in 1981, Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir bin Mohamad announced his “Look East Policy,” sending Malaysian youths to Japanese universities and institutes of technology with the Malaysian government scholarship in the hopes that they would learn the secret to Japan’s success as well as its vaunted labor ethics and discipline. Some of these students would eventually return to Malaysia and contribute to the establishment of Perusahaan Otomobil Nasional Sendirian Berhad (PROTON), Malaysia’s sole national car company.31 Around the same time, then Singapore Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yew also launched the “Learn from Japan” movement to emulate Japan’s ‘Asian’ combination of economic success with social stability. The movement sought to determine “how Japan could be useful” to Singapore. An outcome was the reorganization of the Singaporean police into the koban system, or neighborhood police posts, which combine friendly neighborhood services with effective social control efforts.32 Japan’s economic success and Southeast Asian governments’ policies to learn from the Japanese model created fertile grounds for Southeast Asians to aspire to the Japanese lifestyle and consumption of Japanese culture. However, without an official soft power policy by the Japanese government, there were some difficulties in the smooth flow of cultural products from Japan to the Southeast Asian markets, which eventually resulted in alternative sources such as piracy.33 Yet, as I discussed above, Southeast Asians actively consumed Japanese popular culture. How do we understand the active consumption and popularity of Japanese popular culture in Southeast Asia despite the lack of formal channels for importation of legitimate Japanese popular culture before 2013? I seek to explain these phenomena through the concepts of aspirational consumption, creative misreading, and piracy. FANtasizing Japan

Thomas Baudinette introduces the concept of “aspirational consumption” wherein people consume the image of a particular product or brand, regardless of the accuracy of that image in relation to the reality.34 In Baudinette’s example, Chinese gay men would consume Japanese gay pornography buying into the image of Japan as a “gay paradise,” when in reality, acceptance of gay men is still limited to certain commercial districts such as Shinjuku Nichome in Tokyo and some segments of the entertainment industry.

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Parallel to aspirational consumption, Baudinette also offers a new interpretation of Stuart Hall’s “creative misreading,” arguing that consumers can acquire real meaning from the “misreading” of cultural content.35 Consumers might devour certain cultural products knowing full well that they are not an authentic representation of reality. Thus, researchers should embrace the “misreading” as a “fact” for the consumer, rather than to simply point out the truth about the misread item. Applied to studies of Japanese culture, his argument dictates that if the consumers perceive that they are consuming “Japan,” then they are consuming Japan. Both aspirational consumption and creative misreading are part of the process of glocalization—​the adaptation of a good, service, or pub­lication in order to make it suitable for local needs.36 A key difference is that creative misreading implies greater agency on the part of the consumer than aspirational consumption, in the sense that the latter might simply result from a lack of accurate information while the former involves agentic efforts to knowingly engage in misreading. Policies implemented by Southeast Asian states that look to Japan as a “model” of socio-​economic transformation, such as the “Look East Policy” of Malaysia and “Learn from Japan” of Singapore, indirectly increased consumption of Japanese products through aspirational consumption. Southeast Asians yearned for Japanese products seeking to consume the image of the modernized Japanese lifestyle. In the 1980s and 1990s, without an official soft power policy, cultural flows from Japan to Southeast Asian markets were hardly smooth. Wendy Siuyi Wong observed that since Japanese manga publishers had enjoyed enormous domestic success in the post-​World War II period, there was little to no incentive to develop international licensing systems.37 Furthermore, economic policies of the Japanese government were focused on rapidly expanding heavy manufacturing, such as automobiles and electronics. Aspirational consumption was more common for those Japanese manufacturing products rather than for cultural products. Meanwhile, creative industries were left to their own devices if they wanted to expand its markets in Southeast Asia. This is where piracy came in. One of the earliest histories of transnational flows of manga to markets in Hong Kong, Taiwan, Korea, and Southeast Asia were via illegitimate channels through pirated versions redistributed through unlicensed publishers. Focused on the domestic market, where Japanese manga publishers enjoyed tremendous successes, they had little incentive to develop international licensing systems, nor encouragement from the government to do so.38

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In his pioneering study, John Lent interviewed the owners of Taiwanese publishers Tong-​li and Cheng-​Duang who pirated Japanese manga since the 1970s, a period in which Taiwan was not a signatory of any international copyright-​related convention (until 1992).39 Tong Li Publishing run by Fang Wen-​nan called itself the “king of pirated manga,” which made manga affordable to a growing consumer base in Southeast Asia. In the 1970s, small bookstores in Singapore also began illegally publishing and distributing copies of Doraemon. Thailand would follow the same pattern with several publishers pirating their own versions of Doraemon, which would compete in the local market. Manga first reached Vietnam via a student studying in Thailand who translated and distributed pirated manga upon his return.40 In broadcasting, anime’s penetration into Southeast Asian markets was through more legitimate channels, sparked by the need of local television stations for content to fill their programming hours. Local production of TV shows was expensive, and it was more cost effective to purchase pre-​made shows. Seeking sources other than the United States, these TV stations found a less expensive alternative in Japan.41 Part of the reason for this lower cost is the outsourcing of animators by Japanese anime companies to South Korea since the 1970s, Taiwan and Malaysia since the 1980s, and the Philippines since the 1990s.42 This made licensed anime accessible to local TV stations and enhanced familiarity with the medium within the creative industries in Southeast Asia. From the 1970s to the 1990s, there were incremental increases in the number of anime shown on local channels. For example, Singapore showed one to four series per year in the late 1970s and early 1980s, and eventually, five to ten series per year by the mid-​1980s.43 Despite increased accessibility, anime still did not displace Western animated series from their primetime slots. Furthermore, one should note that the consumption of anime was based on domestic demand in Southeast Asian countries, primarily led by television stations looking for filler contents, and not through policy interventions from Japan. Despite the legitimate start, piracy soon entered the field of anime. With the advent of home entertainment systems such as VHS, anime was consumed more at the convenience of the consumer in the 1980s and 1990s. Failing to imagine overseas market potentials of their products, Japanese anime corporations had not established overseas sales and distributions sections, making access to original anime difficult for Southeast Asian video rental and retail shops. To fill this vacuum, Hong Kong became the supplier of unlicensed pirated copies, which were normally dubbed in Cantonese and sold throughout Southeast Asia.44

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As this brief survey of the early era of Japanese popular culture in Southeast Asia shows, the lack of state interventions from Japan in the circulation of popular culture resulted in the circulation and consumption of pirated Japanese cultural products among Southeast Asians seeking to fulfill their “aspirations of Japan.” The next three sections zoom in on these processes in three empirical cases from Indonesia, the Philippines, and Vietnam. I draw on the three concepts introduced in this section to link these early periods to the recent success of Cool Japan. Hijab Cosplay in Indonesia

Cosplay or costume play is a performance art in which participants or cosplayers wear costumes to represent a specific character in a subculture, such as anime, cartoons, comic books, manga, television series or video games. While cosplay is not uniquely Japanese, the term first surfaced in Japan around 1984. Soon major conventions in Japan would host large cosplay events, such as the World Cosplay Summit held annually in Nagoya since 2003. Initially, this event was organized by TV Aichi, but recognizing the soft power potential of the cosplay summit, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA), Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transportation, and the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI) began to sponsor the event in 2008. With a stated goal of promoting “international relations through Japanese popular culture,” the event is an early exercise of soft power diplomacy by Japan that would eventually lead to the Cool Japan initiative.45 Importantly, the summit began as a private event, and MOFA got involved five years into its existence. Thus, Japanese government sponsorship of the World Cosplay Summit represented a more inward-​looking policy as it can only be seen in the Nagoya event, while the affiliated cosplay events abroad needed to participate in the global summit are mostly run by private organizations. This hearkens to the criticism of Iwabuchi, and should be considered a prelude to, but not a part of, the Cool Japan campaign that would come later.46 Nonetheless, as cosplay has become a global phenomenon, casual cosplay events, where participants dress up to have their photos taken, have proliferated. In such events, some form of glocalization takes place. For example, Ranny Rastati explored the history of Indonesian cosplay and how it was performed from the mid-​1990s by students from the University of Indonesia, which began with straightforward “copying” to satisfy their aspirational consumption of Japan through the performance of cosplay.47 Later on, gradual localization occurred, which included Crossdress or male

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to female crossdressing in cosplay from 2004, to Indocosu or cosplaying Indonesian manga and anime characters in 2009, and finally Hijab Cosplay or women cosplaying while wearing their hijab since 2011. Operating within the definition of cosplay as “a type of performance art” in which participants wear costumes and accessories to represent a specific character, hijab cosplay is basically the same with the inclusion of the wearing of a hijab and modesty in the overall style of the clothing. Furthermore, hijab cosplay is not exclusive to Indonesia and is also practiced in other Muslim majority countries such as Malaysia and countries in the Middle East. Among regular cosplayers, main topics discussed include the permissibility of cosplay or issues on sexual harassment. Hijab cosplayers, in contrast, frequently discuss the issue of how Muslim women have the right to do cosplay without removing their hijab. Thus, to hijab cosplayers, the performance is not only a medium of engaging the space of Japan, but also a medium for da’wah or preaching Islam. To quote Sind Yanti (Figure 11.4), an Indonesian hijab cosplayer: “It began with an inner conflict because my religious teachings say I cannot show hair or wear a wig.

Fig. 11.4. Mimie as Tamayo (Demon Slayer) at Japan Otaku Matsuri 2019

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But I want to do cosplay, and for it I must wear a wig or take off my hijab. I can’t do that. So I think why not using it as my cosplay character hair?”48 Hijab cosplay is absent in the space of Japan, as a community website listing hijab cosplayers shows that most are from Indonesia and Malaysia and none from Japan.49 Hijab cosplayers may or may not know that hijab cosplay is not practiced in Japan, and it does not matter to them either way. They adapt cosplay to their local context and imbue cultural and even religious meanings to their practice. As such, this is a case of glocalized aspirational consumption. In countries such as Indonesia, where individuals “perform Japan” through cosplay, they have glocalized cosplay into something that suits their local “imagination” of cosplay. Through hijab cosplay, these women can now aspirationally consume Japan even if hijab cosplay is not practiced or developed in Japan. Duterte Manga/​Anime

On September 2016, an original anime video called “El Presidente” was uploaded to YouTube. The 1 minute and 28 second piece was made by Davao Nikkei Jin Anime club in cooperation with Bisayaball Community with the background music by Japanese rock band KANA-​ BOON. “El Presidente” is a propaganda piece portraying the newly elected, populist Philippine president Rodrigo Duterte, who is known for riding his motorcycle (Figure 11.5) and is portrayed to have repelled the “evil monster Yellowtards,” the Liberal Party critical of the president.50 (Figure 11.6)

Fig. 11.5. From “El Presidente”—​Rodrigo Duterte riding his motorcycle

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Fig. 11.6. From “El Presidente” ”—​the enemies of the President, Oligarchs, Senator Leila de Lima, and “Dilawans” (from left to right)

While the initial post is no longer accessible, in the six hours from its posting, the video managed to get 809,000 views, 38,500 shares, 8,000 reactions, and 1,410 comments. The majority of the comments were positive: “This could be that anime series you would look forward to in the afternoon or evening rather than showing BAGITO (a Filipino television drama)”; “This would be an amazing anime series. Lol. I would watch this!!”; “Ang galling nito! (This is great!) Will absolutely watch this anime! Hahahaha”; “Cute noong anime version video! (This anime version video is cute!) we love you sir, beloved President Duterte!”; “Cool video bro I love anime I tend to be under the influence when I watch them lol I smashed that like button and im already subbed to you keep making good videos bro Peace.” Comments like these demonstrate how the viewers related the YouTube video to anime. This was not the first time that a Filipino politician used popular culture as part of propaganda or political campaign machinery. Soledad Reyes observed that the use of popular culture influenced the mindsets of Filipinos, for instance in spreading the ideas for the Green Revolution, launched by the then President Ferdinand Marcos in 1962 to promote cleaning of their surroundings and growing plants in their own backyards.51 Thus, the use of a popular medium, such as anime and manga, is not an innovative move, but rather a common tactic. The creators of the Duterte video chose to use anime-​esque style to tap into the growing popularity of anime in the Philippines, replacing the

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Fig. 11.7. Countries with the highest demand expressed for anime

American-​style aesthetics popular since the 1950s. Figure 11.7 shows that the Philippines is home to some of the most avid fans of anime in the world,52 with only Americans having greater appetite for anime.53 In addition, the creators of the Duterte video were not professionals but rather citizens who supported the president. Aside from the popularity of anime as a medium, there is a perception from Duterte’s supporters that the president has a strong affinity toward Japan as he was quoted as saying “Japan is a friend closer than a brother” referring to Prime Minister Abe during Abe’s visit to Duterte’s hometown in Davao City, in 2016. The supporters of President Duterte celebrated this relationship through the propagation of popular culture with an aesthetic relationship to Japan via anime and manga, creating doujinshi (self-​published) works. To maximize the circulation, all of these anime-​esque and manga-​esque creations are posted on online platforms, such as YouTube and Facebook. Figure 11.8 was created by an unnamed supporter to criticize rival candidates of Duterte, Mar Roxas, and Jejomar Binay for their pro-​ American policies. Duterte’s rivals were situated side-​ by-​ side with Western comic heroes, while the last panel showed the popular Japanese

Fig. 11.8. Go Team Digong by Anthony J. Tan

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anime character Saitama from One-​Punch Man volunteering to help Duterte for free. Through the illustration of Duterte’s rival candidates in the American-​style aesthetics, the supporter encapsulated Duterte’s anti-​ American posture exemplified in an incident where U.S. Ambassador to the Philippines, Philip S. Goldberg, created tensions when he spoke out against a rape joke by Duterte.54 On the other hand, Figure 11.9 is a manga “pairing” Duterte with the late Miriam Santiago, another presidential candidate in the 2016 election, in a fictional romance. It was created by administrators of a Facebook group called “Duriam Chronicles” who would only identify themselves as Kisppie, Gela, Nina, JD, and Buns, and it has around 23,884 unique followers. The logic of the pairing was based on the similarities between the two politicians, possessing quite assertive attitudes, proclivity for cursing in public speeches, and populist images of catering to their supporters. This resulted in the creation of several fan-​based manga, which finished its first chapter in 2017 and continues to produce materials up to the present. Despite the fact that the initial idea of using Japanese popular aesthetics for doujinshi manga/​anime came from the idea of Duterte’s good relations with Japan, the fan creations eventually evolved into propaganda with the rapid sharing among Duterte’s supporters adding to the popularity of the president. With Duterte’s “independent foreign policy” of cultivating non-​traditional partners, this could contribute to the weaning away from a traditional old partner such as the United States. The popular culture media pieces presented the aspirations of Filipino supporters to improve

Fig. 11.9. Duriam Chronicles by Kisppie, Gela, Nina, JD and Buns

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Japan–​Philippines relations through the choice of Japanese-​style anime-​ esque/​manga-​esque media in their representations. Observing the Duterte anime and manga samples, a casual observer would argue that what is consumed is not anime or manga, but rather Philippine animation or komiks.55 However, due to the anime-​esque and manga-​esque style being used, local popular culture experts would argue that these are neither local animation nor komiks. The Filipino consumers embrace the media and label the Duterte pieces as “anime” or “manga,” creatively misreading those non-​Japanese products as Japanese. They know these anime and manga are produced by Filipinos, but their creative misreading agentically attach Japanese cultural cache to those works. Similar to hijab cosplay, the Duterte manga/​anime are not created by the Japanese nor performed by the Japanese.56 Even though they took off in the era of Cool Japan promotion by the Japanese government, its involvement in these processes was minimal. It was not engaged in the production or consumption of these manga/​anime, nor did it endorse them. Despite the lack of government involvement, both hijab cosplay and Duterte manga/​anime are successful cases of glocalization. While hijab cosplay is a case of aspirational consumption, looking to Japan as a place for Muslim women’s cultural self-​expression, the Duterte manga/​anime rely on consumers to creatively misread the products and attach Japanese cultural flavor to them knowing full well that no Japanese were involved in their production. In both cases, the consumers experience these cultural products as Japanese, even though they are far from authentically Japanese cultural practices. Hijab cosplayers who aspirationally consume the practice are doing cosplay, and the Duterte manga/​anime consumers who “misread” these as manga/​anime are consuming manga/​anime. Through aspirational consumption and creative misreading, consumers in Southeast Asia glocalized cultural products and practices such as anime, manga, and cosplay into something that resonates with the local cultural sensibilities. Doraemon Tofu

In January 2014, BJD Production Co. Ltd, a Japanese company, opened the “Doraemon Tofu Factory” inside AEON shopping mall in Ho Chih Minh City. Doraemon is a Japanese magna series that is very popular in Southeast Asia. The shop sold dorayaki, a Japanese confection, which is Doraemon’s favorite sweets and appears frequently in Doraemon episodes, but as the store’s name suggests, its main product is tofu and soy-​based products such as soymilk ice cream and soymilk candy. With the manga

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series’ popularity, in the next three years, the company was able to expand to open six more shops. Furthermore, many supermarkets and convenience store chains began selling Doraemon tofu. The company itself had no previous experience in the tofu business at all. Nor does the company have any affiliation with Doraemon. Moreover, there is no relationship between the Doraemon franchise and tofu, yet the company relied on the character’s local popularity to sell their product.57 How did Doraemon become so popular in Vietnam? It all started with Kim Dong Publishing House, which published unlicensed Vietnamese translations of the manga from 1992 to 1996. Over 40 million copies of the translated manga were sold in Vietnam. Unlicensed versions of the anime were published by Phuongnam Films and distributed as VHS and VCD. These acts of piracy set the stage for Vietnamese consumers to become fans of Doraemon and Japan. It was only in 1996 that Kim Dong was able to negotiate rights with the official publisher, Shogakukan, four years after their first pirated release of the manga. Aside from the promise of paying royalties from then onward, Kim Dong also agreed to pay the royalties that it would have paid from

Fig. 11.10. Doraemon Tofu products.

Source: Doraemon Tofu B-​Carry Vietnam. Doraemon Tofu Products, https://​​ doraemontofu/​

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1992 to 1996. Fujiko F. Fujio opted not to receive the retroactive royalties and requested that the money, VND 1 billion (US$43,000), be used to establish the Doraemon Scholarship Fund,58 which as of 2017, had a total of 10,574 recipients.59 Since then, the scholarship would increase to VND 3 billion (US$129,000) from the profits of the manga sales. Finally, Kim Dong chairman Nguyen Thang Vu died in October 2010, he donated an additional VND 1 billion to the scholarship, making the Doraemon Scholarship Fund one of the first non-​governmental educational scholarships in Vietnam.60 The popularity of Doraemon in Vietnam was even recognized in a piece by the Public Relations Office of the Japanese government, entitled “The Little Robot Still Enchanting fans Worldwide.” It includes a quote from Mitsuru Saito, chief producer of international media at Shogakukan stating: “Translated Doraemon manga are particularly popular in Asia. In particular, Vietnamese fans’ love of Doraemon is unprecedented.”61 The unprecedented popularity of Doraemon led the Japanese Convenience

Fig. 11.11. Unlicensed versions of Kim Dong Publishing.

Source: Lesony Shop, “Unlicense Kim Dong Doraemon publications,” https://​​Sach-​Van-​ phong-​pham/​p2437710/​Ban-​truyen-​nam-​1992-​Dung-​si-​Hesman-​Doremon-​so-​luong-​lon.html

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Fig. 11.12. Doraemon characters—​steamed buns from Family Mart

Source: Andrew Kane, “Obscure Characters Become Snacks in Doraemon-​ crazy Vietnam,” Soranews24, November 19, 2016, https://​​2016/​11/​19/​obscure-​characters-​become-​ snacks-​in-​doraemon-​crazy-​vietnam/​

Store chain Family Mart to sell steamed dessert buns of minor characters in Doraemon in Vietnam. In the early growth of Doraemon’s popularity in Vietnam, there was virtually no involvement of Japanese actors, either from the private or public sector. It was a Vietnamese publishing company that brought in the manga, a Vietnamese production company that brought in the anime, and a Vietnamese student who translated the manga. These pirated versions of Doraemon established its popularity in Vietnam. Only after that, did legitimate entities, including Japanese corporations, come to the Vietnamese markets to use Doraemon to sell products such as Doraemon tofu. Even there, it was a Vietnamese company, Kizuna, which assisted in bringing the Japanese partners to Vietnam to manufacture Doraemon tofu. With the assurances of a base that is eager for aspirational consumption, even something as tangential as tofu would actually sell. And the basis for that eagerness was developed through pirated versions of Doraemon

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that clearly did not bear any imprint of efforts by Japanese corporations or government. The Japanese government would later appropriate Doraemon’s success with Foreign Minister Masahiko Komura appointing it as the first “anime ambassador” in 2008. Komura gave a “mission” to Doraemon stating “I hope you will travel around the world as an anime ambassador to deepen people’s understanding of Japan so they will become friends with Japan.”62 During the commemoration of 45 years of Vietnam–​Japan bilateral relations, Vietnamese Minister of Public Security To Lam and Mainichi Newspaper Corporation senior advisor Teruo Tsuneda, with a delegation of Japanese business interests, successfully organized the “Traffic Safety in Vietnam with Doraemon” program in 2018.63 While the latter is a partnership between the Vietnamese government and Japanese business delegation, part of the success of the program was using the government-​ appointed anime ambassador. The popularity of Doraemon that the Japanese government tapped into was initially developed by an act of piracy by a Vietnamese publisher, as both the Japanese government and private sectors did not recognize the Southeast Asian market, eager for aspirational consumption, as a space to legitimately distribute Doraemon. Once established, the same publishing company that pirated Doraemon would seek legitimacy and eventually contributed to a successful legal flow of Doraemon into Vietnam. While this example certainly should not lead to a policy of accepting violations of intellectual property rights, it should prompt the Japanese government to consider new approaches in cultivating and mobilizing interests in Japanese popular culture in Southeast Asia and beyond. Conclusion

Interesting results emerged in the 2020 edition of the State of Southeast Asia Survey Report that was administered to 1,308 respondents from all ten ASEAN member states.64 Of those surveyed, 47 percent had “little” or “no confidence” in the United States as a strategic partner, while 72 percent were “worried about China’s growing regional influence.” The same survey found that 61.2 percent felt “confident” or “very confident” with Japan when it comes to providing global goods.65 Soft power and Cool Japan have long been theoretical tools utilized to explain the rapid growth in popularity and consumption of Japanese popular culture. The studies that adopt these concepts often assume that

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for the cultural objects (Japanese popular culture) to exist in the target markets (Southeast Asia), it requires that the Japanese state involve itself to push for the market’s consumption. However, between the promulgation of the Oshin television series in the 1980s to the launching of the Cool Japan initiative in Southeast Asia in 2013, there were few active state interventions. Even in the absence of government involvement, the Southeast Asian countries were able to access Japanese culture, and its popularity grew steadily. Piracy played a key role in effectively diffusing Japanese popular culture into Southeast Asian markets, hungry for Japanese products. Aspirational consumption and creative misreading further facilitated glocalizaion of Japanese culture in Southeast Asia. In all three cases that I examined here—​hijab cosplay, Duterte manga/​anime, and Doraemon tofu—​ the key players were consumers in Southeast Asia, not the Japanese government or even Japanese corporations for the most part. Yet, in all three cases, the result was easily net positive for the Japanese government’s goal of enhancing a positive image of Japan through popular culture. The analyses here present a thorny issue of whether governments can produce “cool” cultural products. Governments can certainly facilitate private actors’ success in cultural markets abroad but in the three cases discussed here, Japanese corporations were not the main actors promoting the popularity of Japanese culture. It was the local actors that had genuine yearning for Japanese cultural products that enabled the success of Japanese culture in these cases and enhanced Japan’s soft power. As the Japanese government’s Cool Japan campaign nears its second decade, policy makers should bear in mind that cultural diplomacy is a delicate field in which top-​down promotion might not work and the agency of local actors needs to be valued. What does this mean within the spaces of popular culture in Southeast Asia? The Japanese government should recognize that the cultural markets of Southeast Asia are potentially important venues to enhance goodwill toward Japan, and should encourage the private sector to invest in these areas. There are promising signs in this regard as in the case of Vietnam discussed above and a recent venture of the Cool Japan Fund to tap Gojek (an Indonesian ride-​hailing app) to distribute anime throughout Indonesia.66 With the opening of cultural markets within the new member states of ASEAN, such as Laos, Cambodia, and Myanmar, Japan should also recognize how “informal” channels of distribution can launch cultural products, similar to the case of Doraemon in Vietnam. Finally, Japan

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should continue to embrace and promote the glocalized versions of their cultural products, such as hijab cosplay. Japan has developed a good reputation in Southeast Asia, and such a positive image can be an important asset as Japan contends with China’s influence in the era of Free and Open Indo-​Pacific. Its soft power is a particularly powerful instrument in this regard, as China still lags behind Japan in this arena.67 Japan has consistently demonstrated respect for glocalized versions of its cultural products, often with genuine appreciation of local cultural processes in Southeast Asian countries. These courteous approaches are exemplified in Japan’s tacit acceptance of underground diffusion of manga and anime and Fujiko Fujio’s generous donation of royalty from past sales of Doraemon. Japan could certainly have been more vigilant in guarding copyrights and cracked down on piracy, or dismissed glocalized versions of Japanese culture. While the Japanese government did not completely ignore piracy as a problem, it was less legalistic than its counterparts in other major cultural producers, and Japan’s civil society actors embraced many local cosplayers and other adaptations of Japanese popular culture. These examples demonstrate what Japan can do as a courteous soft power in nurturing supporters of its cultural products. This is not to say that Japan should tolerate piracy or lose its own cultural core, but by making its cultural products available at lower costs and encouraging their local adaptations, Japan may further reap benefits from the popularity of these products in the future. NOTES 1. Saya S. Shiraishi, “Japan’s Soft Power: Doraemon Goes Overseas,” in Network Power: Japan and Asia, eds. Peter Katzenstein and Takashi Shiraishi (Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press, 1997), 236–​249; Jaqueline Berndt, “Studying Comics from Southeast Asia,” Kyoto Review of Southeast Asia 16 (2014). 2. Animax, About Animax Asia (June 2006), https://​​web/​ 20060614202738/​http://​www.animax-​​corporate/​default.asp (accessed May 5, 2021). 3. Animax, About Us (n.d.), https://​www.animax-​​about (accessed May 5, 2021). 4. Kadosh Nissim Otmazgin, “Japanese Popular Culture in East and Southeast Asia: Time for a Regional Paradigm?” The Asia-​ Pacific Journal 6, no. 2 (2008); Kadosh Nissim Otmazgin, “Cultural Commodities and Regionalization in East Asia,” Contemporary Southeast Asia 27, no. 3 (2005): 499–​523.

Revisiting “Cool Japan” | 273 5. Hakuhodo Global, “Content Market Growing in Asia” (September 2013), https://​www.hakuhodo-​​wp_​admin/​wp-​content/​uploads/​2017/​09/​2013.pdf (accessed May 5, 2021). 6. Global, “Content Market Growing in Asia.” 7. Joseph S. Nye, Bound to Lead: The Changing Nature of American Power (New York: Basic Books, 1990). 8. Japanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA), White Paper on Development Cooperation 2019 (Tokyo: MOFA, 2020), available at https://​​mofaj/​ gaiko/​oda/​shiryo/​hakusyo/​19_​hakusho/​honbun/​b3/​s1.html (accessed May 5, 2021). 9. Japanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs, “Free Trade Agreement (FTA) and Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA),” August 2020, https://​​policy/​economy/​ fta/​index.html (accessed May 5, 2021). 10. Tomohiko Satake, “Japanese Defense Diplomacy and ASEAN,” The Diplomat, August 26, 2016. 11. Douglas McGray, “Japan’s Gross National Cool,” Foreign Policy, November 11, 2009. 12. Koichi Iwabuchi, “Pop-​culture Diplomacy in Japan: Soft Power, Nation Branding and the Question of ‘International Cultural Exchange’,” International Journal of Cultural Policy 21, no. 4 (2015); Lam Peng Er, “Japan’s Quest for ‘Soft Power’: Attraction and Limitation,” East Asia 24 (2007). 13. Hiroshi Aoyagi, “Prospects on the Impact of Cool Japan in Southeast Asia,” Asia Japan Journal (2009), 1–​17. 14. Aoyagi, “Prospects on the Impact of Cool Japan in Southeast Asia.” 15. Cool Japan Fund, “What is Cool Japan Fund?” (n.d.), https://​www.cj-​​ en/​about/​cjfund.html (accessed March 26, 2020). 16. Creative Industries Division, Cool Japan Strategy (Tokyo: Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry, 2012). 17. Japanese Ministry of Economics, Trade and Industry, Cool Japan Initiative (Tokyo: METI, 2014). 18. Kerstin Martens, Sanen Marshall, and Lisa Zelljadt, “Culture and Foreign Policy—A Comparative Study of Britain, France and Germany,” European Consortium for Political Research (April 2005). 19. Martens, Marshall, and Zelljadt, “Culture and Foreign Policy.” 20. Gail Dexter Lord, “Soft Power of Culture and Museums,” Transcribed Speech. December 8, 2014. 21. Goethe-​Institut, “Press Release,” Goethe Institut Inter Nationes (2002-​03). 22. Demand Expressions in Figure 11.7 represent the total audience demand being expressed for a cultural product within a country, on any platform. Demand expressions are derived from social media comments or P2P file downloads. 23. Portland, “The Soft Power 30,” https://​​ (accessed May 5, 2021). These sub-​categories capture the following: Digital—​A country’s digital infrastructure and its capabilities in digital diplomacy; Culture—​The global reach and appeal of a nation’s cultural outputs, both pop-​culture and high-​culture; Enterprise—​The attractiveness of a country’s economic model, business friendliness, and capacity for innovation; Education—​ The level of human capital in a country, contribution to scholarship, and attractiveness to

274 | The Courteous Power international students; Engagement—​The strength of a country’s diplomatic network and its contribution to global engagements and development; and Government—​Commitment to freedom, human rights, and democracy, and the quality of political institutions. 24. This index uses the following criteria: Business/​Innovation, Culture, Government, Diplomacy, and Education. Each criterion has at most five sub-​indexes. The organization recognized the subjectivity of soft power also included six metrics, which included cultural output, cuisine, soft power icons, national airline, international leadership and reputation of embassy/​diplomat. Jonathan McClory, The New Persuaders: An International Ranking of Soft Power (Institute of Government, 2010). 25. Monocle, “Soft Power—Global,” (2019/​20). 26. The percentages refer to the summary analysis of the Japanese MOFA regarding the data collected from surveys. 27. Bruce Stokes, How Asia-​Pacific Publics See Each Other and Their National Leaders (Pew Research Center, 2015). 28. Pavin Chachavalpongpun, “Is Japan’s soft power making a comeback in South-​ east Asia?: The Nation contributor,” The Straits Times, June 1, 2018. 29. Ma. Bernadette Bravo, Japanese Cultural Influence in the Philippines through Anime’s Popularity and Pervasiveness (PhD dissertation, Waseda University, 2012). 30. Walden Bello, “End of the Southeast Asian miracle,” The Nation, August 4, 1997. 31. Frank Kiong, The Look East Policy: Its Impact in Promoting Japanese Management Techniques to Manufacturing Firms in Malaysia (Ph.D. dissertation, University of Stirling, Scotland, unpublished, 2000). 32. Simon Avenell, “Beyond Mimesis: Japan and the Uses of Political Ideology in Singapore,” in Imaging Japan in Post-​war East Asia: Identity Politics, Schooling and Popular Culture, eds. Paul Morris, Naoko Shimazu and Edward Vickers (New York: Routledge, 2013), 29–​48. 33. Yuki Ohsawa, “A Contemporary Version of Globalization: New Ways of Circulating and Consuming Japanese Anime and Manga in East Asia,” Josai International University Bulletin (2018). 34. Thomas Baudinette, “Aspirations for ‘Japanese Gay Masculinity’: Comparing Chinese and Japanese Men’s Consumption of Porn Star Koh Masaki,” Porn Studies 7, no. 3 (2020). 35. Thomas Baudinette, “Creative Misreadings of ‘Thai BL’ by a Filipino Fan Community: Dislocating Knowledge Production in Transnational Queer Fandoms through Aspirational Consumption,” Mechadamia: Second Arc 13, no. 1 (2020). 36. Jones Mathew, “Glocalisation—Global + Local Approach of Brands,” Entrepreneur India, March 29, 2019. 37. Wendy Siuyi Wong, “Globalizing Manga: From Japan to Hong Kong and Beyond,” Mechademia 1: Emerging Worlds of Anime and Manga 1 (2006), 23–​46. 38. Wong, “Globalizing Manga.” 39. John Lent, Asian Comics (Jackson, MS: University Press of Mississippi, 2017). 40. Shiraishi, “Japan’s Soft Power.” 41. Manuel Hernandez-​Perez, Japanese Media Cultures in Japan and Abroad: Transnational Consumption of Manga, Anime and Media-​ Mixes (Basel: MDPI, 2019). 42. Seongsoo Baek, “Development of Japanese Animation Industry in Asia: Approach from International Collaboration for Animation Making,” The Journal of Kanda University of International Studies (2010): 97–​119.

Revisiting “Cool Japan” | 275 43. Benjamin Wai Ming Ng, “Japanese Animation in Singapore: History, Characteristics and Comparison,” Animation Journal (2001): 47–​60. 44. Ng, “Japanese Animation in Singapore.” 45. Andrew McKirdy, “Cosplay conquers the world,” The Japan Times, July 5, 2019. 46. Iwabuchi, “Pop-​culture Diplomacy.” 47. Ranny Rastati, “Pro & Cons: The Rise of Hijab Cosplay in Indonesia,” July 27, 2017, https://​​2017/​07/​27/​pro-​cons-​the-​rise-​of-​hijab-​ cosplay-​in-​indonesia/​. 48. Eimi Yamamitsu, “Three Women Tells Us How They Incorporate the Hijab into the Cosplay,” June 22, 2017, https://​​article/​eimiyamamitsu/​ three-​women-​tell-​us-​how-​they-​incorporate-​the-​hijab-​into. 49. Mumu Alpaka and Kazeyuki, “Hijab Cosplay,” 2019, https://​www.hijabcosplay. com/​(accessed May 5, 2021). 50. El Presidente. Directed by Philippine Nikkei Jin Anime club (2016). 51. Soledad S. Reyes, Pagbasa ng panitikan at kulturan popular: Piling sanaysay, 1976 -​1996 (Readings in Literature and Popular Culture: Selected Essays, 1976 -​1996) (Quezon City, Philippines: Ateneo de Manila University Press, 1997). 52. Demand Expressions in Figure 7 represent the total audience demand being expressed for a cultural product within a country, on any platform. Demand expressions are derived from social media comments or P2P file downloads. 53. Parrot Analytics, “The Global Content Marketplace: Audience Demand for Anime,” 2018, https://​​insights/​the-​global-​content-​ marketplace-​audience-​demand-​for-​anime/​ (accessed May 5, 2021). 54. Prashanth Parameswaran, “Why the Philippines’ Rodrigo Duterte Hates America,” The Diplomat, November 1, 2016. 55. “Komiks” is appropriated using the Filipino ‘k’ for American ‘comics’ which heavily influenced the works of Filipino creators during the ‘Golden Age’ of Philippine komiks beginning from the 1950s. 56. Zoltan Kacsuk, “Re-​Examining the ‘What is Manga’ Problematic: The Tension and Interrelationship between the ‘Style’ Versus ‘Made in Japan’ Positions,” Arts 7, no. 3 (2018); Emil M. Flores, “Comics Crash: A Survey of Filipino Comics and its Quest for Cultural Legitimacy,” Likhaan (2014). 57. Kizuna, “ ‘Doraemon Tofu’ Opening Ceremony for new factory in Kizuna Serviced Factory,” https://​​en/​news/​doraemon-​tofu-​opening-​ceremony-​for-​new-​ factory-​in-​kizuna-​serviced-​factory-​194 (accessed May 5, 2021). 58. Fujiko F. Fujio is the pen name of Hiroshi Fujimoto, one of the two authors of Doraemon. The other, Motoo Abiko, assumes the pen name of Fukiko Fujio, and they combined to make a tag team authors Fujiko Fujio. Motoo Abiko passed away in 1996, and it was Hiroshi Fujimoto who agreed to convert the royalties into the Doraemon Scholarship Fund. 59. Tamaki Kawasaki, “The Little Robot Still Enchanting Fans Worldwide,” Public Relations Office -​Government of Japan, February 7, 2019, https://​​​ eng/​publicity/​book/​hlj/​html/​201902/​201902_​07_​en.html; Andy Tran, “Doraemon and 25 Years of Fostering Friendship in Vietnam,” Saigoneer, December 11, 2017, https://​​saigon-​culture/​12042-​doraemon-​and-​25-​years-​of-​fostering-​friendship-​ in-​vietnam. 60. “Farewell to the Founder of the Doraemon Vietnam Foundation (Vĩnh biệt người sáng lập Quỹ Doraemon VN),” Nguoi lao dong, October 15, 2010.

276 | The Courteous Power 61. Kawasaki, “The Little Robot.” 62. “Japan Appoints Cartoon Ambassador,” Associated Press, March 19, 2008. 63. Duy Tien, “Minister of Public Security meets Special Ambassador Ryotaro Sugi,” Public Security News (2018). 64. ISEAS-​Yusof Ishak Institute, The State of Southeast Asia 2020 Survey Report (Singapore: ISEAS-​Yusof Ishak Institute, 2020). 65. Brad Glosserman, “In the Competition for Southeast Asia Influence, Japan is the Sleeper,” The Japan Times, January 22, 2020. 66. Ryo Suzuki, “Cool Japan Taps Go- Jek to Deliver Anime in Indonesia,” Nikkei Asian Review, October 16, 2019. 67. “Soft Power is About Influence not Control,” South China Morning Post, July 31, 2017.

12  |  Japan as a Courteous Power Continuity and Change in the Indo-​Pacific Era John D. Ciorciari and Kiyoteru Tsutsui

Japan has exercised multiple modes of influence in Southeast Asian affairs. The chapters in this volume have illustrated the history and the current trajectory of Japan’s engagement in Southeast Asia, both through official channels and through a diverse set of non-​state actors. Japanese foreign policy has set the tone, but businesses, civil society organizations, grassroots interpersonal exchanges, and flows of consumer products and culture have also played important roles, influencing and often complementing official government policies. With or without formal coordination, Japanese governmental and non-​governmental actors have combined to strengthen and stabilize Japan’s relations in the region and contributed to the distinctive character of its relations with Southeast Asia over the past several decades. We argue that the defining characteristic of Japan’s engagement with Southeast Asia is its courteous approach. Despite its vast economic and political might, since World War II, Japan has generally kept its head down, listened to its partners’ needs and preferences, and sought to empower them to advance mutual interests. Unlike other major powers in the region, Japan has rarely imposed its own agenda on Southeast Asian states, yet has exerted enormous influence in the region that is often underappreciated in the literature. In essence, Japan has been a courteous power. Japan’s advent of the Free and Open Indo-​Pacific (FOIP) concept initially appeared to be a striking exception, symbolizing a new, more assertive Japan. The Abe administration’s initial vision for the FOIP was bold and encompassing. It suggested greater Japanese confidence and ambition to set a strategic course for Southeast Asia and the surrounding region. 277

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The principles that vision espoused—​including a muscular defense of the freedom of navigation, an effort to raise regional standards in development finance, and a strong emphasis on democracy and human rights—​ suggested the possibility of a major turn in Japan’s foreign relations. In particular, many observers interpreted the FOIP concept as the normative rationale for a new strategy to constrain China and reorganize the regional order around a coalition of like-​minded democratic states.1 The FOIP idea has evolved considerably since its initial exposition, however, largely due to the central role of Southeast Asia in Japan’s Indo-​Pacific policy. Dialogue with the member states of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) has been a key reason why Japan has rounded the edges of its initial FOIP concept, yielding what Yuichi Hosoya calls “FOIP 2.0.”2 This latter formulation of the concept implies a much less radical shift toward confrontation with China, promotion of democratic values, and revision of the existing regional order. In fact, Japan’s evolving approach to the FOIP suggests that while the Abe administration did seek substantial change, its Southeast Asia policy remains firmly anchored in pragmatism and a low-​key, respectful style of diplomacy. In most respects, as the chapters in this volume have shown, Japan has returned to approaching Southeast Asia as a courteous power. More than four decades ago, in the 1977 articulation of the Fukuda Doctrine, Japan pledged to be a peaceful non-​military power in Southeast Asia that would seek mutual confidence and trust, and deal with ASEAN and its members as an “equal partner,” strengthening their solidarity and resilience.3 With that doctrine as its lodestar, Japan has moved well beyond the shadow of World War II and earned considerable trust in the region as a largely benign and stabilizing force.4 This reputation for consistency and mutual respect may be Japan’s greatest asset in a region where erratic U.S. policy, Chinese assertiveness, rising nationalism, authoritarian backsliding, and now the COVID-​19 crisis present many risks to peace and prosperity. In this concluding chapter, we begin by discussing the distinctive nature of Japan’s engagement in Southeast Asia, explaining how Japan’s approach differs from that of many major powers, why Japan adopted that approach, and how Japan has managed to exercise influence in Southeast Asia within that framework. We then examine the elements of continuity and change in the Indo-​Pacific era, finding that despite the prominence of the FOIP concept and the controversies around it, Japan largely has kept to its moorings as a courteous power.

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Japan’s Distinctive Modes of Influence

The study of Japanese influence in Southeast Asia is substantively important given the scope and extent of Japan’s involvement in regional affairs, ranging from economic investment and diplomatic initiatives to civil society projects and cultural exchange. Although Japan often has a lower profile than China and the United States, especially in military affairs, it has been as deeply immersed in the region as any external power over the past several decades and certainly has been the most consistently engaged. Japan’s influence in Southeast Asia is also useful to study for theoretical reasons. Studies of power and influence in international affairs often focus on coercion and inducement, through which one state can cause others to behave in ways they otherwise would not. This is what Steven Lukes calls the “first face of power,” and when it is apparent, it offers the most clear-​cut empirical evidence of one state’s influence over another.5 Other forms of influence are subtler but no less important. These include normative persuasion, agenda-​setting, and the cultivation of “structural power” by shaping knowledge, institutions, finance, or modes of production in a manner that affects other actors’ behavior without the need for more direct forms of influence.6 Influence also can arise from “soft power,” which refers to the ability to shape other actors’ preferences through what Joseph Nye calls “seduction” and appeal; one state or society seeks to follow another to emulate its systems and values or attain comparable status and prosperity.7 Soft power emanates from the attractiveness of a country’s culture and political values and the perceived legitimacy of its foreign policy,8 and it is related to the concept of structural power, because both offer channels by which one actor can get others to want its desired outcomes without the need for coercion or even persuasion. Evelyn Goh usefully draws attention to a further form of influence in a study focusing on China’s evolving role in developing Asia. She argues that a state’s influence includes the “power to prevail” when preferences diverge, the ability to persuade or shape institutional norms and agendas when preferences are not settled, or the capacity to act as a “preference multiplier” by mobilizing collective action where preferences align.9 The last of these is a phenomenon not well captured in the literature on power and influence, and it is particularly important for understanding Japan’s influence in Southeast Asia, which arises more from empowering Southeast Asian partners toward common goals than using carrots, sticks, or persuasion to change their preferences.

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A Courteous Power

As the chapters in this volume have shown, Japan wields its influence in a very distinctive manner—​as a courteous power. Its engagement with Southeast Asia generally has been non-​confrontational, respecting the norms, preferences, and sovereignty of regional partners. Japan certainly has sought to advance its national interests, but it has done so primarily by offering Southeast Asian partners economic and diplomatic support that empowers them and gives them multiple options. Such support often guides their actions in ways that align with Japan’s national interest, but it often reflects Japan’s preference to secure long-​term relationships with them rather than to exercise its influence transactionally or assertively. By calling Japan a courteous power, we seek to highlight Japan’s non-​ assertive ways of exercising its influence in Southeast Asia, in contrast to many other powerful states. First, Japan seldom relies on coercion—​ either via military means or by using threats of economic sanctions. If anything, this contrast has become even more apparent in the FOIP era, as China uses its growing military muscle to press its claims in the South China Sea, and the United States leans increasingly on trade and financial sanctions to advance its foreign policy aims in states including Myanmar and Cambodia.10 Second, Japan has long used a light diplomatic touch when seeking influence through inducement and normative persuasion, in Southeast Asia and elsewhere (although recent flareups with South Korea have been a notable exception). Japan seldom has used its vast investment and development aid in Southeast Asia to make pointed, explicit policy demands of recipient states. Whether on issues of democracy and human rights or questions of monetary and fiscal policy, Japan’s dual identity as an advanced industrialized democracy and as an East Asian nation has translated into a much less assertive form of values diplomacy than most Western powers. Japan leads by example but has been loath to lecture or to shame Southeast Asian governments for their illiberal practices or irresponsible economic policy choices. Third, Japan largely has acquiesced in crucial aspects of the regional order that provide the United States with the preponderance of structural power in Southeast Asia. For more than half a century, the U.S.–​Japan alliance has been the central rod in the U.S. hub-​and-​spokes alliance system that has structured many aspects of security in Southeast Asia. Indeed, when Japan has sought to engage further in Southeast Asian security, it has tried to do so largely through the framework of the U.S.–​Japan alliance, reinforcing rather than challenging the American-​led defense structure.11

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To some degree, Japan has sought structural power in Southeast Asia through monetary and financial channels. Structural power in this context refers to the ability to shape other actors’ behavior through command over key assets or sway in key institutions—​such as the United States’ capacity to shape other governments’ choices by revaluing the dominant dollar or shaping rules and norms pronounced by the International Monetary Fund (IMF). Japan’s unsuccessful proposal for an Asian Monetary Fund in 1997 evidenced its interest in building such power, though Japan dropped the proposal in the face of opposition from the United States and IMF and a cool response from China. Japan’s subsequent leadership in creating the Chiang Mai Initiative Multilateralization, a pooled reserve fund to provide a regional financing facility to complement the IMF, also suggested its interest in cultivating structural power. So did its central role in the ASEAN+3 Bond Markets Initiative, a scheme to build developing Asian economies’ resiliency by strengthening local debt markets, and its promotion of the yen as an international currency. Still, Japan pursued each of those initiatives with one eye glancing toward Washington, and Japan’s active role in the IMF, leadership in the Asian Development Bank (ADB), and other international financial institutions has buttressed the dollar-​ dominated financial regime. In this way, Japan has helped the United States maintain paramount structural power in the Southeast Asian financial arena, despite Japan’s comparable levels of trade and investment and China’s rapid rise.12 Japan’s tendency not to seek influence through coercion, to avoid assertive forms of inducement and persuasion, and to accept a high level of U.S. structural power in Southeast Asia have led many observers to conclude that Japan “punches below its weight,” achieving less influence than its power capabilities would enable.13 Analysts long regarded its foreign relations as passive or reactive, emanating from cultural traits or a lack of confidence in international affairs.14 Nevertheless, this volume has shown that Japan has exercised important influence in Southeast Asia by empowering regional partners to act in ways consonant with Japanese interests. Why Be Courteous?

Although Japan has pursued this approach for decades, there is nothing immutable or inevitable about Japan’s status as a courteous power. Japan’s relations with Southeast Asia during World War II were anything but courteous, and Japan’s contemporary policy came about largely to

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overcome the wartime legacy and ensuing charges of Japanese mercantilism in Southeast Asia during the 1960s and 1970s. In that context, a highly assertive Japanese approach to Southeast Asia almost certainly would have generated a strong negative response. The principles of non-​ militarism, mutual respect, and development cooperation espoused in the 1977 Fukuda Doctrine were ways for Japan to provide an indirect form of redress for wartime abuses, to rebuild trust, and thereby to make Southeast Asia a more receptive locus for Japanese investment.15 The Fukuda Doctrine also had a strategic rationale, as Japan sought to occupy some of the perceived power vacuum in Southeast Asia created by the U.S. withdrawal from Indochina in 1975—​a vacuum that China and the Soviet Union appeared poised to fill.16 The domestic constitutional constraints on Japan’s Self-​Defense Forces and Southeast Asian memories of World War II ruled out a militant posture, however, and the continued U.S. security presence in the Pacific diminished the need for Japan to play a major military role in Southeast Asia. For Japan, robust economic engagement and diplomatic measures to strengthen ASEAN were the channels for influence acceptable to Southeast Asian audiences, to Japanese domestic constituents, and to the United States. Japan’s long-​term economic investment in the region would depend on political stability and economic development in the region. Japan’s investment in ASEAN would succeed only if it learned to operate within the Association’s strongly held set of norms, including the norm of non-​interference and the requirement of consensus in decision-​making. For all of these reasons, being a courteous power came to be the most promising and productive foreign policy for Japan in Southeast Asia. Over time, that approach became institutionalized and embedded in Japanese foreign policy practice, as it remains today. Importantly, the Japanese government does not pursue that approach alone. Japanese businesses and civil society actors generally follow similar practices, seeking to engage peacefully and modestly in the local community. To be sure, they all pursue their interests—​to make profits, to advance their causes, or to realize their life goals—​but they attempt to do so in a way that respects local practices and contributes to local societies. Not all of them succeed in these attempts, but when they make major mistakes—​such as causing environmental degradation or supporting an abusive government—​their instinct seems to be to make amends rather than to ignore or suppress resulting resentment. For the past several decades, the courteous exercise of power has become both the defining feature of Japan’s official policy toward

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Southeast Asia and Japanese relations with the region more broadly. It is a very deliberate approach, as Japanese Foreign Minister Toshimitsu Motegi made clear in a policy speech at ASEAN in early 2020. He said: Japan has never pushed ASEAN to accept any specific idea. We have maintained our unshakable respect for the history and culture you have fostered over a long time, and we have consistently deliberated, together with you, what is truly necessary for ASEAN’s growth and development.17 That approach is not always benign. In particular, being courteous to governments—​ by respecting their sovereignty and playing by their rules—​sometimes cuts against the aspirations of ordinary Southeast Asian citizens in states that are not well governed. Taken too far, courteousness can also amount to acquiescence in undesirable interstate behavior: a failure to stand up for legitimate norms and interests such as fair trade and investment practices or freedom of navigation. On balance, however, a courteous approach has worked quite well for Japan, which has been able to build regional trust and a generally favorable public reputation while exercising substantial influence and advancing its priorities through several channels. Influence via Diplomacy and Defense

Some of Japan’s influence has come from its diplomatic engagement as one of several key powers affecting the balance of external influence in Southeast Asia. As John Ciorciari has shown, Japan provides an “outside option” for Southeast Asian states in certain respects, enabling them to diversify their foreign relations and enhancing their autonomy and leverage vis-​à-​vis other major powers like the United States and China.18 This form of influence is limited in domains in which Japan aligns closely with the United States but is particularly important in the economic domain and on sensitive governance issues for which Japan carves out an independent policy position. Although the U.S.–​Japan alliance remains very much intact, Japan arguably has become more important as a diversifier after a period in which the Trump administration shifted to a more explicitly confrontational policy toward China and backed away from free trade. Even as the U.S. evolves under the new Biden administration, Japan still offers a different approach to China in many respects.

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Japan traditionally played little role in the “hard security” domain, relying on U.S. military primacy in Southeast Asia while contributing in less sensitive issues such as peacekeeping and humanitarian assistance.19 Due both to domestic constitutional constraints and the legacy of World War II, defense has long been the weakest pillar of Japan’s multi-​faceted engagement in Southeast Asia. There are, of course, limits to what Japan can achieve in the security domain as a courteous power. Some Southeast Asian officials believe that China’s naval advances in Southeast Asia, particularly in the South China Sea, demand a stern response. When it comes to maritime security and freedom of navigation, some ASEAN members thus have quietly welcomed Japan’s shift to a more assertive (and perhaps less courteous) approach. As Ken Jimbo has shown, Japan’s defense engagement has risen significantly over time, especially in the maritime security domain, through expanded participation in joint military exercises, capacity-​ building programs, and bilateral and multilateral defense diplomacy.20 Japan’s rising security engagement has supported Southeast Asian efforts to defend their maritime territorial claims and interests and perhaps to enjoy at least marginally better bargaining positions vis-​à-​vis Beijing. Japan also has been an important partner to ASEAN in multiple ways. It has helped to elevate the Association and promote its unity and centrality, as Shaun Narine has illustrated.21 Japan has dealt with ASEAN collectively even at times when the United States and the European Union have not. This was particularly apparent during the era of peak sanctions against the junta in Myanmar, but it also extends to the trade arena and Japan’s early accession to ASEAN’s Treaty of Amity and Cooperation. In addition, Japan has helped prevent the emergence of a China-​led regional institution that could marginalize ASEAN. Since the aftermath of the Asian Financial Crisis in the late 1990s, when Japan, China, and South Korea, and the member states of ASEAN joined to establish ASEAN+3, Japan has exercised leadership alongside China in that forum, sometimes functioning as a counterweight to Beijing. The most notable example, discussed by Kei Koga and Kalvin Fung in this volume, was Japan’s effort to ensure that the East Asia Summit (EAS) and associated East Asian Community forged in the mid-​2000s would include a broader membership than ASEAN+3. By advocating for the inclusion of Australia, New Zealand, India, and eventually Russia and the United States, Japan helped defend the principle of “open regionalism” and ensured that the EAS would be an ASEAN-​centered institution rather than a Sinocentric one.

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This aspect of Japan’s influence also has limits. As Koga argues, the “ASEAN Way” of consensus-​ based diplomacy, which pervades Asia-​ Pacific institutions, makes it relatively easy for external powers to play diplomatic defense. External powers can use “wedge strategies,” applying honey or vinegar to sow disunity within ASEAN and prevent it from taking collective action.22 Japan used such a strategy to counter Chinese and Malaysian efforts to restrict EAS membership to ASEAN+3, but the same logic works in reverse. China and others also can use wedge strategies, as China has done to forestall potential collective ASEAN opposition to its island-​building campaign in the South China Sea. In essence, neutralizing ASEAN is much more straightforward than mobilizing the Association to take decisive collective action. For Japan and other external powers, this makes it very challenging to advance bold diplomatic initiatives that require consensus approval from ASEAN member states. As Fung contends, Japan has not succeeded in changing the preferences of ASEAN members fundamentally or convincing them to adopt major initiatives they otherwise would not support.23 The Miyazawa Initiative in the early 1990s, through which Japan sought to develop a regional security forum of “like-​minded countries” and thus to exclude the socialist powers, was one such example. Japan’s stillborn 1997 proposal for an Asian Monetary Fund was another. In neither case has Japan sought to compel its Southeast Asian partners to follow its lead. Still, Japan has gotten much of what it wanted. As Fung discusses, the Miyazawa Initiative helped pave the way toward the ASEAN Regional Forum, a broad security forum that reflected the principle of open regionalism—​albeit a forum including China and Russia. The idea of a regional monetary fund for Asia later re-​emerged partially in the form of the Chiang Mai Initiative Multilateralization, with Japan playing a crucial leading role.24 These favorable outcomes have occurred partly because Japan’s interests have aligned reasonably well with those of most ASEAN members, but they also reflect the fact that Japanese officials have taken Southeast Asian interests very much into account in foreign policy formulation and pursued pragmatic, attainable goals. Crucially, Japan has pursued a largely non-​hegemonic policy toward Southeast Asia since the end of World War II. To be sure, Japan has engaged in competition for trade and investment opportunities and has tried to exercise leadership in the domains of economic development and finance. However, it decidedly has not sought to dominate Southeast Asia from a political or security perspective. Rather, Japan has favored a regional order characterized by U.S. military primacy and otherwise

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resistant to domination by the United States, China, or other external powers. Its influence thus lies partly in denying others, particularly China, a clear upper hand.25 The challenges Japan has had in driving major diplomatic initiatives are common to all external powers in Southeast Asia, and that is by design. The ASEAN-​ centric order is meant to foster “resilience” to domestic problems in ASEAN member states, tensions among them, or bids for unwanted external influence.26 By supporting that order, Japan has constrained its own ability to exercise coercive or persuasive influence in Southeast Asia, but it has learned to make the rules of engagement work for its national interests in the region. That is, Japan has reduced the scope for any other external power to dominate the region while staying courteous with ASEAN members to develop mutual trust that can pay dividends in the long run. In an era of surging Chinese power and erratic U.S. policy, the merits of that investment for Japan and for Southeast Asia are clear. Impact on Economic and Political Development

Japan’s economic influence in Southeast Asia has been profound. As Kitti Prasirtsuk notes, Japanese foreign direct investment (FDI) has been crucial in the development of regional economies and their integration into global supply chains.27 This alone has been a profound influence—​albeit one quite distinct from more direct forms of influence such as coercion, inducement, or persuasion. Japanese private investment has played a key role in spurring national development in states like Thailand. Moreover, the cross-​national supply chains built around Japanese enterprises laid the groundwork for regional economic integration—​particularly after the 1985 Plaza Accord, when Japan agreed to strengthen the yen to address global trade imbalances, raising the cost of production in Japan and prompting a wave of Japanese investment in Southeast Asia.28 The subsequent web of trade and investment agreements and regional financing arrangements in and around Southeast Asia were constructed largely on that platform. Japan has been a major champion of those initiatives, but it generally has not had to campaign for them loudly. Its investment in Southeast Asia has led to transnational commercial structures that incentivize ASEAN members and the influential private businesses within them to subscribe to economic integration schemes that also benefit Japan.

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Japanese businesses also have provided a ballast for Japan’s relations with Southeast Asian states, especially during periods of political turmoil, as Nobuhiro Aizawa shows.29 This has been conducive to the consistency of Japan’s engagement with Southeast Asia, especially at times when political upheaval or regime change might otherwise have led to significant ruptures—​most clearly in the case of several Thai coups. Being a courteous power limits Japan’s options in these situations, but it also lowers the expectations on Japan to take sides in domestic conflicts, facilitating long-​ term stability of its relationships with Southeast Asian countries. Japanese business actors with their own strong local ties further help Japan navigate its path in chaotic moments of coups and regime changes, as Aizawa demonstrates in his chapter. In this regard, the recent coup in Myanmar will test the limits of Japan’s courteous approach in the face of widespread public opposition against the military regime. Japan has fostered development through robust official development assistance (ODA) as well. In both development aid and infrastructure investment, Japan offers an important option to Southeast Asian states—​high-​quality projects meeting international standards but with a less assertive approach to governance issues than most Western aid packages. This has helped Japan stay engaged in states like Cambodia and Myanmar even when Western donors have retreated. While sometimes criticized for treating such governments too gently,30 Japan’s steady engagement has helped Southeast Asia’s poorest countries develop and has given them an important option beyond China. Nonetheless, this influence too has limits. As Siriporn Wajjwalku asserts, the perception that Japanese aid agencies and NGOs are too close to host state governments has undermined the formation of strong civil society partnerships on the ground that could empower local communities and raise Japan’s development aid effectiveness—​or at least make projects more responsive to the preferences of local community stakeholders.31 Grassroots Interactions and “Soft Power”

In addition to private sector and NGO engagement, Japan’s influence extends to grassroots people-​to-​people interactions, cultural exchange, and the cultivation of “soft power.” Soft power is crucial for Japanese influence in Southeast Asia due to the constraints on Japan’s regional military activity and the presence of other major economic players in the region, including China, the European Union, South Korea, and the

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United States. Soft power also resonates with Japan’s identity as a courteous power; it diminishes Japan’s need for assertive diplomacy to get what it wants. Soft power has special relevance in the Indo-​Pacific era. Japan’s security footprint in Southeast Asia still pales beside that of the United States, and China is quickly outpacing Japan in the region in trade and military engagement. However, the durability of U.S. soft power is in doubt in the era of “America first,” and China continues to struggle to provide an attractive model given its domestic repression and involvement in controversial development schemes across Southeast Asia. Soft power may be Japan’s prime advantage. Japan’s soft power in Southeast Asia flows from its attractiveness as a model for economic development, its status as an Asian democracy and hub for education and creativity, its extended track record of generous aid and peace promotion, and the generally positive reputation of its citizens and its cultural products throughout the region. The chapters by Leng Leng Thang and Mika Toyota and by Karl Cheng Chua show some of the many bonds linking Japan and Southeast Asia that have formed largely outside of the framework of purposive government policies. Some have occurred through personal connections. Others have come through cultural exchange. Thang and Toyota document how Japanese citizens in search of their own identity end up in Southeast Asian countries and become important contributors to local communities.32 Paralleling the Japanese government’s courteous ways, these Japanese citizens tend to respect local cultures and try to integrate themselves in local communities without imposing their visions or practices on them. It is unlikely that they consciously prioritize the reputation of Japan in their daily lives, but their earnest and conscientious approaches have enhanced Japan’s reputation in the region, making them effective agents of citizen diplomacy for Japan. In a similarly unintentional manner, Japan’s cultural products entered Southeast Asian societies and enhanced the appeal of the “Cool Japan” brand. While the government’s Cool Japan initiative has contributed to this process in recent years, the foundations were laid largely by grassroots efforts by local fans of Japanese cultural products who engaged in “aspirational consumption,” as Cheng Chua’s chapter demonstrates.33 Formal policies and deliberate strategies were less important in these processes, as Southeast Asians embraced Japanese popular culture, projecting their own image of Japan as an advanced economy and democracy often through pirated products.

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In these social and cultural exchanges, Japan was largely non-​ assertive, letting its citizens and cultural products do the work, even if the government offered occasional assistance. The resulting social interactions, community projects, and blend of cultural elements have been important factors in building Japan’s soft power and helping move decisively past the period in which the wartime legacy cast a shadow over its engagement in Southeast Asia. Surveys referenced in Cheng Chua’s chapter demonstrate the impact of Japan’s soft power. Indeed, the greater national confidence evident in the FOIP is partly a reflection of the fact that Japan has enjoyed such a positive profile in the region since the era of the Fukuda Doctrine. Although soft power is difficult to measure and observe empirically, it likely has substantial effects on Japanese interests in promoting strong brand value and product consumption in Southeast Asia, as well as desired people-​to-​people exchanges through channels such as tourism and education. The spike in the number of tourists from Southeast Asia to Japan in the years preceding the COVID-​19 crisis and the soaring number of Japanese language learners in Southeast Asia offer concrete examples of such effects.34 Continuity and Change in the FOIP Era

Since the end of World War II, no Japanese foreign policy vision has generated such global attention, discussion, and in some cases adoption as the FOIP concept.35 The FOIP concept is bold in some respects and marked a possible departure from Japan’s longstanding low-​key approach to diplomacy. Its roots lay in the idea of an “Arc of Freedom and Prosperity,” a vision developed for Japanese grand strategy during Abe’s first term as prime minister in 2006–​2007. That strategy sought to “expand the horizons of Japanese diplomacy” and put heavy emphasis on advancing democracy and human rights across the Eurasian continent.36 Abe linked that vision to an effort to achieve a “confluence of the two seas” connecting the Pacific to the Indian subcontinent and constructing a network across “broader Asia,” including India, Australia, and the United States—​democratic states that launched the Quadrilateral Security Dialogue.37 That “Quad” initiative initially foundered on opposition from Beijing and many Southeast Asian capitals, which supported broad regional connectivity but disfavored the Quad’s emphasis on democracy and perceived it as a thinly veiled effort to constrain China. As Abe’s Liberal Democratic

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Party and the George W. Bush administration in the United States lost power in 2009, the idea of reorganizing the regional order around the democratic Quad receded.38 Abe helped resurrect that idea after returning to office in 2012, and the FOIP concept he introduced in 2016 was widely perceived to imply a greater regional role for the Quad. The FOIP concept thus suggested a major possible change to Japan’s engagement with Southeast Asia. Some change has indeed been apparent, but in most respects, Japan has stepped back from the FOIP’s boldest implications, reassuming its status as a courteous power. A Widening Security Role

One of the most salient and controversial aspects of the FOIP concept has been its suggestion of an expanded Japanese security role. For Japan, rising Sino–​American hostility and doubts about U.S. staying power have contributed to a regional environment that is dangerous and highly uncertain. As part of its effort to translate the FOIP vision into a strategic outlook, Japan thus has considered whether and how to recalibrate its role in Southeast Asian security affairs. As Ken Jimbo notes, this process began well before the advent of the FOIP concept but has continued in recent years, particularly in the South China Sea. Japanese support for Southeast Asian coast guard operations and maritime surveillance in that area has taken on a distinctly different character from its prior focus on less sensitive collaboration, such as humanitarian assistance and disaster relief. Japan’s increased security role in Southeast Asia plays a few key functions in the Indo-​Pacific era. Most obviously, it buttresses U.S. naval engagement and thus helps to provide a counterweight to surging Chinese naval capabilities. To the extent that Japan and the United States move together, this may enable Southeast Asian states wary of China’s rise to hedge or balance more effectively. In addition, Japan’s involvement helps Southeast Asian states diversify, if modestly, away from heavy reliance on U.S. security support. After the Trump administration’s swings between belligerent anti-​China rhetoric and pledges to put “America first” and expend less on allies, uncertainty about the future trajectory of U.S. policy abounds. It remains unclear how far Japan’s security role will go, largely due to Japanese domestic politics. Prime Minister Abe sought to revise Article 9 of the Japanese Constitution, the pacifist provision that bars Japan from engaging in war to settle international disputes. In 2014, the Abe administration issued a Cabinet resolution “reinterpreting” Article

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9 to allow Japan slightly more room to defend allies under attack.39 Within that framework, Japan has become more active in domains such as cybersecurity and space.40 More ambitiously, Abe sought to amend Article 9 to enable Japan to function as a “normal country” from a defense standpoint. This was a core component of what some analysts have called the “Abe Doctrine” whereby Japan would pursue more assertive foreign and security policies.41 However, constitutional change would require clearing a formidable set of hurdles: two-​thirds majorities in each house of the Diet and majority support in a popular referendum. Public surveys leave the outcome of a referendum very much in doubt, as do politics within the national legislature, where incumbent Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga’s Liberal Democratic Party would likely need strong support from a coalition partner, Komeito, which traditionally has been loath to amend Article 9.42 If constitutional revision takes place, it would change a key underlying factor that turned Japan into a courteous power in Southeast Asia. Japan’s evolving security posture will also depend heavily on the course of U.S. security involvement in Southeast Asia. The Trump administration’s foreign policy reflected two competing trends in American domestic politics of direct relevance to Southeast Asia—​ a hardening of attitudes toward China across the political spectrum and a growing ambivalence toward foreign trade and extended overseas commitments. The COVID-​19 crisis has intensified both of those currents. Mutual recriminations between Washington and Beijing have jeopardized fragile progress toward normalizing trade, sparring in the South China Sea continues, tension escalates around Taiwan, and China’s repressive measures in Xinjiang and Hong Kong deepen the ideational gulf. The Biden administration’s early steps, including accusations of “genocide” in Xinjiang and blacklisting of suspect Chinese technology firms, suggest that a high degree of friction will remain. Worsening Sino–​American relations do motivate enhanced U.S.–​Japan cooperation, as evident in April 2021, when Biden hosted Suga for his first face-​to-​face presidential meeting with a foreign leader and pledged to work with Japan to “take on the challenges from China” and ensure a “free and open Indo-​Pacific.”43 Nevertheless, the enormous fiscal cliff brought on by the steepest economic contraction since the Great Depression has called into question the U.S. willingness and capacity to maintain its unrivaled level of military spending and robust Pacific presence. American domestic politics also impede progress on trade. Uncertain U.S. staying power in the region, combined with an assertive China, has the potential

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to prompt Japan to break out of its courteous ways and become a markedly more assertive player in the region. Boosting Economic Connectivity

A second key element of the FOIP concept is its focus on regional connectivity, promoting trade and investment through development finance and infrastructure. The notion of “connectivity” has great resonance in the ASEAN region, making this one of the most appealing elements of the FOIP concept in Southeast Asia. Development finance thus accords with Japan’s identity as a courteous power, and Japan has long been visible and active in that arena, partly due to its leadership of the Asian Development Bank (ADB) in Manila. Japan’s role at the ADB, which has always had a Japanese president and where Japan and the United States have the largest shares of voting capital, may be its most influential position in any major multilateral institution. Even before announcing the FOIP, Japan launched the Partnership for Quality Infrastructure, pledging through bilateral channels and the ADB to contribute $110 billion to Asian infrastructure from 2016 to 2020—​a 30 percent increase over the preceding five-​year period.44 Many analysts perceived Japan’s infrastructure policy as “a not-​so-​ subtle counter to China’s Belt and Road Initiative” (BRI).45 Japan’s stout initial opposition to the China-​led Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB), which Japan saw as a rival to the ADB and World Bank and vehicle for Chinese political influence, only solidified that impression. By contrast, ASEAN members embraced the AIIB and generally welcomed the BRI, albeit with varying levels of concern about the quality of Chinese projects and the prospect for undesired levels of Chinese influence. Southeast Asian governments also welcomed Japan’s reinvestment in infrastructure, eager to have multiple options in meeting the estimated US$185 billion needed each year to finance infrastructure needs in the ASEAN region over the coming decade.46 However, Southeast Asia had no appetite for a scheme that would force them to take sides in development finance. They favored an open infrastructure investment regime that would enable them to draw from multiple sources of funding to meet their vast infrastructure demands.47 In light of that regional environment, Japan soon began to back away from a contentious approach to infrastructure investment. In May 2017, Abe said that Japan could consider joining the AIIB if its environmental standards and other issues were addressed.48 That summer, before and

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during a summit with Chinese president Xi Jinping, Abe voiced tentative support for the BRI and suggested his willingness to coordinate efforts to build regional connectivity. Japan’s approach in Southeast Asia and in the surrounding area has come to focus on an “open and not exclusive system of infrastructure.”49 The ADB and AIIB have thus signed an MoU to facilitate cooperation and have embarked on several joint projects,50 and in 2018 Japan and China launched a new forum to facilitate cooperation on infrastructure investment in third countries.51 While the Biden and Suga administrations announced plans for a joint Indo-​Pacific infrastructure initiative in 2021—​widely perceived as a response to the BRI—​Japan has returned in most respects to an inclusive approach to development finance. Japan has followed a similar path in advancing regional trade. Japan was a leading advocate for the Trans-​Pacific Partnership (TPP), a planned trade pact involving Japan, the United States, and several other Asia-​ Pacific countries, including four ASEAN members—​Brunei, Malaysia, Singapore, and Vietnam—​but not China. Many regarded the TPP as part of a broader Japanese and U.S. effort to counter Chinese influence.52 After the U.S. withdrawal from the TPP in early 2019, Japan pressed ahead and led the establishment of the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-​Pacific Partnership (CPTPP)—​essentially the TPP without the United States. Much like the Partnership for Quality Infrastructure, Japan branded the TPP as a trade pact with high standards on issues such as labor and the environment—​in implicit contrast to some Chinese labor and environmental practices.53 Yet Japan has not endeavored to block China from Southeast Asian trade, which all ASEAN members would disfavor. Rather, Japanese officials have indicated that China could later join the CPTPP, and in 2021 the Japanese Diet ratified Japan’s agreement to join the China-​led Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP), a trade pact that includes all ASEAN+3 members, Australia, and New Zealand. In trade as in development finance, Japan has pursued a relatively open regional agenda that comports with its status as a courteous power. The Question of Democratic Values

One of the most striking aspects of the FOIP vision is its emphasis on freedom. When Abe returned to office in 2012, he committed to revive the Quad and published an article entitled “Asia’s Democratic Security Diamond,” asserting that both Japanese diplomacy and Asia’s future

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prosperity must be “rooted in democracy, the rule of law, and respect for human rights.”54 However, the FOIP concept also refers to another form of freedom—​freedom from external coercion, a thinly veiled reference to surging Chinese influence and military activity. As ASEAN members and others have resisted the emphasis on domestic political freedom, Japan has backed off and put greater weight on freedom from coercion—​ in contrast to the more express U.S. policy of promoting democracy as part of the FOIP.55 By prioritizing freedom from coercion and defending national policy autonomy, Japan has reverted to its behavior as a courteous power that does not press assertively on matters of democracy and human rights. The liberal values embedded in the FOIP concept were bound to face stiff resistance in Southeast Asia given the prevalence of non-​democratic regimes in the region. These include single-​party autocracies in Laos and Vietnam, Hun Sen’s authoritarian regime in Cambodia, military governments in Thailand and Myanmar, and the monarchy of Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah in Brunei. Even states with many democratic features, such as Malaysia and Singapore, were bound to be skeptical of a democracy and human rights agenda. The same was true in the Philippines during President Rodrigo Duterte’s heavy-​handed and controversial “war on drugs” and in Myanmar even before the 2021 military coup, as civilian leaders faced international opprobrium for their handling of the Rohingya crisis. Perhaps only Indonesia was unthreatened by the FOIP’s democratic implications. In response to concerns from Southeast Asian governments and others, Japan largely has downplayed the nexus between democracy and the FOIP. Its responses to illiberal governance practices in Myanmar, Thailand, and Cambodia are illustrative. Whereas Western governments have sanctioned Myanmar for its treatment of the Rohingya and the 2021 military coup, Japan has been moderate in its criticism, eventually suspending aid but stopping short of sanctions.56 Similarly, Japan has refrained from punitive measures toward Cambodia despite Hun Sen’s stepwise crackdown on opposition political figures and independent civil society groups. As Nobuhiro Aizawa argues, Japan also took a moderate position in response to the 2014 Thai coup. With key input from Japanese businesses, Japan promoted a roadmap to democracy but framed its importance to the Thai generals in terms of policy predictability and political stability.57 Japan was therefore able to uphold democratic principles rhetorically while maintaining ties with the Thai junta to advance economic and strategic interests. As this case suggests, heavy business investment and strategic

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competition with China have diminished Japan’s incentives to promote democratic reform in Southeast Asia more assertively in the FOIP era. Civil society engagement offers an alternative channel for values diplomacy—​a channel used robustly by many Western powers to promote political liberalism in Southeast Asia. The FOIP concept suggested the possibility of a more activist Japanese approach. However, Japan has long steered away from supporting Japanese or local NGOs that take strident stances against incumbent Southeast Asian governments, and that pattern has continued. Japanese-​backed NGOs have not been prominent on the front lines of pro-​democracy protests in cities like Yangon, Bangkok, and Phnom Penh. As Wajjwalku contends, Japan’s impact on key rights issues surrounding development projects, such as land grabbing and environmental justice, have been muted by close partnerships between Japanese aid agencies, Japanese NGOs, and recipient Southeast Asian governments. Japan continues to prize those government-​to-​government relationships, particularly as China rises, and to treat governance issues gently. This is arguably one of the main downsides of being a courteous power. Some of the most meaningful transfers of liberal norms from Japan to Southeast Asia have occurred beyond the policy arena through the exchange of arts and culture. Japanese anime and manga, fashion, and other cultural products display images of Japanese and Southeast Asian characters who enjoy various forms of freedom and power. Interestingly, as Karl Cheng Chua notes, some of the imputed liberal values are products of “creative misreading” in which artists portray—​or consumers perceive—​ Japanese people as enjoying freedoms that are highly qualified in reality. This process of cultural communication began well before the FOIP era and continues, though its effect on norm transfusion is gradual and difficult to measure empirically. For all of these reasons, one of the most distinctive elements of the FOIP concept—​as expounded by Prime Minister Abe in its formative years—​may not make a major difference. In the arena of values diplomacy, for better or for worse, Japan’s behavior in the FOIP era thus far suggests much more continuity than change. ASEAN Centrality

The FOIP concept also suggested the possibility of a substantial shift in Japanese policy toward ASEAN and ASEAN-​centered institutions. The very label “Indo-​Pacific” pointed to India’s pivotal role in Japan’s evolving strategy as the fourth vertex of a “diamond” alongside Japan, Australia,

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and the United States. Although Southeast Asia would remain geographically central as the Asia-​Pacific stretched westward to become the Indo-​ Pacific, Japan’s early formulation of the FOIP idea suggested that the bonds between the four “Quad” countries would provide the primary scaffolding for the new Indo-​Pacific order. As Narine and Fung discuss, the prospect of a regional order reoriented around the Quad was anathema to ASEAN member states’ interests. Such a framework would marginalize the Association, and Southeast Asian officials widely regarded the Quad as a balance-​of-​power arrangement directed at China. Indonesia answered for ASEAN by leading the formulation of an “ASEAN Outlook on the Indo-​Pacific” that adopted the lexicon of the Indo-​Pacific but grafted it onto the existing framework of ASEAN-​centered norms and institutions. Intra-​ASEAN differences and the consequent availability of wedge strategies limit what ASEAN can do as a unified actor. Japan therefore has had to wrestle with the question of whether to work through bilateral relationships or “minilateral” groupings when ASEAN is unable to address an issue. This dilemma runs directly through the FOIP concept, which advocates for an open regional order and multilateral institutions but also suggests a more muscular Japanese role in Southeast Asia that sometimes may be achievable only through more traditional interstate realpolitik. To date, Japan has veered back toward continuity rather than pressing for change to the extant regional order. As ASEAN made its concerns about the FOIP concept known, Japan accommodated them, dropping references to a “FOIP strategy” in 2018 and largely embracing the ASEAN Outlook. This showed the considerable leverage that ASEAN members possess when they are relatively unified on an issue. Southeast Asia is unquestionably a key to the FOIP vision, and Japan cannot achieve its foreign policy objectives without strong relationships in the region. Looking Forward

The future salience of the FOIP concept is uncertain. It has entered the lexicon of regional diplomacy, and references to the Indo-​Pacific largely have supplanted the term “Asia-​Pacific” in official discourse of the Quad countries. However, the barriers to creating a strong official institutional framework for the region are steep.58 China is the most obvious source of resistance. In 2018, Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi declared that it

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would “get some attention but be short-​lived,” disappearing like “foam in the Pacific or Indian Ocean.”59 Yet Southeast Asians also have been ambivalent toward the concept, and their misgivings may be even more important. Whatever version of the FOIP survives will have a strong Southeast Asian imprint. Southeast Asia lies at the core of the Indo-​Pacific region, geographically and politically, and it is where Japan and other major powers are vying most directly for influence. Thus far, Japan appears to have concluded that maintaining its identity as a courteous power offers the most auspicious path forward. This reflects what is possible during an era of waxing Sino–​American rivalry given Japan’s limited material capabilities and constitutional restrictions. It is also a relatively safe approach, at least in the near term, as the COVID-​19 pandemic sends economic shock waves through Southeast Asia and magnifies many risks to international and human security. Japan has spent decades cultivating relationships and a reputation for being willing to engage and provide assistance without demanding too much in return—​in other words, to help in a courteous way. That may be its most important asset in Southeast Asia in the years ahead. NOTES 1. See, e.g., David Brewster, “A ‘Free and Open Indo Pacific’ and what it means for Australia,” The Lowy Interpreter, March 7, 2018; William Choong, “Japan’s Indo-​ Pacific Strategy in Southeast Asia: Floundering, not Foundering,” ISEAS Perspective no. 40 (2020); Tomotaka Shoji, “ASEAN’s Ambivalence Toward the Vision of a ‘Free and Open Indo-​Pacific’: Mixture of Anxiety and Expectation,” Sasakawa Peace Foundation (September 18, 2018). 2. Yuichi Hosoya, “FOIP 2.0: The Evolution of Japan’s Free and Open Indo-​Pacific Strategy,” Asia-​Pacific Review 26, no. 1 (2019). 3. Speech by Japanese Prime Minister Takeo Fukuda, Manila, August 18, 1977, available at https://​​documents/​texts/​docs/​19770818.S1E.html (accessed May 5, 2021). 4. See Lam Peng Er, “Introduction,” in Japan’s Foreign Relations in Southeast Asia and Beyond: The Fukuda Doctrine and beyond, ed. Lam Peng Er (London and New York: Routledge, 2013), 1–​4. 5. Steven Lukes, Power: A Radical View (London: Macmillan Press, 1974). 6. For an excellent review of the concept of structural power in international affairs, see Stefano Guzzini, “Structural Power: The Limits of Neorealist Analysis,” International Organization 47, no. 3 (1993): 450–​456. 7. Joseph S. Nye, Soft Power: The Means to Success in World Politics (New York: Basic Books, 2004), 5–​8. 8. Nye, Soft Power, 44 and 68.

298 | The Courteous Power 9. Evelyn Goh, “Introduction,” in Rising China’s Influence in Developing Asia, ed. Evelyn Goh (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2016), 10–​14. 10. See Quinton Huang, “Bad Refugees and Recalcitrant Countries,” Brown Political Review, September 20, 2019. 11. For a discussion of efforts to build on the U.S.-​Japan alliance framework in Southeast Asia, see Satu P. Limaye and Tsutomu Kikuchi, “U.S.–​Japan Relations and Southeast Asia: Meeting Regional Demands,” Project Report for the East-​West Center, Japan Institute of International Affairs, and Sasakawa Peace Foundation (Washington, DC: East-​West Center, 2016). 12. See John D. Ciorciari, “China’s Structural Power Deficit and Influence Gap in the Monetary Policy Arena,” Asian Survey 54, no. 5 (2014): 869–​893. 13. See, e.g., Ellen Frost, “China’s Commercial Diplomacy in Asia: Promise or Threat?” in China’s Rise and the Balance of Influence in Asia, eds. William W. Keller and Thomas G. Rawski (Pittsburgh, PA: University of Pittsburgh Press, 2007), 106; Glenn D. Hook et al., Japan’s International Relations: Politics, Economics and Security, 3rd edition (London and New York: Routledge, 2011), 21. 14. See, e.g., Edwin O. Reischauer, The Japanese (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1977), 331, 419–​421; Kent Calder, “Japanese Foreign Economic Policy Formation: Explaining the Reactive State,” World Politics 40, no. 4 (1988). 15. See Edamura Sumio, “The Fukuda Doctrine: Diplomacy with a vision,” in Lam ed., Japan’s Foreign Relations, 24–​34. 16. Sueo Sudo, “Evolution of ASEAN-​Japan Relations,” Southeast Asia Background Series no. 6 (Singapore: Institute of Southeast Asian Studies, 2005), 11–​14. 17. Toshimitsu Motegi, Foreign Minister of Japan, “Towards a new stage of cooperation in the spirit of Gotong-​Royong,” Speech in Jakarta, January 10, 2020, available at https://​​s_​sa/​sea2/​page3e_​001148.html (accessed May 5, 2021). 18. John D. Ciorciari, “Japan as the Key to Southeast Asian Diversification,” in this volume. 19. Lam Peng Er, “Japan’s Human Security Role in Southeast Asia,” Contemporary Southeast Asia 28, no. 1 (2006). 20. Ken Jimbo, “Japan’s Defense and Security Cooperation in Southeast Asia: Developing Security Networks, Capacities, and Institutions,” in this volume. 21. Shaun Narine, “Japan’s Relations with ASEAN: Unity and Diversity in a Changing Regional Environment,” in this volume. 22. Kei Koga, “Wedge Strategies, Japan-​ASEAN Cooperation, and the Making of the EAS: Implications for Indo-​Pacific Institutionalization,” in this volume. 23. Kalvin Fung, “Not Quite a Follower: ASEAN’s Response to Japan’s Regional Initiatives,” in this volume. 24. John D. Ciorciari, “Chiang Mai Initiative Multilateralization: International Politics and Institution-​Building in Asia,” Asian Survey 51, no. 5 (2011). 25. See Corey Wallace, “Japan’s Strategic Contrast: Continuing Influence Despite Relative Power Decline in Southeast Asia,” Pacific Review 32, no. 5 (2019). 26. See Mely Caballero-​Anthony, “Understanding ASEAN’s Centrality: Bases and Prospects in an Evolving Regional Architecture,” Pacific Review 27, no. 4 (2014). 27. Kitti Prasirtsuk, “From Japan Inc. to the FOIP: The Evolving Role of Japanese Businesses in Japan’s Southeast Asia Policy,” in this volume. 28. Yong Wook Lee, “Synthesis and Reformulation of Foreign Policy Change: Japan and East Asian Financial Regionalism,” in China’s Rise and Regional Integration in East

Japan as a Courteous Power | 299 Asia: Hegemony or community? eds. Yong Wook Lee and Key-​young Son (London and New York: Routledge, 2014). 29. Nobuhiro Aizawa, “The Japanese Business Community as a Diplomatic Asset and the 2014 Thai Coup d’État,” in this volume. 30. See, e.g., Teppei Kasai, “Japan’s Misguided Alliance with Myanmar’s Abusive Military,” The Diplomat, March 10, 2020; Teppei Kasai and Brad Adams, “Japan shouldn’t act like China in Cambodia,” The Japan Times, March 27, 2019. 31. Siriporn Wajjwalku, “Japan’s NGOs and Effective Development Cooperation in Mekong Countries,” in this volume. 32. Leng Leng Thang and Mika Toyota, “Japan-​Southeast Asia Engagements on the Ground: Japanese Women in Southeast Asia,” in this volume. 33. Karl Cheng Chua, “Revisiting ‘Cool Japan,’ ” in this volume. 34. See, e.g., Kazuhiro Ogawa, “Japan awaits big wave of Southeast Asian tourists,” Nikkei Asian Review, June 16, 2019; “Number of Japanese-​Language Institutions Soars in Asia, Survey Finds,” Japan Times, October 10, 2019. 35. Hosoya, “FOIP 2.0,” 18. 36. Taro Aso, Japanese Minister of Foreign Affairs, “On the ‘Arc of Freedom and Prosperity,’ ” Speech on the occasion of the 20th Anniversary of the Founding of the Japan Forum on International Relations, Inc., Tokyo, March 12, 2007, available at https://​​policy/​pillar/​address0703.html (accessed May 5, 2021). 37. Shinzo Abe, Prime Minister of Japan, “Confluence of the Two Seas,” Address to the Indian Parliament, New Delhi, August 22, 2007, available at https://​​ region/​asia-​paci/​pmv0708/​speech-​2.html (accessed May 5, 2021). 38. Lavina Lee, “Abe’s Democratic Security Diamond and New Quadrilateral Initiative: an Australian Perspective,” Journal of East Asian Affairs 30, no. 2 (2016): 3. 39. Adam P. Liff, “Japan’s Defense Policy: Abe the Evolutionary,” Washington Quarterly 38, no. 2 (2015): 85–​86. 40. See Adam P. Liff, “Japan’s Security Policy in the ‘Abe Era’: Radical Transformation or Evolutionary Shift?” Texas National Security Review 1, no. 3 (2018). 41. Hugo Dobson, “Is Japan Really Back? The “Abe Doctrine” and Global governance,” Journal of Contemporary Asia 47, no. 2 (2017): 200–​205. 42. See Rosalind Dixon and Guy Baldwin, “Globalizing Constitutional Moments? A Reflection on the Japanese Article 9 Debate,” American Journal of Comparative Law 67 (2019): 169–​170, 175–​176. 43. White House, “Remarks by President Biden and Prime Minister Suga of Japan at Press Conference,” April 16, 2021, available at https://​​ briefing-​room/​speeches-​remarks/​2021/​04/​16/​remarks-​by-​president-​biden-​and-​prime-​ minister-​suga-​of-​japan-​at-​press-​conference/​ (accessed May 5, 2021). 44. Japanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs, “Partnership for Quality Infrastructure” (May 21, 2015), available at https://​​files/​000081298.pdf (accessed May 5, 2021). 45. William Choong, “The Return of the Indo-​Pacific Strategy: An Assessment,” Australian Journal of International Affairs 73, no. 5 (2019): 421. See also Tobias Harris, “ ‘Quality Infrastructure’: Japan’s Robust Challenge to China’s Belt and Road,” War on the Rocks, April 9, 2019. 46. Asian Development Bank, Meeting Asia’s Infrastructure Needs (Manila: ADB, 2017), 40. 47. Choong, “The Return,” 423.

300 | The Courteous Power 48. “Japan Would Consider Joining China-​Led AIIB if Doubts are Dispelled, Abe Says, The Japan Times, May 16, 2017. 49. David Brewster, “A ‘Free and Open Indo-​Pacific’ and What it Means for Australia,” Lowy Interpreter, March 7, 2018. 50. Asian Development Bank, “ADB and AIIB Presidents Discuss Strategic and Operational Issues,” News Release, March 21, 2019, https://​​news/​ adb-​and-​aiib-​presidents-​discuss-​strategic-​and-​operational-​issues. 51. Daisuke Suzuki, “Japan and China to Hold Infrastructure Forum During Xi Visit,” Nikkei Asian Review, September 16, 2019. 52. See, e.g., Aurelia George Mulgan, “Securitizing the TPP in Japan: Policymaking Structure and Discourse,” Asia Policy 22 (2016). 53. Shin Ito, “Japan’s Critical Leadership Role on Free and Fair Trade,” Center for Strategic and International Studies (May 15, 2018), https://​​analysis/​ japans-​critical-​leadership-​role-​free-​and-​fair-​trade. 54. Shinzo Abe, “Asia’s Democratic Security Diamond,” Project Syndicate, December 31, 2012. 55. Alex Wong, U.S. Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for East Asian and Pacific Affairs, Statement before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Subcommittee on East Asia, the Pacific, and International Cybersecurity Policy, Washington, DC, May 15, 2018, available at https://​​download/​wong-​testimony-​051518 (accessed May 5, 2021). 56. See “Japan Suspends New Aid to Myanmar over Military Coup,” Kyodo News, March 30, 2021. 57. Aizawa, “The Japanese Business Community.” 58. See Kai He and Huiyun Feng, “The Institutionalization of the Indo-​ Pacific: Problems and Prospects,” International Affairs 96, no. 1 (2020). 59. “Inciting Bloc Formation Will Find No Market: Chinese FM,” Xinhua, March 8, 2018.


Nobuhiro Aizawa is Associate Professor in the Graduate School of Social and Cultural Studies at Kyushu University, Japan. He is the author of “Beyond the Non-​Interference Dilemma: The Indonesian Initiative on ASEAN Charter, Nargis Crisis and Regionalism,” Australian Journal of Politics and History (2019) and The Ethnic Chinese and the State: Indonesia’s China/​Chinese Problem (in Japanese) (Shoseki Kobo-​ Hayama, 2010). He has been a Wilson Center Japan Scholar and a Visiting Scholar at Thammasat University, Chulalongkorn University and Cornell University. He is a former Research Associate at the Institute of Developing Economies, Japan External Trade Organization (IDE-​JETRO) and has worked at the National Graduate Institute of Policy Studies and been a member of Project 2045: A Joint Project of Two Maritime Democracies (Indonesia and Japan). Karl Ian Uy Cheng Chua is Assistant Professor in the Department of History and former Director of the Japanese Studies Program of the Ateneo de Manila University in the Philippines. He is the author of “Covid-​19 and Popular Culture in Southeast Asia: Digital Responses to the Pandemic” in the Covid Chronicles series of the Kyoto University Center for Southeast Asian Studies, as well as “Japanese Representation in Philippine Media” as a section in The Palgrave Handbook of Ethnicity. He has been an Asia Public Intellectual Junior Fellow and is currently a Japan Foundation Japanese Studies Fellow. He is part of the editorial board of Social Science Diliman and the East Asian Journal of Popular Culture. He is on the steering committee of the Japanese Studies Association of Southeast Asia (JSA-​ASEAN). John D. Ciorciari is Associate Professor and Director of the International Policy Center and Weiser Diplomacy Center at the Gerald R. Ford

302 | Contributors

School of Public Policy, University of Michigan. He is the author of Sovereignty Sharing in Fragile States (Stanford University Press, 2021) and The Limits of Alignment: Southeast Asia and the Great Powers since 1975 (Georgetown University Press, 2010), as well as co-​author of Hybrid Justice: The Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia (University of Michigan Press, 2014). He has been an Andrew Carnegie Fellow, an Asia21 Fellow at the Asia Society, a National Fellow at the Hoover Institution, and a Shorenstein Fellow at the Walter H. Shorenstein Asia-​Pacific Research Center at Stanford University. He is a former policy official at the U.S. Treasury Department and a former term member of the Council on Foreign Relations. He is also a senior legal advisor to the Documentation Center of Cambodia. Kalvin Fung is a doctoral candidate in International Studies at Waseda University’s Graduate School of Asia-​ Pacific Studies in Tokyo. His research interests include ASEAN’s relations with external powers and, in particular, the role of norms in shaping their security behavior. Ken Jimbo is Professor in the Faculty of Policy Management at Keio University in Japan. He is concurrently a Senior Research Fellow at the Canon Institute for Global Studies and the Tokyo Foundation. His main research fields are international security, Japan–​U.S. security relations, Japanese foreign and defense policy, multilateral security in the Asia-​ Pacific region, and regionalism in East Asia. He has been a policy advisor at various Japanese governmental commissions and research groups, including at the National Security Secretariat, the Ministry of Defense and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. His policy writings have appeared in publications of the National Bureau of Asian Research, the RAND Corporation, the Stimson Center, Pacific Forum CSIS, Japan Times, Nikkei, Yomiuri, Asahi and Sankei Shimbun. Kei Koga is Assistant Professor at the Public Policy and Global Affairs Programme in the School of Social Sciences at Nanyang Technological University in Singapore. His recent publications regarding Southeast Asia include “Japan’s ‘Free and Open Indo-​Pacific’ Strategy: Tokyo's Tactical Hedging and the Implications for ASEAN,” Contemporary Southeast Asia (2019) and “ASEAN’s Evolving Institutional Strategy: Managing Great Power Politics in South China Sea Disputes,” Chinese Journal of International Politics (2018). Previously, he was a visiting fellow at the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS); a Japan–​ U.S.

Contributors | 303

Partnership Fellow at the Research Institute for Peace and Security (RIPS) in Tokyo; and a Postdoctoral Fellow in the International Studies Program at the Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs at the Harvard Kennedy School. Shaun Narine is Professor of International Relations and Political Science at St. Thomas University in Fredericton, Canada. He has published two books on ASEAN: Explaining ASEAN: Regionalism in Southeast Asia (2002) and The New ASEAN in Asia Pacific and Beyond (2018), both with Lynne Rienner Publishers. He has also written extensively on Asia-​Pacific institutionalism and Canadian foreign policy. He received his Ph.D. from the University of Toronto and has been an East-​West Center Visiting Fellow (2000), a Killam Postdoctoral Fellow at the University of British Columbia (2000-​ 2002), and a Visiting Fellow at ISEAS-​ Yusof Ishak Institute in Singapore (2017 and 2021). Kitti Prasirtsuk is Professor of Political Science at Thammasat University in Thailand. He is the author of “Japan and ASEAN in East Asian Community-​Building: Activating the Fukuda Doctrine” in Lam Peng Er, ed. Japan and Southeast Asia (2012), “An Ally at the Crossroads: Thailand in the U.S. Alliance System” in Michael Wesley, ed. Global Allies (2017), and “Thailand in 2015: Bill, Blast, and Beyond,” Asian Survey (2016). He serves as an advisory committee member for the Asia Center under the Japan Foundation, on a committee of the International Studies Center at the Thai Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and on a former strategic committee at the Thai Ministry of Defence (2014-​ 19). He formerly worked at Mitsubishi Electric and Mitsubishi Corporation in Thailand. Leng Leng Thang is Associate Professor, Head of the Department of Japanese Studies, and Co-​Director of the Next Age Institute at the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences, National University of Singapore. She is a socio-​cultural anthropologist with research interests in aging, intergenerational approaches and relationships, family and migration with a focus on Asia, especially Japan and Singapore. She has published scholarly articles in Japanese Studies, Identities, Asian and Pacific Migration Journal, Marriage and Family Review and other journals. She is the author of a first-​ever ethnography on an age-​integrated institution entitled Generations in Touch: Linking the Old and Young in a Tokyo Neighborhood (Cornell University Press, 2001) and most recently, co-​editor of Intergenerational Contact Zones: Place-​based strategies for

304 | Contributors

promoting social inclusion and belonging (Routledge, 2020). She is co-​ editor-​in-​chief of the Journal of Intergenerational Relationships and is one of the founding steering committee members of the Japanese Studies Association in Southeast Asia. Mika Toyota is a Research Scientist at the Max Planck Institute for Human Development in Berlin, Germany. She is co-​ editor of Return: Nationalizing Transnational Mobility in Asia (Duke University Press, 2013) and the author of scholarly articles published in Ethnic and Racial Studies, International Development Planning Review, Citizenship Studies, Global Networks, International Journal of Sociology and Social Policy, Identities: Global Studies in Culture and Power, and other social science journals. She was Professor of Tourism Studies at Rikkyo University in Tokyo and before that worked at the National University of Singapore and the University of Hull in the United Kingdom She has been a member of multiple expert committees for the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism in Japan. Kiyoteru Tsutsui is Henri H. and Tomoye Takahashi Professor and Senior Fellow in Japanese Studies at the Walter H. Shorenstein Asia-​ Pacific Research Center at Stanford University, where he is also Director of the Japan Program, a Senior Fellow of the Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies, and a Professor of Sociology. He is the author of Rights Make Might: Global Human Rights and Minority Social Movements in Japan (Oxford University Press, 2018) and co-​editor of Corporate Social Responsibility in a Globalizing World (Cambridge University Press, 2015), as well as scholarly articles published in the American Sociological Review, American Journal of Sociology, Social Forces, Social Problems, Journal of Peace Research, Journal of Conflict Resolution, and other social science journals. He has been a recipient of National Endowment for the Humanities Fellowship, National Science Foundation grants, the SSRC/​ CGP Abe Fellowship, Stanford Japan Studies Postdoctoral Fellowship, and other grants as well as awards from American Sociological Association sections on Global and Transnational Sociology (2010, 2013, 2019), Human Rights (2017, 2019), Asia and Asian America (2018, 2019), Collective Behavior and Social Movements (2018), and Political Sociology (2019). Siriporn Wajjwalku is Professor at the Faculty of Political Science at Thammasat University in Bangkok. She is the author of Japan and Disaster

Contributors | 305

Relief: Policy, Mechanism, and Actors (Chulalongkorn University Publishing House, 2019, in Thai), Japan and Development Cooperation: Policy and Practice in Mekong Countries (Chulalongkorn University Publishing House, 2017, in Thai), Regional Cooperation and Food Security: ASEAN Emergency Rice Reserve (Thammasat University Publishing House, 2015, in Thai), and “Civil Society and Water Governance in Northern Thailand: Local NGOs and Management of Mekong’s Tributaries in Chiangrai” in Otsuka Kenji, ed. Interactive Approaches to Water Governance in Asia (Springer, 2019). She is also co-editor of Advancing the Regional Commons in the New East Asia (Routledge, 2016). She is a former Dean of the Faculty of Political Science, Thammasat University (2010-2013) and a founder and former President of the Japanese Studies Association of Thailand (20122017). She has been a visiting professor at Saga University (2006) and Hiroshima University (2015) in Japan.


Abe, Shinzo: “Arc of Freedom and Prosperity” concept, 8, 289; and Article 9 reinterpretation, 43, 290–​91; and Belt and Road Initiative, 293; first strike proposal, 46; focus on democratic values, 7–​10, 161–​62, 293–​94; focus on region, 3, 7–​10; Philippines visit, 263; and Thai coup, 166, 177, 182; and womenomics, 243. See also FOIP (Free and Open Indo-​Pacific) Abe Doctrine, 8–​10, 291 Abiko, Motoo, 275n58. See also Fujio, Fujiko F. ADB. See Asian Development Bank (ADB) ADMM-​Plus. See ASEAN Defense Ministers Meeting Plus (ADMM-​Plus) AFTA (ASEAN Free Trade Area), 154 aid: and China, 16, 33, 35; Japan as main contributor, 5–​6, 14, 33, 34, 287; national ownership in, 209; NGOs’ role in, 16, 197, 201–​6, 214; as not tied to policy, 280; as soft power, 251, 288; from U.S., 33, 34. See also development role; humanitarian assistance and disaster relief (HA/​DR); ODA (official development assistance) AIIB. See Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) Alatas, Ali, 126 Alliance Française, 253 American Chamber of Commerce, 183 AMRO. See ASEAN+3 Macroeconomic Research Office (AMRO)

anime. See manga/​anime as soft power AOIP. See “ASEAN Outlook on the Indo-​ Pacific” (AOIP) APEC. See Asia-​Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) “Arc of Freedom and Prosperity,” 8, 289 ARF. See ASEAN Regional Forum (ARF) Article 9, reinterpretations of, 41, 43, 46, 290–​91 ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations): ADMM-​Plus, 45, 58, 65–​67, 73; AOIP, 74, 103, 104–​5, 114–​15, 136–​39, 296; “ASEAN Industrial Projects,” 151–​52; Charter, 176; Comprehensive Economic Partnership, 159; as consensus-​seeking, 3, 76, 80–​81, 88–​92, 285, 296; creation of, 5; finance ministers meetings, 41; free trade agreements, 7, 8, 154; and Fukuda Doctrine, 5–​6; inward-​looking focus, 73–​74; Japan’s leadership in, 1, 120–​22, 284–​86; Japan summits, 7; Master Plan on ASEAN Connectivity, 137, 163; Myanmar membership in, 157; reaction to FOIP, 122–​23, 134–​38, 139, 278; role in institutionalization, 12, 68–​69; trade with China, 35, 36, 84–​85; trade with Japan, 8, 35, 36, 85; trade with U.S., 35, 36; Treaty of Amity and Cooperation, 87, 133, 284; “Vientiane Vision,” 43, 57, 60. See also ASEAN centrality; ASEAN Regional Forum (ARF); regional initiatives, reactions to 307

308 | Index ASEAN+3: Bond Markets Initiative, 281; creation of, 7, 41, 284; and East Asia Summit, 12–​13, 81, 82–​88, 90–​91, 92, 129, 131, 139, 284–​85; East Asia Vision Group, 82, 129; Koizumi vision, 122 ASEAN+3 Macroeconomic Research Office (AMRO), 41, 161 ASEAN+6 and Koizumi vision, 128–​33 ASEAN centrality: and ADMM-​Plus, 66; and AOIP, 114, 138, 296; and consensus, 80–​81; development of, 108; and East Asia Summit, 75, 83–​84, 86–​87, 89, 90, 91, 92, 130, 133, 136–​37; and FOIP, 74, 98, 101, 102–​3, 135, 138–​40, 295–​96; and future trends, 295–​96; Japan’s commitment to, 3, 8, 66, 74, 284, 286; and Nakayama proposal, 125; role in institutionalization, 12, 68–​69 ASEAN Defense Ministers Meeting Plus (ADMM-​Plus), 45, 58, 65–​67, 73 ASEAN Free Trade Area (AFTA), 154 ASEAN Industrial Cooperation (AICO), 154 ASEAN Industrial Joint Ventures (AIJV), 154 “ASEAN Industrial Projects,” 151–​52 ASEAN–​Japan Development Fund, 6 ASEAN–​Japan Vision Statement, 73 “ASEAN Outlook on the Indo-​Pacific” (AOIP), 74, 103, 104–​5, 114–​15, 136–​ 39, 296 ASEAN Post-​Ministerial Conference (PMC), 39, 124–​28 ASEAN Regional Forum (ARF): creation of, 12, 13, 39, 41, 73, 127, 128, 285; disillusionment with, 64; and diversification, 39–​40; membership in, 126, 127, 128, 139 Asian Development Bank (ADB): and infrastructure development, 14, 39; and Mekong area, 155, 207; MOU with AIIB, 293; role of Japan in, 5, 33, 155, 281, 292 Asian Financial Crisis: and Asian Monetary Fund proposal, 7, 157–​58; and businesses’ role in policy, 157–​58, 167; and Koizumi vision, 122, 128–​29

Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB), 14, 38, 111, 134, 292 Asian Monetary Fund proposal, 7, 157–​58, 281, 285 Asia-​Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC), 12, 40, 108, 120 Aso, Taro, 8 aspirational consumption, 251, 256–​57, 259, 261, 266, 271, 288 Association of Southeast Asian Nations. See ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations) Australia: and East Asia Summit, 12, 81, 83, 86, 87, 88, 129–​33, 284; and Five-​ Power Defence Arrangements, 42; and FOIP, 46–​47; joint training and exercises with, 57; multilateral security initiative, 126, 139; and RCEP, 166, 293; and security diversification, 42, 45; and Thai coup, 177; “working holiday visa” programs, 227. See also Quadrilateral Security Dialogue/​Cooperation Azumi, Jun, 65 Badawi, Abdullah Ahmad, 82, 86, 132 balancing, 25, 28–​29, 47, 75 Bali, transnational marriage in, 230, 231 Balikatan joint exercises, 45, 57, 59 bandwagoning, 25, 28 Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), 14, 15, 38, 74, 99, 134, 163, 292–​93 Biden, Joseph: and China, 283; and CPTPP, 37; and Suga, 291, 293 Binay, Jejomar, 263 binding strategy, 94nn21–​22 Board of Trade of Thailand, 155 Borneo, infrastructure funding in, 38 Brand-​to-​Brand Complementation (BBC), 154 BRI. See Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) British Council, 253 Brunei: and CPTPP, 37, 165; diversification by, 36, 37, 38, 42; FDI in, 38, 85; and FOIPS agreement, 136; joint training and exercises with, 59; and Nakayama proposal, 127; as non-​democratic, 294; trade with Japan, 85

Index | 309 BUILD Act, 39 Burma. See Myanmar businesses and Thai coup: as communication channel, 155, 174, 177–​83; continued role of, 186–​91; and democratic values, 15, 34, 173, 174–​83, 186–​91, 294–​ 95; and diversification, 174, 183–​85; and economic integration, 166, 167, 174–​82, 287; overview of, 15, 172–​75, 287 businesses’ role in foreign policy: and courteous power approach, 277, 282, 287; FOIP era, 150, 161–​68; ODA and investment phase (1960s-​1980s), 14, 150–​54, 156, 166, 167; overview of, 3, 14, 149–​50; regional economic policy phase (1990s-​2000s), 150, 153, 154–​60, 167. See also businesses and Thai coup; FDI (foreign direct investment) Cambodia: aid to, 33–​34, 35, 287; capacity building in, 61, 63; cultural soft power in, 252; diversification by, 30, 33–​34, 36, 37–​38; FDI in, 37–​38; and FOIPS agreement, 136; and Fukuda Doctrine, 5; JICA Country Assistance Policy, 219n63; NGOs in, 200–​201, 206, 210; as non-​democratic, 33–​34, 294; perceptions of other countries survey, 254; sanctions against, 33–​34, 294; strategic partnership with, 8; and Thai coup, 172, 176; trade with China, 85; trade with Japan, 85; UN peacekeeping missions in, 7, 41, 55, 99; water resource management aid to, 221n95 Cambodia–​Laos–​Vietnam Development Triangle, 207 capacity building: and diversification, 12, 43–​45; focus on, 9; and FOIP, 99, 101, 102, 161; increase in, 56–​57, 61–​64, 68, 284; and maritime security, 43, 61–​66, 67, 68; and NGOs, 204, 205, 207, 210, 212; “Vientiane Vision,” 43, 57, 60 Capacity Building Assistance Office, 61 CEP. See Comprehensive Economic Partnership (CEP) Chamber of Commerce. See Japanese Chamber of Commerce (JCC)

Chang Wanquan, 66 Chiang Mai Initiative, 7, 41, 158 Chiang Mai Initiative Multilateralization, 41, 108, 158, 281, 285 China: and ADMM-​Plus, 66–​67; and aid, 16, 33, 35; and ARF, 126, 127; and Asian Monetary Fund proposal, 158, 281; and coercion, 280, 294; concerns about and diversification strategies, 11, 25–​26, 32, 35–​39, 42, 43–​48, 89, 283, 290; concerns about and FOIP, 9–​10, 122, 134, 135, 136, 140, 296–​97; concerns about and security policy, 6, 8, 9–​10, 12, 55–​56, 68, 284, 290–​92; and CPTPP, 293; and East Asia Summit, 8, 12–​13, 75–​76, 81–​91, 92, 129–​33, 139, 285; FDI by, 37–​38, 85, 165, 185, 186, 187; FDI in, 159; and Greater Mekong Subregion, 157; and infrastructure development, 14, 15, 38, 39, 74, 99, 134, 163, 165, 292–​93; joint training and exercises with, 67, 195n49; and manga/​ anime, 249; and Nakayama proposal, 125; and RCEP, 166, 293; rising business competition from, 155, 161; and Sino–​ American hostility, 47, 74, 104, 113, 187, 283, 290–​92; and soft power, 272, 288; structural power of, 281; surveys on public perceptions of, 255, 270; and Thai coup, 172, 173, 176, 183, 185; tourism to Thailand, 195n47; trade with ASEAN, 35, 36, 84–​85; trade with Thailand, 176. See also ASEAN+3 civil society: and Development Cooperation Charter, 198; future trends in, 295; role in/​effect on policy, 1, 2, 3, 277, 282; and Thai coup, 185. See also NGOs and development cooperation class: and expatriates, 223–​26; and transnational marriage, 240 Cobra Gold military exercises, 42, 57, 189 coercion: freedom from, 294; use of, 280 collective confrontation, 77, 78, 79, 80, 89 collective inducement, 77, 78, 79, 80, 86, 88, 90–​91 Committee for Japan–​ASEAN Defense Cooperation, 67

310 | Index Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-​Pacific Partnership (CPTPP), 32, 37, 165–​66, 167, 293 Comprehensive Economic Partnership (CEP), 7, 159 confrontation wedge strategies, 77, 78–​79, 80, 81, 89 connectivity: focus on, 9, 10, 197, 292–​ 93; and FOIP, 100–​101, 104, 115, 135, 137, 163, 197; Master Plan on ASEAN Connectivity (MPAC), 137, 163; and NGOs in Mekong area, 200, 208; and Thai coup, 181 consensus: ASEAN as consensus-​seeking, 3, 76, 80–​81, 88–​92, 285, 296; and East Asia Summit, 132; normative value of, 282; vs. unanimity, 80; and wedge strategies, 76, 79, 80–​81, 88–​92, 285, 296 Cool Japan Fund, 252, 271 “Cool Japan” initiative, 249–​50, 252, 255, 259, 270–​72, 288 Cooperation Afloat Readiness and Training (CARAT), 175 corruption, 15, 181, 188, 202 cosplay, 259–​61, 266, 271, 272 coup, Myanmar, 287, 294 coup, Thai. See Thai coup and businesses COVID-​19 crisis, 278, 289, 291, 297 CPTPP. See Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-​ Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) creative misreading, 251, 257, 266, 271, 295 cultural initiatives: “Cool Japan” initiative, 249–​50, 252, 255, 270–​72; and Fukuda Doctrine, 5; as soft power, 2, 3, 248–​51. See also manga/​anime as soft power currency swap arrangements, 158 customs control and Thai coup, 181 cybersecurity, 66, 291 defense. See security role democratic values: Abe’s focus on, 7–​10, 161–​62, 293–​94; in ASEAN Charter, 176; and businesses after Thai coup, 15, 34, 173, 174–​83, 186–​91, 294–​95; and

cultural soft power, 16, 288; and FOIP, 135, 138, 161–​62, 278, 289–​90, 293–​95; future trends, 293–​95; Japan as role model, 2–​3, 280, 288; and Koizumi Doctrine, 7; and NGOs, 16 Development Cooperation Charter, 198 development role: and diversification, 11, 25, 26–​27, 32–​35, 38–​39; as focus, 1, 9, 12, 25–​26; future of, 292–​93; human capital development, 153–​54, 155, 157; in overview, 1, 2, 5–​6, 9; and SDGs, 137, 205, 211, 220n70; and structural power, 281. See also infrastructure development; NGOs and development cooperation; ODA (official development assistance) diplomacy role: defense diplomacy, 56–​57, 58–​59; diplomatic and defense influence recap, 283–​86; and diversification, 26–​27, 29, 32, 39–​41; grassroots diplomacy with personal engagements, 16, 227, 242–​43, 277, 287, 288; overview of, 1–​4, 8–​10; principles of, 161–​62. See also ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations); Japan as courteous power; soft power; Thai coup and businesses disaster relief. See humanitarian assistance and disaster relief (HA/​DR) diversification: advantages of, 30–​32; and businesses’ role in policy, 161–​63; and businesses’ role in Thai coup, 174, 183–​85; described, 27–​30; and development role, 11, 25, 26–​27, 32–​35, 38–​39; and diplomacy, 26–​27, 32, 39–​41; and East Asia Summit, 32, 40, 89, 133; and economic integration role, 2, 11, 25–​27, 28, 31–​32, 35–​39, 40, 283; and FOIP, 11, 27; and infrastructure development, 14, 38–​39; mixing with hedging, 29–​31, 32; vs. hedging, 26, 27–​30; overview of, 11, 25–​27; and security, 11, 26–​27, 30–​32, 41–​48, 290 Doraemon (manga), 248, 258, 266–​70 Duterte, Rodrigo, 44–​45, 261–​66, 271, 294

Index | 311 EAS. See East Asia Summit (EAS) East Asia Economic Group (EAEC), 82 East Asian Community. See East Asia Summit (EAS) East Asian Community Charter, 86–​87 East Asian Economic Grouping proposal, 40 East Asia Study Group, 82 East Asia Summit (EAS): and ASEAN centrality, 75, 83–​84, 86–​87, 89, 90, 91, 92, 130, 133, 136–​37; challenges to, 12; and consensus, 132; and diversification, 32, 40, 89, 133; first meeting of, 82–​83, 86, 130; Japan’s role in formation, 40, 73, 284; membership criteria, 87, 90; membership expansion, 8, 129–​33, 284–​ 85; reactions to, 13, 128–​33, 139; and wedge strategies, 12–​13, 75–​76, 81–​92 East Asia Vision Group, 82, 129 East China Sea, 56 Eastern Economic Corridor, 166, 195n50 Eastern Seaboard project, 152, 185 East Timor UN peacekeeping mission, 7, 41, 55 East-​West Economic Corridor, 155 economic crises. See Asian Financial Crisis; global economic crisis economic integration role: and businesses’ role after Thai coup, 166, 167, 174–​82, 287; and businesses’ role in policy, 150, 153, 154–​60, 167, 287; in courteous power recap, 286–​87; development of, 4–​10; and diversification, 2, 11, 25–​27, 28, 31–​32, 35–​39, 40, 283; and FOIP, 14, 135, 137; future of, 292–​ 93; and Plaza Accord, 6, 286; as soft power, 288; and structural power, 281; and wedge strategies over East Asia Summit, 84–​85 Economic Partnership Agreements (EPAs), 159–​60, 251 English language and expatriates, 232–​33 Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement (2014), 44 entrepreneurs, female expatriates as, 230, 231, 236–​40, 241, 242

environmental sustainability and NGOs, 205 EWGs (Expert Working Groups). See Expert Working Groups (EWGs) Executives’ Meeting of East Asia-​Pacific Central Banks, 41 expatriates, female Japanese: and class, 223–​26; and entrepreneurship, 230, 231, 236–​40, 241, 242; and Japanese language instruction, 229, 231, 234–​ 36; as “local hires,” 224, 230, 232–​34; motivations of, 227–​30, 240, 242–​43; personal engagements by, 16, 227, 230, 232–​43, 277, 287, 288; and self-​ discovery, 226, 229–​30, 237–​38, 240, 242–​43, 288; statistics on, 224, 225; and transnational marriage, 226, 230, 240–​42; “working holiday visa” programs, 227 Expert Working Groups (EWGs), 65–​66 extra-​institutional wedge strategies, 77–​78 FDI (foreign direct investment): and businesses’ role in policy, 14, 150–​54, 163–​68; by China, 37–​38, 85, 165, 185, 186, 187; and diversification, 37–​38; and Economic Partnership Agreements, 159; and expatriates, 229; by India, 37; Japan as main contributor, 5–​6, 14, 37, 38, 85, 149, 174, 186, 255, 286; and ODA, 153–​54; in service sector, 162, 186; by South Korea, 37; and Thai coup, 177, 178–​79, 181, 186–​91; by U.S., 38, 184, 187, 188 Federation of Thai Industries, 155, 166 Five-​Power Defence Arrangements, 42 FOIP (Free and Open Indo-​Pacific): vs. AOIP, 136–​37, 138, 296; and ASEAN centrality, 74, 98, 101, 102–​3, 135, 138–​ 40, 295–​96; ASEAN reaction to, 122–​ 23, 134–​38, 139, 278; as bolder approach, 3, 9, 277–​78, 289–​90; and businesses’ role in policy, 150, 161–​66; and capacity building, 99, 101, 102, 161; and China, 9–​10, 122, 134, 135, 136, 140, 296–​97; and coercion, 294; development of, 2, 4, 9–​10; and diversification, 11, 27; and

312 | Index economic integration role, 14, 135, 137; as evolving, 111, 277–​78; FOIPS, 134–​39; and Fukuda Doctrine, 9–​10; future of, 289–​97; and infrastructure development, 3, 9, 38–​39, 135, 137, 138, 163–​65, 292–​93; and NGOs, 197, 208, 215, 295; precursors to, 8; and SDGs, 137; and security, 3, 8–​10, 14, 46–​47, 56, 60, 100, 113, 115, 135, 137–​38, 290–​92; softening of, 278, 296; and soft power through culture, 251, 272, 289; and U.S., 9–​10, 46–​47, 74, 122, 134, 136, 137 foreign direct investment. See FDI (foreign direct investment) France: cultural soft power of, 253; and manga/​anime, 263 Free and Open Indo-​Pacific (FOIP). See FOIP (Free and Open Indo-​Pacific) freedom from coercion, 294 freedom of navigation: ASEAN on, 66, 69; and FOIP, 9, 101, 135, 278, 284. See also maritime security free trade agreements: AFTA, 154; ASEAN, 7, 8, 154; CPTPP, 32, 37, 165–​66, 167, 293; Economic Partnership Agreements, 159–​60, 251; focus in FOIP era, 163, 165–​66, 167, 286; RCEP, 104, 115, 166, 293; as soft power, 251; TPP, 36, 112, 134, 165, 167, 293 Fujimoto, Hiroshi, 275n58. See also Fujio, Fujiko F. Fujio, Fujiko F., 268, 272 Fukuda, Takeo, 5, 54, 151–​52. See also Fukuda Doctrine Fukuda, Yasuo, 8 Fukuda Doctrine: and development aid, 151, 167; development of, 4, 5–​6, 7, 8, 10; and economic integration, 5–​6, 7, 8, 120; and FOIP, 9–​10; reaffirmation of, 7; as reassuring, 73, 278; as redress, 282 Gemba, Koichiro, 62 gender discrimination, 227–​28, 240, 242–​43. See also expatriates, female Japanese Germany and cultural soft power, 253

GGP. See Grant Assistance for Grassroots Projects (GGP) global economic crisis, 158 Global Partnership for Effective Development Cooperation, 209 Global Peace Operation Initiative, 57 glocalization of manga/​anime, 257, 259, 261, 266, 272 Goethe-​Institut Inter Nationes, 253 Gojek, 271 Grant Assistance for Grassroots Projects (GGP), 202, 203, 204, 221n95 Greater Mekong Subregion (GMS): as aid focus, 207; and businesses’ role in policy, 155, 157; and Thai coup, 185 Green Mekong Initiative, 200, 207, 211–​12 Guidelines for Confirmation of Environmental and Social Considerations, 205 Gulf War, 6–​7 HA/​DR. See humanitarian assistance and disaster relief (HA/​DR) Hashimoto, Ryutaro, 7, 156–​57 hedging, 11, 25–​32, 40, 45, 47 hijab cosplay, 259–​61, 266, 271, 272 Hong Kong: FDI in Thailand, 192n9; and female expatriates, 228; and manga/​ anime, 249, 257, 258 human capital development, 153–​54, 155, 157 humanitarian assistance and disaster relief (HA/​DR): and ADMM-​Plus, 65, 66; and capacity building, 61, 63; and diversification, 42; exercises, 57, 60, 67; and FOIP, 161; and NGOs, 204; and ODA, 42, 55; role in, 42, 45, 55, 57–​58, 284 human rights: focus on, 7, 9, 278, 280, 289, 294; and NGOs, 15, 16; and Thai coup, 175, 177, 179, 180, 186, 189; violations, 33–​34, 42, 155 Hun Sen, 176, 193n19, 294 hydropower, 213–​14 ideational power, 121 IMET. See International Military Education and Training (IMET)

Index | 313 IMF. See International Monetary Fund (IMF) Inada, Tomomi, 43 India: and diversification, 42, 43, 44; and East Asia Summit, 12, 40, 81, 83, 86, 87, 88, 129–​33, 284; FDI by, 37; FDI in, 196n54; and FOIP, 46–​47; joint training and exercises with, 45; and manga/​anime, 248; perception of other countries survey, 255; and RCEP, 166; and security equipment, 168. See also Quadrilateral Security Dialogue/​Cooperation Indonesia: aid to, 33, 34, 35, 61, 150, 151; and ARF, 127; and businesses’ role in policy, 155, 157; capacity building in, 61, 63, 68; cultural soft power in, 252; diversification by, 30, 34, 36, 37, 38, 42, 45, 133; and East Asia Summit, 83, 84, 86–​87, 90, 131–​32, 133; FDI in, 37, 38, 85, 149, 151, 153, 192n8, 196n54; female expatriates in, 226, 230, 231; and FOIP, 136, 137; and GMS, 155; hedging by, 29, 30; hijab cosplay in, 259–​61, 266, 271, 272; joint training and exercises with, 42–​43, 57, 58; and Koizumi vision, 131–​32, 133; and manga/​anime, 248, 249, 251, 259–​61, 271; and Nakayama proposal, 127; perceptions of other countries surveys, 255; relief missions and evacuations in, 55; sanctions against, 7, 42; strategic partnerships with, 8; Tanaka riots, 5, 33; and Thai coup, 176, 191n1; trade with Japan, 85; trains in, 164; “2+2” Meetings, 45, 58 Indo-​Pacific, as term, 2, 74, 135, 136, 295–​96. See also FOIP (Free and Open Indo-​Pacific) inducement: collective, 77, 78, 79, 80; selective, 76, 77, 79–​81, 84–​88, 89; use of, 280, 281 infrastructure development: and businesses, 14, 151, 152–​53, 163–​65, 167, 168; by China, 14, 15, 38, 39, 74, 99, 134, 163, 165, 292–​93; and diversification, 14, 38–​39; and FOIP, 3, 9, 38–​39, 135, 137, 138, 163–​65, 292–​93; and Greater

Mekong Subregion, 155; and NGOs, 199, 200, 205, 208–​9, 211, 214; and ODA, 151, 152–​53, 287; “Partnerships for Quality Infrastructure,” 14, 38–​39, 164, 292, 293; “quality infrastructure” term, 163; and Thai coup, 181 Initiative on Sustainable Hydropower, 213 institutional development: and ASEAN, 12, 68–​69, 74–​75; and security, 12, 56–​57, 64–​67, 68 Integrated Water Resource Management (IWRM), 213 International Military Education and Training (IMET), 175 International Monetary Fund (IMF), 32, 158 Iuchi, Setsuo, 178 IWRM. See Integrated Water Resource Management (IWRM) Japan Action Plan 63, 207 Japan as courteous power: background and history, 4–​10; courteous power as term, 3; diplomatic and defense influence recap, 283–​86; economic and political development recap, 286–​87; modes of influence, 279–​89; overview of, 1–​4, 17; reasons for approach, 281–​ 83. See also businesses’ role in foreign policy; development role; economic integration role; FDI (foreign direct investment); FOIP (Free and Open Indo-​Pacific); ODA (official development assistance); regional order role; security role; soft power Japan–​ASEAN Commemorative Summit, 67, 82 Japan–​ASEAN Comprehensive Economic Partnership (CEP), 159 Japan–​ASEAN Defense Ministers’ Meeting, 67 Japan–​ASEAN Joint Exercise for Rescue Observation Program, 60 Japan–​ASEAN Ship Rider Cooperation Program, 60 Japan–​ASEAN Vice-​Ministerial Forum, 67

314 | Index Japan Bank for International Cooperation (JBIC), 164, 204–​5 Japan Business Federation. See Keidanren Japan Center for a Sustainable Environment and Society, 210 Japan–​CLV Summit, 207 Japanese Chamber of Commerce (JCC): role in policy, 150, 155; and service sector, 162; and Thai coup, 15, 177–​83, 186, 188, 191 Japanese Coast Guard, 42, 44, 62 Japanese language instruction, 229, 231, 234–​36, 254, 289 Japanese–​Philippine Maritime Safety Capability Improvement Project, 168 Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO), 153, 162, 166, 178, 179, 182 Japan Federation of Economic Associations. See Keidanren “Japan Inc.,” 14, 149, 165 Japan Infrastructure Initiative, 165 Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA): Country Assistance Policy for Cambodia, 219n63; and infrastructure, 153, 164; and NGOs, 198, 200, 203, 204–​5, 207, 209, 210, 211–​12, 213, 214; Partnership Program, 204; and security, 42, 61, 64, 168; and water policies, 211–​12, 213 Japan Localization and Promotion (J-​LOP), 252 Japan Maritime Self-​Defense Force (JMSDF), 43, 45, 58–​59, 60 Japan–​Mekong Partnership Program, 207 Japan–​Myanmar Association, 155 Japan–​Myanmar Economic Committee, 156 Japan Revitalization Strategy, 164 Japan Self-​Defense Forces (JSDF): and capacity building, 61, 62; constitutional constraints on, 41, 43, 46, 84, 114, 282, 290–​91; and escort ships, 160; joint training and exercises, 43, 45, 57–​59, 60, 67; UN peacekeeping missions, 55 Japan Water Forum, 200–​201, 210, 212 JBIC. See Japan Bank for International Cooperation (JBIC)

JCC. See Japanese Chamber of Commerce (JCC) JETRO. See Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO) JICA. See Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) JICA-​NGOs Meeting, 203 JICA Partnership Program, 204, 220n73 JMSDF. See Japan Maritime Self-​Defense Force (JMSDF) joint training and exercises: and capacity building, 62, 65, 67, 284; with China, 67, 195n49; and security diversification, 42–​43, 44–​45; and security networking, 57–​59, 67, 284, 290; and Thai coup, 175, 189; and “Vientiane Vision,” 60 JSDF. See Japan Self-​Defense Forces (JSDF) Keidanren: on China market, 162; and free trade agreements, 159, 166; and human capital development, 157; and infrastructure, 164; and Myanmar, 156; and piracy, 160; role in policy, 149, 151, 156, 157, 158, 159; and Thailand meeting, 166 Kerry, John, 175, 184, 192n3, 196n58 Kirby, John, 175 Kishida, Fumio, 175–​76, 180, 182 Kiuchi, Minoru, 181, 182, 194n39 knowledge transfer. See technology transfer Koga, Hisamichi, 178, 179–​81 Koizumi, Junichiro, 7, 129, 130 Koizumi vision, 7, 122, 128–​33, 139 kokusaika, 227 komiks, 266 KOMODO exercise, 58 Komura, Masahiko, 270 Kono, Taro, 134, 135 Kuala Lumpur Declaration, 132–​33 Laos: aid to, 34, 35; capacity building in, 63, 65; diversification by, 30, 34, 36, 37–​38; and Expert Working Groups, 65; FDI in, 37–​38, 85; and FOIPS agreement, 136; and Fukuda

Index | 315 Doctrine, 5; infrastructure funding, 38; joint patrols with China, 195n49; NGOs in, 210; as non-​democratic, 294; perceptions of other countries survey, 254; strategic partnerships with, 8; and Thai coup, 172, 176; trade with China, 85; trade with Japan, 85; water resource management aid, 221nn95–​96 Law to Promote Specified Nonprofit Activities (NPO Law), 203–​4 Lee Kuan Yew, 256 Machimura, Nobutaka, 87 Mahathir, Mohamad, 40, 256 Malabar exercises, 43 Malaysia: aid to, 34, 35, 150; aid to Myanmar, 157; and ARF, 127; and businesses’ role in policy, 157, 158; capacity building in, 63, 68, 284; and CPTPP, 37, 165; cultural soft power in, 248, 252, 256, 257; diversification by, 30, 34, 36, 37, 38, 41–​42, 45; and East Asian Economic Grouping proposal, 40; and East Asia Summit, 12, 81, 82–​83, 84, 86–​87, 88–​91, 130–​32, 285; FDI in, 37, 38, 85, 153, 192n8, 196n54; and FOIPS agreement, 136; hedging by, 30; and infrastructure programs, 38, 164; joint training and exercises with, 57, 58, 59; “Look East Policy,” 256, 258; and manga/​anime, 248, 257, 260, 261; and Nakayama proposal, 127, 128; as non-​democratic, 294; perceptions of other countries surveys, 254, 255; strategic partnerships with, 8; and Thai coup, 172; trade with China, 85; trade with Japan, 85 manga/​anime as soft power: and aspirational consumption, 251, 256–​57, 259, 261, 266, 271, 288; and “Cool Japan” initiative, 249–​50, 252, 255, 270–​72; and creative misreading, 251, 257, 266, 271, 295; and Doraemon, 248, 258, 266–​70; and Duterte, 261–​66, 271; and glocalization, 257, 259, 261, 266, 272; and hijab cosplay, 259–​61, 266, 271, 272; and liberal norms, 288, 295; overview

of, 16–​17, 248–​51; piracy of, 256, 257–​58, 267, 269, 270, 271, 272, 288; popularity of manga/​anime, 248, 249, 256–​59 maritime security: and businesses’ role in policy, 160, 161–​62, 168; and capacity building, 43, 61–​66, 67, 68; concerns over China and, 12, 56; and diversification, 32, 41–​47; Expert Working Group on, 65; and FOIP, 3, 9–​10, 56, 100, 115, 135, 137–​38; increased role in, 2, 3, 8–​12, 32, 41–​47, 284; UN Convention on the Law of the Sea, 45; “Vientiane Vision,” 60 marriage, transnational, 226, 230, 240–​42 Master Plan on ASEAN Connectivity (MPAC), 137, 163 Mekong–​Japan Summit, 207 Mekong River: as aid focus, 206–​7; countries on, 218n56; as FOIP focus, 200, 208; and NGOs, 15–​16, 200–​201, 205–​15; and security coordination, 195n49. See also Greater Mekong Subregion (GMS) Mekong River Commission (MRC), 207, 213 Mekong Watch, 200–​201, 205, 209–​10, 211, 213–​14, 222n107 METI. See Ministry of Economy,Trade and Industry (METI) militarization, concerns about, 46, 125, 282 military exercises. See joint training and exercises military medicine, 61, 65, 66, 67 Min Aung Hlain, 191n1 Ministerial Forum for the Comprehensive Development of Indochina, 207 Ministry of Economy,Trade and Industry (METI), 153, 162, 163, 252, 259 Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA): and capacity building, 61; and cosplay, 259; and NGOs, 202–​6, 207, 209, 210, 211, 212 Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism, 210 MITI. See Ministry of Economy,Trade and Industry (METI)

316 | Index Miyazawa Initiative, 158, 285 MOFA. See Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) MOFA-​NGOs Regular Meeting, 203, 209 Mongolia, capacity building in, 61 Motegi, Toshimitsu, 114, 165–​66, 283 movies, regional interest in, 249, 250 MPAC. See Master Plan on ASEAN Connectivity (MPAC) MRC. See Mekong River Commission (MRC) music, regional interest in, 249, 250 Muto, Kabun, 155–​56 Myanmar: aid to, 33, 34, 35, 156, 287; ASEAN membership, 157; and businesses’ role in policy, 155–​57; capacity building in, 63; coup in, 287, 294; cultural soft power in, 252; diversification by, 30, 34, 36, 37–​38; FDI in, 37–​38; and FOIPS agreement, 136; and GMS, 155, 157; isolation of, 151; joint patrols with China, 195n49; as non-​ democratic, 34, 155, 294; perceptions of other countries survey, 254; Rohingya crisis, 34, 115, 294; sanctions against, 7, 34, 155, 284, 294; and Thai coup, 172, 176; trade with China, 85; trade with Japan, 85 Nakasone, Yasuhiro, 6 Nakatani, Gen, 64–​65, 66 Nakayama, Taro, 39, 124 Nakayama proposal, 122, 124–​28, 139 Natalegawa, Marty, 143n62, 193n18 National Defense Program Guidelines, 43, 61, 62–​63 National Security Council (Japan), 43 National Security Strategy, 43, 62, 69n8 negative sanctions, 80 New Consultant Framework, 203 New Miyazawa Initiative, 158 New Zealand: and East Asia Summit, 12, 81, 83, 86, 87, 88, 129–​33, 284; and Five-​ Power Defence Arrangements, 42; and RCEP, 166, 293; “working holiday visa” programs, 227

NGOs and development cooperation: and aid role, 16, 197, 201–​6, 214; and capacity building, 204, 205, 207, 210, 212; focus on water, 212–​14; and FOIP, 197, 208, 215, 295; future trends in, 295; government support for, 203–​4, 205; growth of NGOs, 149, 201–​6; lack of autonomy of, 198, 199, 214, 287; legal status of, 203–​4; and Mekong River area, 15–​16, 200–​201, 205–​15; NGO term, 216n24; and ODA, 15, 198, 202–​4, 209, 210, 214; overview of, 15–​16, 197–​ 201; ratio of NGOs to ODA, 217n34; work with local NGOs, 16, 198, 199–​200, 201, 206–​15, 295 Nguyen Dy Nien, 87 Nguyen Thang Vu, 268 Nguyen Xuan Phuc, 44 Nishimiya, Shinichi, 95n46 Nissan, 151, 159 nongovernmental organizations. See NGOs and development cooperation normative persuasion, 279, 280 normative values: of consensus, 282; in courteous power approach, 280, 282, 283, 295; and manga/​anime, 288, 295; and Myanmar, 157; of non-​ interference, 138, 208, 282; and personal engagements, 251; and reactions to regional initiatives, 123, 125, 128, 130–​31, 133, 135, 138 North-​South Economic Corridor, 155 NPO Law, 203–​4 ODA (official development assistance): and businesses’ role in foreign policy, 14, 150–​54, 156, 166, 167; and capacity building, 61, 62–​63; charter, 204; and diversification, 32–​35, 42; and FDI, 153–​ 54; and humanitarian assistance and disaster relief, 42, 55; and infrastructure, 151, 152–​53, 287; Japan as main contributor, 5–​6, 14, 33, 34, 287; and NGOs, 15, 198, 202–​4, 209, 210, 214; NGOs to ODA ratio, 217n34; and peacekeeping, 42; and piracy, 42, 61; reforms of, 203,

Index | 317 204; and security, 42; as soft power, 251; Task Forces, 204, 211; types of, 151 ODA Reform Committee, 203, 204 ODA Task Forces, 204, 211 Organization of Economic Cooperation and Development’s (OECD), 198, 215 Paris Declaration on Aid Effectiveness, 209, 219n70 “Partnerships for Quality Infrastructure,” 14, 38–​39, 163, 164, 292, 293 peacekeeping: and capacity building, 61; EWG on, 65, 66; and increase in Japan’s security role, 57–​58, 284; ODA for, 42; UN missions, 7, 41, 55, 99 perceptions of Japan: and courteous power approach, 283; and militarization, 46, 125, 282; and soft power, 254–​55; surveys on, 73, 254–​55, 270, 289; and Tanaka riots, 5, 33 personal engagements by women expatriates: by entrepreneurs, 236–​40; as grassroots diplomacy, 16, 227, 230, 242–​43, 277, 287, 288; by language instructors, 234–​36; by “local hires,” 232–​34; overview of, 16, 223–​27; and transnational marriage, 226, 230, 240–​42 philanthropy and expatriates, 230, 238–​39 Philippines: aid to, 33, 34, 151, 202; capacity building in, 61–​62, 63, 68, 151; diversification by, 30, 34, 36, 37, 38, 42, 44–​45; FDI in, 37, 38, 85, 153, 168; female expatriates in, 226, 241; hedging by, 29; joint training and exercises with, 42, 45, 57, 58, 59; and manga/​ anime, 248, 249, 251, 255, 261–​66, 271; and Nakayama proposal, 127; NGOs in, 149; as non-​democratic, 294; perceptions of other countries surveys, 254, 255; strategic partnerships with, 8; trade with China, 85; trade with Japan, 85 pipelines, 156 piracy, maritime: and businesses’ role in policy, 160; and capacity building, 61,

62, 63; and ODA, 42, 61; and security efforts, 42, 45, 55 piracy of manga/​anime, 256, 257–​58, 267, 269, 270, 271, 272, 288 Plaza Accord, 6, 37, 153–​54, 286 PMC. See ASEAN Post-​Ministerial Conference (PMC) positive sanctions, 80 power: first face of power, 279; ideational power, 121; power to prevail, 279; and preference multipliers, 279; reward power, 78, 91; structural power, 279, 281. See also Japan as courteous power; soft power power plants and hydropower, 151, 213–​14 Prajin Juntong, 179, 180–​82 Prayut Chan-​ocha, 166, 172, 177–​82 prefectural representative offices, 163 preference multipliers, 279 Pridiyathorn Devakula, 179, 194n30 private investment. See FDI (foreign direct investment) Quadrilateral Security Dialogue/​ Cooperation, 46–​47, 113, 136, 289–​90, 293, 296 Rak Chiang Khong, 201, 210–​11, 213 Razak, Najib, 83 Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP), 104, 115, 166, 293 Regional Cooperation Agreement on Combating Piracy and Armed Robbery against Ships in Asia (ReCAAP ISC), 160 regional initiatives, reactions to: and ARF, 13, 127, 128; and FOIP, 122–​23, 133, 134–​38, 139; Koizumi vision, 122, 128–​33, 139; membership reactions, 123, 125, 126, 129–​30, 131–​32, 134–​35, 136–​37; Nakayama proposal, 122, 124–​28, 139; normative values reactions, 123, 125, 128, 130–​31, 133, 135, 138; overview of, 13–​14, 120–​22; policy area reactions, 123, 125, 127–​28, 130, 132–​33, 135, 137–​38; success of, 123–​24, 138–​40

318 | Index regional order role: and Abe, 8–​9; and ASEAN, 69, 110–​11, 114, 296; and diversification, 25–​26, 30, 37, 47–​48, 290; in overview, 1, 2, 8–​9; and U.S., 280, 285–​86, 290. See also FOIP (Free and Open Indo-​Pacific); regional initiatives, reactions to; security role Revised Guidelines Environmental and Social Considerations, 205 Revised Official Development Assistance Charter, 204 reward power and wedging, 78, 91 Rohingya crisis, 34, 115, 294 Roxas, Mar, 263 rule of law: Abe on, 8–​9, 177; and AOIP, 114, 138; and FOIP, 101, 135, 138, 161–​62, 294; and security cooperation, 43, 45, 55; and Thai coup, 186, 189; “Vientiane Vision,” 60 Russia: and East Asia Summit, 129–​30, 284, 285; and Nakayama proposal, 125; and security diversification, 42, 44 Saiki, Akitaka, 176, 180 sanctions: against Cambodia, 33–​34, 294; against Indonesia, 7, 42; against Myanmar, 7, 34, 155, 284, 294; negative, 80; positive, 80; against Thailand, 180, 184; and wedging, 79–​80 Santiago, Miriam, 265 Sato, Shigekazu, 180, 194n35 SDGs. See Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) security role: and Abe, 43, 290–​91; and businesses’ role in policy, 14, 150, 160, 161–​62, 167, 168; and defense diplomacy, 56–​57, 58–​59; and diversification, 11, 26–​27, 30–​32, 41–​48, 290; first strike proposal, 46; and FOIP, 3, 8–​10, 46–​47, 56, 60, 100, 113, 115, 135, 137–​38, 290–​92; and hedging, 28–​29, 30–​31, 32, 40, 47; increase in, 6–​12, 32, 41–​47, 55–​59, 284; and institutional development, 12, 56–​ 57, 64–​67, 68; Nakayama proposal, 122, 124–​28; and NGOs, 208, 209; overview and background of, 2, 3, 4, 6–​13, 54–​55; and security networking, 56–​60, 67, 68,

284, 290; and soft power, 251–​52, 288; and transfer of technology, 43, 44–​45, 60, 61, 64; UN peacekeeping missions, 7, 41, 55, 61, 99; “Vientiane Vision,” 43, 57, 60. See also ASEAN Regional Forum (ARF); capacity building; joint training and exercises; maritime security; U.S.–​Japan alliance selective confrontation, 77, 78–​79, 80, 81 selective inducement, 76, 77, 79–​81, 84–​88, 89 self-​discovery and female expatriates, 226, 229–​30, 237–​38, 240, 242–​43, 288 self-​employment. See entrepreneurs, female expatriates as Senkaku/​Diaoyu Islands, 173, 192n5 Shangri-​La Dialogue, 65 Sihasak Phuangketkaew, 180, 182, 194n35 Singapore: aid to, 150; aid to Myanmar, 157; and ARF, 127; and CPTPP, 37, 165; cultural soft power in, 252, 256, 257; diversification by, 30, 36, 37, 38, 41–​42, 45, 133; and East Asia Summit, 83, 131, 133; and Expert Working Groups, 65; FDI in, 38, 85, 192n8; female expatriates in, 225, 228, 232–​34; and FOIP, 136, 137; infrastructure programs, 164; and institutional development, 65; joint training and exercises with, 59; “Learn from Japan” movement, 256, 258; and manga/​anime, 248, 249, 257, 258; as non-​democratic, 294; perceptions of other countries survey, 254; trade with China, 85; trade with Japan, 85 Sirinthorn International Institute of Technology, 157 Soekarno, 151 soft power: aid as, 251, 288; and capacity building, 61; and China, 272, 288; and cosplay, 259–​61; cultural initiatives as, 2, 3, 248–​51; defined, 251, 279; economic strength of Japan as, 255–​56, 288; rankings of, 253–​54; and security, 251–​52, 288; television and music as, 252; of U.S., 288; uses of by Japan, 251–​55, 271–​72, 287–​89. See also manga/​ anime as soft power

Index | 319 Somkid Jatusripitak, 165, 166, 179 South China Sea: ASEAN on, 102, 110, 127; China’s pressure on, 6, 12, 56, 99, 110, 112, 127, 134, 280, 284, 285; and FOIP origins, 134; increased Japanese presence in, 43–​44, 45, 56–​59, 162, 290, 291; and Vietnam, 68. See also joint training and exercises; maritime security Southern Economic Corridor, 219n63 South Korea: and Asian Financial Crisis, 158; and diversification, 42; and East Asia Summit, 129; FDI by, 37; FDI in, 192n8; and manga/​anime, 249, 257, 263; public perceptions of, 255; and RCEP, 166. See also ASEAN+3 space, 62, 291 structural power, 279, 281 study abroad programs, 227 Suga, Yoshihide: and Biden, 291, 293; focus on region, 3; and FOIP, 4, 27; security policy, 44, 45, 46, 64; and Thai coup, 175, 180 Suharto, 29, 151 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), 137, 205, 211, 220n70 TAC. See Treaty of Amity and Cooperation (TAC) Taiwan and manga/​anime, 249, 257–​58, 263 Takeshita, Noboru, 6 Takeshita Doctrine, 6, 7 Tanaka riots, 5, 33 Tanasak Patimapragorn, 181, 194n39 Tea Banh, 191n1 technology transfer, 43, 44–​45, 60, 61, 64, 198 television and soft power, 252. See also manga/​anime as soft power Thai Bankers’ Association, 166 Thai Chamber of Commerce, 166, 178 Thai coup and businesses: as communication channel, 155, 174, 177–​83; continuing role of businesses, 186–​91; countries’ reactions to coup, 34, 172–​73, 175–​77, 180, 188; and democratic values,

15, 34, 173, 174–​83, 186–​91, 294–​95; and diversification, 174, 183–​85; and economic integration, 166, 167, 174–​82, 287; overview of, 15, 172–​75, 287 Thai–​Japan Institute for Technological Promotion, 153–​54 Thai–​Japan Institute of Technology, 154 Thailand: aid to, 33, 34, 150, 151, 152–​53, 175; aid to Myanmar, 157; capacity building in, 63; Chinese tourism to, 195n47; and CPTPP, 165–​66; cultural soft power in, 252; diversification by, 30, 34, 36, 37, 42, 45, 174, 183–​85; Economic Partnership Agreement with, 159–​60; FDI in, 37, 38, 85, 149, 153, 174, 175, 176–​77, 179, 181, 186–​91; female expatriates in, 226, 230, 231, 234–​39; and GMS, 155, 185; infrastructure programs, 164, 166; and Japanese language instruction, 234–​36; joint patrols with China, 195n49; joint training and exercises with, 42, 57; as key production country, 173; and manga/​anime, 249, 255, 263; NGOs in, 149, 200–​201, 206, 210–​11, 213; as non-​democratic, 34, 294; perceptions of other countries survey, 254; sanctions against, 180; strategic partnerships with, 8; Tanaka riots, 5, 33; ties to U.S., 160, 172, 184; trade with China, 176, 185, 186; trade with Japan, 85; trade with U.S., 182, 186. See also Thai coup and businesses Thailand 4.0 initiative, 166, 195n50 Thanatip Upatising, 176, 180 third option. See diversification 3S Rivers Protection Network, 201, 210 Timor-​Leste, capacity building in, 61, 63 Tokyo Declaration, 129, 130 Tokyo Strategy for Mekong–​Japan Cooperation, 200, 207, 208, 212 To Lam, 270 tourism, 195n47, 227, 229, 241, 289 TPP. See Trans-​Pacific Partnership (TPP) trains, 163–​65, 166 transfer of technology. See technology transfer

320 | Index Trans-​Pacific Partnership (TPP), 36, 112, 134, 165, 167, 293 transparency: and NGOs, 202, 220n70; and Thai coup, 174, 178–​79, 181, 182, 186, 188 transportation: and ODA, 151, 152; and role of businesses in policy, 163–​65; and Thai coup, 179 Treaty of Amity and Cooperation (TAC), 87, 133, 284 Treaty of Amity and Friendship, U.S.–​Thailand, 160 Trump, Donald: and need for security diversification, 46, 290; and Sino–​ American hostility, 47, 74, 104, 113, 283, 290, 291; withdrawal from TPP, 36, 112, 134, 165 Tsuneda, Teruo, 270 “2+2” Meetings, 45, 58 United Kingdom: cultural soft power of, 253; Five-​Power Defence Arrangements, 42; “working holiday visa” programs in, 227 United Nations: and capacity building, 61; Convention on the Law of the Sea, 45; peacekeeping missions, 7, 41, 55, 99; Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), 137, 205, 211, 220n70 United States: aid from, 33, 34; and ARF, 39–​40, 139; ASEAN trade with, 35, 36; and Asian Development Bank, 292; and Asian Financial Crisis, 129; and Asian Monetary Fund proposal, 158, 281; coercion by, 280; and CPTPP, 37; East Asian Economic Grouping proposal, 40; and East Asia Summit, 86, 130, 132, 284; FDI by, 38, 186, 187, 188; and FOIP, 9–​10, 46–​47, 74, 122, 134, 136, 137; and infrastructure development, 39; and manga/​anime, 263; military exercises, 45, 57–​58; and Sino–​American hostility, 47, 74, 104, 113, 187, 283, 290–​92; soft power of, 288; structural power of, 281; survey on public perceptions of, 270; and Thai

coup, 172–​73, 175–​77, 180, 183–​85; and TPP, 36, 134, 165; treaty with Thailand, 160. See also Quadrilateral Security Dialogue/​Cooperation; U.S.–​Japan alliance U.S.–​Japan alliance: dependence on, 2, 4, 9, 46, 64, 280, 282; and hedging, 11, 25–​26, 29, 31; and increased security activity by Japan, 5, 6–​7, 8, 43–​44, 283, 285; and need for diversification, 25–​26, 32, 35, 36, 37, 39–​41, 44–​48, 283, 290; and Thai coup, 173, 177, 188–​89; uncertainty about, 290–​92; U.S.–​Japan Security Treaty, 54 U.S.–​Japan Security Treaty, 54 U.S.–​Thailand Treaty of Amity and Friendship, 160 “Vientiane Vision,” 43, 60, 67 “Vientiane Vision 2.0,” 60 Vietnam: aid to, 33, 34, 35; capacity building in, 61, 63, 64, 68, 161; and CPTPP, 37, 165; cultural soft power in, 252; diversification by, 29, 30, 34, 36, 37, 38, 42, 44; and Expert Working Groups, 65; FDI in, 38, 85; and Fukuda Doctrine, 5; and GMS, 155; infrastructure development in, 39; and institutional development, 65; and Japanese language instruction, 234; joint training and exercises with, 59; and manga/​anime, 248, 251, 258, 266–​70, 271; as non-​democratic, 294; perceptions of other countries surveys, 254, 255; strategic partnerships with, 8; trade with Japan, 85; water resource management aid, 221n95 Wang Guanzhong, 191n2 Wang Yi, 296–​97 water resource management, 210–​15 wedge strategies: vs. balancing, 75; collective confrontation, 77, 78, 79, 80, 89; collective inducement, 77, 78, 79, 80, 86, 88, 90–​91; and consensus decision-​making, 76, 79, 80–​81, 88–​92,

Index | 321 285, 295; defined, 75; and East Asia Summit, 12–​13, 75–​76, 81–​92; extra-​ institutional, 77–​78; intra-​institutional, 77; resistance to, 79–​80; and reward power, 78, 91; and sanctions, 79–​80; selective confrontation, 77, 78–​79, 80, 81; selective inducement, 76, 77, 78–​81, 84–​88, 89; theory of, 76–​81 Widodo, Joko, 45 women. See expatriates, female Japanese; hijab cosplay womenomics, 243

“working holiday visa” programs, 227 World Bank, 39, 292 World Cosplay Summit, 259 World Water Forums, 211 yen: internationalization of, 158; reevaluation of, 6 Yingluck Shinawatra, 172, 176, 178, 193n19 Yoshida, Shigeru, 4 “Yoshida Doctrine,” 4 Yudhoyono, Susilo Bambang, 132, 133