Activity: Talk or presentation › Oral presentation
Since returning to power in 2012, Japan’s LDP leadership has emphasized values-based diplomacy as a new pillar of its foreign policy, namely “universal values” of democracy and human rights, but also “Asian values.” Promulgating values abroad is a new role for Japan, who has long identified itself by its uniqueness, and let economic interests drive its foreign policymaking. What is the Japanese notion of these values, and how are they broaching the subject, particularly with Muslim states in Asia with poor records of human rights and democracy, yet essential to Japan for energy supplies and export markets? Is Japan taking on a new role, particularly in Asia, as the forerunner of ‘Asian democracy?’ This project responds to these questions by carrying out content analyses on statements made by Japanese leaders from 2013 to 2018 while visiting Muslim states in Asia. The research shows that Japan is spreading its own brand of democracy and human rights in the Muslim World through ODA, dialogues, and in a form identified as ‘modeling.’ This paper provides a vital understanding of the evolving dynamics of inter-civilizational relations and ideas on democracy in the early twenty-first century.