In the 21st century, China and other countries throughout Asia have strove to achieve a dramatic transformation through rapid development. It is not an exaggeration to say that developing peaceful and constructive diplomatic relations in the Asia-Pacific region–including America and Japan–is one of the most important challenges for the peace and security of the world, not just the region.
After World War II, East Asia became the front line between the East and West, and even with the end of the cold war in 1990, continuing military antagonism has perpetuated this cold war structure. In the 21st century, North Korea has declared possession of nuclear weapons starting a new phase of tension that will require the active involvement of America, China, and other countries to find a peaceful resolution.
On the other hand, one of the most significant factors for security in this region–the U.S.-Japan relationship–is beginning to change. With the “1955 System” coming to an end and with a full-fledged regime change occurring in Japan, the significance of the 50-year-old U.S.-Japan Security Agreement is beginning to change drastically. The American base issue in Okinawa, with no resolution in sight, is just one symbol of that change.
While recognizing the relationship of trust developed between the U.S. and Japan since WWII and during the cold war, we believe that now is the time to work at all costs to strengthen and build a diverse and multi-layered relationship of trust between all the nations of the Asia-Pacific, including the U.S. and Japan. When relations between countries are handled only by an exclusive group of people over a long period of time, it can undermine the national interests of each country and threaten the security of the entire region. Given the rapid expansion of IT technology and internet access and the growing maturation of civil society, we believe that the diplomacy of this time should not depend only on the negotiations of an exclusive group of people, but instead should involve direct participation by civil society and the development of a diverse and multi-layered network of politicians, business people, and academics to actively promote peace.
Based on this principle, we propose the advancement of a comprehensive New Diplomacy of politicians, intellectuals, private enterprises, and civil societies.
Centering our efforts on restructuring the miraculous friendship that has developed between Japan and the United States since the unprecedented horror and hostility of World War II, we hereby establish the New Diplomacy Initiative to pursue the goals of ridding East Asia of Cold War antagonism and creating a stable relationship of trust between nations in the East Asian region, including the United States and Japan, that can serve as a foundation for lasting peace in the 21st century.