NATO and Asia-Pacific Security

“America, Europe and the Pacific,” speech by NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen, San Francisco, July 9, 2014.

Transcript here.

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Hugo Swire on UK’s Asia policy ‘far beyond China’

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Chinese Premier Li Keqiang’s recent visit to London was widely hailed as a great commercial success, leading to energy and finance deals worth billions. Yet the UK’s future in Asia extends far beyond China. Going beyond mutually beneficial bilateral relations, the UK is focused on reinforcing a multi-faceted approach encompassing business, security, and values.

The Rt Hon Hugo Swire, MP, minister of state at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, addressed the UK’s Asia-Pacific policy and explained both the UK’s current involvement and future aspirations in the region. Carnegie’s Douglas H. Paal moderated.

See the following link for a transcript of the speech:

“The UK in the Asian Century”

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Jakarta: An exercise in disaster management Pt4

Jakarta: An exercise in disaster management Pt4.

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UK & Asia advancing Military-to-Military Cooperation at Shangri La 2014

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EU Centre Singapore summarises EU partnerships in Asian security

indexThe European Union Centre in Singapore has published a new background paper that offers a nice summary of the EU’s advance into Asia as security partner, with a provocative title:
The European Union and global security: is the EU becoming the indispensable partner?

Author: Dr. Cesare Onestini, EU Visiting Fellow, Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy National University of Singapore

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Japan & Italy in talks for intelligence-sharing pact

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, background, arrives in Rome's Villa Pamphili for a meeting with Italian Premier Matteo Renzi, on June 6, 2014. (AP Photo/Gregorio Borgia)

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, background, arrives in Rome’s Villa Pamphili for a meeting with Italian Premier Matteo Renzi, on June 6, 2014. (AP Photo/Gregorio Borgia)

See following link for Mainichi report:

Japan, Italy to step up talks for intelligence-sharing pact

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Michito-Tsuruoka-291x300Interview with Michito Tsuruoka

 

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April 30, 2014 · 5:03 pm

uk-japan[ekm]300x155[ekm]Japan, Britain to sign cross-servicing pact

Details are emerging of what Abe’s visit to Europe has in store for the ‘new type’ of alliance relationship.

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April 30, 2014 · 5:57 am

Vladimir Putin is a threat to Asia. Discuss.

Victor Cha is a senior adviser and the inaugura l holder of the Korea Chair at the Center for Strategic and International Studies. He is also director of Asian studies and holds the D.S. Song-KF Chair in the Depa rtment of Government and School of Foreign Service at Georgetown University.

Victor Cha, senior adviser and the inaugural holder of the Korea Chair at CSIS, director of Asian studies and
holds the D.S. Song-KF Chair in the Department of Government and School of Foreign Service at Georgetown University.

 

Victor Cha thinks Vladimir Putin is a threat to Asia. I have my own reasons to agree with the general idea that what is happening now in Ukraine can have consequences for Asian security. Read about his reasons here.

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Abe visits Europe, May 2014 – some suggestions

Shinzo Abe

Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is due to visit Europe in May (link). What should he be getting out of this trip?

  1. The idea is to strengthen relations with the European Union , sign a few free trade agreements and finalize the Japan-EU Economic Partnership Agreement. Considering Japan’s desire for a more strategic relationship with Europe, why not go a bit further? PM Abe has talked about making some changes in policies that will lead to Japan becoming even more proactive in global peacekeeping efforts, and so far there is little to show for it. UN Peacekeeping is one option, but why not kill two birds with one stone (peacekeeping and Euro-Japan concord) and agree to pursue a Framework Partnership Agreement with the EU that would allow Japanese civilians and members of the Self Defence Forces to participate in EU crisis management missions and operations? Korea is on track to do so, then why not Japan? Approximately two thirds of CSDP efforts are civilian missions, so well within the ‘human security’ paradigm MOFA has supported through the UN. Also, following the NATO withdrawal from Afghanistan (an alliance apparently in no hurry to do anything similar again), the EU is still launching missions left, right and centre, and may offer more opportunities for Japan to bond with a European security platform.
  2. To gain international support in light of territorial disputes with China and South Korea and deflect critical remarks from both countries over historical issues, Japan has to start thinking outside the box. This visit is an opportunity to change the narrative from Yasukuni and sex slaves onto something more positive. Abe could counter China’s propaganda offensive by organizing an event in the UK to showcase post-WWII reconciliation between Japan and Great Britain. What if Abe and Cameron together attend a screening of the recent movie based on the true life story of Anglo-Japan reconciliation “The Railway Man”? Abe can give a speech about how Britain and Japan managed to squarely face up to the tragedies of that war and become, united by common values, allies once again. This would have two advantages: (1) refute the image of Abe as being in denial about Japan’s past; and (2) showcase an example of how Japan has managed to rebuild its international relations with an important ally.
  3. Abe is also planning to meet with French President Hollande. This will be interesting because Japan and France have been working hard on their relationship, which is elevated to a 2+2 meeting with a roadmap for security cooperation. This offers a chance to get an indication of which basket (UK, France, EU, V4, NATO) Japan is putting most of its eggs, or if it will continue to distribute them rather evenly across this set.
  4. Abe is set to participate in the Ministerial Council Meeting of the OECD in Paris on May 6 – 7. Events in Ukraine will probably set the atmosphere for this. Russia will be out of the G8. It is a shame for Abe, who wanted to settle the northern islands dispute with Russia and secure an alternative source of hydrocarbon energy supplies from Russia. However, Vladimir Putin has gone too far in Ukraine. Abe has to take a stand on this because (1) that is the essence of his narrative about values (rule of law, democracy, free speech, free market); and because (2) Japan has to back up the present world order in case China starts to feel the rules have changed. OECD is about economies, so maybe hopefully there will be more to talk about than handling the fallout from sanctioning Russia.

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