Geocase online discussion series: “Japan’s foreign policy”

The online event “Japan’s foreign policy” was organized by the think-tank Geocase. The discussion was moderated by Mr. Victor Kipiani, Chairman of the Geocase. In the framework of the Geocase webinar series, H.E. Imamura Akira, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Japan to Georgia, delivered an online lecture on Japan’s foreign policy.

The honorable guest, H. E. Imamura Akira, introduced the vision and priorities of the Japan’s foreign policy. In the discussion, the Ambassador reviewed a discourse in historical context of Japan’s security, free trade, and economic environment in the past century, and the present. The Ambassador focused on strategic partnerships, current national security strategy aspects and important international agreements. H.E. Imamura Akira extensively emphasized the importance and role of the mission in Georgia and analyzed the Japanese - Georgian partnership. Five key elements of the Japan’s policy in Georgia were discussed: 1) shared democratic, human rights values and rule of law; 2) support for Georgia’s Euro-Atlantic integration; 3) Official Developmental Assistance (ODA) and COVID-19 assistance; 4) Japanese investments in Georgia and 5) public diplomacy and cultural exchange. The strategic partnership with China, Quadrilateral Security Dialogue - an informal strategic dialogue between the United States, Japan, Australia, and India, as well as economic aspects of Japan’s foreign policy and Free Trade Agreement between Japan and EU were examined.

The Ambassador stressed that “our (Japan’s) goal is to promote the democratic development of the society in Georgia. The most important thing is to strengthen and spread democratic values, such as human rights, freedom of speech and expression. The European Union is a strong ally of both Georgia and Japan. The EU, like Japan, seeks to promote, strengthen and resolve democratic values ​​peacefully, both in Georgia and around the world.”

During the panel, the most important issues of cooperation between Japan, China, the USA, and European Union were discussed in detail. The Ambassador noted that it is crucial that both, Georgia, and Japan share values ​​such as democracy, human rights, the rule of law. The Ambassador emphasized the strong support of Japan, which is reflected by the ODA, and COVID-19 related assistance, encouragement of business activities and attracting investment in Georgia, as well as public diplomacy, supporting cultural events. Furthermore, the support for the territorial integrity and country’s European and Euro-Atlantic integrations were underlined: “we welcome Georgian aspirations very much, I was communicating with your (Georgian) Parliament about the importance of this support and about effective use of democratic institutions such as Georgian Parliament. We support Georgia’s national territorial integrity, within its internationally recognized borders, and we do not recognize the independence of Abkhazia, South Ossetia, and Tskhinvali. In my own experience, I went to the boundary areas of so-called Abkhazia and South Ossetia, as we are expressing concerns of the limitation of numbers of people and aggravating humanitarian situation in these, territories.”

In conclusion, Victor Kipiani focused on the prospects of deepening already a close cooperation between Japan and Georgia, in the context of the Black Sea region. Victor Kipiani suggested that: “Japan's strategic policy in the Pacific, which is a pillar in a Japan’s foreign policy, can be viewed through the optics of freedom of navigation in the Black Sea region, as a potential bridge of bringing Japan and Georgia around issues of a more substance. The position of such the question is crucial because of the increasing active presence of the West in the Black Sea, and therefore the Japan’s knowledge and experience with the strategy in the Pacific can be beneficial for both – Japan and Georgia.”

In the end, H.E. Imamura Akira, and Victor Kipiani wrapped up and observed prospects of deepening and finding more crossing points in the cooperation and partnership of Japan and Georgia.

To see the online discussion “Japan’s foreign policy” please click here