In order to conduct foreign policy smoothly and effectively, it is essential to promote an understanding of Japan among the general public overseas and to enhance their image of and sense of affinity toward Japan, in addition to appealing directly to policymaking groups in other countries. In recent years in particular, against the backdrop of the dramatic advance of the Internet and other information and communications technology, as well as the progress of democratization around the world, public opinion has a growing influence on foreign policy. Accordingly, many observers have stressed the importance of "public diplomacy" - direct appeals to citizens and public opinion in other countries in cooperation with the private sector.
From this perspective, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan utilizes various public relations tools to provide international audiences with information about Japan's foreign policy and general information on Japan. In cooperation with the Japan Foundation, the Foreign Ministry also makes efforts to introduce traditional culture, pop culture, and other attractions of Japan to other countries, to provide support for the promotion of the Japanese language overseas, and to foster people-to-people exchange with other countries as well as cooperation through such international organizations as the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) and the United Nations University.
A Princeton PhD, was a US diplomat for over 20 years, mostly in Eastern Europe, and was promoted to the Senior Foreign Service in 1997. For the Open World Leadership Center, he speaks with
its delegates from Europe/Eurasia on the topic, "E Pluribus Unum? What Keeps the United States United." Affiliated with Georgetown University for over ten years, he shares ideas with students about public diplomacy.
The papers of his deceased father -- poet and diplomat John L. Brown -- are stored at Georgetown University Special Collections at the Lauinger Library. They are manuscript materials valuable to scholars interested in post-WWII U.S.-European cultural relations.
This blog is dedicated to him, Dr. John L. Brown, a remarkable linguist/humanist who wrote in the Foreign Service Journal (1964) -- years before "soft power" was ever coined -- that "The CAO [Cultural Affairs Officer] soon comes to realize that his job is really a form of love-making and that making love is never really successful unless both partners are participating."