Ogoura Kazuo, nippon.com
3. Moving Beyond a Policy of Negation
Japan was essentially an orphan in international society shortly before and after World War II. So for many years following the war, it tried hard to win back a place in the community of nations by emphasizing its pacifist and democratic aspirations. The thrust of public diplomacy in the postwar years was to project an image of Japan that was not militarist. In the wake of its “economic miracle,” Japan sought to persuade other countries that it was not threatening the global market with cheap labor. And after its emergence as a wealthy industrial economy, it highlighted its contributions to the global community, seeking to demonstrate that it was not a money-hungry “economic animal.”
The time has come for Japan to move beyond such a policy of negation and to win the hearts of the international community with more affirmative ideas about where the world should be heading in the twenty-first century. In a sense, Japan confronts the task of building a country that can lead the world and of effectively communicating its message. This will mean proactively contributing to emerging global issues and making sure that such efforts are reflected in its foreign policy initiatives. ...