Saturday, January 23, 2016

The Government should establish an Office of International Public Diplomacy responsible for fact-based perception of history

Policy Recommendations
the Japan Institute for National Fundamentals
January 21, 2016

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Vicious campaigns to spread groundless anti-Japanese propaganda abroad continue to gather momentum. As a result, a United Nations special rapporteur compiled a highly misleading and false report on so-called World War II comfort women, lawmakers in a number of countries including the United States adopted anti-Japanese resolutions based on inaccurate allegations and anti-Japanese activists built statues of comfort women in various locations abroad. More recently, baseless criticisms of Japan have become “official” because of UNESCO’s registration of new World Cultural Heritage sites and its inclusion in the Memory of the World Program list of documents, with anti-Japanese allegations attached. The governments of Japan and South Korea recently agreed that “the issue of so-called comfort women will be resolved finally.” However, we are concerned that the Japanese government’s pledge with South Korea to “refrain from denouncing each other over the issue in international forums such as the United Nations” would only make it difficult to continue fact-based assertions against anti-Japanese campaigns of untruths.

The root cause of all those problems is the failure on the part of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to refute and correct every false allegation by providing comprehensive fact-based explanations. For its part, the Japan Institute for National Foundations (JINF) has earnestly dealt with this matter to date. For instance, the JINF ran two opinion advertisements in major Japanese newspapers on July 19, 2014, (“Verification of the ‘Kono statement’ is far from over yet”) and on September 21 of the same year (“Repulse international slander over ‘comfort women’”).
1. The government should establish an Office of International Public Diplomacy, which will be independent of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and exclusively responsible for international public diplomacy pertaining to fact-based, systematic historical perceptions to continuously make Japan’s fair and just position on the matter known to the rest of the world.
2. The Diet should pass new legislation, tentatively called “the Special Law for the Safeguard of the Japanese Dignity,” to oblige the government to refute groundless anti-Japanese campaigns.
3. The government should facilitate private-public collaboration in the country’s international public diplomacy by actively taking advantage of the expertise of those private-sector experts who have thus far been involved in refuting baseless anti-Japanese allegations. ...

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