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Prime Minister Naoto Kan: Japan to Pursue a New Diplomatic Approach

  • Japan is pursuing a new diplomatic approach aimed at opening up to the world
  • The US-Japan alliance will become even more important in coming decades
  • A new type of interpersonal bond (“kizuna”) was called for between Japan and its neighbours and the world
  • More information on the World Economic Forum Annual Meeting 2011: http://www.weforum.org 
Davos, Switzerland, 29 January 2011 – In a special message to the World Economic Forum Annual Meeting, the Prime Minister of Japan outlined a new diplomatic approach for Japan.

“Japan needs to stop looking inward and open up domestically and internationally,” said Naoto Kan, Prime Minister of Japan. He urged for the forging of a new kind of “kizuna” (interpersonal bond) between Japan and the world. 

Asia is at the centre of a tectonic shift in security and economic integration, he noted. “The economic growth of China is welcomed. At the same time, China needs to recognize its important responsibility to the region and act accordingly.”

“Japan needs to take a new diplomatic approach,” he added. Japan will continue to enhance cooperation with China, recognizing the shared responsibility. The US-Japan alliance will become even more important in promoting peace and prosperity in the Asia-Pacific region.

Pointing to rising inequities and social frictions, he emphasized the need to minimize the side effects of economic development. “In the course of opening up a nation, there are always people left behind the pace of change.” What Japan wants to achieve is a society with the least unhappiness. 

“Japan will continue to take the lead in grappling with problems facing the world,” he said, emphasizing technological innovation, climate change and trade liberalization. Japan recently signed 11 new economic partnership agreements, is beginning trade discussions with the EU, and will continue to support the Doha round of trade negotiations.

Notes to Editors

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The World Economic Forum is an independent international organization committed to improving the state of the world by engaging business, political, academic and other leaders of society to shape global, regional and industry agendas. Incorporated as a not-for-profit foundation in 1971 and headquartered in Geneva, Switzerland, the Forum is tied to no political, partisan or national interests (www.weforum.org).

 


The World Economic Forum is an international institution committed to improving the state of the world through public-private cooperation in the spirit of global citizenship. It engages with business, political, academic and other leaders of society to shape global, regional and industry agendas.

Incorporated as a not-for-profit foundation in 1971 and headquartered in Geneva, Switzerland, the Forum is independent, impartial and not tied to any interests. It cooperates closely with all leading international organizations (www.weforum.org).