WikiLeaks cable: Highlighting Japan-US alliance, Japanese scholar implies contrast with NZ-US relationship

March 31, 2005
Highlighting Japan-US alliance, Japanese scholar implies contrast with NZ-US relationship


Classified by: Charge d'affaires, a.i., David R. Burnett.
Reasons: 1.4 (b) and (d).

1. (C) At a seminar in Wellington, a respected Japanese
scholar extolled the strength and benefits of the
Japanese-U.S. alliance -- a strength that exists despite
Japan's steadfast anti-nuclear and anti-war policies.
Implicit in her speech was a contrast with New Zealand, whose
vociferously stated anti-nuclear policy has constrained its
relationship with the United States for nearly two decades.
The Japanese Embassy sponsored the seminar at post's
suggestion. It is an example of the indirect means the U.S.
mission in New Zealand has had to employ to get our message
across here.

2. (U) The scholar spent much of her speech at the seminar
March 22 describing the Japanese-U.S.

alliance, although the
seminar was billed as covering Japanese-New Zealand
relations. The scholar -- Akiko Fukushima, director of
policy studies at the National Institute for Research
Advancement in Tokyo -- said the alliance was based not just
on the two countries' defense needs, but also on "common
good." She cited as an example the joint statement released
February 19 after the "two-plus-two" Japan-U.S. talks in
Washington, which called for the peaceful resolution of
issues concerning the Taiwan Straits.

3. (C) Hidehiko Hamada, the Japanese Embassy's DCM, told
post's DCM that he had counseled Fukushima on how she should
describe the Japanese-U.S. relationship for a New Zealand
audience. About 60 people attended the seminar.

4. (U) Fukushima told the audience that she first visited New
Zealand in 1997 to study its anti-nuclear policy. She
concluded that, because of Japan's different security
environment, it could not emulate New Zealand. However, she
said, Japan could not become a nuclear power because it would
spark an arms race in the region and be strongly opposed by
the Japanese public, which harbors lasting memories of the
World War II bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Fukushima
noted the strong links between Japan and the United States,
especially their shared concern about China. Except for a
disagreement over Japan's restrictions on U.S. beef because
of BSE, she said the alliance was in the "best shape" it has
been in years. At the same time, she said, Japan needed to
formulate its own vision for the alliance's future.

5. (U) Fukushima said the move to revise the Japanese
Constitution's Article 9 -- the so-called no-war clause --
should not be seen as imposed from outside but as a shift
from passive pacifism to proactive pacifism, or "keeping
peace by doing something." Fukushima's institute is an
independent think tank funded by both the public and private

6. (C) Comment: We have encouraged Japanese DCM Hamada to
sponsor this type of program as a way to highlight to New
Zealanders the fact that Japan recognizes the benefits of the
U.S. military and non-military roles in the Pacific and has
worked to facilitate our presence by making Japan's defense
policies more flexible. Post hopes that such communications
by our allies will remind the New Zealand government and
public that their country's anti-nuclear policy negatively
affects U.S. interests in Asia and is detrimental to the New
Zealand-U.S. relationship.

- Herald on Sunday

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