Tag Archives: JIIA

Japan's 'Arc of Freedom and Prosperity'

Japanese Foreign Minister Aso Taro on Thursday unveiled the new foreign policy rhetoric for Prime Minister Abe’s leadership: the “arc of freedom and prosperity” (自由と繁栄の弧). From Yomiuri Shimbun:

“Another new core policy will be added to the basis of Japan’s diplomacy, strengthening the Japan-U.S. alliance and enhancing relations with neighboring countries, including China, South Korea and Russia,” Aso said at a lecture organized by the Japan Institute of International Affairs at a Tokyo hotel.

Aso said the government would:

  • Employ “value diplomacy” that emphasizes “universal values” such as democracy, freedom, human rights, rule of law and a market economy.
  • Be actively involved in establishing the arc of freedom and prosperity, which will connect a band of emerging democracies around the Eurasian continent.

None of this is ground-breaking, but in English, the new “arc” sounds awkwardly similar to the Greater East Asian Co-Prosperity Sphere (大東亜共栄圏), which isn’t exactly a memory Japan needs to conjure in its neighbors.