The future of foreign policy in Japan is highly uncertain. The post-World War II paradigm that ensured security and prosperity for the Japanese people has lost much of its effectiveness. The current generation is frustrated by the lack of diplomatic transparency and resentful of prolonged economic stagnation. To make matters worse, a series of scandals has damaged the legitimacy and credibility of the Japanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs. In this book, Yutaka Kawashima - who, as vice minister of foreign affairs, was Japan's highest-ranking foreign service official - examines this uncertainty and explores the key decision-making processes that have led Japan to this point. Kawashima cautions Japan against attempts to ensure its own security and well-being outside of an international framework. He urges Japanese leaders to work with as many countries as possible to construct and maintain a regional and international order based on shared interests as well as shared values among states. In an era of globalization, he cautions, such efforts will be crucial to maintaining world order and ensuring civilized interaction among all states.
Yutaka Kawashima served as Japanese vice minister of foreign affairs from 1999 to 2001. He served as ambassador to Israel from 1997 to 1999. After his retirement he did research as a distinguished visiting fellow at the Brookings Institution's Center for Northeast Asian Policy Studies and he taught at the John F. Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University. He is widely respected in international policy circles and has served in Asia, Europe, and the United States.