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Editorial: LDP presidential candidates should present strategies for intl cooperation

  • September 12, 2020
  • , The Japan News , 1:00 p.m.
  • English Press

There is no sign that the infectious disease spreading worldwide will be brought under control. At the same time, the confrontation between the United States and China is intensifying. Each candidate in the ruling Liberal Democratic Party presidential election needs to present a clear strategy on how to deal with the complicated international situation.

 

The U.S. administration has increased its pressure on China, and has called on each country to create an encircling net around it in response to its hegemonic activities in the South China Sea.

 

There is no question that Japan should deal with China’s moves based on its alliance with the United States. It is important to not only promote the free and open Indo-Pacific initiative led by Japan and the United States, but also to continue to urge China to exercise self-restraint and stop its aggressive activities.

 

At the same time, it is necessary to find ways of avoiding a U.S.-China clash. The new administration, which will be inaugurated as early as Wednesday, will be required to cope with challenges to maintaining regional stability.

 

Each country has been putting effort into the development of vaccines for the novel coronavirus. The United States, China, Russia and other countries are apparently aiming to increase their influence by providing the vaccines to developing countries. It is necessary that the international community cooperate to establish a system to support developing countries.

 

The LDP presidential race is an opportunity to discuss foreign and security policies from a broad perspective.

 

It is reasonable that LDP Policy Research Council Chairman Fumio Kishida stated, “Multilateral diplomacy will become more important under current circumstances in which many countries attach importance to unilateralism.”

 

Former LDP Secretary General Shigeru Ishiba has proposed setting up liaison offices in Tokyo and Pyongyang to resolve the abduction of Japanese nationals by North Korea. He apparently intends to emphasize the difference between him and the Cabinet of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.

 

Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga has stressed that he will continue the prime minister’s determination to mark an end to all the problems left unresolved under Japan’s postwar diplomacy. As Suga is seen as the favorite in the party presidential race, he seems to be focusing on a safe and risk-free approach in the campaign. But, he is urged to put forward his policies in detail.

 

Immediately after the presidential election, a U.N. General Assembly meeting will be held in which prerecorded speeches by each state leader will be aired.

 

After that, many meetings with leaders of other countries are scheduled as well. The new prime minister will be tested on his ability to respond to imminent international developments.

 

Abe has issued a statement indicating his intention to strengthen missile defense. He is counting on the new prime minister to hold detailed discussions on reviewing the nation’s security strategy.

 

North Korea has been improving its ballistic missile capabilities. It is reasonable that Japan will have the option of attacking enemy missile bases to prevent damage to Japan.

 

The government has abandoned the introduction of the Aegis Ashore ground-based missile interception system. It was revealed that the then administrative vice defense minister, who had been aware of technical problems with the system earlier this year, did not report the matter to the defense minister until June.

 

This could undermine confidence in Japan’s defense policies. The information sharing system should be reviewed.

 

— The original Japanese article appeared in The Yomiuri Shimbun on Sept. 12, 2020.

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