By Imamura Takashi, director of Marubeni Research Institute
Continuity is an important element in foreign policy. If Japan is not consistent in foreign policy, it will not be able to win the international community’s trust.
China has become a strategic competitor. As the direction of globalization has changed, [there are countries that] only think about their own gain, and this hegemonistic mindset is spreading across the globe. Japan must use the Japan-U.S. Alliance as a foundation to deal with this trend. There is no other choice.
It is important to make preparations for a contingency involving Taiwan, but at the same time, Japan must use its skill in diplomacy to keep China from increasing its ambitions.
Asia has growth potential. The U.S. is not increasing its foreign investments as it is focusing more on its job situation at home.
China will take advantage of this. To prevent that, it is important that the U.S. and Southeast Asia solidify their ties. [In the Upper House election campaign, the ruling and opposition parties] should put forward foreign affairs strategies that help voters understand the importance of fostering strong ties between Japan, the U.S. and Southeast Asia, rather than solely calling for strengthening the Japan-U.S. relationship.