A Destabilized Middle East
Koichiro Tanaka Professor, Keio University
There are three aspects for observing the Middle East from a geopolitical viewpoint.
Firstly, what does the Middle East mean for other countries? For Japan it is an area where oil and gas resources are abundant while for Europe the area is special due to Jerusalem. Secondary, the area includes crucial chokepoints such as the Holmes Strait and the Bab al-Mandab Strait. Thirdly, the area represents an unstable front, which has been called the Arc of instability, the Axis of Evil, or the Shiite Crescent. It is interesting that the US military bases are located in the outer edge of the area.
Traditional sources for the instability are religious conflicts, energy issues and sovereignty disputes. Development of weapons of mass destruction and failed state problems should also to be listed.
This paper was prepared by the SSDP secretary as an abstract for Mr.Tanaka's lecture.
"Fukushima, Genki?" Project
- Young Taiwanese volunteers introduce the facts on Fukushima's revival through documentary films -
OGATA, Makoto Former Chief of the Japan-Taiwan Exchange Association in Taipei
At the May 2017 conference co-hosted by SSDP and Prospect Foundation in Taiwan, the import regulation against Japanese food that the Taiwan government has been implementing was one of the topics discussed.
Taiwan has continued the import regulations against food from five prefectures including Fukushima, Gunma, Tochigi, Ibaragi and Chiba since the occurrence of the Fukushima nuclear power plant accident. The Tsai Ing-wen administration / DPP announced in November 2016 a policy that it would deregulate food imports for four prefectures except for Fukushima. This decision led to a violent protest demonstration initiated by the KMT and Pro-China unified groups, and resulted in a terrible confusion. Taiwan media referred to food from the five prefectures as "a nuclear disaster food", while fake news and false rumors that seriously distorted the facts circulated among the people. This did not reflect the reality in Japan. The Tsai administration had no choice but to postpone the deregulation, and has still not found a solution to the Japanese food import situation.
In June 2017 I received an e-mail from a young Taiwanese friend. She said that there was almost no accurate information reported in Taiwan about the rehabilitation efforts in Fukushima, and that Taiwanese anxiety against Japanese food already had turned into a misled national sentiment. She decided to organize a volunteer group and to make a visit to Fukushima, to collect facts on the ground, and to disseminate the truth through documentary films they would produce.
The project's title is "Fukushima, Genki?". "Genki?" means "getting well?" I would like to introduce their strong passion for Fukushima.
Mr. Akiyama posted "The Butterfly Project-A possibility of showing a solution to the North Korea problem-"
Society of Security and Diplomatic Policy Studies (SSDP)
China is rising and may become a regional hegemon in not-so- distant future. Ascending India and the resurgence of Russia also illustrate the fact that we face a rapid power transition in Asia. Against this backdrop, Japan, as a major regional power, and its security strategy and diplomatic policy will be put to the test. With this in mind, the Society of Security and Diplomatic Policy Studies (SSDP) was founded in October, 2016. The SSDP will also conduct public diplomacy through its research projects. Japanese foreign relations vis-à- vis the neighboring states are likely to mark a new chapter in the near future and therefore, our research endeavors and other activities will be consequential.
- The 8th SSDP discussion session was held on December18 to discuss "Destabilized Middle East".
- The 7th SSDP discussion session was held on October 9 to discuss "19th CCP National Congress".
- A special session was held on October 8 to hear a lecture on "Problems in Sino-Japanese Relations, 1992-2042"
- The 6th SSDP discussion session was held on September 28 to hear a lecture on the Future of the Asia-Pacific Region.
- A special session was held on September 19 to discuss a New Trend in India's Foreign Policy and Japan.
- The 5th SSDP discussion session was held on July 20 to discuss an economic interdependence and its action on politics
- A special session was held on June 30 to discuss The prospect of European politics and its implication on the Japan"s diplomatic policy
- The 4 th SSDP discussion session was held on May 31 to discuss the two great powers, the US and China, and the implication on Japan's diplomatic policy.
- The Japan-Taiwan Strategic Dialogue was held in Taipei on May 15 to discuss the Trump administration's influence on the region, in particular Taiwan.
- The Japan-Philippines Strategic Dialogue was held in Manila on January 31 to discuss the strategic environments for each country and the two countries' cooperation.
- The third SSDP discussion session was held on January 23, 2017 to discuss Abenomics and Trump.
- The second SSDP discussion session was held on December 7, 2016 to discuss Trump and his security policy.
- The first SSDP discussion session was held on October 14, 2016 to discuss the Korean Peninsula issues.
- Society of Security and Diplomatic Policy Studies (SSDP) was founded by AKIYAMA Associates (Masahiro Akiyama, president) in October, 2016.
- January 2018: "A Destabilized Middle East" lectured by Koichiro Tanaka, Professor, Keio University
- December 2017: "Problems in Sino-Japanese Relations, 1992-2042" lectured by Ezra F. Vogel, Professor of the Social Sciences Emeritus at Harvard University
- November 2017: "The Future of the Asia-Pacific Region" written by Yoriko Kawaguchi, Fellow, the Meiji Institute for Global Affairs, Former Minister Foreign Affairs
- October 2017: "A New Trend in India's Foreign Policy and Japan" Written by HIROSE,Takako, Professor, Senshu University
- August 2017: "The Shocks that shook the Transatlantic World and their Implication for Japan's Foreign Policy" written by HOSOYA, Yuichi, Professor, Keio University
- August 2017: "Does Economic Interdependence not Encourage Collaboration? ―Thinking Japan-China Relations from an Economic Perspective―" written by Takashi SEKIYAMA, Ph.D., Toyo University
- July 2017: Proposal article "The Trump Administration's Impact on the Cross-Strait Relations" written by Yasuhiro Matsuda, Ph.D.
- June 2017: Proposal article "The outlook for the relationship between two great powers and implications for Japanese diplomacy" written by Professor Shin Kawashima
- May 2017: (Emergency Proposal) Facing the Inconvenient Truth: Re-examining Policy for Peace and Denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula (Chief author, Masao Okonogi)
- March 2017: "Economic Influences of the Trump Administration" written by Professor Motoshige Ito
- February, 2017: Proposal article "Trump's Foreign and Security Policy - Unpredictable President, Realistic Secretaries - " written by Mr. Tsuneo Watanabe is posted on the website of SSDP.
- December, 2016: Proposal article "Reconsidering North Korea Policy: How to Deal with a Nuclear Armed Divided States" written by Professor Masao Okonogi is posted on the website of SSDP.
- January 2018: "Fukushima, Genki？Project－Young Taiwanese volunteers introduce the facts on Fukushima's revival through documentary films－" reported by OGATA, Makoto, Former Chief of the Japan-Taiwan Exchange Association in Taipei
- December 2017: "Commemorating a Quarter Century of Dispatches of the JSDF's PKO Units: Challenges and Possibilities in the Post South Sudan" written by Takayuki Shoji, Lecturer, Nihon University
- November 2017: "19th CCP National Congress" written by Mr. Bonji Ohara, Senior Research Fellow, the Sasakawa Peace Fondation
- October 2017: "What is Japan's Role in the Indo-China border conflict?" written by Dr. NGAO,Satoru, Research Fellow, Institute for Future Engineering
- July 2017: "Overview of the Current Situation in Taiwan-" the Naturally Independent Generation" will affect the Taiwan"s politics-" written by Makoto Ogata MGE.(Ret.)
- June 2017: "Japan-U.S. Economic Dialogue" written by Mr.Takaaki Asano
- March 2017: "The Japan-Philippines Strategic Dialogue" written by Mr. Hideshi Tokuchi
- February, 2017: Current topic "The Importance of Japan's Security Role Under Trump" written by Dr. Satoru Nagao is posted on the SSDP website.
- December, 2016: Current topic "Widening Security Task: Will SDF do the Job?" written by Mr. Ippeita Nishida is posted on the SSDP website.
- 2017 December: "The Butterfly Project-A possibility of showing a solution to the North Korea problem-"
- October 2017: Campaign on the problems with North Korea
- August 2017: A New Containment Policy Strategy
- June 2017: Korean peninsla
- March 2017: President Duterte
- February, 2017: Kazakhstan
- November, 2016: Participated in Astana Club 2016 held in Kazakhstan on November 14- 16, 2016.