The Japan-South Korea Relationship in a Cul-de-Sac
--- Where is an Exit ?
Professor Emeritus, Keio University
Recently, such questions are often pelted at me: "Why is the Japan-South Korea relationship mired in inveterate mutual distrust?" "Is the bilateral confrontation not becoming much fiercer than ever?" The historical friction has consistently been the largest issue between the two neighbors. It seems, however, that the recent situation may afford the impression that the bilateral friction has increased in complexity and seriousness in the aftermath of the end of the Cold War or the democratization of South Korea. For me, it is a long-standing question.
So, while attempting to answer the essential question of "What is the historical friction between Japan and South Korea?" I would like to discuss the profound impact of the division of Korean nationalism or the regeneration of the "liberal nationalism" on the recent Japan-South Korea relations. This topic is related to the theme of my book "The Origin of the Division of Korea" (Keio University Press) published in October the year before last.
To the question of "What is the historical friction between Japan and South Korea?" my answer is that it is a "clash of identities." Needless to say, identity is a self-definition by oneself. As long as people around approve it, it will gain stability; otherwise, it might constitute the cause of some trouble. In the case of Japan and South Korea, they deny each other's identity through controversy over historical issues --- controversy over Prime Minister Abe's speech on the 70th anniversary of the end of the war, the issues of the former Korean comfort women and wartime laborers, to name just a few recent examples.
The Japanese identity, or the self-portrait of modern Japan, is a unique process of modernization in which the nation went through the tumultuous days of civil war and revolution from the late Tokugawa to the early Meiji period. Backed by a monolithic nationalism, the nation won the successive wars with China and Russia, and finally became a major power. Likewise, the Korean people confronted the invasion of Western powers, but they failed in the integration of nationalisms, because halfway in the process of modernization, Korea was annexed by Japan. For Koreans, Japan's victory in the wars with China and Russia had a completely different meaning.
Japan's annexation of Korea meant a denial of Korean identity and nationalism. Therefore, in those days and still now, Koreans must emphasize how bravely they resisted the invasion of Japan. The cruelty of the Japanese rule is overemphasized concerning the resistance-related events: the March 1st Movement; the Korean Provisional Government established in Shanghai and then moved to Chongqing to continue resistance; Korean armed struggles that evolved in Manchukuo; and Rhee Syngman's diplomatic activity in the United States. Koreans do not have other means to confirm their identity than endless condemnation against Japan.
Objectively speaking, the annexation of Korea in 1910 was undertaken by Japan as part of its territorial expansion or as its incipient policy of assimilating other ethnic groups. Some experts argue that the annexation was crueler than European colonial policy. I do not agree. The ultimate goal of Japan was to make the Korean peninsula an inalienable part of Japanese territory and to make Koreans Japanese subjects. It is unlikely that Japan implemented policies contradictory to those goals. The annexation policy was rather accompanied by development and modernization. The so-called comfort women and wartime laborers should rather be considered as wartime mobilization in the period toward the end of World War II.
Nonetheless, Japan's annexation policy was a denial of Korean nationalism. In this respect, it is distinctly different from the colonial policies of the United States and European nations. Logically at least, European and American colonies were assumed to go through a preparatory stage for self-government and eventually to achieve independence. Americans are even proud of the Philippines' independence. They mean that they educated Filipinos for self-government and helped them achieve independence. Britain and France did not agree to give up their colonies but did not annex India or Vietnam. They suppressed the development of indigenous nationalism but did not completely negate it.
Therefore, what was most important for the liberated Koreans was to restore their identity, because it constituted the foundation of Korean nationalism. While counting on the United States, President Rhee Syngman took an anti-Japanese stand and attempted to thoroughly eliminate traces of Japanese culture and Japanese domination. President Park Chung-hee and President Chun Doo-hwan attached importance to the Japan-US-ROK security cooperation and tried to utilize Japan for its economic progress. This is Korean conservative nationalism. On the other hand, President Roh Moo-hyun and President Moon Jae-in did and does engage in controversy with Japan over historical issues and call for "Pro-Japan liquidation."
Either way, given that the essence of the historical friction between Japan and South Korea is the "clash of identities," a meticulous exploration of historical facts would be irrelevant to the solution of historical issues. We should not confuse a political debate with an academic debate. Academic controversy should be conducted between scholars of both countries.
Here, as an aside, I would like to discuss the factors that are essentially relevant to and at the same time conducive to the historical friction.
The first is the limitations of the Treaty on Basic Relations between Japan and the Republic of Korea concluded in 1965.
The Treaty on Basic Relations between Japan and the Republic of Korea and Agreement Between Japan and the Republic of Korea Concerning the Settlement of Problems in Regard to Property and Claims and Economic Cooperation --- both of them were concluded in 1965 between the governments of the two countries. As far as South Korea is concerned, the military government signed them under the declaration of martial law, because almost half of Koreans strongly opposed them. On that occasion, the validity of old treaties such as the Japan-Korea Annexation Treaty became the bone of contention. The Japanese and Korean governments compromised by pronouncing that they were no longer valid. Strange as it looks from the Japanese viewpoint, the South Korean government persisted in debating whether those old treaties were legal or illegal, or whether they were legitimate or unfair --- as if for Koreans these "whethers" were of the utmost importance.
It must also be noted that the conclusion of the treaty and agreements at that time had something to do with the priority of security interests in the Cold War era, the need for the economic development of South Korea, and the success of the 1961 coup. Moreover, Japan and South Korea could not resist the strong demand of the United States then meddling with the Vietnam War. Conversely, the treaty and agreements would not have come into existence without these backgrounds that no longer exist.
As the second factor conducive to the historical friction, I would like to stress the incompatibility of the political cultures of the two countries.
South Korea still retains a strong influence of Confucian political culture. The tendency is particularly prominent for the progressive or leftist governments. President Moon Jae-in's speech at the last year's anniversary of the March 1st Movement was fraught with the word "justice." Perhaps it may be the most important value in the neo-Confucian political culture. Meanwhile, Japanese samurai politics was based on realism, and only occasionally emphasized "justice." In the social stratification in feudal Japan or the shi-no-ko-sho (warrior-farmer-artisan-tradesman) system, the "shi" meant samurai or warrior, while the Korean equivalent of "shi" was a civil servant who passed civil service examinations. The politics of the Joseon dynasty was traditionally a civilian-dominated bureaucracy. There is undeniably a huge gap in the political cultures between Japan and South Korea.
In this connection, the so-called "goalposts" controversy may be a good example. The Japanese government holds a strong distrust for South Korea that an agreement reached with its incumbent government after painstaking negotiations may be ignored by a succeeding administration, which will unabashedly claim renegotiations from scratch. For example, the diplomatic agreement between the Abe administration and the Park Geun-Hye administration on the former Korean comfort women was easily overturned by the Moon Jae-in administration. This was described as "moving the goalposts."
In the tradition of Japanese samurai politics, it was significant to keep one's promise once made no matter what it was about. The content of the agreement is secondary. The Laws for the Military Houses during the middle and modern ages contained a principle of "both parties are to blame in a quarrel," which people in Confucian culture may not understand at all. That peculiar principle ignores the most important question on which side justice resides.
In the Neo-Confucian culture, on the other hand, it is of utmost importance to see if the terms of the agreement comply with justice or to set the goalposts in the right place. If the position of the goalposts is wrong, it is the role of "justice" that moves them to the correct position. This well illustrates the incompatibility of the political cultures of the two countries.
So far I have discussed around the 1965 Japan-South Korea Treaty on Basic Relations. More than fifty years have elapsed since then, and the international systems supportive of the treaty have drastically altered. Of particular importance was the end of the Cold War in the late 1980s. In a succeeding period, international cooperation and historical reconciliation progressed worldwide. In Europe, German reunification and European integration were realized. In East Asia, China accepted the market economy, while South Korea succeeded in democratization. The 1988 Seoul Olympics symbolized South Korea's economic progress.
Under such international trends, Japan and South Korea made progress towards post-war reconciliation, which reinforced the Japan-South Korea treaty system. The Murayama discourse and the Japan-South Korea Joint Declaration of 1998 between Japanese Prime Minister Keizo Obuchi and South Korean President Kim Dae-jung made political revisions to the Japanese assertion on the legality and legitimacy of, among others, the Japan-Korea Annexation Treaty. Especially, the Joint Declaration subtitled "A new Japan-Korea Partnership towards the Twenty-first Century" was important. The incumbent South Korean President accepted words of apology and remorse of the Japanese Prime Minister and declared that both leaders would pursue future-oriented Japan-South Korea relations. Thus, Japan and South Korea were heading for post-war reconciliation.
The period of 1998-2004 was the best time for Japan-South Korea relations. During this time, the 2002 FIFA World Cup was held jointly in Japan and South Korea, and a Korean cultural boom dubbed the Korean Wave swept Japan, while Japanese pop culture gradually found its way into Korean society. As a result of the economic progress of South Korea, the division of economic activity between the two countries expanded more horizontally over time.
The Roh Moo-hyun administration inaugurated in February 2003 kept on good terms with the Koizumi administration. Earlier than this, Prime Minister Koizumi visited North Korea in September 2002. But Koizumi's repeated visits to the Yasukuni Shrine, coupled with discussions started at the Shimane Prefectural Assembly on the "Takeshima Day" ordinance in February 2005, helped rekindle the historical friction between the two countries. In his speech at the year's anniversary of the March 1st Movement, President Roh Moo-hyun demanded squarely that Japan should "resolve historical issues" and resumed controversy over historical issues.
Looking back, there existed a sizable gap between the Kim Dae-jung administration and the Roh Moo-hyun administration. The former, a centrist conservative coalition under the dual leadership of Kim Dae-jung and Kim Jong-pil (Prime Minister), contributed to fostering more conciliatory relations between the two countries. However, the Roh Moo-hyun administration was the first progressive government on its own in Korean history. The youth of the post-war generation who had been oppressed by the military government supported the Roh administration. They claimed a reinterpretation of the Japanese rule of Korea. The current Moon Jae-in administration is following the same path.
The second major change in the international systems was the emergence of China as an economic superpower in the 2010s. China's expanding GDP finally overtook that of Japan. Meanwhile, the South Korean economy became global under President Lee Myung-bak who was formerly a business magnate. On the other hand, the Japanese economy stagnated after the burst of the bubble, and its relative position declined. Against the background of such changes in the international changes, controversy over history issues between the two countries, which had abated in the first half of the Lee administration's term, reignited, and after February 2013, a fierce controversy raged under the Park Geun-hye administration.
A feature of the controversy over historical issues during this period was the South Korean judiciary's intervention in it. It made the historical friction complicated and serious and difficult to resolve. In August 2011, regarding the former comfort women issue, the Constitutional Court of Korea judged the "inaction" (breach of the duty of protection) of the Korean Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade as unconstitutional. In May 2012, the Supreme Court of Korea recognized the right to claim personal compensation for the former wartime laborers. President Lee Myung-bak, "fettered" by the Korean judiciary, had no alternative but to make strong demands to Japan. In a summit talk with Prime Minister Noda in Kyoto in December 2011, President Lee had a heated discussion about historical issues. He went so far as to land Takeshima in Shimane Prefecture the ensuing summer.
After taking office as president in February 2013, Park Geun-hye who had witnessed the above began to criticize Japan's interpretation of history while checking the Supreme Court from issuing its final ruling. She seems to have sought a diplomatic breakthrough for the worsening Japan-South Korea relationship. She vehemently criticized Japan during her visit to the United States in May of the year and China in June. She stood on Tiananmen Gate on the occasion of the 70th anniversary of the end of World War II in September 2015 --- never forgetting to criticize Japan then. The result of her efforts, however, was an unsatisfactory agreement with Japan on the former comfort women at the end of the same year. A foundation was established with Japanese funding to help the victims.
The Moon Jae-in administration, which was inaugurated in May 2017 in the aftermath of the impeachment of President Park, condemned the previous administration's interference with the Korean judiciary and clarified its attitude of respecting judicial decisions in the light of the separation of three powers. The Supreme Court of Korea resumed deliberations on the former wartime laborers and, in and from October 2018, ordered Nippon Steel & Sumitomo Metal Corporation (Nippon Steel Corporation) and Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, Ltd. to compensate for wartime labor. The 1965 Japan-South Korea Claims Agreement began to become a dead letter.
Why did these developments happen?
As for the Korean judiciary's interference in politics, it stems probably from the long-delayed democratization of the Korean judiciary. The Korean judiciary had long been subordinate to the authoritarian government and derided as a "servant to power." After the amendment of the Korean constitution following the 1987 democratization, the judiciary became more independent, especially under the Roh Moo-hyun administration, and finally restored its independence during the period of the Lee Myung-bak administration. Between 2011 and 2012, the Constitutional Court of Korea and the Supreme Court of Korea issued rulings on the issues of the former comfort women and wartime laborers, respectively.
What is more controversial is the liberal nationalism of the Moon Jae-in administration, which allowed the 1965 regime to become moribund under the pretext of the separation of three powers. As pointed out earlier, the liberal nationalism was an inheritance of the Roh Moo-hyun administration. Those who endorsed it were not the conservative military power led by Park Chung-hee and Chun Doo-hwan, nor the centrist conservative coalition under Kim Young-sam and Kim Dae-jung, but the activists who experienced and resisted oppression (e.g. the Gwangju Uprising) of the military junta in their school days.
Noteworthy in this context is President Moon Jae-in's speech at the last year's anniversary of the March 1st Movement. The speech drew attention by its calling for the "pro-Japanese liquidation." More importantly, President Moon positioned his administration as a government born of the "Candlelight Revolution," and as a successor to the April 19 Revolution, the May 18 Democratic Uprising (the Gwangju Uprising), and the June Struggle. All of these movements are regarded to have taken over the "spirit of the March 1st Movement." This is the "regeneration of the liberal nationalism."
Towards the end of the Joseon dynasty, there were three kinds of nationalism in the pre-annexation Korea. The first of them was the movement of 衛正斥邪 (defend orthodoxy and reject heterodoxy) based on the neo-Confucian doctrine. This was represented by the Daewongun's anti-foreign isolationist policy. The second was the Westernization movement or a reform movement to embrace Western civilization, advocated by, among others, Kim Ok-gyun, who was headquartered in Japan. One of the movement's leaders based in the United States was Rhee Syngman. These two movements may be easily understood by the Japanese, due to their similarity to the confrontation between the antiforeignists and Westernizationists in the latest Tokugawa era.
In addition to the above-mentioned movements, towards the end of the Joseon era, there emerged an exclusive peasant movement indoctrinated by an indigenous religion "Donghak." The Donghak peasant uprising constituted an underlying cause of the Sino-Japanese War. In due course, the Donghak religious movement evolved into a new religion known as Cheondoism, and its leaders made up the leadership of the March 1st Movement. Shortly after the Movement, the Korean Provisional Government was established in Shanghai against the backdrop of a large, nationwide anti-Japanese uprising and moved to Chongqing when the Second Sino-Japanese War broke out. The most prominent leader was Kim Koo. Interestingly, the ideologues of the Roh Moo-hyun administration and the Moon Jae-in administration recognized therein the origin of their current movement.
Consequently, the current Moon administration endorsing the liberal nationalism can neither make an easy compromise with the Japanese government nor reject the demands of various social movement groups at home. Such a step is tantamount to denying their cause or raison d'être. In October 2018, therefore, the Moon administration accepted the Supreme Court's ruling on the issue of the former wartime laborers and left matters worse. As a result, the Japan-South Korea Treaty on Basic Relations and the Japan-South Korea Claims Agreement are increasingly a dead letter. The Korean judiciary played a major role in the developments. To prevent such a move on the part of South Korea, the Japanese government (the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry) announced in July 2019 a stricter control on exports to South Korea.
The Japanese government attempted a kind of "shock therapy" aiming at correcting the course of Korean policy. It was a measure of "tit for tat" or "benign neglect." Regarding the new export control measures, Prime Minister Abe explained, "We abandoned each other's claims by the 1965 Claims Agreement. If the ROK cannot keep its promise, we will not be able to provide the ROK with preferential trade treatment as before."
It was unusual for Japan to specifically counterattack over historical issues. The South Korean government fell in a panic and made an excessive reaction --- the abandonment of the GSOMIA (General Security of Military Information Agreement) announced on August 22. Japan's counterattack rallied Korean citizens to boycott Japanese goods and urged neutralist intellectuals to support the Supreme Court rulings. A dispute over history spilled over to trade and security issues. A "chain of bad moves" occurred and the Japan-South Korea relationship reached a cul-de-sac.
Answering a strong request of the United States that places great emphasis on the Japan-US-ROK security cooperation, South Korea suspended the termination of the GSOMIA on November 22. Both leaders attended a summit meeting in Chengdu, China on December 28. President Moon argued: "A debate on the essentials would only make the problem more difficult; the important thing is to find a solution." But Prime Minister Abe stated simply: "It is the Korean side that should come up with some solution."
The worst has been avoided. But the issue of the former wartime laborers and the export control issue remain interlocked --- either of them alone would not be resolved. Prime Minister Abe hopes that South Korea should come up with an appropriate solution, but as described above, it would be quite difficult for the Moon administration to find any solution whatever. President Moon exposes the limitations of the liberal administration. In particular, President Moon cannot be supposed to take any proactive action before the South Korean general elections scheduled for April 15. If the parties concerned failed to find an exit no later than the Tokyo Olympics, the current stalemate might continue to the end of both administrations.
(This paper was translated into English by Tsutomu Inuzuka, SSDP Associate)
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- August, 2020, "Security against Infectious Disease Threats --- Policy Responses Abroad" written by Takashi Sekiyama, Associate Professor, Kyoto University
- June 2020,"Transformation of the International Order in the Middle East--- Varying Degrees of "Stateness" and Three Directions of the New Order" written by Satoshi Ikeuchi, Professor, Research Center for Advanced Science and Technology, The University of Tokyo
- June 2020,"Destabilization in the Middle East and its Impacts on Japan's Energy Security" written by Amane Kobayashi, Research Fellow, The Institute of Energy Economics
- May 2020: Urgent Recommendations "Toward a V-shaped Recovery after the Novel Coronavirus Pandemic "Coronavirus Testing for All" --- the First Step of the Next Phase"
- May 2020: "US Diplomacy toward Iran: Economic Sanctions as a Diplomatic Tool" Hiroki Sugita Columnist, Kyodo News
- "Russian Factors in the Middle East" Taisuke Abiru Senior Research Fellow, Sasakawa Peace Foundation
- "The SDF Dispatches to the Middle East --- History and Significance" Ippeita Nishida Senior Research Fellow, Sasakawa Peace Foundation
- March 2020, "Space and Security" Kazuto Suzuki Professor, Hokkaido University
- March 2020, "The US Security Space Policy --- With a Focus on the Establishment of Two Space Forces" Yasuhito Fukushima Chief Researcher, The National Institute for Defense Studies
- March 2020, "China's Recent Activities in Space and Cyberspace" Bonji Ohara Senior Research Fellow, Sasakawa Peace Foundation
- March 2020, "Environmental Security and Japan" Takashi Sekiyama Associate Professor, Kyoto University
- March 2020, "Changes in Global Environment and Security --- US Security Strategy" Hideshi Tokuchi Senior Fellow, National Graduate Institute for Policy Studies (GRIPS)
- February 2020, "Cyberspace Security" Motohiro Tsuchiya Professor, Keio University
- February 2020, "Japan's Space and Cyberspace Policy" Yukinari Hirose Former President of the National Institute for Defense Studies
- December 2019, "The US-China Confrontation --- Where Will Hegemony Reside Next?" Akio Takahara Professor, the University of Tokyo
- December 2019, "Challenges Facing the Chinese Economy" Osamu Tanaka Chief Senior Researcher, Institute of Developing Economies, JETRO
- December 2019, "US Strategic Perception on China: Implications for US Allied Partners" Tsuneo Watanabe Senior Fellow, Sasakawa Peace Foundation
- November 2019, "The Xi Jinping Administration's View of the International Order– China's emphasis on United Nations diplomacy and liberal economic policies−" Shin Kawashima, Professor, the University of Tokyo
- November 2019, "The Future of China's Security Strategy" Hideshi Tokuchi, Senior Fellow, National Graduate Institute for Policy Studies
- November 2019, "China --- Its Confidence and Anxiety" Bonji Ohara, Senior Research Fellow, Sasakawa Peace Foundation
- August 2019: Several Perspectives on the Korean Peninsula Issue--- The Deteriorating Japan-South Korea Relationship and the Uncertain Denuclearization of North Korea --- By Masahiro Akiyama Chairman, the SSDP
- July 2019, "An Outlook on the Denuclearization of North Korea--- What is the Stance of North Korea?---", Junya Nishino, Professor, Keio University
- July 2019, "An Outlook on the Denuclearization of North Korea --- How will the US move?", Narushige Michishita, Vice President, National Graduate Institute for Policy Studies
- July 2019, "Discussion on Denuclearization of North Korea", SSDP Discussion Meeting on May 8, 2019
- May 2019: "Current Status and Prospects of South Korea and Japan's Frictions over History: How to address the Judicial Problems", Masao Okonogi, Professor Emeritus, Keio University
- May 2019: "South Korea and Japan's Frictions over History" (Comments), Junya Nishino, Professor, Keio University
- May 2019: Japan and South Korea Relationships (Question & Answer)
- March 2019: "The Present State and Prospects of the Indian Economy and Economic Policies" written by Koji Kobayashi, Senior Economist Mizuho Research Institute Ltd.
- March 2019: "The "Modi diplomacy" in the History of Indian diplomacy--- Departure from or maintenance of the traditional diplomacy? ---" written by Toru Ito, The National Defense Academy of Japan
- February 2019: Dynamics of Indian Politics and the 2019 General Elections, written by Chiharu Takenaka, Professor of Rikkyo University
- February 2019: "Cooperative Strategy" to Realize "Competitive Strategy"--- The composite structure of Japan's "Free and Open Indo-Pacific" strategy (vision) ---, written by Matake Kamiya, Professor at The National Defense Academy of Japan
- January 2019:, A paper, "How will the US midterm elections results affect the Trump administration's foreign policy for 2019?" written by Tsuneo Watanabe, Senior Fellow, the Sasakawa Peace Foundation
- January 2019:, A paper, "The Present and Future of the International Trade Order" , written by Akihiko Tamura, Professor, National Graduate Institute for Policy Studies
- December 2018: The US-China Competition and Japan, written by Ryo Sahashi, Professor at Kanagawa University
- December 2018: An Outlook for the US-China Trade War―What makes the two economically interdependent superpowers confront each other?―, written by Takashi Sekiyama, Associate professor at Toyo University
- September 2018: Proposal, "The Denuclearization of North Korea and the Restoration of Peace in the Korean Peninsula― Correct Perceptions and Eight Proposals on Japan's North Korea Diplomacy－" edited by the Society of Security and Diplomatic Policy Studies
- September 2018: "The Taiwan Policy of the Xi Jinping Administration in its Second Term: An Outlook on Cross-Strait Relations in the New Era" written by Yasuhiro Matsuda, Professor of the Tokyo University
- July 2018: "The EU States and Russia on North Korea Issues- Expansion of Influence through Diplomacy: Attempts and Limitations -" lectured by Yuichi Hosoya, Professor of Keio University
- "An Assessment of the US-North Korea Summit and an Outlook for the Future of the Korean Peninsula" lectured by Junya Nishino, Professor of Keio University
- "Korean Peninsula Issue and Japan's Future Security Policy" written by Hideshi Tokuchi, Senior Fellow of National Graduate Institute for Policy Studies
- July 2018: "US North Korea policy affected by personnel changes in the Trump administration" lectured by Tsuneo Watanabe, Senior Fellow of the Sasakawa Peace Foundation.
- "China-North Korea relationship under Xi Jinping" lectured by Shin Kawashima, Professor of the Tokyo University.
- "North Korean Denuclearization and Russia" lectured by Nobuo Shimotomai, Professor of the Hosei University.
- March 2018: "The Network Hegemony Theory for a Security Architecture in The Asia Pacific Region" lectured by Masahiro Akiyama, Chairman, the Society of Security and Diplomatic Policy Studies
- 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.
- Taiwan-Japan Round Table on August 24th, at Capital Tokyu Hotel
- Japan-Korea Political Leaders Dialogue was held on February 10th,2023 at International House of Japan
- March 2022, A remembrance seminar "Remembering Professor Ezra Vogel" held on January 17, 2022
- March 2021, Japan-ROK Parliamentary Dialogue -Japan-ROK Cooperation in the Era of US-China Competition- held on March 11, 2021
- December 2020: The report of the Japan-ROK Future Dialogue held on November 21 to discuss "Japan-ROK Cooperation in the Post-Covid-19 Era
- October 2020: "Responses to COVID-19 and Agendas for the Post-COVID-19 Era", A Brief Overview of the Japan-Korea Experts Dialogue held on July 29,30, 2020
- October 2020: "The China-Taiwan Confrontation over Corona Response and Taiwan's Security" written by Makoto Ogata, Former Chief of the Japan-Taiwan Exchange Association in Taipei
- May 2020: "Rivalries in the Middle East in New Security Dynamics", Written by Sayed Ghoneim, Major General (retired) of the Egyptian Armed Forces, Chairman, Institute for Global Security & Defence Affairs
- March 2020: The Japan-South Korea Relationship in a Cul-de-Sac--- Where is an Exit ? Masao Okonogi Professor Emeritus, Keio Universit
- December 2019: The Hong Kong Upheaval and the Future of Cross-Straits Relations－The 2019 Japan-Taiwan Strategic Dialogue Report OGATA, Makoto Former Chief of the Japan-Taiwan Exchange Association in Taipei
- August 2019: Report; 2019 FUTURE CONSENSUS DIALOGUE --Sustainable Prosperity and Future of Korea-U.S.-Japan Cooperation-- By Future Consensus Institute (Yeosijae)
- June 2019: Report on India – Japan Security Dialogue 2019 by Ms. Vindu Mai Chotani, Ph.D Student, The University of Tokyo
June 2019: Four papers on Japan-India Cooperation submitted to India-Japan Security Dialogue 2019
Japan's Rationale for a Free and Open Indo-Pacific Vision
Tsuneo Watanabe, Senior Fellow, The Sasakawa Peace Foundation
The Significance and Possibilities of India-Japan Cooperation in the Concept of the Indo-Pacific
Toru ITO Associate Professor, National Defense Academy of Japan
Japan-India Defense Cooperation in the Indo-Pacific Context - Operationalizing the Security Aspect of the Indo-Pacific Vision –
Hideshi Tokuchi, Senior Fellow, National Graduate Institute for Policy Studies (GRIPS)
India-US-Japan Defense Cooperation: What's next?
Dr. Satoru Nagao, Hudson Institute
- Japan's Rationale for a Free and Open Indo-Pacific Vision
- November 2018: "The Present State of the Japanese Economy and Policy Issues" lectured by Motoshige Itoh, Professor Emeritus at the University of Tokyo.
- November 2018: "Expanding Social Security Expenses and Fiscal Reforms" lectured by Kazumasa Oguro, Professor at Hosei University.
- September 2018: "Taiwan Identity and Cross-Strait Relations and Trump's Taiwan Policy and the Future of Taiwan-US Relations-Discussion at The Second Japan-Taiwan Strategic Dialogue (June 21, 2018, Taipei)-" written by OGATA, Makoto
- September 2018: "Japan-Taiwan Dialogue 2018 Minutes", 21st June 2018, Taipei, Taiwan.
- July 2018: Report on The Second Japan – Philippines Strategic Dialogue prepared by Ms. Vindu Mai Chotani, Ph.D. Student, Graduate School of Public Policy, Tokyo University.
- May 2018: "Civilian Control "at Crisis"? – Perhaps Not, for the Case of the Field Sit-reps from SDF's South Sudan Mission" reported by Ippeita Nishida, Research Fellow, the Sasakawa Peace Foundation
- 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.
- June 2023,Research journal "Security Studies vol5 no2" (Nuclear Crisis Scenarios Facing Japan and the Outlook of Nuclear Deterrence and Arms Control and Disarmament) in English edition was published.
- March 2023,Research journal "Security Studies vol5 no1" (What Will Happen to European Security?―Facing the War in Ukraine) in English edition was published.
- January 2023, Research Jounal "Security Studies (vol 4 no 4)" - Defending Our Country – Defense Policy in a "New Cold War Era - was published.
- October 2022, Research Jounal "Security Studies (vol 4 no 3)" - Xi Jinping's China - Politics, Economy, Society and Diplomacy - was published.
- Jun 2022, Research Jounal "Security Studies (vol 4 no 2)" -The Russia-Ukraine War and Its Global Impact- was published.
- March 2022, Research Jounal "Security Studies (vol 4 no 1)"-What is Economic Security?- was published.
- December 2021, Research Jounal "Security Studies (vol 3 no 4)"-Korean Peninsula Situation- was published.
- September 2021, A research journal "Security Studies vol03 no03" -Asia's Security II- (English edition)
- June 2021, A research journal "Security Studies vol03 no02" -Asia's Security I- (English edition)
- March 2021: Research journal "Security Studies (vol3 no1) "- US Foreign Policy in the Biden Administration / The 2020 US Presidential Election and American Democracy -(English edition)
- December 2020: A research journal "Security Studies (vol2 no4) "- Normalize Japan-South Korea Relations trough Dialogues -(English edition)
- September 2020: A research journal "Security Studies (vol2 no3) "-The Novel Coronavirus and Security-(English edition)
- July 2020: A research journal "Security Studies (vol2 no2) - Middle East Situation and Japan's Security - " (English edition) was published
- May 2020: A research journal "Security Studies (vol2 no1) - Cyber, Space, Environment and Security - " March 2020 (English edition)
- February 2020, "A research journal "Security Studies (vol1 no4) " (English edition)"
- September 2019: A research journal "Security Studies (vol1 no3) " (English edition)
- August 2019: Korea-Japan Joint Seminar: FUTURE CONSENSUS DIALOGUE
- April 2019: "Security Studies (vol1 no2) April 2019"
- March 2019: A research journal "Security Studies vol1 no01" just published
- February 2019: The Denuclearization of North Korea and the Takeshima Issue
- December 2018: Former Vice Defense Minister Masahiro Akiyama's Memoirs (An Ad)
- November 2018: Participation in the Future Consensus Forum held in Beijing
- September 2018: "2018 Indo-Pacific Security Dialogue" reported by Masahiro Akiyama
- 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.