Japan’s dilemma concerning the rise of China
Dr Masahiro Kohara, Consul-General of Japan in Sydney
A China Studies Centre Distinguished Speaker Lecture
Japan has been able to enjoy peace and prosperity under the order maintained by the overwhelming power of the US. This is also the case for many other Asian countries. Japan and the US alliance still play an important role as a stabiliser, not only for Japan’s security but also for East Asia’s stability. China should be also steadily encouraged to be a responsible power, showing peaceful development and international responsibility by its own deeds.
In order to do that, it is necessary for Japan to pursue both Japan-US alliance and Japan-China entente as essentialities, allowing the long lasting anguish of having to choose between the West and Asia to be overcome. This is the ultimate aim of a country such as Japan which lies between two superpowers, as it also is in the case for Australia.
It is also important to carry on the opening-up of Japan as a hub in the network of Asia and the Pacific. This will allow Japan to contribute to the building of a regional architecture on the basis of fundamental values such as democracy, freedom, respect of human rights and the rule of law.
Dr Masahiro Kohara has been the Consul-General of Japan in Sydney since October 2010. He has obtained a Bachelor of Arts from Tokyo University, a Master of Arts from University of California, Berkeley and a PhD from the Ritsumeikan University. He entered the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan (MOFA) in 1980 and has served as a Japanese diplomat for more than 30 years in various positions including Consul in Hong Kong in 1993; Counsellor in Permanent Mission of Japan to the UN in 1996; Director of Regional Policy Division MOFA in 1999; Director of Grant Aid Division MOFA in 2001; Deputy Consul-General in Los Angeles in 2005 and Deputy Director-General, Asian and Oceanian Affairs Bureau MOFA in 2007. He has also taught in Kyusyu University, Ritsumeikan Asia Pacific University and Waseda University. Furthermore, he has published seven books on international relations and Asian-Pacific Affairs including two books, China Dilemma and A Country Between the Two Super Powers.