Recommendations of the Advisory Panel on Communications Concerning Territorial Integrity

On July 2, 2013, the Advisory Panel on Communications Concerning Territorial Integrity issued a report titled “Toward Stronger Strategic Communications” summarizing the discussions among the members of the Panel since April of that year. The recommendations contained in that report provided an overview of strategic approaches for overseas and domestic communications activities regarding territorial integrity. The report’s recommendations included emphasis of Japan’s position that “a change in the status quo through the use of force” is “unacceptable” and that “Japan’s basic policy is to resolve issues on the basis of international law.” The recommendations below are offered as a follow-up to the said report, in light of the governmental measures taken to date and the evolving international and domestic situations concerning territorial integrity over the last two years.

1. Content of Overseas Communications

Building upon the recommendations in the previous report, the following points should also be noted for overseas communications:

(1) Consistent Emphasis on the Importance of International Law

In light of the situations regarding territorial integrity, Japan should make its position abundantly clear that it does not tolerate changes in the status quo through the use of force. Japan should emphasize the fact that it has consistently addressed the issues surrounding territorial integrity in a peaceful manner based on international law.

(2) Prompt Response to Claimants

It is important for Japan to address arguments by claimants regarding territorial integrity by delineating its stance promptly, as they occur.

(3) Communications Appealing to the Needs of Audiences

In coordination with experts on international affairs and overseas media situation, communications activities should be more attentive and demand-oriented, meeting the respective needs and interests of overseas audiences.

(4) Communications Efforts towards Third-Party Audiences

Securing a broader understanding of the international community requires communications efforts to reach out to wider audiences including those of the United States as well as those of Asia, Europe and other regions.

2. Strengthening Multilayered Overseas Communications Efforts

In addition to enhanced governmental communications efforts, further steps are needed to encourage non-government entities to pursue more effective communications.

(1) Promoting Understanding among Japanese Nationals Living Abroad

There is a need to take further steps to provide accurate information on Japan’s territorial integrity to Japanese nationals living abroad (such as those posted by companies and students), through the use of social media, pamphlets, videos, free periodicals, and other means.

(2) Developing Human Resources with Effective Overseas Communications Skills

There is a need to develop a pool of human resources, with a deep knowledge regarding Japan’s territorial integrity and a strong appeal to the international audiences. Securing further opportunities for promising academics and other experts on a broad range of areas to communicate to overseas audiences would thus be beneficial.

(3) Providing Information to Domestic and Overseas Audiences

There is a need to take further steps and measures to promptly provide the facts and relevant information regarding Japan’s territorial integrity to interested audiences and those in the policymaking community in both Japan and overseas.

3. Enhancing Domestic Awareness

The support of the Japanese public is indispensable to the advancement of policies regarding territorial integrity. There is a need for continued efforts to enhance domestic awareness by working with the diverse sectors such as those in education. In this context, it is also necessary to enhance public awareness on the importance of mutual understanding through dialogue and of a peaceful resolution under the rule of law.

(1) Enhancing Domestic Awareness, Taking into Consideration Outcomes of Public Opinion Polls

Based on the results of public opinion polls on Takeshima and the Senkaku Islands, communications and educational activities should be aimed at enhancing awareness and interest among various sectors of society. Such activities should include organizing seminars featuring territorial integrity experts and further improving the relevant websites.

(2) Enhancing Education at Schools

To promote further awareness at schools, there is a need to enrich the teaching materials used in the classroom.

4. Preserving Relevant Materials and Developing Professionals

With respect to Takeshima and the Senkaku Islands, there is a need to develop a pool of professionals in such areas as preservation, utilization, and research of the relevant documents and materials underpinning Japan’s position.

(1) Supporting the Preservation of Records

There is an urgent need to explore ways to preserve and utilize the relevant documents and materials underpinning Japan’s position.

(2) Promoting Translation of Relevant Documents and Materials

The important documents and materials supporting Japan’s position should be made more available to the interested audiences and those of the policymaking community abroad. For this purpose, such documents and materials, particularly primary sources, should be translated into foreign languages (especially English).

(3) Developing and Supporting Experts Engaged in Academic Research

Continued support should be given to the works of scholars and other experts engaged in academic research on historical facts and compilation of relevant materials and documents, concerning territorial integrity. Efforts should also be made to buttress such a support structure and to develop a new generation of experts in this area.

5. Supporting Local Initiatives at Frontlines

From the viewpoint of strengthening efforts to promote domestic understanding, it is important that people feel the issue of territorial integrity close to themselves. In particular, the government needs to offer more support to ensure that local undertakings at the frontlines of territorial integrity are sustainable.

(1) Coordination with Local Communities at Frontlines

In coordination with local development efforts, awareness of territorial integrity should be enhanced through broadening the attractiveness of those at the frontlines.

(2) Broadening Local Initiatives Nation-Wide

Local initiatives regarding territorial integrity, like those of Shimane Prefecture, should be promoted in other parts of the country, in cooperation with those at the frontlines.


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