The story below is blockquoted in full. Man, you couldn’t sound more like Tom Barnett no matter how hard you tried.
Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs Shotaro Yachi set off on Sunday for India and Turkey – two nations that hold important positions in Japan’s new international outlook, the foreign ministry said in a statement.
“In his visit in India, a wide range of topics is expected to be discussed, including the issue of how to operate the East Asia Summit, as well as issues of energy and climate change, and economic partnership,” said an official privy to the India-Japan relationship.
“The vice-ministerial talks with Turkey were requested by the Japanese side as we recognize Turkey is a very important democracy which can be a core of our ‘arc of freedom and prosperity’ concept,” another official said.
Japanese Foreign Minister Taro Aso uses the term “arc of freedom and prosperity” to describe a global zone stretching from Japan through India and moderate Middle Eastern states into Europe.
“The talks with Ankara will focus more on cooperation in the region surrounding Turkey rather than cooperation with a NATO member country,” the official said.
Officials denied that Japan’s new foreign policy is aimed at containment of non-democratic countries such as China but is a broad policy concept to promote democracy and economic success.
Aso, who attended as an observer of a summit of the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SSARC) last month, has said Japan will continue support democratisation in Nepal and Bhutan.
On the security front, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe promised to visit India this year and proposed the creation of a strategic forum involving Japan, the United States, Australia and India when Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh came to Tokyo last December.
Abe also pledged to play a wider role in NATO’s peacekeeping and stability missions during his visit to Europe in January.