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Yoshiko Sakurai

【#490(Special)】Learn from Foregoers’ Wisdom to Mark 150th Year of Meiji

Yoshiko Sakurai / 2018.01.11 (Thu)

January 10, 2018

     The new year 2018 will be a major turning point not only for Japan but also for the whole world. Traditional U.S. values will compete with Chinese values more notably. In front of the change on which Japan’s fate depends, everyone in every country will do his or her best in the year. As for the Japan Institute for National Fundamentals, 2018 is the year for aggressively making proposals towards the realization of constitutional amendments for which JINF has called since its founding.

China taking advantage of U.S. retreat
     As known well, the United States has kept its superior power in economic, military, educational and other areas and continued to attract people in the world with its efforts to protect its values. However, the United States is growing reluctant to fulfill its responsibility for the international community commensurate with its power.
     China is attempting to increase its influence by filling a vacuum of international dynamics created by a U.S. retreat. Chinese President Xi Jinping has declared that the Chinese nation united under the Communist Party will take a dominant position among nations in the world.
     Under such situation, we would like to contribute to maintaining the world in which Japan and other countries can follow their respective paths while defending their inherent cultures, civilization and values.
     This year marks the 150th anniversary of the Meiji Restoration. Most of Asian countries were under control by Western powers then but Japan could continue to exist as a nation state. Although Japan was inferior to Western powers in economic, military and information area, then Japanese leaders chose the policy of increasing wealth and military power, leading the people to identify themselves as Japanese citizens beyond borders between former domains. The Japanese people as a whole were wise enough to grasp the reality, admit Japan’s inferiority and rouse themselves in the face of Western powers’ strength and wealth.

Wake up to realities in international community
     We in Japan now have the third largest economy in the world. Though being under constitutional constraints, we have military power. We also have information power. However, we might have almost lost our cool and objective eyes to understand realities.
     Waking up to realities is now more important than anything else. JINF would like to tackle fundamental challenges such as the severe international environment surrounding Japan and the serious load of falling population and do its best to explore solutions.
     In this sense, we will hold a seminar in May to mark the 10th anniversary of JINF. We wish that we will take the opportunity to propose how the State of Japan should be. We also hope to contribute to building a country that would provide values such as freedom, democracy, humanity and the rule of law from the wide, international perspective.
     With this objective in mind, I would like to move hand-in-hand with my fellow JINF members this year.

Yoshiko Sakurai is President, Japan Institute for National Fundamentals