太平洋島諸国・国際政治講座

The New Relations between the Pacific Island Nations and Japan in the Age of Globalization

- Akio WATANABE - Professor of Aoyama Gakuin University andAdvisor to PIN Committee, JANCPECC(*1)
1.Introduction

The year 1989 was the one in which there took place many important events indicative of the structural change in the world politics. The collapse of the wall dividing the East and West in Berlin together with the meeting of the US and the USSR leaders at Malta were most significant among them. No less important was the uprising of pro-democracy forces in Beijing which was cruelly suppressed by the People's Liberation Army of the Communist regime of China. A fragile regional order in the Middle East was also beginning to crumble whose clearer manifestation was to appear on the surface only several months later when Saddam Hussein of Iraq advanced his army into Kuwait.

Looking back from now these were the events heralding the profound changes in international relations during the past decade or so since that year. It is necessary to reshape our thinking in view of these important changes in the international situation surrounding the Pacific Island Nations (PINs). The most notable is that the wave of economic and cultural globalization has begun to reach these islands, too. Given the small size and distant location from centers of economic and cultural activities, the PINs are to face severe challenge, severer than before, because it would be less likely for most of the advanced nations in the world to continue to give active attention to small countries in remote places.

What is more, many advanced countries themselves are now facing a variety of new problems of adjustment so that they would be able to tide over the period of transition into a new century characterized by globalization. Japan is no exception to that rule, being troubled by financial confusion, economic difficulties, a rapidly aging population and so on. In such circumstances Japanese government is constrained to reevaluate its overall policy in favor of a smaller budget for such items as Official Development Assistance (ODA) and even national security, the items that have been regarded for many decades as "sanctuary" in budget making politics of Japan. Based on such a domestic and international background, it has become necessary to reconsider Japan's policy concerning the PINs in the 21st century, with a new eye toward the future of these countries.

*1: PECC (Pacific Economic Cooperation Council) was established in 1980 on the initiative of Prime Minister OHIRA Masyoshi in cooperation with Australian Prime Minister John Malcom Fraser. Island Nations in the Pacific are represented in group through Forum Secretariat of the SPF. PECC has several task forces, one of which is PIN (Pacific Island Nations) Task Force. Japan has been a coordinating member of the PIN, PECC.
The New Relations between the Pacific Island Nations and Japan
  • 国際政治講座
  • 情報通信講座
  • 島嶼経済講座
  • ゼミ

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