The Japanese scholar reasoned the new Prime Minister of Japan visiting Vietnam and Indonesia

The Japanese scholar reasoned the new Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga’s visit to Vietnam

Visiting Southeast Asia is an obvious choice, but to fully understand why Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga chose to visit Vietnam and Indonesia, it is necessary to consider the level of relations with major countries.

Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga. Photo: AFP

It is common speculation by the regional press that Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga chose to visit Southeast Asia to strengthen ties with these regional nations amid tensions between Japan’s close security ally the US and China’s largest trading partner, China, is on the rise.

However, the above point of view does not completely explain why Mr. Suga chose to visit Vietnam and Indonesia on his first foreign trip, but not other countries in Southeast Asia. Discussing more about this, some scholars said that Prime Minister Suga visited Vietnam and Indonesia in the context that Vietnam is holding the chair of ASEAN in 2020, and Indonesia is a member of the group of G20 countries that Japan. plays an important role there.

In an article in the Japan Times, Mr. Kuni Miyake, President of the Foreign Policy Institute and currently a special advisor to the Cabinet of Japan, said that the two reasons above do not fully reflect the nature of the problem.

Mr. Kuni Miyake was invited to lunch on October 4, where he never thought he had a chance to advise Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga on foreign policy. More surprisingly, Prime Minister Suga on October 13 appointed Mr. Kuni Miyake and five other experts to be special advisors to the Cabinet of Japan.

At the Office of the Japanese Prime Minister, Mr. Kuni Miyake learned that Prime Minister Suga had publicly announced his planned visit to Vietnam and Indonesia next week. During his first overseas trip, Mr. Suga plans to meet with Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc and Indonesian President Joko Widodo.

However, what makes the Japanese press and the world encroach on why Mr. Suga chose to visit Vietnam and Indonesia, not the great powers like the US, China or South Korea.


Since 1945, visiting Washington has always been one of the top priorities of Japan’s prime ministers. But in 2020, it’s different. While America is strained with the presidential election and the unrelenting Covid-19 translation, Mr. Suga’s best option is not to visit the US.

Meanwhile, Tokyo always seeks to promote a free and open Indo-Pacific vision, which emphasizes legal compliance, freedom of navigation and overflight, and resolves disputes by means of France by building stable relationships with its neighbors, which implies both China, South Korea and Korea.

But visiting China or South Korea is not possible, as neither of these countries is Japan’s priority. Can Mr. Suga visit Beijing? If it does, it would be a “political mistake” with the current Japan-China bilateral relationship, according to adviser Kuni Miyake.

Visiting Seoul now is like “political suicide”. Kyodo News on October 3 reported that the three-way summit: Japan, Korea and China may not be held this year because Tokyo realized that Mr. Suga had no intention of giving in to Korea in question. Workers compensation problem wartime.

Towards the free and open Indo-Pacific

Meanwhile, visiting Vietnam and Indonesia now is the perfect time to promote stability and prosperity in East Asia, Southeast Asia and South Asia.

Japan’s free and open Indo-Pacific vision is not merely a military perspective. Unlike the United States, Japan strives to promote a broader, more inclusive, and broader, liberal Indo-Pacific Vision focusing on economic, cultural and law enforcement.

The South China Morning Post quoted Mr. Toshimitsu Shigemura, professor of international relations at Waseda University (Tokyo), saying that Beijing is concerned about and opposed to closer relations between Vietnam and Japan. Stephen Nagy, professor of international relations at the International Christian University (Tokyo) believes that the Prime Minister of Japan will take a cautious step to avoid a deepening discord with China.

“Security is an area where Japan and Vietnam can promote cooperation, but he (Prime Minister Suga – BTV) also wants to push for other agreements on infrastructure development, supply chain diversity and openness.” to expand activities of Japanese enterprises in Vietnam as a measure to promote bilateral relations “, GS. Nagy commented.

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