Japan’s Democracy Diplomacy
This report for the U.S.-Japan Commission on the Future of the Alliance examines Japan’s deepening democratic partnerships and the implications for the U.S.-Japan alliance. It begins by examining how Japanese leaders have framed their democracy diplomacy in different ways, including an “Arc of Freedom and Prosperity” connecting Asian and Western democracies, trilaterals linking the U.S.-Japan alliance to Australia and India, and a Quadrilateral Partnership comprising the key Indo-Pacific powers that encompass the sea lanes of communication so vital to Japan’s economy. The report then maps the major strands of Japan’s democracy diplomacy. The first — and most developed strand — targets the major Asia-Pacific powers: Australia, South Korea, and India. The second strand covers Southeast Asia: Indonesia, the Philippines, Vietnam, Myanmar, and also regional architecture centered on the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN). The third strand focuses on Europe: the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), the European Union (EU), the United Kingdom, and France. The report ultimately presents a series of recommendations for how Japan and its democratic partners can come together to expand cooperation to reinforce a rules-based international order.