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Shinzō Abe’s scheduled tour of Greater Middle East

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From 11 to 15 January of this year, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzō Abe was on a scheduled tour of a number of Greater Middle Eastern (GME) nations, a region of growing importance in Japan’s foreign policy course. This is evidenced by, for instance, the increasing frequency of visits by high-level government officials from Japan to the GME and vice versa.

In fact, the reasons for Japan’s growing interest in the aforementioned region have been discussed in the New Eastern Outlook on more than one occasion. And it is quite understandable why the interest is mutual. After all, Japan is one of the key buyers of the main products (i.e. fossil fuels) exported by most Greater Middle Eastern nations, and it is an investor in their extraction and processing projects. In addition, politics is starting to play quite an important role in this equation.

Essentially, Japan is in the process of returning (after the 1945 calamity) to the global chess game as one of its key players. It is also important to highlight yet again that, at present, Japan still remains an economic giant as it leaves behind its role of “political dwarf”, which (in accordance with the so-called Yoshida Doctrine (named after Shigeru Yoshida, Japan’s Prime Minister on the cusp of 1940s and 1950s)) allowed the nation to feel snug and secure under the wing of its “Big Brother” during 5 to 6 post-war decades.

A noteworthy article, published by The Mainichi Shimbun on the “power of words” as a “key to future diplomacy independent of US”, says that “Japan’s position in international politics has improved by leaps and bounds” during the 30-year Heisei era (from 1987 to 2019). And the way it continues to evolve will be one of government’s crucial tasks in the course of the Reiwa era, which began in May 2019.

According to the author of the aforementioned........

© New Eastern Outlook