Japanese Prime Minister Kishida Fumio is producing his own “Vision for Peace” and “Realism Diplomacy for the New Era” with the intention of taking Free and Open Indo-Pacific (FOIP) to the next level.

Formerly, Kishida was the Abe administration’s longest-serving Foreign Minister. Over time, he has become a smart leader whose goal is to make Japan a stronger, more confident force.

In Northeast Asian security, Tokyo faces three fronts: China, North Korea, and now Russia, not to mention the developing China-Russia nexus and its impact on the power balance.

From the Quad to NATO and the G-7 to the G-20, Japan’s leadership is daring. As the rest of the world tries to deal with threats to the rules-based order in both the Indo-Pacific and the Euro-Atlantic, Tokyo is committed to finding solutions.

Promoting the shared goal of a free and open Indo-Pacific

In light of Russia’s aggression against Ukraine, the QUAD member states reaffirmed that no unilateral status quo change by force is acceptable in any region, particularly the Indo-Pacific.

The leaders remain steadfastly committed to achieving a free and open Indo-Pacific. Prime Minister Kishida said the following in his opening remarks at the news conference after the Quad summit:

He added that the leaders affirmed that the rule of law, sovereignty, and territorial integrity must be preserved in every region of the world.

About North Korea

Prime Minister further stated that the leaders also talked about North Korea, which just this month fired off a string of ballistic missiles and is stepping up its nuclear and missile activities.

The leaders agreed to work together to help North Korea get rid of all of its nuclear weapons.

Situation in the Indo-Pacific region

According to the Prime Minister, the leaders talked a lot about the situation in the Indo-Pacific region, including how worried they were about attempts to change things on their own in the East China Sea and South China Sea.

He further added that the leaders talked about how to deal with the situation in Myanmar and other things. In the area of infrastructure, he said that over the next five years, they plan to give the Indo-Pacific region more than $50 billion in extra help and investments.

Russia’s aggression towards Ukraine

In response to Russia’s aggression toward Ukraine, which threatens the very basis of the international order, the leaders sent a strong message to the world that changing the status quo by force cannot be tolerated in any part of the world, but especially in the Indo-Pacific region.

Prime Minister Kishida’s aim is to establish a new international order based in Asia

Prime Minister Kishida argued for a “new international order emanating from Asia” in front of political, economic, and academic leaders from the Asia-Pacific region. According to Prime Minister Kishida, Asia should be the economic center of the world.

Three Layers in the current World situation

In a speech at a banquet for the 27th International Conference “Future of Asia” held in Tokyo, Prime Minister Kishida said: “I see three layers in the current world situation.”

The first layer consists of country-by-country decisions and actions regarding diplomatic and security matters.

The second layer is made up of trade, investments, and the laws that govern digital transactions. Multinational corporations play a big role in this layer.

The third layer is the difficulty of resolving global challenges, such as infectious diseases and climate change, that affect the whole human population.

Prime Minister of Japan added that his top priority was the initial layer. “We will take strong action against threats that threaten the foundations of the international order and universal ideas like freedom and human rights.”

Based on these principles, the mission was to get closer to the G7 and getting ready for the long-term costs of sanctions.

Prime Minister added further that for the second layer, there is need to lay different sets of rules, such as those of the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP), Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP), bilateral Free Trade Agreements (FTAs), and Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC), on top of each other.

This week’s establishment of the Indo-Pacific Economic Framework for Prosperity (IPEF) is one of these. For the third level, which is about how hard it is to solve global problems, building a cooperative system to deal with humanity’s common problems will help reduce any conflict or “decoupling” that might happen at the first level, which is about security issues.

Asia, as the main source of economic growth around the world and a center of innovation, should help solve the world’s problems in the next generation, according to the Prime Minister.

Four Distinct Initiatives

In accordance with this goal, Japan will focus on four distinct initiatives. The establishment of a free and open international order is the first objective.

Japan will keep working for a “free and open Indo-Pacific” in close partnership with friends and countries that respect international law and norms and share universal values.

Second objective is cooperation to safeguard the region’s peaceful global order. Prime Minister stated, “During my recent trip to Southeast Asia, we achieved progress on a number of concrete initiatives, including the signing of a defence equipment and technology transfer agreement with Thailand and the decision to examine the possibility of supplying Indonesia with patrol vessels.”

He further added, “We will continue to build upon this level of pragmatic cooperation.” Furthermore, Prime Minister added that to use the new effort to raise awareness of the marine domain and the partnership in humanitarian aid and disaster relief, which were all confirmed at the Quad summit.

The resuscitation of cross-border mobility of people is the third objective, according to Prime Minister. In the same way Prime Minister added that the open and active exchange of people is fundamental to our economy and society, as well as to the growth of Asia.

Lastly, there is need of strengthening partnerships in order to collectively solve social difficulties. Specifically, there is need to strengthen our relationship with Asia through the following five pillars: investment in innovation and start-ups, strengthening supply chains, investment in infrastructure to connect Asia, realisation of universal health coverage and the Asia Zero Emissions Community.

New form of Capitalism

Fumio Kishida talked about the economic policy of his “new form of capitalism.” Its main ideas are a cycle of growth and distribution that is good for everyone and the creation of a new society after COVID-19.

Prime Minister stated “Regarding the economic and financial realities, I will continue to develop policies by listening to the voices of the markets and the people on the ground.”

He further added that, Japan is and will continue to be an international trading and investment powerhouse. Japan will grow as a result of its integration with the rest of the world through the free flow of people, goods, money, and digital technology.

According to Prime Minister, capitalism has changed in the past. In fact, it has undergone at least two significant modifications.

The transition from laissez-faire to the welfare state was one. The second was the transition from welfare to neoliberalism.

In all instances, the pendulum oscillated between two concepts: “market or state” and “public or private.” The following shift, however, will be to a “new type of capitalism” in which the public and private sectors collaborate.