May.14.2019 KIP Forum "How to see the international situation"
By Mr. Ichiro Fujisaki, former ambassador to the U.S.

Mr. Ichiro Fujisaki: Mr. Ichiro Fujisaki served as Ambassador to the US. Now he holds positions such as President of The America-Japan Society and Visiting Professor Sophia University.

Speech summary

This time, he went ahead with this forum in a different way from usual.

  1. Speech: How to see the international situation
  2. Disuccusion: “How should Japan behave in view of the current US-China relationship?”
  3. Speech: Feedback and Speech: The relationship between China, the US, North Korea and Japan
  4. Q&A

First, Mr.Fujisaki said that there seems to be three misunderstandings of globalization many Japanese people could have. As Mr.Fujisaki talked, the first one was that borderless age will come; but he said it won’t come because all countries seek to defend the national interest. The second one was that Japanese people tend not to be good at saying opinions; but Mr.Fujisaki thinks, as fact, Japanese people tend not to be good at input rather than output. The process of asking questions and getting answers makes us good at input and enables to build a good relationship. The third one was that we need to study not English but other languages; but Mr.Fujisaki said firmly that English is necessary to study prior to other languages because English is a global language, even if globalization would advance more in the future.

Next, we had a discussion as detailed below.

Finally, Mr.Fujisaki talked about the relationship between China, the US, North Korea and Japan. US-China trade war could make Japanese economy decline, on the other hand, it is not necessarily bad for Japan in terms of retaliation against intellectual property rights infringement in China. Including this issue, it is important for Japanese economy and security to keep good relationship with the two big countries: US and China. Through this talk, Mr. Fujisaki emphasized two things he considered important in diplomacy. One is not to accept speech or statement without questioning but to read a background and psychology. The other is to do the best, assuming the worst case. When I heard this talk, I realized that I had only seen the surface of diplomacy. I believe that it is necessary for us students to understand social issues essentially


We had a discussion on the theme “How should Japan behave in view of the current US-China relationship?”. In terms of the gurantee of security, one group said that Japan should follow the US. On the other hand, in terms of Japanse economy, another group has an opinion that Japan should export products like cars to the outside of the US and China to prevent the decline of the Japanese economy. Mr.Fujisaki gave students high praise for shrewd discussion but then he pointed out that they were optimistic about foreign diplomacy. It is necessary to assume the worst case in diplomacy, because the current international relations will not always continue.

(Riho Ishii, Faculty of Creative Science and Engineering, Waseda University)