Sign up | Log in



Home  >>   Daily News  >>   Asean News  >>   Ties  >>   Japan PM Abe's trip to Asean seen as trying to contain China
NEWS UPDATES Asean Affairs   23 January 2013  

Japan PM Abe's trip to Asean seen as trying to contain China


 Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's whirlwind tour last week of three Asean capitals - his first overseas trip since taking office - underscores the renewed importance of Southeast Asia to Japan.

Japan needs Southeast Asian nations, not just to boost its own flagging economy, but also as strategic partners in dealing with a rising China.

Given Abe's priority of revitalising the economy, it is important that Japan is able to tap into Asean's dynamic economic growth, which has intensified demand for Japanese exports and also created a huge demand for better infrastructure.

To that end, the Japanese leader was seen pushing high-speed rail systems in Bangkok. Japan also remains keen to sell nuclear power plants to Vietnam despite the fact that the Fukushima nuclear disaster remains unresolved.

But perhaps the most important message that Abe brought with him was that Japan is anxious to deepen its alliance with Asean nations, not least in coping with the challenge of an increasingly belligerent China in maritime territorial disputes.

In the South China Sea, China lays claim to island clusters that are also claimed by several Asean states.

Farther north in the East China Sea, it is involved in a long-simmering feud with Japan over the ownership of the Senkaku islands, which the Chinese call Diaoyu.

At a press conference in Jakarta, Abe acknowledged that China's rise is "without question" a plus for Japan economically.

But he was also quick to add that it was "important for China to act responsibly in the international community".

As the influential Nikkei business daily pointed out, the biggest common concern binding Japan and the Asean countries is how to engage a rising China.

But it may be difficult to rally the Asean nations together against Beijing, given that some members are likely to flinch at the thought of rankling China, which has become closely linked economically with the region.

It was unfortunate that Abe's Asean swing was overshadowed by the hostage crisis in Algeria.

News that some Japanese were among the hostages reportedly reached the government here about 10 minutes after Abe touched down in Hanoi, his first port of call, last Wednesday.

On Friday, the unfolding crisis cut short his visit to Jakarta, his last destination.

In the Japanese media, news of the hostage crisis almost squeezed out reports of Abe's Asean visit.

Despite having to cancel a key policy speech in Jakarta, Abe managed to use a press conference to spell out the five principles underlying Japanese diplomacy in Asean contained in that address.

These include protecting freedom of expression and other universal values, and the promotion of economic as well as cultural ties with Asean nations.

But perhaps the most important principle that Abe cited is the use of the rule of law to resolve maritime disputes, a veiled reference to China's inclination to resort to the use of military muscle.

But as some Japanese newspapers pointed out, it may not be in the interest of the region for Japan and Asean to be seen as trying to contain China.

Rather, efforts should be made to persuade China that international law is the best means of preserving regional peace.

Reach Southeast Asia!
10- Nations, 560- Million Consumers
And $1 -Trillion Market
We are the Voice of Southeast Asia Media Kit
The only Media Dedicated to Southeast Asia Advertising Rates for Magazine
  Online Ad Rates

Comment on this Article. Send them to

Letters that do not contain full contact information cannot be published.
Letters become the property of AseanAffairs and may be republished in any format.
They typically run 150 words or less and may be edited
submit your comment in the box below

Today's  Stories    23 January 2013   
Subsribe Now !
• Japan PM Abe's trip to Asean seen as trying to contain China Subcribe: Asean Affairs Global Magazine
• German Pharma giant bullish on AEC Asean Affairs Premium
• Massive insurance claims expected in aftermath of Jakarta floods
• Top US companies on trade mission to Manila
Research Reports
on Thailand 2007-2008

•Textiles and Garments Industry

•Coffee industry

•Leather and footwear industry

•Shrimp industry

• AirAsia plans capacity growth of 17-20% in 2013
• Dutch Companies visit Brunei to explore collaborations
• Thai billionaire on verge to win takeover battle over F&N
Asean Analysis              16 January  2013      Advertise Your Brand
• Asean Analysis- January 16, 2013  
• Asean Weekly- January 11, 2013 Sponsor Our Events

Asean Stock Watch      23  January  2013    

• Asean Stock Watch- January 23, 2013
• Asean Stock Watch- January 22, 2013

ASEAN NEWS UPDATES      Updated: 04 January 2011

 • Women Shariah scholars see gender gap closing
• Bank Indonesia may hold key rate as inflation hits 7 percent

• Bursa Malaysia to revamp business rules
• Private property prices hit new high in Singapore • Bangkok moves on mass transport
• Thai retailers are upbeat
• Rice exports likely to decline • Vietnamese PM projects 10-year socioeconomic plan


This year in Thailand-what next?

AseanAffairs   04 January 2011
By David Swartzentruber      

It is commonplace in journalism to write two types of articles at the transition point between the year that has passed and the New Year. As this writer qualifies as an “old hand” in observing Thailand with a track record dating back 14 years, it is time take a shot at what may unfold in Thailand in 2011.

The first issue that can’t be answered is the health of Thailand’s beloved King Bhumibol, who is now 83 years old. He is the world's longest reigning monarch, but elaborate birthday celebrations in December failed to mask concern over his health. More






1.  Verifier

1. Verifier

For security purposes, we ask that you enter the security code that is shown in the graphic. Please enter the code exactly as it is shown in the graphic.
Your Code
Enter Code

Home | About Us | Contact Us | Special Feature | Features | News | Magazine | Events | TV | Press Release | Advertise With us

| Terms of Use | Site Map | Privacy Policy  | DISCLAIMER |

Version 5.0
Copyright © 2006-2021 TIME INTERNATIONAL MANAGEMENT ENTERPRISES CO., LTD. All rights reserved.
Bangkok, Thailand