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Home > Debates Last Updated: 14:31 03/09/2007
Debate: Comments

Comments on the Aoki paper and the Morimoto paper

Dr. Martin Vukovich (Federal Ministry for Foreign Affairs, Vienna, Austria)

Comment on the Aoki paper:

Tacit knowledge based on personal experience, personal qualities (such as spontaneity, intuition) and regular communication with people from different professions, other strata of the society and other cultural/ethnic origin is undoubtedly a precious asset for many professional activities.

Experience is gained over the years and therefore a privilege of more senior people. Therefore the right mixture between weathered professionals and young tigers is an important prerequisite for the success of a working team, be it in business, public service or - as I know from my own experience - in diplomacy.

Multilateral diplomacy (international conferences, work in international organizations) is a fascinating framework for constant interaction between people of different cultural/ethnic background and with competing national interests.

Prof. Aoki's speech highlights the complementarity of formal and tacit knowledge. It explains the ideals on which the IUJ is based upon.

Comment on the Morimoto paper:

Security policy is certainly a particularly delicate issue in Japan, where taboos seem to be insurmountable and reforms nearly impossible. Japanese politicians refused over the past decades to recognize the striking contradiction between constitutional obligations and politico-military realities.

Art. 9 of the Japanese constitution should be redrafted in accordance with the present realities and future political needs.

It is undisputable that the US-Japan Security Treaty - even after its reinterpretation of 1996 - remains unbalanced. While the Treaty obliges the US to defend Japan, Japan's obligations beyond strict national defence remain in the vague. It is in my view imperative that Japan makes an adequate contribution (commensurate with its economic power) to stability and security in the Asia-Pacific region. A constant "security consumer" runs the risk of paying the bills of others and of remaining without influence in international politics. Collective defence, as agreed among NATO partners, would be a means to rebalance and thus reinvigorate the US-Japan security partnership.

Likewise Japan's role within the UN system needs to be readjusted. Without active participation in all aspects of collective security, including peace-enforcement by military means, Japan can hardly gain the political influence within the UN it would deserve according to its financial contribution to the UN budget.

Prof. Morimoto's paper should be more explicit.

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