Policy Recommendations

Recommendations for Japan's Middle East Policy

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(Policy Recommendations from "The Middle East as a Global Strategic Challenge - Outlook in 2030 and Responses(FY2013-2014)") (October 8, 2015)

Chapter 11 Recommendations for Japan's Middle East Policy

Study Group for the Middle East as a Global Strategy Issue
Eiji Nagasawa and Mari Nukii

1. Agenda and Background

As stated in the preface, the purpose of this study group is to examine the possible paths that the Middle East could take in the next 15 years leading up to 2030, with the intent of crafting policy recommendations that put Japan's strengths to best use in bringing stability to the Middle East, an issue of increasing global concern. In doing so, critical elements relevant to the present-day Middle East were analyzed: the driving factors behind political changes, global trends in energy issues, and relations with powers outside the region. This chapter will discuss the aforementioned policy recommendations. The starting point for our discussion on this topic will be perceptions of Japan's position in the Middle East. What sort of position will Japan occupy in the Middle East's relations with the rest of the world, and how will this position change in the future? We must examine these issues in a dispassionate manner, and with a long-term perspective. Any issue pertaining to the Middle East can involve a single state, or nearby and neighboring states with special interests or concerns, or third parties from outside the region. Of course, this characterization can change with each individual issue. Western Europe and Russia are regions neighboring the Middle East, but in fact China has a substantial domestic Muslim population as well, and geographically it is directly connected to the Middle East. In this regard, China is very different from Japan.