Strategic Comments

Strategic Annual Report 2022
Chapter 1 "Overview"

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Russia's invasion of Ukraine, which began in February 2022, has fundamentally overturned the European security order, bringing to a complete end the "post-Cold War" era in which relatively stable and cooperative great power relations existed despite gradually increasing tensions. Western countries, including Japan, have implemented unprecedented economic sanctions against Russia and support for Ukraine with the strong determination to uphold the principle that the change of status quo by force must not be allowed, and many countries have changed their own security policies. However, with no clear path to an end to the war in Ukraine while faced with uncertain energy supplies and inflation, the sustainability of support for Ukraine and the resilience of democracy are being tested in the West.

In the Indo-Pacific region, tensions between the United States and China, which have been on the rise for several years, increased in 2022, especially over Taiwan, and there is no prospect of a significant easing of tensions in the near future. Amid the war in Ukraine and the escalation of the US-China confrontation, Russia and China have become more united, and a confrontation with the West, between democracy versus authoritarianism, or a "new Cold War" as some call it, is dividing the world into blocs. International cooperation through multilateral frameworks is in serious jeopardy, and countries in the Global South most affected by the food and energy crises face the challenge of securing their national interests in an increasingly unstable international order. The world has entered a new era of fragmentation and instability in which the assumptions of the security structure that has prevailed since the end of the Cold War no longer hold, and even the foundations of the rules-based international order, which has been led by the United States since its construction at the end of World War II, are also threatened.

Looking back on 2022, a year of drastic changes in the international situation, the Strategic Annual Report 2022 analyzes the current state of the US-led international order, looks ahead to the post "post-Cold War" era, and makes recommendations for Japan's efforts in this context.