Thursday, March 14, 2019

Japanese Foreign Minister Kono’s Georgetown Speech a Hit

Taro Kono
Taro Kono, Japan’s foreign minister and a Georgetown University graduate (SFS’86), outlined Japan’s commitment to a global presence to promote democratic values in a policy address at his alma mater on September 28, 2018. The drafting of the speech, which was well-received, was assisted by top officials in the Foreign Ministry. Kono, who speaks fluent English, described his years at Georgetown as formative of his interest in government service and foreign policy. He answered student questions after the presentation.

In his address, he outlined Japan’s major goals and strategies in an era of disruption with a rising China and America’s shifting foreign policy. He described his country’s interest in maintaining the rule of law and norms as it affects navigation, trade, human rights and security in the Western Pacific. He agreed with the need for burden-sharing with the U.S. and said Japan’s goal is to do so. But, he also emphasized that globally, nations with democratic values must remain united. Japan’s interests have become more global and include relationships with Russia, Europe and the Middle East

It is clear that Japan is becoming a global influence to both support democratic values, but also counter authoritarian regimes if they seek to coerce or flaunt the rules.

Japanese foreign minister urges international support of Democratic values
Foreign minister of Japan Taro Kono (SFS’86) returns to Georgetown to deliver Lloyd George Centennial lecture

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