Ogoura Kazuo
  • Ogoura Kazuo 
  • By this author: 13 Latest posted: 2014.06.30
Invited professor, Aoyama Gakuin University; secretary general, Tokyo 2020 Bid Committee. Born in 1938. Graduated from the Law Faculty at the University of Tokyo and the Faculty of Economics at the University of Cambridge. Joined the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in 1962, serving as director general of the Cultural Affairs Department and of the Economic Affairs Bureau, deputy minister for foreign affairs, and ambassador to Vietnam, South Korea, and France. President of the Japan Foundation from October 2003 to September 2011. His works include Gurōbarizumu e no hangyaku (Rebellion Against Globalism; 2004).
Can Korea Overcome the Blow of April 16?2014.06.30

The sinking of the Sewol passenger ferry on April 16 this year shook South Korea to its very core. On the surface, the political, economic, and social impacts of the accident seem quite clear. Politically speaking, Korea has seen a crisis of confidence in its government rooted in the clumsy handling of the accident and its aftermath, as well as fresh doubts about the nation’s capacity for crisis …
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China—Shadow or Torch for Asia?2013.12.06

Recently, China‘s economic and military buildup has prompted much use of the terms “threat” and “deterrence” in the international community. Neighbouring countries in Asia, in particular, fear Chinese potential expansionism or its self-righteousness, characteristic of great powers. However, an important point tends to be overlooked: that China herself, having lived with the burden of invasion and …
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The “Atomization” of Populations and the Rise of Sudden Protest Movements2013.09.05

In recent months, violent protests and demonstrations involving thousands of ordinary citizens have rocked cities around the world. These are not revolutionary movements to topple dictatorial regimes or protests against human rights abuses. Indeed, one of the most remarkable things about these recent uprisings is the way in which they begin apparently spontaneously and spread like wildfire to engu…
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The Future of the Japan-Australia Partnership2013.04.01

In October 2012, the Australian government published a white paper outlining the country’s Asia policy for the twenty-first century. Titled “Australia in the Asian Century,” the white paper examined the policies Australia needs to adopt to make the most of the opportunities presented by the burgeoning Asian economy. The publication of the white paper is itself symbolic of the seriousness of Aus…
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Diplomatic Strategy Under New Leadership in Japan and South Korea2013.01.28

A change of government is always an excellent opportunity for new domestic and foreign policies. This is true in any time period, and in any country. But when two countries undergo a change of government at more or less the same time, there is a danger that their respective policies can diverge. This can lead to serious misunderstandings. A certain amount of friction is therefore not uncommon. T…
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The Contradictions of “Protest Diplomacy” in East Asia2012.11.28

The Takeshima dispute and the question of Japanese apologies for colonial rule have led to renewed political and diplomatic friction between Japan and South Korea recently. There are also serious problems in the relationship between Japan and China, where domestic interests in both countries have turned the dispute over ownership of the Senkaku Islands into a knotty political mess. Territorial …
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Japan and China Should Get Back to Basics2012.10.11

China’s last-minute cancellation of a ceremony to commemorate the fortieth anniversary of the normalization of diplomatic relations between Japan and China suggests that the attitudes that drove the two countries to normalize relations have been forgotten—or at least are no longer taken seriously. The normalization of relations was based on an approach that recognized the need to condemn the “m…
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South Korea’s Position on the Global Stage2012.10.05

A lively debate is underway in South Korea at the moment concerning the nation’s status as a “middle power.” There are a number of interesting factors in the background to this discussion. First, South Korea is surrounded by three great powers: China, Japan, and Russia. Given the important role of the United States in this region, it is clear that without a clear understanding of its own positi…
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Japan-China Relations: Looking to the Future2012.08.16

The year 2012 marks 40 years since the normalization of diplomatic relations between Japan and China. In terms of a human life, 40 is often an age of confidence and direction: “At forty, I had no doubts,” as Confucius put it. Unfortunately, the same cannot be said of the Japan-China relationship, which finds itself embroiled in a maelstrom of doubt, hesitation, discontent, and antagonism. The un…
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Disaster, Alienation, and the Ties That Bind2012.04.26

A year has passed since the Great East Japan Earthquake disaster. The rebuilding process has taught us many lessons. Just as the skeleton-like foundations of whole towns were cruelly exposed by the onslaught of the tsunami, the recovery process has brought several aspects of society into clear view for the first time. The absence of serious looting after the disaster, for example, and the enthus…
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