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Speeches

M. Hayashi: Address to World Summit 2022, Session VII

Address to World Summit
February 11-13, 2022

 

Your excellencies, Dr. Hak Ja Han Moon, distinguished leaders, Ambassadors for Peace, and ladies and gentlemen:

The 21st century is called the Age of a New Pacific Civilization as the Asia Pacific region grows in significance in the international scene. Currently, in the face of the United States’ declining influence and China’s growing hegemony, Japan needs to develop its Asian policy beyond just a geopolitical perspective.

The first step would be to form a Korean Peninsula policy with an eye toward the peaceful reunification of the peninsula.

Historically, Japan and South Korea’s relationship has been complementary. One of the pillars for the formation of the new Pacific civilization is the U.S., but in recent years, its power has begun to wane, and China is challenging American supremacy. Replacing the U.S. alone would be impossible for Japan. This decline can be made up for by multinational cooperation with maritime nations, which place priority on openness, freedom and democracy rather than force.

Another crucial piece for building a new Pacific civilization is a strategic policy. For the Korean Peninsula, including its peaceful reunification, it requires cooperation between Japan, South Korea and the U.S., and Japan is in a position of playing a major role. Furthermore, in order to ensure peace and stability in Northeast Asia, it is necessary to maintain the strategic framework between Japan, South Korea and the U.S. The Korean Peninsula and the Taiwan Strait are strategic hotspots where maritime states collide with the continental powers of China and Russia. Korea is situated between maritime and continental forces and, for Japan as a close neighbor, shared strategic interests. For this reason, close cooperation between Japan and South Korea in politics, economy and diplomacy is indispensable, despite many persistent conflicts between them.

Given the sequence of events behind the division of the Korean Peninsula, its reunification will require cooperation not only from the two Koreas but also from neighboring countries such as China and Japan, as well as from the U.S. and Russia. The Korean Peninsula policy urged by Japan, South Korea and the U.S. should be an approach to draw North Korea into its sphere of influence rather than China’s, and to bring a peaceful transformation of the North Korean regime.

The South Korean-led reunification process will bring political stability and democratization of the peninsula and prevent the expansion of socialist forces while easing tensions in Northeast Asia. In addition, the reunification of the two Koreas will serve Japan’s national interests by resolving its issue of North Korean abductions of Japanese citizens and creating new markets. 

In the Asia Pacific region, the U.S. attaches great importance to the hub and spoke framework, which consists of bilateral alliances, and alliances with Japan and South Korea are vital for security in the region.

Therefore, in developing a policy towards the Korean Peninsula, it is essential for Japan and South Korea to work in close coordination and cooperation with the U.S. Once the Japan-U.S.-South Korea alliance is consolidated, we should consider establishing a new permanent regional security cooperation organization which also includes North Korea, China, Russia, et cetera, to replace the six-party talks.  It is essential that North Korea accepts IAEA (International Atomic Energy Agency) inspections first and, in return, neighboring countries guarantee North Korea’s security to alleviate its sense of isolation.

The security cooperation arrangement is necessary for confidence-building and policy consultations among the countries concerned. While working to reduce China’s influence in North Korea, it is also necessary to include China in the consultations and make it assume certain responsibilities for maintaining peace and stability in Northeast Asia. Japan should strive to prevent China from expanding its influence on the Korean Peninsula and southward, and to avoid reunification under China’s sphere of influence.

What is instructive when considering such a strategy is that about 30 years ago, in December 1991, Rev. Sun Myung Moon and Dr. Hak Ja Han Moon visited North Korea to meet with President Kim Il-sung. They established a relationship of mutual trust that helped avoid a nuclear crisis on the Korean Peninsula. In order to bring North Korea into the international community and achieve peace on the peninsula, Rev. Moon showed that diplomatic influence combined with the influence of religious leaders who are in the position of transcending national interests is indispensable. The total population of Japan, South Korea and North Korea, the three northeastern provinces of China and the Russian Far East will be approximately 320,000,000 by 2021.

The Northeast Asian economic zone promoted by the Japan-Korea Tunnel is estimated to have a population of over 350,000,000, with a GDP (gross domestic product) higher than that of the European Union, making it one of the richest economic zones in the world. The friendship, solidarity and unity between Japan and South Korea that will be fostered by working together on this major project of the 21st century is also necessary from the perspective of strengthening the alliance among Japan, the U.S. and South Korea.

The construction of this tunnel will strengthen ties between the two countries. This will not only improve bilateral relations but also further cooperation between Japan, the U.S. and South Korea, as well as the credibility of the alliance. And it can be expected to contribute significantly to peace and stability of the Asia Pacific region. If the transformation of the north economic and social system progresses, it will accelerate the peaceful reunification of the Korean Peninsula and serve as a catalyst for the realization of an East Asian community.

The Japan-Korea Tunnel is not only a cornerstone of the region’s economic development and realization of an economic community, but also a project to promote the peaceful reunification of the Korean Peninsula.

Thank you very much.

 

 


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