Rapidly Changing International Affairs: North Korea and Iran

投稿日:2018年5月8日 更新日:

The political situation in Japan has been calming down. Six opposition parties’ refusal to attend all plenary sessions and committees had lasted for about a month or so, but it ended yesterday and the Diet returned to normal. If the opposition parties do not work for a month, including the Golden Week, people in Japan will turn their back on them.

While the opposition parties were boycotting Diet debates with the ruling parties, international affairs were rapidly changing. The current crucial issues in the world are as follows:

(1) The US-North Korea summit meeting will be held in early June. Currently, both governments are selecting candidate sites to host the meeting, including Panmunjeom located at the 38th parallel. The contents of the meeting as well as the implementation schedule of North Korea’s complete denuclearization is also being discussed. For this purpose, the US National Security Advisor John Bolton and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo have visited North Korea. The crucial point in this historic summit meeting will be discussions about how and when North Korea will denuclearize and the US economic sanctions will be removed.


(2) The Japan-China-South Korea trilateral summit meeting will be held in Tokyo on May 9, tomorrow. The discussion will be focused on the North Korean issue. However, since other issues such as economic, trade and territorial issues are also important, the Japanese government should take this opportunity to protest to the Chinese government against its warships’ frequent intrusion into the contiguous zone around the Senkaku Islands, the territory of Japan, as I have consistently advocated. The Japanese government should also protest to the South Korean government against their politicians’ recent landing on the Takeshima Island which is Japan’s territory historically and legally;

(3) North Korean leader Kim Jong-un visited China and met with Xi Jinping again. The purpose of his visit is said to have asked Xi Jinping to back up his dialogue with President Trump in June. After this meeting, Xi Jinping held telephone talks with President Trump.

(4) It is necessary to observe how the closer relationship between China and North Korea will affect China’s movement to attain its global hegemony. Furthermore, its effects on East Asia, the Korean Peninsula, and the US army in South Korea should carefully be watched. The reason is that if the Korean War Armistice Agreement is converted into the treaty to terminate the Korean War, the US army in South Korea will have to be reconsidered, and consequently these incidents will directly affect Japan’s security; and

(5) President Trump announced that he would withdraw the US from the 2015 Iran nuclear deal, an international agreement between Iran and five western powers plus the European Union. Although President of France Macron, Chancellor of Germany Merkel, and Prime Minister of the UK May persuaded President Trump not to withdraw from the Iran nuclear deal, he did not accept their persuasion. The US will impose economic sanctions against Iran again which would bring about an adverse effect on the situation in the Middle East.

In my personal opinion, President Trump must have announced it intentionally, exaggerating the threat of Iran’s development of nuclear weapons. His political behavior is based on his firm will to keep his campaign promises, deny former President Obama’s policies, and prepare for the midterm elections this fall.

However, we cannot disregard President Trump’s decision on the withdrawal of the US from the Iran nuclear deal. It will largely affect the US negotiation with North Korea on its complete denuclearization. Since President Trump is a layman in diplomacy, he is doing whatever he wants. If he succeeds in his diplomacy, his diplomatic negotiations will be worthy of praise. We should keep it in our mind that President Trump’s decision on Iran will have a large effect on Japanese economy, such as the soaring prices of petroleum.