July 1st 2023
While it is somewhat old news, an article titled “America’s Asian allies are quietly joining forces to confront China” was published in The Washington Post on June 22nd (online edition). The article was written by columnist Josh Rogin. On January 8th earlier this year, Mr. Rogin conducted an interview at the Prime Minister’s residence amidst the busy preparations for Prime Minister Fumio Kishida’s departure from Haneda Airport on a government plane to visit five Western countries. Going back, Mr. Rogin also interviewed then-Foreign Minister Taro Kono in August 2017, just before his visit to the United States, and later interviewed Foreign Minister Kono again during his visit to Washington two months after the U.S.-North Korea summit in Hanoi, Vietnam, in February 2019. In essence, Mr. Rogin is a columnist specializing in diplomacy and security who seizes the opportunity to conduct exclusive interviews with our country’s prime minister and foreign minister at pivotal moments in Japanese diplomacy.
In the article written by Mr. Rogin, the following points are mentioned: [Please provide the specific points you would like me to translate.]
《For the first time, national security advisers from Japan, the Republic of the Philippines and the United States met as a trio. This is an elevation of a new trilateral grouping insiders call JAROPUS, combining the names of the three countries in a similar way to AUKUS, the more formal grouping of Australia, the United Kingdom and the United States.
As mentioned in the report, for the first time, the national security advisers of Japan, the Philippines and the United States held a trilateral meeting. This signifies the elevation of these three countries to a new three-nation group called JAROPUS, combining the initials of Japan, the Republic of the Philippines, and the United States. Just like AUKUS, which is a formal group consisting of Australia, the United Kingdom and the United States, this JAROPUS group has been referred to by insiders. It should be noted that the framework of Japan, the United States, Australia, and India is officially known as the “Quadrilateral Security Dialogue” (Quad for short).
The term “Quad” originally means “four.” Therefore, this “JAROPUS” is a term coined from the initials of Japan, the Republic of the Philippines, and the United States. I mentioned this in the newsletter I edit and publish, called “Inside Line” (June 10th edition), but none of the major media outlets in our country followed up on it. However, finally, The Washington Post has given its confirmation.
Now, let’s get to the main point. This new strategic framework between Japan, the United States, and the Philippines, called JAROPUS, aims to eventually hold regular trilateral, quadrilateral meetings of the three and four countries’ leaders, just like Quad and AUKUS. As mentioned in the WP article, this was made possible through the coordinated preparations by the Japanese and American team, consisting of Jake Sullivan, the US National Security Advisor, and Takeo Akiba, the Director-General of the Japanese National Security Secretariat. At the forefront of the responsibilities of the security officials from both Japan and the United States is, of course, the existence of China, particularly the potential crisis involving Taiwan Straight.
On the other hand, on June 24th, in the capital city of Copenhagen, Denmark, a meeting took place regarding the situation in Ukraine. It involved the Group of Seven (G7) countries, as well as key countries from the Global South, including India, South Africa, Brazil, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, and others. The meeting also included the security officials from Ukraine and Denmark. This Ukraine-related meeting was organized with the cooperation of Denmark, following the initiative of the United States and Japan. Prime Minister Kishida is set to attend the NATO Summit in Vilnius, the capital of the Baltic states Lithuania from July 11th to 12th, following last year’s Madrid Summit in Spain. The purpose is to reaffirm the solidarity in supporting Ukraine and strengthen cooperation among the leaders.
What deserves attention is the visit to Brussels, the capital of Belgium, on the following day, where a meeting will take place with Ursula von der Leyen, the President of the European Commission, at the headquarters of the European Union (EU). The leading member of the delegation is Foreign Minister Yoshimasa Hayashi, but it is clear that Takeo Akiba, who is accompanying the delegation, is a key figure. Amidst the notable visits of businesspeople from various European countries to Beijing, the EU, under the leadership of Ursula von der Leyen, a former German politician, has expressed its intention to shift towards emphasizing economic and security strategies.
To achieve this, they intend to expand security cooperation between the EU and Japan and even delve into a strategic partnership agreement. It is evident that China is also on their minds. Takeo Akiba has established channels of communication with Jens Plötner, the Chancellor’s Advisor for Foreign and Security Policy in Germany. With Japan’s indispensable “security mafia,” which encompasses relationships with the United States, South Korea, Australia, India, the Philippines, and the EU, while also considering future relations with China and North Korea, our country is actively engaged in maintaining its security alliances.