Friday, June 30, 2023

My Number, Not

Japanese Skeptical about National ID Number

By Takuya Nishimura
, Editorial Writer, The Hokkaido Shimbun
The views expressed by the author are his own and are not associated with The Hokkaido Shimbun
June 25, 2023. Special to Asia Policy Point.

One of Prime Minister Fumio Kishida’s major domestic policy objectives has been the introduction and distribution of a national identification card called “My Number.” Although he seemed to have attained this objective when the Diet passed a bill to fold the national health insurance card into the My Number card, the rollout caused more problems than it solved.

The transition was inadequate and resulted in many errors. The public quickly began to distrust the program and blamed the government for incompetence. Kishida’s My Number campaign has the potential to be fatal to his administration.

My Number was originally introduced under the Shinzo Abe administration in 2013. It provided Japanese citizens with a 12-digit identification number to make administrative procedures such as taxation or social security efficient. Although the government distributed the number to every citizen, My Number card was not accepted as widely as the government expected.

The government hoped that My Number would be used for health insurance and drivers’ licenses. Instead, many felt these tie-ins would jeopardize their privacy. In 2020, Abe’s successor Yoshihide Suga, offered incentives to encourage acceptance. New card holders were offered 5,000 shopping points called “Maina Point” or the equivalent to ¥5,000.

Kishida began a second campaign of Maina Point last year, giving 5,000 points for obtaining the card, 7,500 points for integrating it with health insurance and 7,500 points for connection to a personal bank account. He also announced that the current health insurance card would be scrapped by the fall of 2024, integrating it with My Number card. Earlier this month, the Diet passed an amendment to the My Number Act, which expanded the utility of the card, confirmed the integration of the health insurance card with the My Number card, and established a new system to promote the linkage of the My Number with a holder’s personal bank account.

Although some operational flaws in My Number system had been reported before enactment of the amendment, several instances of the mishandling of personal data were reported after the the enactment. In the process of registering personal bank accounts in order to receive public benefits, there were many examples of incorrect linkages with family accounts. These mistakes occurred mainly when parents registered their accounts for their children, violating the rule of one account for one person. The rule makes no sense as long as young children, who are entitled to receive governmental benefits, cannot open their own bank accounts.

Despite the fact that the My Number system is a national policy, implementation was left to local governments. In some cases, personal data was registered to wrong person. Such data included medical history, the history of pension payment, and benefits for raising children or handicapped persons. As result of mishandling MyNumber accounts, some hospital patients were charged 100% for their medical bills even though such charges must normally be 30% or less by using health insurance. Unlike the ID systems in other countries, including social security numbers in the United States, according to the report of Mainichi Shimbun, Japan’s My Number system is not controlled in a unified manner. Since many ministries hope to utilize My Number in their programs, they dividedly hold the citizens’ personal data for protecting privacy.

The political impact of the system errors of My Number is not small. The Digital Minister, Taro Kono, apologized for the consecutive failures in My Number registration. Kishida established a special inspection team in an effort to cool down the public opposition. Nevertheless, the Kishida government fully intends to scrap the current health insurance card and integrate it into the My Number card in the fall of 2024. Polls conducted on June 17th and 18th showed a steep decline in support for Kishida. In the Kyodo poll, support dropped by 6.2 points to 40.8%. The Asahi poll that approval had dropped by 4 percentage points to 42%. Mainichi’s poll showed a drop of 12 points to 33%. Most people, as well as most newspapers’ editorials, are demanding the cancellation or postponement of the integration plan of the health insurance card with the My Number card.

Kishida promised that he would not scrap the current health insurance card until popular anxiety about integration has eased. However, an integrated personal identification number has been a long-cherished wish of the central government. When the government considered introduction of an integrated ID number in 1970s, it faced firm opposition from the public worried about growing governmental control and the loss of the security of confidential personal information. The Democratic Party of Japan renewed discussion of the common ID number in the integrated reform of taxation and social security in early 2010’s.

My Number originated as an attempt to protect low-income families from the negative impact of consumption tax hikes under the DPJ administration. One possible solution at that time was a “tax credit with benefits,” which would have been accompanied by a common ID number. My Number has also been discussed as a method for delivering government benefits. But the unchanged hidden intention appears to be stronger and easier governmental control over the people. The government’s haste in implementing My Number has resulted in confusion and error capped by weak, gimmicky incentives. As a result, Kishida’s government looks weak with no easy way for the Prime Minister to regain public credibility for the My Number system.

Sunday, June 25, 2023

Monday Asia Events June 26, 2023

, 8:30am-5:30pm (EDT), IN PERSON ONLY. Sponsor: Korean Library Association (KLA); Library of Congress. Speakers: Dr. Stella Xu, John Turbyfill Endowed Chair of History, Roanoke College; Owen Rogers, Liaison Specialist, Veterans History Project Megan Harris, Senior Reference Specialist, Veterans History Project; Dr. Jaechan Jeong, Professor of Korean Language Education, Hanyang University; Joseph Juhn, documentary filmmaker. 

MEKONG WATER DATA HOUR: DAM DEVELOPMENT & FISH BIODIVERSITY LOSS. 6/26, 9:00-10:00am (EDT), VIRTUAL ONLY. Sponsor: Stimson Center. Speakers: Dr. Ratha Sor, Director of Graduate School, National University of Cheasim Kamchaymear; Sarah Null, Associate Professor, Watershed Sciences Department at Utah State University. 

RIPPLE EFFECT: EXPLORING THE INTERSECTION OF WATER INSECURITY AND DISPLACEMENT IN THE MIDDLE EAST. 6/26, 9:30-10:30am (EDT), VIRTUAL. Sponsor: CSIS Middle East Program. Speakers: Natasha Hall, Senior Fellow, Middle East Program; Giorgi Gigauri, Chief of Mission, The International Organization for Migration in Iraq; Michael Talhami, Senior Program Manager, The International Committee of the Red Cross; Niku Jafarnia, Yemen and Bahrain Researcher, Human Rights Watch. 

MEI CLIMATE WEEK 2023: WATER MANAGEMENT & ENVIRONMENTAL SUSTAINABILITY. 6/26, 10:00am-Noon (EDT), VIRTUAL. Sponsor: Middle East Institute (MEI). Speaker: Diana Francis, Assistant Professor & Head of ENGEOS Lab, Khalifa University. 

A CONVERSATION WITH DR. KURT CAMPBELL AND ADMIRAL MICHAEL GILDAY ON THE STRATEGIC AND MILITARY IMPLICATIONS OF AUKUS. 6/26, 2:00-3:00pm (EDT), VIRTUAL. Sponsor: CSIS Australia Chair. Speakers: Kurt Campbell, Deputy Assistant to the President and Coordinator for the Indo-Pacific, The White House; Charles Edel, Senior Adviser and Australia Chair; Michael Gilday, Admiral Michael Gilday, Chief of Naval Operations, U.S. Navy. 

TRANSFORMING EUROPEAN DEFENSE REPORT LAUNCH. 6/26, 2:00-3:00pm (EDT), VIRTUAL. Sponsor: CSIS Europe, Russia, and Eurasia Program. Speakers: Max Bergmann, Director of the Stuart Center and the Europe, Russia, and Eurasia Program at CSIS; Marie Jourdain, visiting fellow at the Atlantic Council’s Europe Center; Sean Monaghan, visiting fellow in the Europe, Russia, and Eurasia Program at CSIS, where he focuses on NATO, European security, and defense. 

(CIVIL) WAR AND (NOW) PEACE? THE WAGNER GROUP REBELLION AND RUSSIA'S FUTURE. 6/26, 3:00pm (EDT), VIRTUAL. Sponsor: Jewish Institute for National Security of America. Speakers: Gen Philip M. Breedlove, USAF (ret.), Former Supreme Allied Commander of NATO; Amb. Stephen Sestanovich, George F. Kennan Senior Fellow for Russian and Eurasian Studies; The Honorable Stephen Rademaker, Former Assistant Secretary of State for International Security and Nonproliferation, Member, JINSA's Iran Policy Project; Senior Advisor, JINSA Gemunder Center. 

BUILDING U.S. SPACE FORCE COUNTERSPACE CAPABILITIES: AN IMPERATIVE FOR AMERICA’S DEFENSE. 6/26, 3:00pm (EDT), VIRTUAL. Sponsor: Mitchell Institute for Aerospace Studies. Speakers: Maj Gen David N. Miller Jr., Director of Operations, U.S. Space Force; Robert Atkin, Vice President, Special Space Systems, General Atomics. 

REVITALIZING NATIONAL SECURITY AMIDST SUPPLY CHAIN DISRUPTIONS. 6/26, 5:00-6:00pm (EDT), VIRTUAL. Sponsor: Institute of World Politics. Speaker: Chris Garcia, former national deputy director of the U.S. Department of Commerce and acting national director of the Minority Business Development Agency. 

Wednesday, June 21, 2023

Kishida's population strategy

Introduced Without A Firm Basis

By Takuya Nishimura
, Editorial Writer, The Hokkaido Shimbun
The views expressed by the author are his own and are not associated with The Hokkaido Shimbun
June 19, 2023. Special to Asia Policy Point.

Prime Minister Fumio Kishida announced his plan, the Children’s Future Strategy Policy, for dealing with Japan’s declining population on June 13. Recognizing the urgency of turning the current trend around, Kishida offered an “acceleration plan” to fix the problem of a declining birthrate by 2028. His policy package, which includes subsidies for families with children, met immediate skepticism as it did not include credible budgetary resources. Experts on Japan’s demography believe that policy is misguided, arguing that the measures wrongly focused on the existing children instead of encouraging childbirth.

Financial benefits for children currently are available only to those families beneath an income cap. The acceleration plan removes that cap. Benefits will also be expanded to include families with a high school student in addition to those with a middle-school student or younger. Every child between the ages of 0 and 2 will receive ¥15,000 monthly, and she or he between 3 and 18 will receive ¥10,000. The amount will be raised to ¥30,000 monthly for the third child or more. For the families with a student in higher education, the plan streamlines the application process for student loans and scholarships. The system of nursery schools will also be improved for the workers with small children.

Recommending that all fathers take time off from work to help raise new-born babies, the plan aims for a society in which male workers’ recess for a new baby is nothing strange. The policy sets a target of 85% of all male workers taking the new-baby leave by 2030 and offers public financial support to guarantee nearly 100% of the family’s income. Mid- or small businesses that provide their own additional measures for the new-baby leave will receive subsidies from the government.

Those policies require certain amounts of budgetary resources to be viable. One thing clear is that the plan requires ¥3.5 trillion annually for the concentration period between FY2024-26. While the plan assumes ¥1.5-1.6 trillion for financial supports for children, ¥700-800 billion for improving nursery services, ¥700-800 billion for the families with double income and ¥500 billion for poverty or abuse on child, there is no explanation of how the government will fund the budget. First, Kishida rejected any tax increase, including a consumption tax, and stressed the necessity of reforming the whole structure of current expenditures. One option on the table is the creation of a new budget for child support, supported by cuts in the social security budget or reforms to the social insurance system. Because the social insurance system supported by payments from both employers and employees, increasing those payments may contradict the current governmental policy of raising worker salaries. Although the plan mandates that the government find stable financial resources by the end of FY 2028 and offers a bridge bond until then, the anxiety about possible additional tax burdens on old agers cannot be removed.

Kishida’s seriousness about the decline of interest in parenthood, which the policy describes as “the biggest crisis we are facing,” is not baseless. The Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare released the annual population trend statistics of 2022, which indicate that Japan’s total birth rate – the average number of children a woman will bear in her lifetime – hit a record-tying low of 1.26. While a nation needs 2.07% to maintain its population, the statistics shows consecutive drops for in the past seven years. The number of new-born babies in 2022 was 770,747, falling below 800,000 for the first time.

One of the biggest questions on Kishida’s demographic policy is whether the measures for existing children are effective enough to change the negative trend on childbearing. According to the study by Kenji Kamata, Assistant Professor at Meiji University, non-marriages or late marriages account for 90% of the downward trend and the remaining 10% is the decline in the number of children each married couple has. A policy to support child-raising accordingly will not improve the birth rate. Rather, closing the gap between the regular and non-regular employment and remedying the disparity between male and female workers are more to change the course of demographic downturn.

Sunday, June 18, 2023

Monday Asia Events June 19, 2023

BOOK TALK: COOPERATING FOR THE CLIMATE: LEARNING FROM INTERNATIONAL PARTNERSHIPS IN CHINA'S CLEAN ENERGY SECTOR. 6/20, 9:30-11:00am (EDT), HYBRID. Sponsor: Wilson Center. Speakers: Joanna Lewis, Provost Distinguished Associate Professor and Director, Science, Technology and International Affairs (STIA), Director, STIA Program, Georgetown University; Erica Thomas, Director of Policy, Environment, Sustainability, and Regulatory, Information Technology Industry Council; Shuang Liu, China Finance Director, World Resources Institute. PURCHASE BOOK

, 5:30-7:00pm (GMT +10), HYBRID. Sponsors: Australian Institute of International Affairs; Taipei Economic and Cultural Office in Australia. Speaker: Terry Tsao, Global Chief Marketing Officer, SEMI.

REFORMING AMERICA'S AILING MONEY REGIME. 6/19, 3:00-4:00pm (EDT), VIRTUAL. Sponsor: Hudson. Speakers: Brendan Brown, Senior Fellow; Alex J. Pollock, Senior Fellow, Mises Institute; Harold Furchtgott-Roth, Senior Fellow and Director, Center for the Economics of the Internet. 

Saturday, June 17, 2023

LGBTQ Rights in Japan Falter

Slow Progress in Japan’s LGBTQ Legislation

By Takuya Nishimura
, Editorial Writer, The Hokkaido Shimbun
The views expressed by the author are his own and are not associated with The Hokkaido Shimbun
June 5, 2023. Special to Asia Policy Point.
For Japan’s ruling LDP and its government, G7 membership is considered precious for it gives Japan an advantage relative to other Asian nations. However, Japan is the only G7 member without any legislation prohibiting discrimination based on sexual orientation or self-recognition of gender identity, an embarrassment since Japan is the chair of the G7 this year. Although the LDP submitted a new non-discrimination bill to the Diet just before the opening of the G7 Hiroshima Summit, it remains unclear whether it will pass before the end of the current session on June 21. The rightwing powers in the Diet continue their efforts to derail the bill, regardless Japan’s status among developed countries.
The discussion over legislation for sexual minorities has been led mainly by Japan’s opposition parties. They submitted a bill to eliminate discrimination based on sexual orientation or self-recognition of gender identity to the Diet in 2016. The movement eventually included some of the LDP lawmakers. Lawmakers on both sides of the aisle reached an agreement on a multi-partisan draft of the new bill in 2021, but it was blocked by the conservative members of the LDP. Earlier this year, after a careless speech by Kishida that same sex marriage would entirely change Japanese society and much-criticized remarks by a staff member in the prime minister’s office on the legitimacy of discrimination against the LGBTQ community, the administration was pressured to do something to protect gender orientation and identification. Kishida further demanded that the LDP pass an LGBTQ law before the G7 summit.
Conservative lawmakers who had been blocking LGBTQ legislature have been annoyed by this pressure. In LDP internal meetings on the issue of sexual minorities, they worked hard to dilute expressions that promote understanding of sexual minorities in the multi-partisan agreement under consideration. The most controversial change was the mainline LDP’s willingness to replace the phrase “discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation or self-recognition of gender identity shall not be tolerated” with the more ambiguous “no unfair discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation is allowed.” The opposition parties objected strongly, saying the insertion of “unfair” is needless to say, because there is no such thing as fair discrimination.
Other parts of the legislation were watered down as well. All the phrases of “self-recognition of gender identity” in the multi-partisan draft were replaced with “gender identity” on the theory that self-recognition might be interpreted as self-profession. The LDP conservatives’ apparent concern was that someone might be sneaking into the wrong side of public restrooms or baths. The LDP also dropped the words “effort of school administrators [gakkou setchisha]" in education. The argument in the LDP was that teachers were too immature and unskilled in sex education to lecture about LGBTQ.  
The LDP submitted a revised version of the bill to the Diet a few days before the Hiroshima Summit, receiving approval from its junior partner of the leading coalition, Komeito. Encouraged by the domestic legislative progress over gender recognition, Kishida, as the chairman of the G7 Summit, succeeded in organizing the leaders’ communiqué, including the section supporting a society where “all people can enjoy vibrant lives free from violence and discrimination independent of gender identity or expression or sexual orientation.”
After the summit, work on LGBTQ legislation bills became further complicated by the submission of several related bills. The Constitutional Democratic Party and the Japan Communist Party had already submitted a bill much the same as the multi-partisan draft, and the two parties did so on the same day that LDP submitted its own. The Japan Innovation Party (Ishin-no Kai) and the Democratic Party for the People submitted a third bill, which replaced the words of “gender identity” with “jendaa-aidentiti,” after the summit.

Not all the bills submitted to the Diet were discussed in either the Plenary or committees meetings. The Committee of Rules and Administration is chaired by an LDP lawmaker who selects the bills to be considered. Thus, a number of bills, mainly submitted by the opposition, are rejected even without discussion in every session. With the current Diet session ending June 21, time is running out to select and debate any bill selected.

While the political parties continue to struggle with LGBTQ legislation, the judicial branch is considering lawsuits brought in five Japanese cities by same-sex couples against the state. So far, three out of four courts have said that not allowing same-sex marriage is constitutionally problematic. At the end of May, the Nagoya Regional Court decided that provisions of Japan’s Civil Code or Family Register Act, which did not recognize same-sex marriage, were unconstitutional. The defect in the laws was that, the court said, “the same-sex couple of plaintiffs is excluded from the important personal benefit that is attached to a legal marriage.”

The court recognized the unconstitutionality of laws that do not recognize same-sex marriage, relying on Paragraph 2 of Article 24 of the constitution, which requires that all the laws be based on respect of individuals and the essential equality of both sexes in the choice of spouse. This is the first time for a court in Japan to recognize the unconstitutionality based on that clause. Although the Court did not comment on legislation under consideration in the Diet, the decision should be regarded as an expression of frustration with the slow progress in the legislative branch. This week, a court in Kyushu will issue a ruling on the fifth lawsuit.

UPDATE (6/16/23): After two years of discussion, the Diet passed a bill to promote understanding of sexual minorities. In the House of Councillors, the LDP, Komeito, Innovation Party, and the National Democratic Party (NDP) supported the bill. It was an amended version, actually a mixture of two bills, one submitted by the LDP and Komeito, and another by the Innovation and NDP. These four parties agreed on an amendment before the bill passed the House of Representatives on 13th. After an argument over the interpretation of “gender identity” in the Japanese language, the expression which would confusingly be recognized as allowing a man to enter a woman’s public bath, the four parties agreed on using the term of “jendaa aidentiti.” It also requires educational institutes to make efforts to achieve cooperation of families and local community before approving LGBTQ organizations. It is obvious that the law will be working as an obstruction to promote understanding of sexual minorities.

Fukuoka Regional Court ruled on June 8th that current laws related to marriage were in a “state of unconstitutionality,” because the plaintiffs, requiring the right for same-sex marriage, were suffering from the disadvantage of not being able to take advantage of the institution of marriage. Four out of five regional courts, including Fukuoka, Nagoya, Tokyo and Sapporo, decided that the laws were unconstitutional or in the state of unconstitutional on the lawsuits demanding recognition of the unconstitutionality of existing laws on same-sex marriage, urging the legislative branch to take further action. It is doubtful that the passed bill fulfills that requirement of the judicial branch.

Saturday, June 3, 2023

What did the G7 achieve?

 A World Still with Nuclear Weapons

By Takuya Nishimura, Editorial Writer, The Hokkaido Shimbun
The views expressed by the author are his own and are not associated with The Hokkaido Shimbun
May 22, 2023
As the chair of the Group of Seven (G7) Hiroshima Summit, Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida stated that he would use the summit to pave the way to “a world without nuclear weapons.” Although the Leaders’ Communiqué did include those specific words, the G7 leaders did not provide a way to implement of this goal. This leaves one wondering what Kishida did achieve with this high-profile international engagement.
The document for nuclear disarmament, called the Hiroshima Vision on Nuclear Disarmament, was issued a day before the Communiqué. It unequivocally declared the indispensability of nuclear weapons in the context of nuclear deterrence. The G7 thus continue to contemplate a world where nuclear weapons still exist. Those who suffered the nuclear bombs, or the Hibakusha, in Hiroshima and Nagasaki were deeply disappointed by how ineffective Kishida had been.
While underscoring the importance of the 77-year record of non-use of nuclear weapons, the Hiroshima Vision firmly accuses Russia of its “irresponsible nuclear rhetoric, undermining of arms control regimes, and stated intent to deploy nuclear weapons in Belarus.” With these and other strong words denouncing Russia’s rhetoric, the Vision statement follows: “Our security policies are based on the understanding that nuclear weapons, for as long as they exist, should serve defensive purposes, deter aggression and prevent wars and coercion.”
This document, made under the leadership of Kishida, conditionally recognized the role of nuclear weapons without showing any clear roadmap to the world without nuclear weapons. The G7 fundamentally reject the work of Hibakushas. Coming through hardships of losing loved ones, being threatened by the fear of cancer, or discrimination from the fellow citizens, Hibakushas define nuclear weapons as “absolute evil” that kill too many people immediately. Their use can never be justified.
The Hiroshima Vision ironically justifies nuclear weapons as a countermeasure to Russian aggression in Ukraine and nuclear saber-rattling. Thus, to 91-year-old atomic bomb survivor, Setsuko Thurlow, the G7 Summit was a “huge failure,” as stated in her press conference on Sunday, May 21. The International Campaign to Abolish NuclearWeapons (ICAN), the 2017 Nobel Peace Prize winner, stated that the G7 fell “far short of providing any meaningful outcomes for nuclear disarmament.”

Mostly ignoring the backlash from the Hibakushas, Kishida said at his post-summit press conference that he was satisfied with the outcome of the G7 Hiroshima Summit. “We shared an ideal for the future of the world without a nuclear weapon.” Recognizing appeals from nuclear-suffered cities, Kishida considers Hiroshima Vision the basis for future actions to attain a world without nuclear weapons. Kishida viewed the visit of Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy to Hiroshima as a chance to deliver further a message against threats to use nuclear weapons.
Although the G7 Summit was a stage to show that the G7 leaders stand together with Zelenskyy and to condemn Russia for its aggression against international law and order, inviting the Ukrainian president at war nevertheless was questionable. Hiroshima’s significance is as a place once devastated by a nuclear weapon and of the Hiroshima people’s hope for unconditional peace, not war at any cost.
After laying flowers at the cenotaph to A-bomb victims, Zelenskyy reflected that “Photographs of ruins of Hiroshima absolutely remind me of Bakhmut and other similar settlements.” For the people in Hiroshima who believe in the principle of “war is not the answer,” the sympathetic comment of Zelenskyy might have brought a sense of discomfort to them.
Obviously, Zelenskyy’s purpose in visiting Hiroshima was to continue and win the war with as much support as possible from the G7. U.S. President Joe Biden told Zelenskyy that the US would start training Ukrainian pilots to fly F-16 fighter jets. In a bilateral meeting with Zelenskyy, Indian Prime Minister, Narendra Modi, who is regarded as a key for anti-Russia groups to reach the countries called “global south,” conveyed his clear support for dialogue and diplomacy to find a way forward. Hiroshima had become the place where world leaders were seen deeply engaged in Ukraine’s war strategy.
For Kishida who has been promoting his positive pro-active security policies, the appearance of the Ukrainian president must have been a good opportunity to trumpet the “success” of policies to domestic audiences. In the meeting with Zelenskyy, Kishida pledged Japanese assistance by sending trucks and provisions and accepting injured Ukrainian military personnel in the Self-Defense Forces Central Hospital in Tokyo. The Kishida administration is likely to insist that current budget request for security measures or positive involvement in maintaining world order has been necessary.
In terms of dealing with China’s advances in Asia-Pacific region, the G7 summit produced some positive outcomes. Zelenskyy’s attendance reinforced the ties of democratic nations. In the outreach meeting attended by the G7 leaders, eight guests and Zelenskyy, Kishida stressed that coercive and unilateral change of status quo would not be tolerated anywhere in the world. It is necessary, he said, to protect free and open world order based on the rule of law.
The G7 Leaders’ Communiqué, in contrast to its message to Russia, was toward China, calling on engagement with G7 and recommending “de-risking” for economic resilience instead of decoupling from China. Yet, the leaders of four major powers in the Asia-Pacific region, Japan, United States, India, and Australia (meeting as the quadrilateral security dialog or QUAD), also issued a statement that opposed “destabilizing or unilateral actions that seek to change the status quo by force or coercion,” a suggestion that a Chinese invasion of Taiwan would be unacceptable.
Inevitably, Japan will have to deal with further pressure from China. Kishida’s inability to make progress on nuclear disarmament among his peers at the G7 Summit does not engender much confidence on how well he can pursue this. To date, Kishida has yet to offer a concrete vision for a meaningful dialogue with China. By following along with the G7's support of Ukraine and deterrence, Kishida set aside Japan's priority to stabilize the situation in Northeast Asia. China reacted against the G7 Communique with "strong dissatisfaction." It is possible that Kishida has raised the tension in Northeast Asia by introducing the structure of hostility in the Eastern Europe.