Balkans Policy Research Group
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Kuni Miyake: The Asian Century and the Indo-Pacific vision: Challenges and Opportunities for Small Nations

Published at: 2019-12-17

On Friday, 13 December 2019, Balkans Group hosted a discussion on the contemporary developments in far Asia and Indo-pacific region.  Kuni Miyake, President of Institute for Foreign Affairs from Tokyo, gave a presentation with the topic “The Asian Century and the Indo-Pacific vision: Challenges and Opportunities for Small Nations”.

Mr. Miyake presented a perspective from distant Asia, long absent from our public opinion, in particular with regards to the geopolitics of the Indo-Pacific region, and relations between great powers. He focused his lecture on geopolitical changes and the ratio of strategic forces in the world, relations between Korea and Japan, the Indo-Pacific vision, territorial and maritime challenges in Asia and forecasts relations between great powers.

Mr. Miyake offered the audience a unique perspective on the dominance of China in the Asian continent and in the world. His forecast of China’s exponential growth and geopolitics significance was often overlooked in the past, however, Mr, Miyake detailed how it had become a reality in the 21st century.

Mr. Miyake went on to analyse the state of free trade in the region, and argued vehemently of the failure of China to uphold free trade principles when engaging in economic cooperation with the likes of Japan and the United States. Although this failure to endure free trade was evident argued Mr. Miyake, he predicted that China’s economy would soon face a key challenge as a result of what he referred to as the “middle-income trap”. In addition, Mr. Miyake spoke on the urgency to reform the World Trade Organisation (WTO) in order to enforce healthy competition and trade among states.

In the context of national security and military dominance in Asia, Mr Miyake highlighted Japan’s security vulnerability in the region, and stressed on the importance of the alliance with the United States for maintaining the status-quo. Through an interesting analysis of the China’s challenging position in the South China Seas, and the strategic interest in safeguarding Strategic Sea Lines of Communication, Mr. Miyake highlighted an urgent need for the Japanese to reform and modernise their defence forces.

To conclude, Mr. Miyake established universal trends that have been sprouting across the world such as nationalism, xenophobia, isolationism, and others.

The event was organised in cooperation with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Kosovo and the University of Prishtina “Hasan Prishtina”. The visit of Mr Kuni Miyake was made possible with the support of the Embassy of Kosovo to Japan and Ambassador Leon Malazogu.