Yesterday, I had an opportunity to visit Japanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs. It’s really so long ago that I visited there last time, since our institute usually has nothing to do with governmental affairs (=”G”-world). Nevertheless, since I’m entitled as a member of this year’s B20 to do advocacy for its process, I just did a round trip in Kasumigaseki, where Japanese ministries such as Ministry of Finance (MOF), Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI) and MOFA are located.
I don’t know why, however, it’s true that I suddenly felt as if I had choked when I entered the main building of MOFA. For most of my former colleagues in the ministry, it’s hardly obvious that something significant has emerged in the house. At least for me, it’ kinesthetically impossible to stay there for more than half an hour. Therefore, I tried to do advocacy work for B20 in a very short form and left there without looking back.
Of course, MOFA is merely one of the Japanese leading ministries, which were called “power houses” in 1980s. There IS indeed something bizarre in the house, which I can’t feel during visit to MOF and METI. On the way back to my office in Ark Hills, I was terribly puzzled and tried to find out the reason for such a difference.
Having felt that, I was invited by my former boss to a pleasant dinner in Roppongi. As far as I know, he’s one of the most successful Japanese diplomats in upper middle age and flying higher and higher in the house. In addition, he seems to be able to understand the difference between globalism (as another aspect of financial capitalism) and traditional diplomacy among nations. Being asked why I felt bizarreness in MOFA other than METI and MOF, he laughingly responded as follows:
-MOFA is forced to shut down to the public recently, because GOJ decided to join “General Security of Military Information Agreement (GSOMIA)” with USG. In accordance with this agreement, the headquarter of Japanese MOFA has to be strictly controlled by electrical means.
-In addition, the ABE administration tends to blame MOFA for any kind of leaks to the public. In order to run the administration successfully, Cabinet Minister SUGA rigorously controls every single in- and outflow of information essential to the government. To prevent from criticism in the administration, MOFA shut down quasi-free passage of the public to the house.
It’s nearly ten years ago that that I voluntarily left MOFA due to my emerging recognition that something significant will happen in the very near future. At that time, MOFA was the house where “freedom of speech” was de facto guaranteed, while Japanese diplomacy could still pursue its essential interests. Of course, the house was almost opened to media and those who are interested in contributing to the Japanese diplomacy. But the scene was dramatically changed, and there is no more MOFA I’ve known.
For my surprise, only MOFA deprecates B20 process, other than MOF and METI for example. For guys in MOFA, B20 is just an annex to G20, where governmental officials can make every single decision they want. Roughly saying, they think B20 to be a “peanut”, where private and business persons discuss whatever they like. Particularly towards 2016, the guys tend to concentrate rather on G7, because GOJ chairs its presidency and will hold the Summit meeting in Ise/Shima. Emerging markets, which are the majority in G20, should just follow whatever G7 of advanced economies decide.
From the viewpoint of genuine global business leaders, the world is to be turned upside down: G20 is extremely important because not advanced economies but emerging markets have financial powers as engines of economic growth. G7 is rather a “peanut”, since politics follows economy.
While my advocacy work for B20 process, I vividly feel there two different contexts between “G” and “B”. As long as guys are kept in Kasumigaseki, especially in MOFA, they can’t realize what the latter’s recognition vis-à-vis the financial capitalism and its future. Never ever. It’s awfully insignificant to try to make MOFA understand what globalism is. Its members unconsciously choke due to agreement with US, where openness of “B”-world is dominant. It’s really a tragedy which nobody is capable to end. Anyway, global elites can’ be generated in MOFA. That’s what I grasped during my yesterday’s homecoming which will never be repeated.