Japan’s foreign minister to officially open soft diplomacy institute in Los Angeles

Japan’s foreign minister to officially open soft diplomacy institute in Los Angeles

As part of a six-day tour around Honolulu, San Francisco and Los Angeles, Japanese Foreign Minister Taro Kono will today

Japan soft diplomacy

Photo: Modern Diplomacy

As part of a six-day tour around Honolulu, San Francisco and Los Angeles, Japanese Foreign Minister Taro Kono will today visit the Japan House in LA to celebrate its full opening.

The Japan House Project is a self-proclaimed soft-power push, under the March 2016 New Tourism Strategy to Invigorate the Japanese Economy initiative. It’s a way to create a new brand for Japan, as shaped by the Foreign Ministry—an opportunity to combat lingering anti-Japanese sentiments that arose after the Second World War.

The initiative comes as Japan begins to accept more foreign labour into the country, on account of the state’s ageing population. As of 2017, Japan has accepted 1.28 million total foreign workers into the country, and aims to bring in another 500,000 by 2025.

There are currently three Japan Houses, in Los Angeles, London, and Sao Paolo. But to reach this goal, expect Japan to continue investing in this soft-power diplomacy leading up to the epicentre of the initiative: the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.

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