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Japan's Quiet Power: The case of Tokyo's vaccine diplomacy to Southeast Asia

Japan's Quiet Power: The case of Tokyo's vaccine diplomacy to Southeast Asia
Japan's Quiet Power: The case of Tokyo's vaccine diplomacy to Southeast Asia
Amid the COVID-19 pandemic, Japan’s vaccine diplomacy in Southeast Asia has gained much traction as regional countries are wrestling with a dual challenge, i.e., navigating the pandemic and seeking economic recovery and growth. Japan’s donation of coronavirus vaccine shots to Southeast Asian countries confronting this severe pandemic is one expression of Tokyo’s strategic approach towards the region: helping regional countries in need and buttressing its status as a responsible stakeholder. What should deserve attention is that Tokyo has sought a more robust status with its niche diplomacy, the signature characteristic of middle powers, while keeping a low profile in its support for regional countries. The paper argues that as Japan is becoming more committed to the Indo-Pacific region in general and Southeast Asia specifically, Tokyo’s niche diplomacy of vaccine donations has sought to win the hearts and minds of regional countries. The non-traditional approach can foster Japan’s status in Southeast Asia and widen its maneuvering space amid China’s growing assertiveness. Japan’s diplomatic statecraft portrayed via Tokyo’s vaccine diplomacy in Southeast Asia may provide emerging middle powers with valuable lessons on strengthening their influence.
2281-3993
248-257
Dang, Bui Hai
67431419-551e-4118-b1b7-d039ec394859
Glenn, John
d843e423-d1f9-4be5-b667-8e44a42efff2
Dang, Bui Hai
67431419-551e-4118-b1b7-d039ec394859
Glenn, John
d843e423-d1f9-4be5-b667-8e44a42efff2

Dang, Bui Hai and Glenn, John (2022) Japan's Quiet Power: The case of Tokyo's vaccine diplomacy to Southeast Asia. Academic Journal of Interdisciplinary Studies, 11 (4), 248-257. (doi:10.36941/ajis-2022-0113).

Record type: Article

Abstract

Amid the COVID-19 pandemic, Japan’s vaccine diplomacy in Southeast Asia has gained much traction as regional countries are wrestling with a dual challenge, i.e., navigating the pandemic and seeking economic recovery and growth. Japan’s donation of coronavirus vaccine shots to Southeast Asian countries confronting this severe pandemic is one expression of Tokyo’s strategic approach towards the region: helping regional countries in need and buttressing its status as a responsible stakeholder. What should deserve attention is that Tokyo has sought a more robust status with its niche diplomacy, the signature characteristic of middle powers, while keeping a low profile in its support for regional countries. The paper argues that as Japan is becoming more committed to the Indo-Pacific region in general and Southeast Asia specifically, Tokyo’s niche diplomacy of vaccine donations has sought to win the hearts and minds of regional countries. The non-traditional approach can foster Japan’s status in Southeast Asia and widen its maneuvering space amid China’s growing assertiveness. Japan’s diplomatic statecraft portrayed via Tokyo’s vaccine diplomacy in Southeast Asia may provide emerging middle powers with valuable lessons on strengthening their influence.

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Accepted/In Press date: 18 April 2022
Published date: 5 July 2022

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 468045
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/468045
ISSN: 2281-3993
PURE UUID: b7f69f9c-ea27-43c1-81c0-6c1edce8231c
ORCID for John Glenn: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0001-9694-8282

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Date deposited: 28 Jul 2022 18:46
Last modified: 04 Aug 2022 01:36

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Contributors

Author: Bui Hai Dang
Author: John Glenn ORCID iD

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