Libmonster ID: JP-1246


Doctor of Historical Sciences Institute of Oriental Studies of the Russian Academy of Sciences

Japan Keywords:J. Nye, the concept of "soft power"Cool Japan

A little over 20 years ago, the well-known American political scientist Joseph Nye 1 put forward the very popular concept of"soft power"2, based on three main resources- culture, political values and foreign policy. A single definition of this concept has not yet been developed, since each country supplements this concept with its own characteristics. But its general and basic meaning is that a country's strength and influence in the international arena are measured not only by the number of warheads and economic power, but also by political and cultural achievements.

Soft power " is not conquest and submission, but mastering the minds of people and attracting their sympathies to their side, to their country and its culture, introducing them to spiritual and social values, as well as demonstrating the positive aspects of their state's foreign policy. This is achieved in various ways, including through the promotion of language, culture, art, music, cinema, scientific and sports achievements, educational programs, etc.

Thus, a country that is attractive from the point of view of "soft power" becomes a center of attraction for people and investment, the growth of political influence, etc.


According to J. R. R. Tolkien,According to his article "The Soft Power Effect", the world can undergo two types of changes in the twenty-first century. The first is "shifting power" - a change in the balance of power between states", and more specifically, "the transition of influence from the West to the East". The second type is "dispersal of power", which means "the transfer of power, whether in the West or in the East, from states to non-State institutions"3. At the same time, concretizing the process of moving power from the West to the East, the American political scientist predicts the "rise of Asia".

"In reality, it should be called the recovery or the return of Asia," he explains. "If we think back to the 1800s, we will find that at that time more than half of the world's inhabitants lived in Asia, which accounted for more than half of the world's production. Now fast forward to 1900: also, half of the world's population - even more than half-still lives in Asia, but now produces only one-fifth of what was produced worldwide. So what happened? The Industrial Revolution, which meant that suddenly Europe and America became the dominant center of the world. What we will see in the twenty-first century is a gradual return of Asia to being half the world's population and producing more than half of the world's output. " 4 "Asian countries have impressive potential soft power resources," Nye said. - The art, clothing, cuisine, and ancient cultures of Asia have had a strong influence on other parts of the world. But later, Asia entered a period of decline, lagging behind the pace of the industrial revolution in the West, and this undermined its influence in the world. In the 1950s, Asia was already associated with images of poverty and hunger. Although there was some political obsession in the West with Nehru jackets and the Maoist revolution in the 1960s, this did not last long... Asia's rebirth began with Japan's economic success. By the end of the century, Japan's astounding economic performance had not only made the Japanese rich, but also helped to boost the country's soft power. As the first non-Western country to compete with the West in terms of modernization and at the same time prove the possibility of preserving a unique culture, Japan has more potential soft power resources than any other Asian country. "5


Tokyo was the first country on the Asian continent, but with a noticeable delay, compared to Western countries, to come to an understanding and active use of" soft power " in the quality of military equipment.-

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as a powerful tool of international influence. Here it is interpreted as "influencing the world through civilizational and humanitarian and cultural activities" and is considered in close cooperation with cultural diplomacy.

To develop its conceptual framework, the Advisory Council for the Promotion of Cultural Diplomacy was established in 2004, headed by Professor Tamotsu Aoki of Hosei University, and one of its tasks was to improve Japan's image in the world. It should be emphasized that in Japan, the traditional approach to this problem for many years was based on different principles than, for example, in the United States. It was based mainly on the export of traditional cultural values, such as Kabuki theater, tea ceremony, or ikebana art. Their promotion to the outside world was intended to show the historical significance of Japan and its centuries-old culture to the world heritage site. The logic of this approach is clear: understanding Japan is possible only if you understand the basics of its history and culture, and the modern cultural layer is only a small part of the culture that has been most exposed to various external factors - both ideological and commercial.

But it turned out that in the current conditions, it is the modern cultural layer that opens the shortest path to gaining popularity in Japan in the world, to the emergence of mass interest in the depths of Japanese history and culture. This is why the concept proposed by the Advisory Council focuses on promoting mass culture as a starting point for understanding Japan. "Cultural products such as manga (comics) and anime (animated films) carry aesthetic feelings and traditional artistic skills," the submitted documents state. The developers of the concept describe them as "a new expression of the country's cultural traditions". "In an age when ordinary people control global markets and exert increasing influence on political, economic and social issues, it is crucial to offer them an easy way to enter Japanese culture. Once they are inside it, they will discover many other deeper niches waiting for them. " 6

The concept states that fans of manga and anime, collectively known as otaku, should become the guides of modern Japanese culture in their countries. To this end, the authors of the concept believe, it is necessary to create conditions for visiting Japan by creative individuals, primarily young people, to get acquainted with its culture with the prospect of transferring its influence to the homeland of adherents. Japanese experts emphasize that cultural exchanges should not be limited to organizing exhibitions of Japanese art, staging traditional dramatic performances and holding lectures for non-Japanese audiences. "We should also strive to encourage as many young talented people as possible to come to Japan from other countries, give them the opportunity to experience our country for themselves, conduct their own independent research and creative activities here, and get inspiration from their new environment." 7

The next global task set for Japan is formulated as the need to " introduce the spirit of harmony (wa) and respect for co-existence (kyosei) in the world." "Empathy with other people and harmony with nature-the basis of Japanese philosophy and the way of life of Japanese people - fill literally everything from dramatic art to material crafts," the recommendations 8 emphasize. The Advisory Council defines these values "as a national spiritual heritage that must be preserved, and at the same time calls on everyone to develop and promote it." At the same time, "in the context of today's talk about the 'clash of civilizations', he considers it a task of particular importance and relevance to educate the younger generation in the spirit of respect for harmony and co-existence. "9

For the first time, this course of the Japanese government was announced in a series of public speeches in 2006 by the then Foreign Minister Taro Aso. Subsequently, their main provisions were summarized in his keynote speech " A New Look at Cultural Diplomacy "(2008). And in 2009, already as Prime Minister of Japan, Taro Aso presented the "New Strategy of Japan in the Modern Era", emphasizing the task of further promoting "soft power" as one of the most promising directions of the country's development in the coming years.

After that, when the Democrats came to power, the concept of "soft power" was replaced by a new phrase "smart power", which entered the international lexicon with the coming to power of Barack Obama. What is "intelligent power"? "It seems to mean a force that combines hard power (hard power), represented by military power, and soft power (soft power), symbolizing cultures and values. Japanese smart power is a significant force " 10, - pod-

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Mitoji Yabunaka, then Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs of Japan, wrote in one of his public lectures published in the Gaiko Foramu magazine (March 2009).

And yet, despite such impressive statements and original ideas of Japanese politicians and developers, Japan has not yet managed to reach the level of the United States in terms of the strength of its "soft" influence on other states. After all, the dominance of the United States in the world over the past half-century, according to J. R. R. Tolkien. It was based not only on its "hard power" - military power, etc., but also on the creation of a favorable image, export of ideas and values (democracy, civil liberties, Hollywood films, Disney animation, jazz, etc.). Nye, and many experts note today that the United States is gradually losing its attractiveness in the world 11.

So, according to the English magazine "Monocle", which evaluated the" soft power " of states in 50 categories, in 2012 the palm of superiority from the United States passed to Great Britain 12. The criteria here are simple. In 2012, the Olympic Games were held in London, where English athletes won the 3rd place in the number of gold medals. Over the past year, England received 29 million tourists, 22 British albums took first places in foreign hit parades, a new James Bond film was released, etc. It is significant that in this ranking, Japan ranked 6th after the United States and leading European countries.

One order of magnitude lower than the "soft power" of Japan was evaluated in a study conducted in the same year in Russia by Ernst & Young together with the Moscow Institute "Skolkovo", where it was assigned the 7th place. For example, such criteria as the rank of national companies in the Fortune magazine reputation rating, indicators of migration and tourist flows, the rule of law, knowledge of English among the population, greenhouse gas emissions, the number of citizens in the world's top 100 influential people according to Time magazine, the status of national universities in the Times rating were taken as a basis Higher Education, the number of Olympic medals, and a number of other criteria. By the way, our country took only the 10th place in this list, behind both the G7 and our BRICS partners-China and India, which were placed immediately after Japan 13.


What are the potential resources of Japan's "soft power"? J. Nye cites the following indicators: 1st place in the world in providing assistance to developing countries and one of the leading places in the number of registered patents, 2nd-in sales of books and music, 3rd-in research costs, etc. In the same row, we should note the world's longest life expectancy, as well as the important fact that out of the 25 largest multinational corporations in the world, three - Toyota, Honda and Sony - belong to Japan 14. This is the winning image of Japan in the eyes of the world, not to mention its main distinguishing feature, especially relevant in the developing world. This is a successful modernization experience, an achievement comparable to the American and European level of economic development, without compromising the original Japanese culture.

But the most important resource that the political scientist focuses on is the global influence of Japanese pop culture in the world (and especially in Asian countries), starting with comics-manga, animated films-anime, cinema, pop music, fashion, cuisine, etc. Suffice it to say that 60% of the world's animation is created in Japan today. Japanese video games occupy a leading position among the world's best examples of this product. But perhaps the mainstay of this diverse Japanese cultural industry is still Japanese comics, which are published in many languages.

Japan occupies one of the first places in terms of film production. And recently, Japanese TV products - TV dramas, serials, etc. - have become very popular, especially in Southeast Asian countries. By 2015, the Japanese government intends to launch the broadcast of anime, TV dramas and other content in about 10 Asian cities on a special Japanese channel. The Japanese record industry ranks 2nd in the world. Japanese singers and popular bands have toured with great success in Hong Kong, China, South Korea and other countries, where they are imitated in everything by local pop idols, and just teenagers who live by the standards of Japanese glossy magazines. And recently, the Japanese authorities decided to open mini-shopping districts abroad in the likeness of such fashionable areas of Tokyo as Harajuku, Shibuya, Ginza, where large Japanese retailers - companies whose activities are based on retail - will sell branded goods, and small stores-souvenirs. The first in this project was Singapore, where a network of Japanese clothing stores "Harajuku Street Style" has already been launched.

Noting the huge achievements

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In 2002, the famous American researcher D. McGray, in his article in the journal Foreign Policy, introduced a new concept of" fashionable gross national product " (Gross National Cool)15. With his light hand, the image of fashionable Japan-Cool Japan (Cool Japan) - was widely replicated both inside the country and - especially widely-outside it, turning into a kind of business card of Japan. And in April 2008, a special government program Cool Japan was launched here as part of a global soft power strategy and marketing campaign, making this catchy combination of words the slogan of cultural diplomacy and national brands of Japan abroad.

Leading media outlets soon gave the project speakers and broadcasts. Tourists were invited to special tours and seminars Cool Japan, etc. However, by 2012, ten years after D. McGray calculated the impressive volume of "fashionable gross national product" and led the country to realize the possibility of extracting huge profits from the ubiquitous passion for Japanese animation, games, J-pop, manga, the Cool Japan project was rapidly losing its relevance and commercial success.


In Japan, the inefficiency of this project was already recognized several years ago, comparing it with the failure of a marketing campaign under the similar name Cool Britannia, which was conducted in the UK in the 1990s. According to a 2012 report by the Japanese Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry, the Cool Japan project actually sells only 5% of the fashion content produced in Japan, which is only one - third of the 17.8% figure for exports of American creative products to the global market16.

It is significant that even famous Japanese cultural figures, whose works fueled interest in this trend, have recently distanced themselves from it in every possible way. "Dear advertising agencies and officials," famed artist Takashi Murakami wrote on Twitter in early 2012. - Please stop inviting me to events related to the "Cool Japan" project... I am not affiliated with this brand in any way. " 17

In 2010, the Yomiuri newspaper issued an outspoken criticism of the Japanese government, accusing it of being content with the country's fashionable image and not investing the necessary funds in this enterprise, which allowed South Korea to become a strong competitor to Japan in the field of pop culture.18

P. Galbraith, an expert in the Japanese cultural industry, shares a similar point of view, expressing confidence that "Japan was absolutely not ready for the success of its own popular culture abroad. The government is calmly observing this process, without noticing the decline in the country's political and economic influence, but it is time to act, " he urges 19.

Other researchers echo him, pointing out that " without a change in strategy, Japan's dream of making money from its popularity in the world will remain unfulfilled."20. At the same time, a number of them even express the hope that "a more subtle approach to positioning the project as part of a soft power policy would help heal the wounds inflicted by the devastating tsunami of 2011, smooth the process of forming a post-industrial economy, and even activate Japanese manufacturers in an environment where the country competes with neighboring South Korea and China in all areas, from electronics to disputed islands. " 21

On the other hand, as the Japanese policy of "soft power" gets bogged down in such problems, voices in expert circles are increasingly heard in favor of abandoning the concept of Cool Japan and previous ideological stereotypes that have not justified themselves. Nevertheless, Tokyo is not in the mood to radically change its course, focusing on a comprehensive adjustment of the Cool Japan concept in order to further develop the main branches of the Japanese cultural industry-anime, computer games, cuisine, as well as to activate their exports to other countries.

This is indicated, in particular, by the decree issued in 2013 by Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on the creation of a special advisory group for the development of a new major branding project with the same name Cool Japan, which included the famous designer Junko Kosino, songwriter Yasushi Akimoto, tea ceremony master Sen Sositsu and others. Japanese authorities expect that with the help of this project, they will once again be able to raise the level of popularity of Japanese culture in China, France, the United States, India and South Korea, as well as significantly increase the influx of foreign tourists to Japan, whose number decreased in 2012 to 6.79 million (34th place in the world in terms of inbound tourism).22. It is also expected that the updated Cool Japan project will ensure the growth of foreign sales of Japanese fashion manufacturers by 2020 to

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$130 billion 23. And pop culture is expected to earn about $123 billion.24


So, tracing the main trends in the development of "soft power" in Japan, it is quite natural to raise the question of the prospects for this process. It is still difficult to answer this question with absolute accuracy, but we can make a number of assumptions based on experts ' forecasts. And here again it seems appropriate to refer to the opinion of J. R. R. Tolkien. Naya, who believes that Japan's "soft power" may increase even more if there are signs of a revival in the country's economy. Apparently, this applies primarily to the economic component of Japanese pop culture. And, if Taro Aso as prime Minister predicted that "by turning the popularity of Japanese soft power into a business, we can create a huge industry worth 20 - 30 billion rubles by 2020." If the Japanese Government is willing to pay the Japanese yen and provide jobs for about 500 thousand more people"25, then Shinzo Abe's plans, as shown above, look even more ambitious. On the other hand, the global expansion of Japanese comics and animation products has another equally important goal in mind. Anime and manga, according to experts, can awaken the interest of foreigners in the mysterious Japanese soul.

At the same time, experts speak about the existing limits in the development of Japan's "soft power".

The first and main limiting factor is considered to be "the internal orientation of its culture towards preserving, preserving the features of its business ethics and lifestyle. It is precisely this internal attitude that prevents Japan from claiming a wider spread of its influence in the world. " 26

Factor two: Japan's military past, which still retains a "residual suspicion" in countries such as China and Korea, intensified after the publication of another history textbook in Japan with attempts to justify the aggressive actions of the Japanese military during the war and the visit of the Japanese Prime Minister to the Yasukuni Shrine, where the souls of soldiers who died for Japan are worshipped and the Emperor.

The third factor is serious demographic problems in the country. Japan's population is projected to shrink by 30% by mid-century if it doesn't attract 17 million people. 27 immigrants, which remains a very difficult task and practically very difficult to solve for a country that has historically resisted immigration.

The fourth factor is the language barrier: the Japanese language, which, despite the efforts of public and private structures, risks not becoming widely used in the world in the foreseeable future. And Japan's generally poor English proficiency makes it extremely difficult to attract a highly skilled workforce and research staff to the country.

Perhaps the most significant limitation for Japan is the rapidly growing competition from the two giants of Asia-China and India-with their huge population and rapid economic growth. And while none of these countries still rank highly in various indices of potential soft power resources, showing up more strongly in the military and other areas of hard power, there are clear signs of their growing cultural influence in the world.

Time will tell how events will develop in Asia, but today we can definitely say that the path to regional leadership lies, including through the development of the "soft power" of countries that have set themselves such ambitious goals.

1 J. S. Nye, Jr. Joseph S. NYE, Jr. (born 1937) is an American political scientist, a leading expert on international affairs and national security, and a former deputy foreign policy adviser. former Secretary of Defense in the Clinton administration, now the head of the Harvard School of Management, and the developer of a number of well - known theories within neoliberalism, including the theory of "soft power".

2 Recently, along with the term "soft power", the term "flexible power"has been used.

3 Joseph Nye on shifting forces in the world -

4 Ibid.

5 The "soft power" effect. US loses out to Asia in geopolitical competition -

Seiichi Kondo. 6 A new Direction for Cultural Diplomacy // Japan echo. Vol. 31, N 6 -

7 Ibidem.

8 Ibid.

9 Ibid.

10 Japan of our days. 2009, No. 1, p. 89.

11 The soft power effect...

Voskoboynikov d 12 Knocked down with "soft power" - 590/

13 Radio "Voice of Russia": "What should be understood by the tools of "soft power"? -

14 Ibid.

15 Foreign Policy. 2002. May-June, p. 130.

Gmnebaum D. 16 Is Japan losing its cool -

17 Ibidem.

18 Ibid.

19 Ibid.

20 Ibid.

21 Ibid.

22 Travel industry. News - www.tourbus. ru/news/1919.html

23 Арт-новости -

Gmnebaum D. 24 Op. cit.

25 Novelties of the anime world - http://anime.

Tribrat V. 26 Soft security by Joseph Nye - http://www.ifes-ras-ru/...

27 The "soft power" effect...


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