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Happy New Year in the War Tragedy, January 1, 2023!

Happy New Year🎈
A look back at last year. And a look ahead to this year.
The world is now in a time of war. Few people expected that the supposedly glorious 21st century would be marked by 20th century-style “wars. This is because they assumed that modern wars would be caused by “killer drones” and “Internet hacking,” while “wars” themselves have not disappeared until now.
They mistakenly believed that warfare was evolving as well. They were under the mistaken impression that wars using tanks and guns in small African countries were merely relics of the 20th century waged by lapsed third world countries.
As soon as Russia invaded Ukraine by force in February 2022, the era was turned back to the 20th century. No, this war has dealt a greater blow to the world than the one in the 20th century. The fact that the world has become smaller, easier, and tighter with the spread of the Internet has had the opposite effect.
I do not think it is a coincidence that 77 years have passed since the world war and that the timing is such that there are almost no more people who have experienced the war. Are people creatures whose experiences influence their actions and thoughts more than their visual and verbal perceptions?
Russia’s invasion of Ukraine is not an “unrelated” event 9,000 kilometers away from Japan.
Prices of foodstuffs in Japan and other western countries have risen due to the unavailability of Russian wheat. Imports of aluminum sashes have also become a national problem, and the price of new construction has risen.
Germany, the U.K., and other countries that rely on natural gas energy from Russia have been forced into recession due to cold weather and plant shutdowns that will not survive this winter. The impact of these events on the global economy is significant. Western nations have united, but so have the autocracies, and 2023 will bring further decoupling.
After the collapse of the Soviet Union, the Cold War between the U.S. and the Soviet Union ended and the world moved toward globalism. Globalism united the world and created a world where people could focus only on economic expansion. However, globalism was brought to a halt by a strange and unknown virus. The coronavirus, which originated in Wuhan, China, spread to every corner of the world in less than six months, thanks to the human transportation network that was the boon of globalism. The corona interrupted human contact, interrupted trade, and divided the world.
The Corona and the invasion of Ukraine appear to be a series of coincidences, but they are not. The Corona measures highlighted the unitary nature of the state. As can be seen in China, the “Zero Corona Policy” weakened the nation and led to the rise of the principle of national primacy. As trade plummeted and trade ceased, it became difficult to sustain the nation through the global economy, and the nation’s priorities became securing energy and expanding domestic demand.
Russia, too, suffered a major economic blow with Corona. It cannot feed its own people with policies linked to the West. Ukraine, the most populous and resource-rich of the former Soviet Union, absolutely does not want to become a Western country. Therefore, even though its post-invasion economic policy may be removed from SWIFT, it is strengthening its ties with China and the Middle East, which hate the U.S., getting closer to India, and strengthening alliances with African countries that are handing out aid money.
Thirty-three years after the Cold War ended with the Malta talks in December 1989, it has been revived with a new framework. The difference is that Russia is no longer powerful enough to compete with the U.S., so the U.S.-China Cold War will be the keystone of the world.
Japan thinks that it has spent its entire life being uninvolved in everything in the world, but in fact it is different, and is a key country in world affairs. The dullness of the island nation makes it less aware of its borders, but it is surrounded by three fronts, all of its neighbors are dictatorships. Russia, China, and North Korea.
Cuba in the 21st century is Taiwan. Hence, the Japan-U.S.-Australia-India Quad (QUAD) led by Japan will be an important framework. This is why China was in such a hurry to make Hong Kong a country. If China wanted to aim for hegemony in the U.S.-controlled Pacific, it would have wanted to have Hong Kong at its will. However, as a route, it would have to pass between Taiwan and Japan to reach the Pacific Ocean. The route between the two countries, which at one time had good relations, was blocked by former Prime Minister Morrison due to the revelation of Chinese espionage activities. In other words, for China to find a way west, Taiwan must be annexed.
The United States could not overlook Russia’s invasion of Ukraine as it once did its annexation of Crimea. Putin’s complete lack of understanding of such a world situation made it difficult for him to manage his future political affairs.
In sum, the security of the “Indo-Pacific” will be the most important issue for the world after 2023. Japan will have to use its signature diplomacy of duplicity to deal with China. (Maintain good relations with India)
・Strengthen cooperation between NATO and Japan to check China and Russia (support NATO instead of supporting only Ukraine)
Strengthen Japan-U.S. relations (purchase weapons from the U.S. rather than increase military spending)
Diplomacy with and without Xi Chingping
The Internet has made the world smaller. As it has become smaller, the power of diplomacy and negotiation by politicians will have a greater impact on people’s lives. The ability to negotiate has become more important than ever before imaginable. The leaders of Japan in 2023 will depend on their ability to speak their own language and negotiate with other countries.

Yasuyuki Takashima, Jimmy Honda, and 296 others