Shortly after Abe came to power in 2012, I attended several seminars and dialogues on Japanese diplomacy and regional security. At that time, some participants said that the Abe government would focus on relations with Southeast Asia, and also emphasized that Japan would be more active than ever in its participation in security affairs. I must admit that I had some reservations about these statements at the time.
After all, before Abe took over job email list as prime minister for the second time, there were also similar opinions from the Japanese government. In the end, because of other more important issues or because of the collapse of the cabinet, these political checks could not be cashed. This also includes Abe's proposal to deepen interaction with Southeast Asia under the Quadrilateral Security Dialogue (Quad) when he first came to power. Therefore, the various cooperation plans proposed by the Abe government are "to be seen".
As a result, the Abe administration has been unexpectedly active in foreign affairs, including with Southeast Asia. In addition to choosing Southeast Asia for the first prime minister's visit, the Abe government has also promoted Japanese companies to invest in the region, not only setting up factories, but also actively promoting the export of infrastructure such as high-speed railways. The motivations include, of course, diversifying the risks of Japanese companies investing in China for many years, diversifying the industrial chain, seeking business opportunities and developing new markets in Southeast Asia where labor costs are low, and reducing Japan’s interest in China amid growing tensions between Japan and China. rely. However, the choices made by the Japanese government and companies have indeed benefited many countries and people in Southeast Asia.