new diplomacy

Hundreds of citizen diplomats will arrive in Washington, D.C., this week for the Global Ties U.S. National Meeting, the first of many events and outreach efforts throughout 2015 to mark the 75th anniversary of State Department international exchange programs.

In an interview with The Washington Post in November, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe called the U.S.-Japan alliance “the cornerstone of Japanese diplomacy,” a stance supported by the U.S. State Department, whose website asserts, “Japan contributes irreplaceable political, financial and moral support to U.S.-Japan diplomatic efforts.” However, such official comments on Tokyo-Washington ties are misleading, believes Sayo Saruta, the director of Japanese think tank New Diplomacy Initiative.

When the president of the United States moved to normalize relations with the communist nation, many on the right cried foul. (...) These criticisms refer not to President Obama's new Cuba policy, but to President Nixon's opening to China in 1971. Nixon's critics were on the wrong side of history then, just as Obama's critics are now.

Congratulations are in order for CPD as Jay Wang took the helm this fall and began engaging with the public diplomacy community as the new CPD director. As often happens with such beginnings, the focus intuitively turns to the future. I would like to suggest a counter-intuitive move and challenge public diplomacy scholars around the world to explore the contributions of ancient heritages to the practice of public diplomacy.