'Diplomacy should stand between realism and idealism' | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, August 13, 2018 / LAST MODIFIED: 02:16 AM, August 13, 2018

'Diplomacy should stand between realism and idealism'

Says Japanese ambassador at peacebuilding conference

Japan is hopeful about early solution of the ongoing Rohingya crisis in a peaceful manner, and assured to continue supporting Bangladesh for safe repatriation of the forcibly-displaced people from Bangladesh to Myanmar.

Addressing an international conference in the capital yesterday, Japanese Ambassador to Dhaka Hiroyasu Izumi said the world has been witnessing Bangladesh's “sincerity, tolerance and tenacious endeavour” in the Rohingya crisis, which has impressed the international community.

He made the remarks on the opening day of a two-day conference titled “Bangladesh in International Peace Building: Experience from Japan”. Bangladesh Institute of International and Strategic Studies (BIISS) in collaboration with the Japan Foundation are organising it.

“Diplomacy should stand between realism and idealism…diplomacy which is only based on realism and lacks idealism, never succeeds. At the same time, diplomacy based on idealism and lacking realism will never succeed either,” said the Japanese envoy.

Bangladesh, together with Japan and the international community, has been working hard to provide humanitarian support to Rohingyas while trying to resolve the problem through engaging with Myanmar, he added.

Chairman of the parliamentary standing committee on Ministry of Foreign Affairs Dipu Moni inaugurated the conference, which brought together representatives from different sectors including academia, civil society leaders, military, governments, private sector, and the media.

Speaking there, Dipu Moni said Japan is one of the leading countries in the international peacebuilding process, and has been the most important partner of Bangladesh in its peacebuilding endeavors. Besides Japan, Bangladesh is communicating with other countries like Sweden, Canada and Australia who have developed significant capacity in peace-building, she said.

UN Resident Coordinator in Dhaka Mia Seppo, Prof Dr Hideaki Shinoda and Prof Mari Katayanagi from Japan, and BIISS Director General Maj Gen AKM Abdur Rahman also spoke at first two sessions with BIISS Chairman Munshi Faiz Ahmad in the chair.

JAPAN “JUST CAN'T GO WITHOUT CHINA”

Speaking at another session, Director of Hiroshima Peacebuilders Center (HPC) Prof Hideaki Shinoda said China is an “emerging super power in 21st century” and “a crucial player in Southeast Asia”, and that Japan “just cannot go without China”.

Responding to questions on Japan's role in resolving the Rohingya crisis, he said “I think some other key stakeholders must be visibly involved. Let's say China is not so often mentioned in the Rohingya case. But I believe that we need to involve China for conflict resolution. Japan should be very much keen to be involved together with some other international partners like China… And in the situation anywhere in Southeast Asia…We just cannot go without China,” he said.

At different sessions, speakers noted that Bangladesh remains one of the top contributors to UN peacebuilding efforts, and the country's peace-related activities have expanded over the years to include civilian participation facilitating institution-building in post-conflict states.

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