The website FREE & OPEN INDO-PACIFIC.net launched in September 2021, is inspired by the legacy in Japanese, Asian and global international relations of Abe Shinzō – the longest-serving Prime Minister of Japan (2006-7 & 2012-20).
Officially, former Prime Minister Abe introduced the term Free and Open Indo-Pacific in 2016. However,the F.O.I.P. policy concept originated in two other Abe initiatives from 2007: the Indo-Pacific (the Indian and Pacific Oceans approached as a contiguous economic and geo-strategic perimeter) and the Quadrilateral Security Dialogue [QSD] or Quad among Japan, the United States, Australia and India (see website logo) as a defensive framework of the democracies – and any other nations – concerned with the aggressive hegemonism of China.
The ideas above appear in a concise yet visionary position paper the Japanese statesman published on December 27, 2012, one day after his unprecedented return to power and titled Asia’s Democratic Security Diamond. I consider ADSD the pragmatic core of Abe Shinzō’s philosophy of proactive pacifism (sekkyokutekiheiwashugi).
In recognition of Mr. Abe’s thoughts and initiatives in the vital realms of international relations and strategic studies, whose impact continues unabated after he stepped down in September 2020 his candidacy is being proposed for the Nobel Peace Prize.
Inaugurating the website is the essay “Abe Shinzō: Transformational Leader in Japanese, Indo-Pacific and Global International Relations” by Jacob Kovalio.
Dr. Jacob Kovalio (PhD in Japanese History – 1981- and MA in Chinese History -1972 – both from the University of Pittsburgh), originally from Israel, is the administrator of the website.Dr. Kovalio is a researcher, writer and teacher of Modern Japanese Political and Diplomatic History and its broader links to Asia and the world. He has been with Carleton University in Ottawa, Canada since 1987. Previously he taught at the University of Victoria (British Columbia), the University of Tel-Aviv and the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. He worked in Japan for over six years and travelled and lectured throughout East Asia. Dr. Kovalio is the recipient of a Foreign Minister of Japan’s Commendation (2014) and of the Order of the Rising Sun Gold Rays with Rosettes (2021) for contributions to the study of Japan and to the advancement of relations between Japan and Canada.
In the pictures below (from left to right): Dr. Jacob Kovalio and Carleton University and Dawson College students and colleagues in the office of Governor Hiramatsu of Ōita Prefecture in Japan; with Senior Colonel Chiang of the PLA in the Forbidden City in Beijing; next to the bust of Dr. Sun Yat-sen, at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Taiwan; at Sōka University in Tokyo.