Japan's Public Diplomacy as an Effective Tool in Enhancing its Soft Power in Vietnam: A case-study of the Ship for Southeast Asian Youth Exchange Program
Soft power is a term defined by Nye as the ability to get what you want through attraction rather than coercion or payments. Public diplomacy is an instrument that government uses to mobilize resources of soft power to attract the public of other countries, rather than merely their governments. Both soft power and public diplomacy have been widely used in both academic works and the media. However, in Northeast Asia, while much has been talked about soft power of a rising China, there is little empirical work on Japan’s soft power with a particular case study. Vietnam is a part of Southeast Asia, a strategic location in which Japan has a special interest. The research is an attempt to explore dimensions of Japan’s soft power and to examine whether public diplomacy is an efficient tool to enhance Japan’s soft power in Vietnam. A case study of the Ship for Southeast Asian Youth Exchange Program will be used to examine if it can help Japan project its soft power in Vietnam. Two separate surveys aiming at the participants of the program and the non-participants are conducted simultaneously. The outcomes of the two surveys will reveal whether the participants have more positive views about Japan than the non-participants. Moreover, these positive views should be correspondent with the foreign policy goals of Japan in its relations with Vietnam. Therefore, the surveys can help conclude whether the Ship for Southeast Asian Youth Exchange program contributes to the enhancement of Japan’s soft power in Vietnam.