Article Code : 139809095004340

Article Title : Cultural Diplomacy; Iran-Japan Relations during the Sanction Period

Keywords :

Journal Number : 26 Summer 2017

Visited : 364

Files : 485 KB

List of Authors

  Full Name Email Grade Degree Corresponding Author
1 Faezeh Jannati Moheb Professor PhD
2 عباس عراقچی Assistant Professor PhD


The developments of the international community over the past centuries and the relative turn from materialism and central security to culture-based discourse in the international system have highlighted the role of culture in various dimensions of human life and in the establishment of relations among countries. Accordingly, considering the existential nature of culture and its ability to bring about a convergence among nations and states, the role of culture has assumed great importance in country’s foreign policy. Boosing cultural diplomacy has a key role in establishing good relations and providing the grounds for greater mobility in political, economic, and social relations between countries. Today, experts in cultural diplomacy and foreign policy acknowledge that success in achieving national interests is largely contingent upon the employment of culture and cultural diplomacy in order to persuade public opinion. To this end, governments have regarded cultural diplomacy as an effective and important approach to maintain and develop mutual relationships; in this way, they provide the necessary grounds to develop relationships with one another. Iran and Japan are two important and decisive countries in global relations on both ends of the West and East Asia and are not an exception in this case. Indeed, they have always sought to opt for cultural policy making and embarked on maintaining and enhancing bilateral relationships, especially after the introduction of Iran's nuclear case and the imposition of comprehensive sanctions against Iran. Japan is today regarded as the third largest economic power in the world and is striving to play a major role in maintaining international peace and security. This country was already considered a military and colonial power in the early twentieth century; however, it has attempted to shift its strength from the military arena to the economic and cultural spheres and to help in the realization of international understanding and peace by developing cultural diplomacy after failure in the World War II and undergoing abundant restrictions on part of the conquerors of the war. As a country with cultural and civilizational richness, Iran has always sought to have friendly and peaceful relations with other countries (in various scopes, i.e. politics, economics, etc.) through its Iranian-Islamic culture and civilization in order to both help develop its own rich culture and benefit from it to expand its relations with other countries. This important issue has been at play throughout Iranian history and has undergone innumerable ups and downs depending on the circumstances. The realization of the Islamic Revolution, the outbreak of the imposed war, the introduction of Iran's nuclear case, the imposition of comprehensive sanctions, and, ultimately, the introduction of Iran as a so-called country that violates international peace and threatens security have all made the statesmen pursue cultural diplomacy as a top priority and use the cultural and civilization approach to confront Iranophobia and Islamophobia. In this way, Iran has tried to maintain and expand its relations with other countries, including Japan. The main question of this paper is concerned with the ways in which cultural diplomacy can affect the maintenance and development of political and economic relations between Iran and Japan following the incidence of Iran's nuclear program and the imposition of comprehensive sanctions against Iran. The main hypothesis held by the current authors is that Iran and Japan have attempted to mitigate the negative atmosphere and keep the communication channels open in order to maintain and expand bilateral political and economic relation by adopting cultural diplomacy during the sanction period.