What fate for Japan’s East Asian Community?

European integration, in its contemporary shape, began with a speech. 9 May, the date chosen for Europe Day, does not indeed relate to a battle or a treaty but to the so-called “Schuman declaration”, in which French Foreign Minister Robert Schuman unveiled 63 years ago his proposal of a European Coal and Steel Community to ensure that “any war between France and Germany [would become] not merely unthinkable, but materially impossible” and thus to open the way for “the coming together of the nations of Europe”.

While listening to former Japanese Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama in Hong Kong for this year’s Asian Investment Conference, a European could hardly refrain from comparing the two speeches as the Japanese leader’s inspiring tone and the features of his East Asian Community plan recall in many aspects the declaration which gave birth to today’s European Union.

Read more on Project Firefly website.