soft power

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Panda Diplomacy and Business Negotiations: Applying Soft Power

Posted by & filed under Business Negotiations.

In 2011, Emiko Okuyama, the mayor of Sendai, Japan, launched a negotiation that, at the time, seemed relatively straightforward. Sendai had been devastated by the earthquake and tsunami that hit Japan earlier that year. In hopes of lifting the spirits of children traumatized by the natural disasters, Okuyama and other local officials came up with the idea of asking the Chinese government to loan panda bears to the Yagiyama Zoological Park in Sendai, Mark McDonald reports in the New York Times. By the end of the year, Japanese prime minister Yoshihiko Noda convinced Chinese president Hu Jintao to agree to the goodwill gesture, and two pandas appeared to be on the fast track for a trip from China to Japan.
Then things got complicated.