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Quoted from a Sample Article

日本は、中国やロシアと隣接し、豊富なエネルギー資源がある中央アジアへの関与を強めようと、平成16年から定期的に外相会合を開いています。

In my understanding, this article says that Japan is thought to have ambition in getting involved in central asia countries, and in order to achieve that, meetings among foreign ministers are held regularly.

I do not think this と is a quotative-と, as mentioned in a might-be-related question, because the article news does not quote anything originally said by someone. Instead, this と strikes me something like "they did that because it is analyzed that they have such motive".

Is "ようと" just a shorten expression for "ようと思われ" or "ようと考えられ"?

  • Related: japanese.stackexchange.com/q/45089/5010 But why passive (or honorific) られ? – naruto May 19 at 2:16
  • I used passive られ, because I believed the subject is not obvious. – Hamkuu Shaw May 19 at 2:31
  • Hmm, this is quotative-to, but it looks like you have gotten the basic structure of the sentence wrong. Could you show us your translation attempt (which is usually required anyway)? – naruto May 19 at 2:40
  • OK. I have updated my original post. – Hamkuu Shaw May 19 at 2:53
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You can think a verb like 考え(て) or して is omitted after と. Volitional + と is a very common pattern, and it can be translated simply as "thinking ~", "trying to ~" or "in order to ~". Despite its name, quotative-と has a wide variety of usages, and it doesn't have to mark something actually said by someone. Note that none of the examples in this link includes quotative-と that is marking something actually said by someone.

The basic structure of the sentence is this:

日本は、平成16年から定期的に外相会合を開いています。
Japan has held foreign ministerial conferences regularly since Heisei 16.

Everything after 日本は and と is the "quote". The content is Japan's own strategy (i.e., Japan's own thinking) rather than what Japan is thought to be doing or thinking. (There is no passive expression whatsoever in this sentence.)

日本は、「中央アジアへの関与を強めよう」と(考え)、平成16年から定期的に外相会合を開いています。
In order to strengthen the involvement in Middle Asia, Japan has held foreign ministerial conferences regularly since Heisei 16.

"中国やロシアと隣接し、豊富なエネルギー資源がある" is a relative clause that modifies 中央アジア.

日本は、「中国やロシアと隣接し、豊富なエネルギー資源がある中央アジアへの関与を強めよう」と、平成16年から定期的に外相会合を開いています。
In order to strengthen the involvement in Middle Asia, which is adjacent to China and Russia and possesses rich energy resources, Japan has held foreign ministerial conferences regularly since Heisei 16.

So the subjects of 強めよう and (omitted) 考え are both 日本.

  • Thanks for your detailed answers. I am pretty much agree with you. But I believe the subject cannot be Japan, because no one know exactly what Japan is thinking unless you have got internal sources of Japan's foreign strategies. The subject might be NHK news reporters or international affairs analysts. – Hamkuu Shaw May 19 at 3:22
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    @HamkuuShaw At least in this sentence, the author of this article is describing Japan's strategy plainly as a fact, as if he/she knew everything about it. There is no mood of guessing/suspicion/inference in this sentence. – naruto May 19 at 3:27
  • sounds reasonable. – Hamkuu Shaw May 19 at 3:29

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