Reviving Japan: Can It Win the Asian Century?

Video

Post-Event Summary
Japan is currently facing many struggles, ranging from high national debt to political stagnation. In an event held Wednesday at AEI, experts from both Japan and the U.S. discussed the actions Japan should take to revive its political and economic systems and protect its security. Taro Kono of the National Diet insisted that the Liberal Democratic Party should focus on center-right policies such as small government and economic growth to motivate the general public to participate in the political discussion and future elections. He emphasized the responsibility of Japan's politicians to reinvigorate the country. AEI's Claude Barfield pointed out the significance to Japan of joining the Trans-Pacific Partnership, which he noted will be difficult but beneficial to both Japan and the U.S. Tetsuo Kotani of the Okazaki Institute also emphasized the importance of leadership in Japan, calling for leaders with "philosophy and determination." Although Japan currently confronts many difficulties in its political, economic, and national security arenas, AEI's Michael Auslin focused on Japan’s strengths and stability. Finally, Sugio Takahashi of Japan's National Institute for Defense Studies and Ministry of Defense illustrated some dynamics in Japan's security policy, claiming that this is a sphere where the political parties have mostly come to a consensus. On balance, the speakers emphasized that although many problems exist, there is still hope for Japan to enact the policies it needs to win its future.

—Mayuko Yatsu


Event Description

Japan has fallen on hard times. Economic and political stagnation and the March 2011 earthquake have inhibited the nation from assuming a more proactive global role. But Japan, one of America's bedrock allies, has an important part to play in the coming "Asian century." How can Japan reinvigorate its political and economic systems? Given China's rise and increasing assertiveness, how will Japan approach an uncertain security environment? At this AEI event, Taro Kono (Liberal Democratic Party) will offer  his vision for what Japan needs to win its future, followed by a panel discussion with AEI and Japanese scholars.


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About the Author

 

Claude
Barfield
  • Claude Barfield, a former consultant to the office of the U.S. Trade Representative, researches international trade policy (including trade policy in China and East Asia), the World Trade Organization (WTO), intellectual property, and science and technology policy. His many books and publications include Swap: How Trade Works with Philip Levy, a concise introduction to the principles of world economics, and Telecoms and the Huawei conundrum: Chinese foreign direct investment in the United States, an AEI Economic Studies analysis that explores the case of Chinese telecom equipment maker Huawei and its commitment to long-term investment in the US.
  • Phone: 2028625879
    Email: cbarfield@aei.org
  • Assistant Info

    Name: Hao Fu
    Phone: 202-862-5214
    Email: hao.fu@aei.org

 

Gary J.
Schmitt

 

Michael
Auslin
  • Michael Auslin is a resident scholar and the director of Japan Studies at the American Enterprise Institute (AEI), where he studies Asian regional security and political issues.


    Before joining AEI, he was an associate professor of history at Yale University. A prolific writer, Auslin is a biweekly columnist for The Wall Street Journal Asia, which is distributed globally on wsj.com. His longer writings include the book “Pacific Cosmopolitans: A Cultural History of U.S.-Japan Relations” (Harvard University Press, 2011) and the study “Security in the Indo-Pacific Commons: Toward a Regional Strategy” (AEI Press, 2010). He was named a Young Global Leader by the World Economic Forum, a Marshall Memorial Fellow by the German Marshall Fund, and a Fulbright and Japan Foundation Scholar.


    Auslin has a Ph.D. from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, an M.A. from Indiana University at Bloomington, and a B.S.F.S. from Georgetown University.


    Follow Michael Auslin on Twitter.

  • Phone: 202-862-5848
    Email: michael.auslin@aei.org
  • Assistant Info

    Name: Shannon Mann
    Phone: 202-862-5911
    Email: shannon.mann@aei.org

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