Saturday, November 26, 2011

Late November Monday

U.S. Congress returns

TRADE LIBERALIZATION AND EMBEDDED INSTITUTIONAL REFORM: EVIDENCE FROM CHINESE EXPORTERS. 11/28, 11:30-1:00pm, Washington, DC. Sponsor: International Economics Seminar, Georgetown University. Speaker: Amit Khandelwal, Columbia University Graduate School of Business.

KEY THREATS: U.S. READINESS IN PERILOUS TIMES. 11/28, Noon-1:30pm, Washington, DC. Sponsor: The Aspen Institute. Participants: former Director National Intelligence retired Adm. Dennis Blair.

NUCLEAR TEST BAN TREATY AT 15: A STATUS UPDATE. 11/28, 2:00-3:30PM, Washington, DC. Sponsor: Arms Control Association (ACA). Speakers: Linton Brooks, former administrator at the National Nuclear Security Administration; Marvin Adams, HTRI Professor of nuclear engineering at Texas A&M University; Jennifer Mackby, fellow in the International Security Program at the Center for Strategic and International Studies; Daryl Kimball, executive director of the Arms Control Association; and Tom Collina, ACA research director.

MAKING HOMES, BUILDING BASES: THE POLITICS OF DOMESTICITY IN THE U.S. OCCUPATION OF OKINAWA. 11/28, 4:00-5:15pm, Washington, DC. Sponsor: Woodrow Wilson Center (WWC). Speakers: Mire Koikari, Woodrow Wilson Center Japan Scholar, Associate Professor, University of Hawaii.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Prime Minister of Japan's Schedule November 21 & 22

November 22


07:02 Mr. Tezuka, Assistant to PM
08:04 Mr. Tezuka leave
08:07 Parliament
08:14 Ministerial Meeting
08:29 Mr. Fujimura, Chief Cabinet Secretary, Mr. Genba, Minister of Foreign Affairs, and Mr. Saito, Deputy Chief Cabinet Secretary
09:00 Interview with government publicity
09:36 Mr. Fujii, DPJ Head of Tax Research Commission
10:02 The Lower House Financial Affairs Committee
11:52 The office of PM
11:54 Mr. Tsuda, a ministerial aid for the Ministry of Health, Labor, and Welfare, Mr. Moriyama, Chief of Employment Security Bureau

01:03 Three DPJ/Government Executive Meeting. Mr. Jojima, DPJ Deputy Secretary General, was also present.
02:07 Commend persons of child-support and youth-training merit. Ms. Renho, Minister of State for Measures for Declining Birthrate, and Gender Equality, and other were also present.
02:25 Mr. Naoshima, DPJ Vice President
02:48 Mr. Hirano, Minister for Reconstruction in Response to the Great East Japan Earthquake, Mr. Suematsu, Assistant to PM
03:24 Observe the screening process at the Sunshine City, Ikebukuro, Tokyo. Accompanied by Mr. Tezuka, Assistant to PM.
04:02 Press interview
04:27 The office of PM
04:32 Mr. Jojima, DPJ Deputy Secretary General.
05:00 Mr. Tezuka, Assistant to PM
06:03 Meeting with Prime Minister of Iraq Nouri al-Maliki, accompanied by Mr. Saito, Deputy Chief Cabinet Secretary
06:33 Dinner party hosted by Prime Minister
07:39 Send-off Prime Minister ai-Maliki
07:42 The residence of PM

November 21


06:46 Mr. Nagahama, Deputy Chief Cabinet Secretary, Mr. Tezuka, Assistant to PM
08:38 Both leave
08:47 Parliament
09:00 The Upper House Budget Committee

01:01 The Upper House Plenary Session
02:54 Visits to Mr. Hirata, Chairperson of the Upper House, Mr. Otsuji, Vice-Chairperson of the Upper House, and parliamentary groups of ruling and opposing parties, accompanied by Mr. Fujimura, Chief Cabinet Secretary, Mr. Azumi, Minister of Finance.
03:10 The office of PM
04:07 Meeting of prefectural governors
05:03 Meeting of the National Policy Unit
06:10 Imperial Palace, report of return from Indonesia.
06:24 The office of PM
06:26 Ms. Harumi Takahashi, Governor of Hokkaido, and others, petition to bolster restitution of the northern territories. Mr. Kawabata, Minister of State for Okinawa and Northern Territories Affairs, was also present.
06:59 The residence of PM
07:00 Mr. Okada, former DPJ Secretary General
08:20 Mr. Okada leaves

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Prime Minister of Japan's Schedule November 18, 19 & 20

November 20
06:50 Arrived at Haneda Airport, return from ASEAN summit in Indonesia
07:26 The Residence of PM

Spent the whole day at The residence of PM

November 19 (Local Time)
Japan, China, and South Korea Summit at Ayodya Resort, Bali, Indonesia.

Meeting with Premier Wen Jiabao of PRC at the Bali International Convention Center
East Asian Summit (EAS) Meeting
EAS Luncheon
EAS Summit
Press Conference
Meeting with Prime Minister Gillard of Australia
Departed from Ngurah Rai International Airport.

November 18 (Local Time)
Leave the hotel.
ASEAN Summit at Bali Nusa Dua Convention Center (BNDCC)
Japan-ASEAN Business & Investment Summit at the Bali International Convention Center.

Meeting with Prime Minister Yingluck of Thailand at BNDCC.
Lunch party of ASEAN + 3 leaders (Japan, China, and South Korea).
ASEAN + 3 Summit.
Meeting with Prime Minster Lee Hsien Loong of Singapore.
Press interview at the Nusa Dua Beach Hotel.
Conversation with the accompanying reporters.
Meeting with President Thein Sein of Myanmar at BNDCC.
Mekong-Japan Summit at the Hotel Ayodya Resort.
Dinner party hosted by President Yudhoyono at BNDCC.
Stay in the Nusa Dua Beach Hotel

November 17 (Local Time)
Arrive at the Ngurah Rai International Airport, Bali, Indonesia.
Stay in Nusa Dua Beach Hotel.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Brooks to talk November 22 in Tokyo

THE FUTENMA ISSUE - AN UPDATE. 11/22, 7:00-9:00pm, Tokyo, Japan. Sponsor: Institute of Contemporary Asian Studies (ICAS), Temple University Japan Campus. Speakers: Dr. William L. Brooks, APP Senior Fellow, former head of Media Analysis & Translation, US Embassy Japan; Most recent monographs: The Politics of the Futenma Base Issue in Okinawa: Relocation Negotiations in 1995-97, 2005-2006 (SAIS, 2010), and Cracks in the Alliance (fall 2011). Location: Temple University, Japan Campus.

Prime Minister of Japan's Schedule November 17

08:33 Office of PM
09:15 Mr. Tezuka, Assistant to PM
10:15 Mr. Tezuka leaves
10:54 Parliament
10:58 Mr. Furukawa, Minister of State for National Policy
11:28 Mr. Hirata, Chairperson of the Upper House, Mr. Mizuoka, Assistant to PM
11:39 Mr. Hiraoka, Minister of Justice

12:11 Welcome reception for King and Queen Wangchuck of Bhutan.
12:38 Office of PM
01:48 Parliament
02:02 The Lower House Plenary Session
04:06 The Office of PM
04:25 Mr. Fujimura, Chief Cabinet Secretary
05:02 Press interview
05:25 Haneda Airport
05:50 Took off for Indonesia to attend ASEAN summit.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Prime Minister of Japan's Schedule November 16

07:15 Mr. Nagahama, Deputy Chief Cabinet Secretary and Mr. Tezuka, Assistant to PM
08:19 Mr. Nagahama and Mr. Tezuka leave
08:56 Imperial Palace, with Mrs. Noda, welcome party of King and Queen Wangchuck of Bhutan
09:52 Parliament
10:00 The Upper House Budget Committee
11:59 The office of PM

12:51 Parliament,
01:00 The Upper House Budget Committee
04:53 The office of PM
05:14 Mr. Uematsu, Head of Cabinet Intelligence and Research Office
05:58 ANA Intercontinental Hotel Tokyo, Akasaka. Gave remarks at the assembly of “Toumonkai,” an organization of Diet members who graduated from Waseda University.
06:13 The Residence of PM
06:40 Imperial Palace, with Mrs. Noda, attended State dinner party for the King and Queen Wangchuck of Bhutan.
09:53 The Residence of PM

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Manufacturing & Trade

– 2:00pm, 216 Hart Senate Office Building. Joint Economic Committee, Full committee hearing on "Manufacturing in the USA: Paving the Road to Job Creation," focusing on the impact of infrastructure investment on job creation, particularly in the manufacturing sector. Witnesses: Andrew Herrmann, president of the American Society of Civil Engineers; Veronique de Rugy, senior research fellow at the Mercatus Center at George Mason University, Arlington, Va.; Chris Edwards, director of tax policy studies at the Cato Institute; Robert Puentes, senior fellow in the Brookings Institution's Metropolitan Policy Program.

 MANUFACTURING GROWTH: ADVANCED MANUFACTURING AND THE FUTRUE OF THE AMERICAN ECONOMY. 11/16, 3:30-4:30, Washington, DC. Sponsors: Third Way's Schwartz Initiative, Breakthrough Institute. Speakers: House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer, D-MD; Sen. Chris Coons, D-DE; Devon Swezey, project director of the Innovation and Economics Program at the Breakthrough Institute; Ryan McConaghy, director of the Economic Program at Third Way. 

– 9:00am, 2118 Rayburn House Office Building. House Armed Services Committee, Business Challenges within the Defense Industry Subcommittee hearing on "Creating a 21st Century Defense Industry." Witnesses: The Honorable Jacques S. Gansler, Professor and Roger C. Lipitz Chair, Director, Center for Public Policy & Private Enterprise, School of Public Policy, University of Maryland; Mr. David J. Berteau, Senior Vice President and Director of International Security Program. Center for Strategic and International Studies.

US TRADE POLICY POST APEC 2011. 11/18, Noon-2:00pm, Washington, DC. Sponsor: Japan Commerce Association of Washington, DC (JCAW). Speaker: Ambassador Charlene Barshefsky- Partner, WilmerHale. Former United States Trade Representative.

NEXT STEPS FOR THE AMERICAN TRADE AGENDA. 11/30, 9:00am-Noon, Washington, DC. Sponsor: U.S. Chamber of Commerce. Keynote remarks by: USTR Ambassador Ronald Kirk. Followed by a panel discussion with: The Honorable Susan Schwab, Mayer Brown LLP, Former U.S. Trade Representative (2006-2009); The Honorable Charlene Barshefsky, Wilmer Cutler Pickering Hale and Dorr, Former U.S. Trade Representative (1997-2000); The Honorable Carla Hills, Hills & Company, Former U.S. Trade Representative (1989-1993).

Prime Minister of Japan's Schedule November 15

 07:01 Mr. Nagahama, Deputy Chief Cabinet Secretary
         and Mr. Tezuka, Assistant to PM
 08:39 Mr. Nagahama and Mr. Tezuka left
 08:52 Parliament
 09:03 The Upper House Budget Committee

12:07 Imperial Palace, report of return.
12:22 The office of PM
12:50 Parliament
01:00 The Upper House Budget Committee
06:08 Ministerial Meeting
06:36 The Guesthouse, Moto-Akasaka, Tokyo
06:38 King and Queen of Bhutan, accompanied by Mrs. Noda
07:09 The Residence of PM
07:10 Mr. Tezuka, Assistant to PM
07:31 Mr. Tezuka left

Monday, November 14, 2011

Prime Minister of Japan's Schedule 12, 13 & 14

November 14 (Tokyo)

10:54 Arrive at Haneda Airport.
11:32 The Residence of PM

November 13 (Local Time)

APEC Summit in the Hotel JW Marriott Ihilani, outskirts of Honolulu.
Conversation with APEC Business Advisory Council (ABAC) with national leaders.

Lunch party with the APEC leaders.
Photo shoot.
Heads of state summit.
Press conference in the Prince Hotel Waikiki
Depart from Hickam AFB on a government jet.

November 12 (Local Time) 
Pay floral tribute at the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific, Honolulu, Hawaii.
Pay floral tribute and take a moment of silence in front of the memorial for the victims of Ehime-maru, a training vessel of Ehime Prefectural Uwajima Fishery High School, at Kaka’ako Waterfront Park.
Meeting with President Hu Jintao of the PRC, in the Sheraton Waikiki.

Meeting with President Obama of the U.S. in the Hale Koa Hotel.
Meeting with President Medvedev of Russia in the Hotel Modern Honolulu.
Press interview at the Prince Hotel Waikiki.
Mr. Donohue, President of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.
Meeting with President Humala of Peru.
Mr. Hiromasa Yonekura, President of Keidanren.
Dinner party at the Hale Koa Hotel, hosted by President Oabama and the First Lady.
Stay in the Prince Hotel Waikiki.

Sunday, November 13, 2011


On November 10, Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda gave a tentative yes to Japan’s participation in the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade negotiations. He had been advised to approach the issue in a “cautious manner” and his endorsement was far from strong. At his news conference, Noda used indirect language saying, “there is the need to strive to gather further information and to conduct thorough national debates so that Japan can come to a conclusion on whether to join the TPP negotiations from the view point of achieving national interests."

He stressed the need to firmly safeguard Japan's unique health care system, traditional cultures, and farming villages. At the same time, Noda said that Japan "must incorporate the economic growth of the Asia-Pacific region" to pass on to the next generation the current prosperity, and Japan must develop its society into a robust one. From this perspective, he said that he has decided to “begin consultations with the relevant countries. "

"I will do my best to advance the national interest," he vowed. "We will protect what needs to be protected, and win what needs to be won." "

Whereas most Americans interpreted Noda’s vague statement as a definitive yes--thinking (wrongly) that a removal of tariffs heralds open and free trade with Japan--the Japanese understood the nuance in their prime minister's language. Noda simply expressed an intention to join only pre-talk talks. His first task was less to appease the Americans than to defuse discontent among his DPJ opponents, including former farm minister Masahiko Yamada and those who threaten to leave the party.

Why American leaders believed that Japan had said "yes" to joining TPP  is unclear. I do not believe Noda had even Cabinet approval to commit to the negotiation.  Japan hands, used to the Japan that says "maybe no," were surprised by Washington's innocence. As blogger Shisaku observed, it was a "classic move" where Japan was "not only snookering the opposite side but getting the opposite side to apologize for getting snookered."

Americans failed to understand that what is at stake is not so much the economic interests of the nation as it is Japan's political culture. TPP factors heavily in the court-mandated reapportionment of electoral districts. Although 80% of the people live in urban areas, their votes only comprise about 20% of the Diet. The rural, agricultural political interests are not going to give up power easily. TPP will likely cut more electoral districts than tariffs.

Although divisions are bitter and focused within the political realm, it is unclear where the general public opinion falls on TPP. Polls conducted by two major media outlets reveal split opinions over Japan’s involvement in the U.S.-led TPP negotiations. There is not a majority either way and many simply feel uninformed.

A Kyodo News nationwide telephone-based public opinion survey published on November 6th found that 38.7% of those polled believe that Japan should participate in TPP negotiations and 36.1% believe that Japan should not. When asked if the government had explained the repercussions for participation 78.2% answered in the negative and 17.1% answered in the affirmative. According to this poll Noda’s approval rating has dropped to 47%, down 7.5 points since October.

Mainichi Shimbun’s public opinion survey on November 7th found that 34% of those polled believe that Japan should participate in TPP negotiations and 25% believe that Japan should not. Of those polled 39% said that they did not know. Mainichi reported that Noda’s approval rating is 42%.

To further emphasize Noda’s equivocal stance toward TPP, was the immediate misinterpretation of his decision by the White House and State Department. On November 12, U.S. President Barak Obama tried to clarify Noda’s statement by "welcom[ing] Prime Minister Noda' statement that he would put all goods, as well as services, on the negotiating table for trade liberalization,"

Japan’s Foreign Ministry swiftly denied that Prime Minister Noda had said Tokyo will discuss liberalizing trade in all goods and services. The ministry protested against the U.S. readout and the U.S. side apologized for its misunderstanding, if not over-generous interpretation of Noda’s talks with the President. Yes, all items can be subject to trade liberalization talks, but not all will be seriously considered.

Prime Minister of Japan's Schedule, Nov 12

07:25 Haneda Airport (Tokyo).
07:26 Press interview.
07:52 Depart for Honolulu to attend APEC Summit.

PM (Local Time November 11)
Arrive at the Hickam AFB. Reception at the Bishop Museum co-hosted by U.S.- Japan Council and APEC Host Committee. Meeting with Senator Daniel Inouye and Mrs. Inouye. Stay in the Prince Hotel Waikiki.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Prime Minister of Japan's Schedule, Nov 11

This is a new feature of the APP blog. We will post the daily schedule of Japan's Prime Minister. It provides a special insight into Japanese policymaking. We also hope to provide occasional statistical analysis. Your comments and observations, as always, are welcome.

06:04 Mr. Nagahama, Deputy Chief Cabinet Secretary, Mr. Tezuka, Assistant to PM
07:33 Mr. Tezuka left
07:41 Mr. Nagahama left
08:49 Parliament
08:52 Ministerial meeting
08:27 The Lower House Budget Committee

12:05 The office of PM.
12:37 Parliament
12:39 Mr. Kano, Minister of Agriculture, Forestry, and Fishery, Mr. Koshiishi, DPJ Secretary General.
01:00 The Upper House Plenary Session.
04:47 The office of PM
04:51 Three DPJ/Government Executive Meeting.
05:12 The meeting adjourned.
06:02 Government Revitalization Unit meeting.
07:18 Committee of Ministers on comprehensive economic partnership meeting.
08:00 Press conference.
08:21 Mr. Fujimura, Chief Cabinet Secretary
08:46 Dr. Henry Kissinger, former U.S. Secretary of State. Accompanied by Mr. Hisashi Hieda, President of Fuji Television.
09:06 Mr. Tezuka, Assistant to PM
09:22 Residence of PM

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Order of the Rising Sun

Dr. Norman P. Neureiter, a board member of Asia Policy Point, was awarded the Emperor's Order of the Rising Sun, Gold and Silver Star on November 5, 2010. There was a reception honoring him on October 24th at the residence of the Japanese Ambassador in Washington (where the above picture was snapped by APP's director). Senior members of the Capital's science community, includes the head of AAAS and the White House science adviser, attended.

He was honored for his many years of working to advance U.S.-Japan relations and science cooperation.

He is currently Senior Advisor for two Centers at the American Association for the advancement of Science (AAAS): the Center for Science Diplomacy and also the Center for Science, Technology and Security Policy, the latter of which he had previously served as Director for five years.

Dr. Neureiter started working with Japan in 1963, when he became the first permanent U.S. program director for the U.S.-Japan Cooperative Science Program that was initiated under President John F. Kennedy.

From 1989 to 1994, he lived in Tokyo and served as vice president of Texas Instruments Asia. He represented the company during bitter and extended patent disputes with Japanese companies. The Japanese Patent Office took 30 years to grant TI a patent for its Kilby microchip.

In 1994, Neureiter was asked by the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy to chair the U.S. side of an advisory committee established under the U.S.-Japan Science Cooperation Agreement. He served as U.S. co-chair of that committee, the Joint High-Level Advisory Panel, until 2000.

After retirement from Texas Instruments in 1996, Neureiter served as a consultant until being appointed in September 2000 as the first Science and Technology Adviser to the U.S. Secretary of State. He served briefly under Madeleine Albright and then under Colin Powell. Neureiter joined AAAS in 2004 to lead the newly organized Center for Science, Technology and Security Policy.

America's Edge or Not

Innovation and America's Future. 11/10, 8:00-11:00am, Washington, DC. Sponsor: The Atlantic Magazine. Speakers: Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison, (R-TX); Assistant Labor Secretary Jane Oates; and Jay Timmons, CEO of the National Association of Manufacturers.

Has the U.S. lost its edge in science and technology and what can it do to reverse this negative trend? 11/10, 9:00-10:30am, Washington, DC. Sponsor: Arizona State University (ASU).Speakers: Thomas Kalil, deputy director for policy at the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy; Patrick Gallagher, director of the National Institute of Standards and Technology; Freeman Hrabowski, president of the University of Maryland, Baltimore County; Deborah Wince-Smith, president and CEO of the Council on Competitiveness; Jennifer Harper-Taylor, president of the Siemens Foundation; William Kiczuk, vice president of Raytheon; Celia Merzbacher, vice president of innovative partnerships at the Semiconductor Research Corporation; Kathleen Weiss, director of government relations at First Solar; and Mitzi Montoya, dean and vice provost at Arizona State University Polytechnic campus.

Can America Get Its Entrepreneurial Groove Back? 11/15, 8:15am-1:15pm, Washington, DC. Sponsor: Brookings Institution. Speakers: Martin Neil Baily, Senior Fellow, Economic Studies; Joseph L. Rice, III, Chairman, Private Capital Research Institute; David Brooks, Columnist, New York Times; Martin Neil Baily, Senior Fellow, Economic Studies; Aaron Chatterji, Associate Professor, Fuqua School of Business, Duke University; Michael Klein, Former Chairman, Citi Institutional Clients Group; Richard P. Jaffe, Member, Executive Board, Association for Corporate Growth, Partner, Duane Morris LLP; Joncarlo Mark Founder, Upwelling Capital; Heather Slavkin, Senior Legal and Policy Advisor, Office of Investment, AFL-CIO; Harry Wilson, CEO, MAEVA Advisors; Mark Wiseman, Executive Vice President, Canada Pension Plan Investment Board; Josh Lerner; Jacob H. Schiff Professor of Investment Banking, Harvard Business School, President, Private Capital Research Institute; Robert E. Litan, Senior Fellow, Economic Studies; Carl Shapiro, Member, President’s Council of Economic Advisers; Ron Bloom, Former Assistant to the President for Manufacturing Policy; Joel Kurtzman, Chairman, The Kurtzman Group, Senior Fellow, the Milken Institute; A.G. Lafley, Former CEO, Procter & Gamble, Member, President's Council on Jobs and Competitiveness; Karen Mills, Administrator, Small Business Administration.

India Rising

Throughout Washington's think tanks there has been a growth of programs and research on India. In part, this is supported by a willingness of Indian interests to support these endeavors. The American security community is also encouraging this work as a way to explore if Indian is a viable counter-weight to China's rise in Asia. More interesting is Japanese funding of a number of major projects to study a security partnership with India.

Deputy Secretary of State William J. Burns' speech (noted below) heralding a tri-lateral India, Japan and US relationship reflects this activity. In October, both India's Ministers of External Affairs and  Defense visited Japan. Prime Minister Noda is expected to visit India at the end of December.

This month, November 12-14, Mumbai hosts the World Economic Forum's India Economic Summit 2011 to showcase the nation's economic might.

Asia, the Americas, and U.S. Strategy for a New Century, Remarks by William J. Burns, Deputy Secretary, Remarks at World Affairs Councils of America National Conference, November 4, 2011, Washington, DC.
India’s rise will reshape the international system. The President has said that India will be “one of the defining partnerships of the 21st century.” We also want it to be one of the defining partnerships in the Asia-Pacific….That’s why, last year, our two countries launched a strategic dialogue on the Asia-Pacific to ensure that the world’s two largest democracies pursue strategies that reinforce one another. And we are launching a new U.S.-India-Japan trilateral consultation on regional issues.

US-INDIA ENGAGEMENT: LAYING THE FOUNDATIONS OF A NEW ASIAN SECURITY ARCHITECTURE. 11/14, 3:00-4:30, Washington, DC. Sponsor: Asian Studies, Heritage Foundation. Speakers: Bharat Karnad, Research Professor, National Security Studies, Center for Policy Research, New Delhi, Dr. Daniel Twining, Senior Research Fellow for Asia, The German Marshall Fund; Lisa Curtis, Senior Research Fellow, Asian Studies Center, Heritage Foundation; Walter Lohman, Director, Asian Studies Center, The Heritage Foundation.

INDIA-JAPAN TIES: ASIA’S FASTEST GROWING RELATIONSHIP? 11/15, 3:30-5:30, Washington, DC. Sponsor: Asia Program, Wilson Center (WWC). Speakers: K.V. Kesavan, Distinguished Fellow, Observer Research Foundation (India); Takenori Horimoto, Professor of Contemporary South Asia Politics, Shobi University; Daniel Twining, German Marshall Fund.

THE US-INDIA ECONOMIC PARTNERSHIP: ISSUES AND OPPORTUNITIES. 11/16, 10:30am-Noon, Washington, DC. Sponsor: East-West Center. Speaker: Pravakar Sahoo, Visiting Fellow, East-West Center, Associate Professor, Institute of Economic Growth, Delhi University, India.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Japan Thursday

DIFFERENCES BETWEEN THE POLICY FORMULATION PROCESS IN JAPAN AND US PARLIAMENTS:  ROLES OF THE CABINET, CONGRESSIONAL STAFF, GOVERNMENT OFFICIALS, LOBBYISTS, PARLIAMENTARIANS, AND THINK TANKS. 11/3, 10:30am-Noon, Washington, DC. Sponsor: U.S.-Japan Research Institute (USJI). Speakers: Dr. Mikiyasu Nakayama, Professor, Division of Environmental Studies, University of Tokyo; Dr. Ryo Fujikura, Dean of The Graduate School of Environmental Management, Professor of the Faculty of Humanity and Environment, Hosei University; Mr. Paul Joffe, Senior Foreign Policy Counsel, World Resources Institute.

THE OZAWA PROSECUTION AND JAPANESE DEMOCRACY: THE 2009 AMENDMENTS TO THE PROSECUTION REVIEW COMMISSION LAW AND TURMOIL IN THE DEMOCRATIC PARTY OF JAPAN. 11/3, 12:30-1:45pm, Washington, DC. Sponsor: Sigur Center, George Washington University. Speaker: Carl Goodman, Professorial Lecturer in Law, George Washington University Law School.

PARTNERSHIP FOR RECOVERY AND A STRONGER FUTURE: STANDING WITH JAPAN AFTER 3-11. 11/3, 2:30-4:00pm, Washington, DC. Sponsor: CSIS. Speakers: Thomas R. Nides, Deputy Secretary of State for Management and Resources; Kurt M. Campbell, Assistant Secretary of State for East Asian and Pacific Affairs; Video Message from Jim McNerney, Chairman, President and CEO, The Boeing Company; Michael Green, Senior Adviser and Japan Chair, CSIS; Associate Professor, Georgetown University; Tim Adams, Managing Director, The Lindsey Group; former Under Secretary of Treasury for International Affairs; J. Stephen Morrison, Senior Vice President and Director, Global Health Policy Center, CSIS; Stacey White, Senior Research Consultant, CSIS; Jane Nakano, Fellow, Energy and National Security Program, CSIS; Kiyoaki Aburaki, Visiting Fellow, CSIS; U.S. Representative, Keidanren; Stanley Roth, Vice President, International Government Relations, The Boeing Company.

Noda and TPP: Too big, too soon

It is doubtful that Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda can manage Japan’s quick participation in the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) negotiations. He is likely to miss the deadline promised for the mid-November APEC summit in Hawaii. The Noda government wants to say yes, but it has no way of holding together the party or its government if it does.

Noda is constrained by Japan’s cumbersome and time-consuming decision-making. An increasingly organized opposition to Japan joining TPP also restrains him. There is a deep-seated doubt across the political spectrum that TPP is not in Japan’s national interest.

TPP supporters believe that such views can be countered by a campaign to correct these misunderstandings, but time is not on their side. The DPJ and other parties are split, if not outright opposed. The best that Noda may offer at APEC is a vaguely worded statement to eventually join TPP. The back strategy is a hope that by spring his government can offer a binding commitment.

Consensus manager
Noda is an old-style consensus manager, common among past LDP leaders. He is trying to make decisions based on a consolidation of views in his government at the cabinet level and those in his party, the Democratic Party of Japan. To do so, he has created consensus-creating groups both in his cabinet and party—the National Strategy Council and the Policy Research Council respectively.

The two sets of views will be turned into a unified position by the Joint Government-Party Executive Council headed by Prime Minister Noda. The test of this new process, unfortunately, is TPP. Further, Noda set an internal deadline of November 4, though preferably November 2 to coincide with the G-20 summit conference on November 3-4.

DPJ split on TPP, as is the LDP
The DPJ is split on TPP. The party’s TPP project team, headed by former METI minister Yoshio Hachiro, only started to debate the issue on October 28. Moreover, those in the DPJ opposed or having doubts about Japan joining the TPP have formed their own powerful group, led by former agriculture minister Masahiko Yamada. It is holding hearings that question whether joining the TPP would be in Japan’s national interests.

Former Prime Minister and DPJ Party President Yukio Hatoyama is part of that crowd. He sat in the group’s sessions and commented on October 21: “If we do everything the U.S. tells us what to do, we can’t jump to the conclusion that the country will get better. In my view, we should protect our country.”

Similarly, the leading opposition party, the Liberal Democratic Party (LDP), has also found itself facing the same dilemma. Debate has been centered in the party’s Foreign and Economic Policy Liaison Committee, led by former Foreign Minister Masahiko Koumura who appears to oppose. LDP secretary general Hidenao Nakagawa, however did issue a report on October 27 calling on the party to seriously consider joining TPP.

The LDP opposition partner, New Komeito, has come out against TPP. It sees membership as a threat to Japan’s agriculture and domestic industry. Worse they accuse the DPJ of pandering to the U.S. with joining TPP only to “please the U.S. at the expense of agriculture” in order to “cover up” its “diplomatic blunders” over the last two years.

Public confused while fear rules 
The government ministries are also divided on how joining TPP will affect Japan, both economically and socially. While the Cabinet Office says GDP will be up .48 to .65% from the benefits of joining TPP, the Agricultural Ministry has its own study that claims that GDP will decline by 1.6% from the negative impact of TPP. The Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI) has countered with its own simulation that shows GDP will decline 1.53% if Japan does not join.

A Nikkei poll released on October 31 found 45% of the public approving TPP with 32% opposed. They appear to agree with Tokyo University Professor Motoshige Ito who argues that the Japanese economy since the bubble burst in 1990 has been behind the curve in terms of the global trend of trade liberalization. If Japan misses this opportunity, he argues, its economic fate will be sealed for the next decade or two, as other economies continue to grow and Japan’s does not.

Fear mongering by interest groups opposing TPP has spread through the media, spreading myths that everything from agriculture to medical services would be destroyed by TPP membership. The campaign is led by JA Zenchu, The Central Union of Agricultural cooperatives, which has launched a full-blown anti-TPP movement, having accumulated millions of signatures that it presented last week to the Noda Administration. Since those petitioners are potentially votes that could be cast now for the opposition in the next election, the DPJ, already unpopular, cannot ignore that factor. A rally with reportedly 3,000 TPP opponents was held recently in downtown Tokyo.

If Noda is going to overcome such opposition, he needs strong leadership and party support. He also needs more time. A November 15th deadline is simply not realistic.

William Brooks
APP Senior Fellow
October 31, 2011