Thursday, January 19, 2012

Save the Date

 MARCH 27, 2012

 Second Annual Conference on the 
Renaissance of American Manufacturing: 
Jobs, Trade, and the Presidential Elections


Presented by 

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

The National Press Club
529 14th Street, NW
Washington, DC

9:00 am-5:00 pm - Conference Presentations and Panel Discussions
5:00-7:00 pm - Cocktail Reception featuring our signature cocktail:
Buy American and Bring Back Manufacturing One-Two Punch

Free, but space limited

•Why We Need Manufacturing in the U.S. – Can We Succeed Without It?
•National Security, China and the Decline in U.S. Manufacturing
•Manufacturing and the U.S. Jobs Base – What’s Gone Wrong?
•What Do We Need to Do On Trade?
•The Presidential Election – What are the Candidates Saying about Manufacturing
and What Should They be Saying?

Gordon Brinser, President, SolarWorld Industries America Inc.
Leo W. Gerard, International President, United Steelworkers (USW)
Rob Atkinson, President, Information Technology and Innovation Foundation
Rich Harshman, Chairman and CEO, Allegheny Technologies Incorporated
Brian Toohey, President, Semiconductor Industry Association
Scott Paul, Executive Director, Alliance for American Manufacturing
Secretary of Commerce John Bryson* and representatives from the Republican Presidential
Thea Lee, Deputy Chief of Staff, AFL-CIO
Leo Hindery, Chairman of the U.S. Economy/Smart Globalization Initiative at the New
America Foundation
Clyde Prestowitz, President of the Economic Strategy Institute
Bob Ehrlich, Former Governor of Maryland 

* invited

For more information and to pre-register, please contact Lauren Donoghue.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Considering Japan

THE JAPAN-U.S. ALLIANCE: THE CORNERSTONE OF PEACE ANDPROSPERITY IN THE ASIA PACIFIC. 1/17, 5:00-6:00pm, Washington, DC. Sponsor: US-Japan Research Institute. Speaker: Mr. Yasutoshi Nishimura, Member of the House of Representatives, Liberal Democratic Party of Japan.

THE JAPAN THAT CAN'T DECIDE. 1/19, 10:00-11:30am, Washington, DC. Sponsor: Heritage Foundation Asian Studies. Speaker: Keven Maher, Former Director, Office of Japanese Affairs, U.S. Department of State, and author of The Japan That Can’t Decide.

DISCUSSION OF FUKUSHIMA FROM A GLOBAL POINT OF VIEW~ FROM THE PERSPECTIVE OF ENERGY SECURITY. 1/23, 10:00am-Noon, Washington, DC. Sponsor: US-Japan Research Institute. Speakers: Mr. Guy Caruso, Senior Adviser, CSIS; Mr. Jack Spencer, Research Fellow, Nuclear Energy Policy, Heritage Foundation; Mr. Shoichi Ito, Senior Researcher, International Strategy Analysis Group, Strategy Research Unit, the Institute of Energy Economics, Japan (IEEJ); Ms. Jane Nakano, Fellow, Energy and National Security Program, CSIS; Prof. Atsushi Tago Associate Professor, International Politics at the Graduate School of Law, Kobe University.

CLOSE THE BASE - U.S. MILITARY BASES IN OKINAWA, JAPAN. 1/23, 6:00-8:00pm, Washington, DC. Sponsor: Network for Okinawa. Speakers: Delegation of Okinawan students, activists, and politicians. Location: Busboys & Poets, 2021 14th Street, NW. 

Monday, January 16, 2012

Prime Minister of Japan's Schedule January 13-15

Noda's new cabinet
January 13, 2012

09:22 The office of PM
09:32 Cabinet ministerial meeting
09:51 Meeting adjourned
11:31 Mr. Shimoji, Secretary-General of the People’s New Party, and Mr. Tarutoko, DPJ Acting Secretary General
11:49 Establish cabinet formation headquarters
11:52 Welcome prospective Cabinet member appointees

12:22 Mr. Koshiishi, DPJ Secretary General, and Mr. Tarutoko, DPJ Acting Secretary General
12:34 Both leave
01:55 Imperial palace, report to the Emperor, attestation ceremony of new Cabinet members
03:13 The office of PM
03:59 Issue appointment letter for each of the new ministers
04:16 The first ministerial meeting
04:33 Photo shoot
05:07 Mr. Fujimura, Chief Cabinet Secretary; Mr. Saito, Deputy Chief Cabinet Secretary; Mr. Nagahama, Deputy Chief Cabinet Secretary; Mr. Tezuka, Special Advisor to PM
06:01 Press conference
06:25 Mr. Tezuka, Special Advisor to PM
06:50 Mr. Tezuka leaves
07:27 Courtesy call by H.E. Alain Juppe, Minister of State and Minister of Foreign and European Affairs, France
07:39 Japanese restaurant “Kurosawa”, Nagatacho, Tokyo. Dinner with Mr. Kenji Goto, and other journalists with political desk experience
09:36 The residence of PM

January 14, 2012

11:00 TV Tokyo, Toranomon, Tokyo.
11:33 Appear on a news show.

12:36 The residence of PM

January 15, 2012

Residence of PM

06:09 Hotel New Otani, Kioi-cho, Tokyo. Gave greeting remarks at the DPJ social gathering
06:23 A Japanese restaurant in the hotel, “”Senbazuru”. Dinner with Mr. Kunio Nakamura, Board Chairman of Panasonic; Mr. Fujio Mitarai, Chairman and CEO of Cannon; Mr. Sadayuki Sakakibara, Chairman of Toray Industries Inc.; and Mr. Yosuke Kondo, DPJ Lower House member.
08:36 The residence of PM

Sakakibara's smile

On January 16, Eisuke Sakakibara, Japan's former Vice Finance Minister for International Affairs during the 1990s, known as "Mr. Yen," gave a frank assessment of Japan in the international economy over a meatloaf lunch at the Foreign Correspondents Club of Japan.

Sakakibara sees the world headed for a major recession if not depression. To everyone's surprise he breaks out in a huge smile and notes that Japan will be the best place to weather this calamity as Japan is best country: food, environment, safety.

Europe, he believes, is in the process of disintegration, while Japan and China are integrating their economies. Thus, he is dismissive of TPP as unnecessary and views it merely as a U.S./Australian plot to benefit from this integration.

He complains that Prime Minister Noda "blindly follows the US lead." Japan must be independent and part of East Asia. It is, thus, not necessary to sanction Iran, despite any alliance.

Sakakibara concludes that in "national security is we are allies of United States; as far as the economy is concerned we are integrated with China."

[APP's nonresident fellow and Tokyo journalist, Michael Penn, provided the above clip. If you have questions or would like him to pursue other stories, please contact him directly at his Shingetsu News Agency.]

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Prime Minister of Japan's Schedule January 8-12

January 8, 2012


06:15 JR Tokyo Station
06:20 Depart from Tokyo Station on Yamabiko Shinkansen #201, accompanied by Mr. Tatsuo Hirano, Minister for Reconstruction in the Response to the East Japan Earthquake; Mr. Saito, Deputy Chief Cabinet Secretary; Mr. Suematsu, Special Advisor to PM
08:17 JR Fukushima Station
09:53 Marusan Paper Mill, Minami-Soma city, Fukushima
10:05 Exchange opinion with Mr. Osamu Nozaki, President of the paper mill. Mr. Katsunobu Sakurai, mayor of Minami-soma city, also present
10:30 Tour the paper mill
10:39 Press interview
10:47 Onoda Hospital, Minami-soma. Tour the hospital, exchange opinion with those involved

12:04 Tour the construction site of Joban Expressway
02:04 The Fukushima Governor’s office.
02:43 Meeting with Mr. Yuhei Sato, Governor of Fukushima, Mr. Hosono, Minister of State for the Nuclear Power Policy and Administration, also attends
03:19 Sun Palace Fukushima, wedding center
04:03 Meeting of the Council for Reconstructing Fukushima
05:56 Press interview
06:17 JR Fukushima Station
06:18 Leave the station on Max Yamabiko Shinkansen #154
08:10 The residence of PM

January 9, 2012 (Coming-of-Age Holiday)


10:13 Kadoki Hall, Funeral Home, Kamakura city, Kanagawa, Funeral of Ms. Hisako Oishi, DPJ Upper House member, who passed away.

12:05 The residence of PM

January 10, 2012


07:27 Haneda Airport
07:39 Leave the airport on ASDF plane, accompanied by Mr. Tatsuo Hirano, Minister for Reconstruction in the Response to the East Japan Earthquake; Mr. Suematsu, Special Advisor to PM
08:29 Arrive at Matsushima Base of ASDF, greeted by Mr. Yoshihiro Murai, Governor of Miyagi Prefecture, and Mr. Hiroshi Kameyama, Mayor of Ishinomaki city
09:10 Visit Takatoku Kaisan, a fish processing factory, in Ishinomaki-city, Miyagi Prefecture
09:47 Visit temporary housing in Ohashi district in Ishinomaki
10:49 Press interview
11:14 Lunch with Governor Murai and others at Road Station Joubon no Sato
11:50 Leave the station

01:15 Kesenuma city, Miyagi, “Flower Road Kesenuma”, greeted by Mr. Kimiaki Toda, Mayor of Ofunato city, Iwate Prefecture, and Mr. Tsugawa, Parliamentary Secretary of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism
02:27 Tour Taiheiyo Cement Ofunato Factory, accompanied by Takuya Tasso, Governor of Iwate Prefecture
03:14 Visit temporary housing in Ofunato
04:05 Press interview
04:12 Leave the site
05:32 Tohno city, Iwate Prefecture, City Culture Exchange Facility
06:32 Hanamaki Airport, Iwate Prefecture
06:42 Leave the airport
07:48 Arrive at Haneda Airport
08:21 The residence of PM

January 11, 2012


09: 23 The office of PM
09:35 Mr. Koshiishi, DPJ Secretary General
10:21 Mr. Koshiishi leaves
10:50 Mr. Nagashima, Special Advisor to PM
10:56 Mr. Kanazawa, former Administrative Vice Minister of Defense, and Mr. Nakae, New Administrative Vice Minister of Defense
11:13 Mr. Yonemura, Deputy Chief Cabinet Secretary for Crisis Management, and Mr. Kitamura, Head of Cabinet Intelligence and Research Office
11:23 Both leave

02:16 Courtesy call from Heads of Delegations from Member Countries of the Asia Pacific Parliamentary Forum (APPF), including Mr. Taro Aso, head of Japanese delegation.
03:32 Mr. Maehara, chairperson of DPJ Policy Research Council
04:01 Mr. Maehara leaves
05:01 Mr. Honda, Special Advisor to PM
06:01 Conversation with PM’s beat reporters
06:54 Mr. Saito, Deputy Chief Cabinet Secretary
07:08 The residence of PM

January 12, 2012


09:32 The office of PM
09:53 Mr. Kano, Minister of Agriculture, Forestry, and Fishery
10:04 Mr. Kano leaves
11:03 Courtesy call from Mr. Timothy Geithner, Secretary of the Treasury
11:32 Courtesy call from Ms. Valentina Ivanovna Matvienko, Chair of the Council of Federation of Russia

12:05 Three DPJ/Government Executive Meeting
12:43 Mr. Koshiishi, DPJ Secretary General
01:31 Council on the Promotion of “New Public Commons”
02:04 Mr. Maki, Senior Vice Minister of Health, Labour and Welfare
02:29 Mr. Sonoda, Parliamentary Secretary of Cabinet Office, and Ms. Muraki, Director-General for Policy Planning
03:05 Mr. Kiyoshi Kurokawa, Chairperson of the Investigation Commission on the Accident at the Fukushima Nuclear Plants
03:21 Mr. Shimohira, Chief of Defense Intelligence Headquarters, Ministry of Defense, and Mr. Kitamura, Head of Cabinet Intelligence and Research Office
03:44 Mr. Kitamura, Head of Cabinet Intelligence and Research Office, and Mr. Yonemura, Deputy Chief Cabinet Secretary for Crisis Management
03:47 Mr. Yonemura leaves
03:54 Mr. Kitamura leaves
03:56 Mr. Ishida, Senior Vice Minister of Cabinet Office
04:31 European Ambassadors Meeting
04:58 Walk out in the middle
05:30 Mr. Tezuka, Special Advisor to PM
06:18 The residence of PM

Annual Japanese polls on views toward the U.S. out of sync

Asst Sec of State Kurt Campbell in jeans in Tokyo
Japanese views of their relationship with the United States are conflicted. The Alliance remains a legacy of World War II and the Cold War, both of which are out of sync with Japan’s current political and economic power. How Japan should manage its dependency on U.S. markets and military power haunts every political discussion.

Nowhere is this more evident than in the widely diverging conclusions of two annual opinion surveys issued every December – the official Cabinet Office poll (J) and the Yomiuri-Gallup poll (E). They purport to measure the same things: how the Japanese people feel about their international relationships. The Cabinet Office survey of Japan’s foreign relations gauges Japanese feelings toward other countries, including the U.S., while the joint Yomiuri-Gallup poll measures just the views of Japanese toward America and vice versa.

In recent years, the two polls diverge or are at least be out of sync when it comes to Japanese views of the United States. In the latest 2011 Cabinet Office survey, good feelings toward the U.S. are at a record high of 82%, continuing a trend in recent years. Further, 75.4% of Japanese regard bilateral relations to be in good shape.

In contrast, the Yomiuri’s 2011 tally found only 35% of Japanese seeing bilateral relations as good, continuing a recent steady erosion of positive feelings toward the U.S. Moreover, a record 41% thought that the relationship was in bad shape.

Why does the Yomiuri survey differ so dramatically from the official survey, and which poll may be closer to the true views of the Japanese public? Analysis of the surveys may help solve this puzzle.

Cabinet Office: All time high in good feelings toward U.S.
The Cabinet Office survey asks only two questions both with only yes or no choice. There is no room for nuance. Although respondents are asked to take an overall view, people usually seize on the most striking or recent event to make their overall evaluation.

In contrast, the questionnaire for the Yomiuri poll is filled with issue-related questions and allows nuanced responses. People are required to think about main events in the year while selecting their answers.

The Cabinet Office survey is potentially useful in gauging long-term trends in public opinion, but offers little on how the public might feel about specific issues regarding other countries. Since 2009, when the Democratic Party of Japan became Japan’s ruling party, the survey trended sharply positive toward the U.S., even during periods of friction, such as during the rocky Hatoyama administration.

Despite the goodwill generated by U.S. support of Japan after its devastating earthquake, the 2011 poll does not show a significant upward bump. Although the survey showed a record high of 82% of Japanese holding friendly feelings toward the U.S., this figure was only 2.1 points more than the figure in 2010. In fact, the percentage has been rising since 2008, when it was 73%. In the 2009 survey, the public’s good feelings toward the U.S. were 78.9%.

The 2011 level of those professing unfriendly feelings toward the U.S. decreased 2.9 points to 15.5 percent, the lowest since the poll began in 1978. The poll also found 73.4% of Japanese agreeing that relations between Japan and the United States were ''good,” up 0.4 point, while the proportion of those not perceiving relations as good slid to 23.2 percent, down 1.3 points.

Yomiuri poll: All time low in good feelings toward the U.S.
Every year, the Yomiuri Shimbun, Japan’s largest daily newspaper, and the U.S. pollster Gallup carry out a joint opinion survey in Japan and the United States of views toward each other’s country and outstanding issues. The latest poll was released on December 18, 2010. In it, a record 41% of Japanese saw the bilateral relationship as not being in good shape, while only 35% felt positive about the current state of relations.

Americans were more positive, with 52% seeing relations with Japan as good, while 8% regard them as poor. Disturbing signs of erosion surfaced in the 2010 poll, when for the first time since the poll began in 1978, negative views outweighed positive views about the state of bilateral relations. Though Americans were more upbeat, there has been a slow deterioration in positive views over the last several years.

The main reason for the bleak Japanese assessment of ties with the U.S. is attributable to the impasse over the Futenma relocation issue, with 82% of respondents saying it was having a negative impact on bilateral ties. The figure in 2010 was 79%. One can surmise that unless the issue is resolved, Futenma will continue to erode public perceptions of the overall health of the relationship.

The Yomiuri-Gallup poll found an almost unanimous 94% of the Japanese public appreciated the U.S. military help for Japan after the 3-11 disaster. But such good feelings have not carried over to the public’s view of bilateral ties across the board. The survey also found a high appreciation – 71% -- for the U.S.-Japan Security Treaty as contributing to the security of the Asia-Pacific.

Moreover, the efforts of Japan’s Self-Defense Forces (SDF) in rescue and relief operations after the earthquake and tsunami gave it a major boost in the public eye. Asked to pick any public entity or organization that they trusted, the top choice of the Japanese public with 75% was the SDF. This was up 12 points from last year’s 63%.

Japanese bleak assessment of the future of U.S.-Japan relations is equally pessimistic. Asked whether they felt bilateral ties would improve or not in the future, only 11% thought ties would improve, and 12% said they would get worse. An overwhelming 74% of Japanese felt things would remain the same, which would normally be seen as a positive endorsement of the status quo. But given the public’s 41% negative assessment of relations, its view of future ties not changing also has a pessimistic tone.

Friday, January 13, 2012

Taiwan's Elections

Taiwan's parliamentary elections are January 14th. APP member, Michael Fonte is the opposition party's man in Washington. Last week he was in Taiwan observing the campaign and has written a number of interesting essays on his experiences with the Democratic Progressive Party, Taiwan.

With his permission we are sharing one he wrote on January 6th:

Visiting the DPP's main campaign headquarters yesterday just outside Taipei was a pretty amazing experience. Volunteers were hard at work counting the donations that came in from all around Taiwan via multicolored piggie banks.

Kicked off inadvertently when a grandfather brought his triplet grandchildren in with three piggie banks to donate to the campaign, only to have the government's Control Yuan declare that this was illegal because only persons of voting age are allowed to contribute to a political campaign, the "little piggies campaign" took off with the DPP overwhelmed by the response. The final tally is now in: the “three little pigs” fundraising campaign raised more than NT$200 million (US$6.6 million) in political donations from 143,000 piggy banks returned, the party said yesterday. Counting the money was a difficult task. It required 150 volunteers to work on 12 hole-punching machines, 52 coin sorting machines and six coin counters 12 hours a day — a total of more than 3,000 man-hours — for 20 consecutive days.

The sentiment behind this campaign is nicely captured in the short video [featured above] which shows a grandma, the grandfather with the triplets, several small shop owners, and a waitress going about their daily rounds with Tsai Ing-wen's voiceover and her final statement: "I am Tsai Ing-wen, I will not forget you and your desire for a fair and just Taiwan."

The DPP hopes that this piggie campaign represents not just an income source but a participation by "little" people around the island that binds them to the party and will ensure their participation in the Jan. 14th elections.

All well and good, I can hear Washington political circles saying, but is it enough to bring political victory?

Still hard to say. I've heard opinions that vary greatly on the election outcome.

Several recent events that might have an impact:

1. The KMT has generated support from big business types with the sometimes direct, sometimes indirect, warning that the a DPP victory would jeopardize their, and Taiwan's, interests in China. Included in the more direct group are: the chairmen of Delta Electronics, Hon Hai Precision Industry, Ruentex Financial Group and Yulon Group, as well as Formosa Plastics Corp’s president. More obliquely, the chairmen of the General Chamber of Commerce of the ROC and the Far Eastern Group said they supported the candidate who won’t take any “risks with peace and stability across the [Taiwan] Strait.”

2. Chen Shui-bian was allowed to go to Tainan for his mother-in-law's funeral. His every move filled the tv screens, from the blaring red lights and sirens of the police cars in the caravan carrying him to Tainan, to his crawling from the van to the entrance of the site in a traditional sign of grief at the passing of his mother-in-law, to his long statement of being an "son-in-law who was unfilial because he did not visit her before she died".

Chen also expressed his gratitude to his late mother-in-law for supporting his marriage to her daughter, former first lady Wu Shu-jen. He said his wife inherited her sense of justice and “Taiwanese consciousness” from her mother, and had encouraged him to enter politics. Chen said she was not a money-hungry person, as has been claimed. He said that it was his wife who advised him to cut his own salary in half soon after he assumed the presidency in 2000.

The former president said he “definitely did not do the Taiwanese people wrong” or let his supporters down and expressed the hope that the judiciary would prove his innocence and see that justice is done in his various cases.

There were Chen supporters surrounding the site, chanting that he was not guilty and denouncing the KMT for persecuting him.

How will this play in the election? Will it generate more support for the DPP among the darker green base? Will that be countered by anger and mobilization by the darker blue KMT base? Hard to say.

3. The I Want a Good President Alliance — which is comprised of several civic groups concerned with a variety of issues — yesterday released its recommendations as to whom different groups of voters should cast their ballot for in the Jan. 14 presidential election.

Representatives from the Alliance for Fair Tax Reform, the Anti-Poverty Alliance, the Judicial Reform Foundation, Amnesty International Taiwan, the Taiwan Association for Human Rights and the Youth Wants to be Rich — all member organizations of the alliance — announced their recommendations for voters concerned with different issues.

The groups examined the policy platforms of President Ma, Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) presidential candidate Tsai and the People First Party (PFP) presidential candidate James Soong, and also used the results of a survey it sent to the candidates, which asked for their opinions on various social issues, such as judicial reform, tax reform, cross-strait relations, growing national debt and employment conditions.

While both Tsai and Soong returned their surveys, Ma did not, the alliance said.

Based on the survey responses, the alliance recommended Tsai for voters who are concerned about youth employment issues, dispatch workers, social assistance and raising taxes for the wealthy.

Soong was recommended for those who are concerned about dispatch workers and raising tax rates for the wealthy.

Interestingly, the groups stated, “We don’t recommend anyone for cross-strait relations, judicial reform, public childcare, resolving the growing national debt and media reform because none of the three candidates gave satisfactory answers."

My sense is that this alliance is not very powerful in terms of numbers and influence. But will these "endorsements" matter enough to tip a large number of voters in any direction? Hard to say.

4. The Miaoli District Prosecutors’ Office’s decided on Thursday to indict a pro-green political commentator Hsu Yung-ming and Ho Po-wen, a DPP legislative candidate, on charges of public defamation of Miaoli County Commissioner Liu Chen-hung.

Ummm, ok but isn't this part of the normal process of prosecuting people for misdeeds.? Perhaps, but the funny little catch is that the date of the supposed public defamation was June 23, 2010 - a year and a half ago. The two are being charged for describing Miaoli County Commissioner Liu Cheng-hung as an official without moral principles and a bully on political talk show The Talking Show.

You can guess that the DPP is angered by this indictment of one of its legislative candidates. Will it matter much to the voting public? The fight for the Hakka vote has been intense and Miaoli is a heavily Hakka area which has traditionally supported the KMT. Tsai is from a Hakka family and her campaign has tried to capitalize on this.

In short, the beat goes on here. It is exciting and dynamic - a full throated democracy roaring along.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Prime Minister of Japan's Schedule January 4-7, 2012

January 4, 2012


08:48 The office of PM
08:50 Mr. Fujimura, Chief Cabinet Secretary; Mr. Saito, Deputy Chief Cabinet Secretary; Mr. Nagahama, Deputy Chief Cabinet Secretary; Mr. Tezuka, Special Advisor to PM
09:19 Mr. Saito leaves
09:30 Mr. Tezuka leaves
09:35 Mr. Fujimura and Mr. Nagahama leave
10:00 The New Year’s press conference
10:23 Mr. Honda, Special Advisor to PM
11:02 JR Tokyo Station
11:10 Depart from Tokyo Station on Nozomi Shinkansen #29, Mr. Nagahama and Mr. Tezuka accompany

12:51 JR Nagoya Station
12:55 Kintetsu (Kinki Rail) Nagoya Station Guest Room. Meeting with Mr. Hideaki Omura, Governor of Aichi Prefecture, and Mr. Takashi Kawamura, Mayor of Nagoya.
01:10 Depart from Nagoya Station on an express train
02:32 Kintetsu Ujiyamada Station, greeted by Mr. Eikei Suzuki, Governor of Mie Prefecture; Kenichi Suzuki, Mayor of Ise City, Mie Prefecture; and Mr. Hirokazu Shiba, Representative of DPJ Mie Chapter
02:39 The Grand Shrine of Ise, Ise city, outer shrine, offer prayer with Mr. Azumi, Minister of Finance, Mr. Nakagawa, Minister of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology, Mr. Ichikawa, Minister of Defense, Ms. Renho, Minister of State for Government Revitalization, and others.
03:11 Offer prayers in the inner shrine
03:44 Dedicated Kagura (Shinto music and dance) at Kaguraden (hall of special prayers)
04:20 Flower presentation from local boy and girl scouts, photo shooting
04:22 Press interview
04:49 Kintetsu Ujiyamada Station, meeting with Mr. Fumihiro Hashikawa, a first alumni of the Matsushita Institute of Government and Management
05:14 Depart from Ujiyamada Station on an express train in the guest room
06:40 Kintetsu Nagoya Station
06:42 JR Nagoya Station Guest Room, Meeting with Mr. Takayuki Kasai, Chairman of JR Tokai (Central) and others
07:06 Depart from Nagoya Station on Nozomi Shinkansen #252
08:51 JR. Tokyo Station
09:08 The Residence of PM

January 5, 2012


09:33 The office of PM
09:37 Mr. Gemba, Minister of Foreign Affairs
10:03 Mr. Yonemura, new Deputy Chief Cabinet Secretary for Crisis Management (Replaces Mr. Itoh); Mr. Kitamura, new Head of Cabinet Intelligence and Research Office (Replaces Mr. Uematsu)
10:14 Mr. Yonemura and Mr. Kitamura leave

02:05 Hotel New Otani, Kioi-cho Tokyo, made remarks at the New Year celebration party co-hosted by Keidanren, Japan Association of Corporate Executives, and Japan Chamber of Commerce and Industry
02:45 The office of PM
03:51 Hotel Lungwood, Higashi-Nippori, Tokyo, gave greeting remarks at the New Year assembly of Rengo (Japan Trade Union Confederation)
05:10 The office of PM
05:45 Mr. Tezuka, Special Advisor to PM
06:42 The residence of PM

January 6, 2012


09:12 The office of PM
09:21 National Security Council meeting
09:42 The meeting of the Headquarters of the Government and Ruling Parties for Social Security Reform
10:01 Ministerial meeting
10:47 Three DPJ/Government Executive Meeting
11:30 Mr. Maehara, chairperson of DPJ Policy Research Council

12:08 Administrative Vice-ministerial meeting
01:55 Mr. Tatsuo Hirano, Minister for Reconstruction in the Response to the East Japan Earthquake; Mr. Minehisa, Secretary General of the Secretariat of the Reconstruction Headquarters; Mr. Sugawara, Director-General of Industrial Science and Technology Policy and Environment Bureau, Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry
02:54 Mr. Edano, Minister of Economy, Trade, and Industry
03:03 Mr. Yonemura, new Deputy Chief Cabinet Secretary for Crisis Management; Mr. Kitamura, new Head of Cabinet Intelligence and Research Office
03:28 Mr. Moriguchi, new Administrative Vice Minister of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology; Mr. Shimizu, former Administrative Vice Minister of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology
03:40 Mr. Tezuka, Special Advisor to PM
04:07 Video message recording for Thialand’s Prince Mahidol Award
04:28 Mr. Sasae, Administrative Vice-Minister for Foreign Affairs
05:10 Imperial Hotel, Tokyo, give greeting remarks at the new year’s party co-hosted by Jiji Press, Research Institute of Japan, and others
05:44 The office of PM
06:27 The residence of PM

January 7, 2012


10:54 Ministry of Defense, Ichigaya, Tokyo
11:02 Guidon presentation ceremony for the GSDF that participates in PKO activities in South Sudan
11:55 The Capitol Hotel Tokyu, Tokyo, Japanese restaurant “Suiren”, lunch with Mr. Jiro Ushio, Chairman of Ushio Inc.; Mr. Hiroya Masuda, former Minister of Internal Affairs and Communication, Mr. Takeshi Sasaki, Professor at Gakushuin University.

12:58 The residence of PM

North Korea Rock Party

Tip of the hat for the above find to a former APP research assistant who will remain unnamed as he is a PhD candidate at Harvard University. As the creator of the above video says "Ain't no party like a Pyongyang party, 'cause a Pyongyang party is ABSOLUTELY MANDATORY,"

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Scoping out the U.S. elections

U.S. elections do influence foreign policy and foreign policy does influence elections. The above video is an interesting discussion on this issue by Dr. James Lindsay, senior vice president, director of studies, and Maurice R. Greenberg chair at the Council of Foreign Relations hosted by the State Department's Foreign Press Center (FPC) on December 16, 2011.

The FPC is an excellent resource for following the U.S. elections. They have published a Schedule of the U.S. primaries, a Glossary of U.S. election terms, and a List of Frequently Asked Questions about U.S. Elections. You can even sign up for updates to their election publications and programs.

There are a many private websites that follow the elections as well. These include (this is just a sampling, not an endorsement) 2012 Election Central; Google's Elections Hub; ABC News OTUS; 2012 Presidential Candidates; USA Today; and CNN. [We welcome your suggestions. Please post them in the comments section.] 

Monday, January 2, 2012

Prime Minister of Japan's Schedule December 28-31

December 31, 2011 
Whole day at the residence of PM

December 30, 2011


The residence of PM

04:22 Mr. Azumi, Minister of Finance, Ms. Komiyama, Minister of Health, Labor, and Welfare; Mr. Ota, Councilor of the Ministry of Health Labor, and Welfare; Mr. Furukawa, Minister of State for National Policy
04:33 Ms. Komiyama and Mr. Furukawa leave
05:26 Mr. Azumi leaves
06:00 Press interview in front of the PM’s residence
06:07 The residence of PM

December 29, 2011 

09:09 Arrive at Haneda Airport
09:47 Imperial palace, report of return
10:03 The residence of PM

12:55 Mr. Fujimura, Chief Cabinet Secretary; Mr. Azumi, Minister of Finance; Mr. Katsu, Administrative Vice-Minister of Finance; Mr. Furuya, Director-General of the Tax Bureau, Ministry of Finance;
01:32 Mr. Fujimura, Chief Cabinet Secretary; Mr. Maehara, chairperson of DPJ Policy Research Council; Mr. Fujii, DPJ Head of Tax Research Commission; Mr. Shinichiro Furumoto, Secretary-General of DPJ Tax Research Commission
02:27 Mr. Fujimura leaves
02:35 Everyone leaves
02:36 Mr. Koshiishi, DPJ Secretary General; Mr. Tarutoko, DPJ Acting Secretary General
03:01 Both leave
06:10 Mr. Maehara, chairperson of DPJ Policy Research Council; Mr. Fujii, DPJ Head of Tax Research Commission; Mr. Shinichiro Furumoto, Secretary-General of DPJ Tax Research Commission
06:30 The Lower House 2nd Diet Members’ Office Building
06:35 General Assembly of DPJ Tax Research Commission
11:44 Assembly adjourned
11:52 The residence of PM

December 28, 2011 

Evening (Local Time,December 27) 

Stay at Taji Palace Hotel, New Delhi, India
AM (Local Time, December 28)
Welcome ceremony at the presidential palace; Pay floral tribute at Raj Ghat; Meeting with Mr. Krishna, Foreign Minister of India at Taji Palace Hotel

Made a lecture hosted by Indian Council of World Affairs; Luncheon hosted by Federation of Indian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (FICCI), Confederation of Indian Industry (CII), and Assocham; Meeting with Mr. Ansari, Vice President of India, at vice presidential palace; Summit meeting with Prime Minister Singh of India at the Hyderabad House; Signing ceremony for joint statement; Dinner party hosted by Prime Minister Singh; Depart from Palam Air Force Base, Delhi, India. 

More Futenma Analysis

APP's Senior Fellow William Brooks has published in December Cracks in the Alliance? Futenma Log: Base Relocation Negotiations 2009-2010 on the current status of Futenma negotiations. It is issued by Johns Hopkins University SAIS Reischauer Center as a sequel to his highly regarded monograph The Politics of the Futenma Base Issue in Okinawa, which reviews the first two agreements to close and relocate the Futenma Marine Corps Air Station.

Dr. Brooks details how the first two Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ) governments—those of Hatoyama Yukio and Kan Naoto—committed to implementing previous bilateral US-Japan understandings, but in the end were unable to make significant progress. He makes three major points: (1) Hatoyama made serious tactical mistakes, that seriously complicate future resolution of the Futenma problem; (2) Forceful Japanese leadership is required for resolution of the Futenma problem, which Kan did not provide, despite a more positive attitude than Hatoyama; and (3) Feasible routes for resolution of the Futenma problem, consistent with original US-Japan understandings, still remain, but will likely involve a package agreement redefining some key elements of the 2006 understandings, that could take some time to negotiate.

He notes:
The contradiction of asking for an immediate closing of a base, whose function in a contingency is regarded as critical, and at the same time saying that it cannot be relocated in Okinawa, while knowing full well from recent efforts that such an option is impossible, can mean two things. One is that the level of emotions among Okinawans since the Hatoyama “betrayal” is so high it has overridden logic and pragmatism. But it also means that Futenma has become a political cause – a tool for political activists who want to see all Marines or all U.S. bases out of Okinawa. Either way, Okinawa loses. The status quo – or worse – is likely to remain for a long, long while. 
Like it or not, the strategic reality is that Okinawa has become even more crucial a center for the forward deployment of U.S. forces in East Asia as China becomes more militarily active in the region. Stable basing is a requirement for the U.S. forces in Japan, and Okinawa provides far more than its share of prime land for that purpose. The 2006 Roadmap Agreement promised to lighten Okinawa’s security burden by closing six facilities and shifting some of the U.S Marine presence to Guam, but it has not been implemented due to local resistance. There are no incentives thus for the U.S. to offer more concessions when the earlier ones have been spurned.