Sunday, June 30, 2013

Monday in Washington, July 1

CHINA FINANCIAL CENTRE DEVELOPMENT SUMMIT. 7/1, 7:30-11:45am Sponsor: Economic Strategy Institute. Speakers: Clyde Prestowitz, President, Economic Strategy Institute; Feng Yueqiu, Director, China Development Institute (CDI); Dr. Guo Wanda, Executive Vice President, CDI; Zhou Guoyou, Director, Issuer Marketing, Department of Shenzhen Stock Exchange; Dr. Zhang Jiansen, Director of Center for Financial Studies, CDI.

REBUILDING IRAQ: LESSONS GOING FORWARD. 7/1, 8:30-10:00am. Sponsor: Institute for the Study of War (ISW). Speaker: Stuart Bowen, Special Inspector General for Iraq Reconstruction, Author, Hard Lessons: The Iraq Reconstruction Experience.

RETHINKING NORTH KOREAN NEGOTIATIONS. 7/1, Noon-1:00pm. Sponsor: Sigur Center for Asian Studies, Elliot School, George Washington University (GWU). Speaker: LTC Kiwan Shin, Republic of Korea Army, Visiting Scholar, Sigur Center for Asian Studies, Elliott School, GWU. 

MERRY CHRISTMAS (JOYEUX NOËL) 7/1, 6:30-9:00pm. Sponsor: Goethe-Institut Washington, Goethe Forum. Film viewing and discussion of the 2005 film that expands on an actual Christmas Eve during world War I, where the Germans, French, and Scottish fraternize and get to know the men who live on the opposite side of a brutal war, in what became a true lesson of humanity.

North Korean Sanctions Report

Global Nampo
On May 31, the UN's 1718 Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) Sanctions Committee met to discuss its latest annual report from the Panel of Experts (PoE) assisting the Committee.* The report was circulated to Council members in mid-May and approved for publication June 11. On June 24th, the report and fact sheet were, without objection from China, released publicly.

The 133-page report concludes that the DPRK continues to develop its nuclear and ballistic missile programs. "In both its export and import of goods under sanctions," the DPRK uses "a variety of techniques to circumvent national controls, indicating that the imposition of sanctions has hampered its arms sales and illicit weapon programs." The majority of sanctions non-compliance incidents brought to the attention of the Panel involve movements of illicit goods by sea. Yet, the PoE believe that the sanctions are having an impact and are causing significant delays to Pyongyang's plans.

Most significant, paragraph 50 states that "Diplomats of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, or officials travelling on diplomatic or service passports, have also been involved in numerous violations of the arms embargo." The paragraph 51 urges nations hosting North Korean embassies, missions or trade offices "to exercise enhanced vigilance over DPRK diplomatic personnel so as to prevent such individuals from contributing to the DPRK’s prohibited programmes or activities, or to the evasion of sanctions."

The report mentioned incidents involving Pyongyang's officials acting in countries such as Ukraine, Austria and the Republic of Congo ranging from attempts to obtain classified information, to conducting illicit activities out of a diplomatic office and violating arms embargoes.

The POE recommends designating four entities and 11 people for blacklisting.They include the new North Korea Ministry of Atomic Energy Industry, the Munitions Industry Department of the Central Committee of the Korean Workers' Party, the State Space Development Bureau and the Hesong Trading Corp.The individuals include high ranking officials affiliated with the various entities, as well as two individuals from Ukraine and one from Kazakhstan.

24 June 2013, Fact Sheet compiling certainmeasures imposedby Security Council Resolutions1718(2006), 1874(2009), 2087(2013), and 2094(2013)

March 2013, UN Security Council Resolutions on North Korea, Arms Control Association

*On March 7th, almost four months in advance of the scheduled expiry of the PoE, the Council adopted resolution 2094 renewing its mandate until 7 April 2014, but deciding that the PoE should still submit a final report in accordance with the original reporting schedule of resolution 2050.)

Friday, June 28, 2013

Prime Minister of Japan's Schedule June 12-19

June 12, 2013 (Wed)


09:40 Leave private residence in Tomigaya
09:59 Arrive at office
11:15 Toshiro Yonemura, Deputy Chief Cabinet Secretary for Crisis Management

01:25 Lower House Member Yasuhisa Shiozaki, Japanese Chairman of UK-Japan 21th Century Group; Ken Shibusawa, President & CEO of Japan Center for International Exchange
02:12 Katsusada Hirose, Governor of Oita Prefecture
03:55 Katsuhito Ikeda, Director of Atomic Energy Regulation Office
04:19 Yuhei Sato, Governor of Fukushima Prefecture
04:38 Hirokazu Nakaima, Governor of Okinawa Prefecture and Chairman of the Council for Promotion of De-zoning and Reutilization of Military Land in Okinawa
04:55 Akira Amari, Minister of Economic Revitalization; Ikuro Sugawara, Manufacturing Industry Director at Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry
05:18 Katsunobu Kato, Chief Cabinet Deputy Secretary; Koji Tsuruoka, Deputy Minister for Foreign Affairs; Nobuhiko Sasaki, Vice-Minister for International Affairs, METI
06:17 Industrial Competitiveness Council
07:07 Leave office
07:16 Arrive at Chinese restaurant “Rikyu” in Akasaka, Tokyo. Informal talk with editorial writers of newspaper and news companies
09:26 Leave restaurant
09:42 Arrive at private residence

June 13, 2013 (Thurs)


08:42 Leave official residence
09:08 Enter the Caretta Shiodome complex in Higashi Shinbashi, Tokyo. Inside at Caretta Photo Studio record LDP video. LDP’s Yuriko Koike, Chairperson, Public Relations Headquarters; Takuya Hirai, Public Relations Headquarters are present
10:40 Leave complex
10:51 Arrive at office
11:15 Telephone conversation with US President Obama

12:29 Lunch with Haruhito Kuroda, Governor of the Bank of Japan
01:38 Akira Amari, Minister of Economic Revitalization
01:49 Leave office
02:05 Arrive at Caretta Shiodome. Inside at Caretta Photo Studio record LDP video. Yuriko Koike and Takuya Hirai are present
03:32 Leave complex
03:43 Arrive at office
03:55 Ministerial Council on Monthly Economic Report and Other Relative Issues
04:32 Receive report from Minoru Makihara, Japanese Chairman of U.S.-Japan Conference on Cultural and Educational Interchange (CULCON) Education Task Force. U.S. Ambassador to Japan John Roos is present
04:56 Taro Aso, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance; Yasushi Manago, Vice Finance Minister; Yasushi Kinoshita, Head of Budget Bureau; Kazuho Tanaka, Head of Tax Bureau
05:16 Shigetaro Yamamoto, Governor of Yamaguchi Prefecture; Shungaku Yanai, Yamaguchi Prefectural Assembly Chair
05:48 Council on Economic and Fiscal Policy
06:13 Hakubun Shimomura, Minister of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology
07:01 Leave office
07:05 Arrive at Hotel Okura in Toranomon, Tokyo. In banquet room, attend the inauguration ceremony for the Newly Reorganized Medical Excellence Japan and give address
07:27 Leave hotel
07:30 Arrive at official residence. Dinner with Hakubun Shinomura, Naoki Inose, Governor of Tokyo Metropolitan area
09:04 Leave official residence
09:18 Arrive at private residence

June 14, 2013 (Fri)


08:22 Leave private residence
08:36 Arrive at office
08:47 Japan Economic Revitalization Headquarters
09:05 Cabinet meeting
09:23 Interview with media outlets
10:00 Akitaka Saiki and Koji Tsuruoka, both Deputy Ministers for Foreign Affairs; Nobuhiko Sasaki, Vice-Minister for International Affairs, METI enter
10:22 Mr. Sasaki leaves
10:32 Mr. Saiki leaves
10:44 Mr. Tsuruoka leaves
10:54 Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida; Chikao Kawai, Vice-Minister for Foreign Affairs
11:15 Shigeru Kitamura, Cabinet Information Officer

12:51 Sanae Takaichi, Chairman of the Policy Research Council, LDP
01:42 Yoshihide Suga, Chief Cabinet Secretary
01:53 Tomomi Inada, Administrative Reform Minister
02:30 Akitaka Saiki and Koji Tsuruoka, both Deputy Ministers for Foreign Affairs; Nobuhiko Sasaki, Vice-Minister for International Affairs, METI
03:46 Kazuho Tanaka, Director General of the Tax Bureau
04:11 Mr. Saiki and Mr. Sasaki
06:22 Leave office
06:34 Arrive at Aoyama Funeral Parlor in Minami Aoyama, Tokyo. Attends the wake of Nagayoshi Sumida, former President and CEO of Sankei Shimbun
06:37 Leave funeral
07:01 Arrive at Ancienne Ai restaurant in Sangen-Jaya, Tokyo. Dinner with wife Akie
08:53 Leave restaurant
09:07 Arrive at private residence

June 15, 2013 (Sat)


10:06 Leave private residence
10:25 Arrive at Grand Hyatt Hotel Tokyo in Roppongi. Exercise at Nagomi Spa and Fitness

01:21 Leave hotel
01:43 Arrive at Haneda Airport
01:55 Interview with media outlets
02:20 Leave on government plane to Poland to begin visit to European countries with wife Akie. The Prime Minister Visits Poland
In Poland, attends “Food Reception”

June 16, 2013 (Sun)

Continues activities in Poland
Attends Japanese food fair
Summit with V4 nations: Poland, Hungary, the Czech Republic, and the Slovak Republic

June 17, 2013 (Mon)

Discussion with President Obama
G8 Lough Erne Summit in Northern Ireland

June 18, 2013 (Tues)

Second day of G8 Summit

June 19, 2013 (Wed)

The Prime Minister visits to Republic of Ireland and the United Kingdom
Meet with Enda Kenny, Prime Minister of Ireland
Give economic policy speech at Guildhall, London. (A transcript of Abe’s remarks can be found here)

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Don't get MAD, get MAP

ties that bind
Mutual Assured Production: Why Trade Will Limit Conflict Between China and Japan

By Richard Katz, 

editor Oriental Economist
APP member
First appeared in the July/August 2013 edition of Foreign Affairs

Last fall, as the countries escalated their quarrel over an island chain that Japan has controlled for more than a century, many Chinese citizens boycotted Japanese products and took to the streets in anti-Japanese riots. This commotion, at times encouraged by the Chinese government, led the Japanese government to fear that Beijing might exploit Japan’s reliance on China as an export market to squeeze Tokyo into making territorial concessions. Throughout the crisis, Japan has doubted that China would ever try to forcibly seize the islands—barren rocks known in Chinese as the Diaoyu Islands and in Japanese as the Senkaku Islands -- if only because the United States has made it clear that it would come to Japan’s defense. Japanese security experts, however, have suggested that China might try other methods of intimidation, including a prolonged economic boycott.During the Cold War, the United States and the Soviet Union carefully avoided triggering a nuclear war because of the assumption of “mutual assured destruction”: each knew that any such conflict would mean the obliteration of both countries. Today, even though tensions between China and Japan are rising, an economic version of mutual deterrence is preserving the uneasy status quo between the two sides.

But these fears have not materialized, for one simple reason: China needs to buy Japanese products as much as Japan needs to sell them. Many of the high-tech products assembled in and exported from China, often on behalf of American and European firms, use advanced Japanese-made parts. China could not boycott Japan, let alone precipitate an actual conflict, without stymieing the export-fueled economic miracle that underpins Communist Party rule.

For the moment, the combination of economic interdependence and Washington’s commitment to Japan’s defense will likely keep the peace. Still, an accidental clash of armed ships around the islands could lead to an unintended conflict. That is why defense officials from both countries have met with an eye to reducing that particular risk. With no resolution in sight, those who fear an escalation can nonetheless take solace in the fact that China and Japan stand to gain far more from trading than from fighting.

Although China first claimed the Diaoyu/ Senkaku Islands in 1971, it never did much to pursue its claim until recently. On the contrary, in the interests of improving economic and political ties, Chinese Premier Zhou Enlai and Japanese Prime Minister Kakuei Tanaka agreed in 1972 to shelve the issue indefinitely. Beijing even stopped Chinese nationalist activists from trying to land on the islands and prevented articles that asserted China’s claim to them from appearing in the Chinese press. In the last few years, however, China has reversed course and started to back up its claims with actions. In 2010, for example, a Chinese fishing boat rammed a Japanese coast guard ship in the waters around the islands. When the coast guard personnel arrested the fishing boat’s captain, Beijing declared that Japan had no jurisdiction in “Chinese territory” and cut off supplies to Japan of vital rare-earth minerals until he was released.

It took until July 2012 for the issue to explode. That month, then Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda announced that his government intended to buy some of the islets from their private Japanese owner. Noda’s aim was to prevent them from being sold to the right-wing governor of Tokyo, who had revealed plans for the islands that would certainly have provoked China. But Beijing told Noda that it would see even the government’s purchase as an unacceptable change in the status quo. The Noda administration ignored warnings from both Beijing and the U.S. State Department and deluded itself that China would acquiesce to the purchase.

Then came the riots and the boycotts. For several weeks in August and September, Chinese protesters caused a ruckus, damaging Japanese-made cars, vandalizing stores selling Japanese products, and setting a Panasonic factory on fire. The police vacillated between encouraging and suppressing the riots, and some Chinese state media outlets listed Japanese brands to boycott. By the time the dust settled, Japanese firms operating in China had suffered about $120 million in property damage, and for a few months thereafter, sales of Japanese cars fell by approximately 40–50 percent.

The riots have stopped, but the larger conflict shows no signs of fading. China regularly sends armed surveillance boats into the islands’ territorial waters, and the Chinese Foreign Ministry now calls the islands a “core interest,” a term limited to the most sensitive areas regarding China’s sovereignty, such as Taiwan and Tibet. China’s Commerce Ministry has hinted at the possibility of a prolonged boycott to get Tokyo to concede that China has legitimate claims to the islands. It warned last September that Noda’s purchase of the islands would “inevitably affect and damage . . . Sino-Japanese economic and trade relations.”

A boycott would indeed prove disastrous for Japan’s export-dependent economy. From 2002 to 2007, a third of Japan’s GDP growth came from an increase in its trade surplus, and another third came from capital investment, much of which was tied to exports. And China stands at the center of this picture. From 1995 to 2011, increased shipments to China accounted for 45 percent of the overall growth in Japanese exports. Since the crisis erupted last July, however, Japan’s price-adjusted exports to China have fallen by 20 percent, compared with an 11 percent drop in its global exports (as of March).

Japan’s dependence on China helps explain why the new Japanese prime minister, Shinzo Abe, has not followed through on the hawkish positions he touted during last December’s election campaign, such as his plan to place personnel and facilities on the Senkakus. Abe knows that his popularity hinges on Japan’s economic recovery, and lest he forget it, Japanese businesses have been urging him to refrain from any provocations while still seeking a resolution that maintains the country’s sovereignty over the islands.

But it is not only Tokyo’s behavior that has been tempered by economic interdependence. This year, Chinese censors have blocked the phrase “Boycott Japan” from Weibo, China’s equivalent of Twitter. During February’s New Year’s celebrations, Beijing banned sales of the popular “Tokyo Big Bang” fireworks, which simulate the burning of the Japanese capital. In late March, China even joined Japan and South Korea in long-anticipated talks aimed at forming a trilateral free-trade agreement.

Meanwhile, Chinese provincial governments, hungry for jobs and tax revenue, keep imploring Japanese companies to expand their operations in China. In February, the city of Chongqing hired the Mitsui Group, a Japanese conglomerate, to develop an industrial park aimed at attracting foreign investment. At a March conference of the Japan-China Economic Association in Beijing, China’s new vice president, Li Yuanchao, may have insisted that the media not photograph him shaking hands with Japan’s top business leaders, but he nevertheless asked those leaders to step up their investments. Even on the national level, China is far more pluralistic than it used to be. The Communist Party–owned Global Times published both pro- and anti-boycott op-eds last fall.

Nor do most Chinese consumers seem interested in a boycott. The Japanese products that have lost the most sales during these latest tensions have been the highly visible ones, which are vulnerable to social pressure. Last fall and winter, sales of the popular cosmetics and skin-care products made by the Japanese company Shiseido tumbled, partly because many customers refrained from sending them as holiday gifts. Some stores temporarily displayed Shiseido products less prominently, but very few stopped carrying them altogether.

The worst-hit Japanese products have been cars, since many were vandalized by hooligans during the riots. But sales are recovering. Last fall, Nissan, the Japanese automaker, offered its Chinese customers its new “Promise for Car Security” program, a guarantee of free repairs for vehicles damaged in anti-Japanese riots. That’s one reason why in March, sales at Nissan dealerships finally rose above the previous year’s levels. And as China’s infamous air pollution has worsened, February sales of air purifiers by Panasonic doubled from the year before, and sales of those made by Daikin quadrupled. Both are Japanese companies.

Why does China, the world’s largest exporter, so badly need what Japan is selling? Put simply, China’s export-driven economic miracle depends on imports. Around 60-70 percent of the goods China imports from Japan are the machinery and parts needed to make China’s own products. China cannot cut off this flow, or risk disrupting it through conflict, without crippling its economy. That is why, during the height of the island crisis last fall, the same Chinese customs officials who sometimes delayed shipments of Japanese consumer goods let industrial parts pass through.

Monday, June 24, 2013

Happy Birthday Raphael Lemkin

Today, June 24, is the 113th birthday Raphael Lemkin (1900-1959). A linguist, a lawyer, a scholar, he devoted most of his life to making the world understand and recognize a crime so horrific that there had not even been a word for it. In 1944, he gave the world the word, "genocide."

Coming of age in post-World War I Poland, Lemkin was keenly aware of virilent campaigns to wipe out the "other." As a Jewish intellectual he straddled western and eastern traditions, modern and ancient sensibilities. Most important, he experienced long-nurtured prejudices and knew that what Hitler proposed was something quite different than any pogrom the Jews had ever seen.

Lemkin recognized that modern civilized society needed to address not only the crimes committed in war, of one country against another, but also those of mass violence within the sovereign state. He identified two "new crimes"—barbarism (killing civilians of a particular ethnic group because of their membership in that group)—and vandalism (the destruction of the cultural heritage of such groups).

In exile in the United States after 1941, Lemkin carefully collected documents and reports on Nazi rule throughout the growing Third Reich. In 1944, the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace published Lemkin's Axis Rule in Occupied Europe. His book included an extensive legal analysis of Nazi Germany along with the definition of the term genocide. He said he had created the word by combining the ancient Greek word genos (race, tribe) and the Latin cide (killing). [see video above]

 Lemkin worked hard, and alone, to have have his view of genocide as an offense against international law--against humanity--accepted by the international community. His success was that it was one of the legal bases of the Nuremberg Trials. In 1948, the newly formed United Nations used his new word in its Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide, a treaty intended to prevent future genocides. 

Yale Professor Jay Winter in a recent article (June 3, 2013) for the Chronicle of Higher Education, "Prophet Without Honors: Raphael Lemkin helped make genocide illegal. So why haven't you heard of him?", concludes: 

Reading Lemkin's autobiography helps us acknowledge both the significance and the limits of his work. Naming a crime is not the same as eliminating it. That he did not launch a new era immediately, one in which human dignity comes before state sovereignty, is hardly a criticism. The times and the odds were against him. What he offered was a possibility, one to be taken up today or tomorrow, and who can do more than that?
The world was reminded of Lemkin's determination and brillance in 2002 by journalist Samantha Powers in her seminal A Problem from Hell: America and the Age of Genocide. In July, she will become the US ambassador to the UN.

This month, Lemkin's unfinished autobiography edited by Donna-Lee Frieze (Center for Jewish History in New York City), Totally Unofficial was published by Yale University Press.

Japan, Indonesia, and Thailand are not a party to the Genocide Convention. Japan is the only G8 country that is not.

Key writings of Raphael Lemkin on Genocide.

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Monday in Washington

THE ENDURING ALLIANCE: CELEBRATING THE60TH ANNIVERSARY OF ROK-US RELATIONS. 6/24, 9:00am-6:40pm, 6/25, 9:00am-6:00pm. Sponsor: Asan Institute for Policy Studies. Speakers: Hahm Chaibong, Asan Institute; Burwell B. Bell, Former Commander, US Forces Korea; Han Sung-Joo, Former Minister of Foreign Affairs, ROK; Robert Garcia, Former US Representative, D-NY; Park Jin, Former Member, National Assembly, ROK; John Warner, Former US Senator, R-VA; David Sanger, The New York Times; Graham Allison, Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs; Kim Sung-han, Former Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs, ROK; Gary Samore, Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs; Walter Sharp, Former Commander, US Forces Korea; Yu Myung Hwan, Former Minister of Foreign Affairs, ROK; Choi Kang, Asan Institute, Kil Jeong Woo, National Assembly, ROK; Lee Chung Min, Yonsei University; Mark Minton, Korea Society; Douglas Paal, Carnegie; Paul Wolfowitz, Former US Deputy Secretary of Defense; David Rennie, The Economist; Richard Bush, Brookings; Kurt Campbell, Asia Group, LLC; Joe Lieberman, Former US Senator, I-CT; Christopher Hill, University of Denver; Thomas C. Hubbard, McLarty Associates; J. James Kim, Asan Institute; Charlie Cook, The Cook Political Report; Kim Jiyoon, Asan Institute; Bruce Klingner, Heritage; William Tobey, Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs; Shin Chang-Hoon, Asan Institute; Michael O’Hanlon, Brookings; Bennett Ramberg, Foreign Policy Consultant, Writer; Yamaguchi Noboru, National Defense Academy of Japan; Baek Buhm-Suk, Asan Institute; Roberta Cohen, Brookings; Frank Jannuzi, Amnesty International USA; Marcus Noland, Peterson Institute for International Economic; Walter Lohman, Heritage; Michael Auslin, AEI; Bong Youngshik, Asan Institute; Nishino Junya, Keio University; Thomas Christensen, Princeton University; Bonnie Glaser, CSIS; Gilbert Rozman, Princeton University; Zhao Quansheng, American University.

CYBER SECURITY AND NETWORK DEFENSE CONFERENCE. 6/24-26, 8:30am. Sponsor: Institute for Defense and Government Advancement (IDGA). Speakers: Capt. Joshua Dixon, project officer for technology transition, Marine Corps; Greg Wilshusen, Director of information technology, Government Accountability Office; Matthew Scholl, Deputy Division Chief of Computer Security, National Institute of Standards and Technology.

BLACK CODE: INSIDE THE BATTLE FOR CYBERSPACE. 6/24, 10:00am-Noon. Sponsor: National Endowment for Democracy (NED). Speakers: Ronald J. Deibert, Author, Director, Canada Centre for Global Security Studies and the Citizen Lab, Munk School of Global Affairs, University of Toronto; Leslie Harris, President and CEO, Center for Democracy and Technology; Harvey Rishikof, Chair of the Advisory Committee, American Bar Association Standing Committee on Law and National Security.

SCIENCE LITERACY: BRIDGING THE CHASM BETWEEN SCIENCEAND PUBLIC POLICY. 6/24, 11:30am-12:30pm. Sponsor: Library of Congress. Speaker: Mark Frankel, Director of the Scientific Responsibility, Human Rights and Law Program, American Association for the Advancement of Science.

U.S. ECONOMIC STATECRAFT IN SOUTH ASIA. 6/24, Noon-1:30pm. Sponsor: Center for American Progress (CAP). Speakers: Parag Saxena, Founding General Partner and CEO, New Silk Route Partners; Marc Grossman, Vice Chairman, Cohen Group and former U.S. special representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan; William Byrd, Afghanistan Senior Expert, U.S. Institute of Peace; Caroline Wadhams, Senior Fellow, CAP; Rich Verma, Senior Fellow, CAP; Neera Tanden, President, CAP.

WOMEN AS A DRIVER OF ECONOMIC GROWTH. 6/24, Noon-2:30pm. Sponsor: Peterson Institute for International Economics (IIE). Speakers: Heidi Crebo-Rediker, Chief Economist, State Department; Minouche Shafik, Deputy Managing Director, International Monetary Fund; Carly Fiorina, former chairman and CEO, Hewlett-Packard, founder, One Woman Initiative.

AFGHANISTAN BEYOND THE HEADLINES: WOMEN, YOUTH, AND THE WAR. 6/24, Noon-5:00pm. Sponsor: Wilson Center. Speakers: Ayscha Hamdani, former Adviser to the European Union (EU) and NATO officials in Afghanistan; Richard Cincotta, Political Demography Consultant of the Environmental Change and Security Program and demographer-in-residence at the Stimson Center; Razia Jan, Founder, Razia's Ray of Hope Foundation; Maiwand Rahyab, Counterpart International's deputy director for Afghanistan; Mary Ellen Stanon, Senior Maternal Health Adviser for the USAID; Karen Hardee, Senior Fellow, Futures Group; Ayscha Hamdani, independent international affairs consultant and former special adviser and Chief of Staff, European Union special representative, EU Delegation to Afghanistan; Ratha Loganthan, Senior Health Adviser for Afghanistan, USAID Office of Afghanistan and Pakistan Affairs; Linda Bartlett, Associate Scientist, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health; Palwasha Kakar, Director, Women's Empowerment and Development for Afghanistan, Asia Foundation.

THE CHINESE CYBER CHALLENGE: HOW TO ADDRESS THE GROWING THREAT. 6/24, 2:00-3:30pm. Sponsor: Atlantic Council, Scowcroft Center on International Security. Speakers: Dmitri Alperovitch, Co-Founder and CTO, CrowdStrike, Inc.; Dr. James Mulvenon, Vice President, Intelligence Division, Director, Center for Intelligence Research and Analysis, Defense Group, Inc (DGI); Dr. Gregory J. Rattray, CEO and Founding Partner, Delta Risk LLC; Jason Healey, Director, Cyber Statecraft Initiative, Atlantic Council.

THE SECRETARY: TRAVELS WITH HILLARY CLINTON FROM BEIRUT TO THE HEART OF AMERICAN POWER. 6/24, 6:00-7:15pm, Washington, DC. Sponsor: Middle East Institute, Oman Library. Speaker: Kim Ghattas, Author, State Department Correspondent, BBC.

Thursday, June 20, 2013

South Korea: The Enduring Alliance

June 24 

June 25

Asan Institute for Policy Studies 

Hahm Chaibong, Asan Institute; Burwell B. Bell, Former Commander, US Forces Korea; Han Sung-Joo, Former Minister of Foreign Affairs, ROK; Robert Garcia, Former US Representative, D-NY; Park Jin, Former Member, National Assembly, ROK; John Warner, Former US Senator, R-VA; David Sanger, The New York Times; Graham Allison, Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs; Kim Sung-han, Former Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs, ROK; Gary Samore, Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs; Walter Sharp, Former Commander, US Forces Korea; Yu Myung Hwan, Former Minister of Foreign Affairs, ROK; Choi Kang, Asan Institute, Kil Jeong Woo, National Assembly, ROK; Lee Chung Min, Yonsei University; Mark Minton, Korea Society; Douglas Paal, Carnegie; Paul Wolfowitz, Former US Deputy Secretary of Defense; David Rennie, The Economist; Richard Bush, Brookings; Kurt Campbell, Asia Group, LLC; Joe Lieberman, Former US Senator, I-CT; Christopher Hill, University of Denver; Thomas C. Hubbard, McLarty Associates; J. James Kim, Asan Institute; Charlie Cook, The Cook Political Report; Kim Jiyoon, Asan Institute; Bruce Klingner, Heritage; William Tobey, Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs; Shin Chang-Hoon, Asan Institute; Michael O’Hanlon, Brookings; Bennett Ramberg, Foreign Policy Consultant, Writer; Yamaguchi Noboru, National Defense Academy of Japan; Baek Buhm-Suk, Asan Institute; Roberta Cohen, Brookings; Frank Jannuzi, Amnesty International USA; Marcus Noland, Peterson Institute for International Economic; Walter Lohman, Heritage; Michael Auslin, AEI; Bong Youngshik, Asan Institute; Nishino Junya, Keio University; Thomas Christensen, Princeton University; Bonnie Glaser, CSIS; Gilbert Rozman, Princeton University; Zhao Quansheng, American University. 

Ronald Reagan Building and International Trade Center
1300 Pennsylvania Ave., NW
Washington, DC

Monday, June 17, 2013

Prime Minister of Japan's Schedule June 4-11

June 4, 2013 (Tues)


08:03 Leave private residence in Tomigaya
08:14 Arrive at office
08:23 Cabinet meeting
08:34 Seko Hiroshige, Chief Cabinet Deputy Secretary
09:52 Leave office
09:54 Arrive at National Diet
09:56 House of Councillors committee meeting room 21
10:00 Opening of House of Councillors Economic and Industry committee meeting
11:35 Leave House of Councillors Economic and Industry committee mid-session
11:36 Leave National Diet
11:38 Arrive at office
11:55 Taro Kimura, aide to the Prime Minister

12:00 Mr. Kimura leaves
12:08 Leave office
12:09 Arrive at official residence. Dine with LDP’s Tatsuo Fukuda and other first term lower house Diet members. Suga Yoshihide, Chief Cabinet Secretary and others attend
12:56 Leave official residence
12:57 Arrive at office
01:26 Akira Amari, Minister of Economic Revitalization; Takashi Matsumoto, Cabinet Office Undersecretary; Takeshi Matsuyama, Vice-Minister for Policy Coordination
01:52 Leave office
02:04 Enter Nippon Keidanren (Japan Business Federation) meeting hall in Otemachi, Tokyo.
02:06 Nippon Keidanren Regular General meeting
02:24 Leave meeting hall
02:36 Arrive at assembly hall in Kasumigaseki, Tokyo
02:40 Raises signboard for the Comprehensive IT Strategy Unit with Ichita Yamamoto, IT Policy Advisor and others
02:43 Leave assembly hall
02:45 Arrive at office
03:11 Kosuke Obata, Society President of Japan Youth Assembly Place
03:45 Tomomi Inada, Administrative Reform Minister
03:26 Leave office
03:29 Arrive at LDP Headquarters. Attend National Party Secretary General Meeting
05:03 Leave LDP Headquarters.
05:05 Arrive at office
05:06 Masako Mori, Minister for the Declining Birthrate. Yasunori Yoshimura, Cabinet Secretariat Advisor attends
05:27 Toshio Oishi, Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications’ Deputy Director of Affairs
05:40 Yasuo Otani, Deputy Director-General of Health, Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare; Yoshiyuki Kikura, Director General, Health Insurance Bureau.
06:36 Summit meeting with South African President Jacob Zuma
07:21 Leave office
07:22 Arrive at official residence
07:23 Dinner hosted by Prime Minister
07:40 See off President Zuma
07:44 Leave official residence
07:57 Arrive at private residence

June 5, 2013 (Wed)


09:03 Leave private residence
09:21 Arrive at office
09:48 Leave office
09:56 Arrive at Hotel New Otani in Kioicho, Tokyo. Inside hotel’s banquet hall, attend General Meeting of the Japan Association of City Mayors, give address
10:14 Masato Matsuura, Mayor of Hofu in Yamaguchi Prefecture
10:17 Leave hotel
10:25 Arrive at office
10:26 Toshiaki Endo, Chief Secretary of Bipartisan “Diet Members Alliance for 2020 Tokyo Olympics/Paralympics Japan Invitation”
10:44 Reconstruction Promotion Committee
11:05 Regulatory Reform Council
11:20 Masahiko Komura, Liberal Democratic Party Vice-President

12:06 Leave office
12:23 Arrive at Grand Prince Hotel in Takanawa, Tokyo. In hotel banquet room attend Research Institute of Japan’s national seminar, gives address
01:13 Leave hotel
01:33 Arrive at official residence. Attend Cabinet Minister Ladies’ meeting.
01:41 Leave official residence
01:42 Arrive at office
01:56 Akira Amari, Minister of Economic Revitalization; Ikuro Sugawara, Manufacturing Industry Director at Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry.
02:26 Itsunori Onodera, Defense Minister; Masanori Nishi, Defense Ministry Undersecretary; Hideshi Tokuchi, Defense Policy Bureau Director
03:03 Courtesy call from Hiromasa Yonekura, Japanese Chairman of Japan-EU Business Round Table; Ambassador Hans Dietmar Schweisgut, Head of Delegation of the European Union to Japan; and others
03:19 Shigeru Kitamura, Cabinet Information Officer; Hideshi Toguchi; Kenichi Kinomura, Head of Intelligence Headquarters enter
03:28 Hideshi Toguchi and Kenichi Kinomura leave
03:44 Shigeru Kitamura leaves
04:01 Administrative Reform Promotion Council
05:03 Forum for Consultations between the National and Regional Governments
05:11 Hakubun Shimomura, Minister of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology; Norihisa Tamura, Minister of Health, Labor and Welfare; Masako Mori, Minister for the Declining Birthrate
05:28 Koichi Hamada, Cabinet Secretariat Advisor
06:14 Industrial Competitiveness Council
07:02 Leave office
07:03 Arrive at official residence. Dine with Keiji Yamada, Kyoto Prefectural Governor, Nation-Wide Prefectural Governor Chairman. Yoshitaka Shindo, Minister for Internal Affairs; Yoshihide Suga, Chief Cabinet Secretary attended
08:30 Leave official residence
08:33 Arrives ANA Intercontinental Hotel Tokyo in Akasaka
08:34 Informal talk with Shungaku Yanai, Chairman, Yamaguchi Prefecture Diet
08:48 Informal talk with Hakubun Shimomura, Minister of Science; Koichi Hagiuda, LDP, House of Representatives
09:48 Leave hotel
10:03 Arrive at private residence

June 6, 2013 (Thu)


08:40 Leave private residence
08:59 Arrive at office
09:04 Education Rebuilding Implementation Council
09:58 Akira Amari, Minister in charge of Total Reform of Social Security and Tax; Atsushi Seike, Social Security System Reform National Conference Chairman; Katsunobu Kato, Chief Cabinet Deputy Secretary
10:14 Toru Hashimoto, Japan Restoration Party co-leader; Ichiro Matsui, Chief Secretary; Mikio Shimoji, Representative of Okinawan Political Group “Souzou”
10:52 Ichita Yamamoto, Science and Technology Minister; Takashi Matsumoto, Cabinet Office Vice-Minister
11:10 Teruyuki Katori, Director-General Pension Bureau Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare
11:54 Courtesy call from Kishu Plum Society “Plum Girls”

12:03 Luncheon meeting with managers of small to medium companies. Eiichi Hasegawa, Special Advisor to the Prime Minister attends.
01:48 Receive proposal from Akira Banzai, President of Central Union of Agricultural Cooperatives
02:04 Itsunori Onodera, Defense Minister; Hideshi Toguchi, Defense Policy Bureau Director
02:46 Michiyoshi Kiuchi, Supreme Court Justice
02:51 Courtesy call from Yuichiro Miura, oldest person to climb Mount Everest
03:15 Minoru Kiuchi, Parliamentary Vice-Minister for Foreign Affairs; Hisahito Okazaki, Former Ambassador to Thailand
03:26 Akira Amari, Minister of Economic Revitalization; Takashi Matsumoto, Cabinet Office Undersecretary; Takeshi Matsuyama, Cabinet Office Deputy Director-General
04:04 Chikao Kawai, Vice-Minister for Foreign Affairs; Ichiro Komatsu, Ambassador to France
04:52 Agence France-Press news interview
05:08 Yasuo Otani, Deputy Director-General of Health, Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare; Tetsuya Yajima, Health Bureau Director
05:33 Council on Economic and Fiscal Policy
06:38 Council for Science and Technology Policy
07:03 Leave office
07:04 Arrive at official residence. Dines with Council for Science and Technology Policy members. Ichita Yamamoto attends
08:10 Leave official residence
08:15 Arrive at State Guest House in Motoakasaka, Tokyo. Dinner party with French President Francois Hollande and his partner Valerie Trierweiler. Wife Akie attends.
09:42 Leave State Guest House
09:59 Arrive at private residence

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Monday in Washington

EIA ENERGY CONFERENCE. 6/17-18, 8:45am. Sponsor: U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA). Keynote Speakers: Ernest Moniz, Energy Secretary; Neelash Nerurkar, State Department Senior Adviser, Bureau of Energy Resources.

WHERE WORLDS MEET: SINGAPORE’S VIEW OF THE ASIA PACIFIC REGION AND US ENGAGEMENT. 6/17, 9:30-11:00am. Sponsor: East-West Center in Washington. Speaker: Ambassador Ashok Kumar Mirpuri, Singapore’s Ambassador to the United States of America.

CYBER AND HARDWARE HACKING SCENARIOS 2023. 6/17, Noon-2:00pm, Arlington, VA. Sponsor: Potomac Institute for Policy Studies, International Center for Terrorism Studies. Speakers: Michael Swetnam, CEO and Chairman, Potomac Institute; David Smith, Senior Fellow, Director, Cyber Center, Potomac Institute; Ben Sheppard, Adjunct Fellow, Potomac Institute; Fred Wright, Deputy Director, Cyber Technologies and Information Security Laboratory, Georgia Tech Research Institute; Ronald Marks, President, Intelligence Enterprises, LLC.

. 6/17, 2:00-3:30pm. Sponsor: Stimson Center. Speakers: Hosein Ghazian, Analyst, International Foundation for Electoral Systems; Fatemeh Haghighatjoo, President and CEO, Non-violent Initiative for Democracy, former Deputy of the Iranian Parliament; Cliff Kupchan, Director, Middle East, Eurasia Group; Geneive Abdo, Fellow, Middle East/Southwest Asia Program, Stimson.

POLITICAL OUTLOOK 2014: AN INDEPENDENT PERSPECTIVE OF INDONESIA'S THIRD DEMOCRATIC ELECTIONS. 6/17, 2:30-4:00pm. Sponsor: US-Inodnesia Society. Speaker: Wimar Witoelar, Former Presidential Spokesperson, Political Observer, Writer, Media Personality. 

RIVER CONSERVATION AND PUBLIC PARTICIPATION IN CHINA, A DIALOGUE WITH MS. WANG YONGCHEN, AN ENVIRONMENTAL HERO FROM CHINA. 6/17, 3:30-5:00pm. Sponsor: International Fund for China’s Environment and Holland Knight. Speaker: Tad Ferris, Holland+Knight and Wang Yongchen, a senior reporter of China National Radio and founder of Green Earth Volunteers.

PACIFIC DAY. 6/17, 4:00-9:00pm. Sponsor: CSIS Pacific Partners Initiative and the Ambassadors and Representatives of Pacific Island Countries and Territories in Washington, D.C. Features a seminar from 4:00 p.m. to 6:15 p.m. and a reception from 6:15 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. 'Pacific Day' will be held at the Embassy of New Zealand. Admission to the event is by invitation only, but the seminar will be webcast live. 

TWENTY YEARS OF INTERNATIONAL JUSTICE: A BRIEFING BY THE YUGOSLAV TRIBUNAL CHIEF PROSECUTOR. 6/17, 4:00-5:30pm. Sponsor: American Society of International Law; Georgetown University Law Center; Georgetown Center for National Security and Law. Speakers: Serge Brammertz, Chief Prosecutor of the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia; Elizabeth Andersen, Executive Director, American Society of International Law.

THE UNWINDING: AN INNER HISTORY OF NEW AMERICA. 6/17, 7:00-8:30pm. Sponsor: Politics and Prose Bookstore. Speaker: George Packer, Author.

Saturday, June 15, 2013

Asian Americans push back

On June 11, San Francisco Supervisor Jane Kim introduced a resolution asking Mayor Ed Lee to urge his Osaka counterpart, Toru Hashimoto to apologize to the Comfort Women victims, retract his demeaning statements regarding the sex slaves of Imperial Japan, and
FURTHER RESOLVED, That the Board of Supervisors calls on President Barack
17 Obama and the U.S. Congress to formally ask the Japanese government to initiate legislation,
18 to be adopted by the Japanese Diet, formally acknowledging the wartime atrocities committed
19 by the Japanese government in countries that it invaded and occupied, apologize for the
20 atrocities committed by its soldiers, and compensate the victims of Japanese aggression,
21 including the survivors of the forced sexual enslavement during World War II, akin to the
22 actions taken by the U.S. Congress in 1988 when it passed legislation acknowledging and
23 apologizing for its unlawful detention of Japanese Americans during World War II and the
24 actions taken by the German government formally acknowledging the atrocities committed by
25 its wartime government and military forces during World War II;
This resolution follows a statement issued by Emily Moto Murase, the Mayor's head of the City's Department on the Status of Women condemning Mayor Hashimoto's view that the Comfort Women were “necessary” to provide relief to soldiers as a "flagrant denial of basic human rights."

She writes that she is joined by other leading organizations in the Japanese American community such as the U.S.-Japan Council, which asserted, “Statements that are demeaning to women or that are historically inaccurate are inappropriate and harm the relationship between Japan and its allies.”

In addition, the San Francisco-Osaka Sister City Association released the following: “Statements that justify controversial wartime abuses and devastating violence against women are damaging to international relations, and contrary to the mission of the association.”

Dr. Murase is also on the board of the Osaka-San Francisco sister-city committee. She noted to a reporter that a visit by Osaka Mayor Hashimoto "would have been very difficult because of what we know as San Francisco values."

With these statements, it is clear that the Japanese American community is not to be separated out from other Asian Americans or any Americans in their rejection of denier history.

Thursday, June 13, 2013

All quiet on Abe

Signatories of November 4, 2012 The Facts Ad

Shinzo Abe and the media: Self-censorship

Richard Katz, editor of the Oriental Economist and APP member, published the article below in OE's June 2013 issue (June 7, 2013)

The Japanese media is famous for finding fault with Prime Ministers within a couple months of their taking office. But Shinzo Abe “has been getting an incredible free pass for six months,” said one stunned American political scientist. The media had similarly acted as a cheering squad for Yukio Hatoyama in his first couple months—until his own fecklessness doomed him. In the initial honeymoon, the editor of one journal called the editor of another to complain about an article that, while accurate, made Hatoyama look bad. “Japan needs Hatoyama to succeed to reinforce ‘regime change,’ so we should support him.”

Today, editors and reporters are acting as if Abe’s success is somehow Japan’s last chance to revive. Meanwhile, Abe has carefully cultivated the media, reportedly having dinner with the President of almost every major media organization. Abe and Yomiuri publisher Tsuneo Watanabe reportedly meet frequently. (Click HERE and search for “Prime Minister of Japan’s Schedule” “PMJS” in tags)

The dog that didn’t bark
The media stance is sometimes seen in the news that they fail to report. The most egregious case has occurred around Abe’s comments on whether Japan’s actions during World War II and earlier deserve the label “aggression” used in the 1995 apology by Prime Minister Tomiichi Murayama. Proclaiming in the Diet that this was an issue for academic historians, it was, in fact, a refusal to reaffirm the Murayama statement.

Abe had promised himself not to let such issues arise before the July Upper House elections, but sometimes he just can’t help himself. The problem is that his beloved grandfather, Noboru Kishi, was directly involved as economic overlord of Manchukuo and a Minister in Hideki Tojo’s cabinet. Abe cannot admit to himself that his hero committed aggression. This is a problem that Abe shares with many other LDP leaders who are descendants of World War II-era leaders.

LDP Policy Affairs Council chair Sanae Takaichi went beyond Abe’s evasions, forthrightly claiming that, “It was understood at that time [before and during the war] that our nation had to fight resolutely in self-defense for its own survival.” Other ministers and party leaders have been forced to resign for far less damaging comments.

With the exception of a few outlets like Asahi, most of the media simply offered brief reports on Abe’s and Takaichi’s words. They provided little analysis and failed to explain the damage these comments did to Japan’s interests overseas, including cooperation with Seoul regarding North Korea. Abe’s views focus Asian attention on Japan’s past acts rather than China’s present ones. The US State Department summoned a senior official from the Japanese Embassy to express its distress.

Kyodo did a very good analysis, but few newspapers printed it. Jiji Press reported as if it were fact a statement from Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga that the Koreans had "misunderstood" Abe’s words. Think tanks whose leaders tend to be supportive of Abe, such as the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) in Washington, have tried to convey to Abe in private the impact he has had.

How many ordinary Japanese know that the man who campaigned on restoring US-Japan ties has been losing Washington’s confidence?

Suga tried to put an end to the whole issue by having Abe say that, “I never denied that Japan committed aggression.” Yet, Abe refuses to affirm it either. Nonetheless, the Yomiuri, which one journalist said is “acting like a government newspaper,” reported that Suga had successfully laid the issue to rest. Within Japan perhaps—especially since Toru Hashimoto has diverted attention via his notorious comments on “comfort women.” But not in the nations whose cooperation Japan needs.

Abe, Tamogami, and the “comfort women” ad
Nor has the daily press and TV investigated why so many of Abe’s aides and associates hold revisionist views. Consider Education Minister Hakubun Shimomura, the man in charge of Abe’s desire to make the education curriculum “more patriotic.”

In 2012, Shimomura said that Abe “should declare that the Nanking Massacre did not take place and the issue of comfort women does not exist. He should fully negate the Tokyo Trials historical viewpoint, and should also visit Yasukuni Shrine.” The interview was with Toshio Motoya, a real estate magnate and Abe associate whose magazine in 2008 awarded first prize to a notorious essay by Toshio Tamogami [Was Japan an Aggressor Nation? 2008], who was appointed [Japan] Air [Self Defense] Force Chief of Staff during Abe’s first term.

Tamogami claimed that, “Japan was ensnared in a trap that was very carefully laid by the United States in order to draw Japan into a war.” Though Tamogami was forced to resign, Mindy Kotler of the Washington-based Asia Policy Point, has discovered on Tamogami’s website that Abe appeared publicly at least six times at events sponsored by Tamogami’s Nippon Ganbare organization.*

Abe himself signed a November 4, 2012 advertisement in the New Jersey Star-Ledger denying the Japanese government and military’s role in forcing women into prostitution during World War II. So, did LDP Policy Chief Takaichi. Rather than justify the sex slavery, as Hashimoto did, Abe simply denies it. Abe heads the list of signers from the Liberal Democratic Party. According to Kotler, the signers include ten members of Abe’s current cabinet.** The ad was sponsored by the rightwing “Committee For Historical Facts” [Society for the Dissemination of Historical Fact].

Why the media protects Abe 
Why does so much of the media protect Abe? The reason seems to be that Abe gives the impression of being the strong leader that many Japanese feel is needed to get Japan out of its economic morass and to stand up to China and South Korea.

People admire Abe’s leadership capacity and personality far more than his individual policies. For example, in a May 28 poll in Sankei, 72% approved of Abe’s personal character and 67% approved of his leadership qualities. Both are significantly above the 54% who approved of Abe’s stimulus measures, the 47% who approved of his security policies, and the 32% who approved of amending Article 96 of the Constitution. Considering that 75% disapproved of Hashimoto’s comments on comfort women, what would happen to Abe’s approval rate if the press delved deeply into Abe’s views?

People yearn for a reason to hope and don’t want any news about Abe that could dampen their hopes. According to an important leader in Japanese journalism, editors and reporters are not merely unwilling to defy the feelings of their viewers and readers. Many of them share those feelings.

Asia Policy Point adds:
*7 (possibly 8 as one has disappeared from the website since ) 
Watch the Videos: 
September 21, 2010,
February 2, 2010,

**See photo heading this article of "assentors/signatories". Separated out below is the list of Abe Cabinet members who signed "The Facts" ad in the November 4, 2012 New Jersey Start Ledger, which was two days before the US national elections and less than a week after Hurricane Sandy devastated parts of New Jersey.
Shinzo Abe, Prime Minister
Seiichi Eto, Special Advisor to Prime Minister on National Issues
Keiji Furuya, Minister in Charge of Abduction Issue and Nation’s Infrastructure Resilience
Tomomi Inada, Minister of State for Regulatory Reform
Yoshitaka Ito, Parliamentary Secretary of Finance
Shigeo Kitamura, Parliamentary Secretary of Cabinet Office
Hiroshige Seko, Deputy Chief Cabinet Secretary
Hakubun Shimomura, Minister of Education, Culture, Sports, Science, and Technology
Yoshitake Shindo, Minister of Internal Affairs and Communications
Hiroyuki Yoshiie, Parliamentary Secretary of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology

Sunday, June 9, 2013

Monday in Washington

ONE MILLION BONES. 6/8-10. National Mall. Large-scale social arts practice, combining education, hands-on art making, and public installation to raise awareness of ongoing genocides and mass atrocities in places like Sudan, South Sudan, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Somalia and Burma. 1,000,000 handcrafted bones placed on the Mall to serve as a collaborative site of conscience to honor victims and survivors and as a visual petition against ongoing conflicts and a call for action.

SCALING UP: CHINESE RENEWABLE ENERGY INVESTMENTS IN THE UNITED STATES AND BEYOND. 6/10, 9:00-11:00am. Sponsor: Wilson Center, China Environmental Forum. Speakers: Hu Tao, Senior Associate, International Financial Flows and Environment Project, World Resources Institute (WRI); Yingzhen Zhao, Research Assistant, International Financial Flows and Environment Project, WRI; Todd Foley, Senior Vice President, Policy and Government Relations, American Council On Renewable Energy.

IS JAPAN "BACK"?: AN ASSESSMENT OF ABENOMICS. 6/10, Noon-1:00pm. Sponsor: Japan America Society of Washington. Speaker: Matthew P. Goodman, Simon Chair in Political Economy, CSIS.

THE PRESIDENT'S STEM CALL TO ACTION - A JOINT IMPLEMENTATION RESPONSE TO PCAST'S 'ENGAGE TO EXCEL' REPORT. 6/10, 1:30pm. Sponsor: The Business-Higher Education Forum, National STEM Undergraduate Partnership. Speakers: Navy Secretary Ray Mabus; Thomas Kalil, White House Deputy Director for Technology and Innovation; Reginald Brothers, Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Research; Susan Singer, Director, Division of Undergraduate Education, National Science Foundation.

IRAN AT A CROSSROADS: THE PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION AND NUCLEAR PROGRAM. 6/10, 2:00pm. Sponsor: Jewish Institute for National Security Affairs (JINSA). Speakers: Dennis Ross, Co-chairman, JINSA Iran Task Force; Eric Edelman, Co-chairman, JINSA Iran Task Force; Ray Takeyh, Senior Fellow, Middle East Studies, Council on Foreign Relations; Mortimer Zuckerman, Editor-in-chief of U.S. News and World Report, Publisher, New York Daily News; Michael Makovsky, CEO, JINSA.

EXPLORING ECONOMIC POLICY PERCEPTIONS. 6/10, 3:00-5:00pm. Sponsor: U.S. Chamber of Commerce (USCC), Chamber Foundation. Speakers: Bruce Stokes, Director, Global Economic Program, Pew Research Global Attitudes Project; John Lipsky, former G20 Sherpa, First Deputy Managing Director, IMF; Kalpana Kochhar, Deputy Director, Strategy and Policy Department, IMF; Nuno Mota Pinto, Alternative Director for Portugal, World Bank; Gary Litman, Vice President, International Strategic Initiatives, USCC; John Sullivan, Managing Director, Center for International Private Enterprise; Joel Rogers, Associate Fellow, Royal United Services Institute, United Kingdom, Academic Drector, YouGov; Aniket Shah, Investec Asset Management, South Africa.

TYRANNY OF CONSENSUS. 6/10, 5:00-6:30pm. Sponsor: Stimson Center. Speaker: Janne Nolan, Author, Senior Fellow, Association for Diplomatic Studies.

DRONES AND THE FUTURE OF COUNTERTERRORISM IN PAKISTAN. 6/10, 5:00-6:30pm. Sponsor: Carnegie Endowment (CEIP). Speakers: Samina Ahmed, Senior Asia Adviser, International Crisis Group, Islamabad, Pakistan; Frederic Grare, Director, Senior Associate, South Asia Program, CEIP. 

Spamming the Comfort Women

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American legislatures are fast becoming aware of the Comfort Women issue. Two factors appear to be at play. One is a greater awareness and prosecution of human trafficking. The other is the growing political influence of the Asian-American community.  Together they push the Comfort Women tragedy beyond its specific historic period and merge it with contemporary campaigns to combat sexual slavery and other grave violations of human rights.

Resolutions and proclamations honoring the Comfort Women now all urge education on their history as an example of contemporary human trafficking. The original 2007 US House of Representatives resolution, H. Res. 121 (100th Congress, 1st Session) focused on the need for an unequivocal state apology. New legislative activity starts with a discussion of trafficking drawing clear connections between the Comfort Women and modern forms of sexual violence and slavery.

For example, on April 23, Maryland's Montgomery County Council presented a proclamation that emphasizes the problems of human trafficking in the county while honoring the Comfort Women. Presented by Councilmember Valerie Ervin (D), the Proclamation resolved that “the County Council of Montgomery County, Md. hereby extends our profound hope that the crimes against the comfort women of World War II will serve as a lasting reminder to the world that crimes against humanity will not be condoned or tolerated.” The proclamation also recognized the work of Del. Susan C. Lee (D-Dist. 16) of Bethesda to pass state legislation against human trafficking.

As you can see from the video above, the Proclamation was presented to prominent members of the local Asian-American community: State Delegate Susan Lee; Judge Chung Pak; Linda Han, President, Korean American Association of the Washington Metropolitan Area; Christine Choi, President, Washington Coalition for Comfort Women Issues; Christina Shin, President, Korean American Women’s Chamber of Commerce; Young Ha Kim, Montgomery County Korean American Association; and Stan Tsai, Chairman, Chinese Culture and Community Service Center.

On May 23rd, the House of Representatives of the Illinois General Assembly passed its own resolution on Comfort Women. The Resolution, HR0365, "urges Illinois educators to share with students the story of 'comfort women' when discussing World War II history and expresses a commitment to explore ways to develop an Asian American social science and history curriculum for public schools concerning the subject of 'comfort women' and other Asian American experiences."

Introduced by Representative Elaine Nekritz (D), the Resolution also focuses on the contemporary problems of human trafficking. Among the several clauses highlighting the issue, the first  notes "The State of Illinois stands against human trafficking in all its forms, as evidenced by the 2005 formation of the Illinois Rescue and Restore Coalition, a partnership between the Illinois Department of Human Services and the federal government to combat labor and sex trafficking in Illinois."

On June 20th, the New Jersey State Senate will likely approve Senate Concurrent Resolution No. 124. This vote will make the resolution one of the entire state legislature. Unlike the two above, it is narrowly focused and does not generalize the Comfort Women experience. It says: "The General Assembly commemorates and supports comfort women in their fight for proper acknowledgement by the Japanese government of the suffering they endured during their forced internment in military comfort stations and calls upon the Japanese government to accept historical responsibility for the sexual enslavement of comfort women by the Imperial Japanese military and educate future generations about these crimes."

Legislators in all the states mentioned above have been spammed by a coordinated campaign to discredit the Comfort Women and to intimidate lawmakers. The rightwing Nadeshiko Action Japanese Women for Justice and Peace tracks pro-Comfort Women activities in the U.S. and organizes detailed English-language email spam attacks on anyone associated with an identified   American Comfort Women bill or program. Their uniform "emails" claim that the Comfort Women were mere prostitutes and that the issue was created by Koreans to humiliate Japan.

The group also assists Japanese diplomats and businessmen approach American government officials in an effort to dissuade any Comfort Women initiatives. Recently, according to Nadeshiko and Yonhap News, they have had success. A library in suburban Detroit has been "persuaded" to halt plans to erect a Comfort Women memorial.  

In the end, this is all about hate speech and a political agenda that find national pride in another's humiliation. The Internet has given new life to the Right. In the new book, Viral Hate: Containing Its Spread on the Internet, the authors who are leaders in the Anti-Defamation League, find that "haters have embraced the new technologies to spread their lies, to recruit and to mislead. Today, while it is a marvelous medium for education, communication, entertainment and commerce, the ways in which the Internet is being used to disseminate and promote hateful and violent beliefs and attitudes are astounding, varied and continually multiplying."

Other Japanese organizations that coordinate denier history hate campaigns are the Japan Society for History Textbook Reform, Society for the Dissemination of Historical Fact, and Nippon Kaigi.

For more about Human Trafficking in Asia see HERE.

Friday, June 7, 2013

Japan as a Tier 2 country

In his February speech in Washington, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said
Last year, Richard Armitage, Joseph Nye, Michael Green and others published a paper about Japan in which they asked if Japan would end up becoming a Tier-two nation. Secretary Armitage, here is my answer to you. Japan is not, and will never be, a Tier two country. That is the core message I am here to make.
However, Japan already is a "Tier 2 country."

Since 2001, Japan has ranked as a Tier 2 country in the U.S. State Department's annual Trafficking in Persons (TIP) Report.  This means that Japan does not yet fully comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of human trafficking but is making significant efforts to bring themselves into compliance with those standards.

The TIP Japan country report for 2012 notes:
During the year, the Japanese government did not develop or enact anti-trafficking legislation that would fill key gaps in facilitating anti-trafficking prosecutions, and the government did not arrest, prosecute, or convict a single forced labor perpetrator in 2011.  
Draft and enact a comprehensive anti-trafficking law prohibiting all forms of trafficking and prescribing sufficiently stringent penalties that are commensurate with other serious crimes; significantly increase efforts to investigate and prosecute forced labor cases, and punish offenders with jail time; increase the enforcement of bans on deposits, punishment agreements, withholding of passports, and other practices that contribute to forced labor in the foreign trainee program; continue to proactively investigate and, where warranted, punish government complicity in trafficking or trafficking-related offenses; further expand and implement formal victim identification procedures to guide officials in the identification of forced labor; continue to ensure victims are not punished for unlawful acts committed as a direct result of being in a human trafficking situation; establish protection policies for all victims of trafficking, including male victims and victims of forced labor; ensure that protection services, including medical and legal services, are fully accessible to victims of trafficking regardless of income; and aggressively investigate, prosecute, and punish Japanese nationals who engage in child sex tourism.

Maybe the speechwriter should have written the softer sounding "second tier" country. "Tier 2" is legalese, especially the kind that suggests international accountability and comparison. And for those in the human rights community the designation hones in on Japan's long and unfettered history of human trafficking, especially of women and girls for sexual slavery.