Saturday, March 28, 2015

Monday in Washington, March 30, 2015

Easter Week
Congress is in recess for two weeks

CENTRAL ASIA: WHAT'S NEXT? 3/30, 9:30am-5:00pm. Sponsor: Georgetown University's Center for Eurasian, Russian and East European Studies. Speakers: Roger Kangas, Professor of Central Asian Studies, National Defense University; Richard Hoagland, Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for South and Central Asian Affairs. 

THE USE OF FOREIGN LAW IN CONSTITUTIONAL ADJUDICATION: GLOBAL INFLUENCE, JUDICIAL DIPLOMACY AND LEGAL DIALOGUE IN THE COURT OF JUSTICE OF THE EUROPEAN UNION. 3/30, 10:00am-5:00pm, Lunch, Reception. Sponsor: AU Washington College of Law. Speakers: Claudio Grossman, Dean of AU Washington College of Law; Barbara Romzek, Dean of American University School of Public Affairs; Robert Tsai, Professor at AU Washington College of Law; Mark Pollack, Professor and Jean Chair at Temple University; Alexandra Kemmerer, Senior Researcher at Max Planck Institute; Kathleen Gutman, Senior Affiliated Researcher at Leuven University; Takis Tridimas, Professor at Kings College/ Penn State Law School; Chris McCrudden, Professor at Belfast /Michigan Law School; Justice Siniša Rodin, Court of Justice of the European Union; Marley Weiss, Professor at Carey School of Law at the University of Maryland; Daniela Caruso, Professor at Boston University School of Law; Michelle Egan, Professor at AU School of International Service; Dimitry Kochenov, Professor at Groningen University; Fernanda Nicola, Professor at AU Washington College of Law; Bill Davies, Assistant Professor at AU School of Public Affairs; Peter Lindseth, Professor and Director of International Programs at University of Connecticut School of Law.

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IN MANCHURIA: A VILLAGE CALLED WASTELAND AND THE TRANSFORMATION OF RURAL CHINA. 3/30, 12:15-1:45pm. Sponsor: New American Foundation (NAF). Speakers: Author Mike Meyer; , Fellow, NAF.

INTERNATIONAL COOPERATION IN COMBATING TERRORISM: REVIEW OF 2014 AND OUTLOOK FOR 2015. 3/30, 2:00pm. Sponsor: Potomac Institute for Policy Studies' Inter-University Center for Terrorism Studies. Speakers: Jim Gilmore, President and CEO, Free Congress Foundation; Bonnie Jenkins, State Department Coordinator for Threat Reduction Programs; Alaa Abdalaziz, Political Counselor in the Embassy of Egypt; Wafa Bughaighis, Charge D'affaires, Embassy of Libya; Husain Haqqani, Director for South and Central Asia, Hudson Institute; Theodore Kattouf, President and CEO, AMIDEAST; Michael Swetnam, CEO and Chairman, Potomac Institute; Yonah Alexander, Senior Fellow, Potomac Institute; Alfred Grey, Senior Fellow and Chairman of the Board of Regents, Potomac Institute.

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THE MODI EFFECT: INSIDE NARENDRA MADI'S CAMPAIGN TO TRANSFORM INDIA. 3/30, 3:00-4:30pm. Sponsor: Wilson Center's (WWC) Asia Program. Speakers: Author, Lance Price; Narayan Lakshman, US Correspondent, The Hindu. 

THE ECONOMIC CASE FOR MONETARY POLICY RULES. 3/30, 3:00-4:30pm, Refreshments. Sponsor: Cato Institute. Speakers: Christopher J. Waller, Senior Vice President and Director of Research of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis; Bennett T. McCallum, H. J. Heinz Professor of Economics at Tepper School of Business at Carnegie Mellon University; Scott Sumner, Director of the Program on Monetary Policy at the Mercatus Center, Professor of Economics at Bentley University; Norbert J. Michel, Research Fellow in Financial Regulations at the Heritage Foundation; George Selgin, Director of the Center for Monetary and Financial Alternatives at Cato Institute.

DEMOCRATIZATION IN ASIA AND THE INTELLECTUALS: LESSONS FROM THAILAND'S CRISIS. 3/30, 4:30-6:00pm, Reception. Sponsor: Sigur Center for Asian Studies, Elliott School, GWU. Speaker: Thongchai Winichakul, Professor of History, University of Wisconsin-Madison.

BRIEFING FROM UKRAINE'S FRONT LINES. 3/30, 4:30-6:00pm. Sponsor: Atlantic Council. Speaker: Wesley Clark, Former NATO Supreme Allied Commander.

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Prime Minister of Japan’s Schedule November 24-30, 2014

Monday, November 24, 2014


12:00 At private residence (no visitors)
10:00 At private residence in Tomigaya, Tokyo (no morning visitors)
10:37 Depart from private residence
10:53 Arrive at Ministry of Defense in Ichigaya Honmura-cho, Tokyo
10:58 Depart from Ministry on Ground Self-Defense Forces’ helicopter

12:10 Arrive at Hakuba Cross-Country Grounds in Hakuba Village, Nagano Prefecture
12:13 Depart from Hakuba Cross-Country Grounds
12:30 Arrive at Hakuba Village Office
12:53 Depart from Hakuba Village Office
12:54 Arrive at Health and Welfare Fureai Center in Hakuba Village. View evacuation shelter within Center. Give words of encouragement to evacuees
01:08 Depart from Health and Welfare Fureai Center
01:23 Arrive at Kamishiro District, Hakuba Village. View disaster-torn area
01:35 Interview open to all media: “What did you observe when inspecting the earthquake-torn area in northern Nagano Prefecture?” Mr. Abe answers “It will continue to get colder, so we will put efforts to supporting housing.”
01:38 Interview ends
01:43 Depart from Kamishiro District
01:51 Arrive at Hakuba Cross-Country Grounds
01:54 Depart from Hakuba Cross-Country Grounds on Ground Self-Defense Forces’ helicopter. View Mount Ontake eruption site from above
03:47 Arrive at Ministry of Defense
03:51 Depart from Ministry of Defense
04:10 Arrive at private residence
04:46 Depart from private residence
04:56 Arrive at salon HAIR GUEST in Shibuya, Tokyo. Haircut
06:27 Depart from salon
06:37 Arrive at private residence

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

12:00 At private residence (no visitors)
08:00 At private residence in Tomigaya, Tokyo (no morning visitors)
09:21 Depart from private residence
09:35 Arrive at office
09:37 Meet with Minister of State for Economic and Fiscal Policy Amari Akira, Cabinet Office’s Vice-Minister Matsuyama Kenji and Director-General for Policies on Cohesive Society Tawa Hiroshi
09:57 End meeting with Mr. Amari, Mr. Matsuyama and Mr. Tawa
10:02 Cabinet Meeting begins
10:13 Cabinet Meeting ends
10:20 Ministerial Council on Monthly Economic Report and Other Relative Issues meeting
10:33 Council meeting ends
10:43 Administrative Vice-Minister of Defense Nishi Masanori enters
10:51 Ministry of Foreign Affairs’ Director-General of European Affairs Bureau Hayashi Hajime, Ministry of Defense’s Director-General of Bureau of Defense Policy Kuroe Tetsuro, Vice-Chief of Joint Staff Iwata Kiyofumi, and Lieutenant Colonel of Japan Ground Self-Defense Force Kurita Chizu join
11:11 Everyone leaves
11:12 Meet with Cabinet Advisor Iijima Isao
11:32 End meeting with Mr. Iijima

01:14 Depart from office
01:16 Arrive at LDP Party Headquarters
01:17 Special Advisor to President of LDP Hagiuda Koichi enters
01:33 Chairman of LDP Election Strategy Committee Motegi Toshimitsu joins
02:03 Mr. Hagiuda and Mr. Motegi leave
02:04 LDP Election Strategy Board of Directors Meeting
02:31 Meeting ends
02:56 Endorse candidate for Kitakyushu City mayoral election. Commemorative photo session
02:58 Photo session ends
02:59 Attend LDP National Leadership Conference, deliver address
03:16 Leave LDP National Leadership Conference
03:19 Depart from LDP Party Headquarters
03:21 Arrive at office
04:18 Interview with Asahi Shimbun
04:48 Interview ends
04:49 Meet with Vice-Minister for Foreign Affairs Saiki Akitaka
05:04 End meeting with Mr. Saiki
05:19 Minister of Finance Aso Taro, Ministry of Finance’s Vice-Minister Kagawa Shunsuke, Director-General of Budget Bureau Tanaka Kazuho, and Director-General of Tax Bureau Sato Shinichi enter
05:58 Mr. Kagawa, Mr. Tanaka, and Mr. Sato leave
06:01 Mr. Aso leaves
06:03 Director of National Security Council Yachi Shotaro, Director of Cabinet Intelligence Kitamura Shigeru, and Deputy Director-General of Public Security Intelligence Agency Kojima Yoshiharu enter
06:11 Mr. Yachi and Mr. Kojima leave
06:35 Mr. Kitamura leaves
06:59 Depart from office
07:20 Arrive at private residence

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

12:00 At private residence (no visitors)
08:00 At private residence in Tomigaya, Tokyo (no morning visitors)
08:07 Depart from private residence
08:40 Arrive at JR Tokyo Station
08:48 Depart from station on Yamabiko no. 43
11:24 Arrive at JR Ichinoseki Station. Reception by Mayor of Ichinoseki City (Iwate Prefecture) Katsube Osamu
11:28 Depart from station

12:52 Arrive at temporary apartments in Rikuzentakata City, Iwate Prefecture. View apartments, discussion assembly with residents
01:32 Depart from apartments
01:45 Arrive at temporary shopping district Rikuzentakata Mirai Shotengai in Rikuzentakata City
01:49 Lunch meeting at sushi restaurant Aji to Ninjo no Tsurakame Zushi within shopping district
02:13 Lunch meeting ends
02:14 View shopping district
02:17 Finish viewing shopping district
02:18 Depart from shopping district
04:26 Arrive at front of department store Park Avenue Kawatoku in Morioka City, soapbox speech
04:53 Depart from department store
05:07 Arrive at Iwate Nippo Company in Morioka City. Meet with Iwate Nippo Company’s Chairman Miura Hiroshi and President Azumane Chimao. Interview with Iwate Nippo
05:36 Depart from Iwate Nippo Company
05:48 Arrive at JR Morioka Station
06:16 Depart from station on Komachi no. 30
08:31 Arrive at JR Tokyo Station
08:36 Depart from station
08:55 Arrive at private residence

Thursday, November 27, 2014

12:00 At private residence (no visitors)
07:11 Depart from private residence in Tomigaya, Tokyo
07:40 Arrive at Haneda Airport
08:05 Depart from airport on JAL Flight 1151
09:25 Arrive at Obihiro Airport
09:34 Depart from airport
10:11 Arrive at sugar company Nippon Beet Sugar Manufacturing Co.’s Memuro Sugar Refinery in Memuro Town, Hokkaido. View refinery
10:33 Depart from refinery
11:05 Arrive at north entrance of JR Obihiro Station. Soapbox speech
11:39 Depart from station on Super Ozora no. 3

12:55 Arrive at JR Shiranuka Station
12:58 Depart from station
01:15 Arrive at seafood company Sasaya-Syouten’s Senpaku Plant in Shiranuka Town, Hokkaido
01:34 Depart from Senpaku Plant
02:06 Arrive at front of JR Kushiro Station. Soapbox speech
02:32 Depart from station
03:13 Arrive at Kushiro Airport
03:23 Interview with Hokkaido Shimbun in VIP room within airport
03:38 Interview ends
04:00 Depart from airport on Hokkaido Air System Flight 568
04:43 Arrive at Okadama Airport
04:50 Speak with Secretary-General of LDP Hokkaido Chapter Kakaki Katsuhiro and colleagues in VIP room within airport
05:03 Finish speaking with Mr. Kakaki and colleagues
05:16 Depart from airport on Hokkaido Air System Flight 243
05:45 Arrive at Hakodate Airport
05:52 Depart from airport
06:00 Arrive at Hanabishi Hotel in Hakodate City, Hokkaido. Attend Presentation Meeting hosted by LDP Hokkaido 8th Electoral District Branch Office in convention hall Fuyo within hotel, give speech
06:44 Depart from hotel
06:54 Arrive at Hakodate Airport
06:55 Dinner with secretaries at ramen shop Onjiki Niwamoto Ramen & Soba within airport
07:18 Finish dinner
07:42 Depart from airport on JAL Flight 1170
08:48 Arrive at Haneda Airport
09:00 Depart from airport
09:26 Arrive at private residence

Friday, November 28, 2014

12:00 At private residence (no visitors)
08:00 At private residence in Tomigaya, Tokyo (no morning visitors)
08:41 Depart from private residence
08:56 Arrive at office
09:03 Cabinet Meeting begins
09:16 Cabinet Meeting ends
09:21 Meet with Secretary-General of Headquarters for Abduction Issue Ishikawa Shoichiro
09:36 End meeting with Mr. Ishikawa
09:43 Depart from office
10:10 Arrive at Haneda Airport
10:37 Depart from airport on ANA Flight 193
11:52 Arrive at Oita Airport

12:02 Depart from Oita Airport
01:07 Arrive at shopping district Galleria Takemachi in Oita City. Soapbox speech
01:38 Depart from Galleria Takemachi
02:41 Arrive at Oita Airport
03:04 Depart from airport on JAL Flight 1790
04:11 Arrive at Haneda Airport
04:22 Depart from airport
04:55 Arrive at office
04:56 Meet with Governor of Okinawa Prefecture Nakaima Hirokazu. Chief Cabinet Secretary Suga Yoshihide also attends
05:12 End meeting with Mr. Nakaima
05:14 Meet with Chief Minister of Andhra Pradesh State of India Nara Chandrababu Naidu
05:32 End meeting with Chief Minister Naidu
05:33 Meet with Chairman of LDP Regional Development and Management Headquarters Kawamura Takeo
05:54 End meeting with Mr. Kawamura
05:59 Depart from office
06:27 Arrive at west entrance of JR Shinjuku Station. Soapbox speech
06:49 Depart from station
06:59 Arrive at private residence

Saturday, November 29, 2014

12:00 At private residence (no visitors)
08:00 At private residence in Tomigaya, Tokyo (no morning visitors)
09:42 Depart from private residence
09:56 Arrive at official residence
11:22 Depart from official residence

12:14 Arrive at front of JR Inagekaigen Station. Soapbox speech
12:44 Depart from station
01:16 Arrive at north entrance of JR Tsudanuma Station. Soapbox speech
01:37 Depart from station
02:32 Arrive at north entrance of JR Ichikawa Station. Soapbox speech
02:55 Depart from station
03:26 Arrive at west entrance of JR Matsudo Station. Soapbox speech
03:46 Depart from station
04:22 Arrive at front of JR Kashiwa Station. Soapbox speech
04:50 Depart from station
05:37 Arrive at front of Daiei Shin-Matsudo location in Matsudo City, Chiba Prefecture. Soapbox speech
05:58 Depart from Daiei
07:11 Arrive at official residence
07:18 Depart from official residence
07:21 Arrive at The Capitol Hotel Tokyu in Nagata-cho, Tokyo. Dinner with secretaries at Japanese restaurant Suiren within hotel
07:36 Depart from hotel
07:44 Arrive at live music club Nicofarre in Roppongi, Tokyo
08:00 Attend Question Time Meeting sponsored by internet video service NicoNico and others
09:13 Meeting ends
09:35 Depart from Nicofarre
09:51 Arrive at private residence

Sunday, November 30, 2014

12:00 At private residence (no visitors)
06:45 Depart from private residence in Tomigaya, Tokyo
07:01 Arrive at Fuji TV Building in Daiba, Tokyo
07:32 Give speech on news program
08:27 Finish appearance on news program
08:30 Depart from Fuji TV Building
08:47 Arrive at NHK Chiyoda Broadcasting Hall in Kioi-cho, Tokyo
09:00 Give speech on debate program
10:15 Finish appearance on debate program
10:25 Depart from NHK Chiyoda Broadcasting Hall
10:27 Arrive at LDP Party Headquarters
10:34 Give words of encouragement to LDP personnel
10:38 Finish giving words of encouragement
10:39 Depart from LDP Party Headquarters
11:04 Arrive at north entrance of Tokyu Den-en-Toshi Line’s Tama-Plaza Station in Aoba Ward, Yokohama City. Soapbox speech
11:34 Depart from station

12:08 Arrive at Rembrandt Hotel Atsugi in Atsugi City, Kanagawa Prefecture. Lunch with secretary at Chinese restaurant Trufun within hotel
12:52 Depart from hotel
12:54 Arrive at north entrance of Odakyu Hon-Atsugi Station in Atsugi City. Soapbox speech
01:34 Depart from station
02:46 Arrive at roundabout at east entrance of JR Kamakura Station. Soapbox speech
03:28 Depart from station
04:17 Arrive at north entrance of Sagami Railway Futamata-gawa Station in Asahi Ward, Yokohama City. Soapbox speech
04:42 Depart from station
05:25 Arrive at south entrance of Odakyu Shin-Yurigaoka Station in Asao Ward, Kawasaki City. Soapbox speech
05:56 Depart from station
06:37 Arrive at The Capitol Hotel Tokyu in Nagata-cho, Tokyo. Dinner with secretaries at restaurant ORIGAMI within hotel
07:57 Depart from hotel
08:13 Arrive at private residence

Provisional Translation by: Erin M. Jones

Monday, March 23, 2015

Postwar Indonesia

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THE WHOLE PLACE WENT TOTALLY OUT OF CONTROL: THE END OF WORLD WAR II IN MALAYA AND THE NETHERLANDS INDIES 1945-46. 3/24, Noon-1:30pm, Washington, DC. Sponsor: George Washington University's Memory & Reconciliation in Asia Pacific program and the Sigur Center for Asian Studies. Speaker: Ronald Spector, Professor of History and International Affairs, GW.

In August 1945, the global conflagration known as World War II finally came to an end in the Asia Pacific. This unprecedented total war as well as its multiple endings have profoundly reshaped the fate of peoples in this vast region. This lecture series introduces the latest research by GW faculty members, graduate students, and other scholars in order to shed new light on this crucial period of recent history.

Video of Professor Spector discussing his 2007 book, In the Ruins of Empire: The Japanese Surrender and the Battle for Postwar Asia

Saturday, March 21, 2015

Monday in Washington, March 23, 2015

AGILITY, ACQUISITION, AND AMERICAN SECURITY: A PROPOSAL FOR REFORM. 3/23, 9:00-10:00am. Sponsor: CSIS. Speakers: Mac Thornberry, Chairman of the House Armed Services Committee; Dr. John Hamre, President, CEO, and Pritzker Chair of CSIS; Andrew Hunter, Director of Defense Industrial Initiatives Group, Senior Fellow of the International Security Program At CSIS.

WILL CONGRESS PROVIDE FOR THE COMMON DEFENSE? NATIONAL SECURITY PRIORITIES IN AN INCREASINGLY DANGEROUS WORLD. 3/23, 11:00am-12:30pm. Sponsors: The Foreign Policy Initiative (FPI); American Action Forum (AAF). Speakers: Sen. Tom Cotton, R-Ark; David Adesnik, Policy Director, FPI; Mackenzie Eaglen, Research Fellow for National Security, AEI; Douglas Holtz-Eakin, President, AAF; Rachel Hoff, Director of Defense Analysis, AAF.

RUSSIAN-IRANIAN RELATIONS IN THE SHADOW OF UKRAINE. 3/23, Noon-1:00pm. Sponsor: Wilson Center's Middle East Program. Speaker: Mark Katz, Professor of Government and Politics, George Mason University.

 ARTFUL BALANCE: FUTURE US DEFENSE STRATEGY AND FORCE POSTURE IN THE GULF. 3/23, 12:30-2:30pm. Sponsor: Atlantic Council. Speakers: Barry Pavel, Vice President and Director of the Brent Scowcroft Center on International Security at the Atlantic Council; Bilal Y. Saab, Senior Fellow for Middle East Security at the Brent Scowcroft Center on International Security at the Atlantic Council; Vago Muradian, Editor of the Defense News.

ASSESSING THE ECONOMIC IMPACT OF US OIL EXPORT POLICY IN A LOW PRICE ENVIRONMENT. 3/23, 1:00-2:30pm. Sponsor: CSIS's Energy and National Security Program. Speakers: Daniel Yergin, Vice Chairman, IHS; Rick Bott, Advisor, IHS; Frank Verrastro, Chair for Energy and Geopolitics, CSIS.

THE NEED FOR A NEW AIR FORCE BOMBER WITH ADVANCED TECHNOLOGY TO "REPLACE THE AGING BOMBER FLEET AND MAINTAIN THE ABILITY THE STRIKE HEAVILY DEFENDED TARGETS IF THEY THREATEN INTERNATIONAL SECURITY." 3/23, 2:00pm. Sponsor: The Washington Security Forum. Speakers: Rebecca Grant, President, IRIS Independent Research; Chris Miller, Principal, 21st Century Defense Strategies; Mark Gunzinger, Senior Fellow, Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments; Curtis Bedke, Former B-52 Command Pilot.

CHALLENGES FOR RAILROAD IMPROVEMENTS AND PROJECTING NEW LINES. 3/23, 2:00-4:00pm. Sponsor: Japan International Transport Institute. Speakers: Yasutake Kojima, Director of Administration and Treasurer, East Japan Railway Company; Drew Galloway, Assistant Vice President of Policy and Development, Amtrak; Taro Kobayashi, Senior Representative, Japan International Transport Institute USA. 

THAILAND SPEAKER SERIES: KHANDA VAJRABHAYA, CHAIRPERSON OF THE UN COMMISSION ON THE STATUS OF WOMEN. 3/23, 2:00-3:00pm. Sponsor: Southeast Asia Program, CSIS. Speaker: Ms. Kanda Vajrabhaya, Chairperson of the UN Commission on the Status of Women.

NEW ASSESSMENTS OF THE NORTH KOREAN THREAT. 3/23, 2:00-4:00pm. Sponsor: ASAN Institute for Policy Studies. Speakers: Daniel Y. Chiu, Deputy Director of the Brent Scowcroft on International Security at the Atlantic Council; Van Jackson, Visiting Fellow from the Center for a New American Security; Shin Chang-Hoon, Research Fellow and Director of the Center for Global Governance at the Asan Institute for Policy Studies; Woo Jung-Yeop, Research Fellow and Director of the The Asan Institute for Policy Studies in Washington, DC.

ISRAELI-PALESTINIAN NEGOTIATIONS: LEARNING FROM 2013-2014 AND LOOKING AHEAD. 3/23, 3:30-5:00pm. Sponsor: US Institute of Peace (USIP). Speakers: Ilan Goldenberg, Senior Fellow and Director, Center for a New American Security; William Quandt, Professor, University of Virginia; Tamara Cofman Wittes, Senior Fellow and Director, Brookings Institution; Lucy Kurtzer-Ellenbogen, Director of Arab-Israeli Conflict Programs, USIP.

COMMUNICATING EFFECTIVELY ON NATIONAL SECURITY IN A 24/7 NEWS CYCLE. 3/23, 4:30-6:00pm. Sponsor: Institute of World Politics (IWP). Speaker: George Little, Partner, Brunswick Group.

GLOBAL INDIFFERENCE, SOLIDARITY AND DEVELOPMENT. 3/23, 5:00-6:30pm. Sponsor: Georgetown University's Berkley Center for Religion, Peace & World Affairs. Speaker: Archbishop Bernardito Auza, Permanent Observer of the Holy See to the UN and the Organization of American States.

LAND AND POVERTY 2015: LINKING LAND TENURE AND USE FOR SHARED PROSPERITY. 3/23-27. Sponsor: World Bank Development Economic Research Group (DECRG). Annual Conference.

NEW TRENDS AND DILEMMAS IN MILITARY ETHICS. 3/23, 5:15-6:45pm. Sponsor: Berkley Center at Georgetown University. Speakers: James Johnson, Professor in the Department of Religion at Rutgers University; Eric Patterson, Research Fellow at the Berkley Center for Religion; Keith Pavlischek, Military Affairs Expert; Mary Manjikian, Associate Dean of the Robertson School of Government at Regent University.

Thursday, March 19, 2015

American POWs of Japan remind Abe and the US Congress of what is important

Statement for the Record

to the

Senate Veterans' Affairs Committee and House Veterans' Affairs Committee Joint Hearing

 To Receive Legislative Presentations of 

Veterans Service Organizations


 Ms. Jan Thompson

 President, American Defenders of Bataan and Corregidor Memorial Society

[Daughter of PhM2 Robert E. Thompson USN, USS Canopus, 
Corregidor, Bilibid & Mukden, POW# 2011]

18 March 2015

American Prisoners of War of Japan
Honoring the Memory of World War II 
Veterans of the Pacific

Chairmen Isakson and Miller, Ranking Members Blumenthal and Brown, Members of the Senate and House Veterans Affairs Committees, thank you for allowing us to present the unique concerns of veterans of World War II’s Pacific Theater to Congress. The American Defenders of Bataan and Corregidor Memorial Society (ADBC-MS) represents surviving POWs of Japan, their families, and descendants. Our goal is to preserve their history and communicate the enduring spirit of the American POW experience in the Pacific to future generations.

We applaud the efforts of all the veterans’ service organizations to fight for adequate medical care and disability benefits. Moreover, the incidence and intensity of post-traumatic stress for American POWs of Japan is believed to be the greatest of any World War II veteran and possibly of any American war. These veterans had to survive the sordid POW camps, unimaginable and capricious torture, “hell ships” to Japan or its colonies, and years of brutal imprisonment and slave labor.  Upon returning from the Pacific War, they found a government reluctant to recognize and treat the mental and physical effects that were consequences of the deprivations suffered while POWs of Japan.

At the time, PTSD was not yet a medical category and VA doctors limited the POWs’ access to disability benefits by dismissing the after-effects of years of abuse, disease, and malnutrition. That should not happen to any veteran, and thus, we strongly support the legislative goals of our fellow veterans service organizations to ensure medical and mental health care, as well as to expedite disability claims, to provide rehabilitation, and to establish job-training programs for all American veterans. The American POWs of Japan and their families know intimately the difficulty of re-incorporation into civil society with little support.

Our task today, however, is to address another issue of respect and acceptance of returning service men and women. This is to ensure that they are not forgotten. For the American POWs of Japan this means that their unique history and the lessons of their experience with Imperial Japan is preserved. This is an urgent task. In the United States this history is being forgotten, and in Japan it is being revised.

Remembrance, Reconciliation, and Preservation

The ADBC-MS was dismayed in 2012 when none of the 70th anniversaries of historic battles during the beginning of World War II were officially recognized.  Astonishingly, December 7, 1941, “a date that will live in infamy,” has not been recognized with a Congressional resolution for many years. This year, the 70th Anniversaries of the daring “Great Raid” that liberated Cabanatuan POW camp in the Philippines and of the Battle for Manila that freed thousands of American civilian internees and POWs were not acknowledged.

We hope that future Congresses will remember the events that started American involvement in World War II with resolutions memorializing the simultaneous attacks on Pearl Harbor and the Philippines Islands. And we hope that future Congresses will honor those POWs who were massacred by Imperial Japanese forces as American forces advanced to liberate territories once lost. These include the 98 Americans on Wake Island who were bound and machine-gunned to death on October 7, 1943 and the 139 on Palawan Island who were drenched in gasoline and set afire.

The former POWs of Japan leave many legacies and lessons. Among the most important is how they coped with the postwar traumas of inhumane imprisonment. They fought two battles. One was for recognition of their “battle fatigue” and the other for justice and remembrance. The former is now championed by all veterans’ service organizations. We ask Congress for support and to help our veterans in their unique quest for justice and remembrance.

In an interview published 23 January 2014 in The Asahi Shimbun, Japan’s second largest newspaper, U.S. Ambassador to Japan Caroline Kennedy said:

I want to take a moment to talk about history and reconciliation. This fall, there was an event that previously might have been thought unimaginable. A group of Americans who suffered as Japanese prisoners of war during the Second World War returned here at the invitation of the Japanese government. Participating took enormous amounts of courage for all those involved….It is not easy, but citizens in all countries should encourage and support leaders who reach across history to build a peaceful future. It took courage on the part of the participants to come back to Japan and learn how Japan has changed.

As background to the Ambassador’s words, in 2009 the Government of Japan, through its then-Ambassador to the U.S. Ichiro FUJISAKI, and again in 2010 through its then-Foreign Minister Katsuya OKADA, officially apologized to the American POWs of Japan. These Cabinet-approved apologies first established as a Cabinet Decision on February 6, 2009 were unprecedented. Never before had a Japanese Government apologized for a specific war crime nor had it done so directly to the victims. The Japanese Government further initiated the “Japan/POW Friendship Program” of trips for American former POWs to visit Japan and return to the places of their imprisonment and slave labor. Thus far, there have been five trips, one each in the fall of 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013 and 2014.

The benefits of this long-awaited act of contrition have been immeasurable for former POWs and their families.  The Program, as Ambassador Kennedy has pointed out, is a great success, but we are concerned about its future. We are concerned that Japanese Prime Minister, Shinzo ABE, may revise Japan’s war apologies and end the POW/Japan Friendship Program. We are concerned that Japan has limited each trip to only seven former POWs. We currently have 26 men, all over 90-years old, eager to participate and waiting to hear when or if there will be another journey to Japan. Because of their advanced ages, many of these veterans may miss the opportunity.

We recall that in 1995 the Japanese government established the Peace, Friendship, and Exchange Initiative that included a multi-million dollar program of reconciliation and exchange with former POWs from all allied nations except the United States. From 1995 to 2009, the Japanese Government invited 904 ex-POWs from the United Kingdom, 507 from the Netherlands and 59 from Australia. The budgets allocated for those trips totaled over $16 million. To date, only 31 American former POWs have been invited and the yearly budgets have ranged only from $130,000 to $230,000One cannot help but get the impression that some in Japan count on time and advancing years to limit the costs and impact of the program.  We view this as shortsighted. 

Success should encourage more action

The success of this visitation program should encourage Japan to do more. The Program should not end with the ability of the nonagenarian POWs to visit Japan or with their deaths. A POW’s captivity has multi-generational effects on families. The wives, children, and siblings of those who died suffered irreparable loss. The families of those who survived suffered from the long-term physical and mental health problems caused by the ex-POW's years of cruel captivity.  Widows, brothers, sisters, children, and other descendants have all been profoundly affected by the POW experience of their relative and they too should be eligible for future programs.

We ask Congress to encourage the Government of Japan to preserve, expand, and enhance its reconciliation program toward its American former prisoners. We want to see the trips to Japan continued and extended to include descendants and researchers. We want the visitation program drawn into a permanent program of research, documentation, reconciliation, and a people-to-people exchange that is not subject to the Japanese government’s yearly budget review. We want Japan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs to publicize the program and its achievements. 

We want this program to include funds to create visual reminders of history through museums and monuments.  We want national memorials to the POWs who slaved and died on Japanese soil and territories as well as aboard the “hell ships.” We want to see a Japanese government-funded memorial at the Port of Moji where most of the hell ships docked and unloaded their sick and dying “cargo.”

We also want the many companies that brutally used POWs as slave labor and who now profit in the American market, to join with their government by acknowledging their use of forced labor and by offering their own acts of reconciliation. Over 60 Japanese companies, such as Mitsui, Mitsubishi, Sumitomo, Hitachi, Toshiba, Kawasaki, Nippon Steel, Nippon Express, Nippon Sharyo, Ube Industries, Showa Denko, Aso Group, and Yawata Steel maintained war production by cruel exploitation of American and Allied POWs.

Prime Minister Shinzo ABE and his address to Congress

Prime Minister Shinzo ABE, who we understand may soon address a joint meeting of Congress, has a unique opportunity to acknowledge Japan’s historical responsibilities. His past statements rejecting the verdicts of Tokyo War Crimes Tribunal that serves as the foundation of the 1951 San Francisco Peace Treaty with Japan trouble us. We want Congress to only extend the invitation to Prime Minister Abe to speak at the podium of Roosevelt and Churchill if they are assured that he will acknowledge that Japan’s defeat released the country from the venom of fascism and the inhuman goals of a criminal regime.

By doing so, the Japanese prime minister’s speech to Congress can be a historic one of reconciliation of which the first step is acknowledgement. Tied to this, we feel, should be that he extends and enhances the POW visitation program as we have outlined. He can engender trust with his American allies by honoring their country’s veterans. Here he can signal to Japan’s other wartime victims that meaningful reconciliation, as Ambassador Kennedy pointed out, is possible. The POW/Japan Friendship Program is one that confronts the past while preserving the dignities of both Americans and Japanese.

It is our hope in addressing this hearing that we can encourage Congress to work with the Obama Administration and the State Department to persuade Japan to hold to its promises and responsibilities. Japan needs to be encouraged to do more.  And it is our hope that members of Congress will encourage the many Japanese corporations that operate in their districts to acknowledge the history of the American POWs who slaved for them.

The American POWs of Japan and their families have paid a high price for the freedoms we cherish. What they ask in return for their sacrifices and service is for their government, even after 70 years, is to keep its moral obligation to them. They do not want their history ignored or exploited. They do not ask for further compensation. What they want most is to have their government stand by them to ensure they will be remembered, that our allies respect them, and their American history preserved.

Thank you for this opportunity to address your committees.

[Ms. Thompson is a documentary filmmaker. Her recent work is Never the Same: the POW Experience]

Sunday, March 15, 2015

Monday in Washington, March 16, 2015

ADVANCING CLIMATE-RESILIENT DEVELOPMENT SYMPOSIUM. 3/16, 9:00am. Sponsors: Wilson Center's (WWC) Environmental Change and Security Program; US Agency for International Development. Speakers: Kit Batten, Coordinator, USAID; Glen Anderson, Chief of Party, Engility; Lawrence Buja, Director, National Center for Atmospheric Research; Jonathan Cook, Climate Change Adaption Specialist, USAID; John Furlow, Climate Change Specialist, USAID; Peter Schultz, Principal, ICF International; Roger-Mark De Souza, Director, WWC. 

GLOBAL ARMS TRADE, RECENT TRENDS & LOOKING AHEAD. 3/16, 10:00-11:30am. Sponsor: Forum on the Arms Trade. Speakers: Aude Fleurant, Director of Arms Military Expenditure Programme at Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI); Jeff Abramson, Founder of Forum on the Arms Trade; Rachel Stohl, Senior Associate of Managing Across Boundaries at the Stimson Center.

THE PENTAGON BUDGET: PROSPECTS FOR REFORM. 3/16, Noon-1:30pm, Lunch. Sponsor: Cato Institute. Speakers: Dov Zakheim, Senior Advisor of CSIS; Mackenzie Eaglen, Resident Fellow at the Marilyn Ware Center for Security Studies at AEI; Todd Harrison, Senior Fellow of the Defense Budget Studies at CSIS and Budgetary Assessments; Christopher Preble, Vice President for Defense and Foreign Policies Studies at Cato Institute; Kate Brannen, Senior Reporter of Foreign Policy.

click to order
REBELS, RADICALS, AND THE REGIME: FINDING A WAY FORWARD IN SYRIA. 3/16, Noon-1:30pm, Lunch. Sponsor: Middle East Institute. Speakers: Michael Eisenstadt, Kahn Fellow and Director of Military and Security Studies at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy; Robert Ford, Senior Fellow at the Middle East Institute, Former US Ambassador to Syria; Mohammed Ghanem, Senipr Political Advisor and Government Relations Director of the Syrian American Council; Dafna Rand, Deputy Director of Studies and Leon E. Panetta Fellow at the Center for a New American Security; Paul Salem, Vice President for Policy and Research at the Middle East Institute.

HANDFUL OF BULLETS: HOW THE MURDER OF ARCHDUKE FRANZ FERDINAND STILL MENACES THE PEACE. 3/16, Noon-2:00pm, Lunch. Sponsor: World Bank Group. Speaker: author Harlan K. Ullman, Chairman, Killowen Group, Chairman of CNIGuard Ltd and CNIGuard Inc., Advisor to Supreme Allied Commander Europe and Commander of U.S. European Command, Senior Advisor, Atlantic Council and Business Executives for National Security.

US-KOREA SCHOLAR-POLICYMAKER NEXUS PANEL SERIES. 3/16, 1:30-4:30pm. Sponsors: Maureen and Mike Mansfield Foundation and the Korea Foundation. Speakers: Duyeon Kim, Associate of the Nuclear Policy Program and Asia Program at Carnegie; Celeste Arrington, Korea Foundation Assistant Professor of Political Science and International Affairs at GWU; Sandra Fahy, Assistant Professor at Sophia University; Andrew Yeo, Associate Professor of Politics at the Catholic University of America; Deborah Solomon, Assistant Professor at Otterbein University; Victor Cha, Chair, Senior Adviser and Korea Chair of CSIS; Karl Friedhoff, Program Officer of the Public Opinion Studies Center at the Asan Institute for Policy Studies; Ellen Kim, Assistant Director and Fellow, Korea Chair of CSIS; Ji-Young Lee, Assistant Professor at the School of International Service at AU; Yong Suk Lee, SK Center Fellow of the Walter H. Shorenstein Asia-Pacific Research Center at Stanford University.

CHINA REALITY CHECK: A READOUT ON CHINA’S ANNUAL LEGISLATIVE SESSION. 3/16, 2:00-3:30pm. Sponsor: CSIS. Speakers: Dali Yang, Professor of the Department of Political Science at the University of Chicago; Christopher Johnson, Freeman Chair in China Studies at CSIS; Scott Kennedy, Deputy Director, Freeman Chair in China Studies and Director of the Project on Chinese Business and Political Economy at CSIS.

A NUCLEAR DEAL, IRAN'S REGIONAL ROLE AND US RELATIONS WITH THE GULF. 3/16, 2:00-3:30pm. Sponsor: Atlantic Council. Speakers: Alireza Nader, Senior International Policy Analyst, RAND Corporation; Ilan Goldenberg, Director, Middle East Security Program, Center for a New American Security; Richard LeBaron and Barbara Slavin, Senior Fellows, Atlantic Council.

MANAGING AND REDUCING 21ST CENTURY NUCLEAR SECURITY THREATS. 3/16, 7:00pm. Sponsor: Georgetown University's Security Studies Program. Speakers: Rep. Jeff Fortenberry, R-Neb, Richard Luger, President, Lugar Center; Sam Nunn, Co-Chairman and CEO, Nuclear Security Initiative; Desmond Brownie, Vice Chairman, Nuclear Threat Initiative; Keir Leiber, Associate Professor, Georgetown University; Duyeon Kim, Associate, Carnegie Endowment.

Saturday, March 14, 2015

Chancellor Merkel talks to Japan

Speech by Federal Chancellor Angela Merkel during the event hosted by the newspaper Asahi Shimbun in cooperation with the Japanese-German Center Berlin in Tokyo
9 March 2015

Ladies and gentlemen,

First of all, I would like to thank you very much for the friendly introduction and for the opportunity to be your guest here today. It is an honour to me to be hosted here by Asahi Shimbun. You are one of the most widely circulated newspapers in the world, and your publishing house is also rich in tradition, with a history extending back to the early days of Japanese-German relations.

Exactly 142 years ago today, on 9 March 1873, what was known as the Iwakura Mission arrived in Berlin. This Japanese delegation headed by Ambassador Extraordinary Tomomi Iwakura undertook an extensive educational journey in order to gain greater insight into the economic, political and social life of European countries. In my view the Iwakura Mission is, in a manner of speaking, exemplary of Japanese open-mindedness and thirst for knowledge – a tradition the country has maintained to this day. This tradition is one of the foundations of the host of close ties between the German and Japanese people.

Whether in business or science, art or culture, there is no other country in Asia with which Germany maintains such intense exchange. This exchange is supported, for example, by 60 town twinning partnerships and more than 110 Japanese-German and German-Japanese societies in our countries. The Junior Sports Club and the many students and university graduates who take part in the Japan Exchange and Teaching Programme are also especially notable bridge-builders between our countries.

Among the many institutions that stimulate exchange between our countries, I would especially like to single out the Japanese-German Center Berlin. This centre was founded 30 years ago at the initiative of Prime Minister Yasuhiro Nakasone and Federal Chancellor Helmut Kohl. Many conferences, cultural events and exchange programmes have since been carried out. The JGCB also helped organise today’s event. For this reason, I would like to express my heartfelt thanks to all the people at this centre who are doing outstanding work in the service of lively Japanese-German dialogue.

Ladies and gentlemen, the day after tomorrow is the fourth anniversary of the major Tohoku earthquake on 11 March 2011. The earthquake triggered a tremendously devastating tsunami and failures at several nuclear power plants, especially the Fukushima nuclear power plant. The terrible images of the destruction and suffering caused by this threefold catastrophe in 2011 are still vivid in my mind. Our deepest condolences go out to all those who lost loved ones in this disaster. Our sympathy is also with those who survived but have still not been able to return to their homes. I greatly admire the spirit of community with which the Japanese people have tackled the reconstruction after the earthquake.

Destruction and reconstruction are also key words for 2015 in another way, as this year we are commemorating the 70th anniversary of the end of the Second World War. To echo the words of former Federal President Richard von Weizsäcker, who died just a few weeks ago, the end of the war in Europe on 8 May 1945 was a day of liberation – liberation from Nazi barbarism, from the horrors of the Second World War that had been unleashed by Germany, and from the betrayal of all civilised values in the form of the Shoah.

We Germans will never forget the hand of reconciliation that was extended to us after all the suffering that our country had brought to Europe and the world. We can count ourselves lucky that so much trust was placed in the nascent Federal Republic at that time. This is what it made it possible for us to succeed in finding our way back into the international community. Trust was also what cleared the way to German unity for us four decades later after the fall of the Berlin Wall and the end of the East-West confrontation in 1989-1990.

Today, 70 years after the end of the Second World War and 25 years after the end of the Cold War, we in Germany can – just like Japan – look back on developments that have taken a remarkable course. As prosperous democracies, our states and societies are deeply marked by the separation of powers, the rule of law, and the principles of the social market economy. Our economic strengths are rooted in our capacity for reform, competition and innovation. As trade- and export-oriented nations, our free and open civil societies thrive on a globalised economy. Germany and Japan are thus partners in global responsibility for a liberal, standards-based world order of free, open states and societies.

But this liberal world order is not to be taken for granted. On the contrary, it is threatened. By annexing Crimea in violation of international law and supporting separatists in eastern Ukraine, Russia has violated the territorial integrity of Ukraine, which it clearly committed itself to protecting in the Budapest Memorandum in 1994. Ukraine, like every other state, has the right to determine its own path with full sovereignty. I would like to thank the Japanese Government very much for the fact that we are taking this position together and have also imposed economic sanctions as a necessary response.

But we are also focused on a diplomatic solution. This is a reason why I am working together with French President François Hollande, all of our European and transatlantic partners, and Japan to see that the agreements that were made a few weeks ago in Minsk to overcome the crisis are truly implemented. Free local elections in eastern Ukraine and unimpeded Ukrainian control of the country’s own borders would, by the way, not only help Ukraine and enable it to regain its territorial integrity, but also lend new impetus to the partnership with Russia. Of course, the Crimea issue cannot simply remain unresolved.

Japan and Germany have shared interests when it comes to enforcing the strength of international law – including stability in other regions, such as waterways and trade routes in the East and South China Seas, the security of which we believe is threatened by maritime territorial disputes. These waterways connect Europe with this part of the world, among other things. Their security therefore also affects us in Europe. In order to reach a viable solution, I believe it is very important to make use of regional forums such as ASEAN in addition to bilateral efforts, and also to overcome differences on the basis of international maritime law: including both smaller and larger partners in multilateral processes and basing potential agreements on internationally recognised law ensures transparency and reliability. And transparency and reliability are vital requirements for preventing misunderstandings, prejudices and crises.

In our world, however, we are also confronted with conflicts where the willingness to enter into dialogue runs up against limits because fundamental values and human rights are violated in an atrocious manner. We are experiencing this with the international terrorism that is raging in Syria, Iraq, Libya, and large swathes of Nigeria. The terrorist organisations IS and Boko Haram threaten to annihilate everyone and everything that does not fit with their own maniacal claims to power. IS’s horrific murder of two Japanese hostages, the assassination of cartoonists and journalists of the satirical French newspaper Charlie Hebdo, and the gruesome attack on customers at a kosher supermarket in Paris – these and unfortunately many other barbaric crimes strengthen us more than ever in our determination to stand up resolutely together for freedom and open-mindedness. Such attacks make us, including Germany and Japan, stand even closer together in the fight against hatred and contempt for humanity.

That is why we are using the German G7 Presidency as an opportunity to stanch the flow of funding and combatants into international terrorism. Above all, finance ministers are engaged with this project. We are politically and militarily supporting all those who are opposing IS terror on the ground, especially the new Iraqi Government and the Kurdish Regional Government. Together with Japan, we are also helping to relieve the suffering which refugees are experiencing because of IS terror. This is our humanitarian responsibility, and fulfilling this responsibility is also in our own security policy interest.

Both of these approaches were also decisive in Germany’s and Japan’s engagement in Afghanistan. Together, we built up and assisted Afghan security forces. We helped create a school system and a health system, and we helped build new roads. On the whole we can say that life in Afghanistan has improved since 2001, even if the everyday security situation for people in Afghanistan remains unsatisfactory. We have, however, achieved the most important goal: today an international terrorist threat no longer emanates from Afghanistan.

Beyond this, Japan and Germany also agree on the task of containing the threat posed by nuclear weapons. The year 2015 marks the 70th anniversary of the dreadful atomic bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. The memory of these horrors has given rise to a responsibility for the future: such a thing must never happen again. That is why Japan and Germany are working tirelessly for greater disarmament and arms control.

This is also why we are pursuing the shared goal of preventing Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons. All doubts about the exclusively peaceful nature of the Iranian nuclear programme must be cleared up. The talks to this end are currently in a decisive phase. What is at stake for us is not just mitigating a source of regional conflict, but also the larger question of how we can prevent an arms race and the proliferation of nuclear weapons. In this context, of course, North Korea also has to be mentioned.

An existential question like this one shows how important international partnerships’ and organisations’ credibility and capacity to act are. That is why Japan and Germany have joined Brazil and India in advocating the strengthening of the United Nations – including reforms to the Security Council – even if progress admittedly proceeds at a very slow pace. We are, however, convinced that every region of the world should participate appropriately in Security Council decisions so that we can preserve a chance for peace and stability in the world.

Within the circle of G7 countries, too, we face global challenges, and we do so – this is a hallmark of the G7 – on a foundation of shared values and convictions. In the coming year Japan will take over the G7 Presidency from Germany. That is why we, Japan and Germany, want to work hand in hand especially closely.

The areas of focus for the German G7 Presidency include international climate protection. I have singled out this example because the year 2015 will be especially significant for climate protection. In December the UN conference in Paris will determine whether we will be able to have an ambitious and binding climate treaty enter into force in 2020. That is why we want to work with our G7 partners to prepare initiatives that will show that the G7 states are ready to take on a leading role in low‑carbon development. We want to make clear that this does not mean having to sacrifice prosperity. Prosperity must be attained in a different way than it has been to date, but we need not forsake it. We want to advance relevant innovations around the world, and what we want to do above all in this pursuit is assist developing countries. In any event, I hope that the G7 summit in Germany in June will send a strong signal in support of the successful conclusion of the climate negotiations in Paris.

Closely connected with climate protection is the question of how we can ensure the most sustainable energy supply possible. To this end, we want to keep developing the G7 initiative for energy security. This is a matter of creating the most transparent and functional energy markets that are possible. It is also our aim to increase energy efficiency and thereby reduce energy costs.

Other themes of Germany’s G7 Presidency include health issues such as the lessons learnt from the Ebola epidemic and the topic of women’s independence and professional training in developing countries.

Cooperation between Japan and Germany in a multilateral framework is only one side of the coin. The other side, which is of course just as important, is our bilateral partnership. Because we face quite similar challenges, we can learn a lot from and with each other. One excellent example is the answers we are seeking for demographic shifts in our societies. We are grappling with very similar questions when it comes to this issue. How do we keep our social security systems effective without overburdening the younger generation? How can we create good living conditions in rural regions that are affected by depopulation? How do we keep an aging society dynamic and innovative? – I have just discussed this with scholars who are working intensely in Japanese-German research areas. – How do we secure the pool of skilled workers that we need in order to preserve our prosperity?

We in Germany are engaged with these and many other questions as part of the Federal Government’s demographic strategy. We are focusing, for example, on increasing the workforce participation of women, improving the compatibility of work and family, extending our working lifetimes, and attracting qualified employees from abroad. Freedom of movement in the European Union creates good opportunities for workers from other European countries to come to Germany. But workers from countries outside Europe are also interested, and we are improving immigration conditions for them.

Here in Japan, the Government is seeking to encourage women’s workforce participation under the slogan “Let Women Shine”. There is also a legislative package to introduce quotas for the proportion of women in businesses and public administration. In Germany, the Bundestag adopted such a law on Friday after lengthy discussion. A look at the statistics regarding women in leadership positions in companies in Germany and Japan shows that both countries still have some catching up to do. I am looking forward to speaking tomorrow with Japanese women in leadership positions about their experiences and career paths. What is clear is that demographic change makes fostering and harnessing the potential of professionals a key factor in the future success of our countries’ economies and thus also in the preservation of our high standard of living.

Germany and Japan have long been a part of the circle of internationally successful economic players. This commonality has created a lot of space for additional forms of Japanese-German cooperation. Of course, this is above all a matter for businesses. – I am pleased that a business delegation has accompanied me on this trip in order to potentially give fresh impetus to our economic collaborations. – The politicians must create the framework conditions for these activities. This means that remaining impediments to trade, investment and joint innovation should be cleared away as much as possible.

That is why the entire Federal Government and I are working to negotiate and sign the free trade agreement between Japan and the European Union as quickly as possible. – It has been our experience that mutual trade has increased through such agreements, which has created more jobs. – Both sides can particularly benefit from even closer collaboration in technologically sophisticated areas. The challenges associated with digitalisation will surely create a variety of future opportunities for us in this area.

It is no secret that the innovative strength and success of our economy are built on a foundation of education, science and research. It is only logical, then, for our two countries to cultivate lively exchange in these areas too. We have many relationships that have grown over the years. I have already mentioned my talks with scientists this morning. What came up in this conversation is that we must pay attention: Japan is surrounded by interesting countries such as South Korea, China and Vietnam, which are developing in a highly dynamic way. That is why we should be keen to intensify our research cooperation not only in our own respective regions but also across the great distance between Germany and Japan. I am firmly convinced that a lot of good things can come out of this, and good things can become even better. In areas such as renewable energy, marine and earth sciences and environmental research, there is no shortage of opportunities for even more intensive cooperation.

That is why I would be delighted if even more students and scholars from Japan were to become interested in spending time in Germany. Many classes and training programmes in Germany are now held in English, and do not necessarily require participants to learn German. Perhaps it is possible for Japanese businesses to place more emphasis on young professionals at the start of their careers being able to boast towards participation in exchange programmes at international universities. I believe this is important for the global orientation of research and ultimately also of development. Young people should understand spending time abroad as a help and not a hindrance to their careers.

I can report from the European Union that we have the ERASMUS exchange programme there, which leads many students to spend some of their time studying abroad. I believe that the positive developments and effects this brings greatly outweigh the time that is lost through studying abroad. In any event, I can say that Japanese students and scholars are very welcome in Germany – at least as welcome as the Iwakura Mission was in 1873. Now, like then, we want to retain our curiosity about one another; now, like then, we want to explore the world together. That is why I am pleased that today I not only have had the chance to speak to you, but also can now exchange opinions in a discussion with you.

Thank you very much for this opportunity to be your guest today.

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Understanding Sexual Violence in Conflict, Program March 12th

Memorial to the ComfortWomen
in Chiba Prefecture, Japan
erected 1973
Understanding Sexual Violence in Conflict:
Regional Views of the Comfort Women Legacy


Shu-Hua Kang
Taipei Women’s Rescue Foundation

Mina Watanabe
Women’s Active Museum on War and Peace

Thursday, March 12, 2015
10:00AM – NOON
Rome Auditorium
1619 Massachusetts Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20036

Event webcast HERE

Please join the U.S.-Korea Institute at SAIS and Asia Policy Point in commemorating International Women’s Day this month with a discussion by two spokeswomen for the survivors of sexual slavery. Ms. Mina Watanabe and Ms. Shu-Hua Kang have devoted their careers to the care of and advocacy for victims of sexual violence and trafficking in Asia, and will be in Washington after presenting at the 59th session of the Commission on the Status of Women at the United Nations in New York.

Shu-Hua KANG is Executive Director of the Taipei Women’s Rescue Foundation (TWRF). TWRF was established in 1987 by a group of lawyers, scholars, and social workers to fight on the behalf of girls illegally forced into prostitution. In her 9 years at TWRF, she has devoted herself to promoting awareness about institutionalized sexual slavery by the Japanese military during WWII (“comfort women”), as well as to the prevention of gender violence in Taiwan. She is the executive producer of Song of the Reed, a documentary depicting the stories of Taiwanese "comfort women" survivors, as well as the chief editor of the book The Reason to be Strong, which shares the recovery processes of these survivors. She is currently leading a team in preparing for a women’s rights museum in the memory of Taiwanese “comfort women.”

Mina WATANABE is Secretary General of the Women’s Active Museum on War and Peace (WAM) based in Tokyo, which focuses on violence against women in conflict situations including military sexual slavery during the Second World War (the “comfort women”). Founded in 2005, WAM was a recipient of the Catholic Pax Christi’s International Peace Award in 2007. She has worked in women’s NGOs and parliamentarians’ offices with a focus on women’s rights, and was actively involved in The Women’s International War Crimes Tribunal for the Trial of Japan’s Military Sexual Slavery held in Tokyo in 2000.

Copies of YOSHIMI Yoshiaki’s seminal book Comfort Women: Sexual Slavery in the Japanese Military During World War II will be available for purchase.