Thursday, September 8, 2022

American industrial policy

CHIPS as usual: A defense of US industrial policy


Clyde V. Prestowitz, Jr., has worked on Asia and globalization for fifty years and has written several bestselling books on these subjects. He was a leader of the first U.S. trade mission to China in 1982 and is a veteran U.S. trade negotiator and presidential advisor. Mr Prestowitz is founder and President of the Economic Strategy Institute and an APP board member.


Hinrich Foundation, 30 August 2022



The rise of the semiconductor industry has everything to do with industrial policy and managed trade. China is dedicated to self-sufficiency and control of cutting-edge industries. It may be wise for the US to go back to its own future, to a time when America got rich by using industrial policy to spur economic development.


The global semiconductor industry has always been a child of industrial policy rather than free markets.


The transistor – predecessor of today’s microchips – came out of Bell Laboratories, a unit of the then government-regulated AT&T telecommunications monopoly. It was developed into integrated circuits and memory chips by the likes of physicist William Shockley and Intel Corp. co-founder Robert Noyce.   


But it was the US government who paid much of the way. Intel was founded in part on a loan from the US government’s Small Business Administration. The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) was a major semiconductor industry investor, and the US Defense Department was a major customer.


By the early 1980s, the US semiconductor industry produced 70% - 80% of the world’s chips domestically. However, there was a rapidly growing challenger – the Japanese. Since the end of the Second World War, Japan used industrial policy to rebuild its economy. As Vice Minister for International Trade and Industry Naohiro Amaya once told me: “We did the opposite of what the American economists advised.”  


Soon after the invention of the transistor, Japan’s Sony Corp. paid $25,000 for a license and MITI was off to the races to help the Japanese chip industry catch up to the US. By 1985, the Japanese producers not only had gained about 40% of the global market, but had also beaten the US makers to the new 256K-bit random access memory chip.


How had they done this so rapidly?


The real keys to Japanese success: MITI sent written instructions to Japan’s major chip users telling them to buy Japanese. Japan’s banks were directed by MITI to make cheap capital available for investment in semiconductors. Japan’s Ministry of Finance intervened in international currency markets to maintain a weak yen versus the dollar, reducing the price of Japanese exports and vice versa.


The chief executive of Intel Japan used to have what he called a “waterfall map”, which showed Intel sales in Japan climbing dramatically whenever Intel introduced a new chip, but fall as soon as there was a Japanese-made version of the product.


As counselor to the Secretary of Commerce in the 1980s, I was one of the lead US negotiators on trade with Japan including in semiconductors. Our experience was that Japanese producers systematically dumped their products in the US market. The success of Japan’s semiconductor industry was due much less to free trade and globalization than industrial policy, protectionism, and mercantilism.


To compete better with the Japanese, US producers began searching for cost reductions. In the mid-1980s, it occurred to American makers and the governments of countries like Singapore that tasks such as testing and packaging might be performed at much lower cost by inexpensive female labor offshore. This would help makers compete better with Japan. To encourage this, Singapore, Malaysia, and others provided land and utility subsidies, low-interest loans, capital grants, and 20-year tax breaks.  


Watching all this was the government of Taiwan. For its self-preservation, it needed to stay ahead of economic development in China. Taipei approached my friend Morris Chang who had recently retired from a career making chips at Texas Instruments. Why not, thought Morris, have a single foundry that could produce chips designed by individual makers?


It was a game-changing insight, but it required one important thing: gobs of money made available by the Taiwanese government. The success of Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC) had everything to do with industrial policy and managed trade.


This brings us to China and eventually the new US CHIPS and Science Act of 2022. Beijing carefully studied Japan and the Asian Tigers as they pursued managed trade, undervalued currencies, and industrial policy. It aimed to entice US producers to put fabs in China. I served for some time on Intel’s Policy Advisory Board and sometimes traveled with Intel executives to China. I remember in one meeting that the Chinese asked how much a new fab would cost. The Intel people at that time said about $6 billion. The Chinese response was to offer free land, $1 billion in capital grants, subsidized utilities, and 10-year tax breaks. Intel eventually put a fab in China. But it hedged. The fab was not Intel’s most cutting-edge model.  


That the hedge was wise became evident five years later when China adopted its Made in China 2025 policy, aiming for high-tech self-sufficiency.


This policy made clear that China does not believe in globalization, or plan to practice Western, neo-classical, comparative advantage-based trade or even fully free domestic markets.


It also makes clear that concerns that CHIPS would restrain US corporations’ China operations are misplaced. These companies are going to lose out regardless of what the US government does. The Chinese Communist Party is dedicated to maximum self-sufficiency and control of cutting-edge industries. 


In view of all this, it may well be wise for the US to go back to its own future. From 1816 until 1948, America pursued trade and industrial development essentially as China, Japan, and the Asian Tigers have done. It protected key domestic markets and was a champion of industrial policy.


At the height of the American Civil War, when Britain was the low-cost steel producer, President Abraham Lincoln imposed a high tariff on steel imports. He said he did not pretend to know much about the political economy, but understood enough to know that “when an American paid $20 for steel to an English manufacturer, America had the steel and England had the $20. But when he paid $20 for the steel to an American manufacturer, America had both the steel and the $20.”  


America became rich by using industrial policy to spur development of the railroads, the telegraph, the airplane, the semiconductor industry, and the internet. It all worked out pretty well. Maybe it would again.


© The Hinrich Foundation. 


Tuesday, August 9, 2022

Reporting on Abe's Demise

Confusion, self-censorship and the cult of confirmation

by David McNeill

Professor of communications and English at University of the Sacred Heart, Tokyo, and co-chair of the FCCJ’s Professional Activities Committee. He was previously a correspondent for The Independent, The Economist and The Chronicle of Higher Education

No. One Shimbun, August 2022

Shinzo Abe’s murder and the media

Media critics could find plenty of grist to their mill in the aftermath of Shinzo Abe’s murder. For a start, there were the near identical headlines that ran in the big national dailies on July 8, stating simply that the former prime minister had “died after being shot” in Nara – a product of risk-averse editorial decisions. 

Breaking news of the incident, saying Abe had “collapsed”, confusingly suggested he had suffered a heart attack. Amateur videos taken at the scene and circulated online made it clear that he had been gunned down. Millions found themselves scouring the internet for a better picture of what had happened. 

This was another small signpost in the death-march of the traditional print and broadcast media: After all, it could be asked, if professional journalists and editors are slower at getting timely news to our newspapers and screens than bystanders with cellphones, then what use are they?

Then there was the decision by editors in Japan to steer clear of the word “assassination”, (暗殺), which suggests the killer was motivated by politics or ideology. Sources inside the newspaper industry said this was to avoid conferring legitimacy on Abe’s presumed killer, Tetsuya Yamagami, when his motives were still unclear.

Yet the word is widely used in the Japanese media when citing the assassination of foreign leaders such as President John F. Kennedy, who was also targeted by a lone killer with opaque motives.  

As some pointed out, domestic media steer clear of the word because of its association with Japan’s chaotic and murderous prewar era, when political killings were common. The 1960 killing of Inejiro Asanuma, then chairman of the Japan Socialist Party was the most famous Japanese assassination of the postwar era – but it was referred to as a “death by stabbing” in the domestic media.

There were other timorous editorial decisions, such as censored closeup photos of the homemade gun used by Yamagami. Some newspapers (and Japan’s biggest news agency, Kyodo) carried the pictures, taken by the Nara Shimbun, but banned them from being published on websites, apparently to avoid encouraging copycat killers. 

Images of the gun, the killer and the murder could be found online, however, fueling a small army of amateur sleuths. Many, for example, were struck by the light security around Abe and the sight of his assassin wandering about freely for several minutes before attacking his target. Some even speculated that the killing was a false-flag operation in a worrying echo of the conspiracy theories that now plague the aftermath of violent incidents in the U.S.

Once the domestic media deployed their huge resources, a lot of careful, diligent reporting followed.

Journalists determined that Yamagami was driven by hatred of the Unification Church, whose members are commonly known as Moonies. His road to middle-class prosperity was blocked when his widowed mother drained the family purse to make donations to the cult. 

According to family sources quoted in the Mainichi Shimbu, she donated about ¥100 million, including insurance money from her husband’s death, to the church. Testimony from neighbors and colleagues helped build a rich picture of an intelligent, flailing man who grew bitter as he slipped down the social ladder. 

Relatives recalled phone calls from a young Yamagami and his two hungry siblings, demanding food. Instead of going to university, he joined the Maritime Self-Defence Force in 2002, the year his mother declared bankruptcy. Work colleagues described an ordinary but prickly character. Fuji TV interviewed neighbors who recalled him noisily building a small arsenal of home-made weaponry in his one-bedroom apartment. Rather than eject the troublesome tenant, the building management asked everyone to be “considerate”. 

The most contentious issue in reporting of the Abe killing was the delay in publishing the name of the church. For several days, the mainstream media referred to the Moonies as simply a religious group, avoiding any mention of its name – this despite the fact again that it was being widely discussed online.

Press clubs played another role, reckons Kaori Hayashi, a professor of media studies at the University of Tokyo. “I think it was because the police at first didn’t reveal the name,” she said. “Confirmation by the authorities is still a big factor for the Japanese media.”

There were, of course, other ways of confirming the name, such as talking to families. And it was revealed online that Yamagami had blogged or written about his feelings on the church. In any case, it was left to the weeklies tabloids to bridge the gap between cyber- and mainstream reporting. Shukan Gendai leaped first, outing the church and “again fulfilling their role”, said Martin Fackler, a former Tokyo bureau chief of the New York Times, “to write what the big dailies cannot.”

Gendai noted that Shimbun Akahata, the newspaper of the Japanese Communist Party – a long-time adversary of the church – had reported last year that Abe had sent a video message to an affiliate of the Moonies, praising their focus on family values, for which he was condemned by lawyers for cult victims.

Once the Unification Church acknowledged Yamagami’s mother was a member at a press conference on July 11, the reporting dam burst. Reporters have dug deep into the connections between the cult and right-wing politics. The South Korean church, founded in 1954 by Rev. Sun Myung Moon, a self-professed messiah, has invested heavily in conservative causes, much of it financed by selling religious baubles in Japan. Fiercely anti-communist, it set up the Washington Times newspaper in 1982 as a platform for anti-liberal views and forged ties with a string of conservative American leaders including Richard Nixon, Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush.

Surprisingly to some, the connections included politicians with the Liberal Democratic Party (LDP), the party Abe once led and which has governed Japan for all but a few years since 1955. One of the party’s elders, Abe’s grandfather, Nobusuke Kishi, was a former prime minister who some experts say brought the church to Japan, where he used it to promote anti-communist views and win votes.

The Mainichi summed up the feelings of many in a July 27 editorial when it surveyed this little-known history: “It is only natural for the Diet and media organizations to clarify the state of affairs. And above all, the LDP should take a look at its long history and provide an explanation to the public and wind up its relationship with the religious group.”

If Yamagami’s wider aim was to exact revenge on the church and its enablers, he could hardly have done a better job.

Friday, August 5, 2022

Japan's New Capitalism

Prioritize Equality of Opportunity with Predistribution

by Steven K. Vogel, UC Berkeley and APP Member

Nihon Keizai Shimbun, July 27, 2022

Prime Minister Kishida Fumio has vowed to shift Japan toward a “new capitalism” that will deliver growth with redistribution. The administration’s plan announced in June combines a wide variety of measures, from boosting wages to increasing investments in science and technology – yet some critics charge that it offers more hopeful proclamations than promising substance.

The prime minister is right to strive to reform Japanese capitalism to achieve both growth and equity. But how should he do that? If the government really wants to address inequality at its roots, it should prioritize growth with “predistribution” over redistribution. The term may be obscure, but the concept is rather simple. Redistribution accepts the market allocation of profits as given and tries to moderate inequalities after the fact with policies such welfare spending or progressive taxation. Predistribution, in contrast, seeks to affect who benefits from economic activity in the first place through public investment and market governance reforms.

The British Labour Party leader Ed Miliband heralded “predistribution” in his new agenda in 2012, presenting it as a way to create a fairer economy without huge increases in government spending. In more recent years, scholars have refined predistribution analysis to evaluate the sources of economic inequality and to devise remedies. Some of the leading scholars in this area, such as Thomas Piketty and others associated with the World Inequality Lab, have increasingly emphasized the predistribution roots of inequality.

Predistribution and redistribution policies can blur in practice, but the distinction remains useful in evaluating Japan’s past performance and its future prospects. In fact, Japan delivered growth with equity through most of the postwar era via what could be interpreted as a successful predistribution strategy. It achieved a relatively equitable income distribution not through a big welfare state but rather through “predistribution” factors such as corporate practices, labor relations, and societal norms. And now that Japan confronts higher inequality and lower growth, it should prioritize predistribution solutions to these new challenges.

The predistribution-redistribution distinction engages the timeless debate over equality of opportunity versus equality of outcome. Predistribution seeks to eliminate inequalities of opportunity rather than to compensate people for them. Yet advocates of predistribution insist that equality of opportunity must be substantive, not merely formal. That is, predistribution should enhance human capabilities and give workers and entrepreneurs greater ability to compete in the marketplace. It does not take away resources from one group and give them to another, but strives for a more equitable distribution of returns in the first place. It does not seek to override markets but to make them work better.

Now libertarians would surely object to this line of argument. They would insist that the government should not intervene in the free operation of the market. But there is no free market. All markets are embedded in government regulations, business practices, and social norms. All real-world markets reflect balances of power, such as employers versus workers or producers versus consumers. So devising and refining market rules is not an alien intervention into a pristine free market, but rather a prerequisite to properly functioning markets. Think of it this way. If workers are being paid too little for their labor and consumers are paying too much for their products, then should we sit by idly or change the rules of the marketplace to addresses these injustices?

From the other side, egalitarians might argue that we should seek equal outcomes by any means possible, and that would mean going all in with redistribution. Yet the advocates of predistribution do not oppose redistribution so much as they contend that predistribution should come first. Shouldn’t we try to eliminate unequal opportunities first, before we start compensating people for them? Then redistribution policies could fill in where predistribution policies fall short in producing a fair and equitable market society.

So how does all of this grand theory apply to Japan past and present? We can reinterpret Japan’s postwar success in achieving growth with equity via the lens of predistribution. The government invested in transport and communications infrastructure that supported economic growth and mobility, and it provided high-quality universal education and health care that sustained both growth and equity. Japan’s large corporations practiced a stakeholder model of governance, with channels for labor incorporation at the plant and office level and job security and benefits for core workers. Japan’s postwar system harbored some major structural inequities, of course, such as large firms versus small, urban regions versus rural, and male workers versus female. Yet it nonetheless delivered a combination of growth with equity that was the envy of the world.

Some of Japan’s vaunted strengths have partially eroded since the 1990s. The education system has become less equal as those with resources have gamed the system to advantage their children. The employment system has become less stable and more unequal as the share of nonregular workers has increased. The predistribution lens offers a framework for setting priorities for reforms. The predistribution approach would prioritize public investment in education, training, research and development, and startup funding. It would also favor family policies, including pre-school education, and maternity, paternity, and elder care leave. These policies are redistributive and predistributive at the same time because they support children while also enabling parents to enhance their skills and to participate in the labor market. My own mentor, the late Harold Wilensky, studied the economic and social performance of 20 rich democracies, including Japan, over a 60-year span. He found, not surprisingly, that some government policies favored growth over equity while others favored equity over growth. But he stressed that the most enlightened policies, such as these family policies, managed to achieve both goals at the same time.

With respect to market reforms, the government should immediately hike the minimum wage. This will boost growth and equity by putting money into the hands of those most likely to spend and by raising the income of those earning the least. The government should reduce the gap in pay, security, and benefits between permanent and non-regular workers by vigorously enforcing equal pay for equal work. And it should promote work-life balance policies that will contribute to higher productivity, such as fewer working hours, more flexible schedules, and remote work options. Japan has made some real progress in these areas in recent years, but it could go much further. With respect to corporate governance, the government should continue to promote greater diversity and accountability, which will enhance both equity and productivity. But it should resist reforms that will raise corporate returns at the expense of workers and other stakeholders.

None of this suggests that Japan does not need redistribution as well. For example, the government could enhance both growth and equity by raising corporate taxes while reducing consumption taxes. Consumption taxes are regressive, and they slow growth by reducing demand.

For many years, economic analysts have assumed there is a tradeoff between growth and equity. Japan disproved this in the postwar era by achieving high growth with equity. And Japan, the United States, and many other advanced economies have doubly disproved this thesis in recent years by demonstrating that inequality can become a drag on growth.

The United States is much further down that road than Japan, so Japan should heed this as a valuable warning. In fact, the U.S. economy could rightly be viewed as one of upward predistribution. That is, the market rules – from labor regulations to corporate governance practices – are structured to maximize returns for the wealthy and the powerful at the expense of everyone else. Viewed through the lens of predistribution, current-day Japan is underperforming the Japan of the postwar era but it remains much less unequal than the United States. With greater attention to predistribution reforms, it can do much better.

Sunday, July 24, 2022

Monday Asia Events, July 25, 2022

Washington is getting ready for its August recess.


PARTNERSHIPS FOR PROSPERITY: U.S. LEADERSHIP IN THE GLOBAL ECONOMY.
7/25,ONLINE AND IN PERSON. Sponsor: CSIS. Speakers: Don Graves, Deputy Secretary of Commerce. 

DIALOGUES ON AMERICAN FOREIGN POLICY AND WORLD AFFAIRS: A CONVERSATION WITH ROBERT KAGAN. 7/25, Noon-1:00pm (EDT), ONLINE EVENT. Sponsor: Hudson. Speakers: Robert Kagan, Stephen & Barbara Friedman Senior Fellow, Project on International Order and Strategy, Foreign Policy, Brookings, Contributing Columnist, The Washington Post; Walter Russell Mead, Ravenel B. Curry III Distinguished Fellow, Hudson. 

CONVERSATION WITH REP. AMI BERA ON KOREA. 7/25,
2:00-2:45pm (EDT), ONLINE EVENT. Sponsor: CSIS. Speakers: Ami Bera, Representative (D-CA), Member, House Foreign Affairs Committee; Co-Chair, Congressional Study Group on Korea; Moderator: Mark Lippert, Senior Advisor, Korea Chair, CSIS; Sue Mi Terry, Director, Asia Program, Hyundai Motor-Korea Foundation Center for Korean History and Public Policy, Wilson Center; Victor Cha, Senior Vice President for Asia, Korea Chair, CSIS. 

THE FUTURE OF CRYPTO REGULATION. 7/25, 2:00-3:30pm (EDT), ONLINE EVENT. Sponsor: Brookings. Speakers: Hillary J Allen, Professor, Washington College of Law, American University; Michael Piwowarr, Executive Director, Center for Financial Markets, Milken Institute; Sheila Warren, CEO, Crypto Council for Innovation. Moderator: Senior Fellow, Economic Studies, Center on Regulation and Markets. 

SPYCRAFT: A CONVERSATION WITH AUTHOR ROBERT WALLACE. 7/25
, 3:00pm (EDT), ONLINE EVENT. Sponsor: National Archives Foundation. Speaker: Robert Wallace, Ret. Senior Intelligence Officer. PURCHASE BOOK: https://amzn.to/3S2qnVs

THE FREEDOM AGENDA & AMERICA’S FUTURE FEATURING THE HONORABLE MIKE PENCE. 7/25, 5:00-5:45pm (EDT), ONLINE EVENT. Sponsor: Heritage. Speakers: Hon. Mike Pence, 48th Vice President of the United States. 

Monday, July 18, 2022

Shinzo Abe's legacy

How to Honor the Legacy of Shinzo Abe

by H.R. McMaster, Japan Chair, Hudson Institute and APP member

Los Angeles Times, July 8, 2022

Very few people leave a legacy that spans the globe. Shinzo Abe, the former prime minister of Japan, who was assassinated Friday, was one of them.

Abe was first elected to the Diet, Japan’s national Legislature, in 1993. He was Japan’s longest sitting prime minister, serving from 2006 to 2007 and from 2012 to 2020. While we send condolences to his friends and family, we might also resolve to honor Abe with our deeds, by preserving his legacy in the areas of foreign policy and international security.

As prime minister, Abe’s foreign and defense policies were aimed at making what his government termed a “proactive contribution” to international peace.

Abe confronted numerous foreign policy challenges during his tenure: North Korea’s nuclear and missile programs and its abductions of Japanese citizens, territorial disputes and the pursuit of a peace treaty with Russia, tensions with South Korea and an increasingly aggressive Chinese Communist Party.

In 2013, Abe established Japan’s National Security Secretariat (the equivalent of our National Security Council) and issued his nation’s first-ever National Security Strategy. In 2016, he enacted a 10-law package, the Legislation for Peace and Security, and steered the reinterpretation of Japan’s Constitution to expand the situations under which the country could exercise collective self-defense.

Abe also strengthened the Japan-U.S. alliance. He was the first Japanese leader to address a joint meeting of Congress, describing our nations’ relationship as an “alliance of hope.” He asked rhetorically, “What should we call this, if not a miracle of history? Enemies that had fought each other so fiercely have become friends bonded in spirit.”

Abe hosted President Obama’s visit to Hiroshima and made his own visit to Pearl Harbor. He maintained a close rapport with three U.S. presidents, but his golf diplomacy with President Trump, from Mar-a-Lago to Bedminster to Tokyo, received the most attention from the international press.

From my first day as national security advisor early in the Trump administration, it was clear to me that the “miracle” of the U.S.-Japan alliance was more important than ever, given the threats posed by North Korea and the People’s Republic of China to the principles and values foundational to peace and stability.

Abe was the first world leader to elaborate the vision of a free and open Indo-Pacific. He encouraged cooperation among the so-called Quad — Japan, the United States, Australia and India — to address emerging challenges in the region.

His government was a key player in promoting Indo-Pacific prosperity and security with the 2016 signing of the Trans-Pacific Partnership and the “Data Free Flow with Trust” initiative in 2019, establishing a global approach to digital data governance and security.

And Abe fostered cooperation among world leaders globally, hosting and leading G-7 and G-20 summits. He visited more than 80 countries, raising Japan’s profile on the international stage as a strong democratic nation at a time when the regimes of China and Russia were promoting their authoritarian models and disparaging democracy.

Abe’s leadership will be missed as the world faces the prospect of cascading crises: Russia’s war against Ukraine and the global energy and food disruptions it is causing, nuclear proliferation in Iran and North Korea, Chinese aggression in the South China Sea and the East China Sea.

A year ago, I spoke with Abe about his legacy and told him that he should be proud of the progress made to realize his vision in the Indo-Pacific region and beyond. But he directed the conversation toward what more is needed to preserve peace through strength, expand cooperation internationally, bolster the U.S.-Japan alliance and restore confidence in democratic governance and free markets.

Undertaking that agenda is the best way to honor Abe and build on his legacy. Now it is up to us.

Old Sake in new bottles?

Will Abe Shinzo’s death give his agenda new life?

The Christian Science Monitor,  July 11, 2022

by Daniel Sneider, lecturer in East Asian studies at Stanford University and a former foreign correspondent who covered Japan and Korea for The Christian Science Monitor and is an APP member

Flags flew at half-staff throughout Tokyo on Monday as high-ranking officials gathered for the wake of Japan’s preeminent political leader Abe Shinzo, whose violent passing has understandably prompted a global outpouring of grief and of praise. 

Many rightfully remembered Mr. Abe as a statesman, the longest-serving prime minister in Japan’s postwar history, who guided his nation to a renewed role as a global power. 

But viewed from within Japan, Mr. Abe presents a more complex figure. Throughout his controversial political career, he displayed two faces. There was the ideological Mr. Abe, a scion of a tradition of right-wing nationalism, determined to finally transcend the pacifist legacy and stain of Japan’s wartime defeat. That Mr. Abe often clashed with the pragmatic politician, adept at the use of power but accepting the limits on his actions imposed by Japan’s democracy.

One of Japan’s most influential prime ministers, Abe Shinzo, was driven by ideology as well as pragmatism, says a Monitor analyst. He was determined to move Japan out of the shadow of World War II and into a significant role on the world stage.

Mr. Abe wanted Japan to take a more prominent role in global affairs as an economic and diplomatic leader. But domestically, he had to battle a postwar reticence about a higher profile, while internationally, he stirred mistrust among those who felt the country had not fully taken responsibility for its wartime conduct.

“New conservative” roots

Mr. Abe came to politics in the early 1990s in a typical Japanese fashion – he inherited his seat in Japan’s Diet, or parliament, from his father, who had served as foreign minister. But the more important influence on Mr. Abe was his grandfather, the former Prime Minister Kishi Nobusuke, a member of imperial Japan’s wartime Cabinet who was arrested but never tried as a war criminal by the American occupation.

Mr. Kishi, a fierce anti-communist, returned to become a leader of the postwar conservative coalition, the Liberal Democratic Party (LDP). In 1960, he was the architect of the revision of Japan’s security treaty with the United States, driven by his desire for Japan to become a more equal partner with its former foe and take on a security role.

From the beginning of his political career, Mr. Abe embraced the agenda of the “new conservatives” in Japan who looked back to the Kishi era. They sought a return of Japanese pride and patriotism, the rollback of occupation-era educational reforms, and the revision of the American-drafted constitution, particularly Article 9 in which Japan forever renounced “war as a sovereign right of the nation and threat or use of force as a means of settling international disputes.” 

Mr. Abe often called for “bringing an end to the postwar regime.” For Mr. Abe and his allies in the LDP, this included reversing the judgment of the war crimes tribunals that branded Japan an aggressor. They offered a view of the war as a justified act of self-defense and liberation of Asia from Western imperialism. From battles over textbooks to visiting the shrine to Japan’s war dead, Mr. Abe and the new conservatives assailed what they labeled a left-wing “masochistic” view of Japan’s proud history.

Mr. Abe rose within the LDP on the coattails of the popular Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi, succeeding him in September 2006 as the youngest man in the postwar period to assume that office. He touted his favored manifesto – to revise the constitution, build a more equal partnership with the U.S., and “leave behind the postwar regime.”

Mr. Abe’s pursuit of that ideological mission proved a disaster. 

On a 2007 visit to the U.S., he drew harsh criticism for insisting that the women dragooned into sexual servitude by the Imperial Army during the war – the so-called comfort women – did so voluntarily. While Mr. Abe fought an election for Japan’s upper house of parliament under the banner of constitutional revision, the opposition Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ) focused on bread-and-butter issues like pension reform and won a stunning victory. In September 2007, after only a year in office, Mr. Abe resigned in disgrace.

Abe Shinzo, then secretary-general of the ruling Liberal Democratic Party, places a red rosette as he hears one of the LDP candidates winning the election during the ballot counting for the parliamentary upper house election at the party headquarters in Tokyo, July 11, 2004. Even after stepping down as prime minister in 2020, Mr. Abe remained a powerful figure in the LDP.

Political determination

In the fall of 2012, a chastened Mr. Abe refashioned himself as a pragmatist and returned to the leadership of the LDP. He set aside his ideological agenda to emphasize the economy, touting a plan, later labeled “Abenomics,” to revive Japan’s stagnant economy and promote innovative reform. Japanese voters, seeking stability after the DPJ’s poor handling of the massive 2011 earthquake and ensuing nuclear power plant crisis, returned LDP to power in a landslide victory that December.

Mr. Abe’s comeback as prime minister was marked by a canny, sometimes ruthless, use of power. He created a strong central office, crushed opposition within the bureaucracy, and took command of the factions that formed the ruling party. Mr. Abe focused on putting Japan back on the world stage as an economic power and a defender of the international order. “Japan is back,” he told a Washington audience early in what turned into eight years in office.

Mr. Abe never entirely shelved his ideological dreams, but he put them on a back burner. Constitutional reform remained prominent on the LDP manifestoes but in the face of overwhelming public opposition was never seriously pursued. 

Instead, Mr. Abe chose a more politically viable, but still controversial, path of forcing through a revised interpretation of the constitution, which ruled that Japan could exercise the right to collective self-defense, including the use of force, in support of allies beyond the boundaries of Japan itself. In 2015, over strong opposition within parliament and from the public, Mr. Abe pushed through a package of security legislation that established that definition, though with some limits.

Still, the ideologue continued to peek through.

Ideologue or pragmatist

In December 2013, Mr. Abe made an official visit as prime minister to the Yasukuni Shrine, an act that predictably triggered huge protests from South Korea and China, and also angered the U.S., which was trying to improve relations among the Northeast Asian countries. In 2014, Mr. Abe launched an assault on The Asahi Shimbun, the flagship of the liberal media, accusing it of using false evidence in its claims about the coercion of comfort women. But the next year, under American pressure, Mr. Abe signed off on an agreement with South Korea to apologize for the treatment of the women and pay the surviving victims’ compensation. 

That same year, Mr. Abe reiterated a 1995 apology for Japan’s pursuit of “colonial rule and aggression” – terminology the conservative nationalists rejected – but replaced that language with a milder formulation that “Japan took the wrong course and advanced along the road to war” causing “immeasurable damage and suffering.”

In 2016, Donald Trump came to office in the U.S., dismissive of the security alliances and economic order created out of the war. Mr. Abe saw this as a threat to Japan’s existence, and again put his ideological concerns aside to focus on preserving the country’s security alliance with the U.S., stepping into a rare leadership role as a defender of the postwar system.

Japan took on the responsibility to proceed with the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade pact without the U.S. after Mr. Trump backed out of the deal. Though Mr. Abe shared the American fear of China and of its hegemonic aspirations, he also moved to cultivate ties to Xi Jinping and to soften the impact of Mr. Trump’s trade war with China. Under Mr. Abe, Japan also asserted itself as a leader in Southeast Asia and drew India into closer ties through a quadrilateral partnership with the U.S. and Australia.

Yet Mr. Abe’s ideological obsessions never really wavered. After leaving office two years ago, he remained the most powerful figure in the LDP and used his pulpit to advocate for tough stances on military buildup, open a debate about nuclear weapons for Japan, and hammer away at his cherished goal of revising the constitution.

Mr. Abe’s shocking assassination may prove to be the catalyst for that last piece of his agenda to finally be realized. The apparent sympathy vote for the LDP in Sunday’s upper house election has created a two-thirds majority in favor of revision, positioning the party to put it to a national referendum. Indeed, in the wake of the vote, Prime Minister Kishida Fumio said he “would like to push forward efforts” on constitutional reform.

That, perhaps, will bring a final judgment on which Mr. Abe – the ideologue or the pragmatist – prevails.

Saturday, July 16, 2022

Monday Asia Events July 18, 2022

MARKING THE 10TH ANNIVERSARY OF THE ROK-U.S. FREE TRADE AGREEMENT: STRENGTHENING ECONOMIC AND TECHNOLOGY TIES IN SAN FRANCISCO. 7/18
, 5:30-6:30pm (PDT), IN PERSON. Sponsor: Asia Society Northern California. Speakers: Wendy Cutler, Vice President, Managing Director, ASPI; Jong-Hoon Kim, Independent Director, Chairman, Board of SK Innovation; Sangsoo Yoon, Former Consul General, Republic of Korea in San Francisco. Moderator: James Green, Director, Government Affairs and Public Policy, Google. 

USAID ADMINISTRATOR SAMANTHA POWER ON THE STATE OF GLOBAL FOOD SECURITY AND NUTRITION. 7/18, 10:30am-Noon (EDT), ONLINE AND IN PERSON. Sponsor: CSIS. Speaker: Samantha Power, Administrator, USAID. 

THE STATE OF THE SPECIAL RELATIONSHIP: FOUR YEARS AT THE HEART OF UK-U.S. DEFENSE. 7/18, 1:00-2:00pm (EDT), ONLINE EVENT. Sponsor: CSIS. Speaker: Edward Ferguson, Minister Counsellor Defence, British Embassy Washington D.C. 

THE ROLE OF CARBON AND DIRECT AIR CAPTURE TECHNOLOGY IN OUR CLIMATE STRATEGY. 7/18, 2:00-3:15pm (EDT), ZOOM WEBINAR. Sponsor: GreenTech. Speakers: Dr. Julio Friedmann, Chief Scientist, Chief Carbon Wrangler, Carbon Direct; Sarah Grey, Senior Associate, Arnold & Porter; Dr. Rudra Kapila, Senior Policy Advisor, Carbon Management, Third Way; Ethan Shenkman, Partner, Arnold & Porter; Dr. Jennifer Wilcox, Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary, Office of Fossil Energy and Carbon Management, U.S. Department of Energy; Jeremee Wetherby, Emerging Technology and Incubators Product Line, GE Gas Power. 

MARITIME SECURITY DIALOGUE: A DISCUSSION WITH THE ASSISTANT COMMANDANT OF THE MARINE CORPS. 7/18, 3:00-4:00pm (EDT), ONLINE AND IN PERSON. Sponsor: CSIS. Speakers: General Eric Smith, Assistant Commandant of the Marine Corps. Moderator: Seth G. Jones, Senior Vice President, Harold Brown Chair, Director, International Security Program. 

THE TECHNICAL ADVISOR: MICHAEL LINDSAY AND THE CHINESE COMMUNIST QUEST FOR TECHNOLOGY DURING WORLD WAR II. 7/18, 4:00pm (EDT), ONLINE AND IN PERSON. Sponsor: Library of Congress. Speaker: Susan V. Lawrence, Staff Fellow, Kluge Center, Library of Congress. 

NAVIGATING UYGHUR FORCED LABOR PREVENTION ACT IMPLEMENTATION & CHINA’S RESPONSE. 7/18, 5:00-6:00pm (EDT), ONLINE EVENT. Sponsor: US-China Business Council. Speakers: Richard Mojica, Customs and Import Trade Group, Miller & Chevalier; Lester Ross, Partner-in-charge, WilmerHale Beijing. 

SOUTHEAST ASIA INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY ROADSHOW. 7/18, 7:00-9:00pm (EDT), ONLINE WEBINAR. Sponsor: USPTO. Speakers: Peter N. Fowler, senior counsel, Office of Policy and International Affairs, USPTO; Marc Mealy, senior vice president-policy, US-ASEAN Business Council; Daniel Kim, Global Asia team lead, International Trade Administration, U.S. Department of Commerce; Alan Adcock, partner, intellectual property, Tilleke & Gibbins, Bangkok, Thailand; Frederic J. Rocafort, attorney, Harris Bricken, and co-host, Global Law and Business Podcast, Seattle, Washington; Zack Ji, Ph.D., CEO, GS-Tek, Newark, Delaware; Christopher E. Knight, CEO, Everett Knight, Ltd. (Asia Pacific), Bangkok, Singapore; Nhut Phan, brand protection director, Southeast Asia, Nike, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam; Yihong Ying, director, corporate counsel, intellectual property, Law and Corporate Affairs, Starbucks Corporation; Mark Matsumoto and Jeff Williamson, CBEC Asia; Raquel Cohen, Trade Specialist, Office of Standards and Intellectual Property, International Trade Administration, U.S. Department of Commerce; Matthew Kohner, regional intellectual property attaché for Southeast Asia, USPTO, U.S. Embassy Bangkok. 

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Monday, June 27, 2022

Monday Asia Events June 27, 2022

A CONVERSATION WITH FINLAND’S AMBASSADOR MIKKO HAUTALA. 6/27, Noon-1:00pm (EDT), ONLINE EVENT. Sponsor: Hudson. Speakers: Mikko Hautala, Ambassador of the Republic of Finland to the United States; Peter Rough, Senior Fellow, Hudson. 

AN UNFLINCHING VOICE: USCIRF’S IMPACT ON INTERNATIONAL RELIGIOUS FREEDOM. 6/27, 1:00-2:00pm (EDT), IN PERSON. Sponsor: U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom (USVIF). Speakers: Nury Turkel, Vice Chair, USCIRF; Sharon Kleinbaum, Commissioner, USCIRF; Stephen Schneck, Commissioner, USCIRF; Eric Ueland, Commissioner, USCIRF; Frank Wolf, Commissioner, USCIRF. 

ECONOMIC GLOBALIZATION AFTER UKRAINE. 6/27, 2:30-4:30pm (EDT), ONLINE EVENT. Sponsor: Brookings. Speakers: Henry Farrell, Stavros Niarchos Foundation, Agora Institute Professor, International Affairs, Johns Hopkins University; Chris Miller, Visiting Fellow, Jeane Kirkpatrick, AEI; Abraham Newman, Director, Mortara Center for International Studies; Professor, Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Service and Department of Government, Georgetown University; Emily S. Weinstein, Research Fellow, Center for Security and Emerging Technology, Georgetown University. Moderators: Joshua P. Meltzer, Senior Fellow, Global Economy and Development; Neena Shenai, Nonresident Fellow, AEI. 

INQUIRY ON CRIMES AGAINST HUMANITY IN N. KOREAN DETENTION CENTERS. 6/27, 9:30-11:00am (EST), ONLINE AND IN PERSON. Sponsor: The Committee for Human Rights in North Korea. Speakers Include: Navanethem Pillay, Former UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Former President, Rwanda Tribunal, Former Judge, International Criminal Court; Silvia Fernández de Gurmendi, President, Assembly of States Parties to the Rome Statue, ICC, Former President, ICC; Wolfgang Schomburg, Former Judge, Rwanda and Former Yugoslavia Tribunals; Greg Kehoe, Former Co-Chair, IBA War Crimes Committee, Partner, Greenberg Traurig; David Tolbert, Former Deputy Chief Prosecutor, Former Yugoslavia Tribunal, Former Executive Director, International Center for Transitional Justice. 

GEN Z: STEWARDS OF DEMOCRACY. 6/27, 5:00pm (EDT), ONLINE EVENT. Sponsor: National Archives Foundation. Speakers: Sydney Kirages, American Battlefield Trust; Raina Melvin, First Americans Museum; Nina Keiko Nakao, Japanese American National Museum. /


Sunday, June 12, 2022

Monday Asia Events, June 13, 2021

PREVIEWING A POTENTIAL REPUBLICAN CONGRESS. 6/13, 10:00-10:45am (EDT), ONLINE EVENT. Sponsor: Bipartisan Policy Center. Speakers: Michele Nellenbach, Vice President of Strategic Initiatives, BPC; Yuval Levin, Senior Fellow, Beth and Ravenel Curry Chair in Public Policy; Director of Social, Cultural, and Constitutional Studies; Editor in Chief, National Affairs

THE MARSHALL PLAN AT 75: LESSONS FOR UKRAINE? 6/13, 2:00-3:00pm (EDT), WEBINAR. Sponsor: Wilson Center. Speakers: Dereck J. Hogan, Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary, Bureau of European and Eurasian Affairs, U.S. Department of State; formerly Ambassador, Moldova; Wolfgang Petritsch, President, Austrian Marshall Plan Foundation; Robin Quinville, Director, Global Europe Program; Jonathan D. Katz, Senior Fellow, Director, Democracy Initiatives, Atlantic Council; F. Joseph Dresen, Senior Program Associate; Ambassador Mark Green, President, Director, & CEO, Wilson Center.

EUROPE’S ECONOMIC CHALLENGE. 6/13, 2:00-3:30pm (EDT). ONLINE EVENT. Sponsor: AEI. Speakers: Carlo Cottarelli, Director, Osservatorio sui Conti Pubblici Italiani, L’Università Cattolica; Desmond Lachman, Senior Fellow, AEI; Paolo Mauro, Deputy Director, Fiscal Affairs Department, International Monetary Fund; Nathan Sheets, Global Chief Economist, Citibank. Moderator: Steven B. Kamin, Senior Fellow, AEI. 

CHINA’S DIGITAL AMBITIONS: A GLOBAL STRATEGY TO SUPPLANT THE LIBERAL ORDER. 6/13, 4:00-5:00pm (EDT). ZOOM WEBINAR. Sponsors: NBR; Washington State China Relations Fund. Speakers: Nigel Cory, Associate Director, Information Technology and Innovation Foundation; Doug Strub, Assistant Director, Center for Innovation, Trade, and Strategy, NBR; Alison Szalwinski, Vice President of Research, NBR. Moderator: Nor Coquillard, Executive Director, Washington State China Relations Council. 

LESSONS FROM THE EDGE: A CONVERSATION WITH AMBASSADOR MARIE L. YOVANOVITCH. 6/13, 6:00-8:00pm (EDT), IN-PERSON ONLY. Sponsor: National Committee on American Foreign Policy. Speakers: author, Marie L. Yovanovitch, Former U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine; Susan M. Elliott, President & CEO, National Committee on American Foreign Policy. PURCHASE BOOK: https://amzn.to/3PtWsE0

HEAVY METAL: A BOOK TALK ON THE LABOR BEHIND AMERICA'S SHIPBUILDING INDUSTRY. 6/13, 6:00-7:00pm (EDT), WEBINAR. Sponsor: Hudson Institute. Speakers: Michael Fabey, reporter, Jane’s and U.S. editor, Jane’s Fighting Ships; author, Bryan Clark, Senior Fellow and Director, Center for Defense Concepts and Technology, Hudson Institute.  PURCHASE BOOK: https://amzn.to/3xahhfv


HOW SOUTHEAST ASIANS ARE MAKING CHINA ADAPT TO LOCAL NEEDS. 6/13, 6:00-7:00pm (SGT), 6:00-7:00am (EDT), Live Online and In Person in Singapore. Sponsor: Carnegie. Speakers: Alvin Camba, assistant professor at the Josef Korbel School of International Studies at the University of Denver; Evan A. Feigenbaum, vice president for studies at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace; Xue Gong, assistant professor in the China program at the S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore; Keng Khoon Ng, head of postgraduate studies in the School of Architecture and Built Environment at USCI University in Malaysia; MODERATOR: Simon Tay, chairman of the Singapore Institute of International Affairs and a tenured associate professor at the National University of Singapore Faculty of Law. 


Monday, June 6, 2022

Monday Asia Events June 6, 2022

Congress Returns

January 6th Committee begins hearings on June 9th

80th anniversaries of the Battle of Midway and Invasion of Kiska and Attu

78th anniversary of D-Day

ROK-U.S. STRATEGIC FORUM 2022. 6/6, 9:15am-3:00pm (EDT), ONLINE. Sponsors: CSIS; Korea Foundation. Speakers: John Hamre, President and CEO, Langone Chair in American Leadership, CSIS; Lee Geun, President, Korea Foundation; Wang Yunjong, Secretary, President for Economic Security; Daniel J. Kritenbrink, Assistant Secretary of State for East Asian and Pacific Affairs, U.S. Department of State; Victor Cha, Senior Vice President, CSIS; Ellen Kim, Deputy Director, Senior Fellow, CSIS; Ma Sangyoon, Professor of International Relations, Catholic University of Korea; Robert Rapson, U.S. Embassy Seoul; Yoon Youngkwan, Professor Emeritus, Seoul National University; Choi Eunbong, Professor, Ewha Womans University; Sohn Yul, Professor, Graduate School of International Studies, Yonsei University, President, East Asia Institute; Robert Atkinson, President, Information Technomlogy and Innovation Foundation; Choi Seokyoung, Senior Advisor, Lee & Ko; Clara Gillispie, Senior Advisor, National Bureau of Asian Research; Lee Hyoyoung, Professor, Korea National Diplomatic Academy; Modeartor: Mark Lippert, Senior Advisor, CSIS; Victor Cha, Senior Vice President and Korea Chair, CSIS. 

AMBASSADOR KATHERINE TAI ON THE INDO-PACIFIC ECONOMIC FRAMEWORK AND THE ADMINISTRATION’S TRADE AGENDA. 6/6, 9:30 -10:30am (EDT), IN PERSON and ZOOM. Sponsor: Washington International Trade Assn. Speaker: Ambassador Katherine Tai, the United States Trade Representative. s

TAIWAN’S PATH FORWARD: A CONVERSATION WITH KMT CHAIRMAN ERIC CHU. 6/6, 10:30-11:15am (EDT), ONLINE AND IN PERSON. Sponsor: Brookings. Speakers: Eric Chu, Chairman, Kuomintang; Ryan Hass, Senior Fellow, Michael H. Armacost Chair, Chen-Fu and Cecilia Yen Koo Chair in Taiwan Studies, Center for East Asia Policy Studies, Brookings; Bonny Lin, Senior Fellow, Asian Security, Director, China Power Project, Center for Strategic and International Studies; Suzanne Maloney, Vice President, Foreign Policy, Brookings. 

FIELDING A RESILIENT AERIAL REFUELING FORCE. 6/6, Noon-1:00pm (EDT), WEBINAR. Sponsor: Hudson Institute. Speakers: Mark Gunzinger, Director, Future Concepts and Capability Assessments, Mitchell Institute for Aerospace Studies; Todd Harrison, Senior Vice President, Head of Research, Meta Aerospace; John “JV” Venable, Senior Research Fellow, Heritage Foundation’s Center for National Defense; Moderator: Timothy A. Walton, Senior Fellow, Center for Defense Concepts and Technology, Hudson Institute. 

THE FIGHT AGAINST ILLICIT FISHING — A CONVERSATION WITH ASSISTANT SECRETARY OF STATE MONICA MEDINA. 6/6, Noon-1:00pm (EDT), LIVE WEBCAST. Sponsor: American Security Project. Speaker: The Honorable Monica P. Medina,  Assistant Secretary for Oceans and International Environmental and Scientific Affairs.

VIEWS FROM THE HILL: CONGRESSIONAL TRADE AGENDA 2022. 6/6, 5:30-7:30pm (EDT), WEBINAR. Sponsor: Association of Women in International Trade. (WIIT). Speakers: Alexandra Whittaker, Ways & Means Committee, Chief Trade Counsel; Mayur Patel, Senate Finance Committee, Chief International Trade Counsel; Josh Snead, Ways & Means Committee, Chief Trade Counsel; Moderator: William (Bill) Reinsch, Senior Adviser and Scholl Chair in International Business, Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS). 








Monday, May 16, 2022

Monday Asia Events May 16, 2022

TAIWAN’S ECONOMY DURING A TIME OF GLOBAL UNCERTAINTY. 5/16
, 8:30-11:00am (EDT), WEBINAR or IN PERSON, Washington DC. Sponsor: US-Taiwan Business Council; Brookings. Speakers: Ryan Hass, Senior Fellow, Foreign Policy, Center for East Asia Policy Studies, John L. Thornton China Center, Yale Law School; Yun Sun, Nonresident Fellow, Global Economy and Development, Africa Growth Initiative; Matthew Goodman, William E. Simon Chair in Political Economy and Senior Adviser for Asian Economics, Center for Strategic and International Studies; Syaru Shirley Lin, Nonresident Senior Fellow, Foreign Policy, Center for East Asia Policy Studies; Rupert Hammond-Chambers, President, U.S.-Taiwan Business Council; Maryam Cope, Head of U.S. Government Affairs, ASML; Julie G. Welch, Vice President, Government Affairs, Asia Pacific, Qualcomm; Patrick Wilson, Vice President, Government Affairs, MediaTek. 

GLOBAL AGREEMENT ON PLASTIC POLLUTION AND ACCELERATING U.S. AND JAPANESE ACTION. 5/16, 9:00-10:30am (EDT), WEBINAR. Sponsors: China Environment Forum; Science and Technology Innovation Program; Environmental Change and Security Program. Speakers: Felipe E. Victoria, Senior Manager for International Plastics Policy; Vien Tran, Vietnam Senior Manager at Ocean Conservancy; Hiroshi Ono, Director-General, Global Environment Bureau, Ministry of Environment; Ko Morishita, Director, Global Environment Division, International Cooperation Bureau, Ministry of Foreign Affairs; Go Kobayashi, Principal Coordinator for International Affairs, Office for Policies Against Marine Plastic Pollution, Environmental Management Bureau, Ministry of Environment; Larke Williams, Foreign Affairs Officer, Waste Management Team Lead, Office of Environmental Quality (OES/ENV); U.S. Department of State; Atsushi Sunami, President of Sasakawa Peace Foundation, and Adjunct Professor, Executive Advisor to the President, and Director of the Science for RE-designing Science, Technology and Innovation Policy (SciREX) Center in Japan. 

SCHRIEVER SPACEPOWER FORUM: LT GEN STEPHEN WHITING. 5/16, 9:00am (EDT), ZOOM WEBINAR. Sponsor: Mitchell Institute for Aerospace Studies. Speaker: Lt Gen Stephen Whiting, Commander of Space Operations Command.

THE DISINFORMATION GOVERNANCE BOARD: FRIEND OR FOE TO FREEDOM? 5/16, Noon-1:00pm (EDT), WEBINAR. Sponsor: Hudson Institute. Speakers: Robert McDowell, Senior Fellow, Hudson Institute; Nadine Strossen, John Marshall Harlan II Professor of Law, Emerita at New York Law School; Robert Corn-Revere, Partner, Davis Wright Tremaine LLP, Adjunct Scholar, Cato Institute; Michael W. McConnell, Richard and Frances Mallery Professor and Director of Constitutional Law Center, Stanford Law School, Senior Fellow, Hoover Institution. 

INDIA AND THE SINO-RUSSIAN REORDER IN EURASIA. 5/16, Noon-1:00pm (EDT), IN-PERSON & VIRTUAL. Sponsor: East-West Center in Washington (EWCW). Speakers: Dr. Jagannath P. Panda, Head, Stockholm Centre for South Asian and Indo-Pacific Affairs (SCSA-IPA) Institute for Security & Development Policy (ISDP), Sweden and Dr. Satu P. Limaye, Vice President, East-West Center & Director, East-West Center in Washington. 

THE GREAT EXPERIMENT: A BOOK EVENT WITH YASCHA MOUNK. 5/16, 12:30-1:30pm (EDT), WEBCAST. Sponsor: AEI. Speakers: Stan Veuger, Senior Fellow, AEI; author, Yascha Mounk, Associate Professor of the Practice of International Affairs, Johns Hopkins University; Shikha Dalmia, Visiting Fellow, Program on Pluralism and Civil Exchange, Mercatus Center; Nicholas Eberstadt, Henry Wendt Chair in Political Economy, AEI; Yuval Levin, Director, Social, Cultural, and Constitutional Studies, AEI.  PURCHASE BOOK: https://amzn.to/3N1rfGj

ANTITRUST LAW AND BIG TECH: PRESENT AND FUTURE. 5/16, 1:00pm (EDT), WEBINAR. Sponsor: R Street. Speakers: George Slover, Senior Counsel for Competition Policy, Center for Democracy and Technology; Alden Abbott, Senior Research Fellow, Mercatus Center; Daniel Hanley, Senior Legal Analyst, Open Markets Institute; Christopher Yoo, Professor, University of Pennsylvania Law School. 

ON THE FUTURE OF THE MARINE CORPS: DEBATING FORCE DESIGN 2023. 5/16, 1:00-2:00pm (EDT), WEBINAR. Sponsor: CSIS. Speakers: Hon Dov S. Zakheim, Former Secretary of Defense (Comptroller); Hon. Robert Work, Former Deputy Secretary of Defense; Paul Van Riper, LtGen, USMC (Retired), Former Commander, Marine Corps Combat Development Command; Anthony Zinni, Gen, USMC (Retired), Former Commander, Central Command (CENTCOM). 

CHINA’S HUMAN CAPITAL LANDSCAPE. 5/16, 1:30-2:30pm (EDT), WEBINAR. Sponsor: CSIS. Speakers: Ryan Hass, Senior Fellow, Michael H. Armacost Chair in the Foreign Policy Program, Brookings; Emily S. Weinstein, Research fellow, Center for Security and Emerging Technology, Georgetown University; Leta Hong Fincher, Author, Leftover Women: The Resurgence of Gender Inequality in China.  PURCHASE BOOK: https://amzn.to/3sogDts

U.S. FOREIGN POLICY AND THE AMERICAN VOTER WITH DAVID AXELROD. 5/16, 2:00-3:00pm (EDT), WEBINAR. Sponsor: Carnegie. Speakers: David Axelrod, Founder and Director, Institute of Politics, University of Chicago. Aaron David Miller, Senior Fellow, Carnegie. 

WHO WINS? WHO LOSES? THE SIX FACES OF GLOBALIZATION AND WHY IT MATTERS. 5/16, 4:00-5:00pm (EDT), WEBINAR. Sponsor: CSIS. Speakers: Nicolas Lamp, Associate Professor, Queen's University; Anthea Roberts, Professor and Director, CIGJ Centre for International Governance and Justice (CIGJ), Australia National University. 

Sunday, May 8, 2022

Monday Asia Events May 9, 2022

STRENGTHENING THE U.S.-JAPAN ALLIANCE: PERSPECTIVE FROM TWO AMBASSADORS. 5/9, 7:30-8:30am (EDT), ONLINE EVENT. Sponsor: CSIS. Speakers: Rahm Emanuel, U.S. Ambassador to Japan; Tomita Koji, Ambassador of Japan to the United States; Michael J. Green, Senior Vice President for Asia, Japan Chair, and Henry A. Kissinger Chair. s

REALIZING WOMEN, PEACE & SECURITY IN UKRAINE. 5/9, 10:00-11:30am (EDT), ONLINE EVENT. Sponsor: Georgetown Institute for Women, Peace and Security, GTU. Speakers: Amb. Oksana Markarova, Ambassador of Ukraine to the United States; Helga Schmid, Secretary General of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE); Yevheniia Kravchuk, Member of the Parliament of Ukraine (Verkhovna Rada); Olha Aivazovska, Chairwoman of the Board, Civil Network OPORA; Kateryna Cherepakha, President, La Strada Ukraine; Natalia Karbowska, Director of Strategic Development, Ukrainian Women’s Fund; Moderator: Amb. Melanne Verveer, Executive Director, Georgetown Institute for Women, Peace and Security.

DEFENSE TRANSFORMATION IN JAPAN? EXAMINING THE LDP’S RECOMMENDATIONS. 5/9, Noon-12:30pm (EDT). Sponsor: Hudson. Speakers: Itsunori Onodera, Former Defense Minister, Japan, Member, House of Representatives of Japan; Masahisa Sato, Former State Minister for Foreign Affairs, Japan; Takashi Yamashita, Former Minister of Justice, Japan; Moderator: Kenneth R. Weinstein, Walter P. Stern Distinguished Fellow, Hudson Institute. 

UNITED STATES, EUROPE, AND JAPAN: TRILATERAL COOPERATION IN THE INDO-PACIFIC. 5/9, 3:30-4:45pm (EDT), CSIS Headquarters / Live Webcast. Sponsors: CSIS; Centre for Security, Diplomacy and Strategy (CSDS), Vrije Universiteit Brussel’s School of Governance. Speakers: Yuichi Hosoya, Professor of International Politics, University of Keio; Eva Pejsova, Senior Japan Fellow, CSDS; Luis Simon, Director, CSDS; Pierre Morcos, Visiting Fellow, Europe, Russia, and Eurasia Program; Michael J. Green, Senior Vice President for Asia, Japan Chair, and Henry A. Kissinger Chair; Max Bergmann, Director, Europe Program. 

HOLDING TOGETHER: THE HIJACKING OF RIGHTS IN AMERICA AND HOW TO RECLAIM THEM FOR EVERYONE. 5/9, 5:00-6:00pm (EDT), ZOOM. Sponsor: Freedom House. Speakers: Sushma Raman, Author and Executive Director of the Carr Center for Human Rights Policy at Harvard University; John Shattuck, Author, Member of the Council on Foreign Relations, and Senior Fellow at the Carr Center for Human Rights Policy at Harvard University. Moderator: Nicole Bibbins Sedaca, Executive Vice President for Strategy and Programs at Freedom House.  PURCHASE BOOK: https://amzn.to/3kRsE6w

Sunday, April 24, 2022

Asia Events Monday April 25, 2022

FRANCE HAS VOTED: WHAT’S NEXT FOR EUROPEAN SECURITY AND TRANSATLANTIC COOPERATION? 4/25, 9:00-10:00am (EDT), ONLINE. Sponsor: German Marshall Fund of the United States (GMF). Speakers: Sylvie Kauffmann, Editorial Director & Columnist, Le Monde; Pierre Morcos, Visiting Fellow, Center for Strategic and International Studies; Edgar Tam, Visiting Senior Fellow, GMF; Martin Quencez, Deputy Director, Research Fellow, Security & Defense program, GMF (Paris Office). 

WAR LEGACIES AND THE ENVIRONMENT. 4/25, 9:00-10:15am (EDT), ZOOM WEBINAR. Sponsor: Stimson Center. Speakers: Sera Koulabdara, Legacies of War; Erin Lin, Department of Political Science, Ohio State University; Doug Weir, Research and Policy Director, Conflict and Environment Observatory; Claire Yunker, Executive Director of PeaceTrees Vietnam; Moderator: Charles Bailey, War Legacies Working Group. 

SUMMIT FOR DEMOCRACY’S YEAR OF ACTION: AN UPDATE FROM THE BIDEN ADMINISTRATION. 4/25, 10:00-11:00am (EDT), WEBINAR. Sponsor: Society for International Development. Speakers: Rosarie Tucci, Director, Democracy, Rights and Governance Center, USAID; Patrick Quirk, Senior Director for Strategy, Research, and Center for Global Impact, International Republican Institute (IRI); Barbara Smith, Vice President, Peace Programs, Carter Center. 

ENSURING ACCOUNTABILITY FOR SEXUAL VIOLENCE IN CONFLICT. 4/25, 10:00-11:30am (EDT), ONLINE. Sponsor: Peace and Security, Georgetown Institute For Women. Speakers: The Honorable Pramila Patten, Special Representative of the Secretary-General on Sexual Violence in Conflict, United Nations; Wai Wai Nu, Founder, Director, Women’s Peace Network, Myanmar; Oleksandra Matviychuk, Human Rights Activist, Chair, Center for Civil Liberties, Ukraine; Arsalan Suleman, Former Acting U.S. Special Envoy, Organization of Islamic Cooperation; Dr. Robert Nagel, Postdoctoral Research Fellow, Georgetown Institute for Women, Peace, and Security; Amb. Melanne Verveer, Executive Director, Georgetown Institute for Women, Peace, and Security. 

THE COLLAPSE OF THE SOVIET EMPIRE AND THE SEEDS OF THE NEW EUROPEAN WAR. 4/25, Noon-1:00pm (EDT), ZOOM WEBINAR. Sponsor: Starr Forum, MIT. Speaker: Vladislav Zubok, Professor of International History, LSE; Moderators: Carol Saivetz, Senior Advisor, Security Studies Program, MIT; Elizabeth Wood, Professor of history, MIT. 

THE VORTEX: A TRUE STORY OF HISTORY'S DEADLIEST STORM, AN UNSPEAKABLE WAR, AND LIBERATION. 4/25, Noon-1:30pm (EDT), IN-PERSON & ZOOM WEBINAR, Washington, DC. Sponsor: George Washington University (GW). Speakers: Marcus D. King, John O. Rankin Associate Professor of International Affairs, Director, Master of Arts in International Affairs Program, ESIA, GW; Deepa Ollapally, Research Professor of International Affairs, Associate Director, Sigur Center, GW. 

PROSPECTS FOR THE POST-COVID ASIAN ECONOMY WITH ADB CHIEF ECONOMIST. 4/25, 12:30-1:30pm (EDT), IN-PERSON, Washington, DC. Sponsor: Reischauer Center. Speaker: Dr. Albert Park, Chief Economist, Asian Development Bank (ADB); Moderator: Kent E. Calder, Director, Edwin O. Reischauer Center, East Asian Studies. 

INTERNATIONAL RELIGIOUS FREEDOM 2022 ANNUAL REPORT: KEY FINDINGS AND RECOMMENDATIONS. 4/25, 2:00-3:00pm (EDT), IN-PERSON, Washington, DC. Sponsor: U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF). Speakers: Senator Marco Rubio (R-Florida), Nadine Maenza, Chair, USCIRF; Nury Turkel, Vice Chair, USCIRF. 

GREAT WALL OF STEEL: CHINA'S GLOBAL CAMPAIGN TO SUPPRESS THE UYGHURS. 4/25, 2:00-3:30pm (EDT), WEBCAST. Sponsor: Kissinger Institute on China and the United States (KICUS). Speakers: Bradley Jardine, Schwarzman Scholar, Schwarzman Scholar, Tsinghua University (Beijing, China), Research Consultant, Oxus Society for Central Asian Affairs; Moderator: Robert Daly, Director, KICUS. 

CITIES FORTIFYING DEMOCRACY: A CONVERSATION WITH THE MAYOR OF WARSAW. 4/25, 2:30-3:15pm (EDT), ONLINE. Sponsor: German Marshall Fund of the United States (GMF). Speakers: Heather A. Conley, President, GMF; Rafał Trzaskowski, Mayor, City of Warsaw, Poland; Moderator: Laura Thornton, Director, Alliance for Securing Democracy, GMF. 

ANTIMICROBIAL RESISTANCE (AMR) AS A GLOBAL SECURITY THREAT: DESTABILIZING FOOD SYSTEMS AND HEALTHY COMMUNITIES. 4/25, 3:00-4:00pm (EDT), LIVESTREAM & IN-PERSON, Washington, DC. Sponsor: CSIS. Speakers: Rasmus Prehn, Minister, Danish Food, Agriculture, and Fisheries; Rod Schoonover, Head, Ecological Security Group, Council On Strategic Risks; Junxia Song, AMR Focal Point and Senior Animal Health Officer, United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization; Moderator: Caitlin Welsh, Director, Global Food Security Program. 

UKRAINIAN NATIONAL IDENTITY AND RUSSIAN INTELLIGENCE FAILURE. 4/25, 5:00-6:00pm (EDT), ZOOM WEBINAR. Sponsor: Institute of World Politics. Speaker: Ethan S. Burger, IWP Cyber Intelligence Instructor, International Attorney. 

Sunday, April 10, 2022

Monday Asia Events April 11, 2022

THE WAR IN UKRAINE AND ITS IMPLICATIONS FOR OUR NUCLEAR FUTURE
. 4/11, 1:00pm (EDT), ZOOM WEBINAR. Sponsor: Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists. Speakers: Francesca Giovannini, Executive Director, Project on Managing the Atom, Belfer Center for Science & International Affairs, Harvard Kennedy School; Pavel Podvig, Nuclear Expert, Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists; Manpreet Sethi, Senior Fellow, Indian Council of Social Science Research; Lauren Sukin, MacArthur Nuclear Security Postdoctoral Fellow, Center for International Security and Cooperation, Stanford University. 

WHO INNOVATES IN KOREA? 4/11, 5:00pm (PDT), ZOOM WEBINAR. Sponsor: School of Global Policy and Strategy, UC San Diego. Speaker: Jihong Lee, Professor of Economics, Seoul National University; Moderator: Munseob Lee, Assistant Professor of Economics, School of Global Policy and Strategy, UC San Diego. 

DECODING COMMON PROSPERITY: CAN XI END CHINA’S GILDED AGE? 4/11, 1:00-2:30pm (EDT), WEBINAR. Sponsor: Asian Studies Program, School of Foreign Service, GU. Speakers: Yuen Yuen Ang, Author, Associate Professor of Political Science, University of Michigan, Can Xi End China’s Gilded Age; Moderator: Evan Medeiros, Penner Family Chair in Asian Studies, School of Foreign Service, GU. 

THE RISE AND FALL OF THE NEOLIBERAL ORDER: AMERICA AND THE WORLD IN THE FREE MARKET ERA. 4/11, 4:00-5:30pm (EDT), WEBINAR. Sponsor: National History Center; Wilson Center (WWC). Speaker: author, Gary Gerstle, Author, Mellon Professor of American History, University of Cambridge; Lizabeth Cohen, Howard Mumford Jones professor of American Studies, Harvard University; Kristina Spohr, Professor of International History, London School of Economic and Political Science. 

CHINA, SEMICONDUCTORS AND GLOBAL COMPETITION. 4/11, 7:00-8:00pm (EDT), ZOOM WEBINAR. Sponsor: Asian/Pacific Studies Institute, Duke University. Speaker: Jimmy Goodrich, Vice President for Global Policy, Semiconductor Industry Association; Moderator: Denis Simon, Senior Adviser to the President, China Affairs and Professor of China Business and Technology, Fuqua School of Business, Duke. 

AMERICA: A SINGAPORE PERSPECTIVE. 4/11, 9:00-10:00pm (EDT), ZOOM WEBINAR. Sponsor: East-West Center in Washington. Speakers: H.E. Tommy Koh, Ambassador-At-Large, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Singapore & Professor of Law, National University of Singapore; Mr. Daljit Singh, Visiting Senior Fellow, ISEAS-Yusof Ishak Institute; and Dr. Satu P. Limaye, Vice President, East-West Center & Director, East-West Center in Washington. 

MINAMATA & FUKUSHIMA: STRUCTURAL VIOLENCE IN ENVIRONMENTAL DISASTER. 4/12, Noon (JST) / 4/11, 11:00pm (EDT), ZOOM WEBINAR. Sponsor: Institute of Contemporary Asian Studies (ICAS), Temple University Japan. Speakers: Aileen Mioko Smith, Executive Director, Green Action; Yuki Miyamoto, Professor of ethics, Department of Religious Studies, DePaul University; Moderator: Kyle Cleveland, Temple University Japan. 

DEMOCRACY UNDER SIEGE: WHAT DOES THE UKRAINE CRISIS MEAN FOR TAIWAN? 4/11, 10:00am-11:30pm (EDT), LIVESTREAM. Sponsor: Atlantic Council. Speakers: James L. Jones, Jr., Executive Chairman Emeritus, Former National Security Advisor to the President of the United States, Founder, Jones Group International; Michelle Flournoy, Chair, Board of Directors, Center for a New American Security, Co-founder and Managing Partner, WestExec Advisors. 

Remembering the Bataan Death March

Eighty Years Ago the horrors of today's war in Ukraine recall the atrocities committed by the Japanese empire during World War II.

by Mindy Kotler, director, Asia Policy Point

Published April 9, 2022 in the National Interest

Pvt. Lester Tenney of Illinois’ 192nd Tank Battalion felt lucky. The Japanese officer’s sword missed his head and neck. Although he was left with a large gash on his shoulder, medics could quickly sew it up and he was soon back on the dusty road up the Bataan Peninsula. To fall behind or to falter guaranteed death. Like the civilians of Ukraine’s besieged cities, the surrendered soldiers and civilians on the Bataan Death March were defenseless and at the barbarous mercy of the invaders. It began eighty years ago today, on April 9, 1942.

The Bataan Death March is remembered as one of the greatest war crimes of World War II. The Japanese commanders involved were prosecuted for crimes against humanity or for violating the international laws of war and executed. So seminal in American history were these events that Bataan is part of the American lexicon as a metaphor for a tortuous undertaking. It is why National Former Prisoner of War (POW) Recognition Day is held every April 9th. 

It is also one of the few Japanese war crimes for which the Japanese government has made a specific effort to atone. In 2009, the Japanese ambassador to the United States Ichiro Fujisaki, prompted by Tenney, traveled to the last convention of the American POWs of Japan and offered his country’s apology.  The ambassador also arranged a visitation program to Japan for surviving POWs.

“We extend a heartfelt apology for our country having caused tremendous damage and suffering to many people, including prisoners of war, those who have undergone tragic experiences in the Bataan Peninsula, Corregidor Island, in the Philippines, and other places,” he told the men and their families.

This apology, which never appeared on the Japanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs website, was repeated to four visiting delegations of American POWs by three Japanese Foreign Ministers. Japan’s current prime minister, Fumio Kishida, when serving as foreign minister, met with the 2013 POW group. Among them were two Bataan Death March survivors, including a Native American survivor, as well as two widows of Death March survivors. To his credit, he participated in the first principle of reconciliation, which is to hear their story.

The full story is that the Death March came after four months of combat starting when Japan attacked the Philippines within hours of bombing Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941. A three-month siege of the Bataan Peninsula accompanied by a starvation diet, air and artillery bombardment, and disease had taken their toll. The Allies’ Europe-first policy combined with Japan’s control of the sea and air ensured that neither resupply nor reinforcement of the Philippines would come.

In the early morning hours of April 9, 1942, the newly appointed commanding general of Am-Fil forces on the Bataan Peninsula, Maj. Gen. Edward P. King Jr., realized that his troops faced slaughter if they continued to fight. He decided the rational course was to order the men and women under his command—against Gen. Douglas MacArthur’s orders—to surrender. Thus, 78,000 troops (66,000 Filipinos and 12,000 Americans) were taken captive by Imperial Japan.  Among them there were dozens of European civilians—Czechs, Estonians, Latvians, Norwegians, Germans, Finns, Dutch, and British—who had volunteered to join the fight. In addition, there were at least 10,000 in two field hospitals in Bataan. It is the largest contingent of U.S. soldiers ever to surrender.

Focused on saving his exhausted and ailing troops, King could not imagine the horrors that surrender would hold. On the same day as the surrender, the Japanese put the survivors on what has become known as the Bataan Death March. It is estimated that perhaps 2,000 either swam the three shark-infested, mined miles to the fortress island of Corregidor (No one on Corregidor was on the Death March) or disappeared into the jungle. Those who made it to Corregidor became immediately members of the 4th Marines fighting shore defense. Corregidor and the associated three island fortresses surrendered on May 6th. 

The Bataan Death March was a poorly commanded effort to move the surrendered troops and civilians on the peninsula to a POW camp one hundred miles north. The result was that the Japanese neglected the sick and killed the wounded; denied the POWs food, water, and medical care; and abused, robbed, and tortured them. Many men stamped into the road by tanks or shot trying to drink from a stream remain missing. 

For most, the first leg of the Death March was sixty-five miles from the port of Mariveles at the southern tip of the Bataan Peninsula up the East Road to a train terminal at San Fernando. Others arrived at the East Road at the village of Pilar after a sixteen-mile trek from Bagac on the west side of Bataan. It took an average of five days in the tropical heat for the terrorized, sick, and starving men to reach the station. There they were stuffed standing one hundred at a time into small, unventilated boxcars for a twenty-four-mile ride north to the town of Capas. Many died in these rolling ovens.

The survivors were forced to walk another five miles to Camp O'Donnell, an unfinished Philippine Army training camp. With only two spigots of water and no sanitation, the camp was quickly compared with the Confederacy's Andersonville prison camp. Hundreds died of disease, starvation, dehydration, and despair. Most of the deaths from the Death March happened here or at its successor camp, Cabanatuan. 

Survivors of the Bataan Death March endured three-and-a-half years of death camps, brutal labor, and unimaginable indignities and injury. Many were taken to Japan aboard hellships to be slave laborers for Japanese companies in Formosa, Japan, Manchuria, and Korea.  Again they were denied food, medical care, clothes, and adequate housing. 

Tenney ended up in Mitsui’s Omuta coal mine near Nagasaki. The working conditions were so severe that POWs traded their meager meals to have their arm or leg broken so that they would get a short reprieve from going back underground. Today, the mine is a UNESCO World Industrial Heritage site.

More than half the Americans taken prisoner on Bataan died before war’s end. This was greater than the overall death rate for American POWs of Japan, which was 40 percent. It was more deadly to be a POW than a combat Marine in the Pacific. By comparison, the death rate for Americans taken prisoner by the Nazis was less than two percent.

As horrifying as the Bataan Death March was, it was not an exception in Japan’s war. Other death marches were imposed upon American and Allied POWs throughout the Pacific.Torture and executions were commonplace. Death from overwork and malnutrition were the norm. Abuse was systematic.

How a country treats the defenseless and dependent is a measure of their citizens’ values. How the victims endure the neglect and damage inflicted upon them also reflects values. Like the men and women on Bataan, there is much to admire in the Ukrainians. They persist and endure.

As President Franklin D. Roosevelt said in August 1943, when the outcome of World War II was still uncertain, “The story of the fighting on Bataan and Corregidor—and, indeed, everywhere in the Philippines—will be remembered so long as men continue to respect bravery, and devotion, and determination.” This still holds true eighty years later.