Sunday, February 27, 2022

Asia Policy Events, February 28, 2022

. 2/28, 1:00-4:00pm (JST), WEBINAR. Sponsor: Sasakawa Peace Foundation (SPF). Speakers: Itsu Adachi, Executive Director, SPF; Keiichi Ujiie, GCNJ; Gen Toyoa, METI; Hidemi Tomita; LRQA Sustainability; Sakon Kuramoto, BHR Lawyers; Allan Jorgensen, OECD Responsible Business Conduct Center; Phil Bloomer, Business and Human Rights Resource Centre; Hideki Wakabayashi, JANIC; Ryusuke Tanaka, ILO Japan; Emiko Nagasawa, Keidanren; Akihiro Ueda, SPF; Surya Deva, UN Business and Human Rights Working Group; Toshio Shikata, LRQA Sustainability; Daisuke Takahashi, BHR Lawyers; Akiko Sato, Human Rights Now; Yasunobu Sato, Tokyo University.  

FROM MANNERS TO RULES: REGULATING SMOKING IN JAPAN AND KOREA. 2/28, 5:00pm (PST), ZOOM WEBINAR. Sponsor: School of Global Policy and Strategy, UC San Diego. Speaker: Celeste Arrington PhD, Associate Professor, Korea Foundation, Political Science and International Affairs, George Washington University. 

JAPANESE SOFT POWER. 2/28, 8:00-9:00pm (EST), 3/1, 10:00-11:00am (JST), WEBINAR. Sponsor: Yokosuka Council on Asia-Pacific Studies (YCAPS). Speaker: Dr. Nancy Snow, Pax Mundi (“Distinguished”) Professor of Public Diplomacy, Kyoto University of Foreign Studies. Moderator: Michael Okamoto, Director, Getting to Know Japan Series, YCAPS.  

UNDERSTANDING THE CONFLICT IN UKRAINE: IMPLICATIONS FOR ASIA AND THE WORLD. 2/28, 8:30-9:30am (EST), WEBINAR. Sponsor: Asia Society. Speakers: Alexander Gabuev, Senior Fellow, Chair of Russia, Carnegie; Ambassador Bilahari Kausikan, Chairman, Middle East Institute, National University of Singapore; C. Raja Mohan, Senior Fellow, Asia Society Policy Institute; Hon. Kevin Rudd, President and CEO, Asia Society; Moderator: Daniel Russel, Vice President for International Security and Diplomacy, Asia Society Policy. 

US–EUROPE COOPERATION IN THE INDO-PACIFIC. 2/28, 9:30-11:30am (EST), ONLINE. Sponsor: German Marshall Fund. Speakers: Heather Conley, President, German Marshall Fund; Kurt Campbell, Deputy Assistant to the President, Coordinator, Indo-Pacific Affairs, US National Security Council; Gunnar Wiegand, Managing Director, Asia and Pacific, European External Action Service; Bonnie Glaser, Director, Asia Program, German Marshall Fund; Gabriele Visentin, EU Special Envoy for the Indo-Pacific; Mira Rapp-Hooper, Director, Indo-Pacific Strategy, US National Security Council; Moderator: Garima Mohan, Fellow, Asia Program, German Marshall Fund. 

RESEARCH UNBOUND: DO FREE TRADE ZONES STIMULATE ENTREPRENEURSHIP? 2/28, 10:00-11:00am (EST), ZOOM WEBINAR. Sponsor: Center for International Private Enterprise. Speakers: Xiaocun Qiu, Researcher & Founder, Oxbridge Economics; Mikra Krasniqi, Research Officer, Policy & Program Learning, CIPE; Moderator: Cathy Tai, Deputy Regional Director, Asia, CIPE. 

FORMER NATIONAL SECURITY ADVISOR ROBERT C. O’BRIEN ON WINNING THE 21ST CENTURY TECH RACE WITH CHINA. 2/28, 11:00-11:45am (EST), WEBINAR. Sponsor: Heritage. Speakers: Robert C. O’Brien, Former National Security Advisor; Dustin Carmack, Research Fellow, Technology Policy, Heritage. 

US-CHINA RIVALRY AND THE FUTURE OF GLOBALIZATION. 2/28, Noon-1:00pm (EST), WEBINAR. Sponsor: Alexander Hamilton Society. Speaker: Aaron Friedberg, Professor of Politics and International Affairs, Princeton University. 

COLLECTIVE DEFENSE AND THE CRISIS IN EUROPE: A CONVERSATION WITH ADMIRAL ROB BAUER, CHAIR OF THE NATO MILITARY COMMITTEE. 2/28, 12:30-1:30pm (EST), WEBINAR. Sponsor: Transatlantic Security Initiative, Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security, Atlantic Council. Speakers: Admiral Rob Bauer, Chair of the NATO Military Committee. 

JAPAN'S AND THE UNITED STATES' QUESTS TO ACHIEVE A CARBON-FREE POWER SECTOR: NECESSARY BREAKTHROUGHS IN POLICY, SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY, AND BUSINESS MODELS. 2/28, 6:00-7:00pm (EST), WEBINAR. Sponsor: US-Japan Council. Speakers: Hiroaki Kitano, Ph.D., Professor, Okinawa Institute of Science and Technology Graduate University; Momoko Nagasaki, Managing Executive Officer, Tokyo Electric Power Company Holdings, Inc.; Naoki Nagai, Consultant, Pacific International Center for High Technology Research. 

IS A JAPAN-INDIA ALLIANCE POSSIBLE? 2/28, 8:00-9:00pm (EST), ZOOM WEBINAR. Sponsor: Hamilton Lugar School of Global and International Studies, Indiana University. Speaker: Dr. Rohan Mukherjee, Assistant Professor, Political Science, Yale-NUS College, Singapore. 

Sunday, February 13, 2022

Asia Policy Events, Monday, February 14, 2022

THE WILSON CHINA FELLOWSHIP CONFERENCE 2022. 9:00am-4:30pm (EST), ZOOM. Sponsor: Wilson Center. Agenda: The State of U.S.-China Relations and the Study of China; The U.S.-China Trade War, Multinationals, and China’s Economy; The Decline of Engagement and the Impacts of U.S.-China Competition; The Party's Interests, History, and Xi Jinping; China and Its Relations with Developing Countries and the Global South; Southeast Asia and China: A Complex Interaction; China’s Influence Overseas: Democracy, Norms, and Overseas Chinese Communities. 

RAISING THE ECONOMIC COSTS FOR RUSSIA’S CONTINUED AGGRESSION TOWARDS UKRAINE. 2/14, 9:00-10:00am (EST), VIRTUAL. Sponsor: Center for a New American Security (CNAS). Speakers: Edward Fishman, Adjunct Fellow, Energy, Economics, and Security Program, CNAS; Dr. Maria Shagina, Visiting Fellow, U.S. Center for Politics and Power, Finnish Institute of International Affairs; Tom Keatinge, Director, Centre for Financial Crime and Security Studies, Royal United Services Institute; Moderators: Emily Kilcrease, Senior Fellow and Program Director, Energy, Economics, and Security Program, CNAS; Andrea Kendall-Taylor, Senior Fellow and Program Director, Transatlantic Security Program, CNAS. 

WHERE’S THE WATER: MEKONG DRY SEASON 2022. 9:00-10:00pm (EST), ZOOM WEBINAR. Sponsor: Stimson Center. Speakers: Alan Basist, President, Eyes on Earth and Mekong Dam Monitor Co-Lead; Brian Eyler, Southeast Asia Program Director and Mekong Dam Monitor Co-Lead, Stimson Center; Courtney Weatherby, Southeast Asia Program Deputy Director, Stimson Center; Nguyen Huu Thien, Independent consultant based in Can Tho, Vietnam;  Moderator: Socheata Hean, Independent Journalist.

TAIWAN'S GLOBAL GRAVITY: THE PUSH AND PULL OF COERCIVE AND ANNIHILATIVE CROSS-STRAIT SCENARIOS. Noon-3:30pm (EST), WEBINAR. Sponsor: Project 2049 Institute. Speakers: Ambassador Bi-khim Hsiao, Representative, Taipei Economic and Cultural Representative Office; Elaine Luria, Representative of the 2nd District of Virginia, U.S. House of Representatives; Mark Stokes, Executive Director, Project 2049 Institute; Ian Easton, Senior Director, Project 2049 Institute; Eric Lee, Associate Director of Programs, Project 2049 Institute; Michael Mazza, Nonresident Fellow, American Enterprise Institute; Gary J. Schmitt, Senior Fellow, American Enterprise Institute; Shihoko Goto, Director of the Asia Program, Wilson Center (WWC); Honorable Randall G. Schriver; Chairman, The Project 2049 Institute. 

NORTH KOREA AND THE MIDDLE EAST: LESSONS LEARNED FOR US - NORTH KOREA RELATIONS. 1:00-2:00pm (EST), ZOOM WEBINAR. Sponsor: East-West Center in Washington (EWCW) and National Committee on North Korea (NCNK). Speakers: Dr. Satu P. Limaye, Vice President, East- West Center & Director, East-West Center in Washington; Ms. Suzanne DiMaggio, Senior Fellow, Carnegie Endowment for International Peace; Mr. Yaakov Katz, Editor-in-Chief, The Jerusalem Post; Dr. Siegfried Hecker, Senior Fellow, Stanford Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies, Emeritus; and Mr. Keith Luse, Executive Director, National Committee on North Korea. 

DIGITAL CURRENCY IN CHINA AND THE ASIA PACIFIC CONFERENCE. 7:00pm EST, ONLINE. Sponsor: The Atlantic Council GeoEconomics Center and UC San Diego’s 21st Century China Center (21CCC). Speakers: Josh Lipsky, Director, GeoEconomics Center, Atlantic Council; Mu Changchun (TBC), Director, Digital Currency Research Institute, People’s Bank of China; Susan Shirk, Chair of the 21st Century China Center, UC San Diego School of Global Policy and Strategy; Victor Shih, Associate Professor; Ho Miu Lam Chair in China and Pacific Relations, UC San Diego School of Global Policy and Strategy; Jeremy Allaire, Co-Founder, Chairman and CEOCircle; He Yifan, CEORed Date Technology; Siddharth Tiwari; Chief Representative for Asia and the PacificBank of International Settlements. 

Friday, February 11, 2022

Standing up to the LDP's Dark Side

Two Streams in the LDP

J Update by Takuya Nishimura, Hokkaido Shimbun, views expressed in these essays do not represent those of the newspaper and are personal

November 10, 2021

In the first meeting after the general election of the House of Representatives last month, the Diet of Japan constitutionally elected Fumio Kishida as 101st Prime Minister of Japan on Wednesday. Kishida immediately organized his cabinet, which actually resulted in a minor change from the former one. However, it is possibly rather the big change in power balance inside the leading Liberal Democratic Party.

One of Kishida's important agenda is getting rid of neo-liberalism economics that has been upheld by LDP sidestream. Yes, LDP has mainstream and sidestream, since Kakuei Tanaka succeeded Prime Minister Eisaku Sato in 1972. Although Sato assumed Takeo Fukuda, who upheld pro-Taiwan and moderate financial policy, as his successor, Tanaka won LDP presidential election with popular pro-China and rapid growth policy. That is engraved in LDP history as the First Kaku-Fuku War. Even after Tanaka resigned due to the Lockheed scandal, his group maintained latent power over the administrations.

During that period, a policy group called Kochikai, established by Hayato Ikeda, elected two prime ministers, Masayoshi Ohira and Kiichi Miyazawa, under control of Tanaka or his successors' group. But, members of Kochikai liked to call themselves “mainstream conservatives,” distinguishing from Fukuda's "sidestream." Although mainstream politics sought high economic growth, its main target was reinforcing the middle class.

Inauguration of Jun-ichiro Koizumi, who had been a young member of Fukuda group at the time of the Second Kaku-Fuku War, marked the end of the mainstream ruling. Koizumi politics, mainly succeeded by Shinzo Abe, focused on political reform and economic deregulation, which was based on trickle-down theory. But, it resulted in widening social gap between the rich and the poor. That kind of pro-growth policy was exercised by sidestream administrations for two decades except for three years of the Democratic Party's era. During that period, the sidestream actually worked as the mainstream.

Although Kishida appeals to maintain Abe's pro-growth policy called Abenomics, the new prime minister looks more to distribution than growth. He also updates his group's traditional economic policies such as the Income Doubling Plan of Ikeda or the National Garden City Initiative of Ohira. Replacing LDP Secretary General Akira Amari to Toshimitsu Motegi, who descends from Tanaka group, and picking Yoshimasa Hayashi with Kishida group to the Minister of Foreign Affairs can be recognized as an attempt of distancing from Abe or sidestream rules. In short, it may be the time of regime change once in decades.

Abe decided to take over the group originated by Fukuda to keep his influence on the Kishida administration. While some of his aides remain in the Kishida Cabinet and LDP executive board, Kishida looks to be handling post COVID-19 reconstruction policy along with mainstream agenda. His true intention will be made clear in the economic policy package being delivered mid-November.

In regard to the 2021 supplementary budget, which would endorse Kishida's economic policy package, Kishida's building of leadership looks to be halfway. Although his budget focused on distributing budgetary resources to the sufferers from COVID-19, Kishida did not forget to take care of Abe's agenda such as military expansion. This caused disappointment on the expectation of a quick LDP power transition.