Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Rocky US-Japan relations - but better thanks to China

Just when the US-Japan relationship looks like it's on the rocks, along comes China to remind the partners that staying together is better than splitting up.

Every year, the Yomiuri Shimbun, Japan’s largest daily newspaper, and Gallup carry out a joint opinion survey in Japan and the United States of views toward each other.

The 2010 poll, released Dec. 22, was conducted Dec. 3-5 in Japan and Nov. 30-Dec. 6 in the United States. The latest poll shows that a year of friction between the US and Japan over alliance issues – most notably the inability to settle a long-standing argument over the relocation of a US Marine base in Okinawa – has taken its toll.

Whereas last year’s survey found a rising level of good feeling toward each other by Japanese and Americans, this year’s poll shows rapid erosion in positive Japanese views toward US-Japan relations. A record 40% of Japanese saw the bilateral relationship as being in bad shape, almost double last year’s figure, and only 33% felt positive about the current state of relations. Although Americans were more sanguine, 49% deeming bilateral ties to be in good shape, there has been erosion in positive perceptions in the US, too.

DPJ disappointing performance
The poll’s results may reflect the state of politics in Japan under the new ruling party. Since winning the Lower House election in August 2009, the Democratic Party of Japan has failed to show the Japanese electorate that it can run the country better than its predecessor, the Liberal Democratic Party.

The first DPJ administration under Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama ended in June 2010 when Hatoyama resigned for reneging on a campaign promise to relocate a US base out of Okinawa and for a personal money scandal. But his successor, Naoto Kan, has not done much better, having alienated the public over perceived domestic and foreign policy failures in the latter part of 2010.

Kan led the party to an ignominious defeat in the July election in which the DPJ lost its Upper House majority. In every opinion poll, Kan has followed in his predecessor’s footsteps, losing almost totally the support of the public -- he is at the lower 20% level now – for not delivering on key campaign promises to the electorate and mishandling key policy issues, including reviving a lackluster economy. Economic growth for next fiscal year is predicted to be a dismal 1%, and unemployment, particularly affecting young people, has remained high (for Japan) at over 5%.

True, the alliance with the US is firmer now than at the start of DPJ rule, but Kan gets no credit for this, since the deepening of US-Japan security ties are thanks to blustering moves by China and saber rattling by North Korea.

Futenma fly in the ointment
For the first time in the long history of the survey, negative views outweigh positive views on the question of whether bilateral ties are good or not. In Japan, only 33% of the public thought US-Japan relations were in good shape; 40% said it was not; and 21% were just not sure. The results are in stark contrast to the 2009 survey, in which 48% of Japanese said bilateral relations were in good shape (an impressive 14 point jump from 2008’s low of 34%), a sign of the spirit of “change” set off in Japan by the election of Barack Obama as US president. Only 26% saw the relationship as being in bad shape.

In the 2010 poll, although Americans were more upbeat about the bilateral relationship than Japanese, with 49% seeing it as being in good shape, and only 10% taking a negative view, there has been a slow deterioration in positive views since 2008 (53%). Somewhat disturbing, 37% of Americans in the 2010 poll said they could not tell one way or the other where relations were good or not. In the 2009 poll, 51% of Americans said that relations were good, and a mere 8% thought they were not. But here, too, on the question of whether relations were good or not, a significant 34% of Americans answered that they could not say, indicating confusion about the intentions toward the US of the new DPJ administration in Japan, a situation that seems to continue today.

Why have negative views returned? The controversy over the relocation of the Futenma Air Station, a US Marine base, to another site in Okinawa. The poll found 79% of the Japanese public feeling that this single issue had adversely affected US-Japan relations in 2010 (83% when the answers of the 40% who felt bilateral ties were in bad shape are disaggregated).

Asked about the future, only 15% of the Japanese public felt that US-Japan relations were likely to get better in the future. Still, only 11% said relations would worsen, and 71% thought things would not change – a sign at least of commitment to the status quo in alliance relations.

Americans were somewhat more optimistic, with 35% saying that relations would improve in the future. But Americans may not be savvy about the Okinawa base dispute since only 6% chose the USFJ realignment as a major issue between the two countries. The most chosen topic with 26% of Americans was trade and economic issues, even though 2010 was relatively free of such troubles.

When Japanese were asked about the most serious challenges to US-Japan relations, 21% chose the issue of realigning US forces in Japan, stalled for years over the Futenma relocation dispute. Another 21% picked North Korea, and a significant 17% thought it was the development of trust relations between the leaders of the US and Japan. Interestingly, 11% of Americans chose the trust issue as a major challenge.

Good relationship based on trust
President Obama is held in high esteem by most Japanese and this factor would seem to be reflected in the answer this year to the poll’s question, “Do you trust the United States?” In the 2010 poll, 52% said that they did, while 37% said that they did not. The recovery of Japan’s confidence in America has been a striking new development since the 2009 Yomiuri-Gallup poll after a long period of decline in which distrust consistently outpaced trust. Those Japanese who said they trusted the US jumped from a mere 32% in 2008 to 49% in 2009. The reversal undoubtedly reflected a favorable reaction to the Obama administration’s management of ties with Japan during his first year in office.

Japanese trust in the US in Japan, going back to 2001, was a healthy 50.9%, with distrust at 35%. But the figure dropped to 48.8% in 2002, 41% in 2003, 37.8% in 2004, 36.6% in 2005, rose to 41% in 2006, and then dropped again in 2007 to 33.8%. It reached a record low in 2008 of 31.7%. Distrust in turn rose from 35% in 2001 to 39.1% in 2002, 45% in 2003, and 52.7% in 2004, leveled off at 52.5% in 2005, before sliding to 47% in 2006. It rose again in 2007 to 53.8% and reached a disturbing 59.5% in 2008.

Rising Japanese distrust of the US between 2001 and 2008 can be attributed to such factors as the unpopular Iraq war, contentious US base issues in Japan, including incidents involving US personnel and the relocation of Futenma Air Station in Okinawa. Perceptions of US unilateralism, such as the US rejection of the Kyoto Protocol also played a role in the erosion of Japanese confidence in America. The reversal of this trend since 2009 can only be explained by the effect on public opinion of President Obama and his policies.

For Americans in the 2010 poll, 64% felt trust toward Japan, and 33% said they did not. American trust in Japan has always remained higher than in Japan, with only slight slippage over time. In 2009, 66% of Americans expressed trust in Japan in the Gallup poll, about the same as in 2008’s 67%. The high point for American trust in Japan was reflected in the 2006 poll, when the figure was peaked at 76%. Japan‘s contributions to the war on terror, including the dispatch of troops to Iraq and the Indian Ocean, and the friendship between President Bush and Prime Minister Koizumi undoubtedly influenced Americans’ confidence in their ally. The figure plummeted 15 points in 2007 to 60.8%, a sure sign of unhappiness with Koizumi’s successor Abe, his handling of the relationship, and a perceived rise in nationalism in Japan.

Both looking for security
Another key question in the survey each year is whether respondents think the US-Japan Security Treaty contributes to security in the Asia-Pacific region. In Japan, an overwhelming 76% of Japanese answered "yes" this year, up one point from 2009. The figure was a distressing 59.7% in 2008.

There is a growing sense of urgency about the security in the region reflected in the survey. In the 2010 poll, 85% of Japanese felt that the because of the territorial dispute with China over the Senkakus, Japan should cooperate deeply with the US against such moves.

Asked similarly about the usefulness of the treaty, 72% of Americans saw it as positively contributing to regional security, up dramatically from the 60% figure in 2009, when Americans were unsure about Japan’s dedication to the alliance.

China: Three's a crowd
China appears high on the security agenda for most Japanese, with 79% considering that country a potential threat in the future. In contrast, 58% of Americans felt that way. North Korea was at the top of the list, not surprisingly, with 84% of Japanese and 79% of Americans.

Views toward China deteriorated rapidly in 2010 due to the Senkaku island incident and other disputes. Only 11% of Japanese felt relations with China were in good shape, 14% said they were fair, and 72% viewed them as in bad shape. Last year 43% of Japanese felt relations with China were then in good shape, 31% thought they were bad, and 21% could not say which. On the trust factor, no Japanese would say they trusted China, 8% said somewhat, and 87% said not at all or not very much.

Only 24% of Americans saw ties with China in good shape, down sharply from last year’s 34%. Another 57% views relations as fair, and 17% saw them as poor. The gap between the two countries on trust in China remains wide, since 34% of Americans trust China either fully (2%) or somewhat (32%). But distrust was still quite high, with 36% not trusting China very much and 29% saying not at all.

It seems the US and Japan are stuck with each other, for better or for worse.

Dr William Brooks
APP Senior Fellow

Sunday, December 26, 2010

War & Educational Lapses

In November, France’s national rail company, SNCF, did what many European companies had already done--admitted its complicity in the Holocaust.

SNCF’s president apologized  for “the use of SNCF’s equipment and staff to transport 76,000 French And other European Jews to Germany, where they were then sent on to the Nazi Death camps.” He also made “a long‐term commitment to transparency, education of younger generations, and acts of Remembrance.” He pledged that SNCF will continue its efforts supporting “Holocaust remembrance memorials, education programs and museums.”

As with Germany’s Foundation for Remembrance, Responsibility and Future (the German Future Fund) established in 2000, the SNCF committed itself to anchoring its role in the Holocaust “firmly in the European memory and communicating the life experience of the victims.”

By acknowledging its complex history, SNCF showed that was “eager to do whatever is necessary to ensure that the historical questions raised are examined through dialogue, historical research and remembrance.”

In contrast, how Japan will commit to acknowledging and telling the story of its war victims has yet to be resolved. The failure of both the Japanese state and its corporations to establish an ongoing program of reconciliation, outreach, and education continually manifests itself both in the misinformation appearing in the press and political platforms as well as in the government’s missteps in domestic and foreign policies.

Significant is that private French and German companies took responsibility for their actions and established the educational programs in Europe. Here again is a great contrast, as Japanese companies have great corporate wartime culpability, yet contemporary inaction. Over 60 major Japanese corporations—including Mitsui, Sumitomo, Mitsubishi, Kawasaki, Hitachi, Toshiba, Nippon Sharyo—used slave and forced labor of Prisoners of War, Chinese, and Koreans to support their war production. They have neither acknowledged nor apologized or offered any effort to preserve the memory of these unwilling laborers.

Earlier this month, an example of the need for such an educational effort on the War and, in particular, the brutal experience of the Prisoners of War held by Imperial Japan appeared in the popular Japanese magazine, Shukan Shincho.

An article notes that Japan was tricked in the Pacific War by the United States and attacks the well-documented memoir of Dr. Lester Tenney, a still-living, survivor of the Bataan Death March and a Mitsui coal mine. Like a Holocaust denier, the author distorts facts to sow doubt for a dubious political agenda.

The horror of the Death March has been recounted in hundreds of memoirs and histories. Japanese military’s use of torture has been outlined in captured manuals held in the National Archives, testimony at the war crimes trials across Asia, and in formal histories. And among the many distortions of fact, only the last 6 miles of the Death March were by train: 100 men standing per boxcar. Many died from suffocation and complications of the heat and their malnourished and sick bodies. Those that survived the boxcars were marched again for another 2-3 miles to Camp O’Donnell, which had been converted into a prison camp.

Asia Policy Point’s Senior Fellow William Brooks, formerly head of the Office of Translation a the US Embassy in Tokyo, coordinated the translation of this Shukan Shincho article so that it can be shared within the scholarly community that studies war and remembrance as well as among policy officials concerned with the US-Japan relationship. We post it below as part of our educational mission.

Bamboo Strings? 
by Masayuki Takayama
Henken Jizai column in December 23, 2010 edition of Shukan Shincho

Some time back when I took a trip to Jerusalem, nearby the Church of the Holy Sepulcher, that is, the mount of Golgotha, a pink flower was blooming. When I asked its name, my guide, who was a former diplomat, replied it was the “Judas Tree.” He said that the face of Judas had turned red when Christ pointed out his betrayal during the Last Supper.

“And so that’s the color of this flower. Of course, that’s not the name the Jews call it,” he added, chuckling.

He said Jews have no interest in either the flower or the tree, but Japanese often like to ask about it, so guides hastily prepare for such questions, happy to be helpful with their knowledge.

Jewish people are assiduous and are never slack in their studies. Eli Cohen, Israel’s former ambassador to Japan, had this similar aura about him, and so formed our image of a Jew.

That is why I felt somewhat puzzled when I learned that Lester Tenney, author of My Hitch in Hell, is also Jewish.

His book talks about the so-called Bataan Death March. Needled on by the United States, Japan was eventually provoked into a war. Tenney’s story begins when his tank battalion was sent to the Philippines in preparation for this war.

Tenney arrived at the U.S. Army post at Clark Airfield on November 20, approximately two weeks before Pearl Harbor. It was obvious the U.S. had Japan in the palm of its hand.

And so as scheduled, war broke out. Yet on the very first day, Clark air base was completely destroyed, the result of the height of incompetence of its commanding officer, MacArthur. When the Japanese landed at Lingayen Gulf, he decided to retreat to Bataan Peninsula.

Tenney’s tank battalion also was aiming for the same peninsula, along the way firing on anything that moved, strafing and slaughtering whole villages. “We could not distinguish a Filipino from a Japanese,” Tenney wrote.

Records of a hearing by the U.S. Senate show that when Americans had made the Philippines into a colony forty years earlier, they massacred 200,000 people. We can imagine this was how it was being done once again.

Sequestering themselves in Bataan, the U.S. troops soon exhausted their food supplies. This was the only place where U.S. forces suffered from starvation during the war [WWII]."

Then they surrendered. Tenney was ordered to dispose of the dollar bills stored by the military, and so he hid them in the hole of a tree. Out of spite, all the trucks were destroyed so the “Japs” couldn’t use them.

What they didn’t destroy, they rode to the prison camps, without having to walk on the death march. Up to this point, the author’s tale does have some force of truth to it, but from then on, it becomes sheer nonsense.

The Death March was a total of 120 kilometers long, and half that distance they were transported by rail. The fact of the matter is, they walked the rest of the way in three days.

Since it was not known which part of the march was “death,” Tenney wrote, “An officer on horseback was cutting off the heads of the marching prisoners.” I’ve never heard of anything like that. 

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

The week before Christmas

Congress still in town...

The Defense Budget and American Power. 12/22, 10:00-11:30, Washington, DC. Sponsor: Brookings Institution. Speakers: Martin Indyk, vice president and director of foreign policy at Brookings; Robert Kagan, senior fellow in foreign policy at the Center on the United States and Europe; Michael O'Hanlon, director of research and senior fellow in foreign policy at the 21st Century Defense Initiative; and Alive Rivlin, senior fellow in economic studies at Brookings.

South Asia 2010: A Year in Review. 12/22, 10:00-11:30, Washington, DC. Sponsor: Atlantic Council. Speakers: Gilles Dorronsoro, visiting scholar at Carnegie Endowment; C. Christine Fair, assistant professor at the Center for Peace and Security Studies at Georgetown University's Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Service; and Ikram Sehgal, defense and strategic analyst in Pakistan.

12/24 - The North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD) opens its Track Santa Operation Center to monitor the progress of Santa Claus on Christmas Eve. The website will "stream videos, captured by NORAD 'Santa Cams' from numerous cities along Santa's journey."

Friday, December 17, 2010

No fake Santas here

Accept only the real deal!

Asia Policy Point is the real Santa: 
no pretending, and we bring you facts and truth 
instead of the usual  punditry and hyperbole. 

Unfortunately, milk and cookies or the goodness of girls and boys 
do not cover our costs.  

So please help keep our elves well-supplied, fed, and happy 
by sending a donation our way.  
We promise no coal for you.  
And, we do not smell of beef and cheese.

And, yes, have a 
Merry Christmas, Chanukah, Kawanza, Festivus, and New Year 
to one and all.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Unbalanced trade

Creeping back into the American economic discussion is the issue of “competitiveness.” This was a hot idea in the mid-1980s. Then, like now, cheap foreign labor and products combined with Asian and European industrial policies were gutting American industry and displacing jobs. Today’s emphasis is on diminishing innovation and scientific and engineering excellence. In both approaches, the objective is to save American manufacturing.

Back in 1983, then-President Ronald Reagan appointed a Commission on Industrial Competitiveness, chaired by John Young of Hewlett-Packard. It issued its report* in 1985. The commission defined competitiveness as “the degree to which a nation can, under free and fair market conditions, produce goods and services that meet the test of international markets while at the same time maintaining or expanding the real incomes of its citizens.” Its key findings were:

1. There is compelling evidence that this nation’s ability to compete has declined over the past 20 years. We see its effects both in our domestic markets and in our ability to sell abroad;

2. We must be able to compete if we are going to meet our national goals of a rising standard of living and strong national security for our people;

3. Decision makers in both the public and private sectors must make improved competitiveness a priority on their agendas. As a nation, we can no longer afford to ignore the competitive consequences of our actions—or our inaction.

This report, however, made a bigger impression upon America’s foreign competitors than on U.S. policymakers. The proposals cited were taken far more seriously in Tokyo than New York or Silicon Valley. Except for the Washington Post, which did two major articles, the 1985 Young Commission report was limited to small stories buried on the business pages of the major newspapers. It got all of one-day US media coverage.

The Commission's conclusions were dismissed as industrial policy and unnecessary in free market America. Yet, the emphasis was that US competitiveness is not an end in itself but important for its effect on US living standards. Manufacturing matters for national economic health.

Today, US manufacturing has further diminished. Right after World War II, manufacturing accounted for 40% of American jobs; today, that number is closer to 11%. These jobs were the mainstay of the middle class. The 1985 confidence of American technological advantage has also deteriorated and is now considered a crisis. The new report on “competitiveness” out of the National Academy of Science is Rising Above the Gathering Storm Two Years Later: Accelerating Progress Toward a Brighter Economic Future.

It is a follow up of the 2005 study (published 2007), Rising Above The Gathering Storm: Energizing and Employing America for a Brighter Economic Future, of the congressionally requested  Committee on Prospering in the Global Economy of the 21st Century chaired by Norman R. Augustine, retired head of Lockheed Martin.

The conclusion of these reports is simple: “U.S. advantages in the marketplace and in science and technology have begun to erode. A comprehensive and coordinated federal effort is urgently needed to bolster U.S. competitiveness and pre-eminence in these areas so that the nation will consistently gain from the opportunities offered by rapid globalization.” Committee chair Norman R. Augustine said, "America must act now to preserve its strategic and economic security by capitalizing on its knowledge-based resources, particularly in S&T, and maintaining the most fertile environment for new and revitalized industries that create well-paying jobs. The building blocks of our economic leadership are wearing away. The challenges that America faces are immense."

In September, the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, Subcommittee on National Security and Foreign Affairs held a hearing entitled, “Made in the USA:Manufacturing Policy, the Defense Industrial Base, and U.S. National Security.” This hearing examined the national security implications of US manufacturing policy, with a focus on the security challenges posed by a shrinking defense industrial base and domestic supply chain. Witnesses warned of the dangers of a growing share of military components coming from abroad.

On December 9th, AEI held a program Can the United States Double Exports by 2015? The keynote was given by Jim McNerney, Chair of the President’s National Export Council, and chairman, president, and CEO of the Boeing Company. His talk echoed the concerns raised by the Gathering Storm report as well as congressional hearing.  He worried about American education and declining math and science test scores. He lamented the “shrinking American industrial base,” which he said was “historically one of the United States’ greatest strategic assets.” And at its heart was aerospace and defense technology and the “critical” encouragement of the Department of Defense.

His solution was “a national industrial strategy that focused on national technical leadership.” He was delighted that the US Senate had finally ratified treaties with the UK and Australia to streamline military sales by eliminating most export licenses. And commended the President for his efforts to streamline the export control process. In sum, the Boeing Chairman advocated defense technology sales as the engine for technological excellence and export growth.

As Mr. McNerney told an incredulous Washington Post reporter, there is a “strong connection between economic and military power." Foreign military sales were the remaining option to shelter American manufacturing. Unsaid was that defense technology is a highly protected, regulated, and government-funded industry. Weapons are not a free trade commodity. They represent an industry Washington can protect as carefully as other countries protect their consumer product manufacturers.

Mindy Kotler
APP Director

*This document is difficult to find on line, thus this retyped chapter from the National Academy of Engineering book from the Young Commission, The Positive sum strategy: harnessing technology for economic growth By Ralph Landau, Nathan Rosenberg.

N.B.: On December 16, Commerce Secretary Gary Locke and Vice President Biden present five US 2009 Baldridge Awards, the nation's highest honor for organizational performance excellence and innovation. The award promotes excellence in organizational performance, recognizes the achievements and results of US organizations, and publicizes successful performance strategies. You can watch the ceremony live at 3:00pm.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Washington winds down

CHINA’S IMPACT IN AFRICA: HOW DOES CHINA’S ROLE IN DEVELOPMENT IN AFRICA COMPARE WITH THE WEST’S? 12/16, 12:30-2:00pm, Lunch, Washington, DC. Sponsor: Society for International Development. Speakers: Ezra Suruma, Visiting Fellow at the Brookings Institution; Former Minister of Finance, Planning, and Economic Development in Uganda; Derek Scissors, Research Fellow at the Asian Studies Center and the Heritage Foundation, Adjunct Professor at George Washington University, and author of Where China Invests, And Why It Matters; Uche Igwe, Civil Society Liaison Officer, Nigerian Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative; Visiting Scholar at the Africa Studies Program, Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies, Johns Hopkins University.

CHINA'S UNBALANCED GROWTH: VICE OR VIRTUE? 12/16, 9:00-11:00am, Washington, DC. Sponsor: Carnegie Endowment. Speakers: Myron Brilliant, senior vice president of international affairs at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce; Yukon Huang, senior fellow at CEIP's Asia Program; Michael Pettis, senior associate at CEIP's Asia Program; and Douglas Paal, vice president of studies at CEIP.

FIRST QUADRENNIAL DIPLOMACY AND DEVELOPMENT REVIEW: STRENGTHENING AMERICA'S ROLE IN 21ST CENTURY. 12/16, Noon-1:15pm, Washington, DC. Sponsor: Woodrow Wilson Center. Speakers: Anne-Marie Slaughter, Director, Office of Policy Planning, US Department of State; John Sewell, Senior Scholar, Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars.

TONY BLAIR: "REFORM FOR RESULTS: HOW AFRICA'S LEADERS ARE TRANSFORMING GOVERNMENT AND HOW WE CAN HELP." 12/16, 9:30am, Washington, DC. Sponsor: Center for Global Development. Speaker: Tony Blair, Former British Prime Minister.

LEVERAGING TECHNOLOGY TO RECLAIM AMERICAN EDUCATIONAL LEADERSHIP. 12/16, 8:30am-12:30pm, Washington, DC. Sponsor: Brookings. Speakers: Darrell West, Vice President and Director, Governance Studies; Aneesh Chopra, US Chief Technology Officer, Office of Science and Technology Policy, White House; Roberto Rodriguez, Special Assistant to President Obama for Education, Domestic Policy Council, White House; Phil Weiser, Senior Advisor for Technology and Innovation to the National Economic Council Director, White House; James H. Shelton III, Assistant Deputy Secretary for Innovation and Improvement, US Department of Education; Karen Cator, Director, Office of Educational Technology, US Department of Education; Tom Kalil, Deputy Director for Policy, Office of Science and Technology Policy, White House; Terry Moe, Member, Koret Task Force on K–12 Education, Hoover Institution; William Bennett, Munro Professor of Political Science, Stanford University; Stacey Childress, Deputy Director of Education, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation; Dan Kaufman, Director, Information Processing Techniques Office, DARPA; Brett Pelham, Program Director, Head of Cyber-learning, National Science Foundation; Bror Saxberg, Chief Learning Officer, Kaplan, Inc; Ed Fish, CEO, ePals.com; Peter Levin, Chief Technology Officer, US Department of Veterans Affairs; Paul Peterson, Director of, Program on Education Policy and Governance, Harvard University; Marilyn Reznick, Executive Director, AT&T Foundation; Bob Wise, Former Governor (D-WV), Co-chair, Digital Learning Council. 

Sunday, December 12, 2010

This Monday's Washington

CASH ATTACK: POLITICAL ADVERTISING IN A POST-CITIZENS UNITED WORLD. 12/13, 8:45am-12:15pm, Washington, DC. Sponsor: FactCheck, Annenberg Public Policy Center. Speakers: Brooks Jackson, FactCheck.org; Ilyse Hogue, director of political advocacy and communications, MoveOn.org; Art Pulaski, executive secretary-treasurer, California Labor Federation; Khalid Pitts, director of strategic campaigns, Service Employees International Union; Carl Forti, political director, American Crossroads; Brad Todd, media consultant and top advisor to the NRCC; Rob Collins, president, American Action Network; Dr. Kathleen Hall Jamieson, director, Annenberg Public Policy Center.

HOUSE MAJORITY LEADER STENY HOYER: REMARKS ON ELECTION'S IMPACT. 12/13, 9:30am, Washington, DC. Sponsor: National Press Club. Speaker: House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer, D-MD.

NATIONAL ECONOMIC COUNCIL DIRECTOR LAWRENCE SUMMERS ADDRESS: PERSPECTIVES ON THE PAST TWO YEARS AND THOUGHTS ABOUT FUTURE. 12/13, 10:00am, Washington, DC. Sponsor: Economic Policy Institute (EPI). Speaker: Lawrence Summers, National Economic Council Director. Location: EPI, 1333 H St., NW, Suite 300, East Tower.

A CRITIQUE OF US POLICY IN AFGHANISTAN AND SOUTH ASIA. 12/13, 10:00-11:30am, Washington, DC. Sponsor: South Asia Center, Atlantic Council. Speaker: Derek Leebaert, MAP AG, author, To Dare and to Conquer: Special Operations and the Destiny of Nations from Achilles to Al Qaeda (2006).

EMERGING TRENDS IN RUSSIAN-AMERICAN TRADE RELATIONS. 12/13, Noon-1:00pm, Washington, DC. Sponsor: Woodrow Wilson Center. Speaker: Philip H. de Leon, President, Trade Connections International, LLC.

CLEAR GOLD: WATER AS A STRATEGIC RESOURCE IN MIDDLE EAST. 12/13, Noon, Washington, DC. Sponsor: CSIS. Speaker: retired Marine Corps Gen. Anthony Zinni.

SHADOW FINANCIAL REGULATORY COMMITTEE BRIEFING. 12/13, 12:30-1:30pm, Luncheon, Washington, DC. Sponsor: AEI. Speakers: Shadow Financial Regulatory Committee members: Co-Chairman George Kaufman, Loyola University Chicago; Co-Chairman Richard Herring, University of Pennsylvania; Marshall Blume, University of Pennsylvania; Charles Calomiris, AEI, Columbia University; Kenneth Dam, University of Chicago; Robert Eisenbeis, Cumberland Advisors; Edward Kane, Boston College; Christian Leuz, University of Chicago; Robert Litan, Brookings Institution; Kenneth Scott, Stanford University; Chester Spatt, Carnegie Mellon University.

MORE THAN MONEY: IMPACT INVESTING FOR DEVELOPMENT. 12/13, 4:00- 5:30pm, Washington, DC. Sponsor: Center for Global Development (CGD). Speakers: John Simon, Visiting Fellow, Center for Global Development; Wendy Abt, Deputy Assistant Administrator, USAID Bureau of Economic Growth, Agriculture and Trade; Randall Kempner, Director, Aspen Network of Development Entrepreneurs. 

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Join or Donate to APP

Asia Policy Point is a membership nonprofit 
studying the US policy relationship with Northeast Asia. 
APP is particularly interested in how the issues of security, history, and innovation 
intersect in the region and their affect on American foreign and economic policy.

Membership/Subscription benefits include

Asia Policy Calendar
Weekly email previewing the news, events, reports, and opinion important
to American Asia policy professionals

Conferences & Seminars

Research & Analysis

Morse Targets (c) 
of the Movers & Shakers of the Asia policy community

Assistance with Member Programs

Dissemination of Member Research to the Washington Community

Members visiting Washington can use APP facilities as their office away from home

Individual Membership/Subscription
Only $100/annually 
($105 through PayPal)

Donate to support our work

Thank You!
APP is a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt organization

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

China's Yuan

Asia Policy Point Presents

It is the dollar that is vastly overvalued not only against the Yuan, 
but also the yen, the won, and the Taiwanese dollar.

Eamonn Fingleton

Friday, December 10, 2010, 9:00-10:15 AM
Free, Reservations Required, Coffee
Eamonn Fingleton is a former editor for Forbes and the Financial Times, who has been monitoring East Asian economics since he moved to Tokyo in 1985. The following year he met China’s supreme leader Deng Xiaoping as a member of an American delegation led by New York Stock Exchange chairman John J. Phelan, Jr. In September 1987 he issued the first of several predictions of the Tokyo banking crash and went on in Blindside, a controversial 1995 analysis that was praised by J.K. Galbraith and Bill Clinton, to show that a heedless America was fast losing its formerly vaunted leadership in advanced manufacturing to Japan.

His 1999 book, In Praise of Hard Industries: Why Manufacturing, Not the Information Economy Is the Key to Future Prosperity, anticipated the American Internet stock crash of 2000.

In his 2008 book, In the Jaws of the Dragon: America’s Fate in the Coming Era of Chinese Hegemony, he issued a strong challenge to the conventional view among Washington policy-makers and think tank analysts that China is converging to Western economic and political forms and attitudes. Sandcastle Empire is Mr. Fingleton's blog.

Program Location
1120 Connecticut Avenue, NW
Suite 1200
(Blake Real Estate
Conference Room)
Washington, DC


Thursday, December 2, 2010

APP Member Institutions Present

LOW FERTILITY IN JAPAN, SOUTH KOREA AND TAIWAN: ECONOMIC AND STRATEGIC IMPLICATIONS. 12/3, 12:30-2:00 pm, lunch, Washington, DC. Sponsor: East West Center in Washington and Stimson Center. Speaker: Dr. Michael Sutton, Northeast Asia Visiting Fellow, East-West Center in Washington, and Research Fellow, WTO Research Center, Aoyama Gakuin University, Tokyo.

APEC AND JAPAN: STRUCTURAL CHANGES AND IMPLICATIONS FOR THE US-JAPAN RELATIONS. 12/7, 2:00-3:30pm, Washington, DC. Sponsor: U.S.-Japan Research Institute. Speaker: Dr. Takashi Terada, Waseda University, Organization for Asian Studies.

SINO-JAPANESE RELATIONS UNDER THE DPJ GOVERNMENT: A JAPANESE PERSPECTIVE. 12/9, 12:30-2:00pm, lunch, Washington, DC. Sponsor: East West Center in Washington. Speaker: Dr. Yasuhiro Matsuda, visiting scholar, Yale University and associate professor, Institute for Advanced Studies on Asia, University of Tokyo.

JAPAN & KOREA: DOMESTIC REFORM & GEOPOLITICAL SHIFTS.12/8, 6:00-8:00pm, New York, NY. Sponsor: Japan Society New York. Speakers: William Overholt, Senior Research Fellow, Harvard University Kennedy School of Government; Robert Fallon, Adjunct Professor, Columbia Business School; Director, Japan Society & Korea Society.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Kan: The marked man

With his support rate sliding into the danger zone of 26 and 27% in the latest Mainichi and Asahi polls, Japanese Prime Minister Naoto Kan may not have long to go before he reaches the 19% that his predecessor Yukio Hatoyama hit before resigning.

This time though, it is neither the US base issue in Okinawa nor a personal money scandal that is doing him in; Kan is in deep trouble for a perceived serious mishandling of his entire portfolio. He has been slammed on foreign policy – particularly ineptness in dealing with the row with China over the Senkakus – for a collapsed domestic policy agenda, marked by a stalled legislature and a disappointing budget-waste screening, and for the outright foolishness of some members of his Cabinet, one of whom resigned under fire on Nov. 22.

The press is speculating about “domino resignations” of more gaffe-prone cabinet members. Already the Kan administration’s longevity is being questioned, with the tabloids screaming about a January or so dissolution of a deadlocked Diet.

Domestic debacles
Kan's fate may now be in the hands of his enemies: the opposition parties in the Diet and a unanimously hostile press which has been mercilessly pummeling Kan and his cabinet for allegedly bungling just about everything on the Democratic Party of Japan’s (DPJ) policy agenda. A much touted supplemental budget to stimulate the economy never passed the Upper House, which opposition parties control.
Budgets, however, can be enacted with only Lower House approval according to the Constitution.

Even the DPJ’s pride and joy, a televised series of budget screening exercises to eliminate waste of taxpayers’ money fell disappointingly far short of a much publicized goal to free up 4 trillion yen in hidden funds and is now being dismissed by critics as nothing more than a “political performance.”

The latest embarrassment for Kan has been a string of gaffes and goofs by members of his cabinet that infuriated the opposition camp, the press, and public opinion. Things came to a head on Monday, Nov. 22, when Justice Minister Minoru Yanagida, whose in-house remarks to supporters ridiculing Diet proceedings was leaked to the media, was forced by Kan to resign his seat.

The opposition threatened to file and pass a censure motion against Yanagida in the Upper House. Kan himself is under opposition fire for appointing an unqualified and inept person to a cabinet position. Yanagida admitted on appointment that he had no background in law, having dropped out of the science course in college to work as sushi chef and then for a steel company where he worked as a labor activist until entering politics 20 years ago.

The Yanagida case has been singled out by the press as exemplifying Kan’s inability to make quick decisions on critical issues. Kan has been slammed consistently in the polls as “lacking leadership” on the policy front. The Prime Minister dilly-dallied on what to do about the Justice Minister’s fate for days, letting the Diet fall into chaos. It was only apparently until his aides pushed him hard for a decision that he met with them on Nov. 21 to seal the fate of Yanagida, who had continued to tell the press that he would “hang in there” and not resign.

Kan is criticized for leaving much of the political management of his administration to others, especially his chief cabinet secretary, Yoshito Sengoku, who reportedly made key decisions in handling the Senkaku issue. But Sengoku is also under pressure from the opposition to resign for recently calling the Self-Defense Forces (SDF) an “instrument of violence,” terminology that harks back to the old socialist camp in Japan.

Over the weekend, on Nov. 20, the sports daily Nikkan Gendai – a fairly accurate bellwether of political trends – ominously predicted “domino resignations” that would include not just Yanagida – but also others like “shadow prime minister” Sengoku for their gaffes and affronts to the Diet.

In six days last week, six cabinet members have had to render apologies a total of 10 times for inappropriate words and deeds. Though the Gendai’s prediction may not come true, such speculation further underscores the scathing environment in which the Prime Minister is struggling in to survive. Appearing on TV last week, Kan looked weary, his usual smile gone from his face. His answers in the Diet seemed labored.

At any rate, though Yanagida has resigned, the opposition camp has not blinked. It has continue to use dilatory tactics before the Diet session ends on December 3. Having filed and passe censure motions against Chief Cabinet Secretary Sengoku and Ministry of Land and Transportation Sumio Mabuchi. Kan has shrugged off the moves, but the Diet remains gridlocked. Looking to the regular session of the Diet in January, the opposition may file and pass more censure motions against cabinet Ministers. They may also summon former DPJ secretary general Ichiro Ozawa to the Diet to testify on his money scandal. Commenting on the current state of Diet affairs, Nikkan Gendai on Nov. 23 said it all: “The DPJ is acting just like the LDP used to.”

Foreign policy failures
Kan’s troubles of course started with the Senkaku row with China, compounded by the leak of a video of the collision between the Chinese trawler and Japan Coast Guard cutters. It became worse when President Medvedev broke with tradition and officially visited one the four disputed northern islands taken by the former Soviet Union from Japan in the closing days of World War II. The ambassador to Russia was recalled in protest for several days, but there was no follow-up from the prime minister.

Sadly, even the children’s section of a major daily poked fun at Kan by running a cartoon showing
a weak and trembling Kan seemingly cowered by President Medvedev as they traded claims to the northern territories.

Kan’s performance at the G20 in Seoul and his hosting of the APEC conference in Yokohama, too, were generally panned by the press as lifeless and stilted. A telling photograph of his bilateral meeting at APEC with China’s President Hu Jintao shows Kan hunched over his briefing folder, which he always seems to carry, reading out talking points to an obviously bored Hu. In an interview, former close Diet colleague Shusei Tanaka said that Kan did not have the mettle to be a prime minister.

Alliance bright spot
Sunday’s headlines in the conservative Yomiuri on Nov. 21 about a “deepening of the US-Japan alliance” may have been the only good news for the Kan administration in a long time. The daily, which has been a constant critic of the DPJ government’s alleged slights to the alliance, trumpeted that progress has been made in bilateral talks in Washington toward a joint security declaration next spring. The statement reportedly would include a new set of “common strategic objectives” (the former set was issued in 2005) that would specifically deal with China’s maritime push into waters near Japan.

As if to underscore the new security emphasis, Yomiuri and other papers featured photos of Chinese patrol ships cruising near the Senkaku Islands where they were warned away by Japanese Coast Guard vessels.

North Korea provided more cement for the US-Japan Alliance. The latest provocative act, an unprecedented shelling of a South Korean island near disputed waters, killed two soldiers and two civilians, while devastating a small village.

That does not mean that alliance affairs will now go smoothly for Kan. Following the Nov. 28 gubernatorial election in Okinawa, in which the LDP incumbent won, he must soon make a meaningful decision on the Futenma relocation agreement. This is likely to trigger another round of bickering between the DPJ government and that prefecture's citizens that continue to demand that the base be moved outside of Okinawa. Although this situation takes tact and patience, it appears that the only tool that Kan has in reserve is a panic button.

LDP not gaining
The press has already begun speculating about the possibility of the Diet in regular session being so blocked by opposition intransigence that Kan would have to resign his post (in favor of Seiji Maehara) or dissolve the Lower House for a snap election. A January scenario is predicted by some magazines.
Even former prime minister Hatoyama in an interview hinted at a spring dissolution of the Diet. Such a worst case scenario as a general election, however, would not necessarily be an automatic victory for the Liberal Democratic Party (LDP).

The former ruling party now leads the opposition camp and controls the Upper House. Even though the DPJ is losing favor with the public, the LDP has not benefited from the shift. In the Asahi’s latest poll, the LDP is indeed a point or so ahead of the DPJ in public support, but each party is only at the 16% range, far below their traditional levels.

Almost 60% of the electorate – a whopping percentage – do not support any party. These independent voters have been willing to switch parties in general elections and are responsible for the see-sawing of election results in recent years. If a snap election were to be called, it is unclear whether one party or the other would be the clear winner or loser. Indeed, a host of small parties that have proliferated in recent years might be the beneficiaries, further gumming up the political works in Japan.

Dr William Brooks
APP Senior Fellow

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Washington's Monday

NATO BEYOND THE LISBON SUMMIT. 11/29, 8:30am- 4:15pm, Lunch, Washington, DC. Sponsor: CSIS. Speakers: James G. Stavridis, NATO Supreme Allied Commander, Europe Commander, U.S. European Command; Michèle Flournoy, U.S. Undersecretary of Defense for Policy.

NUCLEAR FUTURES: IMMEDIATE AND LONG-TERM STEPS TO REDUCE NUCLEAR ARMS. 11/29, 10:00-11:30am, Washington, DC. Sponsor: Brookings Institution. Speakers: Thomas Donnelly, director of the Center for Defense Studies at American Enterprise Institute; Keith Payne, president of the National Institute for Public Policy; Michael O'Hanlon, director of research and senior fellow of foreign policy at 21st Century Defense Initiative; and Steven Pifer, senior fellow of foreign policy at the Center on the United States and Europe.

ACCELERATING INNOVATION TO HELP MEET US ENERGY NEES AND CLIMATE GOALS. 11/29,12:30-2:00pm, Washington, DC. Sponsor: National Press Club. Speaker: Energy Secretary Steven Chu. Location: National Press Club, 14th and F Streets NW, Ballroom. Contact: Melinda Cooke, 662-7516, mcooke@press.org ; $17 for National Press Club members, $28 for their guests and $35 for general admission,

Happening in Tokyo this week

GOVERNANCE OF CONTEMPORARY JAPAN. 12/1, 9:30am-5:30pm, Lunch, Tokyo, Japan. Sponsor: Institute of Social Science (ISS). Speakers: Akira Suehiro, Director, ISS; Kenji Hirashima, ISS; Margarita Estevez-Abe, Syracuse University, USA; Hiroko Takeda, University of Sheffield, UK; Iwao Sato, ISS; Mari Osawa, ISS; Wataru Tanaka, ISS; Yupana Wiwattanakantang, National University of Singapore; Masaki Nakabayashi, ISS; Roland Czada, University of Osnabruck, Germany; Kasian Tejapira, Thammasat University, Thailand; Colin Picker, University of New South Wales, Australia; Junji Nakagawa, ISS; Kaoru Iokibe, ISS. Location: University of Tokyo.

A BETTER PATH TO PEACE: DYNAMIC COLLABORATION BETWEEN PEACEKEEPING AND PEACE BUILDING. 12/1, 10:00am- 5:00pm, Tokyo, Japan. Sponsor: Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan. Speakers: Ms.Sadako Ogata, President of Japan International Cooperation Agency; Dr. Mutrif Siddig Ali Alnimeiri, State Minister of Humanitarian Affairs, Republic of the Sudan; Mr. Ouch Borith, Secretary of State, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Kingdom of Cambodia; Mr. Le Roy, Under-Secretary-General for Peacekeeping Operations, UN. Location: United Nations University.

SECURITY COOPERATION AND REGIONAL INTEGRATION IN ASIA. 12/3, 9:00am-7:00pm, Lunch, Tokyo, Japan. Sponsor: Waseda University Global COE Program. Speakers: Kaoru Kamata, President of Waseda University; Satoshi Amako, Professor, Graduate School of Asia-Pacific Studies (GSAPS), Waseda University; Hatsue Shinohara, Professor, Graduate School of Asia-Pacific Studies (GSAPS), Waseda University; Alastair Iain Johnston, Professor, Harvard University; Chikako Kawakatsu Ueki, Professor, Graduate School of Asia-Pacific Studies (GSAPS), Waseda University; Kang Choi, professor and Director-General for American Studies at the Institute of Foreign Affairs and National Security, Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade; Wang Yizhou, Professor, School of International Studies, Beijing University; Benjamin Schreer, Senior Lecturer, Strategic and Defence Studies Centre, Australian National University; Rumi Aoyama, Professor, The Research Institute of Current Chinese Affairs, School of Education, Waseda University; Takashi Terada, Professor of International Relations at Organization for Asian Studies, Waseda University; Rizal Sukma, executive director, CSIS. Location: International Conference Center, Waseda University.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

The US and China: The limits of pragmatism

Longtime Asia Policy Point member Dr. Robert Sutter finds in his new book, US-Chinese Relations: Perilous Past, Pragmatic Present that pragmatism will only get you so far with when you don't know what you believe to start with.

Here, he endeavors to help readers strike an appropriate balance in assessing the forces causing the United States and China to cooperate more closely, while differing and diverging on core issues.

He does so by reviewing the development of the US-China relationship, discerning the roots of important differences and practices in the past two centuries, and salient determinants in the four decades since the "opening" under Mao and Nixon.

Sutter portrays a very mixed historical record that shows the persistence of numerous unresolved issues and new differences that feed strong mutual wariness and considerable suspicion. These negative factors are only partly overridden by mutual pragmatism that shifts with circumstances.

In the current period, he assesses that circumstances probably are strong enough to sustain the outwardly positive interchange between the US and Chinese administrations, but moving forward with greater cooperation will remain hampered by differences and the absence of a clear consensus in either country on policy toward the other.

Robert Sutter. U.S.-CHINESE RELATIONS: PERILOUS PAST, PRAGMATIC PRESENT (Rowman and Littlefield 2010) 340 pages.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Monday Events

SCIENCE AND NUCLEAR DISARMAMENT: PROGRESS AND CHALLENGES. 11/8, 8:30am-5:30pm, Washington, DC. Sponsor: AAAS, Japanese Society for the Promotion of Science. Speakers: George Perkovich, Vice-President for Studies, Carnegie Endowment; Amb. Kenneth Brill, former US Representative to IAEA, Prof. Nobel Prize in Economics; Thomas Schelling, Univ. of Maryland; Dr. Richard Garwin, IBM Fellow Emeritus, member of Committee on International Security and Arms Control, National Academy of Science; Dr. Michiji Konuma, Prof. Emeritus, Keio University and Pugwash Council Member, 1992-2002; Prof. Souhou Machida, Hiroshima University; Amb. Nobuyasu Abe, Director, Center for Promotion of Disarmament and Non-Proliferation in Tokyo, former Japanese Representative to the IAEA.

NEXT STEPS IN ARMS CONTROL: NUCLEAR WEAPONS, MISSILE DEFENSE AND NATO. 11/8, 9:00am - 3:00pm, Lunch, Washington, DC. Sponsors: Arms Control Association; Heinrich Böll Stiftung North America. Speakers: Rose Gottemoeller, New START Chief Negotiator; Frank Rose, Deputy Assistant Secretary of State; Joan Rohlfing, Nuclear Threat Initiative; Amb. Richard Burt, START I Chief Negotiator; Morton Halperin, Open Society Institute; Adam Kobieracki, Polish Department of Foreign Affairs; Jiri Sedivy, NATO Assistant Secretary General for Defense Policy and Planning; Eugene Miasnikov, Moscow Center for Arms Control, Energy, and Environmental Studies.

JETRO'S 2010 REPORTS ON WORLD TRADE AND INVESTMENT. 11/8, Noon-2:00pm, Lunch, Washington, DC. Sponsors: Japan Commerce Association of Washington DC (JCAW). Speaker: Dai Higashino, Director, International Economic Studies, Japan External Trade Organization.

FAITH MISPLACED: BROKEN PROMISE OF US-ARAB RELATIONS, 1820-2003. 11/8, 6:00-7:15pm, Washington, DC. Sponsors: Middle East Policy Forum, George Washington University. Speaker: Ussama Makdisi, Arab-American Educational Foundation Chair in Arabic Studies and Professor of History, Rice University. 

THE ATLANTIC BLUEFIN TUNA CHALLENGE: SUSTAINING A HIGH-VALUE MIGRATORY SPECIES IN A HIGHLY IMPACTED OCEAN. 11/8, Noon-2:00, Washington, DC. Sponsor: Environmental Law Institute. Speakers: Lee Crockett, Director, Federal Fisheries Policy Reform Project, Pew; Shana Miller, Executive Director, Tag-A-Giant Foundation; Robert Hayes, General Counsel, Coastal Conservation Association; Rich Ruais, Executive Director, American Bluefin Tuna Association and Blue Water Fishermen’s Association; Dr. Guillermo Diaz, National Marine Fisheries Service, NOA; Moderator: Jordan Diamond, Assistant Director, Ocean Program, Environmental Law Institute.

THE EMERGING ARCHITECTURE OF ASIAN MULTILATERALISM. 11/8, 5:00-6:15pm, Washington, DC. Sponsor: Center for Peace and Security Studies, Georgetown University. Speaker: Professor Amitav Acharya of the School of International Service at American University.

CHINA: STATE MEDIA - REACHING OUT. 11/8, 7:00-8:30pm, Washington. DC. Sponsor: Institute for Public Diplomacy & Global Communication, George Washington University. Speaker: Jim Laurie, Director of Broadcasting, Journalism and Media Studies Center of the University of Hong Kong. 

Friday, November 5, 2010

This Week in New York

TWISTS & TURNS IN JAPANESE POLITICS: IMPLICATIONS FOR JAPAN, & US REGION. 11/8, 6:00-8:30pm, Reception, New York, NY. Sponsors: Japan Society, Asia Society. Speakers: Tobias Harris, Editor, Observing Japan, Ph.D Candidate, Political Science, MIT; Yinan He, Assistant Professor, Whitehead School of Diplomacy and International Relations, Seton Hall University; Jun Saito, Assistant Professor, Department of Political Science, Yale University; Sheila Smith, Senior Fellow for Japan Studies, Council on Foreign Relations; Edward Lincoln, Director, Japan-US Center, Stern School of Business, NYU.

US NAVY'S NEW ENERGY REVOLUTION. 11/9, 11:30am-1:00pm, Luncheon, New York, NY. Sponsor: Carnegie Council for Ethics in International Affairs. Speaker: Ray Mabus, US Secretary of the Navy, former US Ambassador to Saudi Arabia, former governor of Mississippi.

WEALTH MANAGERS GRAPPLE WITH JAPAN’S SHIFTING GENERATION.11/10, 6:00-9:00pm, Reception, New York, NY. Sponsor: Japan Society. Speakers: Johm Fennelly, Global Managing Director of Wealth Management, Thomson Reuters; Oki Matsumoto, Representative Director and CEO, Monex Group, Inc; Alicia Ogawa, Adjunct Associate Professor, School of International and Public Affairs, Columbia University.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Greening China

Michael Davidson, formerly a Visiting Fellow at Asia Policy Point, is now the China Climate Fellow at the Natural Resources Defense Council in Washington. He supports NRDC’s 30-person Beijing staff on a host of environmental and energy-related issues, and reports on U.S.-China environmental protection efforts to the policy community and the public. Michael maintains a blog, East Winds.

This week, he will speak twice in Washington on U.S.-China climate relations.

GREEN DEVELOPMENT IN CHINA: INSTITUTIONS AND U.S.-CHINA COOPERATION. 11/4, 9:00am-5:30pm, Washington, DC. Sponsors: Chinese Association for Public Affairs, Professional Association for China’s Environment (PACE), Union of Chinese-American Professional Organizations, World Bank-IMF Chinese Staff Association, Chinese Environmental Scholars and Professionals Network. Speakers: Zhang Yesui (invited), Chinese Ambassador to the United States; He Jianxiong (invited), China ED, IMF; Yang Shaolin (invited), China ED, World Bank; Christopher R. Ryan, President, Geo-Solutions Inc.; Nora F. Savage, Nano Team Lead, Office of Research and Development, US EPA; Tom Lewis, Senior VP, Louis Berger Group, Inc.; Jianchang Ye, Senior Process Engineer, Brentwood Industries Inc.; William Chandler, President, Transition Energy; Xiaodong Wang, Senior Energy Specialist, World Bank; Robert Dixon, Team Leader, GEF; David Wheeler, Senior Fellow, Center for Global Development; Pamela Franklin, Team Leader, Climate Change Division, US EPA; Michael Davidson, China Climate Fellow, National Resource Defense Council; Ming Yang, Senior Environmental Economist, GEF; Xiaomei Tan, World Resources Institute. Moderators: Hua Wang, President, Chinese Association for Public Affairs; Chao Wang, Vice President, Chinese Environmental Scholars and Professionals Network; Zhihong Zhang, Senior Climate Change Specialist, GEF. Location: International Monetary Fund HQ-1, 700 19th Street, NW, BL-702. RSVP.

U.S.-CHINA CLIMATE RELATIONS IN THE RUN-UP TO CANCUN. 11/5, 9:30-11:30am, Washington, DC. Sponsor: China Environment Forum (Woodrow Wilson Center). Speakers: Jake Schmidt, International Climate Policy Director, Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC); Teng Fei, Institute for Energy, Environment and Economy, Tsinghua University; Michael Davidson, China Climate Fellow, NRDC. Location: Wilson Center, 1300 Pennsylvania Ave, NW, 5th Floor Conference Room.

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Tokyo Seminars

MAO’S GREAT FAMINE: A HISTORY OF CHINA¹S MOST DEVASTATING CATASTROPHE. 11/4, 5:30-7:00pm, Tokyo. Sponsor: Sophia University Institute of Comparative Culture. Speaker: Prof. Frank Dikötter, University of Hong Kong, Chair Professor of Humanities at University of Hong Kong, Professor of Modern History of China.

DRAWING THE BIG PICTURE: A DIPLOMAT’S VIEW. 11/8, 1:30-3:00pm, Tokyo. Sponsor: Int'l House of Japan. Speaker: Tanaka Hitoshi, Senior Fellow, Japan Center for International Exchange.

RETHINKING GLOBAL CHALLENGES: ASIAN INTELLECTUALS IN DIALOGUE. 11/8, 1:30-5:30pm, Tokyo. Sponsor: International House of Japan. Speakers: Seki Kaoruko, Humanitarian Policy Officer, United Natioms; Ahn Byungok, Head, Institute of Climate Change Action; Guo Zhiyuan, Attorney / Chief Arbitrator / Professor and Director, Center for Law Application, Anhui University; Kong Rithdee, Film Critic / Columnist, Bangkok Post; Fouzia Saeed, Director, Mehergarh; Sasanka Perera, Professor of Anthropology and Head, Department of Sociology, University of Colombo.

BEYOND CURRENT CRISIS IN SINO-JAPANESE RELATIONS. 11/8, 7:00pm, Tokyo, JP. Sponsor: ICAS, Temple U. Speakers: Kazuhiko Togo, Global Affairs Institute at Kyoto Sangyo University; Andrew Oros, Washington College, visiting professor at Keio University.

JAPANESE TRANSLATION OF TABOO! THE HIDDEN CULTURE OF A RED LIGHT AREA. 11/11, 6:30-8:00pm, Tokyo. Sponsor: International House of Japan. Speaker: Dr. Fouzia Saeed, Director, Mehergarh. Shew was head of the UN Gender Program in Pakistan, served as Pakistan Country Director for Action Aid and currently is an international consultant in the field of Gender and Development. She is the author of the book TABOO! The Hidden Culture of a Red Light Area.

JAPAN IN SEARCH OF ITS NEW ROLE IN WORLD AFFAIRS: FOREIGN POLICY OPTIONS TWENTY YEARS AFTER END OF COLD WAR. 11/13, 9:30am-6:00pm, Tokyo. Sponsor: ICU. Speakers: Norihiko Suzuki, ICU President; Wilhelm Vosse, SSRI Director; Yoshihide Soeya, Keio University; Tadashi Anno, Sophia University; Paul Midford, NTNU, Norway; Keiichi Ichikawa, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Japan; Itaru Umezu, Chair; William T. Tow, Australian National University, Australia; Takashi Shiraishi, Council for Science and Technology Policy; Andrew Oros, Washington College, USA; Reinhard Drifte, University of Newcastle and RUSI, UK; Yoichiro Sato, Ritsumeikan Asia Pacific University; Mohammed Badrul Alam, Jamia Millia Islamia University, India.

TURBULENCE IN GLOBAL AIRLINE INDUSTRY: DEALING WITH PROBLEMS FACING JAPAN'S AIRLINES. 11/15, 4:40-6:10pm, Tokyo. Sponsor: GRIPS Forum. Speaker: Kenichiro Hamada, President, CEO, ANA Strategic Research Institute Co., Ltd.

EXPLAINING COLLAPSE OF LDP REGIME. 11/18, 6:30pm, Tokyo, JP. Sponsor: German Institute for Japan Studies. Speaker: Jun Saito, assistant professor in Department of Political Science, Yale University.

Smith College has nuts


To support scholarships for women, 
The Smith College Club of Washington 
sells premium shelled pecans and chocolate covered pecans.

APP's Director is a Smith College graduate and a Washington pecan rep. 

To order, contact her directly. Delivery can be arranged.

Plain, Shelled Jumbo Pecans - 1 pound bag - Only $8 - $2.35 tax-deductible

Chocolate-covered Jumbo Pecans - 12 oz gold & green foil bag - Only $7 - $2.80 tax-deductible

Please make checks out to SCCW (Smith College Club of Washington)

Kyoto Conference - November 4

Can Asia Save the World Economy?

Since the ‘Lehman Shock’, the world economy has been in a state of depression, and the Japanese economy has suffered from a strong yen, low stock prices, and high unemployment rates. The U.S.-Japan Research Institute, an APP member, hosts  an international symposium commemorating the APEC forum being held in Japan. Speakers, from private companies and universities both in and outside Japan  will discuss the the Asia-Pacific region and propose solutions for improving their economies.

Thursday, November 4, 2010 2:40-6:15pm (Registration Opens 2:00pm)

Venue Soushikan Conference Hall, Kinugasa Campus, Ritsumeikan University,
                  56-1 Toji-in Kitamachi, Kita-ku, Kyoto, Japan

Supported by :

Keio University, Kyoto University, Ritsumeikan University,
The University of Tokyo, Waseda University

Admission FREE, Simultaneous interpretation provided



 MC: Katsuichi Uchida, USJI President, Vice President, Waseda University

 2:40 pm - Speech from the chair
         Junichi Mori
             USJI Vice chair, Vice President, Kyoto University

 2:50 pm - Panel Discussion (Session 1) : Economic Network in Asia and its Economic

         Moderator: Ryuhei Wakasugi
          Professor, Kyoto University

          Nobuhiko Hibara

          USJI Operating Adviser, Associate Professor, Ritsumeikan University

          Takehiko Inoue
             Panasonic Corporation

          Kouhei Shiino
             Japan External Trade Organization: JETRO

          Shinsaku Sugiyama
             Professor, Ritsumeikan University

 4:20 pm - Panel Discussion (Session 2) :APEC, East Asia Consortium and Global Imbalance

          Moderator: Keiji Nakatsuji
             USJI Operating Adviser, Professor, Ritsumeikan University

           Randall Henning

           Peterson Institute for International Economics: IIE,
               Professor, American University, United States

           Nobuhiro Hiwatari
            Professor, The University of Tokyo

           Masayuki Tadokoro
               Professor, Keio University

           Shujiro Urata
                Professor, Waseda University

           Xiaopeng Yin
                Associate Professor, University of International
                Business & Economics, China

   5:45 pm - Commemorative Speech
         Han Sung-Joo
             Ex-Foreign Minister, Republic of Korea,
             Professor Emeritus, Korea University

 6:10 pm - Closing Remarks

             Cassim Monte

             USJI Vice Chair, Vice Chancellor, Ritsumeikan University

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Smith College in Asia

Smith College in Northampton, Massachusetts is one of the famous Seven Sisters on the forefront of women's education. Smith was the college of Gloria Steinem, Nancy Reagan, Sally Quinn, and countless other trouble-makers and doers.

President Carol T. Christ will travel to Asia in November to celebrate Smith College's longstanding ties to Asia. She will be in Tokyo (9), Seoul (11), Hong Kong (13), Singapore (17), Mumbai (19), and Delhi (23).

On this special six-city tour, President Christ will outline her vision for making Smith the college of choice for exceptional young women from around the world. Learn about Smith's international heritage, the important role Asia will play in Smith's future, and how Smith intends to educate today's students to be the global leaders of tomorrow.

Each event will include a panel discussion with prominent local alumnae who will reflect on how Smith prepared them for life beyond the Grécourt Gates. Topics include:
  • women's role in the new world economy
  • the relevance of a US education in today's global community
  • how a liberal arts education makes better scientists and engineers
  • the role alumnae activists have played in Asia
We encourage all APP members and blog readers to attend one of these talks!

All India

President Barak Obama will travel to India November 5-8, and Washington is awash in programing.

TOWARD REALISTIC U.S.-INDIA RELATIONS.10/26, 2:00-3:30pm, Washington, DC. Sponsor: Carnegie (CEIP). Speaker: George Perkovich, Vice President for studies and director of the Nuclear Policy Program, Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. 

OBAMA IN INDIA—BUILDING A GLOBAL PARTNERSHIP: CHALLENGES, RISKS, OPPORTUNITIES. 10/28, 4:00-5:30pm, Washington, DC. Sponsor: Carnegie Endowment. Speakers: Ashley J. Tellis, Carnegie; Daniel Markey, senior fellow for India, Pakistan and South Asia at Council on Foreign Relations. 

NEXT STRATEGIC FRONTIER: EMERGING RIVALRIES IN INDIAN OCEAN? 10/28, 9:30am-Noon, Breakfast, Washington, DC. Sponsor: AEI. Speakers: Dan Blumenthal, AEI; Sunil Dasgupta, University System of Maryland; Andrew Shearer, Lowy Institute for International Policy; Toshi Yoshihara, US Naval War College; Thomas Mahnken, US Naval War College; Jim Thomas, Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments; Andrew Winner, US Naval War College. 

MONSOON: INDIAN OCEAN AND FUTURE OF AMERICAN POWER. 11/9, 6:00-8:30pm, Washington, DC. Sponsor: CNAS. Speakers: Robert Kaplan, author, Monsoon: The Indian Ocean and the Future of American Power; Tom Gjelten, NPR’s award-winning correspondent.

DOES THE ELEPHANT DANCE? CONTEMPORARY INDIAN FOREIGN POLICY. 11/1, 5:30-7:00pm Sponsor: South Asia Studies Program, SAIS. Speaker: Ambassador David M. Malone, President of Canada’s International Development Research Centre and Former Canadian High Commissioner to India

Japan's Evolving Security

Two new books by APP members on Japanese security policy were published this month.

Yuki Tatsumi Senior Associate of the East Asia Program, Stimson Center has co-authored with Andrew Oros of Washington College a primer on Japanese security policy, Global Security Watch Japan: A Reference Handbook. It is an introduction to the history and dialogue of military security in Japan over the past 20 years. 

Ms. Tatsumi will give a presentation of the book on October 28th, 4:00-6:00pm, in Washington, DC at the Reischauer Center for East Asian Studies, SAIS (Rome Building Room 806, 1619 Massachusetts Ave., NW), EVOLVING JAPAN’S SECURITY POLICY INFRASTRUCTURE

The book ends with the beginning of the Kan Administration in June 2010. Thus, some of the assumptions and "constants" of Japanese security policy may soon change. As the DPJ consolidates its power and reorganizes its governing structures, new organizations, policies, and goals will appear. In fact, the very week the book was issued, National Strategy Minister Koichiro Gemba announced a reorganization of the government's policymaking system. Although it will take time to see if this makes a difference, the restructuring does provide, as the Shisaku blogger notes, "a little more clarity" to DPJ national policy.

Richard Bush, director of Brookings' Center for Northeast Asian Policy Studies (CNAPS) released his book on Chinese-Japanese rivalry in the East China sea, The Perils of Proximity China-Japan Security Relations, at Brookings seminar on October 18th (transcript and audio available). 

He reviews a long and sometimes brutal history, where they now continue to eye each other warily as the balance of power tips toward Beijing. They cooperate and compete at the same time, but if competition deteriorates into military conflict, the entire world has much to lose. He evaluates the chances of armed conflict between China and Japan, presenting in stark relief the dangers it would pose and revealing the steps that could head off such a disastrous turn of events.

In his October Brookings Policy Brief #177, China-Japan Security Relations, he outlines much of the argument he makes in his book.