Sunday, September 27, 2015

Japanese education ideology

Takahashi Shiro
Ideology is important to Prime Minister Abe Shinzo and his Administration. Nearly 90% of Abe's cabinet participate in highly ideological groups focused on recapturing the traditional Japanese spirit. These are not just politicians who want to govern Japan; they want to recast it.

Among the ideologies supported by PM Abe and his Education Minister Shimomura is Oyagaku founded by Shiro Takahashi [ 高橋 史朗] (b. 1950) in the late-1990s. Minister Shimomura is head of the secretariat of Oyagaku caucus in the Diet (Caucus to Promote Parental Education [親学推進議員連盟 Oya gaku suishin giin renmei], aka Home Education Support Caucus).

Takahashi, a professor at Meisei University and former deputy chairman of the revanchist Japanese Society for History Textbook Reform, promotes the concept of “Oya Gaku” (Parenting Studies). It asserts that parents need to be educated about correct childrearing. “Correct” in this context means emulating pre-war education.

Takahashi and his supporters believe that today’s parents have been infected by Nikkyouso (Teacher Union)-sponsored leftist ideology during their own school years and, as a result, many are unfit parents. Although not a scientist and his work is not peer-reviewed, he has pioneered his own “science” of autism and other developmental delays in children and claims that they can be reversed. He argues that developmental delay is a product either of a lack of effort by parents or of “Westernization” undermining Japan’s traditional values.

Takahashi is an advocate for a return to pre-war Japanese education practices. He believes that the United States has crippled Japan and infused it with a sense of masochism, since the Occupation. He expresses reservations about sex education and gender equality. He has called the movement away from gender discrimination a tool used by Japan's occupiers to disarm the country psychologically.

Takahashi is a member of Abe’s Gender Equality Council in the Cabinet Office’s Gender Equality Bureau. He is a also a frequent speaker at anti-Comfort Women rallies in concert with Nadashiko Action. He participated in their press conference in New York earlier this year. He is a board member of the Japan Institute for National Fundamentals and is a signatory of the Institute's September 26, 2015 advertorial, "Time to hit back at international aspersions 'over comfort women'" in several Japanese newspapers, including English-language ones.

Happy Science's Liberty Web interviewed Mr. Takahashi last fall in an article entitled "GHQ Completely Occupied the Japanese Spirit." He states that "GHQ nurtured Japanese who could be used for anti-Japanese propaganda, and would, even after they were gone, expand the “occupational policies” by the Japanese themselves, and set the direction so that they would self-destruct." The result he believes created a
chain of negative post-war education for over three generations, the Japanese have lost their pride and confidence, and lost their traditional morality and spirit. Tradition and ethics governing the raising of children has been destroyed, and the spirit of children and grandchildren has been devastated. 
He calls on the Japanese "to take back the foundation of the Japanese spirit."

Books by Mr. Takahashi include:

Traditional Japanese Education and Brain Science – Developmental Delay Can Be Cured
[ 脳科学から見た日本伝統的子育ってー発達障害の予防、改善できる Nou kagaku kara mita Nippon no dentouteki ko-sodate – Hattatsu shougai ha yobou, kaizen dekiru] (Moralogy Institute, 2012)

What USA Did During The Occupation So That Japan Would Never Be Able To Stand Up Again [日本が二度と立ち上がれないようにアメリカが占領期に行ったこと, Nippon ga nido to tachiagarenai youni Amerika ga senryo-ki ni okonatta koto] (Chichi Shuppan, Jan 2014)

LATER: Expert on Nanking for Foreign Ministry before UNESCO
N.B.: Takahashi is not a professor of history

Akahata on November 10 reported that Japan participated as an observer in the meetings of the UNESCO International Advisory Committee held on October 4-6 in Abu Dhabi in United Arab Emirates, and that Meisei University Professor Takahashi Shiro who criticizes textbook descriptions of the Nanjing Massacre as “masochistic” and “anti-Japanese” accompanied the government delegation there. You can find his name in the final report under "observers" as the only non-governmental member of the Japanese delegation.

Whereas we have not yet found a copy of this government paper, this article by Takahashi published by the Japan Institute for National Fundamentals, Speaking Out #332, October 20, 2015, Japan Should Urgently Organize Team to Deal with UNESCO Problem is reflective. He outlines the six proposals he made upon his return from the UNESCO conference to a joint meeting of the ruling Liberal Democratic Party’s Foreign Affairs Division, the Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology Division, the Headquarters for Regional Diplomatic and Economic Partnership, the Global Information Study Committee and the Special Committee for Recovery of Japan's Honor and Credibility. Five of these suggestions have been enacted.

The following article tries to point out the difficulties of involving Takahashi in government policy.

Japanese statement protesting UNESCO registration of Nanjing Massacre docs backfires
Mainichi Shimbun
November 6, 2015

Documents the Japanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs and experts submitted to UNESCO in protest of its registration of China's "Documents of Nanjing Massacre" in its Memory of the World (MOW) program are backfiring, as it includes a statement that cites a scholar known for views denying that the massacre even took place.

The statement in question was compiled by Meisei University professor Shiro Takahashi, and was submitted in late September to the International Advisory Committee of the MOW Program alongside a statement from Kuni Sato of Japan's permanent delegation to UNESCO.

Based on his own analysis of a portion of the documents submitted by China to UNESCO for the Nanjing Massacre's registration in the MOW program that was released to the public, Takahashi wrote that it was impossible to determine the authenticity of the contents.

The statement not only noted the "publication of a book in which some 100 Japanese soldiers deny that such a 'massacre' took place," but also stated that the contents of a diary kept by a Chinese woman who was in Nanjing at the time was . mostly based on hearsay Furthermore, Takahashi cited Shudo Higashinakano - a professor at Asia University known for his views denying the Nanjing Massacre - and expressed doubts about the dates of the photos China submitted to UNESCO and their relation to the massacre. [APP Editor: Higashinakano was sued and lost a defamation suit by a Nanjing Massacre victim. The Supreme Court judge severely reprimanded him for telling falshoods.]

As for the lieutenant general from the Imperial Japanese Army who was sentenced to death in the Nanjing War Crimes Tribunal for masterminding the killing of 300,000 Chinese, Takahashi concluded, "His troops were ordered to change course when they were 500 meters inside the City Wall of Nanjing, so it was physically impossible to carry out a massacre. "

University of Shizuoka professor Hisaki Kenmochi, whose research focuses on comparisons between interpretations of history in Europe, Japan, China and South Korea, said he was concerned about the image Takahashi's statement may give to the world. "The statement gives the impression that Japan is siding with the school of thought that the Nanjing Massacre did not take place. This makes it possible for the world to view the situation as the same as the school of thought denying that the Holocaust ever took place. "

Hirotaka Watanabe, an international relations professor at Tokyo University of Foreign Studies, also expressed his misgivings, saying, "There's a possibility that the statement made the world's impression of Japan worse, which is the opposite of what the Japanese government meant to do."

Takahashi, however, is unmoved by his critics. "People may criticize Higashinakano's scholarship, but I believe that what I cited from his work has been verified." Meanwhile, a source from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said, "Takahashi maintains a good balance compared to other conservative scholars. "

The Japanese government officially recognizes that it can not deny that Japanese soldiers killed Chinese civilians and looted in Nanjing. In the 2010 Japan-China Joint History Research Committee meeting, scholars from the Japanese side set the maximum possible number of civilian victims at 200,000, with estimates of around 40,000 or 20,000. The Chinese scholars of the committee maintained that at least 300,000 were killed.

On Nov. 5, Japanese Minister of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology Hiroshi Hase made a speech at UNESCO's General Conference in Paris, and urged party states to engage in debate to improve the MOW registration process, including increased transparency.

Monday in Washington, September 28, 2015

MYANMAR IN THE ASIA-PACIFIC POLICY CONTEXT. 9/28-29, Lunch, Dinner. Sponsors: U.S.-Korea Institute at SAIS, East-West Center in Washington. Speakers: Derek Mitchell, Ambassador, Embassy of U.S., Yangon, Myanmar; Dr. Satu Limaye, Director, East-West Center in Washington; Michael Schiffer, Senior Adviser and Counselor, Senate Foreign Relations Committee; Neena Shenai, Trade Counsel, U.S. House Committee on Ways and Means; Jeremy Woodrum, Deputy Chief of Staff, Representative Joseph Crowley (NY-14); Paul Grove, Subcommittee Clerk, State, Foreign Operations, and Related Programs, Senate Committee on Appropriations; Özge Güzelsu, Counsel, Senate Armed Services Committee; Dr. David Steinberg, Distinguished professor of Asian Studies emeritus,Georgetown University, Visiting Scholar, SAIS; Dr. Chaw Chaw Sein, Chair, International Relations Department, Yangon University; Dr. Zaw Oo, Senior Research Fellow and Director of Research, Centre for Economic and Social Development, Myanmar Development Resource Institute; Win Min, Senior Research Associate, Vahu Development Institute; William Wise, Associate Director, Southeast Asia Studies Program, SAIS; Keith Luse, Executive Director, National Committee on North Korea; Dr. Kurt Campbell, Chairman and CEO, Asia Group; Dr. Michael Green, Senior Vice President for Asia and Japan Chair, CSIS; Bradley Babson, Consultant; Kavi Chongkittavorn, Senior Fellow, Institute of Security and International Studies; Dr. K. Yhome, Fellow, Observer Research Foundation; Iwata Yasushi, Director for Asia and Pacific, Trade Policy Bureau, METI; Dr. Narushige Michishita, Japan Scholar, Asia Program, Wilson Center; Troy Stangarone, Senior Director, Congressional Affairs & Trade, KEI; Dr. Chul Chung, Vice President, Department of Asia-Pacific, Korea Institute for International Economic Policy (KIEP), Vice Chair, KOPEC; Dr. Suh Sang-Mok, Special Adviser to KOICA and Former Minister of Health and Welfare; Dr. Lim Wonhyuk, Professor, KDI School of Public Policy and Management; Dr. Carla Freeman, Executive Director, Foreign Policy Institute, SAIS; Yun Sun, Senior Associate, East Asia Program, Stimson; Dr. Xiong Jie, Central Party School, China.

MEETING THE CHALLENGES OF GLOBAL POLIO ERADICATION. 9/28, 8:30am-2:30pm, Lunch. Sponsor: Global Health Policy Center, CSIS. Speakers: J. Stephen Morrison, Senior Vice President and Director, Global Health Policy Center, CSIS; Dr. Thomas Frieden, Director, U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention; Sir Liam Donaldson, Chairman, Independent Monitoring Board of the Global Polio Eradication Initiative; Steve Cochi, Senior Advisor, Global Immunization Division, U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention; Andrew Etsano, Incident Manager, National Polio Emergency Operations Center, Nigeria Nata Menabde, Executive Director, WHO office at UN; Moderator: Nellie Bristol, Senior Fellow, Global Health Policy Center, CSIS; Michel Zaffran, Coordinator, Expanded Program on Immunization, WHO; Jon Andrus, Executive Vice President, Sabin Vaccine Institute; Stephen Sosler, Immunization Technical Advisor, Gavi, Vaccine Alliance; Moderator: Heidi Larson, Senior Lecturer, London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine; Muhammad Pate, former Nigerian Minister of State for Health; Elias Durry, Senior Emergency Advisor on Polio for EMRO, WHO; Hamid Jafari, Director, Polio Operations and Research, WHO.

NEW FRONTIERS IN SCIENCE DIPLOMACY – OPPORTUNITIES FOR U.S.-E.U. COOPERATION. 9/28, 8:30am-6:00pm, Washington, DC. Sponsors: SAIS, Johns Hopkins University; BILAT USA 2.0. Speakers: TBA. 

HISTORY AND SECURITY: PRIME MINISTER ABE'S 70TH ANNIVERSARY STATEMENT AND JAPAN'S GLOBAL ROLE. 9/28, Noon-2:00pm, Lunch. Sponsor: Sasakawa Peace Foundation USA (SPFUSA). Speakers: Shinichi Kitaoka, President, International University of Japan; Kenneth Pyle, Henry M. Jackson Professor of History, Asian Studies Professor, University of Washington.

IRAQ, TURKEY, AND THE U.S.: STRENGTHENING THE ANTI-ISIS COALITION. 9/28, 12:30-2:00pm, Lunch. Sponsor: Middle East Institute. Speakers: Anthony Cordesman, Arleigh A. Burke Chair in Strategy, Center for Strategic & International Studies; Bilgay Duman, Researcher, Middle East Strategic Research Center (ORSAM); Saban Kardas, Associate Professor of International Relations, TOBB University of Economics and Technology, Ankara; Hicran Kazanci, Coordinator and Turkey Representative, Iraqi Turkmen Front; Gonul Tol (Moderator) Founding Director, Middle East Institute Center for Turkish Studies.

KOREA AND THE TPP: THE INEVITABLE PARTNERSHIP. 9/28, 12:15-1:30pm. Sponsor: Peterson Institute for International Economics (PIIE). Speakers: Jeffrey J. Schott, Peterson Institute for International Economics; Il Houng Lee, Korea Institute for International Economic Policy.

CHALLENGES AND VOICES FOR ASIA’S FUTURE. 9/28, 2:15-5:00pm. Sponsor: Asia Foundation. Speakers: 2015 class of Asia Foundation Development Fellows from Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Cambodia, Indonesia, Mongolia, Myanmar, Nepal, Pakistan, the Philippines, South Korea, and Thailand.

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HIDDEN PEOPLE OF NORTH KOREA: NEW ECONOMY, OLD POLITICS. 9/28, 3:00-4:30pm. Sponsor: Center for East Asia Policy Studies, Brookings. Speaker: Kongdan Oh, Nonresident Senior Fellow, Brookings, Co-author, The Hidden People of North Korea: Everyday Life in the Hermit Kingdom; Moderator: Katharine H.S. Moon, SK-Korea Foundation Chair, Korea Studies, Senior Fellow, Brookings.

HARD POWER: CHALLENGES AND OPPORTUNITIES FOR A STRONGER U.S. MILITARY. 9/28, 3:30-5:00pm. Sponsor: The Pew Charitable Trusts. Speakers: John Conger, Acting Assistant Secretary of Defense for Energy, Installations and Environment; Dennis V. McGinn, Assistant Secretary of the Navy for Energy, Installations and Environment; Miranda A.A. Ballentine, Assistant Secretary of the Air Force for Installations, Environment and Energy; Richard G. Kidd IV, Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Army for Energy and Sustainability; John Warner, Senior Adviser to the Pew Project on National Security, Energy and Climate.

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BOOK TALK: THE NEW TSAR. 9/28, 4:00-5:00pm. Sponsor: Kennan Institute, Wilson Center. Speaker: author, Steven Lee Myers, Public Policy Scholar. 

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CHINA-KOREA COOPERATION ON GLOBAL GOVERNANCE: PRIORITIES FOR THE G20 CHINA SUMMIT IN 2016. 9/28, 4:00-5:30pm. Sponsor: Asan Institute for Policy Studies. Speakers: Mo Jongryn, Senior Research Fellow, Center for Global Governance, Asan Institute for Policy Studies Vice President for International Affairs, Yonsei University; Yukon Huang, Senior Associate, Asia Program, Carnegie; Gilbert Rozman, Editor-in-Chief, The Asan Forum; Moderator: Eileen Block, Assistant Director, Washington, D.C. Office, Asan Institute for Policy Studies.

BOOK TALK: 1944: FDR AND THE YEAR THAT CHANGED HISTORY. 9/28, 7:00pm. Sponsor: Politics and Prose Bookstore. Speaker: Jay Winik, Author. 

Non-DC Events: With the Japanese government's Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO) sponsorship of the daily Foreign Policy Situation Report, more Washingtonians are becoming aware of this Japanese governmental information gathering and dissemination organization.

INVEST JAPAN SEMINAR 2015 IN NEW YORK. 9/28, 9:00-11:00am, Lunch, New York. Sponsor: Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO). Speakers: Toshiyuki Yokota, President, JETRO New York; Jamie Dimon, Chariman, President & CEO of JP Morgan Chase & Co.; Eikei Suzuki, Governor of Mie Prefecture; Douglas Beck, Vice President of Sales for North America, Japan, and Northeast Asia, Apple Inc.; Fumiko Hayashi, Mayor of Yokohama City; Eran Westman, CEO of Vidyo, Inc.

This October, the UN will focus on a new development agenda and a report on the 15-year evaluation of the UN Security Council Resolution 1325 on Women, Peace and Security—the first resolution to link women’s experiences of conflict to the international peace and security agenda, by lead author Radhika Coomaraswamy.

CENTRAL OR SIDELINED? EXAMINING HOW GIRLS FARED IN THE 2030 AGENDA. 9/28, 10:00-11:30am, New York. Sponsor: International Center for Research on Women (ICRW). Speakers: Ashley Judd, Actor, Activist and Author; Kate Gilmore, Deputy Executive Director, UNFPA; Cathy Russell, U.S. Ambassador-at-Large, Global Women's Issues; Ravi Verna, Executive Director, ICRW Asia Regional Office.

Friday, September 25, 2015

Prime Minister of Japan’s Schedule March 16-22, 2015

Monday, March 16, 2015

12:00 At private residence (no visitors)
07:58 Depart from private residence in Tomigaya, Tokyo
08:11 Arrive at office
08:12 Meet with Deputy Chief Cabinet Secretary Seko Hiroshige
08:40 End meeting with Mr. Seko
08:48 Depart from office
08:50 Arrive at Diet
08:51 Enter Upper House Committee Room No. 1
08:56 Upper House Budget Committee opens
11:54 Upper House Budget Committee recess
11:55 Leave room
11:57 Depart from Diet
11:59 Arrive at office

12:00 Speak with President of Yamaguchi Prefectural Assembly Yanai Shungaku, Vice-Governor of Yamaguchi Prefecture Fujibe Hidenori, and colleagues
12:07 Finish speaking with Mr. Yanai, Mr. Fujibe, and colleagues
12:54 Depart from office
12:55 Arrive at Diet
12:57 Enter Upper House Committee Room No. 1
01:00 Upper House Budget Committee reopens
04:59 Upper House Budget Committee adjourns
05:00 Leave room
05:01 Enter LDP President’s Office
05:05 LDP Officers Meeting
05:21 Meeting ends
05:22 Leave room
05:23 Depart from Diet
05:25 Arrive at office
05:45 Depart from office
05:55 Arrive at United Nations University (UNU) in Jingumae, Tokyo. Attend the Symposium of the 70th Anniversary of the United Nations, deliver address
06:51 Depart from university
07:04 Arrive at official residence
07:10 Reception for UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and his wife. Dinner meeting hosted by Prime Minister and his wife
08:28 See off Secretary-General Ban and his wife

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

12:00 At official residence (no visitors)
07:23 Depart from official residence
07:25 Arrive at office
07:30 Meet with Deputy Chief Cabinet Secretary Seko Hiroshige
08:25 End meeting with Mr. Seko
08:28 Cabinet Meeting begins
08:35 Cabinet Meeting ends
08:53 Depart from office
08:55 Arrive at Diet
08:56 Enter Upper House Committee Room No. 1
08:58 Speak with Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance Aso Taro
09:00 Finish speaking with Mr. Aso
09:01 Upper House Budget Committee opens
11:54 Upper House Budget Committee recess
11:55 Leave room
11:57 Depart from Diet
11:59 Arrive at office

12:31 Meet with Administrative Vice-Minister for Foreign Affairs Nagamine Yasumasa and Ministry of Finance (MOF)’s Director-General of International Bureau Asakawa Masatsugu
12:54 End meeting with Mr. Nagamine and Mr. Asakawa
12:55 Depart from office
12:56 Arrive at Diet
12:58 Enter Upper House Committee Room No. 1
01:00 Upper House Budget Committee reopens
04:53 Upper House Budget Committee adjourns
04:54 Leave room
04:56 Depart from Diet
04:57 Arrive at office
05:18 Attend the Conference on Promoting Direct Investment into Japan
05:55 Conference ends
05:56 Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA)’s Vice-Minister Saiki Akitaka and Director-General of Disarmament, Non-Proliferation and Science Department Hikihara Takeshi enter
06:14 Mr. Hikihara leaves
06:20 Mr. Saiki leaves
06:33 Depart from office
06:34 Arrive at official residence
06:49 Receive courtesy call from former President of the United States Bill Clinton. Commemorative photo session. Former Prime Minister of Japan Mori Yoshiro and resident U.S. Ambassador to Japan Caroline Kennedy also attend
06:50 Commemorative photo session ends
06:51 Dinner meeting with former President Clinton
08:16 Dinner meeting ends
08:17 See off former President Clinton
08:21 Finish seeing off former President Clinton

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

12:00 At official residence (no visitors)
08:00 At official residence (no morning visitors)
08:45 Depart from official residence
08:46 Arrive at office
08:53 Meet with Deputy Chief Cabinet Secretary Seko Hiroshige
09:42 End meeting with Mr. Seko
09:53 Depart from office
09:55 Arrive at Diet
09:56 Enter Upper House Committee Room No. 1
09:57 Speak with Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance Aso Taro
09:59 Finish speaking with Mr. Aso
10:00 Upper House Budget Committee opens
11:59 Upper House Budget Committee recess

12:00 Leave Upper House Committee Room No. 1
12:02 Depart from Diet
12:03 Arrive at office
12:54 Depart from office
12:56 Arrive at Diet
12:57 Enter Upper House Committee Room No. 1
01:01 Upper House Budget Committee reopens
04:12 Upper House Budget Committee adjourns
04:13 Leave room
04:14 Depart from Diet
04:16 Arrive at office
04:20 Meet with Director of Cabinet Intelligence Kitamura Shigeru
04:49 End meeting with Mr. Kitamura
05:34 Depart from office
05:51 Arrive at Waseda University in Nishi-Waseda, Tokyo. Attend the JFK Symposium, “The Torch Has Been Passed: JFK’s Legacy Today”, deliver a speech
06:57 Depart from Waseda University
07:19 Arrive at official residence. Dinner meeting with Lower House Budget Committee’s Chairman Oshima Tadamori, Director Moriyama Hiroshi, and other colleagues. Cabinet Chief Secretary Suga Hiroshige and Deputy Chief Cabinet Secretary Kato Katsunobu also attend
08:29 Everyone leaves

Thursday, March 19, 2015

12:00 At official residence (no visitors)
08:00 At official residence (no morning visitors)
09:14 Depart from official residence
09:15 Arrive at office
09:16 Interview open to all media: When asked “How will the government respond to the Bardo National Museum terrorist attack in Tunisia?”, Mr. Abe answers “terrorism cannot be tolerated. In the future we will deepen cooperation with international community and do everything we can in the fight against terrorism.”
09:17 Interview ends
09:19 Meet with LDP Lower House member Nukaga Fukushiro
09:39 End meeting with Mr. Nukaga
09:51 Receive a courtesy call from next generation Latin American leaders of Japanese Descent
10:05 Courtesy call ends
10:35 Receive a courtesy call from the winners of the High School Speech Contest on the Northern Territories
10:42 Courtesy call ends
11:10 Meet with Parliamentary Vice-Minister of Cabinet Office Koizumi Shinjiro
11:36 End meeting with Mr. Koizumi
11:37 Meet with LDP Secretary-General Tanigaki Sadakazu

12:11 End meeting with Mr. Tanigaki
12:47 Meet with Minister of State for Disaster Management Yamatani Eriko
01:12 End meeting with Ms. Eriko
01:13 Meet with Mr. Tanigaki and Secretary-General of New Komeito Inoue Yoshihisa
01:37 End meeting with Mr. Tanigaki and Mr. Inoue
01:38 Meet with Vice-Minister for Internal Affairs and Communications Oishi Toshio
02:00 End meeting with Mr. Oishi
02:36 Depart from office
02:44 Arrive at Imperial Hotel in Uchisaiwai-cho, Tokyo. Attend the 121st Annual General Meeting of the Japan Chamber of Commerce and Industry (JCCI) in banquet hall Fuji within hotel, deliver address
03:07 Depart from hotel
03:12 Arrive at office
03:13 Meet with Minister of State for Special Missions Arimura Haruko and Cabinet Office Director-General for Policies on Cohesive Society Takegawa Mitsuo
03:20 End meeting with Ms. Arimura and Mr. Takegawa
03:48 Receive a courtesy call from Mrs. Michelle Obama, First Lady of the United States of America
04:09 Courtesy call ends
04:34 Receive a courtesy call from Harvard University graduate students
04:43 Courtesy call ends
04:48 Meet with MOFA’s Director-General of Foreign Policy Bureau Hiramatsu Kenji, MOD’s Director-General of Bureau of Defense Policy Kuroe Tetsuro and Chief of Staff for Joint Staff Council Kawano Katsutoshi
05:18 End meeting with Mr. Hiramatsu, Mr. Kuroe, and Mr. Kawano
05:34 Attend the13th meeting of the Council on National Strategic Special Zones
06:01 Meeting ends
06:02 Meet with Minister for Foreign Affairs Kishida Fumio, Vice-Minister for Foreign Affairs Saiki Akitaka, MOFA’s Administrative Vice-Minister Sugiyama Shinsuke, and Director-General of Asian and Oceanian Affairs Bureau Ihara Junichi
06:34 End meeting with Mr. Kishida, Mr. Saiki, Mr. Sugiyama, and Mr. Ihara
06:35 Meet with LDP Lower House member Kawai Katsuyuki
06:50 End meeting with Mr. Kawai
06:58 Arrive at izakaya Umaizo in Akasaka, Tokyo. Dinner meeting with Yomiuri Shimbun’s Director of Politics Bureau Tanaka Takayuki and colleagues
09:38 Depart from izakaya
09:59 Arrive at private residence in Tomigaya, Tokyo

Japanese University Humanities and Social Sciences Programs Under Attack

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Some suspect that the real targets of announced government reform are university departments that nurture appreciation for liberal democratic values

By Jeff Kingston is Director of Asian Studies, Temple University Japan and author of Asian Nationalisms Since 1945 (Wiley 2016), editor of Asian Nationalism Reconsidered (Routledge 2015) and Press Freedom in Japan (Routledge 2016). He is an Asia-Pacific Journal Contributing Editor and APP member.

>First appeared in the The Asia-Pacific Journal, Vol. 13, Issue. 39, No. 1, September 28, 2015

On June 8 the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology (MEXT) sent a ten-page directive to all 86 national universities in Japan, apparently calling on them, inter alia, to abolish or reorganize their humanities and social sciences (HSS) departments.1 I use the word “apparently” because the wording of the letter is ambiguous. A former Ministry of Education official’s Facebook posting in September is quoted by the European Association of Japanese Studies asserting that the directive has been misinterpreted.2 Be it as it may, the Yomiuri reports that 26 of 60 public universities operating HSS departments have agreed to stop accepting students into these programs or reduce relevant electives. Nevertheless, how far reaching this compliance will be remains unclear. What is clear is that prominent national universities, including the elite University of Tokyo and Kyoto University, are not shutting down HSS, demonstrating that powerful institutions with access to sufficient funding and no shortage of applicants are not beholden to MEXT.

Various organizations in Japan have also issued statements critical of MEXT’s initiative, including Keidanren, the big business lobby, so if indeed there is a misunderstanding about MEXT’s intentions, it is fairly widespread. This directive has also incited a chorus of criticism in the international press, including The Wall Street Journal, Forbes, Times Higher Education, Time, Bloomberg, and Japan Times, prompting a petition campaign among European scholars keen to protect HSS. Overseas researchers are alarmed that this hollowing out of higher education will adversely affect their research in Japan and stifle intellectual inquiry about subjects the rest of the world still highly esteems and deems essential for a well-rounded education. Numerous postings on NBR, an Internet discussion forum on Japan, have also criticized both the directive and the quality of education provided by Japan’s universities.

Japanese government officials are concerned that Japans universities don’t come out well in international rankings and apparently believe that focusing on STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) is the fastest way to catapult more universities into the top 100 world rankings. There are good reasons to doubt whether these world rankings are in fact a reliable and objective measure of education, learning outcomes and research output, especially given the bias in favor of Anglophone institutions, but Japanese officialdom’s obsession with such rankings renders them a powerful pretext for reforms. Can Japan really launch more of its universities into the top 100 world rankings by gutting the study of subjects that constitute the core of what universities embody?

The QS World University Rankings for 2015/16 rank five Japanese universities in the top 100: Kyoto University (38), University of Tokyo (39), Tokyo Institute of Technology (56), Osaka University (58) and Tohoku University (74).3 This relatively poor showing—with tiny Singapore boasting two universities in the top 15, while China and Hong Kong each have four in the top 100 and South Korea has three—has been a longstanding sore point , sparking national hand wringing and an action plan. PM Abe has targeted getting 10 Japanese universities into the world’s top 100 by 2025. However, he has been better at setting unrealistically ambitious targets on a range of issues—i.e., 30% female managers by 2020—than actually doing what is necessary to achieve them. The new emphasis on natural sciences overlooks the fact that most top universities around the world maintain vibrant HSS departments so it’s not clear that favoring STEM at the expense of HSS is an inspired or pragmatic strategy.

There is a risk that rather than improving Japan’s mediocre universities, the MEXT foray will make them the global punch-line for jokes about educational reform. It is hard to imagine that scrapping the study of humanities and social sciences at Japan’s national universities will bring any tangible benefits, while the downside could well be staggering. This anti-intellectual salvo from Prime Minister Abe’s government fits into a larger pattern of dumbing down education, whitewashing textbooks, promoting patriotic education and stifling dissent.

But not everyone agrees with the alarmist interpretation of the MEXT letter. I contacted several national university professors and experts on higher education in Japan and elicited a range of responses. Some Japanese professors declined to comment while others said that it is hard to predict the outcome of the reform proposals because it is not clear what MEXT intends or how universities will respond. Education ‘big bangs’ in the past have fizzled over time, so it will take time to assess the actual consequences.

Following numerous denunciations of the June directive from across the domestic spectrum, Education Minister Shimomura Hakubun explained at a news conference in late July, “We do not mean to treat the studies of humanities lightly. We also do not put special priority just on fields of practical sciences that immediately become useful in society.” 4 But, this rhetorical concession has not altered the reality of looming budget cuts that will force significant changes and a lingering anxiety that HSS remains in the crosshairs of Abe’s educational reforms for political reasons.

Minister of Education Shimomura Hakubun
In 2015 the government also tabled legislation that will concentrate all decision-making power in university presidents’ hands while downgrading the role of faculty councils, a major shift from the current situation that is consistent with what Keidanren, a big business federation, has lobbied for.5 Currently the faculty is in charge of hiring new faculty and appointing department heads, but that power would shift to the president, who also stands to gain greater control of discretionary funding in the form of MEXT block grants. This reform is aimed at weakening the power of professors and making it easier to impose reforms from above that they have been resisting.

Structural Impetus for Reform
How bad are the budget cuts? Between 2001 and 2009, basic subsidies for national universities dropped nearly one third, while support for basic expenditures out of total allocations dropped from 86% in FY 2001 to 71% in 2009, marking a shift to competitive resource allocation that favors universities that meet MEXT performance criteria.6 In 2014 the OECD found that Japan’s public expenditures on higher education amounted to 0.5% of GDP, lowest in the OECD, compared to an average of 1.1% among member nations.7

The reforms are also driven by private university lobbying and grim prospects for enrollments and government finances. Currently about 40% of the nation’s private universities are not meeting their quotas for enrollments as the pool of high school graduates is shrinking. In addition, only half of Japan’s high school graduates enter universities (excluding junior colleges), well below the OECD average of 62% and far below Australia where more than 90% do so and South Korea where the university enrollment rate for high school graduates is 82%.

So with a shrinking population and a low enrollment rate, some of Japan’s numerous universities are facing dire times. The number of 18 years olds has plunged from 2 million in 1990 to 1.5 million in 2000 and 1.2 million in 2010, a demographic time bomb that is hitting many lower ranked universities hard, intensifying stiff competition among the best universities for the best candidates. Private universities complain that they enroll nearly 80% of freshmen undergraduates while national universities get nearly 80% of government funding for education. This disparity is the source of vigorous lobbying by private universities to spread the funding more equitably and to downsize national universities, a pitch that plays well with a conservative government eager to cut budgets and rely more on the private sector. In addition, given demographic trends there is an oversupply of universities in Japan with 86 national universities, 90 universities run by prefectures or municipalities, and 606 private institutions, so consolidation is inevitable. And, so is intensified marketing aimed at convincing students of the merits of particular programs with increasing emphasis on where a degree will lead.

Stifling Dissent
Reforming Japan’s universities may indeed require bold initiatives, and everything I have read, and everyone I contacted, suggests that much is amiss in these institutions. Indeed, the international reputation of Japanese higher education is dismal, mirroring domestic perceptions that university is a four-year hiatus, often dubbed “leisure land”. Such disparaging assessments are the kindling of reformist impulses, but many of those I contacted see this as an attack on the academy and academic freedom in the guise of reform. Indeed, stifling dissent under the pretext of reform is a longstanding concern as politicization “of Japan's youth is a source of uneasiness for the government. The government fears that those who receive a university education will become supporters of opposition political parties. This fear is not without basis.” (Kitamura and Cummings 1972)

Red Army Protestors in 1960s
Those sentiments expressed in the wake of the widespread and often violent protests by university students in the 1960s resonate decades later among conservatives who remain wary of politically engaged students even though contemporary student demonstrators embrace moderate tactics in order to mainstream their message about protecting liberal democratic values and constitutionalism. The point is that conservatives prefer a quiescent citizenry, and are content with low voter participation rates and a tame democracy because it gives them a free hand. Demonstrators in recent months have been targeting PM Abe because they see him as a threat to Japanese democracy and pacifism, earning the ire of authorities. It is emblematic of conservative attitudes that Ishiba Shigeru, then LDP secretary general, said that demonstrators against the controversial state secrets legislation in December 2012 should be arrested as ‘terrorists’, even though they were only exercising their democratic rights in a peaceful manner and opinion polls indicated that nearly 80% of the public agreed with them. The students involved then in Students Against Secret Protection Law (SASPL) are now the core of Students Emergency Action for Liberal Democracy (SEALDs) and remain committed to revitalizing democracy. It is in this context that there is deep distrust regarding the political agenda of Team Abe’s educational reforms targeting HSS.

This past August, Sawa Takamitsu, President of Shiga University, a national university, condemned the reforms in his Japan Times column, drawing a parallel to the wartime exemption from conscription accorded to students in natural sciences and pointing out that Kishi Nobuske, Abe’s grandfather and prime minister from 1957-1960, also favored science and practical training. (Sawa 2015a) Sawa argues that the recent reform which targets HSS is a big mistake, pointing out that, “A majority of Japanese political, bureaucratic and business leaders today are still those who studied the humanities and social sciences. This is because those who studied these subjects have superior faculties of thinking, judgment and expression, which are required of political, bureaucratic and business leaders. And the foundation for these faculties is a robust critical spirit.” But perhaps this critical spirit is exactly what troubles Japan’s conservative leaders.

Echoing Sawa, Nakano Koichi, a political scientist at Sophia University, describes the proposed reforms as, “an utter disaster. Liberal arts education is what Japan needs more of, not less.” He adds, “There is also something even more politically ominous about the move—that the government may be trying to silence academic opposition to its policies by threatening and undermining the subject areas that produce and hire those critical voices.” Indeed, HSS faculty constitute the vast majority of signatories of a scholar’s petition opposing Abe’s security legislation and have been prominent at rallies protesting the unconstitutionality of the laws.

Are reactionary forces imposing their agenda from the commanding heights of power and targeting those most critical of their agenda? Relatively few of the roughly 300 core members of SEALDs who have taken to the streets to protest PM Abe’s security legislation, are students at national universities, but most are in the humanities and social sciences. With their social media savvy, they have inspired similar protests all over the nation, mobilizing well over a million protestors since June, designing open access placard designs that like-minded groups can print out at any convenience store across the archipelago. This “conbeni revolution” takes advantage of social media and the extensive convenience store infrastructure to launch street protests by likeminded local citizens who find inspiration in SEALDs effort to revitalize democracy precisely because they agree that politics is too important to be monopolized by today’s motley crew of politicians.

Downsizing HSS is seen as an attack on Japanese democracy
While liberals, including the older generation, support these students for acting as the conscience of society and highlighting the power of principles and ideals, conservatives view them as inconvenient troublemakers. Seeing them in action and at press conferences, however, it is striking how poised and articulate they are with the ability to initiate, improvise and motivate. Moreover, they demonstrate excellent cross-cultural communication, marketing and design skills. Surely they are exactly the kind of people Japan needs more of, embodying the virtues of a liberal arts education.

Higher education at its best prioritizes critical thinking and preparing students to engage in an increasingly globalized workplace, hence business executives are also dismayed about plans to marginalize HSS. Interestingly, Keidanren, the Japanese business lobby, took issue with MEXT, saying that its emphasis on science and vocational skills is misguided and “exactly the opposite” of what employers want. In its September 9 statement, Keidanren emphasized the value of HSS and the importance of liberal arts education for future employees, imbuing them with problem-solving skills and the ability to understand other cultures and societies. Indeed, in June 2013 Keidanren made a proposal for fostering global talent, writing “it is necessary to enhance liberal arts education for better training of global citizens.”8

It also called for more interdisciplinary studies to break down barriers between HSS and STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics), expanded overseas student exchanges and international collaboration, introduction of a gap year for students to broaden their experience and perspectives, and improvement in English skills and teaching capabilities of educators. Apparently Keidanren felt that critics of MEXT were blaming employers for pushing the latest reforms towards a utilitarian education and sought to clarify that it fully supports HSS.9

In September, the Society for Japanese Linguistics also weighed in against the new reform, lamenting the utilitarian bias and failure to discern the importance of what is being lost. While acknowledging the value of scientific advances, the Society points out the necessity of harnessing them for the good of society. The atomic bomb was cited as an example of how technology can threaten the existence of mankind, highlighting the critical need for honing knowledge aimed at harnessing such developments. In defending the diversity of academic communities, the Society asserts that the humanities are essential to realize and protect the richness of civilization. In July the Science Council of Japan, a national organization of some 2,000 scientists, also expressed “profound concern over the potentially grave impact” of the MEXT directive, saying that, “Any disparagement of the HSS may result in higher education in Japan losing its richness.” The Science Council calls for maintaining liberal arts education because it promotes critical thinking, nurtures “global human resources” and promotes understanding of, “the human and social, contexts within which scientific knowledge operates.”

Foreign firms in Japan often lament that it’s hard to recruit suitable employees because most candidates lack strong critical thinking skills, have poor English and are overly passive, waiting for instructions rather than taking the initiative. Liberal arts education is no panacea, but downplaying its role in university education is more likely to exacerbate than rectify such deficiencies.

Linda Grove, professor emeritus at Sophia University and program advisor at the Social Science Research Council, believes the emphasis on science is based on a “mistaken belief “that this will somehow”…fit graduates better for the job market. They forget that the aim of education is not just to match people to jobs, but to educate people for a more fulfilling life and also to be responsible citizens in a democracy.” Certainly, she adds, “science alone is not going to save the world. We need the social sciences and humanities to …help identify problems, and to search for solutions--some of which may be technical, but others of which will be related to changing systems, organizations and institutions.”

Shirahase Sawako, a professor of sociology at the University of Tokyo, notes that fiscal and demographic pressures are generating impetus for budget cuts and reform. In her opinion, MEXT seeks immediate tangible results in terms of educational outcomes and job placement, and is shifting and cutting budget allocations accordingly. Shirahase says, “We have to raise our voices and let them know that the current pressure on higher education, particularly humanities and social sciences, is irrational and wrong.” Since MEXT seeks to prepare youth to enter the “globally competitive arena” and emphasizes international education, HSS, in her opinion, remains essential. In poignant understatement she avers, “Sociology does matter a lot for contemporary Japan, and in fact we face quite a few social problems now.”

Global Perspectives
At the mid-September British Association of Japanese Studies conference in London, British academics were not especially sympathetic to the concerns I raised about the downsizing of HSS in Japan, pointing out that MEXT reforms are mild and limited compared to the far more draconian budget cuts enacted in the UK where academics are groaning under paper work and expanding administrative hierarchies making excessive, time wasting and often pointless demands that detract from the key task of teaching students, conducting research and producing scholarship. The drudgery, endless assessments and Taylorism that now prevails in UK universities sounds quite grim, but gives me new admiration for the scholars who remain productive despite such unfavorable conditions.

Assessing the war on the humanities currently being waged by the conservative Cameron government, a Guardian article earlier this year came out swinging, “Higher education is stuffed with overpaid administrators squeezing every ounce of efficiency out of lecturers and focusing on the ‘profitable’ areas of science, technology, engineering and maths.” (Preston 2015) He adds, “our universities are under attack by an austerity-obsessed government looking to maintain the excellence of our institutions at a fraction of the cost. The dictates of the market economy have been unleashed … and academics wear the haunted looks of the terminally battle-scarred.” In this brave new world, “the onus is on academics to “monetise” their activities, to establish financial values for their “outputs,” and to justify their existence according to the remorseless and nightmarish logic of the markets.” He quotes an academic who acerbically notes, “Every dean needs his vice-dean and sub-dean and each of them needs a management team, secretaries, admin staff; all of them only there to make it harder for us to teach, to research, to carry out the most basic functions of our jobs.” Preston laments that “The humanities, whose products are necessarily less tangible and effable than their science and engineering peers (and less readily yoked to the needs of the corporate world) have been an easy target for this sprawling new management class.”

Max Nisen (2013) writes about the ongoing war against HSS in the US, resulting in, “a generation of students who get out of school and don't know how to write well or express themselves clearly.” He cites a study that argues students majoring in liberal arts fields see "significantly higher gains in critical thinking, complex reasoning, and writing skills over time than students in other fields of study."(Arum and Josipa, 2011)

Similarly, a 2013 study by the American Academy of Arts and Sciences (AAAS) entitled The Heart of the Matter makes a strong case for HSS by detailing the massive benefits in terms of educational outcomes and the heavy costs to society by downplaying HSS. In a call to arms it asserts that, “As we strive to create a more civil public discourse, a more adaptable and creative workforce, and a more secure nation, the humanities and social sciences are the heart of the matter, the keeper of the republic—a source of national memory and civic vigor, cultural understanding and communication, individual fulfillment and the ideals we hold in common.” (AAS 2013) As Nisen concludes, “De-emphasizing, de-funding, and demonizing the humanities means that students don't get trained well in the things that are the hardest to teach once at a job: thinking and writing clearly.“

Plus ca Change?
Writing back in 1972, two education specialists wrote, “Japan seems destined to a future of low quality higher education until some truly great shock shakes the very foundations of Japanese society and challenges all concerned to face the dismal realities.” (Kitamura and Cummings 1972, 324) Apparently such a great shock has not yet occurred and the “bold” prediction has stood the test of time, but the momentum created by the 2004 reforms, pushing national universities to become more self-reliant, sustained by fiscal cutbacks and declining population, is having an impact on the business of education. (Christensen 2011) In 2004 all the national universities were transformed into independent administrative entities, faced annual 1% budget cuts, and government grants were adjusted based on performance. The 2004 reforms introduced annual reporting requirements, granted universities greater discretion over use of government funds, and gave presidents more leeway to set priorities. (ibid.)

Bruce Stronach, Dean of Temple University and former president of Yokohama City University, thinks that the MEXT directive might serve a useful purpose, pointing out that many universities are in dire need of sweeping reforms to improve education and better prepare students for the demands of the 21st century. Traditionally, he says, “faculty saw themselves as intellectuals and not necessarily as educators. That attitude among the faculty of holier than thou and a belief that the unworldly as good, persists in the arts and humanities although it is in decline.” In this system, “students could go through university basically doing nothing …because companies spent years educating and training them once they became company employees. As long as that was the case no one had to really worry about the practical nature of university education.” However, “… rapid advances in technology, communications and science created a greater and greater need for specialization, and as financial problems cut down on life-time employment and corporate education, budget adjustments had to be made.”

In his view, “What is necessary today are the critical thinking, communication with others, diversity, flexibility, lifelong learning, IT etc., skills that will help us cope with the rapidity of changes on a global scale and in a global context and in a global language. Like it or not that is the world we live in and education has to prepare people for life in that world.”

He adds, “If the attempt is to eliminate the arts and humanities at national universities then that is obviously a horrible policy. I say if because it isnot clear to me that is the real intent here. When Japanese talk about global human resource development that means creating graduates who are able to communicate, understand and deal comfortably with others unlike them. In order to do that they have to blend what are traditional elements of the liberal arts into their curricula. This is a recognized component of MEXT policy, and they have spent one helluva lot of money doing just that. So, I think it is too simple to say that they are trying to kill the humanities and arts as there is a tremendous amount of evidence to demonstrate that they are trying to instill what is essentially an international, liberal arts based educational philosophy and pedagogy in Japanese universities.” Yet, he also believes there is a political dimension: “I think they are trying to forcefully reform HSS because these are the faculty members most resistant to reform in the university over the past 10 years.” The aim is thus to improve education, better prepare students and to shift power from the faculty to the administration.

Thursday, September 24, 2015

Prime Minister of Japan’s Schedule March 9-15, 2015

Monday, March 9, 2015

12:00 At private residence in Tomigaya, Tokyo (no visitors)
08:00 At private residence (no morning visitors)
09:25 Depart from private residence
09:42 Arrive at office
10:45 Meet with Vice-Minister for Foreign Affairs Saiki Akitaka
11:00 End meeting with Mr. Saiki
11:08 Receive courtesy call from Study Group on Making the New National Stadium a Showcase of New Japanese Technology
11:27 Courtesy call ends
11:28 Speak with former Prime Minister Mori Yoshiro
11:39 Finish speaking with Mr. Mori
11:40 Meet with Minister in charge of Women’s Empowerment and Minister of State for Measures for Declining Birthrate Arimura Haruko

12:01 End meeting with Ms. Arimura
12:07 Meet with Director of LDP Headquarters for the Abduction Issue Furuya Keiji
12:31 End meeting with Mr. Furuya
03:24 Depart from office
03:33 Arrive at Nezu Museum in Minami-Aoyama, Tokyo
03:39 Visit museum with Chancellor of the Federal Republic of Germany Angela Merkel
03:55 End visit
03:56 Depart from museum
04:04 Arrive at office
04:10 Reception for Chancellor Merkel. Commemorative photo session
04:11 Reception and photo session end
04:12 Ceremony by the guard of honor to welcome Chancellor Merkel
04:18 Ceremony ends
04:19 Small group summit meeting with Chancellor Merkel
05:32 Meeting ends
05:38 General summit meeting with Chancellor Merkel commences
06:27 Meeting ends
06:34 Ceremony for the exchange of memorandums and Joint Press Conference
07:01 Ceremony and Joint Press Conference end
07:05 Receive courtesy call from Japanese and German business figures
07:48 Courtesy call ends
07:49 Depart from office
07:50 Arrive at official residence. Dinner meeting hosted by Prime Minister Abe Shinzo
09:18 Give send-off to Chancellor Merkel
09:20 Send-off ends

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

12:00 At official residence (no visitors)
07:26 Depart from official residence
07:27 Arrive at office
07:33 Cabinet Meeting begins
07:42 Cabinet Meeting ends
08:00 Meet with Director of National Security Council (NSC) Yachi Shotaro, Cabinet Office’s Director General of Secretariat of the International Peace Cooperation Headquarters Yamamoto Jota, Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA)’s Director-General of Foreign Policy Bureau Hiramatsu Kenji, Ministry of Defense (MOD)’s Director-General of Bureau of Defense Policy Kuroe Tetsuro and Director-General of Bureau of Operational Policy Miyama Nobuaki
09:09 End meeting with Mr. Yachi, Mr. Yamamoto, Mr. Hiramatsu, Mr. Kuroe, and Mr. Miyama
09:18 Depart from office
09:37 Arrive at Tokyo Memorial Hall in Yokoami, Tokyo. Attend Spring Memorial Service for the Victims of War Damage in Tokyo and the Victims of the Great Kanto Earthquake
10:47 Depart from Tokyo Memorial Hall
11:12 Arrive at office
11:40 Meet with Cabinet Office’s Director-General of Gender Equality Bureau Takegawa Keiko

12:00 End meeting with Ms. Takegawa
12:01 Attend Ruling Party Head Meeting with Chief Representative of New Komeito Yamaguchi Natsuo
01:03 Meeting ends
01:51 Interview with Iwate Nippo, Kahoku Shimpo, Fukushima Minpo, and Fukushima Minyu
02:05 Interview ends
02:06 Meet with Ministry of Finance (MOF)’s Vice-Minister Kagawa Shunsuke and Director-General of Budget Bureau Tanaka Kazuho
02:59 End meeting with Mr. Kagawa and Mr. Tanaka
03:03 Speak with Cabinet Office’s Vice-Minister Matsuyama Kenji and Director-General of Decoration Bureau Kuroba Ryosuke
03:12 Finish speaking with Mr. Matsuyama and Mr. Kuroba
03:21 Meet with Secretary-General of Headquarters for the Abduction Issue Ishikawa Shoichiro
03:36 End meeting with Mr. Ishikawa
03:37 Meet with Minister of State for Economic and Fiscal Policy Amari Akira, Cabinet Office’s Mr. Matsuyama and Director-Generals for Policies on Cohesive Society Maekawa Mamoru, Habuka Shigeki, and Tawa Hiroshi
03:53 End meeting with Mr. Amari, Mr. Maekawa, Mr. Habuka, and Mr. Tawa
04:00 Meet with Vice-Minister for Foreign Affairs Saiki Akitaka
04:27 End meeting with Mr. Saiki
04:50 Meet with Director of National Security Council (NSC) Yachi Shotaro, Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA)’s Director-General of Foreign Policy Bureau Hiramatsu Kenji, Ministry of Defense (MOD)’s Director-General of Bureau of Defense Policy Kuroe Tetsuro and Director-General of Bureau of Operational Policy Miyama Nobuaki
05:16 End meeting with Mr. Yachi, Mr. Hiramatsu, Mr. Kuroe, and Mr. Miyama
05:17 Joint Meeting of Reconstruction Promotion Council and Nuclear Emergency Response Headquarters
05:35 Meeting ends
06:00 Press Conference
06:23 Press Conference ends
06:25 Depart from office
06:26 Arrive at official residence

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

12:00 At official residence (no visitors)
08:00 At official residence (no morning visitors)
09:17 Depart from official residence
09:18 Arrive at office
09:19 Meet with Chairman of Science and Technology in Society (STS) Forum and former Minister of State for Science and Technology Policy Omi Koji
09:52 End meeting with Mr. Omi
10:40 Meet with Vice-Minister of Health, Labor and Welfare Muraki Atsuko
11:21 End meeting with Ms. Muraki
11:36 Speak with Minister of Health, Labor and Welfare Shiozaki Yasuhisa
11:46 Finish speaking with Mr. Shiozaki
11:47 Meet with Minister in charge of Economic Revitalization Amari Akira

12:07 End meeting with Mr. Amari
01:03 Film video message for civilian policy symposium. President of Graduate School of Management, Globis University Hori Yoshito also attends
01:09 Finish filming
02:08 Depart from office
02:12 Arrive at National Theater of Japan in Hayabusa-cho, Tokyo
02:42 Attend Memorial Ceremony Marking the Fourth Anniversary of the Great East Japan Earthquake. Deliver ceremonial address, and offer flowers
03:32 Leave ceremony
03:34 Depart from National Theatre
03:39 Arrive at office
04:01 Director of National Security Council (NSC) Yachi Shotaro, Director of Cabinet Intelligence Kitamura Shigeru, and Ministry of Defense (MOD)’s Director of Defense Intelligence Headquarters (DIH) Miyagawa Tadashi enter
04:10 Mr. Yachi and Mr. Miyagawa leave
04:28 Mr. Kitamura leaves
05:17 Council on Economic and Fiscal Policy meeting
06:05 Council meeting ends
06:29 Meet with participants of Japanese American Leadership Delegation [individual pictures taken]
06:42 End meeting
06:43 Depart from office
06:44 Arrive at official residence

Thursday, March 12, 2015

12:00 At official residence (no visitors)
08:00 At official residence (no morning visitors)
09:18 Depart from official residence
09:19 Arrive at office
09:38 Meet with Deputy Chief Cabinet Secretary Kato Katsunobu
10:39 End meeting with Mr. Kato
10:40 Meet with Vice-Minister for Foreign Affairs Saiki Akitaka
11:09 End meeting with Mr. Saiki
11:14 Receive courtesy call from Vice-President of the Council of Ministers of the Republic of Cuba Ricardo Cabrisas Ruiz
11:29 Courtesy call ends
11:39 Meet with LDP Secretary-General Tanigaki Sadakazu

12:05 End meeting with Mr. Tanigaki
12:54 Depart from office
12:55 Arrive at Diet
12:57 Enter Lower House Committee Room No. 1
01:00 Lower House Budget Committee reopens
05:03 Lower House Budget Committee adjourns
05:04 Leave room
05:05 Enter LDP Secretary General’s Conference Room. Endorse candidate for Kanagawa Prefecture gubernatorial election. Commemorative photo session
05:07 Leave room
05:09 Depart from Diet
05:10 Arrive at office
05:12 Meet with Vice-Minister for Foreign Affairs Saiki Akitaka
05:33 End meeting with Mr. Saiki
05:34 National Security Council meeting
06:13 Meeting ends
06:17 Depart from office
06:26 Arrive at Japanese restaurant Fukudaya in Kioi-cho, Tokyo. Dinner meeting with former Prime Ministers Nakasone Yasuhiro, Kaifu Toshiki, Mori Yoshiro, Koizumi Junichiro, Fukuda Yasuo, and Aso Taro. Chief Cabinet Secretary Suga Yoshihide also attends
08:55 Depart from restaurant
09:15 Arrive at private residence

The suicide politics of Futenma relocation

Prospects on the MCAS Futenma Issue

By Ms. Yukie Yoshikawa
, Adjunct Fellow, Edwin O. Resichauer Center, School of Advanced International Studies, The Johns Hopkins University and APP member

First appeared in Nikkei Business, September 17, 2015 in Japanese

Newly elected Okinawa Governor Takeshi Onaga, supported by both conservatives and reformists, which is quite a rare phenomenon in Okinawa, announced his team leaders on the US military base issues at the end of 2014 and the beginning of 2015. Mr. Mitsuo Ageta, the former speaker of the Naha City Assembly, was appointed as Vice Governor (VG) in charge of base issues--the Okinawa Prefectural Government (OPG) has two vice governors. Mr. Masaru Machida was appointed Director General of the Governor’s Office. He had been an executive at the Okinawa Churashima Foundation, an affiliated organization of the OPG. VG Ageta used to be a member of the Okinawa Chapter of the Liberal Democratic Party (LDP), yet left after the party switched its policy on the Henoko plan from "against" to "accommodation." He formed the Shimpuh-kai (New Wind Group) as a counter. 

The Regional Security Policy Division, of which I was a member, is still alive. People wondered whether this section could survive the Onaga administration, since it was created by his predecessor, Gov. Hirokazu Nakaima. Gov. Onaga replaced this division with one named to clearly express its intent that is to deal with “the issue on the construction of new Henoko base” and called it more directly the Henoko Base Construction Countermeasures Division [ 辺野古新基地建設対策課].

Onaga can play only “All-or-Nothing” negotiation
Despite his landslide victory in the November 2014 gubernatorial election, Gov. Onaga’s power base is not solid. As his slogan during the campaign was “all-Okinawa,” Mr. Onaga limits his own maneuverable space to the minimum. In other words, all he can say  “No Henoko” and “No Ospreys” are acceptable by all Okinawans, including supporters of the US military bases. “All-Okinawa” does not indicate any realistic compromise. Should he make a statement beyond “No Henoko” his power base shatter.

In other words, Gov. Onaga can only play an “all-or-nothing” game, namely accept everything he says or no deal. Thus, he cannot be a reasonable negotiator with either the Government of Japan (GOJ) or the US Government (USG).

Since the inauguration of the Onaga administration in December 2014, senior officials of the GOJ have refused to meet Gov. Onaga. This was considered  “extra-ordinary.” (Other governors rarely meet with the prime ministers.) This “all-Okinawa” phenomenon has never happened since the return of Okinawa to Japan in 1972. People speculated that Tokyo viewed Naha, the capital of Okinawa Prefecture, cautiously, wondering whether the Governor could maintain his power base with both conservatives and reformists.

Nevertheless, Gov. Onaga and senior officials of the GOJ did start to meet in April 2015. In August, the two parties held a series of meetings discussing how to reduce Okinawa’s hosting responsibility and on the economic development. The last one was September 7th. It ended with no conclusion.

During the meetings, Gov. Onaga did not step back from his “No Henoko” stance, however hard the Abe cabinet tried. In office barely a half year--out of four--it is unreasonable to expect the governor to destroy his power base by backing down. This would be political suicide.

Gov. Onaga has few options to take
What can Gov. Onaga do to stop the landfill at Cape Henoko? Gov. Onaga’s advisory committee issued a report in July 2015 concluding that there were flaws in the process of Gov. Nakaima’s approval. The Ministry of Defense (MOD) resumed its boring investigation on September 12th, soon after the break-up of the intensive August and September meetings between the GOJ and the OPG. Gov. Onaga reacted to this by starting a procedure to cancel the landfill authorization on September 14th. This legal process is expected to take about a month.

Still, the OPG is powerless if the Abe cabinet simply ignores it. The OPG can appeal to the court to stop the landfill, but the court has no authority to interrupt the boring investigation and its ensuing landfill until a verdict is given. this could be months or years. Should the OPG win at the court after the landfill is completed, the result is that no one can bring back the nature as before. Thus, Gov. Onaga’s cancellation of the landfill is nothing other than a political performance.

Left in Gov. Onaga’s hand is un-approving any petitions for changes and additions to the original plan. The plan was submitted by the MOD to Gov. Nakaima in March 2013. At the time, the MOD did not anticipate working with an unfriendly OPG to develop or alter the plan.  The results of the boring investigation are certain to cause construction changes. Onaga could use these changes to stop the landfill and slow down the project.

Driving Gov. Onaga to the corner simply drives Okinawans to protests
Gov. Onaga has very limited options. Is it politically productive to force him to say yes to the Henoko plan? Sure, he might approve change petitions to smooth the landfill.

On the other hand, once the Okinawans hear that Gov. Onaga has succumb to the Abe cabinet, the anger demonstrated at the gubernatorial election in 2014 would explode at Cape Henoko. Okinawan people have made clear their rejection of the Henoko plan many times through elections. LDP administrations, however, have forced their leaders to “flipflop.” Okinawans view this as negligence against their will. If their voices raised democratically are unheard, they believe they have no choice but to resort to force at the construction site.

In Tokyo, I am often asked whether the protesters at Cape Henoko are non-Okinawans, mostly “professional” protesters similar to those during the construction of Narita Airport. There is no official and accurate data on where these protesters come from and I doubt such question is relevant for two reasons:
  1. First, during the American Occupation (1945-72), the islanders in Ie-Island and other parts of Okinawa protested and succeeded in stopping the construction of  US military bases and expansion. Okinawans can protest with success by themselves, without the help from others.
  2. Second, casualties caused by wrestling with the police and Coast Guard during protests or lying before the bulldozers and circling the landfill site with small  boats (slight injuries have already occured), would encourage  Okinawans to massively and aggressively embrace anti-base sentiments and demand the removal of all base, regardless of where the hometown of the casualty is.
If this happened would the Abe cabinet have the capability to deal with such situation? Also, would the USG, especially the US Forces in Okinawa (USFO), want to expand such anti-base sentiments in Okinawa? The USG wants the GOJ to manage prudently Okinawa to keep the islands safe enough to deploy its forces. The USG should not want to miss the forest (the USFO, especially Kadena Air Base) from the trees (the Futenma Air Station).

Paradoxically, the more the Abe cabinet pushes Gov. Onaga into a corner, the more Okinawans are driven to resort to force, which is a political suicide to the GOJ. The worst scenario can be avoided only by understanding this logic in Okinawa, by seriously searching for alternatives to the Henoko plan, and by seriously addressing the necessity to reduce the heavy hosting responsibility of Okinawa.

Monday, September 21, 2015

Prime Minister of Japan’s Schedule March 2-8, 2015

Monday, March 2, 2015
12:00 At private residence (no visitors)
08:00 At private residence in Tomigaya, Tokyo (no morning visitors)
09:38 Depart from private residence
09:54 Arrive at office
10:15 Meet with Minister in charge of TPP Amari Akira, Governmental Headquarters for TPP’s Chief Domestic Coordinator Sasaki Toyonari, Chief Negotiator Tsuruoka Koji, and Deputy Chief Negotiator Oe Hiroshi
11:10 End meeting with Mr. Amari, Mr. Sasaki, Mr. Tsuruoka, and Mr. Oe
11:11 Meet with Director of National Security Council (NSC) Yachi Shotaro, Director of Cabinet Intelligence Kitamura Shigeru, Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA)’s Director-General of Foreign Policy Bureau Hiramatsu Kenji, and Ministry of Defense (MOD)’s Director-General of Bureau of Defense Policy Kuroe Tetsuro
11:27 End meeting with Mr. Yachi, Mr. Kitamura, Mr. Hiramatsu, and Mr. Kuroe

12:00 Ruling Party Liaison Conference
12:24 Conference ends
01:38 Meet with Director of National Security Council (NSC) Yachi Shotaro, Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA)’s Director-General of Foreign Policy Bureau Hiramatsu Kenji, and Ministry of Defense (MOD)’s Director-General of Bureau of Defense Policy Kuroe Tetsuro
02:36 End meeting with Mr. Yachi, Mr. Hiramatsu, and Mr. Kuroe
02:59 Receive courtesy call from Foreign Minister of Ukraine Pavlo Klimkin
03:20 Courtesy call ends
03:21 Meet with Vice-Minister for Foreign Affairs Saiki Akitaka
03:53 End meeting with Mr. Saiki
04:00 Meet with Chief Justice of Supreme Court Terada Itsuro
04:16 End meeting with Mr. Terada
04:58 Depart from office
04:59 Arrive at Diet
05:00 Enter LDP President’s Office
05:01 LDP Officers Meeting
05:20 Meeting ends
05:21 Speak with LDP Secretary-General Tanigaki Sadakazu, Chairman of LDP General Council Nikai Toshihiro, and colleagues
05:34 Finish speaking with Mr. Tanigaki, Mr. Nikai, and colleagues
05:35 Leave room
05:36 Depart from Diet
05:38 Arrive at office
05:54 Depart from office
05:59 Arrive at Imperial Hotel. Attend a party to honor the 60th Anniversary of the Productivity Movement of the Japan Productivity Center in banquet hall Peacock Room within hotel, deliver address
06:27 Depart from hotel
06:34 Arrive at Japanese restaurant Shimonoseki Shunpanro Tokyo in Hirakawa-cho, Tokyo. Dinner meeting with Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance Aso Taro, Ministry of Finance (MOF)’s Vice-Minister Kagawa Shunsuke, Vice-Minister for International Affairs Yamasaki Tatsuo, Deputy Vice-Minister Fukuda Junichi, Director-General of Budget Bureau Tanaka Kazuho, and Director-General of Tax Bureau Sato Shinichi, and Director-General of International Bureau Asakawa Masatsugu
09:06 Depart from restaurant
09:22 Arrive at private residence

Tuesday, March 3, 2015
12:00 At private residence (no visitors)
07:00 Depart from private residence in Tomigaya, Tokyo
07:10 Arrive at office
07:13 Meet with Deputy Chief Cabinet Secretary Kato Katsunobu
08:00 End meeting with Mr. Kato
08:17 Cabinet Meeting begins
08:30 Cabinet Meeting ends
08:49 Depart from office
08:50 Arrive at Diet
08:52 Enter Lower House 1st Committee Members’ Room
08:53 Speak with Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance Aso Taro
08:54 Finish speaking with Mr. Aso
08:58 Lower House Budget Committee opens

12:02 Lower House Budget Committee recess
12:03 Leave room
12:05 Depart from Diet
12:06 Arrive at office
12:54 Depart from office
12:55 Arrive at Diet
12:57 Enter Lower House 1st Committee Members’ Room
01:00 Lower House Budget Committee reopens
05:01 Lower House Budget Committee adjourns, leave room
05:02 Speak with Governor of Hokkaido Prefecture Takahashi Harumi in LDP President’s Office. Secretary-General for LDP in Upper House Date Chuichi also attends
05:03 Finish speaking with Ms. Takahashi
05:04 Leave room
05:06 Depart from Diet
05:08 Arrive at office
05:15 Meet with State Minister of Cabinet Office Taira Masaaki
05:35 End meeting with Mr. Taira
05:43 Attend 12th Meeting of the Council on National Strategic Special Zones
05:59 Meeting ends
06:00 Meet with Director of NSC Yachi Shotaro, MOFA’s Vice-Minister Saiki Akitaka and Director-General of Asian and Oceanian Affairs Bureau Ihara Junichi
06:29 End meeting with Mr. Yachi, Mr. Saiki, and Mr. Ihara
06:31 Speak with Mr. Yachi, Director of Cabinet Intelligence Kitamura Shigeru, and Deputy Director-General of Public Security Intelligence Agency (PSIA) Sugiyama Haruki
06:41 Finish speaking with Mr. Yachi, Mr. Kitamura, and Mr. Sugiyama
06:42 Meet with Mr. Kitamura
07:02 End meeting with Mr. Kitamura
07:05 Depart from office
07:06 Arrive at official residence

Wednesday, March 4, 2015


12:00 At official residence (no visitors)
08:00 At official residence (no morning visitors)
09:45 Depart from official residence
09:46 Arrive at office
10:49 Meet with LDP Lower House member Hatoyama Kunio and President of Kurume Chamber of Commerce and Industry Motomura Yasuto
11:15 End meeting with Mr. Hatoyama and Mr. Motomura
11:37 Meet with Chairman of Diet Promotion Council for National Reservoir Maintenance Project and former minister of Home Affairs Fukida Akira

12:07 End meeting with Mr. Fukida
12:09 Meet with LDP Secretary-General Tanigaki Sadakazu
12:52 End meeting with Mr. Tanigaki
01:29 Meet with former Minister in charge of Financial Affairs Kamei Shizuka
02:18 End meeting with Mr. Kamei
02:31 Meet with LDP Lower House member Kawai Katsuyuki
02:50 End meeting with Mr. Kawai
03:00 Meet with JR Tokai Honorary President Kasai Yoshiyuki
03:30 End meeting with Mr. Kasai
03:40 Meet with Minister of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology Shimomura Hakubun and Vice-Minister of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology Yamanaka Shinichi
04:05 End meeting with Mr. Shimomura and Mr. Yamanaka
05:17 Meet with Japan-side Chairman of Japanese-German Forum and Honorary Chairman of Kikkoman Corporation Mogi Yuzaburo
05:32 End meeting with Mr. Mogi
05:35 Education Rebuilding Implementation Council meeting
05:50 Council meeting ends
05:51 Meet with Director of NSC Yachi Shotaro, Director of Cabinet Intelligence Kitamura Shigeru, MOFA’s Director-General of Foreign Policy Bureau Hiramatsu Kenji, MOD’s Director-General of Bureau of Defense Policy Kuroe Tetsuro and Chief of Staff for Maritime Self-Defense Force Kawano Katsutoshi
06:20 End meeting with Mr. Yachi, Mr. Kitamura, Mr. Hiramatsu, Mr. Kuroe, and Mr. Kawano
06:30 Depart from office
06:39 Arrive at Tokyo Prince Hotel in Shiba Park, Tokyo. Attend LDP ??? in banquet hall Ho-Oh-No-Ma within hotel, deliver address
06:51 Depart from hotel
07:08 Arrive at Japanese restaurant Innsyotei in Ueno Park, Tokyo. Dinner meeting with State Minister for Reconstruction Nishimura Akihiro, State Minister for Foreign Affairs Nakayama Yasuhide, LDP Lower House members Kameoka Yoshitami and Akimoto Tsukasa, and others
08:26 Depart from restaurant
08:53 Arrive at private residence in Tomigaya, Tokyo

Thursday, March 5, 2015
12:00 At private residence (no visitors)
08:00 At private residence in Tomigaya, Tokyo (no morning visitors)
09:32 Depart from private residence
09:50 Arrive at office
09:54 Meet with Minister for Reconstruction Takeshita Wataru and Reconstruction Agency’s Director-General for Reconstruction Policy Okamoto Masakatsu
10:22 End meeting with Mr. Takeshita and Mr. Okamoto
10:35 Meet with Ministry of Finance (MOF)’s Vice-Minister for International Relations Yamasaki Tatsuo, Director-General of International Bureau Asakawa Masatsugu, and Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA)’s Director-General of International Cooperation Bureau Ishikane Kimihiro
10:58 End meeting with Mr. Yamasaki, Mr. Asakawa, and Mr. Ishikane
10:59 Speak with MOFA’s Vice-Minister Saiki Akitaka, Director-General of Asian and Oceanian Affairs Bureau Ihara Junichi, and Director of Northeast Asia Division Ono Keiichi
11:11 Finish speaking with Mr. Saiki, Mr. Ihara, and Mr. Ono
11:12 Inaugural address by Sato Kuni and other ambassadors of Permanent Delegation of Japan to UNESCO
11:17 Address ends

12:06 Meet with Cabinet Advisors Hamada Koichi and Honda Etsuro
01:12 End meeting with Mr. Hamada and Mr. Honda
02:21 MOFA’s Mr. Saiki and Director-General of Foreign Policy Bureau Hiramatsu Kenji enter
02:39 Mr. Hiramatsu leaves
02:49 Mr. Saiki leaves
03:09 Film video message for news programs
03:18 Finish filming
03:22 Meet with Director of Cabinet Intelligence Kitamura Shigeru
04:08 End meeting with Mr. Kitamura
04:58 Depart from office
05:06 Arrive at National Archives of Japan in Kitanomaru Park, Tokyo
05:07 Visit the JFK-His Life and Legacy Exhibit. Resident U.S. Ambassador to Japan Caroline Kennedy accompanies
05:23 Finish visiting exhibit
05:24 Attend exhibit’s opening ceremony, deliver address
05:42 Depart from National Archives
05:51 Arrive at office
06:28 Depart from office
06:49 Arrive at chanko restaurant Tomoegata in Ryogoku, Tokyo. Dinner meeting with former classmates of Seikei Elementary School
08:47 Depart from restaurant
09:13 Arrive at private residence

Friday, March 6, 2015
12:00 At private residence (no visitors)
07:01 Depart from private residence in Tomigaya, Tokyo
07:12 Arrive at office
07:16 Meet with Deputy Chief Cabinet Secretary Kato Katsunobu
08:16 End meeting with Mr. Kato
08:17 Cabinet Meeting begins
08:24 Cabinet Meeting ends
08:26 Speak with Deputy Chief Cabinet Secretary Kato Katsunobu
08:39 Finish speaking with Mt. Kato
08:49 Depart from office
08:50 Arrive at Diet
08:52 Enter Lower House 1st Committee Members’ Room
08:53 Speak with Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance Aso Taro
08:55 Finish speaking with Mr. Aso
08:58 Lower House Budget Committee opens

12:01 Lower House Budget Committee recess
12:02 Leave room
12:04 Depart from Diet
12:05 Arrive at office
12:54 Depart from office
12:55 Arrive at Diet
12:57 Enter Lower House 1st Committee Members’ Room
01:00 Lower House Budget Committee reopens
05:01 Lower House Budget Committee adjourns
05:02 Leave room
05:03 Depart from Diet
05:05 Arrive at office
05:52 Attend a ceremony by the guard of honor welcoming Prime Minister of Laos Thongsing Thammavong
05:58 Ceremony ends
06:00 Japan-Laos Summit Meeting with Prime Minister of Laos Thongsing Thammavong
06:43 Summit Conference ends
06:46 Signing ceremony, joint press release
06:59 Ceremony and press release end
07:00 Depart from office
07:01 Arrive at official residence. Dinner meeting hosted by Prime Minister Abe Shinzo
08:14 See off Prime Minister Thongsing

Sunday, September 20, 2015

Monday in Washington, September 21, 2015

Dates you need to know this week:

9/23 – Yom Kippur.
9/23 - 9:15 am. Pope Francis meets with President Obama. White House.
9/24 - 9:20 am. Pope Francis addresses a joint meeting of Congress.
9/25 - 8:30 am. Pope Francis addresses the UN General Assembly.
9/25 - Chinese President Xi Jinping meets with President Obama. White House.

U.S.-INDIA ECONOMIC TIES: READY FOR TAKEOFF? 9/21, 8:00am-Noon, Sponsor: Carnegie. Speakers: William J. Burns, President, Carnegie; Penny Pritzker, 38th U.S. Secretary of Commerce; Nirmala Sitharaman, Minister of State (Independent Charge) for Commerce and Industry of India; Moderator: W. James McNerney, Jr., Chairman, Board of Boeing Company; Michael S. Burke, Chairman and CEO, AECOM; David M. Cote, Chairman and CEO, Honeywell; Charles R. Kaye, Co-CEO, Warburg Pincus; Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw, Chairperson and Managing Director of Biocon; Sunil Bharti Mittal, Founder and Chairman, Bharti Enterprises; Cyrus P. Mistry, Chairman, Tata Sons board; Moderator: Edward Luce, Washington Columnist, Commentator, Financial Times; C. Fred Bergsten, Senior Fellow and Director Emeritus, Peterson Institute for International Economics; Pravin Krishna, Chung Ju Yung Distinguished Professor of International Economics and Business, Johns Hopkins University; Ashley J. Tellis, Senior Associate, Carnegie.

U.S. AND EUROPEAN RUSSIA POLICY: TOWARD A STRATEGY. 9/21, 9:00am-2:00pm. Sponsor: The German Marshall Fund of the United States (GMF). Speakers: Stephen Szabo, Executive Director, Transatlantic Academy; Angela Stent, Senior Fellow, Transatlantic Academy; Andrew Moravcsik, Senior Fellow, Transatlantic Academy; Nelli Babayan, Fellow, Transatlantic Academy; Ulrich Speck, Senior Fellow, Transatlantic Academy; Ivan Krastev, Public Policy Fellow, Transatlantic Academy; Marek Menkiszak, OSW Fellow, Transatlantic Academy; Philip Gordon, Senior Fellow, Council on Foreign Relations; Marie Mendras, Senior Fellow, Transatlantic Academy.

U.S.-CHINA RELATIONS IN HISTORICAL CONTEXT. 9/21, 9:30-11:30am. Sponsor: Brookings Institution. Speakers: Cheng Li, Director, John L. Thornton China Center; Kenneth G. Lieberthal, Senior Fellow, John L. Thornton China Center; Warren I. Cohen, Professor, University of Maryland; Mark C. Elliott, Vice Provost for International Affairs, Harvard University; William C. Kirby, Professor, Harvard University.

NO RECONCILIATION, NO PEACE. 9/21, 10:00-11:30am. Sponsor: United States Institute of Peace (USIP). Speakers: Nancy Lindborg, President, USIP; Elizabeth A. Cole, Senior Program Officer, Center for Applied Research on Conflict, USIP; Virginia M. Bouvier, Senior Adviser for Latin American Programs, USIP; Sarhang Hamasaeed, Senior Program Officer, Center for Middle East and Africa; Susan Hayward, Director, Religion and Peacebuilding, Center for Governance, USIP.

REFORM, RESOURCE GOVERNANCE AND CIVIL SOCIETY IN MYANMAR. 9/21, 11:30am-1:45pm. Sponsors: Partnerships for International Strategies in Asia (PISA), Elliott School and Chino Cienega Foundation (CCF). Speakers: Win Myo Thu, Co-founder and Managing Director, Advancing Life and Regenerating Motherland (ALARM); Christina Fink, Professor of International Affairs, Elliott School.

CONSIDERATIONS IN THE DEVELOPMENT OF NEW BUILD CIVIL NUCLEAR POWER PROGRAMS. 9/21, Noon-1:30pm. Sponsor: Global America Business Institute (GABI). Speaker: William Fork, Senior Lawyer, Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman LLP.

SHADOW FINANCIAL REGULATORY COMMITTEE CONFERENCE. 9/21, Noon-1:30pm, Lunch. Sponsor: AEI. Speakers: Richard J. Herring, Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania; George G. Kaufman, Loyola University Chicago; Marshall Blume, Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania; Kenneth W. Dam, Law School, University of Chicago, Brookings; Franklin Edwards, Columbia University; Robert A. Eisenbeis, Cumberland Advisors; Edward Kane, Boston College; Paul H. Kupiec, AEI; Albert S. Kyle, UMD; Frank Partnoy, School of Law, University of San Diego; Kenneth E. Scott, Stanford Law School; David Skeel, Law School, University of Pennsylvania; Chester Spatt, Carnegie Mellon University.

GLOBAL ENERGY FORUM: REVOLUTIONARY CHANGES AND SECURITY PATHWAYS. 9/21, 1:15-4:30pm. Sponsor: Wilson Center. Speakers: Amy Myers Jaffe, Executive Director, Energy and Sustainability, University of California, Davis; Robert Johnston, CEO, Natural Resources Head, Eurasia Group; David G. Victor, Professor, School of International Relations and Pacific Studies, University of California, San Diego; Leon Fuerth, Practitioner in Residence, Elliott School of International Affairs, George Washington University; David L. Goldwyn, Principal, Goldwyn Global Strategies LLC; Jan H. Kalicki, Public Policy Fellow, Energy Lead, Wilson Center; Julia Nanay, Principal, Energy Ventures LLC.

HARNESSING THE POTENTIAL OF DIASPORA FINANCE. 9/21, 1:30-3:00pm. Sponsor: CSIS. Speakers: Alex Dixon, Director, Diaspora Investment Alliance, Aspen Institute; Eric Guichard, Founder, CEO,; Romi Bahtia, Senior Investment Officer, Development Credit, Authority, U.S. Agency for International Development; Liesl Riddle, Associate Professor, School of Business, GWU; Moderator: Daniel F. Runde, William A. Schreyer Chair in Global Analysis, Director, Project on U.S. Leadership in Development, CSIS.

DIVERSIFYING THE CLIMATE DIALOGUE. 9/21, 3:00-5:00pm. Sponsor: Consortium for Science, Policy and Outcomes (CSPO), Arizona State University (ASU). Speakers: Yves Mathieu, Co-Director, Missions Publique; Christopher Shank, Policy Director, Science, Space and Technology Committee; Jose Aguto, Legislative Secretary, Friends Committee on National Legislation; Daniel Sarewitz, Co-Director, CSPO.

ANNUAL WASHINGTON GALA DINNER: MARKING THE U.S. - INDONESIA COMPREHENSIVE PARTNERSHIP'S 2015 JOINT COMMISSION MEETING AND A NEW PHASE IN U.S. - INDONESIA RELATIONS. 9/21, 6:00pm. Sponsor: United States-Indonesia Society (USINDO). Speaker: Retno L.P. Marsudi, Minister for Foreign Affairs, Republic of Indonesia. Fee.

IS NUCLEAR WAR RISK GROWING? 9/21, 6:30-8:30pm. Sponsor: Project for the Study of the 21st Century. Speakers: Elbridge Colby, Senior Fellow, Center for a New American Security; Scott Cheney-Peters, Founder, Center for International Maritime Security; Rachel Rizzo, Program Assistant, Strategy Initiative, Atlantic Council.