Sunday, April 30, 2017

Monday in Washington May 1, 2017

Golden Week in Japan. Many Japanese legislators in Washington.

WORLD PRESS FREEDOM DAY. 5/1, 9:00-11:00am. Sponsor: Broadcasting Board of Governors. Speakers: Frank Sesno, Director, School of Media and Public Affairs, GWU; Amb. D. Bruce Wharton, Acting Under Secretary for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs, Department of State; John F. Lansing, CEO, Director, Broadcasting Board of Governors; Elise Labott, Global Affairs Correspondent, CNN; Michael Oreskes, Senior Vice President of News, Editorial Director, NPR; David Smith, Washington Correspondent, The Guardian; Setareh Derakhshesh, Director, Persian Service, Voice of America; Mike Eckel, Senior Washington Correspondent, Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty; Bay Fang, Executive Editor, Radio Free Asia; Maryam Bugaje, Multimedia Broadcaster, Hausa Service, Voice of America; Omar Fekeiki, Managing Editor, “Raise Your Voice” Digital, Middle East Broadcasting Networks; Nada Alwadi, Assignment Editor for Community Managers, “Raise Your Voice” Digital, Middle East Broadcasting Networks.

JAPAN’S STRATEGY FOR THE TRUMP ADMINISTRATION. 5/1, 10:00-11:30am. Sponsors: CSIS, Japan Center for Economic Research. Speakers: Gen Nakatani, Member, House of Representatives, Liberal Democratic Party, Former Minister of Defense; Itsunori Onodera, Member, House of Representatives, Liberal Democratic Party, Former Minister of Defense; Former Senior Vice Minister for Foreign Affairs; Akihisa Nagashima, Member, House of Representatives, Independent, Former State Minister of Defense; Moderator: Michael J. Green, Senior Vice President for Asia and Japan Chair, CSIS, Chair in Modern and Contemporary Japanese Politics and Foreign Policy, Georgetown University.

TRUMP’S FIRST 100 DAYS: WHAT NEXT? 5/1, Noon-1:30pm,. Sponsor: Atlantic Council. Speakers: Manuel Muniz, Director, Program on Transatlantic Relations, Weatherhead Center for International Affairs, Harvard University, Leadership Fellow, Atlantic Council; John Negroponte, Vice Chairman, McLarty Associates, Former Director, National Intelligence, U.S. Ambassador to Mexico, Iraq, and the United Nations; Ellen Tauscher, Vice Chair, Brent Scowcroft Center on International Security, Atlantic Council, Former Member, Congress, Secretary of State for Arms Control and international Security Affairs; John Hudson, Foreign Affairs Reporter, BuzzFeed News.

BRINGING HOSTAGES HOME: DEVELOPING EFFECTIVE AMERICAN STRATEGY. 5/1, 12:15-1:45pm. Sponsor: New America. Speakers: Rachel Briggs, OBE Executive Director; Diane Foley, Founder, President, James W. Foley Legacy Foundation; Chris Mellon, Researcher, New America; Theo Padnos, Freelance Journalist, Former Hostage; Aretae Wyler, Chief Administrative Officer, General Counsel, Atlantic Media.

THE ROLE OF MULTI-SECTOR PARTNERSHIPS IN THE NEW DEVELOPMENT ERA. 5/1, 1:00-3:30pm. Sponsor: CSIS. Speakers: Dan Runde, Director, Project on Prosperity and Development, William A. Schreyer Chair, CSIS; Lt. Gen. Charles Cleveland (Ret.), Commander, Special Operations Command-Central (CENTCOM); Morgan Keay, CEO, Founder, Motive International; Bill Guyton, Founder, Former President, World Cocoa Foundation; Simon Lowes, Former Manager, Global Social Performance, Chevron; Katherine Pickus, Vice President, Global Citizenship and Policy, Abbott; Kathleen Strottman, Executive Director, Global Alliance for Children; Daniella Foster, Senior Director, Global Corporate Responsibility, Hilton; Hugh Welsh, President, General Counsel, DSM North America; Moderators: Greg Huger, Former Mission Director, USAID; Richard Crespin, CEO, CollaborateUp.

PROSPECTS FOR FREEDOM IN HONG KONG AT THE 20TH ANNIVERSARY OF THE HANDOVER. 5/1, 2:30-3:30pm. Sponsor: Heritage. Speakers: Martin Lee, Veteran Democracy Leader; Joshua Wong, “Umbrella Movement” Leader; Moderator: Mike Gonzalez, Senior Fellow, Kathryn and Shelby Cullom Davis Institute for National Security and Foreign Policy, Heritage.

A STABLE PAKISTAN: IDENTIFYING KEY ELEMENTS. 5/1, 2:30-4:00pm. Sponsor: U.S Institute of Peace. Speakers: Tricia Bacon, Assistant Professor, School of Public Affairs, American University; Shahid Javed Burki, Chairman, Advisory Council, Institute of Public Policy and former Finance Minister of Pakistan; Shirin Tahir-Kheli, Senior Fellow, Foreign Policy Institute, Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS), The Johns Hopkins University; Adil Najam, Dean, Frederick S. Pardee School of Global Studies, Boston University. Moderator: Moeed Yusuf, Associate Vice President, Asia Center, U.S. Institute of Peace.

NATIONAL SECURITY & THE WHITE HOUSE. 5/1, 6:00-8:00pm. Sponsor: GWU. Speaker: Rumana Ahmed, Former Senior Advisor to Deputy National Security Advisor Ben Rhodes, NAtional Security Council, Obama Administration.

8TH CHINA BUSINESS CONFERENCE. 5/1-2. Sponsor: China Center, US Chamber of Commerce. Speakers: Andrew Batson, Director, China Research, Gavekal Dragonomics; Ian Bremmer, President, Eurasia Group; Myron Brilliant, Executive Vice President, Head of International, U.S. Chamber of Commerce; Mike Brown, Presidential Innovation Fellow, Former CEO, Symantec;Andy Browne, Senior Correspondent, Columnist, Wall Street Journal; Katherine Butler, General Counsel, GE Digital;Mark Duval, President, Greater China, Terex Corporation; Wendy Cutler, Vice President, Asia Society Policy Institute, Managing Director, Asia Society Washington; David Fagan, Partner, Covington & Burling; Michael Forsythe, Reporter, NY Times; Hank Greenberg, Chairman, CEO, C.V. Starr, Co., Inc.; Carlos Gutierrez, Chair, Albright Stonebridge Group, Former Secretary of Commerce; Sebastian Heilmann, President, Mercator Institute for China Studies; Amb. Carla Hills, Co-Chairman, Council on Foreign Relations, Chairman, CEO, Hills and Company; David Hoffman, Vice President, Managing Director, Conference Board China Center; Robert Hormats, Vice Chairman, Kissinger Associates; Ken Jarrett, President, American Chamber of Commerce in Shanghai; Chris Johnson, Senior Adviser, Freeman Chair in China Studies, CSIS; Amb. Robert Kimmitt, Senior International Counsel, Co-Chair, Strategic Response Group, WilmerHale; Arthur Kroeber, Managing Director, Gavekal Dragonomics; Andrew Liveris, President, Chairman, CEO, Dow Chemical Company, Head of Manufacturing Jobs Initiative, White House; David Marchick, Managing Director, Head of External Affairs, Carlyle Group; James McGregor, Chairman, Greater China, APCO Worldwide; Evan Medeiros, Managing Director, Practice Head for Asia, Eurasia Group; Barry Naughton, Sokwanlok Chair of Chinese International Affairs, University of California at San Diego; John Neuffer, President, CEO, Semiconductor Industry Association; Frederic Neumann, Co-Head, Asian Economics Research, Managing Director, HSBC; Evan Osnos, Staff Writer, New Yorker; Henry Paulson, Chairman, Paulson Institute, Former U.S. Treasury Secretary; Randal Phillips, Partner, Managing Director for Asia, Mintz Group; Markus Rodlauer, Deputy Director, Mission Chief China, IMF; Daniel Rosen, Founding Partner Rhodium Group; Hon. Kevin Rudd, President, Asia Society Policy Institute; Jake Sullivan, Martin R. Flug Visiting Lecturer, Yale Law School; Joerg Wuttke, President, European Chamber of Commerce in China, Chief Representative, BASF China; Jonathan Woetzel, Director, McKinsey Global Institute, Senior Partner; William Zarit, Chairman, American Chamber of Commerce in China, Senior Counselor, Cohen Group; Robert Zoellick, Chairman, Goldman Sachs' International Advisors, Former USTR, Deputy Secretary of State.

Sunday, April 23, 2017

Monday in Washington April 24, 2017

REFLECTING ON TRUMP’S FIRST 100 DAYS. 4/24, 9:00am-Noon. Sponsor: Brookings. Speakers: Darrell M. West, Vice President, Director, Governance Studies, Founding Director, Center for Technology Innovation, Brookings; Susan Hennessey, Fellow, Governance Studies, Managing Editor, Lawfare; Leon Wieseltier, Isaiah Berlin Senior Fellow in Culture and Policy, Foreign Policy, Governance Studies; Benjamin Wittes, Senior Fellow, Governance Studies, Editor-in-chief, Lawfare; Louise M. Sheiner, Policy Director, Hutchins Center on Fiscal and Monetary Policy, Senior Fellow, Economic Studies, Brookings; Philip A. Wallach, Senior Fellow, Governance Studies; Vanessa Williamson, Fellow, Governance Studies; William A. Galston, Ezra K. Zilkha Chair, Senior Fellow, Governance Studies; John Hudak, Deputy Director, Center for Effective Public Management, Senior Fellow, Governance Studies; Elaine Kamarck, Founding Director, Center for Effective Public Management, Senior Fellow, Governance Studies; Nicol Turner-Lee, Fellow, Governance Studies, Center for Technology Innovation; Moderators: Shane Harris, Senior Writer, Wall Street Journal; Ben Casselman, Senior Editor, Chief Economics Writer, FiveThirtyEight; Karen Tumulty, National Political Correspondent, Washington Post.

A CONVERSATION WITH THE PRESIDENT OF THE AIIB. 4/24, 11:00am. Sponsor: Atlantic Council. Speakers: Hon. Jin Liqun, President, Chairman, Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB); Frederick Kempe, President, CEO, Atlantic Council; Moderator: Olin Wethington, Senior Fellow, Brent Scowcroft Center on International Security, Atlantic Council.

THE FRAGMENTATION OF THE GLOBAL ECONOMY AND US-RUSSIA RELATIONS. 4/24, 11:30am-12:30pm. Sponsor: Institute for European, Russian, and Eurasia Studies (IERES), PONARS Eurasia, Elliott School, GWU. Speakers: Rawi Abdelal, Herbert F. Johnson Professor of International Management, Harvard Business School, Director, Davis Center for Russian and Eurasian Studies; Igor Makarov, Associate Professor of World Economy and International Affairs, Higher School of Economics, National Research University, Moscow.

WOMEN’S EMPOWERMENT & SEXUAL HEALTH: A CONVERSATION WITH LILIANNE PLOUMEN, DUTCH MINISTER FOR FOREIGN TRADE AND DEVELOPMENT COOPERATION. 4/24, Noon-1:30pm. Sponsors: Institute for International Economic Policy, George Washington University; Institute for European, Russian and Eurasian Studies, George Washington University; The Global Women’s Institute, George Washington University. Speaker: Lilianne Ploumen, Dutch Minister, Foreign Trade and Development Cooperation.

DISCUSSION ON CHINESE OUTBOUND INVESTMENT & U.S LEADERSHIP IN GLOBAL ECONOMIC AFFAIRS WITH SENATOR DAN SULLIVAN. 4/24, Noon-2:00pm. Sponsor: German Marshall Fund of the United States (GMF). Speakers: Dan Sullivan, U.S. Senate; Rod Hunter, Partner, Baker & Mckenzie LLP; Robert J. Shapiro, Chairman, Sonecon; Daniel Twining, Counselor and Director, Asia, GMF. Location: SD-G50. Contact: Danielle Piatkiewicz, GMF Asia Program Coordinator.
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BOOK TALK: BY MORE THAN PROVIDENCE, BY MICHAEL GREEN. 4/24, 12:30-1:30pm. Sponsor: Global Taiwan Institute (GTI). Speaker: Michael J. Green, Senior Vice President, Japan Chair, Center for Strategic and International Studies, Washington, DC, Chair, Modern and Contemporary Japanese Politics and Foreign Policy, Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Service, Georgetown University, Special Assistant to the President and Senior Director, Asian Affairs, National Security Council Staff.

THE LONG WAR IN AFGHANISTAN AND THE TRUMP ADMINISTRATION. 4/24, 12:30-2:00pm. Sponsor: Brookings. Speakers: H.E. Hamdullah Mohib, Ambassador of Islamic Republic of Afghanistan to the United States; H.E. Anwar ul Haq Ahady, Former Minister of Finance and of Transportation and Commerce, Islamic Republic of Afghanistan; Vanda Felbab-Brown, Senior Fellow, Foreign Policy, Center for 21st Century Security and Intelligence; Moderator: Michael E. O’Hanlon, Senior Fellow, Foreign Policy, Center for 21st Century Security and Intelligence, Director of Research, Foreign Policy, Co-Director, Center for 21st Century Security and Intelligence, Sydney Stein, Jr. Chair, Brookings.

NORTH KOREA’S GULAG: ADDRESSING AN ONGOING HUMANITARIAN EMERGENCY. 4/24, 1:00-4:00pm. Sponsors: Committee for Human Rights in North Korea (HRNK); GW THiNK; North Korea Freedom Coalition (NKFC). Speakers: Greg Scarlatoiu, Executive Director, HRNK; Jason West, Graduate President, GW THiNK; Suzanne Scholte, Chair, NKFC, Co-Vice-Chair, HRNK; Rosa Park, Director of Programs, Editor, HRNK; Roberta Cohen, Co-Chair Emeritus, HRNK; Nicholas Eberstadt, Henry Wendt Chair, AEI, Board Member, HRNK; Anthony Ruggiero, Senior Fellow, Foundation for Defense of Democracies; Moderator: Suzanne Scholte, Chair, NKFC and Co-Vice-Chair, HRNK, North Korean escapee delegation.

DEMINING WAR ZONES: OPENING SPACE FOR BUILDING PEACE. 4/24, 1:00-5:30pm. Sponsor: United States Institute of Peace. Speakers: Joseph Pennington, Deputy Assistant Secretary, State for Iraq, U.S. Department of State; Daniel Avila, Deputy Chief of Mission, Embassy of Colombia, Former Director, Colombian Demining Authority, U. S. Department of State; Sorin Ducaru, Assistant Secretary General, Emerging Security Challenges, NATO; Ken Rutherford, Director, Center for International Stabilization and Recovery, James Madison University; Jerry Guilbert, Deputy Director for Programs, Office of Weapons Removal and Abatement, U.S. Department of State; Agnès Marcaillou, Director, U.N. Mine Action Service; Virginia Bouvier, Senior Advisor, U.S. Institute of Peace; Maj-Gen James Cowan, CEO, HALO Trust; Mark Swayne, Acting Deputy Assistant Secretary, Defense for Stability & Humanitarian Affairs, U. S. Department of Defense; Maj-Gen Michael Rothstein, Deputy Assistant Secretary of State,  U. S. Department of State; Carla Koppell, Vice President, Applied Conflict Transformation, U. S. Institute of Peace. Moderator: Paul Hughes, Special Advisor and Director, Overseas Safety and Security, U.S. Institute of Peace; Ken Rutherford, Director, Center for International Stabilization and Recovery, James Madison University; Steven Costner, Deputy Director, Office of Weapons Removal and Abatement, U.S. Department of State.

EXTREMISM IN SOUTH ASIA: NEW WAYS TO RESPOND? 4/24, 1:30-3:00pm. Sponsor: United States Institute of Peace. Speakers: Farid Senzai, Founder and President, Center for Global Policy; Ali Mohammad Ali, Senior Fellow, Center for Global Policy; Kamran Bokhari, Director for Political Affairs, Center for Global Policy; Susan Hayward, Senior Advisor, Religion & Inclusive Societies, U.S. Institute of Peace; Iman Malik, Consultant, The World Bank Group. Moderator: Scott Worden, Director, Afghanistan and Central Asia Programs, U.S. Institute of Peace.

RUSSIA'S TURN TO THE EAST. 4/24. 2:00-3:30pm. Sponsor: US-Asia Institute. Speakers: Jeffrey Mankoff, Deputy Director and Senior Fellow, Russia and Eurasia Program, CSIS; Stephen Blank, Senior Fellow, American Foreign Policy Council, Emma Chanlett-Avery, Specialist in Asian Affairs, Congressional Research Service.
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GENERAL GEORGE C. MARSHALL AND THE ATOMIC BOMB. 4/24, 4:00-5:30pm. Sponsor: History and Public Policy Program, Nuclear Proliferation International History Project, Woodrow Wilson Center (WWC). Speaker: Eric Arnesen, Fellow, Professor of History, GWU; Moderator: CHristian F. Ostermann, Director, History and Public Policy Program, Cold War International History Project, North Korea Documentation Project, Nuclear Proliferation International History Project, WWC.

AVOIDING WAR WITH CHINA. 4/24, 4:30-6:00pm. Sponsor: Institute for Communitarian Policy Studies, Elliott School, GWU. Speaker: Author Amitai Etzioni, Professor of International Affairs, Director, Institute for Communitarian Policy Studies, GWU.

Sunday, April 16, 2017

Monday in Washington April 17, 2017

RUSSIA IN THE GLOBAL ARMS MARKET. 4/17, 10:00-11:30am. Sponsor: CSIS. Speakers: Sergey Denisentsev, Visiting Fellow, Russia and Eurasia Program, CSIS, Senior Research Fellow, Center for Analysis of Strategies and Technologies (CAST); Olga Oliker, Senior Adviser, Director, Russia and Eurasia Program, CSIS.

THE WORLD DEVELOPMENT REPORT ON GOVERNANCE: ‘BEST PRACTICE’ VS ‘WORKING WITH THE GRAIN’. 4/17, Noon-1:30pm. Sponsor: Center for Global Development. Speakers: Luis-Felipe Lopez-Calva, Co-Director, World Development Report 2017: Governance and the Law; Michael Klein,  Professor, Frankfurt School of Finance & Management; Moderator: Charles Kenny, Senior Fellow, Center for Global Development.

CHINA’S NEW SILK ROAD STRATEGY AND INDIA’S OPTIONS: COMPETITIVE COOPERATION? 4/17, 12:15-1:30pm. Sponsor: Sigur Center for Asian Studies, George Washington University. Speaker: Ajay Chhibber, Visiting Distinguished Professor, National Institute, Public Finance and Policy, Visiting Scholar, Institute for International Economic Policy, George Washington University.

Image result for the souls of chinaA UK-US TRADE PARTNERSHIP POST-BREXIT. 4/17, 3:00-4:30pm. Sponsor: Scholl Chair in International Business, CSIS. Speakers: Shanker Singham, Director, Economic Policy and Prosperity Studies, Chairman, Legatum Institute Special Trade Commission; Hon. Grant Aldonas, Principal, Split Rock International, Senior Adviser, CSIS, Commissioner, Legatum Institute Special Trade Commission; Moderator: Scott Miller, Senior Adviser, Scholl Chair in International Business, CSIS.

RELIGION AND THE SEARCH FOR MEANING IN THE PEOPLE’S REPUBLIC. 4/17, 3:30-4:30pm. Sponsor: Kissinger Institute on China and US, Woodrow Wilson Center (WWC). Speaker: Author Ian Johnson, The Souls of China; Moderator: Robert Daly, Director, Kissinger Institute on China and the US.

WESTERN SANCTIONS ON RUSSIA ARE HARMING EUROPE. 4/17, 4:00pm. Sponsor: Institute of World Politics. Speaker: Brandon Weichert, Former Congressional Staffer, Founder, Weichert Report.

Sunday, April 9, 2017

Monday in Washington April 10, 2017

PRIVATE ROUNDTABLE DISCUSSION WITH THE HONORABLE ALAINA B. TEPLITZ. 4/10, 11:00am. Sponsor: South Asia Business Initiative, US Chamber of Commerce. Speaker: Hon. Alaina B. Teplitz, US Ambassador to Nepal. Location: US Chamber of Commerce, 1615 H St., NW, Amway Room.

DEBATING THE MERITS OF THE TRUMP ADMINISTRATION’S NEW TRAVEL, IMMIGRATION AND REFUGEE BAN. 4/10, 11:00am-12:30pm. Sponsor: SAIS, Johns Hopkins. Speakers: Danielle Pletka, Senior Vice President, Foreign and Defense Policy Studies, AEI;  George Biddle, Chairman, World Connect, Former Executive Vice President, International Rescue Committee; Alex Aleinikoff, Director, Zolberg Institute of Migration and Mobility, New School; James Jay Carafano, Vice President, Kathryn and Shelby Cullom Davis Institute for National Security and Foreign Policy, Heritage; Moderator: Margaret Warner, Chief Foreign Affairs Correspondent, PBS NewsHour.

DOWNSTREAM OIL THEFT: IMPLICATIONS AND NEXT STEPS. 4/10, 12:30pm. Sponsor: Atlantic Council. Speakers: Ian Ralby, Nonresident Senior Fellow, Global Energy Center, Atlantic Council; John Gannon, Adjunct Professor, Center for Security Studies, School of Foreign Service, Georgetown University, Former Chairman, US National Intelligence Council; Terzah Tippin Poe, Lecturer, Harvard University; Moderator: Amb. Richard Morningstar (Ret.), Founding Director, Chairman, Global Energy Center, Atlantic Council, Former Special Envoy for Eurasian Energy, US Department of State.

FUELING POPULISM: GLOBALIZATION’S DISCONTENTS IN THE US AND EUROPE. 4/10, 1:00-2:30pm. Sponsor: Brookings. Speakers: Uta-Micaela Dürig, CEO, Robert Bosch Stifung; Strobe Talbott, President, Brookings; Gérard Araud, Ambassador of France to the US; Nicholas Eberstadt, Henry Wendt Chair in Political Economy, AEI; Constanze Stelzenmüller, Robert Bosch Senior Fellow, Foreign Policy, Center on the US and Europe; Moderator: David Wessel, Director, Hutchins Center on Fiscal and Monetary Policy, Senior Fellow, Economic Studies.

IN THE NEWS: BREXIT. 4/10, 2:00-3:00pm. Sponsor: Mortara Center for International Studies, Georgetown University. Speakers: Jeffrey Anderson, Graf Goltz Professor of Government, Director, BMW Center for German and European Studies, Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Service, Georgetown University; Kathleen R. McNamara, Professor of Government and Foreign Service, Georgetown University, Distinguished Scholar in Residence, School of International Service, American University; Abraham Newman, Associate Professor, Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Service, Government Department, Georgetown University.

THE BATTLE OF THE PRESIDENT AND CONGRESS IN THE AGES OF REAGAN AND TRUMP. 4/10, 4:00pm. Sponsor: Institute of World Politics. Speaker: Thomas Wilson, Former Senior Counsel, Iran-Contra Defendants.

THE PAST, PRESENT, AND FUTURE OF CLIMATE CHANGE. 4/10, 7:00pm. Sponsor: School of Foreign Service, Georgetown University. Speaker: Gus Speth, Former Administrator, Development Program, UN, Founder, World Resources Institute, Co-Founder, Natural Resources Defense Council, Former Chairman, US Council on Environmental Quality.

Sunday, April 2, 2017

Japan Backward

When "Forward" Means "Right"
The Sankei group wants to launch a new English-language news organ that more aggressively pushes Japanese perspectives. Good luck with that.

by David McNeillwrites for the Independent, the Economist and other publications. He has been based in Tokyo since 2000 and is an APP member.

Foreign Correspondents Club of Japan
Number 1 Shimbun 3/31/17

Foreign journalists are often blamed for distorting the image of Japan by, for example, moralizing about the quirks of its economy and politics, or peddling hardy perennials (geishas, sexless marriages, gangsters, suicide) that convey exoticism, not depth or nuance. Then there’s the shrill online outrage that now greets each foreign story about historical issues such as the comfort women coerced into World War II military brothels, who have been the subject of undignified diplomatic haggling for the last two decades.

Some correspondents, such as Carsten Germis of the German daily, Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, have even been accused (by the foreign ministry, no less) of taking bribes from China for writing about Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s attempts to whitewash Japan’s wartime misdeeds.

So, try to imagine a project that might redraw this distorted picture. It would give “Japanese perspectives” on diplomacy, culture and history. It might come from the media stable most closely associated in Japan with unabashed nationalism – the Sankei Shimbun. It would have a hinomaru as its symbol and a moniker like “Japan First,” except that’s the name of a political party, and a popular tweet handle (“Japan for the Japanese; Anti-Globalism, Anti-Communism”). Not “Japan Best,” because that sounds childish. How about “Japan Forward”?

What you might have pictured is actually the pre-launch edition of an English-language online newspaper that emerged in May of last year from the Sankei group. The aim says an editorial, is to provide a forum for “Japanese voices” and deliver them to the world “as we think about the future.” Articles on the website’s front page include an interview with Abe in which he pledges to bring Japanese abductees home from North Korea. Defense Minister Tomomi Inada defends her controversial pilgrimage last December to Yasukuni Shrine, and a cheeky commentary urges President Donald Trump to also visit the Shinto landmark.

THAT SUGGESTS A FIXATION with rightist causes but it’s not the whole picture. Sure, there are oven-ready articles from the Sankei cupboard and polemical broadsides against China. But Japan Forward also carries thoughtful essays on the rise of Yuriko Koike, Tokyo’s governor, and on Abe’s relationship with Trump.

The schizophrenic tone – not so much nationalist swaggering as an apologetic lurch – may reflect the presence of several foreign contributors and commissioning editors. They include Paul Nadeau, who doubles as a private secretary to Tsuyoshi Hoshino, an LDP lawmaker and former Sankei reporter.

When approached by Sankei editors to collaborate with the publication, Nadeau, a Tokyo-based American and occasional writer, says he was at least sympathetic enough to the complaint that Japan was sometimes ill served by its corps of gaijin hacks to want to help. “One of the issues with Western reporting on Japan is that it often tends to fit Western frames to Japanese political discussions,” he says, citing an article in the Washington Post by Anna Fifield quoting a university professor in comparing Inada to Marie Le Pen, France’s rightwing firebrand. “Okay, they’re both conservative and women, but Inada has spoken positively for LGBT rights, and immigration. You’d never see Le Pen do that.”

“One of the issues with Western reporting on Japan is that it often tends to fit Western frames to Japanese political discussions.”

Nadeau says he was also “frustrated” by articles citing a steady rise in Japanese defence spending as evidence of its remilitarization. “The numbers are quite small in context and there are a lot of constraints that prevent spending from growing higher.” It’s not a distortion or bias, he explains: “It’s an incomplete characterization.”

The Sankei, the smallest of Japan’s major dailies, had been the only one without an English-language edition. The Yomiuri still churns out its print offshoot, the Japan News. The Nikkei launched a magazine, the Nikkei Asian Review, in 2014, while both the Mainichi and Asahi long ago pulled their English newspapers but have continued with an online presence.

BUT IF THE EDITORIAL team’s “mission statement” on the Japan Forward website is to be believed, something is still missing. So they intend to present the “true face of Japan,” and are setting out to overcome misunderstandings “born of linguistic barriers.” They are open to a “freewheeling debate,” welcoming “well-expressed dissenting and dissimilar views,” and basing the editorial on the Sankei’s high-quality articles, editorials, interviews and other Japan-original content.” Typically, one of its earlier efforts was titled “‘Japan First’ Is the Only Response to ‘America First,’” in which Sankei executive editor Masato Inui warned that: “A dog-eat-dog world is coming, and we must hurry to prepare for it.”

Laudable aspirations, if one believes that the time is ripe for a publication that will more assertively push Japan’s interests. It comes at a time when there has been a resurgence of national pride, with TV and books increasingly filled with “Japan is great” praise. As Masakazu Shirana and Teiichi Ikeda, reporters with the Tokyo Shimbun noted recently, it is a phenomenon that seems less a harbinger for the future than a nod to the past, specifically the xenophobic 1930s.

It comes at a time when there has been a resurgence of national pride, with TV and books increasingly filled with “Japan is great” praise.

Still Japan Forward has its work cut out: the beta version isn’t particularly revolutionary. Among the recent uploads is standard rightist fare, such as an accusatory piece on the Chinese government’s support of Japan-focused hatred. Much of the content in the rather clumsily designed interface was pretty bland stuff. There was an introduction to Tokyo’s Nezu Shrine, coverage of the last day of the recent sumo tournament and a breathless promo of a new luxury train line. If this is anything to go by, none of the English editions of the Japanese dailies, much less the Japan Times – dubbed the “anti-Japan Times” by the right – have anything to fear from their new competition.

NB: The publication is also an avenue to pay a number of rightwing White men to write or appear to write anti-Korea or anti-Chinese articles. There are only a few "right white faces" that do this, so it is easy to quickly learn their names and avoid them. In addition, many of the key Japanese history deniers are article authors. 

Though the beta edition is intended to end with a formal launch in May, when the business plan calls for sponsorship to make it a self-sustaining operation, they have yet to face the full-throttle complexities of an ongoing website, requiring quality writing and editing on a regular basis, and though we reached out for comment from the Sankei, we received no reply.

Will the Sankei’s promise to promote “diverse perspectives” survive? Perhaps not: Senior editors have already reportedly reined in articles that strayed too far from its unofficial remit – to make Japan appear great again.

Monday in Washington April 3, 2017

WAR IN TRANSITION: COUNTERTERRORISM AND FORCE IN THE TRUMP ADMINISTRATION. 4/3, 9:30-11:00am. Sponsor: American Society of International Law (ASIL). Speakers: Rita Siemion, International Legal Counsel, Human Rights First; Luke Hartig, Fellow, International Security Program, New America; Jen Daskal, Associate Professor of Law, American University, Washington College of Law; Moderator: Christie Edwards, Chair, Lieber Society on the Law of Armed Conflict, ASIL.

ARCTIC SECURITY CONFERENCE. 4/3, 10:00am-3:00pm. Sponsor: Global Security and Conflict Management Club, SAIS, Johns Hopkins. Speakers: Fran Ulmer, Chair, US Arctic Research Commission; Rear Admiral David Titley (Ret.), Director, Center for Solutions to Weather and Climate Risk, Penn State University; Aaretti Siitonen, First Secretary, Embassy of Finland; Amb. Ken Yalowitz, Director, Conflict Resolution Program, Georgetown University; Judge Alice Hill (Ret.), Research Fellow, Hoover Institution; Cathleen Kelly, Senior Fellow, Center for American Progress; Inuuteq Holm Olsen, Head of Representation, Greenland Representation; Olafr Røsnes, Energy Counselor, Embassy of Norway.

A CONVERSATION WITH CHRISTINE LAGARDE. 4/3, 11:00am-Noon. Sponsor: AEI. Speakers: Arthur C. Brooks, AEI; Christine Lagarde, Managing Director, IMF; Desmond Lachman, AEI.

TRANSATLANTIC TIES AND NATO IN THE AGE OF BREXIT AND TRUMP. 4/3, Noon, Lunch. Sponsor: Women’s Foreign Policy Group. Speaker: Karen Donfried, President, German Marshall Fund.

THE FUTURE OF PUBLIC DIPLOMACY. 4/3, Noon-1:20pm. Sponsor: Annenberg Center on Communication Leadership and Policy, University of Southern California. Speakers: Ernest Wilson, Dean, Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism, University of Southern California; James Goldgeier, Dean, School of International Service, American University; Reuben Briget, Dean, Elliott School, GWU; Joel Hellma, Dean, School of Foreign Service, Georgetown University.

COUNTERING NORTH KOREAN ILLICIT FINANCING. 4/3, 12:30-2:00pm. Sponsor: SAIS, Johns Hopkins. Speaker: David Park, Office of Terrorist Financing and Financial Crimes, Department of Treasury, US.

IS SOMETHING STIRRING IN CENTRAL ASIA? 4/3, 4:00pm. Sponsors: Atlantic Council; Central Asia-Caucasus Institute. Speakers: Amb. John Herbst, Director, Dinu Patriciu Eurasia Center, Atlantic Council; Amb. Richard Hoagland, Interim Co-chair, OSCE Minsk Group; Daniel Rosenblum, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Central Asia, Bureau of South and Central Asian Affairs, US Department of State; Martha Olcott, Visiting Professor, Michigan State University; Moderator: S. Frederick Starr, Chairman, Central Asia-Caucasus Institute, American Foreign Policy Council.

Image result for no exit north koreaGLOBAL COOPERATION IN TURBULENT TIMES. 4/3, 4:00-5:00pm. Sponsor: AEI. Speakers: Mateusz Morawiecki, Deputy Prime Minister, Poland; Ondrej Schneider, Institute of International Finance; Stan Veuger, Resident Scholar, AEI.

NUCLEAR PROLIFERATION: THE CASE OF NORTH KOREA. 4/3, 5:00-7:00pm. Sponsor: US-Korea Institute at SAIS, Energy, Resources and Environment Program, Johns Hopkins. Speaker: Jonathan D. Pollack, Senior Fellow, Thornton China Center, Interim SK-Korea Foudnataion Chair, Brookings, Author, No Exit: North Korea, Nuclear Weapons, and International Security.

FUTURE OF INNOVATION IN NATIONAL SECURITY. 4/3, 6:30-8:00pm. Sponsor: , Center for Security Studies, Georgetown University. Speakers: Gen. Paul Selva, Vice Chairman, Joint Chiefs of Staff; Andrew Hallman, Deputy Director, Digital Innovation, CIA; Milo Medin, Vice President, Access Services, Google, Member, Defense Innovation Board; Moderator: Chris Taylor, Adjunct Professor, National Security Studies.