Saturday, August 16, 2014

Prime Minister of Japan’s Schedule July 14-20, 2014

Monday, July 14, 2014
AM
12:00 At official residence (no visitors)
07:27 Depart from official residence
07:28 Arrive at office
07:30 Meet with Deputy Chief Cabinet Secretary Kato Katsunobu
08:08 End meeting with Mr. Kato
08:52 Depart from office
08:53 Arrive at Diet
08:55 Enter Lower House 1st Committee Members’ Room
08:56 Speak with LDP Vice-President Komura Masahiko
08:57 Finish speaking with Mr. Komura
08:58 Lower House Budget Committee convenes

PM
12:00 Lower House Budget Committee recess
12:01 Leave Lower House 1st Committee Members’ Room
12:03 Depart from Diet
12:05 Arrive at office
12:10 Ruling Party Liaison Conference
12:31 Conference ends
12:32 Speak with Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance Aso Taro and Director-General of LDP Election Strategy Committee Kawamura Takeo
12:33 Finish speaking with Mr. Aso and Mr. Kawamura
12:55 Depart from office
12:56 Arrive at Diet
12:58 Enter Lower House 1st Committee Members’ Room
01:00 Lower House Budget Committee reconvenes
05:06 Committee adjourns
05:07 Leave Lower House 1st Committee Members’ Room
05:09 Depart from Diet
05:11 Arrive at office
05:12 Meet with Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA)’s Administrative Vice-Ministers Saiki Akitaka and Sugiyama Shinsuke, Foreign Policy Bureau Director-General Hiramatsu Kenji, and Director-General of European Affairs Bureau Hayashi Hajime
05:42 End meeting with Mr. Saiki, Mr. Sugiyama, Mr. Hiramatsu, and Mr. Hayashi
05:43 Speak with Minister of Defense Onodera Itsunori
05:49 Finish speaking with Mr. Onodera
06:06 Depart from office
06:15 Arrive at Imperial Palace, register return to Japan
06:22 Depart from Imperial Palace
06:32 Arrive at Hotel Okura in Toranomon, Tokyo. Attend reception for International Conference of Industrial Heritage in banquet hall Heian Room
07:01 Depart from hotel
07:06 Arrive at official residence
07:07 Dinner meeting with President of Asian Forum Japan (AFJ) Yoshihara Kinichi
08:46 Meet with Chairman of Lower House Committee on Cabinet Shibayama Masahiko
09:21 End meeting with Mr. Shibayama

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

AM
12:00 At official residence (no visitors)
07:17 Depart from official residence
07:18 Arrive at office
07:19 Meet with Deputy Chief Cabinet Secretary Seko Hiroshige
08:21 End meeting with Mr. Seko
08:23 Cabinet Meeting begins
08:34 Cabinet Meeting ends
08:35 Meet with Mr. Seko
08:52 End meeting with Mr. Seko
08:55 Depart from office
08:56 Arrive at Diet
08:58 Enter Upper House 1st Committee Members’ Room
09:00 Upper House Budget Committee convenes
11:54 Committee recess
11:55 Leave room
11:56 Depart from Diet
11:59 Arrive at office

PM
12:54 Depart from office
12:56 Arrive at Diet
12:58 Enter Upper House 1st Committee Members’ Room
01:00 Upper House Budget Committee reconvenes
05:22 Committee adjourns
05:23 Leave room
05:25 Depart from Diet
05:27 Arrive at office
L to R: Green, Nye, Blair, Armitage, Hamre, Abe
REPORT
05:31 Director of Cabinet Intelligence Kitamura Shigeru, National Security Council (NSC) Director Yachi Shotaro, and Cabinet Satellite Intelligence Center Director Shimohira Koji enter
05:46 Mr. Yachi and Mr. Shimohira leave
05:52 Mr. Kitamura leaves
05:55 Meet with U.S.-Japan Commission on the Future of the Alliance’s U.S. think tank CSIS President John J. Hamre and colleagues
[funded by Sasakawa Peace Foundation]
06:20 End meeting with Mr. Hamre
06:41 Depart from office
06:45 Arrive at ANA Intercontinental Hotel Tokyo in Akasaka, Tokyo. Attend and give address at the meeting of a nursing policy group [看護政策懇話会 : Kango Seisaku Konwakai] in Japanese restaurant Unkai
07:05 Depart from hotel
07:11 Arrive at official residence

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

AM
12:00 At official residence (no visitors)
07:35 Depart from official residence
07:46 Arrive at JR Tokyo Station
07:56 Depart station on Hayabusa No. 101
09:30 Arrive at JR Sendai Station
09:38 Depart from station. Minister for Reconstruction Nemoto Takumi accompanies
10:26 Arrive at Fisheries Promotion Center in Shichigahama Town, Miyagi Prefecture. Reception with Vice-Governor of Miyagi Prefecture Wako Masahiro and Mayor of Shichigahama Town Watanabe Yoshio. Pray in front of cenotaph. View Fisheries Promotion Center
10:51 Depart from Fisheries Promotion Center
11:46 Arrive at agricultural corporation Agriead Naruse [アグリードなるせ] in Nobiru, Higashimatsuyama City, Miyagi Prefecture. Reception by Mayor of Higashimatsuyama City Abe Hideo. View site
12:08 Depart from Agriead Naruse
12:25 Arrive at wedding hall Presetir Uchiyasu in Omagari, Higashimatsuyama City. Have lunch with Mr. Wako and Mr. Abe
12:54 Depart from wedding hall
01:00 Arrive at emergency housing in Komatsu, Higashimatsuyama City. View housing and have informal talk with occupants
01:21 Interview open to all media: When asked “What were your thoughts while viewing [the emergency housing]” Mr. Abe answers “[I felt] a sense that livelihood [in the region] will be once again certain through continued reconstruction efforts”
01:25 Interview ends
01:27 Depart from emergency housing
02:24 Arrive at JR Sendai Station
02:44 Depart from station on Yamabiko No. 144
04:50 Arrive at JR Tokyo Station
04:54 Depart from station
05:07 Arrive at office
05:08 Minister of Finance Aso Taro, Ministry of Finance’s Budget Bureau Director-General Kagawa Shunsuke, Budget Bureau Director-General Tanaka Kazuho, and Tax Bureau Director-General Sato Shinichi enter
05:35 Mr. Kagawa, Mr. Tanaka and Mr. Sato leave
05:46 Mr. Aso leaves
05:47 Speak with former Ambassador to Myanmar Numata Mikio
05:52 Finish speaking with Mr. Numata
05:53 Meet with Ministry of Defense’s Bureau of Defense Policy Director-General Tokuchi Hideshi and Joint Staff Council’s Chief of Staff Iwasaki Shigeru
06:10 End meeting with Mr. Tokuchi and Mr. Iwasaki
06:37 Meet with French Ambassador to Japan Christian Masset
06:52 End meeting with Mr. Masset
07:05 Dinner with a group of ambassadors from Islamic countries
07:26 Finish dinner
07:27 Depart from office
07:29 Arrive at official residence

Thursday, July 17, 2014

AM
12:00 At official residence (no visitors)
08:00 At official residence (no morning visitors)
08:35 Depart from official residence
08:36 Arrive at office
08:37 Meet with Minister in charge of Civil Service Reform Inada Tomomi and Director-General of Personnel Affairs Kato Katsunobu
09:01 End meeting with Ms. Inada and Mr. Kato
09:02 Minister in charge of TPP Amari Akira, Chief Domestic Coordinator of Government Headquarters for the TPP Sasaki Toyonari and Chief Negotiator Tsuruoka Koji enter
09:17 Mr. Sasaki and Mr. Tsuruoka leave
09:29 Mr. Amari leaves
09:33 Council for Science, Technology and Innovation meeting
10:01 Meeting ends
10:08 Council for the Protection of Information meeting
11:00 Meeting ends
11:01 Speak with Administrative Vice-Minister of Defense Nishi Masanori
11:15 Finish speaking with Mr. Nishi
11:47 Courtesy call from Mayor of Kunimi Town (in Fukushima Prefecture), Miss Peach Lady Aikawa Kaede, and others
11:53 Courtesy call ends
11:54 Meet with Director of Kyoto University’s Kokoro Research Center Yoshikawa Sakiko

PM
01:20 End meeting with Ms. Yoshikawa
01:21 Speak with critic Nishimura Kohyu
01:32 Finish speaking with Mr. Nishimura
01:33 Meet with Governor of Tokyo Prefecture Masuzoe Yoichi. Chief Cabinet Secretary Suga Yoshihide also attends
01:53 End meeting with Mr. Masuzoe
01:58 Receive courtesy call from a South Korean media delegation led by Editor-in-Chief of Chosun Ilbo Song Hee-young, and colleagues
02:31 Courtesy call ends
02:32 Meet with LDP Lower House member Kawai Katsuyuki
02:48 End meeting with Mr. Kawai
03:31 Depart from office
03:33 Arrive at Lower House 1st Diet Members’ Meeting Hall, dental examination at dentist’s office inside the hall
04:21 Depart from meeting hall
04:23 Arrive at office
04:27 Council for the Promotion of Social Security Reform meeting
04:29 Meeting ends
04:30 Meet with Minister of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism Ohta Akihiro
04:49 End meeting with Mr. Ohta
04:50 Speak with Special Advisor to the Prime Minister Isozaki Yosuke
05:00 Finish speaking with Mr. Isozaki
05:02 Ministerial Council on Monthly Economic Report and Other Relative Issues meeting
05:25 Meeting ends
05:30 NSC meeting commences. Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry Motegi Toshimitsu also attends
05:47 Mr. Motegi leaves
06:25 NSC meeting adjourns
07:07 Depart from office
07:08 Arrive at official residence

Friday, July 18, 2014

AM
12:00 At official residence (no visitors)
08:00 At official residence (no morning visitors)
08:28 Depart from official residence
08:29 Arrive at Diet
08:30 Interview open to all media: When asked “What was your correspondence with the government concerning the Malaysian plane crash?” Mr. Abe replies “After the incident, at the next NSC meeting we are scheduled to talk about the status of investigation of the cause, analysis, and information gathering.”
08:31 Interview ends
08:49 Speak with Minister in charge of Economic Revitalization Amari Akira and Vice-Minister of Cabinet Office Matsuyama Kenji
09:01 Finish speaking with Mr. Amari and Mr. Matsuyama
09:06 Nine Ministers’ Group of National Security Council meeting
09:21 Meeting ends
09:31 Headquarters for Water Cycle Policy meeting
09:39 Meeting ends
09:42 Cabinet Meeting begins
10:01 Cabinet Meeting ends
10:02 Speak with incoming Administrative Vice-Minister of Health, Labour and Welfare Hara Katsunori and outgoing Administrative Vice-Minister Ebata Jun
10:07 Finish speaking with Mr. Hara and Mr. Ebata
10:08 Speak with incoming Vice-Minister of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism Honda Masaru and outgoing Vice-Minister Masuda Yuichi
10:10 Finish speaking with Mr. Honda and Mr. Masuda
10:11 Speak with incoming Vice-Minister of the Environment Suzuki Masaki and outgoing Vice-Minister Yatsu Ryutaro
10:12 Finish speaking with Mr. Suzuki and Mr. Yatsu
10:13 Speak with incoming Vice-Minister Internal Affairs and Communications Oishi Toshio and outgoing Vice-Minister Okazaki Hiromi
10:14 Finish speaking with Mr. Oishi and Mr. Okazaki
10:22 Meet with Director of Cabinet Intelligence Kitamura Shigeru
10:52 End meeting with Mr. Kitamura
11:01 MOFA’s Vice-Minister Saiki Akitaka, Foreign Policy Bureau Director-General Hiramatsu Kenji, and Director-General of Middle Eastern and African Affairs Bureau Uemura Tsukasa enter
11:25 Mr. Uemura leaves
11:36 Mr. Saiki and Mr. Hiramatsu leave
11:38 Receive courtesy call from Yamanashi Fruit Lady Hayakawa Yukari, Governor of Yamanashi Prefecture Yokouchi Shomei and others
11:50 Courtesy call ends

PM
12:16 Depart from office
12:41 Arrive at Haneda Airport
01:05 Depart from airport on ANA Flight 3879
02:24 Arrive at Kitakyushu Airport
02:35 Depart from airport
03:10 Arrive at hydrogen dispensing facility Kitakyushu Hydrogen Station [北九州水素ステーション] in Yahatahigashi-ku, Kitakyushu City. Reception with LDP Lower House member Mihara Asahiko and colleagues. Test drive a fuel-cell car
03:24 Depart from Kitakyushu Hydrogen Station
03:31 Arrive at real estate section Hachiman of Yawata Steel Works, belonging to Nippon Steel Corporation. View the steel works [Company used Allied POW slave labor, many Americans and British Indian Army]
03:46 Depart from the steel works
04:17 Arrive at poultry farm Hatanaka Ikusujyo [畠中育雛場] in Iizuka City, Fukuoka Prefecture. Sample tamagokakegohan (raw egg over rice) and ice cream, purchase roll cake
04:33 Depart from poultry farm
05:23 Arrive at TNC Broadcasting Center in Sawara Ward, Fukuoka City. Test out robots in testing space Robo Square, and exchange ideas with managers of start-up companies
05:48 Interview open to all media: When asked “What was your goal in inspecting the hydrogen station?” Mr. Abe answers “[To see] the car of a new era, that is easy on the environment. I want the Japanese Government starting with government officials to begin adhering strictly to the use of this car.”
05:53 Interview ends
05:56 Depart from TNC Broadcasting Center
06:10 Arrive at Nakasu District in Hakata Ward, Fukuoka City. Participate in parade opposing Fukuoka crime syndicates
06:24 Depart from Nakasu District
06:28 Arrive at traditional Japanese restaurant Sagano in Hakata Ward. Dinner meeting with Chairman of Kyushu Economic Federation Aso Yutaka, Chairperson of Kyushu Electric Power Company Nuki Masayoshi, Chairman of JR Kyushu Ishihara Susumu and Executive Vice-President of TOTO Saruwatari Tatsuhiko
08:34 Depart from restaurant
09:51 Arrive at personal residence in Shimonoseki, Yamaguchi Prefecture

Saturday, July 19, 2014

AM
12:00 At personal residence (no visitors)
08:00 At personal residence in Shimonoseki City, Yamaguchi Prefecture
09:48 Depart from residence
10:12 Arrive at temple Togyoan in Shimonoseki. Offer flowers at grave of Takasugi Shinsaku
10:53 Depart from temple
10:57 Arrive at asparagus farm Murajo Yume Plantation [村上夢農園 : Murajo Yume Nouen] in Shimonoseki City. Harvest some asparagus, have lunch

PM
12:06 Depart from Murajo Yume Plantation
12:41 Arrive at wedding hall Seamall Palace in Shimonoseki City
12:45 Interview with TV Yamaguchi in conference room Botan
01:05 Interview ends
01:33 Attend meeting of a women support group in banquet hall Emerald
02:44 Meeting ends
02:45 Depart from Seamall Palace
02:48 Arrive at shop Shimonoseki Daimaru and browse
02:50 Depart from shop
02:53 Arrive at Shimonoseki Station Building ripie in Shimonseki City and browse. Take commemorative photo with children at Shimonoseki City facility for nurturing the next generation Fukufuku Kodomokan [ふくふくこども館]
03:11 Depart from ripie
03:12 Arrive at JR Shimonoseki Station, view the station. Mayor of Shimonoseki City Nakao Tomiaki accompanies
03:24 Depart from station
03:30 Arrive at movie theater Cinema Sunshine Shimonoseki in Shimonoseki City and browse
03:35 Depart from movie theater
03:40 Arrive at Shimonoseki City Hall and browse. Give lecture at Choshu Seiron Forum One-Year Anniversary Commemorative Symposium in great hall
05:39 Depart from Shimonoseki City Hall
05:44 Arrive at Seamall Palace, informal talk with Choshu Seiron Forum members in banquet hall Emerald
07:23 Depart from Seamall Palace
07:29 Arrive at yakiniku restaurant Yakiniku Yasumori Shimonoseki Green Mall Main Shop in Shimonoseki City. Dinner meeting with LDP Lower House member Inoue Takahiro, Governor of Yamaguchi Prefecture Muraoka Tsugumasa, and President of Sankei Shimbun Kumasaka Takamitsu
09:00 Depart from yakiniku restaurant
09:12 Arrive at personal residence

Sunday, July 20, 2014

AM
12:00 At personal residence (no visitors)
07:59 Depart from personal residence in Shimonoseki City, Yamaguchi Prefecture
08:36 Arrive at Kitakyushu Airport
09:06 Depart from airport on ANA Flight 3876
10:21 Arrive at Haneda Airport
10:37 Depart from airport
11:07 Arrive at international convention complex Pacifico Yokohama in Nishi Ward, Yokohama City. Attend and give lecture at Summer Conference 2014 hosted by Junior Chamber International Japan [日本青年会議所 : Nippon Seinen Kaigisho] in Exhibition Hall

PM
12:01 Depart from Pacifico Yokohama
12:41 Arrive at hotel Grand Hyatt Tokyo in Roppongi, Tokyo. Exercise at NAGOMI Spa and Fitness
04:09 Depart from hotel
04:33 Arrive at private residence in Tomigaya, Tokyo

Provisional Translation for APP by Erin M. Jones

Friday, August 15, 2014

Japan is liberated

August 15, 1945

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Asia in Washington in August

Ordinarily August is the Silly Season, meaning it is a slow news month. Unfortunately it was canceled this year in favor of war, pestilence, genocide, ignorance, and just plain pig-headedness.

8/14 - International Comfort Women Day
8/15 - 1945. Japan Surrenders
8/18 - Pope Francis performs Mass in Seoul
8/19 - UN World Humanitarian Day

IRAQ: WHAT IS HAPPENING? 8/14, 12:15-1:45pm. Sponsor: New America Foundation. Speakers: Col. Derek Harvey (Ret.), Professor, University of South Florida, and Former Senior Analyst for Iraq for General David H. Petraeus; Denise Natali, Senior Research Fellow, Institute for Strategic Studies, National Defense University, and author, The Kurdish Quasi-State: Development and Dependency in Post-Gulf War Iraq; Steve Levine, Future Tense Fellow, New America Foundation, and Author, The Oil and the Glory, The Pursuit of Empire and Fortune on the Caspian Sea; and Douglas A. Ollivant, Senior National Security Fellow, International Security Program, New America Foundation, and Former NSC Director for Iraq.

HAS SOUTH KOREA SQUANDERED ITS DEMOGRAPHIC DIVIDEND? 8/18, 12:30-2:00pm. Sponsor: CSIS, Korea Chair. Speaker: Elizabeth Hervey Stephen, Associate Professor of Demography, Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Service, Georgetown University.

HISTORY IMPEDES FUTURE PROGRESS IN NORTHEAST ASIA. 8/19, 2:00-5:30pm. Sponsor: Heritage Foundation. Speakers: Admiral Dennis C. Blair, USN (Ret.), Chairman, Sasakawa Peace Foundation USA, former Commander, U.S. Pacific Command, and former Director, National Intelligence; Ahn Ho-Young, Ambassador of the Republic of Korea to the United States; Lee Sung-yoon, Professor, Fletcher School , Tufts University; Scott Snyder, Senior Fellow, Council on Foreign Relations; Yuki Tatsumi, Senior Associate, East Asia Program, Stimson; Victor Cha, Senior Adviser and Korea Chair, CSIS, and former Director for Asian Affairs, National Security Council; Bruce Klingner, Senior Research Fellow, Northeast Asia, Heritage; Evans Revere, Senior Advisor, Albright Stonebridge Group, and former Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of State; and Walter Lohman, Director, Asian Studies Program, Heritage. 

BEYOND THE QUAGMIRE: THE FUTURE OF MONGOLIA’S UNITED STATES AND JAPAN PARTNERSHIPS. 8/20, Noon-1:30pm. Sponsor: East West Center Washington. Speaker: Mr. Mendee Jargalsaikhan, Visiting Fellow, East-West Center in Washington, Doctoral Candidate, University of British Columbia.

SILICON GLOBALIZATION AND ITS CONSTRAINTS: THE RISE OF CHINA'S AND INDIA’S SEMICONDUCTOR INDUSTRIES. 8/27, 9:00-10:30am. Sponsor: Information Technology and Innovation Foundation (ITIF). Speakers: David M. Hart (moderator), Director, Center for Science and Technology Policy, School of Public Policy, George Mason University; Douglas Fuller, Professor, Department of Business Administration, Zhejiang University’s School of Management; Robert D. Atkinson, President, ITIF; Jimmy Goodrich, Director of Global Policy, Information Technology Industry Council; and Brian Toohey, President & Chief Executive Officer, Semiconductor Industry Association.

WOMEN, PEACE AND SECURITY: PRACTICAL GUIDANCE ON USING LAW TO EMPOWER WOMEN IN POST-CONFLICT SYSTEMS. 8/27, 10:00-11:30pm. Sponsors: Women In International Security, Women's Action for New Directions, and the U.S. Institute of Peace. Speakers: Julie L. Arostegui, Toolkit Author and Director, Women, Peace and Security Policy, Women's Action for New Directions; Sanam Naraghi-Anderlini, Executive Director and Co-Founder, International Civil Society Action Network; Susan Stigant, Senior Program Officer, Rule of Law, US Institute of Peace; Susan Markham, Senior Gender Coordinator, USAID; and Chantal de Jonge Oudraat, President, Women in International Security. 

PUBLIC OPINION AND WAR. 8/28, 2:00-4:00pm. Sponsor: Cato Institute. Speakers: Adam Berinsky, professor of political science, MIT; John Mueller, professor of political science, Ohio State University and senior fellow, Cato; Jason Reifler, senior lecturer, University of Exeter; Trevor Thrall, associate professor of public and international affairs, George Mason University; and Justin Logan, director of foreign policy studies, Cato.

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

It’s time to update our thinking on trade

IT’S TIME TO UPDATE OUR THINKING ON TRADE 

by William H. Overholt, President, Fung Global Institute, Senior Fellow at Harvard’s Asia Center, and APP Board Member
First published by the East Asian Forum, August 3 2014

Our institutions for governing world trade and our thinking about world trade date back to a simpler era. Without a radical rethink, we risk the gradual decay of our most valuable international institutions, loss of extraordinary opportunities to improve global living standards and possibly the sidelining of the West in developing modern institutions.

The GATT and the WTO were devised for a simpler era, when it was possible to think about world trade in the way Ricardo taught — namely that a good is produced in one country and consumed also in a single country. If Portugal was adeptat making wine and England at cloth, it would benefit both to reduce barriers and enhance trade. That two-country model worked relatively well until about 1978, when China started opening its economy by establishing special economic zones across the border from Hong Kong.

By the last decade of the twentieth century, production had become a complex global process. The logic of increasing efficiency by reducing trade barriers remained completely valid, but policy adaptation of that logic to a new era has faltered.

A laptop or a smart phone now is typically made in 15 to 20 countries. When old-style trade thinking is applied to this situation, confusion causes bad policy and gratuitous conflicts. A laptop made in 17 countries might be assembled in China for $2 worth of local wages then exported to the United States, but old two-country thinking leads members of Congress to react as if China had exported $1500 of value to the US. This bolsters protectionism, reduces support for multilateral trade liberalisation and contributes to the fragmentation of the global trade regime.

Because it is difficult to continue the process of trade liberalisation, countries feeling a need for deeper integration form their own regional blocs, inducing further fragmentation.

Regional and bilateral trade negotiations today are focused on ‘country of origin’, by definition a single country or preferential grouping, with the result that it is considered normal to have 500 pages of country of origin rules in a single trade agreement. Since each country has many trade agreements, companies may find the rules so complex that they simply pay high tariffs rather than trying to manage the complex paperwork to prove countries of origin. The complexity of the system discriminates against small, open economies like Singapore, and it discriminates against smaller companies without huge accounting departments. Because it cannot adapt to the globalisation of production, the system is beginning to defeat itself.

Moreover, the addition of over one billion new workers to the globalised workforce entailed very low wages in Eastern countries such as China, flat wages in the West and huge trade imbalances between East and West. This discouraged Western countries from vigorously pursuing the kinds of global agreements that would have eliminated those dozens of separate, conflicting 500-page rule books about countries of origin.

Feeling overwhelmed by Chinese manufactured exports, Western countries have also moved to exclude China from the most important efforts to modernise the global trading system. The proposed Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) and Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership agreements (TTIP) both seek to exclude the world’s second-largest economy from potential membership, an arrangement that is both economically untenable and a potential geopolitical disaster.

The geopolitical consequences were magnified by the inclusion of Japan in the TPP agreements, even though Japan’s economy is much less open than China’s and historically has been much less willing to reform in the face of domestic interest group pressure than China has. Given Sino-Japanese tensions, this has come across in Asia as part of a strategy to isolate China.

Magnifying Sino-American differences could make a more inclusive, truly multilateral future trade system much harder to negotiate.

While we still flounder over attempts to come to terms with globalised production, we are heading into globalised consumption. Instead of an era with one billion new globalised workers, we are heading into a world that will contain two billion or more new middle class consumers, mainly in Asia and heavily in China. Chinese wages are rising 13 to 20 per cent a year and total compensation is rising even more. This phenomenon should gradually resolve the most serious trade imbalances and begin to allow Western wages to rise.

But Western media, interest groups and politicians remain obsessed with the problems of yesterday. This could lead the West to squander one of the greatest economic opportunities in world history, namely the extraordinary consumer boom in China, India and other emerging markets. It could also disastrously delay responses to the jobs challenge of the new era: a technology-driven transformation of the workplace driven by robots, other automation, the internet of things and 3D printing that will eventually force billions of workers out of old jobs.

We must begin addressing the world as it is and will be, not the world of generations past. Ironically, in the process the WTO remains crucial to a vibrant world economy. Without the WTO’s dispute settlement mechanism, trade wars will ignite everywhere. By allowing the WTO system to decay, and by blaming globalised trade for problems that are unique to the past generation, we risk going back to pre-World War II trade wars. We need a modern, multilateral structure that updates the WTO, not a degeneration of the global trade and investment system based on a failure to recognise the shape of the new world we are entering.

We are now at one of those great historical turning points. Disillusionment, often misplaced, with existing institutions and obsession with obsolescent problems have allowed the process of trade negotiations to decay so far that TPP and TTIP negotiations could fail or, if they succeed, the exclusion of China could make them Pyrrhic victories. Continued Western failure to address the real issues of our emerging world of globalised production and consumption, and the reality of China’s central role, could lead to trade regimes with the most dynamic markets governed by structures like the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership promoted by Asian emerging economies.
The views expressed here are personal and not endorsed byDr. Overholt's employers.

The Abe Administration-What you need to know

ABE ADMINISTRATION 2012-14 - A PROFILE

Abe Shinzo began his second term as Prime Minister of Japan on December 26, 2012. His Cabinet – one of the most stable in recent years – is expected to be reshuffled on September 3, 2014. In anticipation of the changes, APP has prepared a report with a detailed 94-page overview of Abe’s 2012-2014 Cabinet personnel. It contains profiles of the 97-member Abe Administration, which includes the 19 top Ministers of the immediate Cabinet (including prime minister), as well as Senior Vice Ministers, Parliamentary Secretaries, Cabinet Secretaries, and Special Advisors. 
 
This report also lists the members’ affiliations with 18 prominent conservative nationalist parliamentary leagues or caucuses (giin renmei, 議員連盟) and issues groups. These are followed by pages of tables and graphs illustrating the extensive membership of the Abe Cabinet in these groups.

It is our contention that in September Abe Shinzo will have to continue to forgo traditional criteria for appointed office, such as faction affiliation and seniority, in favor of ideological similarity. It is, therefore, crucial to have a knowledge of the ideologicalparliamentary leagues, their memberships, and operation.


Japan and the War on Terror: New Book


CLICK TO ORDER
JAPAN AND THE 
WAR ON TERROR
Military Force and Political Pressure in the US-Japanese Alliance 
by
Michael Penn
Journalist and scholar based in Japan; President of the Shingetsu News Agency; APP member

Japan’s economic might and geographic location, close to China and North Korea with American bases across the Japanese archipelego gives the country the potential to be a major ally in the War on Terror. Although Japan’s Constitution does not allow for militarism or acts of war, in the post 9/11 world the use of the Japanese nation’s ‘Self-Defence Forces’ has become increasingly normal – a result of the exploitation of legal loopholes and political double-speak that has been used to bypass Japan’s pacifist ideology.


Michael Penn assesses the role of US diplomats and lobbyists in Tokyo, the Japanese and American politicians who see the War on Terror as a means of self-advancement, and the influence of
Washington's Alliance Managers in the unprecedented 2004 deployment of Japanese troops to Iraq. 

Using a huge range of primary source materials, including interviews with US insiders and Japanese policy makers, the book provides both a scholarly and lucid account of Japan’s relationship with the US and the Middle East from 9/11 to President Barack Obama and the death of Osama Bin Laden. He outlines how the War on Terrorism was used effectively to chip away at both the ideas and practice of Japanese non-involvement in the use of force for their military.

Hardback | 384 pages | 216 x 134 mm | ISBN 9781780763699 | July 2014 release

Xi Jinping’s Anti-Corruption Campaign

Why Xi Jinping’s Anti-Corruption Campaign Won’t Legitimize the CCP
Only improving the lot of China’s poor will ensure the ‘Mandate of Heaven.’


By Yuxin "Anthony" Zhang*
First published in The Diplomat, August 12, 2014

In July 2014, China’s former domestic security chief Zhou Yongkang was jailed on corruption charges, along with at least six other officials at the provincial and ministerial levels. Twenty-five officials at the bureau level are under investigation. So far, over 300 officials at the bureau level or higher have been removed from their positions, are under investigation, or have been sentenced to life in prison or death. The Chinese people are celebrating President Xi Jinping’s courage and determination to fight corruption. Yet Xi’s crusade failed to address some more fundamental problems. The ruling Chinese Communist Party (CCP)’s legitimacy will still be in jeopardy if Xi’s domestic policy fails.

Xi initiated his anti-corruption campaign shortly after the conclusion of the CCP’s 18th National Congress in November 2012. An online survey conducted by Xinhuanet during the conference revealed that “corruption” was among the top 10 issues of concern to the Chinese people. Xi took up the fight against corruption as a way to restore popular confidence in the government. He started with anti-corruption because, compared to issues like income distribution or social justice, it has an immediate and visible benefit for sustaining the regime. It is also a skillful means of adjusting to the hatred-for-the-rich mentality so popular among the Chinese public in recent years.

But Xi’s anti-corruption campaign overlooks the core of the problem. There is a gap between rich and poor, but he should have focused more on the latter. Making the rich less wealthy does not mean the lot of the poor is automatically improved. No matter how many officials are charged or how much of their wealth is confiscated, it does not significantly impact the Chinese people. The intrinsic problems – income distribution, social welfare, educational justice, high prices, medical reform, food safety – remain unsolved.

By shifting public attention from these domestic issues, Xi has become more anxious to make a show of strength in the foreign policy arena. The intensified South China Sea issue and the deterioration in Sino-Japanese relations have been playing their traditional role of fanning nationalism within China. Xi’s tighter control over the internet facilitates this strategy. In June and July, Google Scholar, LINE and Instagram were blocked. Meanwhile, a nationalist Japanese government has helped Xi, making the Chinese government and the Chinese people more cohesive than at any other time in the postwar period.

Some would argue that China’s economic performance could help Xi. He has consolidated China’s relations – both economic and political – with South Korea. President Park Geun-hye is also working hard to create a second “Hangang Miracle,” following in her father’s footsteps by taking advantage of China’s economic growth. So, an unofficial PRC-ROK alliance is forming, with the goal of creating a win-win situation for both economies. Xi has been pushing for the conclusion of a free trade agreement with the ROK and the European Union, as well as rebuilding the Silk Road with Central Asia. His Pan-Asia railway project was welcomed in Thailand, Malaysia and Singapore. Xi’s state visit to Latin America will also expand mutual trade and investment. The Chinese people may believe that they will be the beneficiaries of all these initiatives. However, this is not true.

Economic success will not ensure the CCP’s legitimacy because it does not guarantee equitable income distribution and affordable prices. These problems are not linked so much to China’s economic performance as they are to its political institutions. A thriving economy might continues to enrich those who are already wealthy, who represent a tiny portion of the population, while doing little to benefit the broader population. Hence the rising number of protests and demonstrations against the government even as the country‘s economy has surged over past decade. The Chinese people are showing signs of discontent.

To win full legitimacy, Xi needs to go beyond removing high-level officials and devote more attention to domestic policies and political reforms. Toppling powerful figures might be effective in the short term, but it will not address the true concerns of the Chinese people.

*Yuxin Zhang was a summer research intern from University of Southern California at Asia Policy Point, a think tank based in Washington, DC. He is also the executive director of Heisei Sedai Association of Future Leaders of East Asia, a non-governmental organization that promotes friendship and dialogue between Chinese and Japanese youth.