Thursday, June 23, 2016

Khmer Legacy Museum Opens June 25 in Minnesota


The Khmer Legacy® Museum will hold a series of opening events June 23-25 at its new space in St Paul, Minnesota. The Museum hopes to express 2500 years of Cambodian history and culture through video, art, and text.

The idea for the museum originated in April 2012 after the Khmer people and Khmer veterans received recognition via resolutions MN Senate File 2314 and MN House File 2629 “memorializing Congress and the President of the United States, and legislatures from others states to formally recognize the Khmer Freedom Fighters of Cambodia for supporting and defending the United States military forces during the conflict in Southeast Asian and their continued support and defense of the United States of America and all other free nations of the world.” The Resolution urged all state legislatures to also recognize the Khmer Freedom Fighters and Cambodians “for their support and defense of the United States military forces, freedom, and democracy in Southeast Asia.” The passage of these bills inspired the same group to advocate in 2014 for S. Res 462 in the U.S. Senate, which included the Hmong, Lao, and Mongtaignard people. Florida Senator Marco Rubio was the resolution's sponsor.

The International Khmer Assembly ( IKARE ) felt that the unique journey of heroes of the Khmer peoples needed to be told and preserved. It is important for the younger generation to know that there is more to Cambodia than the genocide of the killing fields so that they will understand their true cultural roots.

"Up 'til now the world only knows Cambodia as home of the Killing Fields. We want the world to know that while Cambodia had lost 41 years of leaping development, the Khmer people had 2500 years of greatness," said Kosol Sek, Chairman of the International Khmer Assembly. "We created the Khmer Legacy Museum to tell stories of the Khmer people's greatness."

The museum is a first step to enhance public understanding of the full story of the Cambodian people.

The International Khmer Assembly (IKARE) is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization with a mission to protect, preserve, and promote stories and contributions of the Khmer people to the world. Khmer Legacy® is a registered mark of the International Khmer Assembly.

U.S.-Japan Network for the Future Presents on Capitol Hill

On June 9th, The Maureen and Mike Mansfield Foundation* held its now annual public forum on Capitol Hill featuring members of its U.S.-Japan Network for the Future (The Network).

This program, initiated in 2009, introduced its fourth two-year co-hort group in April 2016. The Network identifies American, emerging Japan scholars and provides them with tools to make their work policy relevant. Five of the 14 from the last “co-hort” group (III) were selected to present publicly papers on the challenges facing Japanese society. The Japanese government's Japan Foundation Center For Global Partnership underwrites this effort. Harvard Professor Emeritus Ezra F. Vogel* was the moderator. The topics discussed were: religion in politics, immigration, the new secrecy law, work culture, and Japan’s opposition party. A bound publication included 3-page essays by all 14 members of Co-hort III (2014-2016) on a greater range of political issues in Japan.

The five presentations portrayed Japan as a “normal” industrial democracy troubled by an ageing population and uncomfortable with change. Accommodating immigrants and women into its rapidly shrinking workforce are challenges both politically and socially. Internationally, the U.S.-Japan alliance will continue to evolve with mainstream political parities preferring low-budget structural reforms and reassurances to the U.S. over active participation in regional disputes.

The central point of the each presentation is as follows:
  • Conflicts between LDP and the Democratic Party can not be understood without a knowledge of each party's religious affiliation: Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) – Shintoism and Komeito Party – Buddhism. 
  • The Special Designated Secrets Law that passed in 2013 although initially controversial will not threaten Japan’s democracy.
  • Japanese government could change the long-hours work culture by sending “change ambassadors” to companies to advocate for institutional reform.
  • Japan’s political parties need to begin the discussion of immigration reform to address the growing demographic problem of low birth rates and ageing population.
  • For the July 10th Upper House elections, the opposition Democratic Party could capitalize on the Abe Administration’s failing economic policies and the unpopularity of the security legislation.
“Network” Participants: List of 14
Bound Publication: New Perspectives on Japan from the U.S.-Japan Network for the Future (80 pages)

1. Japan’s Ruling Coalition Gets Religion
Levi McLaughlin, assistant professor of Religious Studies at North Caroline State University.

Conflict between the Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) and its coalition partner the Komeito must be understood as a clash of religious commitments. Although a 2008 and 2010 World Values Survey by the conservative Yomiuri Shimbun suggests that only 26% of Japanese believe in any religion, two religious forces, Shintoism and Buddhism, do “play important roles in shaping policy and electioneering within the governing coalition of the LDP (Shintoism) and Komeito Party (Buddhism).” Religious parties and positions maintained by LDP politicians and the Soka Gakkai campaigners ensured electoral success for Komeito.
Paper: Japan’s Ruling Coalition Gets Religion

2. Japan’s Specially Designated Secrets Law and 21st Century Security
Emer O’Dwyer, associate professor of Japanese History at Oberlin College.

Japan’s Specially Designated Secrets Protection Law (SDS), passed by the Diet on December 6, 2013 (and coming into force December 10, 2014) provoked massive demonstrations that clogged the streets surrounding the Diet Building. These demonstrations have since died down. The law allows government agencies broad powers to designate secret information regarding defense, diplomacy, terrorism counter-measures, and espionage. In addition, government entitites are allowed to conduct background checks and seek prosecution for criminal use of state secrets. O’Dwyer concludes that the law is reasonable and that “democracy is safe in Japan” because the law is a natural response to strengthening the U.S.-Japan military alliance and to potential security threats from China.
Paper: SPECTRE in Japan

3. Changing Japan’s Long Working Hours: “Cool Japan” Meets Keidanren
Liv Coleman, associate professor of political science at the University of Tampa.

The Abe Administration has tried, with little success, “a mixture of soft regulation, financial incentives, and moral suasion” to reduce working hours and to promote family-friendly work places. Sixty percent of Japanese women quit their jobs by the time they have their first child. Work cultures have not changed due to “too much work, face to face meetings, and unawareness of directors on this problem.” Coleman encourages the government to introduce “‘change ambassadors’ to coach managers into a new way of thinking and asking questions about work productivity while taking a profoundly personal approach.” Institutional reforms needs to accompany individualistic guidance for altering the work culture.
Paper: Changing Japan’s Long Working Hours: “Cool Japan” Meets Keidanren
Yukatsu’ program to let civil servants leave early for second summer, Jiji 6/5/16

4. Immigration and the Upcoming Upper House Election
Michael Strausz, associate professor of political science at Texas Christian University.

Japan has the largest aging population (33%) in the OED, but an extremely limited immigration system. Japan’s Prime Minister and Diet have been reluctant to make significant changes to both the legal and cultural barriers. As the 2016 Upper House elections approach, Strausz observes that “it would be good for Japan if some political parties advocate an immigration policy.” In order to keep the work force of 87.2 million at the 1995 level, Japan “would need 33.5 million immigrants from 1995 through 2050.”
Paper: Immigration and the Upcoming Upper House Election

5. Japan’s Democratic Party and the July Upper House Election
Daniel M. Smith, assistant professor of comparative politics at Harvard University.

Prime Minster Shinzo Abe and his LDP hope to secure a large enough victory to move ahead with their goal of constitutional revision, which includes “loosening restrictions on the use of the Self-Defense Forces, a change many decry as unconstitutional.” The opposition Democratic Party has an opportunity to reverse recent electoral setbacks in the upcoming election if it manages to “simultaneously avoid competition with the remaining opposition parties in single-seat districts and convince disaffected voters to show up at the polls.” The previous success of the LDP has not been due to their policies, but rather the failure of any anti-Abe coalition, including the recently formed Democratic Party, Japan Restoration Party (later re-branded as JIP), and Tomorrow Party of Japan . If the opposition combined and focused on the weaknesses of Abe economic and security policy, the LDP could lose 156 seats in the House of Councilors (Upper House) this July.
Paper: The Challenge for Japan’s Democratic Party in 2016: Simultaneously Increase Coordination and Turnout

*APP members

Prime Minister of Japan’s Schedule June 29- July 5

Monday, June 29, 2015 


08:00 At private residence in Tomigaya, Tokyo (no morning visitors)
09:35 Depart private residence
09:53 Arrive at ANA InterContinental Hotel Tokyo. Attend ACCJ Women in Business Summit sponsored by the US Chamber of Commerce and Industry in Japan at banquet hall Prominence. Give a speech and commemorative photo session
10:30 Depart hotel
10:36 Arrive at office
10:38 Meet with Vice-Minister for Foreign Affairs (MOFA), Saiki Akitaka and Russian Ambassador, Harada Chikahito
11:21 End meeting with Mr. Saiki and Mr. Harada
11:22 Meet with Minister in charge of Ocean Policy, Ms. Yamatani Eriko
11:46 End meeting with Ms. Yamatani
11:57 Courtesy call to pupils from Great Falls Elementary School in Virginia, US. Commemorative photo session

00:02 End meeting with pupils
00:03 Meet with LDP Secretary-General, Tanigaki Sadakazu
00:37 End meeting with Mr. Tanigaki
01:40 Meet with Minister in charge of Economic Revitalization, Mr. Amari Akira and Acting Director of Bureau of Headquarters for Japan’s Economic Revitalization, Mr. Sugawara Ikuro
01:57 End meeting with Mr. Sugawara
01:58 Meet with Mr. Amari, Vice-Minister of Cabinet Office, Matsuyama Kenji and Director-General for Policies on Cohesive Society, Maekawa Mamoru, Habuka Shigeki, Tawa Hiroshi.
02:03 End meeting with Mr. Amari, Mr. Matsuyama, Mr. Maekawa, Mr. Habuka and Mr. Tawa
02:41 Meet with Minister in charge of IT, Yamaguchi Shunichi
03:06 End meeting with Mr. Yamaguchi
03:11 Courtesy Call from the Paternity Leave Papa Project, Vice-President of Federation of Economic Organizations, Okamoto Kunie and Governor of Fukushima Prefecture, Uchibori Masao. Minister of State for Measures for Declining Birth Rate, Arimura Haruko also attend
03:24 Courtesy call ends
03:27 Depart office
03:35 Arrive at the Imperial Palace. Under the invitation of the Emperor and Empress, attend a tea party with Palau official.
04:41 Depart the Imperial Palace
04:50 Arrive at office
04:59 Depart office
05:00 Arrive at National Diet
05:01 Head towards LDP President’s office
05:03 LDP Officers Meeting 
05:14 Meeting ends
05:15 Meet with LDP Vice-President, Mr. Komura Masahiko, Chief Secretary, Mr. Tanigaki and LDP Chairmen including Nikai Toshiro
05:41 Meeting ends
05:42 Leave the room
05:44 Depart National Diet
05:46 Arrive at office
05:50 Council on National Strategic Special Zones
06:16 Meeting ends
06:28 Depart office
06:46 Arrive at ‘La Jeunesse’ French restaurant, Sarugakucho, Tokyo. Dinner meeting with friends
09:06 Depart restaurant
09:17 Arrive at private residence

Tuesday, June 30, 2015 

07:36 Depart from private residence in Tomigaya, Tokyo
07:51 Arrive at office
07:57 Strategic Headquarters for the Promotion of an Advanced Information and Telecommunications Network Society (IT Strategic Headquarters)
08:01 Meeting ends
08:08 Cabinet Meeting
08:21 Meeting ends
08:28 Headquarters for Ocean Policy
08:35 Meeting ends
08:36 Meet with Minister of the Environment, Mochizuki Yoshio
08:40 End meeting with Mr. Mochizuki
10:01 Meet with Vice-Minister for Foreign Affairs, Saiki Akitaka
10:19 End meeting with Mr. Saiki
11:20 Meet with President of Astellas Pharma, Nokimuri Masafumi and Special Advisor to the Prime Minister, Eto Seiichi
11:30 End meeting with Mr. Nokimuri and Mr. Eto
11:40 Meet with Ministry of Finance’s Senior Deputy Director-General of International Bureau, Yamasaki Tatsuo, Deputy Vice-Minister, Fukuda Junichi and Director-General of International Bureau, Asakawa Masatsugu

00:04 End meeting with Mr. Yamasaki, Mr.Fukuda and Mr.Asakawa
00:36 Meet with LDP’s House of Councillors member, Yamashita Yuhei and his wife
00:45 End meeting with Mr and Mrs. Yamashita
01:39 Depart office
01:41 Arrive at National Diet
01:42 Head towards Lower House Chamber. Attend the Lower House Plenary Session
01:45 Speak with Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance, Aso Taro
01:46 End speaking with Mr. Aso
01:51 Lower House Plenary session adjourns
01:52 Leave Lower House Chamber
01:53 Leave National Diet
01:55 Arrive at office
01:56 Interview open to all media: when asked ‘How are the government dealing with the JR Tokaido Shinakensen fire,’ Mr. Abe answers, ‘Through the police and fire department, they are currently conducting intelligence gathering.’
02:26 Meet with Minister and Vice Minister of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology, Shimomura Hakubun and Yamanaka Shinichi
03:05 End meeting with Mr. Shimomura and Yamanaka
03:06 Meet with Chairman of LDP General Council, Nikai Toshihiro
03:43 End meeting with Mr. Nikai
03:44 Speak with Secretary-General of Headquarters for Abduction Issue, Ishikawa Shoichiro
03:56 End speaking with Mr. Ishikawa
04:05 Meeting with Vice-Minister for Foreign Affairs, Saiki Akitaka
04:17 End meeting with Mr. Saiki
04:29 Meeting with Director of National Security Council, Yachi Shotaro, Director of Cabinet Intelligence, Kitamura Shigeru and Director of First Investigation Department of Public Security Intelligence Agency (PSIA), Tago Tsukasa
04:42 Mr. Yachi and Mr. Tago leave
04:57 Mr. Kitamura leaves
05:05 Joint Meeting of the Council on Economic and Fiscal Policy and the Industrial Competitiveness Council  
05:34 Meeting ends
05:39 Extraordinary Cabinet Meeting
05:46 Meeting ends
06:04 Meet with President of University of South California, Chrysostomos L. Max Nikias. MOFA Director-General of North American Affairs Bureau, Tomita Koji also attends
06:19 End meeting with Mr. Nikias and Mr. Tomita
06:31 The Prime Minister Hosts an Iftar with the Islamic Diplomatic Corps in Japan
06:56 Meeting ends
06:57 Depart office
07:08 Arrive at Tokyo Station Hotel in Marunouchi, Tokyo. Dinner meeting with Chairman of LDP Policy Research Council, Inada Tomomi. and President of East Japan Railway Company, Tomita Tetsuro and East Japan Railway Company Advisor, Otsuka Mutsutake
09:13 Depart hotel
09:35 Arrive at private residence

Wednesday, July 1, 2015


08:00 At private residence in Tomigaya, Tokyo (no morning visitors)
08:40 Depart private residence
08:56 Arrive at office
08:57 Interview open to all media: ‘When does the Yu-katsu [meaningful evening] policy begin?’ Mr. Abe answers, ‘I would like to start with changing habits of Japan’s long working hours. I also want to effectively apply this.’
08:58 Interview ends
08:59 Meet with Minister for Foreign Affairs, Kishida Fumio and Vice-Minister for Foreign Affairs, Saiki Akitaka
09:51 Meeting ends with Mr. Kishida and Mr. Saiki
09:53 Depart office
09:55 Arrive at National Diet
09:56 Head towards Upper House President’s Reception Room
09:57 Leave the room and head towards Upper House Chamber
09:58 Speak with Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance, Aso Taro
10:00 End speaking with Mr. Aso
10:01 Plenary Session of the House of Councillors
10:41 Upper House Plenary Session leave seat during proceedings
10:43 Leave National Diet
10:45 Arrive at office
11:00 Meet with Director of National Security Council, Yachi Shotaro, Director of Cabinet Intelligence, Kitamura Shigeru, MOFA’s Director-General of Foreign Policy Bureau, Hiramatsu Kenji, Ministry of Defense (MOF) Director-General Bureau of Defense Policy, Kuroe Tetsuro and Chief of Staff for Joint Staff Council, Kawano Katsutoshi
11:23 End meeting with Mr. Yachi, Mr. Kitamura, Mr.Hiramatsu, Mr.Kuroe and Mr. Kawano
11:30 Awards Ceremony to Present the Prime Minister’s Commendations to Contributors to Public Safety
11:48 Ceremony ends

00:03 Meet with Chief Representative of New Komeito, Yamaguchi Natsuo
01:01 End meeting with Mr. Yamaguchi
01:53 Depart office
02:14 Visit to Tokyo Child Guidance Office and Futaba Regional Childrearing Support Center. Exchange views with members of staff and observing telephone calls
02:40 Depart support center
03:00 Arrive at Futaba Regional Childrearing Support Center in Minamimotomachi, Tokyo. Exchange views with users.
03:11 Interview open to all media: ‘How is the government dealing with current and future child abuse that is worsening?’ Mr. Abe answers, ‘There are plans to compile a policy package by the end of year that aims to ensure thoroughness in our response by strengthen the system and emergency response.’
03:14 Interview ends
03:16 Depart support center
03:25 Arrive at office
03:53 Courtesy call to attendees at the European Ambassador Meeting including Japanese ambassador to the UK, Hayashi Keiichi and others
04:17 Courtesy call ends
04:29 Meet with Cabinet Advisor, Hamada Koichi
04:34 End meeting with Mr. Hamada
04:43 Depart office
05:05 Visit to the National Museum of Western Art- Part of an Initiative to Transform People’s Lifestyles (“Yu-katsu”)
05:37 Interview to all media: when asked ‘What are you anticipating from the Yu-katsu policy?’ Mr. Abe answers, ‘Though the policy has just started, to feel that life is more fulfilling. I would like everyone to enjoy themselves.’
05:38 Interview ends
05:39 Depart museum
05:47 Arrive at Tanakashoudou, restaurant in Tokyo. Dinner meeting with secretaries
07:23 Depart restaurant
07:49 Arrive at private residence 

Thursday, July 2, 2015


08:00 At private residence in Tomigaya, Tokyo (no morning visitors)
09:30 Depart private residence
09:46 Arrive at office
09:47 Interview to all media: when asked ‘Thoughts on the restoration on diplomatic ties with US and Cuba,’ Mr. Abe answers, ‘We will welcome this move. I look forward to developing prosperity and regional stability together’.
09:47 Interview ends
10:10 Meeting with MOF’s Deputy Vice-Minister, Fukuda Junichi, Director-General of Budget Bureau, Tanaka Kazuho and Director-General of the Financial Bureau, Nakahara Hiroshi
10:38 Meeting ends with Mr. Fukuda, Mr. Tanaka and Mr. Nakahara
11:42 Speak with Special Advisor to the Prime Minister, Kimura Taro
11:58 End speaking with Mr. Kimura

01:45 Meet with Director of Cabinet Intelligence, Kitamura Hirofumi
02:13 End meeting with Mr. Kitamura
02:14 Meet with MOF’s Vice-Minister for Foreign Affairs, Mr. Saiki Akitaka, Director-General of Asian and Oceania Affairs Bureau, Ihara Junichi and Director-General of International Legal Affairs Bureau, Akiba Takeo
02:44 End meeting with Mr. Saiki, Mr. Ihara and Mr. Akiba
02:52 Courtesy Call from the President of the Bundesrat of Germany and His Delegation
03:23 Meeting ends
03:24 Speak to Minister of State for Space Policy, Yamaguchi Shunichi
03:25 End speaking with Mr. Yamaguchi
03:36 Meet with Director of National Security Council, Yachi Shotaro and MOFA’s Vice-Minister for Foreign Affairs, Saiki Akitaka 
04:06 End meeting with Mr. Yachi and Mr. Saiki
04:07 Speak to Chairperson of National Public Safety Commission, Yamatani Eriko
04:09 End speaking with Ms. Yamatani
06:31 Depart office
06:33 Arrive at The Capitol Hotel Tokyu in Nagata-chou, Tokyo. Dinner meeting in the hotel restaurant, ‘Origami’ with LDP’s Secretary-General, Tanigaki Sadakazu and Chairman of LDP Election Strategy, Motegi Toshimitsu. Chief Cabinet Secretary, Suga Yoshihide also attends.
08:31 Depart from hotel
08:48 Arrive at private residence

Friday, July 3, 2015


06:52 Depart private residence at Tomigaya, Tokyo
07:04 Arrive at office
07:05 Meet with  Deputy Chief Cabinet Secretary, Kato Katsunobu
08:13 End meeting with Mr. Kato
08:14 Strategic Headquarters for Space Development
08:25 Meeting ends
08:29 Attend Cabinet meeting
08:35 Cabinet meeting ends
08:36 Speak to Minister for Foreign Affairs, Kishida Fumio and Minister in charge of Abduction Issue, Yamatani Eriko
08:37 End speaking with Mr. Kishida and Ms. Yamatani
08:38 Meet with Deputy Chief Cabinet Secretary, Kato Katsunobu
08:52 End meeting with Mr. Kato
08:53 Depart office
08:55 Arrive at National Diet
08:57 Head towards Lower House 1st Committee Members’ Room
09:00 Attend meeting of the Special Committee of the House of Representatives on the Legislation for Peace and Security and the International Community  

00:11 Special Committee meeting recess
00:12 Leave room
00:14 Depart National Diet
00:16 Arrive at office
00:54 Depart Office
00:55 Arrive at National Diet
00:57 Head towards Lower House 1st Committee Members’ Room
01:00 Special Committee Meeting resumes
05:03 recess
05:04 Leave room
05:06 Depart National Diet
05:08 Arrive at office
05:26 Depart office
05:45 Arrive at ‘Idol’ exhibition hall at Minamiaoyama, Tokyo. Together with President of Mynamar, Thein Sein observing the Myanmar local products exhibition. Mr. Abe’s wife Akie also attends
06:12 Mr. Thein delivers Myanmar’s industry development vision. Commemorative photo session
06:14 Meeting ends
06:15 Depart exhibition hall
06:24 Arrive at office
06:26 Meet with MOFA’s Minister, Kishida Fumio, Vice-Minister, Saiki Akitaka, Administrative Vice-Minister, Sugiyama Shinsuke and Director-General of Asian and Oceania Affairs Bureau, Ihara Junichi
06:54 End meeting with Mr. Kishida, Mr. Saiki, Mr. Sugiyama and Mr. Ihara
07:00 Depart office
07:01 Arrive at official residence
07:15 Mekong-Japan Summit Meeting and Welcome Banquet Hosted by the Prime Minister
08:31 Dinner ends

Saturday, July 4, 2015


08:00 At official residence (no morning visitors)
08:07 Depart official residence
08:12 Arrive at Akasaka Palace (State Guest House), Moto-Akasaka, Tokyo
08:51 Attend Mekong-Japan Summit Meeting. Reception of Prime Minister of Vietnam, Nguyen Tan Dung
09:00 Meeting ends
09:01 Commemoration photo session in Sairan-no-Ma
09:02 Photo session ends
09:15 Mekong-Japan Summit Meetings and Other Events in Hagoromo-no-Ma, Akasaka Palace
10:33 Summit meeting ends
10:40 Joint press announcement in Kacho-no-Ma
11:06 Press announcement ends
11:08 Memento presentation for Japan-Mekong regional countries youth soccer cultural exchange in Sairan-no-Ma
11:15 Presentation ends
11:16 Lunch meeting with secretaries in waiting room. Study meeting with Mekong regional countries and MOFA’s staff

01:47 Study meeting ends
01:48 Summit meeting with Prime Minister of Myanmar, Thein Sein in Asahi-no-Ma
02:28 Summit meeting ends
02:30 Joint press announcement in Hagoromo-no-Ma
02:45 Press announcement ends
02:46 Japan-Myanmar joint signing ceremony of Dawei Special Economic Zone cooperation
02:49 Ceremony ends
02:50 See off Mr. Thein Sein
02:52 Finish seeing off Mr. Thein Sein
03:07 Summit meeting with Acting Prime Minister of Thailand, Prayut Chan-o-cha
03:42 Summit meeting ends
03:44 Joint press announcement in Hagoromo-no-Ma
03:55 Press announcement ends
03:57 See off Acting Prime Minister of Thailand, Mr. Prayut Chan-o-cha
03:58 Finish seeing off Mr. Prayut Chan-o-cha
04:15 Summit meeting with Prime Minister of the Cambodia, Mr. Hun Sen in Asahi-no-Ma
04:53 Summit meeting ends
04:55 Joint press announcement in Hagoromo-no-Ma
05:08 Press announcement ends
05:09 See off Mr. Hun Sen
05:10 Finish seeing off Mr. Hun Sen
05:25 Summit meeting with Prime Minister of Laos, Mr. Thongsing Thammavong in Asahi-no-Ma
05:52 Summit meeting ends
05:54 Signing ceremony and joint press announcement in Hagoromo-no-Ma
06:07 Ceremony and press announcement ends
06:08 See off Mr. Thongsing Thammavong
06:09 Finish seeing off Mr. Thongsing Thammavong
06:35 Summit meeting with Prime Minister of Vietnam, Mr. Nguyen Tan Dung in Asahi-no-Ma
07:25 Summit meeting ends 
07:27 Signing ceremony and joint press announcement in Hagoromo-no-Ma
07:51 Ceremony and press announcement ends
08:00 Dinner meeting hosted by Prime Minister of Japan, Abe Shinzo with Mr. Nguyen in Yushintei, The Annex of the State Guest House
08:53 Dinner meeting finishes.
09:15 Depart Akasaka Palace
09:32 Arrive at private residence in Tomigaya, Palace

Sunday, July 5, 2015


10:00 At private residence in Tomigaya, Tokyo (no morning visitors)
Stay at private residence throughout the morning

Stay at private residence throughout the afternoon (no afternoon visitors) 

Provisional Translation by Kelly Ing

Sunday, June 19, 2016

Australia's July elections are all domestic policy

Australian election offers few choices on foreign policy

by Russell Trood
, Director of the Griffith Asia Institute, Griffith University.

East Asia Forum, June 12, 2016

Australians will go to a federal election on 2 July 2016. At first glance the 19 seats in the House of Representatives that the Labor Party — the current Opposition — needs to win to take government seems a heroic undertaking. Yet, if the early polls are any indication, this may not be too far beyond its reach.

There are several dimensions to the 2016 election that add to the mystery of the result. The leaders of Australia’s mainstream political parties have only held their positions for a relatively short period of time. Neither has led his party through the gruelling demands of a federal election. And this year the election campaign period will go for around two months, nearly twice as long as usual.

But perhaps the greatest challenge is that this is a ‘double dissolution’ election — meaning that all 150 seats in the House of Representatives and 76 in the Senate will be up for grabs. It is the first time in nearly 30 years that Australians have experienced a double dissolution election. Predicting the result will be especially difficult.

To form government the winning party will need to secure a majority of seats on the floor of the House, but to be confident of providing stable, effective government and to pass its legislative agenda, it will also need to have a reliable coalition of supportive senators in the Upper House. This has been wanting in recent Australian parliaments and partly explains the rationale for a double dissolution election.

That said, this will likely be a very orthodox election with domestic political issues dominating the agenda over any significant international or foreign policy change. The Labor Party is making its pitch on increasing education funding, sustaining Australia’s high-class health care system and protecting the social security interests of its low-to-middle-class constituency. For Bill Shorten, the Opposition leader and former president of Australia’s trade union movement, this is the heartland of Australian politics.

In contrast, Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull’s national economic plan of ‘jobs and growth’ draws on his more eclectic life experience, including as an international businessman. Since becoming prime minister in September last year, Turnbull has consistently emphasised the great economic opportunities offered to Australians by the transitions (and disruptions) now taking place in the global economy. He has stressed that there has never been more exciting time to live in a world of change and transition where enterprise and innovation can flourish and underpin significant domestic economic gains.

Against this background, it is unlikely that the election will provide much guidance on the future direction of Australian foreign policy. There is already a high degree of consensus, at least among Australia’s mainstream political elites, about foreign policy priorities. These include sustaining and deepening Australia’s security relationship with the United States, engaging with the Indo-Pacific, countering radical extremist terrorism and protecting homeland security.

During his three years as opposition leader, Shorten has done little to embellish this agenda, being content to respond to international issues as they emerge. And while the election will demand a more comprehensive statement of policy, it will likely be well within the parameters of the liberal internationalism that has long been the cornerstone of Labor’s foreign policy.

By contrast, the Turnbull government has already clearly marked its foreign policy ambitions. It will seek deeper engagement with the global economy through comprehensive free trade agreements and partnerships with Indonesia and India. Turnbull will also press hard, though perhaps unsuccessfully, for the Trans-Pacific Partnership to become a reality. Perhaps most notably, and with a significantly higher degree of emphasis from previous statements on the subject, the Turnbull government’s recent Defence White Paper gives high priority to working with all countries to ‘build a rules based global order’ which incorporates agreed rules of international law and regional security arrangements.

Once settled, the victor will have to face up to the pressing issues on Australia’s foreign policy horizon. In Japan, the Abe government was widely reported to have been disappointed, if not stunned, when Australia failed to award the contract for the development and manufacture of its new generation of conventional submarines to the Japanese contender. The decision raised doubts in Japan as to whether Canberra was seriously interested in developing a deeper strategic partnership. The answer is almost certainly yes, but rebuilding trust and confidence will demand some assiduous diplomatic attention.

Likely to be of a more enduring difficulty for Canberra is China’s determined push to expand its maritime boundaries in the South China Sea. Australia shares widespread regional concerns about the destabilising consequences of these actions. But Canberra is wary of being drawn into confrontation with Beijing and will need to strike a finely tuned policy balance — especially with the United States — which protects its own national security interests.

Finally, Australia has to address the Papua New Guinea Supreme Court’s decision to close the refugee detention centre on Manus Island. The decision punches a large hole in Canberra’s elaborately conceived regime to deter people smugglers and asylum seekers from looking to Australia. The issue resonates deeply within the Australian body politic and is highly controversial among wide sections of the community. The bipartisan consensus between the government and Labor on the issue is a further complication. Labor is struggling to hold together a febrile internal policy consensus against left wing opposition. The government will certainly exploit this split within Labor to its political advantage.

At the start of the campaign, opinion polls indicated that the election could hardly be closer, with one predicting a Labor victory of 51 per cent to the Coalition’s 49 per cent, while another reversed these results. Over the coming weeks, the polls will no doubt fluctuate as Australian voters wrestle with the choice they have to make on 2 July. At this stage it is almost impossible to say that either side can be confident it has a clear path to success.

The failing of Abenomics

Abenomics’ failure and the curse of ‘Japanization’

By Jeff Kingston, director of Asian Studies, Temple University Japan and APP member

The word “Japanization” refers to Japan’s prolonged stagnation — a malady that was on everyone’s mind at the recent G-7 summit. Prime Minister Shinzo Abe made the right call in postponing the planned tax hike, but the feeble opposition can be forgiven for pouncing on his abrupt volte-face, which is a tacit admission that Abenomics is a colossal failure in terms of overcoming Japanization. There really is no way to sugarcoat the bad news about the negligible impact of Abe’s eponymous “three arrows” of monetary easing, fiscal spending and will-o’-the wisp structural reforms.

This year’s anemic first-quarter economic results showed that Japan only narrowly averted a technical recession. This might explain Abe’s dubious excuse for why recovery has been chimerical, i.e., “The world economy ate my homework,” as he tries to duck responsibility for not delivering the revival he promised in 2012.

Only Abe-philes insist that the jury is still out on Abenomics. A Kyodo poll in May found that two-thirds of the public is disappointed in the program’s paltry results. It’s a better response than that reported by NHK in its series of polls over the past year that showed 75-80 percent have not benefited from Abenomics. The economy remains moribund, wages and household income are stagnant, deflationary pressures remain strong and structural reforms are thin on the ground. Despite the Bank of Japan’s best efforts to stoke inflation, that too remains unrealized.

Instead of being a virtuous circle of rising corporate profits, wages and domestic consumption, Abenomics is sputtering. Abe’s advisers used to explain that the main reason for low consumption was the deflationary expectations of consumers, causing them to postpone spending, but now it’s clear that the slack demand is not only a psychological problem.

People’s consumption has not risen because household income is stagnant and perceptions of risk have increased. Wages have not risen and job growth is concentrated in nonregular jobs where pay on average is 40 percent lower than it is for full-time jobs.

The rapid growth of the “precariat” (precarious proletariat) working nonregular jobs — now about 40 percent of the entire workforce — is also contributing to deflation. The precariat doesn’t spend much because it doesn’t earn much. Just over 10 million of them are defined as the working poor, who earn less than ¥2 million a year. This structural shift in the labor paradigm is accentuating inequalities and subsidizing the core workforce of full-timers who enjoy job security, seniority wages and bonuses.

Abenomics is known as “welfare for the wealthy” because it boosts the fortunes of the rich and neglects the vulnerable. Japan suffers from growing welfare rolls and increasing single-parent poverty, with about 15 percent of children raised in relative poverty. So there are good reasons to hope Abe hasn’t hornswoggled the public, but sadly that seems to be the case.

Recently I caught up with William Pesek, executive editor of Barron’s Asia and author of Japanization: What the World Can Learn from Japan’s Lost Decades (2015). The book is a timely and astute analysis of why other nations are at risk of stagnating, and what policies they need to adopt to avoid Japanization.

Pesek realized from the outset that Abenomics is a hustle, more about politics than economic revival. He stands out from the many cheerleaders who took all of Abe’s pronouncements about the economy at face value while averting their eyes from all the missed targets and lackluster results.

“I still believe strongly that Japanization is a global risk,” Pesek warns, “and that countries as economically disparate as the U.S., China and India are hurtling down their own lost-decade-like paths.

“Abe’s catchy marketing campaign wowed a media establishment accustomed to predictable methods of reform and half-hearted efforts to achieve them,” says Pesek. “Abe brought the circus to town.”

Problematically, however, “There’s only one arrow to Abenomics: monetary easing. Raising sales taxes sent arrow two into the ground long ago. And if you really believe arrow three exists, I have a bridge in Brooklyn to sell you.”

Pesek’s pessimism is now widely shared. A Reuters poll conducted in May found that 70 percent of firms polled see no easing of deflation, up from 48 percent in January, and 79 percent expect further deflationary pressure this year and next.

Pesek thinks the competitive devaluation of the yen has been counterproductive. It will set Japan back in the long run, he says, “because executives have fewer incentives to innovate, restructure and raise their games.”

And “womenomics”? “To those who say ‘Abe has championed female empowerment,’ I say ‘Nikkei 225.’ Not one of these companies is run by a Japanese woman.” Pesek adds, “Let’s really empower women with quotas for parliamentary seats and corporate boards, and free and plentiful child care options.”

In Pesek’s view, Abe is “a cautionary tale of a leader who has majorities in both houses of parliament, a mandate from a public hungry for change, a specific revival plan with broad support and high-approval ratings, and did nothing with it to raise living standards or Japan’s global clout.”

What should Japan do? Forget the Trans-Pacific Partnership, says Pesek, which is really a “corporate land grab with little hope of raising wages or creating jobs.” Instead, he suggests the implementation of a tax holiday for startup companies that “includes a pass from the labyrinthine red-tape matrix. Forget talk of special-enterprise zones and make the entire economy one.” He believes the government should also “pony up several hundred million dollars to jump-start the venture-capital boom that passed Japan by.” He also sees great potential in renewable energy, suggesting more aggressive tax and regulatory incentives.

“This nation is a proud pioneer in energy innovation and efficiency, and opportunities abound as China, India and Indonesia literally choke on rapid growth. There’s something truly poetic about the only nation devastated by nuclear weapons finding alternatives not just for the reactors Japanese came to fear after 3/11 and Fukushima, but fossil fuels in general.”

Alas, Abe has prioritized “transforming national security, revving up nuclear reactors and silencing the media. Goosing the Nikkei stock average has been to distract attention from his unpopular right-wing agenda.”

Pesek believes Abenomics is “nothing but a sugar high for investors and trading houses,” and one that “failed to boost productivity and competitiveness.

“If Abe spent as much time orchestrating his economic upgrades as Obama’s itinerary, Japan might not be hurtling toward another recession,” Pesek laments. “His mandate is Japan’s economy, not stage-managing the past.”

Monday in Washington, June 20, 2016

A CONVERSATION WITH MICHAEL FROMAN. 6/20, 8:00-9:00am, Webcast. Sponsor: Council on Foreign Relations (CFR). Speakers: Michael Froman, U.S. Trade Representative; Merit E. Janow, Dean, School of International and Public Affairs, Columbia University. Members only.

HINDU AMERICA FOUNDATION (HAF) INAUGURAL POLICY CONFERENCE. 6/20, 8:30am-3:30pm, Lunch, Refreshments. Sponsor: Hindu American Foundation (HAF). Speakers: Vanita Gupta, Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General, Civil Rights Division, U.S. Department of Justice; Dr. Bharath Gopalaswamy, Director, South Asia Center, Atlantic Council; Farahnaz Ispahani, Human Rights Advocate, Former Member of the Parliament of Pakistan; Caroline Darmody, Legislative Assistant, Office of Rep. Joe Kennedy (D-MA); Maggie Garrett, Legal Counsel, Americans United for Separation of Church & State; Michael Lieberman, Esq., Washington Counsel, Anti-Defamation League; Paul Monteiro, Director, Community Relations Service, U.S. Department of Justice; Moderators: Samir Kalra, Esq., Senior Director, Human Rights Fellow, HAF; Suhag Shukla, Esq., Executive Director, Legal Counsel, HAF.

TERRORISM, WOMEN, ANDVIOLENT EXTREMISM: POLICIES AND PROGRAMMING. 6/20, 9:30-11:30am, Breakfast. Sponsor: Women in International Security (WIIS). Speakers: Ambassador Claudia Fritsche, Embassy of Liechtenstein in Washington, DC; Susan Markham, Senior Coordinator for Gender Equality and Women’s Empowerment, USAID; Trisha Ripley, Senior CVE Officer, National Counterterrorism Center (NCTC); Irfan Saeed, Director for Countering Violent Extremism, U.S. Department of State; Vera Zakem, Research Scientist and Director of Global Development, CNA; Moderator: Jeannette Gaudry Haynie, Senior Fellow, WIIS. By invitation only.

NATIONAL SECURITY INHERITANCE: SETTING THE NEXT PRESIDENT'S AGENDA. 6/20, 9:30am-5:30pm. Sponsor: Center for a New American Security (CNAS). Speakers include: Vice President Joseph R. Biden; Ashton Carter, U.S. Secretary of Defense; Deborah Lee James, Secretary of the U.S. Air Force; Admiral John Richardson, Chief Of Naval Operations; Hon. Michèle Flournoy, Co-Founder, CEO, CNAS; Senator Jack Reed (D-RI); Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC); Richard Fontaine, President, CNAS; David Ignatius, Columnist, Washington Post; Karen Deyoung, Associate Editor, Washington Post; Fred Hiatt, Editorial Page Editor, Washington Post; Jerry Hendrix, Defense Strategies and Assessments Program Director, CNAS.

THE SOUTH CHINA SEA ARBITRATION: ANTICIPATING THE NEXT MOVES AND COUNTERMOVES. 6/20, 10:00am-Noon. Sponsor: Asia Program, CSIS. Speakers: Gregory B. Poling, Director, Asia Maritime Transparency Initiative and Fellow, Southeast Asia Program, CSIS; Ernest Z. Bower, Non-Resident Senior Advisor and Chair, Southeast Asia Program Advisory Board, CSIS; Amy Searight, Senior Advisor and Director, Southeast Asia Program, CSIS; Andrew Shearer, Senior Advisor on Asia Pacific Security, CSIS; Moderator: Michael J. Green, Senior Vice President for Asia and Japan Chair, CSIS.

SYMPOSIUM ON ENDING TOO BIG TO FAIL. 6/20, 10:30am-1:30pm, Webcast. Sponsor: Peterson Institute (PIIE). Speakers: William R. Cline, Senior Fellow, PIIE; Giovanni Dell'Ariccia, Deputy Director, Research Department, IMF; Douglas Elliott, Partner, Finance and Risk and Public Policy Practices, Oliver Wyman; Neel Kashkari, President, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis; Bertrand Badré, Former Group Chief Financial Officer, Société Générale, Crédit Agricole; Adam S. Posen, President, PIIE; Moderator: Ron J. Feldman, Executive Vice President, Senior Policy Advisor, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis. By invitation only.

CELEBRATING WOMEN LEADERS:COMBATING TERRORISM, REGIONAL CONFLICTS, AND MIGRATION CHALLENGES IN THE MIDDLEEAST AND AFRICA. 6/20, Noon, Lunch. Sponsor: Women’s Foreign Policy Group. Speakers: Ambassador Anne W. Patterson, Assistant Secretary of State, Bureau of Near Eastern Affairs; Anne C. Richard, Assistant Secretary of State, Bureau of Population, Refugees, and Migration (Tentative); Ambassador Linda Thomas-Greenfield, Assistant Secretary of State, Bureau of African Affairs; Moderator: Karen DeYoung, Associate Editor, Senior National Security Correspondent, Washington Post. Fee.

6/20, 12:30-1:30pm, Webcast. Sponsor: Council on Foreign Relations (CFR). Speaker: Jason Furman, Chairman, Council of Economic Advisers; Moderator: David M. Rubenstein, Cofounder, Co-Chief Executive Officer, Carlyle Group, Vice Chairman, CFR. Members only.

click to order
U.S. STRATEGIC CHALLENGES IN A POST-OBAMA WORLD: A CONVERSATION WITH SENATOR TOM COTTON. 6/20, 1:00-2:00pm, Webcast. Sponsor: Council on Foreign Relations (CFR). Speaker: Senator Tom Cotton (R-AR); Moderator: Ayman Mohyeldin, Anchor, MSNBC, Foreign Correspondent, NBC News. Members only.

TRANSATLANTIC PERSPECTIVES ON RELIGION AND FOREIGN POLICY. 6/20, 2:00-3:30pm. Sponsors: Berkley Center for Religion, Peace & World Affairs, GTU; Cambridge Institute on Religion & International Studies, University of Cambridge's Clare College. Speakers: Merete Bilde, Policy Advisor, European External Action Service, European Union; Christian Heldt, Deputy Head Of Mission, German Embassy to the Holy See in Rome; Jean-Christophe Peaucelle, Adviser, Religious Affairs, Ministry of Foreign Affairs of France; Moderator: Timothy Shah, Associate Director, Religious Freedom Project, Berkley Center for Religion, Peace & World Affairs, Associate Professor, Practice of Religion and Global Politics, Government Department, Georgetown University.

ROLE OF INTELLIGENCE IN AMERICAN FOREIGN POLICY. 6/20, 4:00-5:30pm. Sponsor: Institute of World Politics. Speaker: John Sano, Former Deputy Director, National Clandestine Service, CIA.

click to order
UN RESOLUTION 1325 IN PEACEKEEPING: CHALLENGES AND OPPORTUNITIES. 6/20, 4:30-5:30pm. Sponsor: Elliott School, GW. Speakers: Donald Daniel, Adjunct Professor, Georgetown University; Chantal de Jonge Oudraat, President, Women in International Security; Moderator: Aisling Swaine, Associate Professor, Elliott School, GWU.

DOUGLAS MACARTHUR: AMERICAN WARRIOR. 6/20, 5:30-7:30pm. Sponsor: Hudson. Speakers: Author Arthur Herman, Senior Fellow, Hudson; Christopher DeMuth, Distinguished Fellow, Hudson, Former President, AEI.

STUDY IN CHINA: SCHWARZMAN SCHOLARSHIP INFO SESSION. 6/20, 6:00-7:30pm. Sponsor: US-Asia Institute. Speaker: Robert Garris, Global Director of Admissions, Schwarzman Scholars.

STATE CAPITALISM: HOW THE RETURN OF STATISM IS TRANSFORMING THE WORLD. 6/20, 6:00-7:00pm, Webcast. Sponsor: Council on Foreign Relations (CFR). Speaker: Author Joshua Kurlantzick, Senior Fellow for Southeast Asia, CFR; Moderator: Richard N. Haass, President, CFR. Members only.

Sunday, June 12, 2016

Monday in Washington, June 13, 2016

COMMANDANT’S MID-TERM REPORT ON THE COAST GUARD. 6/13, 10:00-11:00am. Sponsors: International Security Program, CSIS; U.S. Naval Institute (USNI). Speaker: Paul F. Zukunft, Admiral, 25th Commandant of U.S. Coast Guard; Moderator: Kathleen Hicks, Senior Vice President, Henry A. Kissinger Chair, Director, International Security Program, CSIS.

THAILAND AT THE AMERICA'S SMALL BUSINESS SUMMIT 2016. 6/13, 10:00-11:30am. Sponsors: International Affairs Division-Southeast Asia, U.S. Chamber of Commerce; Royal Thai Embassy. Speakers include: H.E. Pisan Manawapat, Ambassador of Thailand to the United States; Dr. Wimonkan Kosumas, Deputy Director General, Office of Small and Medium Enterprises Promotion; TBD; Moderator: Tami Overby, Senior Vice President, Asia, U.S. Chamber of Commerce.

CHINA’S POLICY TOWARD THE KOREAN PENINSULA. 6/13, Noon-4:00pm, Lunch. Sponsor: East Asia Program, Stimson. Speakers:. Yu Tiejun, Associate Professor, School of International Studies, Peking University; Ren Yuanzhe, Associate Professor, Department of Diplomacy and Foreign Affairs Management, China University of Foreign Affairs; Wang Junsheng, Associate Professor and Executive Director, Department of China’s Regional Strategy, National Institute of International Strategy, China Academy of Social Sciences; Woo Jung-Yeop, Research Fellow, Asan Institute for Policy Studies; Tom Byrne, President, Korea Society; Andrew Yeo, Associate Professor of Politics, Catholic University of America; Alan Romberg, Distinguished Fellow and Director of the East Asia Program, Stimson; Moderators: Yun Sun, Senior Associate, East Asia Program, Stimson; Katharine H.S. Moon, SK-Korea Foundation Chair in Korean Studies and Senior Fellow, Center for East Asia Policy Studies, Brookings.

DEFENSE BUDGETING AND NATIONAL SECURITY. 6/13, 2:30-3:00pm. Sponsor: IISS-Americas. Speaker: Deborah Lee James, Secretary of the U.S. Air Force; Moderator: Mark Fitzpatrick, Executive Director, IISS-Americas.

AFGHANISTAN: FIGHTING THE TALIBAN. 6/13, 2:30-4:00pm. Sponsor: Hudson. Speakers: Ambassador Hamdullah Mohib, Ambassador of Afghanistan; Ambassador Husain Haqqani, Senior Fellow, Director, South and Central Asia, Hudson, Former Ambassador of Pakistan; Mohammad Taqi, Columnist, South Asia Blog, Hudson.

INNOVATION FOR DEVELOPMENT: WHY ARE WE NOT GETTING TO SCALE? 6/13, 4:00-5:00pm. Sponsor: Center for Global Development (CGD). Speakers: Ann Mei Chang, Chief Innovation Officer, Executive Director of the U.S. Global Development Lab, US Agency for International Development; Michael Faye, Co-founder and Executive Chairman, GiveDirectly; Sonal Shah, Founding Executive Director, Beeck Center for Social Impact and Innovation, Georgetown University; Charles Kenny, Senior Fellow, Center for Global Development.