Friday, September 4, 2015

Tuesday in Washington September 8, 2015

Welcome Back DC
THE NUCLEAR DEAL WITH IRAN AND THE IMPLICATIONS FOR US SECURITY. 9/8, 9:00-10:00am, Washington, DC. Sponsor: AEI. Speakers: Richard B. "Darth" Cheney, Former Vice President of United States; Moderator: Danielle Pletka, Senior Vice President, Foreign and Defense Policy Studies, AEI.

THE IRAN NUCLEAR DEAL IS A WIN FOR NUCLEAR NONPROLIFERATION AND SECURITY. 9/8, 9:00-Noon. [Will break to hear Senator Reid at 10:00am] Sponsor: Arms Control Association (ACA). Speakers: Colin Kahl, Deputy Assistant to the President, National Security Advisor to the Vice President; Ellie Geranmayeh, Policy Fellow, European Council on Foreign Relations; George Perkovich, Vice President for Studies, Carnegie; Kelsey Davenport, Director for Nonproliferation Policy, ACA; Moderator: Daryl G. Kimball, Executive Director, ACA.

US SENATOR HARRY REID ON THE IRAN NUCLEAR DEAL. 9/8, 10:00-11:00AM, Washington, DC. Sponsor: Carnegie Endowment. Speakers: Senator Harry Reid (D-NV), Democratic leader in the Senate since 2005; Introduction: Howard Berman, former U.S. representative from California’s 28th congressional district from 1983 to 2013; Moderator: George Perkovich, vice president for studies at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace.

XI JINPING IN WASHINGTON: THE TAIWAN FACTOR. 9/8, 11:00am-12:15pm, Washington, DC. Sponsor: Hudson Institute. Speakers: Parris Chang, President, Taiwan Institute for Political, Economic and Strategic Studies (TIPESS); Ian Easton, Research Fellow, Project 2049 Institute; Seth Cropsey, Senior Fellow, Director, Center for American Seapower, Hudson; Moderator: Michael Pillsbury, Senior Fellow & Director for Chinese Strategy, Hudson.

A COMPREHENSIVE LOOK AT PATENT REFORM IN THE 114TH CONGRESS. 9/8, Noon-1:00pm. Sponsor: AEI. Speakers: Mike Godwin, Director, Innovation Policy and General Counsel, R Street Institute; Paul Hastings, Chairman, CEO, OncoMed Pharmaceuticals; Phil Johnson, Senior Vice of Intellectual Property Policy and Strategy, Johnson & Johnson; Matthew Levy, Patent, Counsel, Computer and Communications Industry Association; Michael Rosen, Visiting Fellow, Center for Internet, Communication, and Technology Policy, AEI, Intellectual Property Attorney, Fish and Richardson; Laurie Self, Vice President, Qualcomm; Robert Taylor, Founder, Owner, RPT Strategies and National Venture Capital Association.

FACING AN EAST ASIA OF DEMOGRAPHIC MATURATION, LESSONS OF ABENOMICS. 9/8, Noon-2:00pm, Lunch, Washington, DC. Sponsor: Japan Commerce Association of Washington DC (JCAW). Speaker: Motani Kosuke, Chief Senior Economist, Japan Research Institute, Special Advisor, Regional Planning Department, Development Bank of Japan. Fee for Non-JCAW Members. In Japanese.

THE IRAN NUCLEAR AGREEMENT: NOW OR NEVER? 9/8, 1:00-3:00pm. Sponsor: International Crisis Group and the Ploughshares Fund. Speakers: Samuel Berger, former National Security Advisor; Thomas Pickering, former Undersecretary of State for Political Affairs; Joseph Cirincione, Ploughshares Fund; and Ali Vaez, International Crisis Group, Location: 236 Russell Senate Office Building,

Thursday, September 3, 2015

Prime Minister of Japan’s Schedule August 17-23, 2015

Monday, August 17, 2015


06:36 Depart from holiday home in Narusawa village, Yamanashi Prefecture
06:40 Arrive at golf course Fujizakura Country Club in Fujikawaguchiko-machi, Yamanashi Prefecture. Play golf with Chairman of LDP Election Strategy Committee Motegi Toshimitsu, Chairman of Nippon Foundation Sasakawa Yohei, and Chairman of Fuji Television Network, Inc. Hieda Hisashi

02:45 Depart from golf course
02:49 Arrive at holiday home
06:00 Depart from holiday home
06:24 Arrive at Hotel Mt. Fuji in Yamanakako village, Yamanashi Prefecture. Dinner meeting with Chairman of Fuji Television Network, Inc. Hieda Hisashi, Deputy Chief Cabinet Secretary Kato Katsunobu, LDP Lower House member Kishi Nobuo and colleagues in banquet hall Menuet
08:55 Depart from hotel
09:18 Arrive at holiday home

Abe Akie at Yasukuni
Tuesday, August 18, 2015
08:00 At holiday home in in Narusawa village, Yamanashi Prefecture (no visitors)
Stay at holiday home throughout morning (no morning visitors)
Abe Akie , in Tokyo, visits Yasukuni Shrine. She wrote on her Facebook page that she “felt different” during her latest visit to the Shinto shrine because it came three days after she went to the Chiran Peace Museum for Kamikaze Pilots (知覧特攻平和会館 Chiran Tokkō-Heiwa-Kaikan) former site of the Chiran Imperial Army Air Base in Kagoshima Prefecture, from which some kamikaze pilots left on suicide missions at the end of World War II.
12:57 Meet with Village Mayor of Narusawa Kobayashi Masaru
01:17 End meeting with Mr. Kobayashi
01:28 Meet with American Cardinal Theodore Edgar McCarrick
Archbishop emeritus of Washington, was named a CSIS counselor in March 2007. 02:14 End meeting with Mr. McCarrick
04:30 Director of Cabinet Intelligence Kitamura Shigeru enters the villa
06:15 Barbeque with Director of Cabinet Intelligence Kitamura Shigeru, Special Advisor to the Prime Minister Hasegawa Eiichi, and secretaries
08:18 Mr. Kitamura leaves
11:02 Barbeque ends. Everyone leaves

Wednesday, August 19, 2015


08:00 At holiday home in Narusawa village, Yamanashi Prefecture (no visitors)
Stay at holiday home throughout morning (no morning visitors)

12:52 Depart from holiday home
01:02 Arrive at hot springs facility Fujiyama-Onsen in Fujiyoshida city, Yamanashi Prefecture. Take a bath
03:22 Depart from Fujiyama-Onsen
03:32 Arrive at holiday home
05:49 Depart from holiday home
05:59 Arrive at Chinese restaurant Ren in Fujiyoshida city. Dinner with his mother Abe Yoko and secretary
07:10 Depart from restaurant
07:20 Arrive at holiday home
11:59 At holiday home (no visitors)

Thursday, August 20, 2015


08:00 At holiday home in Narusawa village, Yamanashi Prefecture (no visitors)
Stay at holiday home throughout morning (no morning visitors)

02:57 Depart from holiday home
04:30 Arrive at private residence in Tokyo
11:59 At private residence (no visitors)

Friday, August 21, 2015
08:00 At private residence (no visitors)
08:43 Depart from private residence
08:57 Arrive at office
09:03 Cabinet meeting
09:12 Meeting ends
09:13 Meet with Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of Finance Aso Taro
09:18 End meeting with Mr. Aso
09:19 Meet with Minister of Health, Labor and Welfare Shiozaki Yasuhisa
09:36 End meeting with Mr. Shiozaki
10:06 Meet with Deputy Chief Cabinet Secretary Seko Hiroshige
11:16 End meeting with Mr. Seko
11:17 Meet with Minister for Foreign Affairs Kishida Fumio, Vice-Minister for Foreign Affairs Saiki Akitaka, and MOFA’s Director-General of Asian and Oceanian Affairs Bureau Ihara Junichi

12:03 End meeting with Mr. Kishida, Mr. Saiki, and Mr. Ihara
12:04 Meet with Deputy Chief Cabinet Secretary for Crisis Management Nishimura Yasuhiko, Assistant Chief Cabinet Secretary Takamizawa Nobushige, and Director of Cabinet Intelligence Kitamura Shigeru
12:11 End meeting with Mr. Nishimura, Mr. Takamizawa and Mr. Kitamura
12:54 Depart from office
12:56 Arrive at Diet
12:58 Enter Committee Room No.1 of the House of Councilors
01:00 Meeting of the Special Committee of the House of Councilors on the Legislation for Peace and Security of Japan and the International Community opens
04:11 Meeting adjourns
04:12 Leave Committee Room No.1 of the House of Councilors
04:14 Depart from Diet
04:16 Arrive at office
04:30 Meet with Director of Cabinet Intelligence Kitamura Shigeru
04:39 End meeting with Mr. Kitamura
04:40 Meet with United States Senator Mazie Hirono
05:02 End meeting with Ms. Hirono
05:30 National Security Council meeting
05:43 Meeting ends
06:18 Depart from office
06:20 Arrive at the Capitol Hotel Tokyu in Nagata-cho, Tokyo. Dinner with secretary in restaurant ORIGAMI in the hotel
07:36 Depart from hotel
08:01 Arrive at private residence

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Japan’s War Legacy

Dr. Tenney & PM Abe
April 29, 2015
The postwar generation may now be the majority in Japan, but they too must know the atrocities of war.

Dr. Tenney served in the 192nd Tank Battalion of the U.S. Army and survived the Bataan Death March

Wall Street Journal, Sept. 1, 2015

Imperial Japan became history on Sept. 2, 1945. Gen. Douglas MacArthur accepted Japan’s unconditional surrender on the deck of the USS Missouri in Tokyo Bay, ending World War II. For me, nearly 600 miles south in a prisoner of war camp outside Nagasaki, unaware of these historic events, I simply remember the pure joy of liberation.

What was V-J Day like for POWs? For those of us in Fukuoka No. 17-B POW Camp, the war ended on Aug. 15, when our Mitsui company overseers, without explanation, stopped sending us down into their coal mine. We were returned to camp for an unusual midday meal of limitless rice and recognizable vegetables. We received our first full Red Cross boxes. And the camp guards said “hello” in English instead of striking us with their rifle butts for not bowing.

After lunch, the camp commander, flanked by trucks mounted with machine guns, gathered us on the camp’s parade ground. He curtly announced, “America and Japan now friends. War is over.”

There is no accurate way to describe how it feels to be a slave one moment—starved and abused, forced to work long hours in a treacherous mine, beaten daily for not working fast enough or not bowing low enough—and a free man the next.

After more than two years underground in the dark, narrow seams of a coal mine, it was glorious to be in the sun. American planes soon appeared overhead and with them came parachutes carrying 55-gallon drums of food, clothing, medicines and magazines. One parachute failed to open, its cargo of fruit salad spilling out onto the camp yard. We happily and immediately dined on the scattered remains.

Baron Mitsui, a 1915 Dartmouth graduate who owned our coal mine and many others, hosted a series of dinners for senior Allied commanding officers of our POW camp. The baron had often visited his captive village and was aware of the grim conditions. Over the meals, he reportedly asked the officers for their tolerance and thanked them for their efforts. Photos from the dinner series show a wary indulgence in the eyes of the American, Australian, British and Dutch guests.

Fast forward to last month, when Prime Minister Shinzo Abe used the same word—tolerance—in his statement on the 70th anniversary of the war’s end. “How much emotional struggle must have existed and what great efforts must have been necessary . . . for the former POWs who experienced unbearable sufferings caused by the Japanese military in order for them to be so tolerant nevertheless?” Mr. Abe marveled.

While I welcome any step, however modest, the Japanese make in addressing war crimes committed against POWs, this word stops me short. It makes a war crime a matter of inconvenience. I can tolerate someone cutting me off in traffic. But being a POW was not a matter of tolerance. It was a matter of life or death—mostly death.

The denial of water and food on the Bataan Death March didn’t simply inconvenience us; it killed thousands of soldiers. My fellow prisoners and I didn’t tolerate nor have we forgotten the beatings and torture, the starvation and broken bones, or the filth and stench of dying men. What tolerance did I have watching my buddy tortured so viciously that he had to have both legs amputated?

And what of today? Our wait for Japan’s apology, offered officially in February 2009, wasn’t tolerance. It was patience. Patience for justice.

Still, Mr. Abe’s awkward statement on Aug. 15 suggests that our patience may not be in vain. His mention of POWs is the only reference in the statement that clearly matches a noun of wrongdoing to a verb of responsibility. He correctly points out that “unbearable suffering” was “caused” by Imperial Japan’s military. Acknowledging the perpetrator of a crime and the crime itself is the first step toward reconciliation.

For me, the war is hard to forget. But as Mr. Abe points out, the postwar generations are now the majority in Japan. Japanese today aren’t responsible for what happened more than 70 years ago. But they also cannot forget or distort the past.

Japan owes me, the descendants of its victims and its own citizens the truth. As Mr. Abe said, “We Japanese, across generations, must squarely face the history of the past. We have the responsibility to inherit the past, in all humbleness, and pass it on to the future.”

Imperial Japan tormented, enslaved and defiled many people. This is a grave legacy to pass on and to teach future generations. But it is vital to keep memories like mine alive. It’s one thing to remember great deeds done by great men, like Gen. MacArthur in Tokyo Bay. But World War II’s history is composed of the suffering of many individuals in different circumstances. This, too, should not be forgotten, or else the lessons of the war will be incomplete.

Prime Minister of Japan’s Schedule August 10-16, 2015

Monday, August 10, 2015


12:00 At private residence (no visitors)
08:42 Depart from private residence
08:54 Arrive at office
09:05 Meet with new Vice-Minister of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries Honkawa Kazuyoshi, and former Vice-Minister of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries Minagawa Yoshitsugu
09:10 End meeting with Mr. Honkawa and Mr. Minagawa
09:11 Meet with Minister in charge of Tokyo Olympic and Paralympics Endo Toshiaki
09:24 End meeting with Mr. Endo
09:25 Meet with Deputy Chief Cabinet Secretary Seko Hiroshige
10:32 End meeting with Mr. Seko
10:33 Meet with Chairperson of National Public Safety Commission Yamatani Eriko
10:54 End meeting with Ms. Yamatani
10:55 Meet with Minister of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries Hayashi Yoshimasa
11:03 End meeting with Mr. Hayashi
11:13 Meet with Minister for Reconstruction Takeshita Wataru
11:28 End meeting with Mr. Takeshita
11:29 Greet new Japanese Ambassador to Rwanda Ohta Kiyokazu and his colleagues
11:40 End greeting Mr. Ohta
11:41 Meet with Minister of Health, Labor and Welfare Shiozaki Yasuhisa

12:00 End meeting Mr. Shiozaki
12:01 Receive a proposal from on the New National Stadium from Chairman of New Komeito Diet Affairs Committee Oguchi Yoshinori, and colleague
12:10 End reception
12:37 Meet with Vice-Minister for Foreign Affairs Saiki Akitaka
12:50 End meeting with Mr. Saiki
12:54 Depart from office
12:55 Arrive at Diet
12:57 Enter Upper House Committee Room No.1
01:00 Meeting of the Budget Committee of the House of Councillors opens
05:17 Meeting adjourns
05:19 Exit Upper House Committee Room No.1
05:20 Enter State Ministers’ Room
05:21 Receive a policy proposal from LDP Lower House member Kawamura Takeo and other Diet members from Nikai Faction
05:27 End reception
05:28 Exit State Ministers’ Room
05:29 Depart from Diet
05:31 Arrive at office
05:32 Meet with Minister in charge of Overcoming Population Decline and Vitalizing Local Economy in Japan Ishiba Shigeru
05:58 End meeting with Mr. Ishiba
05:59 Meet with U.S. Ambassador to Japan Caroline Kennedy
06:32 End meeting with Ms. Kennedy
06:33 Record video message for Japan Tent, an international exchange event
06:39 End recording
06:40 Interview with news reporters. Express support for Kyushu Electric Power Co.’s restart of a reactor at its Sendai plant in southwest Japan, “All measures should be taken to ensure the safety before restarting the plant”
06:41 End interview
06:42 Depart from office
07:00 Arrive at private residence
07:16 Depart from private residence
08:48 Arrive at restaurant Sumibi Kushiyaki I. W in Fujiyoshida city, Yamanashi Prefecture. Dinner with secretaries
10:15 Depart from restaurant
10:25 Arrive at holiday home in Narusawa village, Yamanashi Prefecture

Tuesday, August 11, 2015


12:00 At holiday home (no visitors)
Stay at holiday home throughout morning

02:00 At holiday home
Stay at holiday home throughout afternoon
05:14 Depart from holiday home
05:22 Arrive at Chinese restaurant Isai Chugokusaikan Kokyu in Fujikawaguchiko-machi, Yamanashi Prefecture. Dinner with PM’s mother Abe Yoko
07:36 Depart from restaurant
09:35 Arrive at private residence

Wednesday, August 12, 2015


12:00 At private residence (no visitors)
09:29 Depart from private residence
10:02 Arrive at Haneda Airport
10:37 Depart from Haneda Airport by Flight 693, All Nippon Airways
11:53 Arrive at Yamaguchi Ube Airport

12:03 Depart from Yamaguchi Ube Airport
12:43 Arrive at Yamaguchi Prefectural Office. Meet with Governor of Yamaguchi Prefecture Muraoka Tsugumasa and Chairman of Yamaguchi Prefectural Assembly Hatahara Motonari.
02:00 Depart from prefectural office
02:12 Arrive at Hotel New Tanaka. Attend lecture meeting organized LDP Yamaguchi prefectural chapter.
Sumiyoshi Shrine
one of three
03:20 Depart from Hotel New Tanaka
04:21 Arrive at Sumiyoshi Shrine in Shimonoseki city, Yamaguchi Prefecture. Attend purification ceremony and commemorative photo session
Sumiyoshi Shrine in Shimonoseki worships the aramitama of the Sumiyoshi kami--the warlike, rough, violent side of the spirit--a spirit of victory. From 1871 through 1946, Sumiyoshi Taisha (in Osaka and part of the three Sumiyoshi shrines) was officially designated one of the Kanpei-taisha (官幣大社), meaning that it stood in the first rank of government supported shrines.
04:26 Depart from Sumiyoshi Shrine
05:01 Arrive at welfare facility Freude Konpira in Shimonoseki city. Visit supporters
05:18 Depart from Freude Konpira
05:31 Arrive at personal residence in Shimonoseki city
06:01 Depart from personal residence
06:17 Arrive at wedding hall Seamall Palace. Attend meeting of supporters’ group
08:00 Depart from wedding hall
08:22 Arrive at Iminomiya Shrine. Attend Suhoteisai Festivals and parades with wife Akie
08:44 Depart from Iminomiya Shrine
09:01 Arrive at chicken restaurant Kinkei. Dinner with wife Akie, Yamaguchi Prefectural Assembly member Hiraoka Nozomu, and colleagues
10:04 Depart from restaurant
10:14 Arrive at personal residence

Thursday, August 13, 2015


12:00 At personal residence in Shimonoseki city, Yamaguchi Prefecture (no visitors)
08:05 Depart from personal residence
08:48 Arrive at Mine City Mitou Hospital in Mine city, Yamaguchi Prefecture. Visit secretary
08:59 Depart from hospital
09:46 Visit local supporters’ residence in Shimonoseki city and give condolence call

12:06 End visit
12:18 Arrive at Yamaguchi Prefectural Assembly Member Takase Toshiya’s residence. Give condolence call to his family
12:25 Depart from Mr. Takase’s residence
12:26 Arrive at Japanese restaurant Inamura. Lunch with Mr. Takase and colleagues
01:15 Depart from restaurant
01:33 Visit local supporters’ residence in Shimonoseki city and give condolence call
04:14 End visit
04:33 Arrive at personal residence
04:34 Meet with President of Japan Medical Association Yokokura Yoshitake and President of Fukuoka Prefecture Medical Association Matsuda Shunichiro
04:53 End meeting with Mr. Yokokura and Mr. Matsuda
06:34 Depart from personal residence
06:43 Arrive at Yamagin Archive. Reception by President of Yamaguchi Bank Fukuda Koichi. Visit Yamagin Archive with wife Akie
07:12 Depart from archive
07:25 Attend KANMON 2015 Firework Festival in Shimonoseki city. Deliver speech and watch fireworks with wife Akie
08:17 Depart from firework grounds
08:36 Arrive at barbecue restaurant Yakiniku Ariran. Dinner with wife Akie
09:39 Depart from restaurant
09:49 Arrive at New Miyazaki Building. Informal meeting with President of a supporters’ group
10:28 Depart from New Miyazaki Building
10:35 Arrive at personal residence

Monday, August 31, 2015

US-Japan Research Institute Week in Washington September 9th to 15th

The US-Japan Research Institute (USJI) is a collaboration between Japanese industry and five major Japanese universities to better understand the policy environment in Washington as well as provide Japan-originated research to the Washington community.
Twice a year USJI hosts a week of seminars on timely topics to the US-Japan relationship. From September 9 to 15 is this fall's USJI Week.

THE JAPANESE ECONOMY: NOW AND FUTURE. 9/9, Noon-1:30pm, lunch, Washington, DC. Sponsors: US-Asia Institute and U.S.-Japan Research Institute. Speakers: Dr. Mitsuru Taniuchi, professor at the Faculty of Commerce, Waseda University And discussant Dr. Luc Everaert, assistant director, Asia and Pacific Department, & Chief of Japan team, IMF.

SEEKING FOR AN EFFECTIVE FRAMEWORK OF INTERNATIONAL LEGAL ORDER IN THE ASIA-PACIFIC REGION. 9/10, 10:30am-Noon, Washington, DC. Sponsor: U.S.-Japan Research Institute (USJI). Speakers: Shuichi Furuya, Professor, Waseda Law School, Dean of Academic Affairs, Waseda University; Peter D. Trooboff, Senior Counsel, Covington & Burling LLP; Moderator: Ellen L. Frost, Senior Advisor, East West Center / Visiting Distinguished Research Fellow, Institute for National Strategic Studies, National Defense University.

A NEW ERA FOR THE ASIA-PACIFIC: CHALLENGES FOR U.S.-JAPAN RELATIONS. 9/10, 3:30-5:00pm, Washington, DC. Sponsor: U.S.-Japan Research Institute (USJI). Speakers: Shunji Yanai, Advisory Board , USJI, Former Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary, Japan Embassy in U.S., Judge, International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea, Professor, Waseda University; Rust M. Deming, Adjunct Professor of Japan Studies, SAIS, Johns Hopkins University, Former Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary, U.S. Embassy in Tunisia; Dennis Blair ,Chairman of the Board, Sasagawa Peace Foundation USA; Kurt Campbell, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of The Asia Group, Former Assistant Secretary of State for East Asian and Pacific Affairs; Moderator: Shelia Smith, Council on Foreign Relations.

HELP OR HINDER? THE AIIB AND OUTLOOK FOR ASIAN DEVELOPMENT. 9/11, 10:30am-12:15pm, Washington, DC. Sponsor: U.S.-Japan Research Institute (USJI). Speakers: Takashi Terada, Operating Advisor, USJI, Professor, Doshisha University; Zhiqun Zhu, Associate Professor of Political Science and International Relations, Director of China Institute, Bucknell University; Meg Lundsager, Public Policy Fellow, Wilson Center; Sourabh Gupta, Senior Research Associate, Samuels International Associates;
Moderator: Shihoko Goto, Senior Associate for Northeast Asia, Asia Program, Wilson Center. 

JAPAN-US PARTNERSHIP TOWARDS THE FORMATION OF ASIAN HIGHER EDUCATION AREA FOCUSING ON ASEAN. 9/11, 10:30am-Noon, Washington, DC. Sponsor: U.S.-Japan Research Institute (USJI). Speakers: Miki Sugimura, Vice President for Academic Exchange, Sophia University; Yasushi Hirosato, Professor, Sophia University; John N. Hawkins, Professor Emeritus, University of California, Los Angeles; Kazuo Kuroda, Professor, Waseda University; James Williams, Associate Professor, George Washington University; Moderator: Yuto Kitamura, Associate Professor, The University of Tokyo.

JAPAN'S ASIA POLICY AND THE US REBALANCING: CHALLENGES AND OPPORTUNITIES. 9/14, 10:30am-Noon, Washington, DC. Sponsor: U.S.-Japan Research Institute (USJI). Speakers: Toru Oga, Associate Professor, Kyushu University; Kuniko Ashizawa, Adjunct Professor, American University; Jeffrey Hornung, Fellow, Sasakawa Peace Foundation; Moderator: Paula Harrell, Professor, Georgetown University.
JAPANESE POLITICAL ECONOMY UNDER PM ABE: HOW ABENOMICS AND TPP ARE ADVANCED. 9/14, 6:00-7:00pm, Washington, DC. Sponsor: U.S.-Japan Research Institute (USJI). Speaker: Takashi Terada, Operating Advisor, USJI, Professor, Doshisha University. [Students Only]

TRANSLATIONAL RESEARCH BASED ON MOLECULAR CRANIOFACIAL DEVELOPMENTAL BIOLOGY AND DEVELOPMENT OF RELATED CLINICAL ACTIVITIES IN DENTISTRY. 9/15, 2:30-4:00pm, Bethesda, MD. Sponsor: National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research (NIDCR). Speakers: Yoshihiko Yamada, Senior Investigator, Section Chief, NIDCR; Takayoshi Yamaza, Assistant Professor, Kyushu University; Matthew P. Hoffman, Section Chief, NIDCR; Yoshihide Mori, Professor, Kyushu University; Naoto Haruyama, Lecturer, Kyushu University Hospital. 

WORLD WAR II AND THE EXPERIENCE OF JAPANESE AMERICANS. 9/15, 6:00-7:30pm, Washington, DC. Sponsor: Nissan Global Foundation. Speakers: Terry Shima, WWII Veteran; Mary Murakami; Priscilla Ouchida, Executive Director, JACL; Moderator; Yoshiaki Abe, Operating Advisor, USJI / Emeritus Professor, Waseda University. 

Sunday, August 30, 2015

Monday in Washington, August 31, 2015

This week Washington is slowly come back to work. The President is in Alaska and the rest of Washington is being entertained by Donald Trump. When Congress returns on September 8th things will get serious. The APP newsletter, for members, will also return at that time.

MONITORING THE IRAN NUCLEAR DEAL. 8/31, 8:30-11:30am, Arlington, VA. Sponsor: The Intelligence and National Security Alliance (INSA). Speakers: Joe DeTrani, President of INSA; Mark Lowenthal, President of the Intelligence and Security Academy.

click to order
ADDITIVE MANUFACTURING FOR DEFENSE AND AEROSPACE. 8/31-9/2, Springfield, VA. Sponsor: Institute for Defense and Government Advancement (IDGA). Speakers include: Mike Daly, Chief Technology Officer at Raytheon; Paul Bates, Lead 3D Printing Development Engineer at Underwriters Laboratories.

KISSINGER'S SHADOW: THE LONG REACH OF AMERICA'S MOST CONTROVERSIAL STATESMAN. 8/31, 7:00pm, Washington, DC. Sponsor: Politics and Prose Bookstore. Speaker: Author Greg Grandin, Professor of History at New York University.

Saturday, August 22, 2015

Abe’s WWII statement fails history 101

Dove of Peace at
the Yasukuni Shrine
By Professor Tessa Morris-Suzuki, ARC Laureate Fellow based at the School of Culture, History and Language, at the College of Asia and the Pacific at The Australian National University and APP Member
First appeared in the EastAsiaForum, 18 August 2015

As the clock ticked down to the 70th anniversary of the end of the Asia Pacific War, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe faced a dilemma. His right-wing supporters were pushing him to produce a commemorative statement that would move away from the apologetic approach of his predecessors and ‘restore Japan’s pride’. Moderates, Asian neighbours and (most importantly) the US government were pushing him to uphold the earlier apologies issued by former prime ministers Tomiichi Murayama and Junichiro Koizumi. Most of the media anticipation centred around the wording of the forthcoming Abe statement. Would it, like the Murayama Statement of 1995 and the Koizumi Statement of 2005, include the words ‘apology’ (owabi) and aggression (shinryaku)?

Abe’s response to this dilemma was clever. First, he established a committee of hand-picked ‘experts’ to provide a report locating Japan’s wartime past in the broad sweep of 20th-century history. Then, drawing heavily on their report, he produced a statement that was more than twice the length of those issued by his predecessors. His statement, to the relief of many observers, did use the words ‘apology’ and ‘aggression’. In fact, it is almost overladen with all the right words: ‘we must learn from the lessons of history’; ‘our country inflict immeasurable damage and suffering’; ‘deep repentance’; ‘deep remorse and heartfelt apology’; ‘we will engrave in our hearts the past’.

But, focusing on the vocabulary, some observers failed to notice that Abe had embedded these words in a narrative of Japanese history that was entirely different from the one that underpinned previous prime ministerial statements. That is why his statement is so much longer than theirs. So which past is the Abe statement engraving in the hearts of Japanese citizens?

The story presented in Abe’s statement goes like this. Western colonial expansionism forced Japan to modernise, which it did with remarkable success. Japan’s victory in the Russo–Japanese War gave hope to the colonised peoples of the world. After World War I, there was a move to create a peaceful world order. Japan actively participated, but following the Great Depression, the Western powers created economic blocs based on their colonial empires. This dealt a ‘major blow’ to Japan. Forced into a corner, Japan ‘attempted to overcome its diplomatic and economic deadlock through the use of force’. The result was the 1931 Manchurian Incident, Japan’s withdrawal from the League of Nations, and everything that followed. ‘Japan took the wrong course and advanced along the road to war’.

The narrative of war that Abe presents leads naturally to the lessons that he derives from history. Nations should avoid the use of force to break ‘deadlock’. They should promote free trade so that economic blocs will never again become a cause of war. And they should avoid challenging the international order.

The problem with Abe’s new narrative is that it is historically wrong. This is perhaps not surprising, since the committee of experts on whom he relied included only four historians in its 16 members. And its report, running to some 31 pages, contains less than a page about the causes and events of the Asia Pacific War.

In effect, the Abe narrative of history looks like an exam script where the student has accidentally misread the question. He has answered the question about the reasons for Japan’s invasion of Manchuria with an answer that should go with the question about the reasons for the attack on Pearl Harbor.

There is widespread consensus that the immediate cause for Japan’s attack on Pearl Harbor was the stranglehold on Japan created by imperial protectionism and economic blockade by the Western powers. But there is equal consensus that the reasons for the Japanese invasion of Manchuria in 1931, and for the outbreak of full-scale war in China in 1937, were different and much more complex.

Key factors at work in 1931 were the troubled relationship between the Japanese military and the civilian government; Japan’s desire for resources, transport routes and living space; rising nationalism in an economically and socially troubled Japan; and corruption and instability in Northeastern China. By the time Japan launched its full scale invasion of China in 1937, global protectionism was becoming a larger issue. But even then, other issues like Japan’s desire to protect its massive investments in China from the rising forces of Chinese nationalism were paramount.

Economic historians note that the Japanese empire was the first to take serious steps towards imperial protectionism. The slide into global protectionism had barely started at the time of the Manchurian Incident. Britain did not create its imperial preference system until 1932. The economic blockade that strangled the Japanese economy in 1940–41 was the response to Japan’s invasion of China, not its cause.

This is not academic quibbling. These things really matter, and vividly illustrate why historical knowledge is vital to any understanding of contemporary international affairs.

The Abe narrative of history fails to address the causes and nature of Japan’s colonisation of Taiwan (in 1895) and Korea (in 1910), and ignores the large presence of Japanese troops in China long before 1931. It says to China: ‘Sorry we invaded you, but those other guys painted us into a corner’. It offers an untenable explanation for Japan’s actions, and blurs the distinction between aggressive and defensive behaviour. Western media commentators who haven’t studied Japanese history may not pick up these flaws in the narrative, but Chinese and South Korean observers (who have their own, sometimes profoundly problematic, versions of this history) will instantly see them and rightly object.

Engraving a factually flawed story of the past in people’s hearts is not going to solve East Asia’s problems, and risks making them worse. Worse still, the Abe statement is generating deeply divergent responses in the countries where East Asian history is not widely taught (most notably the United States) and those where it is (South Korea, China and Japan itself), thus creating even deeper divisions in our already too divided world.