Sunday, February 28, 2016

Asia in Washington Week of February 29-March 4, 2016

A DEBATE: THE EXECUTIVE BRANCH VS. CONGRESSIONAL PREROGATIVES IN NATIONAL SECURITY DECISIONS. 2/29, 11:00am-1:00pm. Sponsor: American Foreign Policy Council. Speakers: Louis Fisher, Former Congressional Research Service Senior Specialist in Separation of Powers; Robert Turner, Former U.S. Senate Staffer and Executive Branch Official, Co-Founder, Center for National Security Law, University of Virginia; Michael Chertoff, Former Secretary of Homeland Security; Jon Kyl, Former Minority Whip of the U.S. Senate.

HOW AGGRESSIVE IS CHINA? 2/29, Noon-1:30pm. Sponsor: George Washington University (GWU). Speakers: Robert Sutter, Professor of Practice of International Affairs, GWU; Robert Daly, Director of the Kissinger Institute on China and the United Sates, Wilson Center; Amitai Etzioni, Professor of International Affairs, GWU; Mike Mochizuki, Associate Professor of Political Science and International Affairs, GWU.

ON THE PHENOMENON OF MISPLACEMENT IN THE CHINA U.S.-RELATIONS. 2/29, 12:30-2:00pm. Sponsor: SAIS, Johns Hopkins University. Speaker: Li Haidong, China Foreign Affairs University.

CHINA'S “INTERNET SOVEREIGNTY” INITIATIVE: ORIGINS AND CONSEQUENCES. 2/29, 2:00-3:30pm. Sponsor: CSIS. Speakers: James A. Lewis, Director of the Strategic Technologies Program, CSIS; Xiao Qiang, Adjunct Professor, School of Information, UC Berkley; Amy Chang, Staff Director, Subcommittee on Asia and the Pacific, Committee on Foreign Affairs, U.S. House of Representatives; John Lenhart, Director of Global Policy, Information Technology Industry Council.

U.S.-R.O.K.: CIVIL NUCLEAR COOPERATION. 2/29, 2:30pm. Sponsor: James Martin Center for Nonproliferation Studies. Speakers: Scott Snyder, Senior Fellow for Korea Studies and Director of the Program on U.S.-Korea Policy, Council on Foreign Relations; Miles Pomper, Senior Fellow, James Martin Center for Nonproliferation Studies; Toby Dalton, Co-Director for Nuclear Policy Program, Carnegie Endowment; Ferenc Dalnoki-Veress, Scientist-in-Residence, James Martin Center for Nonproliferation Studies.

2016 CONGRESSIONAL TRADE AGENDA. 3/1, 8:30-10:00am. Sponsor: Washington International Trade Association (WITA). Speakers: Angela Ellard, Chief International Trade Counsel (Majority), House Ways and Means Committee; Jason Kearns, Chief Trade Counsel (Minority), House Ways Committee; Everett Eissenstat, Chief International Trade Counsel (Majority), Senate Finance Committee; Jayme White, Chief Advisor on International Competitiveness and Innovation (Minority), Senate Finance Committee.


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UNFINISHED APOLOGIES: IMPERIAL JAPAN’S SEX SLAVES OF WARTIME ASIA. 3/1, 8:30-3:00pm. Sponsors: US-Korea Institute, SAIS, Johns Hopkins; Asia Policy Point. Speakers: Taina Bien-Aimé, Executive Director, Coalition Against Trafficking in Women; Dr. Caroline Norma, Associate Professor in the School of Global, Urban and Social Studies at RMIT University, Melbourne, Australia, author, The Japanese Comfort Women and Sexual Slavery during the China and Pacific Wars (2016); Katharine (Kathy) H.S. Moon, inaugural holder of the SK-Korea Foundation Chair in Korea Studies and senior fellow at the Brookings Center for East Asia Policy Studies; author, Sex Among Allies: Military Prostitution in U.S.-Korea Relations (1997); Griselda Molemans, Dutch investigative researcher and journalist, founder of the Task Force for Dutch Indies War Reparations (Dutch acronym: TFIR; Task Force Indisch Rechtsherstel); Hilde Janssen, Dutch journalist and anthropologist, author Schaamte en Onschuld [Shame and Innocent] and Troostmeisjes/Comfort Women (2013); Peipei Qiu, Professor of Chinese and Japanese on the Louise Boyd Dale and Alfred Lichtenstein Chair, Vassar College, author Chinese Comfort Women: Testimonies from Imperial Japan's Sex Slaves (2014); M. Evelina Galang, Professor of English, University of Miami, author, Angel de la Luna and the 5th Glorious Mystery (2013) and the forthcoming nonfiction Lolas’ House: Women Living with War; Dr. Yukiko Hanawa, Senior Lecturer, Department of East Asian Studies, New York University.

BEYOND 2016: SECURITY CHALLENGES AND OPPORTUNITIES FOR THE NEXT ADMINISTRATION. 3/1, 9:00am-4:15pm. Sponsor: Brookings Institution. Speakers: John R. Allen, Co-Director, Center for 21st Century Security and Intelligence; E.J. Dionne, Jr., Senior Fellow, Governance Studies; Col. Barry Huggins, USA, Federal Executive Fellow, Brookings; Col. Valery Keaveny, Jr., USA, CSA Senior Fellow, Center for a New American Security; Lt. Col. Victor H. Sundquist, USAR, Army Reserve Fellow, Georgetown Institute for the Study of Diplomacy; Lt. Cmdr. Katie Jacobson, USN, Federal Executive Fellow, RAND Corporation; William McCants,Director, U.S. Relations with the Islamic World, Senior Fellow, Foreign Policy, Center for Middle East Policy; Chaplain (Lt. Col.) Karen Meeker, USA, U.S. Army War College Fellow, The Institute of World Politics; Lt. Col. Tracy Onufer, USAF, Military Fellow, Center for Strategic and International Studies; Lt. Col. Kathleen Turner, USA, U.S. Army War College Fellow, United States Institute of Peace; Ben FitzGerald, Senior Fellow and Director, Technology and National Security Program, Center for a New American Security; Col. Ché Bolden, USMC, Federal Executive Fellow, Brookings; Col. Hiroyuki Sugai, JASDF, International Security Fellow, Brookings; Cmdr. Greg Smith, USN, Federal Executive Fellow, Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory; John R. Allen, Co-Director, Center for 21st Century Security and Intelligence, Senior Fellow, Foreign Policy, Center for 21st Century Security and Intelligence; Hon. Michèle Flournoy, Chief Executive Officer, Center for a New American Security; Michael E. O'Hanlon, Co-Director, Center for 21st Century Security and Intelligence, Director of Research, Foreign Policy; Capt. Frances Messalle, USCG, Federal Executive Fellow, Brookings; Cmdr. Garrett Campbell, USN; Federal Executive Fellow, Brookings; Lt. Col. Christopher MacAulay, USAF, Federal Executive Fellow, Brookings; Col. John A. O'Grady, USA, Military Fellow, Center for Strategic and International Studies.

LAUNCH: THE MILITARY BALANCE 2016. 3/1, 10:00-11:00am. Sponsor: The International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS). Speakers: Bastian Giegerich, Director of Defense and Military Analysis, IISS; James Hackett, Senior Fellow for Defense and Military Analysis, IISS; Ben Barry, Senior Fellow for Land Warfare, IISS; Douglas Barrie, Senior Fellow for Military Aerospace, IISS; Nick Childs, Senior Fellow for Naval Forces and Maritime Security, IISS; Giri Rajendran, Research Associate for Defense and Economics, IISS.

THE DEMAND FACTOR IN THE GLOBAL SEX TRADE: HUMAN TRAFFICKING AS A HUMAN RIGHTS CRISIS. 3/1, 10:30am-Noon. Sponsor: Tom Lantos Human Rights Commission in Conjunction with Exodus Cry and Shared Hope International. Speakers: Taina Bien-Aimé, Executive Director, Coalition Against Trafficking in Women (CATW); Kubiki Pride, Advocate and Mother of Survivor; Ernie Allen, Allen Global Consulting; Withelma “T” Ortiz Walker Pettigrew, Survivor Advocate; Sean Reyes, Attorney General, Utah; Rev. Dr. Marian Hatcher, Human Trafficking Coordinator, Cook County Sheriff’s Office, Illinois; Moderator, Rep. Randy Hultgren, Executive Committee, Tom Lantos Human Rights Commission.

RETHINKING ARMAGEDDON: PLANNING SCENARIOS FOR THE SECOND NUCLEAR AGE. 3/1, 11:30am-1:00pm. Sponsor: Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments (CSBA). Speakers: Congressman Mac Thornberry; Congressman Jim Cooper; Andrew Krepinevich, President, CSBA; Jacob Cohn, Senior Analyst, CSBA.

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ONE CHILD: THE STORY OF CHINA'S MOST RADICAL EXPERIMENT. 3/1, 12:30pm. Sponsor: Georgetown University. Speaker: Author Mei Fong, Journalist.

INTERNATIONAL HISTORY SEMINAR: ITALIAN PRISONERS OF WAR, 1940-1950: WHAT WE LEARN FROM STUDYING DEFEAT. 3/1, 6:00-7:30pm. Sponsors: Georgetown University (GU) Institute for Global History; Mortara Center for International Studies. Speaker: Ruth Ben-Ghiat, New York University.

PROMOTING RELIGIOUS FREEDOM IN SOUTH ASIA. 3/2, 10:30am-Noon. Sponsor: Heritage Foundation. Speakers: David N. Saperstein, Ambassador-at-Large for International Religious Freedom, U.S. Department of State; Farahnaz Ispahani, Former Member of the Pakistani Parliament; Pervez Rafique, Executive Director, Bleeding for Belief; John Sifton, Asia Advocacy Director, Human Rights Watch; Olivia Enos, Research Associate, Asian Studies Center, Heritage; Lisa Curtis, Senior Fellow for South Asia, Heritage.

TAIWAN-U.S. INTERNATIONAL ENGAGEMENT: THE GLOBAL COOPERATION TRAINING FRAMEWORK AND BEYOND. 3/2, Noon-2:00pm. Sponsor: Elliot School, George Washington University. Speakers: Lyushun Shen, R.O.C. Representative to the U.S.; Bruce Linghu, Deputy Foreign Minister, Taiwan; Kurt Tong, Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary, Bureau of Economic and Business Affairs, U.S. Department of State; Josh M. Cartin, Chief, Economic Section, American Institute in Taiwan; Randall Schriver, President and CEO, Project 2049 Institute; Vincent Wang., Associate Dean of Arts and Sciences, Professor of Political Science, University of Richmond

KOREA: OUTLINE OF A CIVILIZATION. 3/2, 12:30-1:45pm. Sponsor: Georgetown University. Speaker: Author Ken Wells, Professor, University of Canterbury.

THE KOREAN PENINSULA ISSUES. 3/2, 1:30-4:30pm. Sponsor: Institute for Korean-American Studies (ICAS). Speakers: Synja P. Kim, President and Chairman, ICAS; Daniel Russel, Assistant Secretary for East Asian and Pacific Affairs, U.S. Department of State; Gary Samore, Executive Director of Research, Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard University; Joseph Bosco, Senior Associate, CSIS; Peter Huessy, President, GeoStrategic Analysis; Tong Kim, Washington Correspondent, Korea Times; David Maxwell, Associate Director, Security Studies Program, Georgetown University; Larry Niksch, Senior Associate, CSIS.

EVENING WITH JAPAN EXPERTS. 3/2, 5:30am-7:00pm. Sponsor: Saskawa Peace Foundation. Speakers: TBA, By Invitation Only. To be held on Capitol Hill.

BEYOND THE TOOLKIT: SUPPORTING PEACE PROCESSES IN ASIA. 3/3, 9:30-11:00am. Sponsor: The Asia Foundation. Speakers: Patrick Barron, Regional Director for Conflict and Development, Asia Foundation; Steven Rood, Country Representative to the Philippines, Asia Foundation; George Varughese, Country Representative to Nepal, Asia Foundation.

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RESEARCHING AND DOCUMENTING THE COMFORT WOMEN HISTORY. 3/3,12:45-2:00pm. Sponsor: Sigur Center, George Washington University. Speakers: Christopher Simpson, professor of journalism, School of Communications, American University, adviser to the Nazi War Crimes and Japanese Imperial Government Records Interagency Working Group of the National Archives; Griselda Molemans, Dutch investigative journalist and researcher, founder of the Task Force for Dutch Indies War Reparations (Dutch acronym: TFIR; Task Force Indisch Rechtsherstel); Hilde Janssen, Dutch journalist and anthropologist, author Schaamte en Onschuld [Shame and Innocent] (2010) and Troostmeisjes/Comfort Women (2013) with photographer Jan Banning, bilingual Dutch and English photo book; M. Evelina Galang, professor of English, University of Miami, author, Angel de la Luna and the 5th Glorious Mystery (2013) and the forthcoming Lolas’ House: Women Living with War; Host/moderator: Mike Mochizuki, Associate Professor of Political Science and International Affairs, Japan-U.S. Relations Chair in Memory of Gaston Sigur, George Washington University.

COUNTER TERRORISM IN THE ASIA-PACIFIC. 3/3, 1:30-3:00pm. Sponsor: Asia Society Policy Institute. Speakers: Kevin Rudd, President of the Asia Society Policy Institute; Patrick Cronin, Senior Advisor and Senior Director, Asia-Pacific Security Program, Center for a New American Security; Joseph Chinyong Liow, Chair in Southeast Asia Studies and Senior Fellow, Brookings Center for East Asia Policy Studies.

A NEW DAWN FOR JAPAN'S RELATIONS WITH THE UNITED STATES? JAPAN'S EVOLVING SECURITY AND ECONOMIC CHALLENGES BEYOND ITS BORDERS. 3/3, 3:00-4:30pm. Sponsor: Wilson Center's Asia Program. Speakers: Fumiaki Kubo, Former Japan Scholar, Wilson Center; Asuka Matsumoto, Research Fellow, Japan Institution of International Affairs; Akihiko Yasui, Head of Research, Mizuho Research Institute.

THE U.S.-JAPAN ALLIANCE AND MARITIME SECURITY IN THE ASIA-PACIFIC REGION. 3/4, 3:00-5:00pm. Sponsors: CSIS Japan Chair; Japan Institute of International Affairs. Speakers: Michael J. Green, Senior Vice President for Asia and Japan Chair, CSIS; Yoshiji Nogami, President, Japan Institute of International Affairs; Vice Adm. Umio Otsuka, President, Japan Maritime Self Defense Force Command and Staff College; Shin Kawashima, Professor, Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, University of Tokyo; Adm. Gary Roughead, USN (Ret).

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Comfort Women "Her"story in Washington

Korean, Chinese, Filipino, Dutch former sex slaves
On December 28, 2015, the Foreign Ministers of Japan and South Korea issued a joint statement on the issue of ‘comfort women’. In the December statement, Japan acknowledges that the Comfort Women existed because of “an involvement of the Japanese military authorities at that time” and passed on Prime Minister Shnizo Abe’s “sincere apologies and remorse to all the women who underwent immeasurable and painful experiences and suffered incurable physical and psychological wounds as comfort women.” 

The statement committed the Japanese government to contributing to a fund to assist surviving South Korean former ‘comfort women’. South Korea, in turn, pledged to refrain from discussing the Comfort Women issue in public and, possibly, to remove from the entrance of the Japanese embassy in Seoul a statue symbolizing the Comfort Women. The agreement is to ensure that “this issue is resolved finally and irreversibly.”

The statement ,which reflects no written agreement, is controversial. It will not be approved by the Japanese Cabinet, thus it exists in the same legal limbo as the Kono Statement, a 1993 apology to the Comfort Women. It is unclear when the funds will be delivered to South Korea, whether the survivors will accept it, and whether there will remain any survivors. In addition, the agreement is not applicable to all the other survivors throughout Asia (at least 27 nationalities) who were forced into becoming sex slaves.

Also concerning is the Japanese Government’s statement on February 16 to the meeting of the UN Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW) that no documentation exists describing the forcible taking of women, that the women were not sex slaves, and that the Japanese military was not responsible for recruitment. The Japanese government response is significant as it is likely the first time that such a senior Japanese government official has addressed CEDAW.

In addition, eight ad hoc Japanese Comfort Women denier groups submitted their opinions for the record to the CEDAW meeting. These are less cautious, often racist repeats the government position. Four groups also spelled out what the Japanese government meant when it said it found no documents regarding the Comfort Women in the U.S. National Archives. This is a reference to an inaccurate interpretation of the work of the Congressionally-mandated Nazi War Crimes and Japanese Imperial Government Records Interagency Working Group at the National Archives.

A number of prominent scholars who research the history, sociology, and politics of the Imperial Japan’s sex slave system will be in Washington, DC the week of February 29th to participate in a series of seminars and programs. In addition to private briefings on Capitol Hill and a private screening of the Song of the Reed, a documentary on Taiwanese Comfort Women hosted by the Taipei Economic and Cultural Representative Organization (TECRO), they will speak at Johns Hopkins University, SAIS and George Washington University on March 1 and 3. The schedule is as follows:

Unfinished Apologies
Imperial Japan’s Sex Slaves of Wartime Asia

Tuesday, March 1, 2016
8:30am-3:00pm
Johns Hopkins University, SAIS


8:30-9:00am – Registration/light breakfast, purchase books

9:00-9:15am – Welcome
Jae Ku – Director US-Korea Institute, SAIS
Mindy Kotler – Director, Asia Policy Point

9:15-10:30am - Framing the Comfort Women History – Japanese Comfort Women and their Antecedents

Dr. Caroline Norma, Associate Professor in the School of Global, Urban and Social Studies at RMIT University, Melbourne, Australia, author, The Japanese Comfort Women and Sexual Slavery during theChina and Pacific Wars (2016)

Discussant: Dr. Katharine (Kathy) H.S. Moon - inaugural holder of the SK-Korea Foundation Chair in Korea Studies and senior fellow at the Brookings Center for East Asia Policy Studies; author, Sex Among Allies: Military Prostitution in U.S.-Korea Relations(1997)

10:30-10:45am – Break

10:45am-12:30pm – The Comfort Women of Japan’s Occupied Asia

Dutch, Indonesian, Australian, British and American – Ms. Griselda Molemans, Dutch investigative reporter and researcher, founder of the Task Force for Dutch Indies War Reparations (Dutch acronym: TFIR; Task Force Indisch Rechtsherstel) author of Erfgenamen van Indië [Heirs of the Dutch East Indies] (2004), Zwarte huid, Oranje hart [Black Skin, Orange Heart] (2010), and Opgevangen in andijvielucht [Welcomed by the Smell of Endive] (2014), and the forthcoming Levenslang oorlog [A Lifetime of War] (end of 2016)

Indonesian/Dutch – Ms. Hilde Janssen, Dutch journalist and anthropologist; author Schaamte en Onschuld [Shame and Innocent] (2010) and Troostmeisjes/ComfortWomen with photographer Jan Banning, bilingual Dutch and English photo book (2013)

China – Dr. Peipei Qiu
, Professor of Chinese and Japanese on the Louise Boyd Dale and Alfred Lichtenstein Chair, Vassar College, author ChineseComfort Women: Testimonies from Imperial Japan's Sex Slaves (in collaboration with Shanghai Normal University professors Su Zhiliang and Chen Lifei, 2014)

Philippines – Ms. M. Evelina Galang, Professor of English, University of Miami, author, Angel de la Luna and the 5th Glorious Mystery (2013) and the forthcoming nonfiction Lolas’ House: Women Living with War

Pacific Islands – Dr. Caroline Norma, Associate Professor in the School of Global, Urban and Social Studies at RMIT University, Australia

Taiwan -  Daniel Kuo-ching Chen, Taipei Economic and Cultural Representative Office (TECRO) in the United States.

Moderator: Dr. Yukiko Hanawa, Senior Lecturer of East Asian Studies at New York University

12:30-2:00pm - Lunch & Keynote


1:15 - Keynote: Women in Warfare, how far have we come? Taina Bien-Aimé, Executive Director, Coalition Against Trafficking in Women
Introduction: Dr. Jae Ku, US-Korea Institute

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2:00-3:00pm - Book signing of Speakers’ books Norma, Qiu, Janssen, Galang, and Stetz/Oh books

The Japanese Comfort Women and Sexual Slavery during the China and Pacific Wars – Caroline Norma

Chinese Comfort Women: Testimonies from Imperial Japan's Sex Slaves – Peipei Qiu

Troostmeisjes/Comfort Women
- Jan Banning, with an introduction by Hilde Janssen, bilingual Dutch and English photo book

Legacies of the Comfort Women of World War II – Co-editors: Margaret D. Stetz, Mae and Robert Carter Professor of Women's Studies and Professor of Humanities at the University of Delaware and Bonnie B.C. Oh, retired as the Distinguished Professor of Korean Studies at the Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Service, the University’s Main Campus Ombuds Officer, and a past director of Women’s Studies at Georgetown University. (2001)

Angel de la Luna and the 5th Glorious Mystery – M. Evalina Galang


Researching and documenting 
the Comfort Women History
What documents exist and where; 
how one analyzes them; working with oral history
Thursday, March 3, 2016
12:45-2:00pm
Sigur Center, George Washington University

Researching Japanese
War Crimes
, NARA
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Mr. Christopher Simpson, professor of journalism, School of Communications, American University, adviser to the Nazi War Crimes and Japanese Imperial GovernmentRecords Interagency Working Group of the National Archives; editor of the Holmes & Meier series on Science and Human Rights of which the first book was Comfort Women Speak (edited by Christopher Simpson and Sangmie Choi Schellsted), contemporary photographs by Soon Mi Yu.

Ms. Griselda Molemans
, Dutch investigative reporter and researcher, founder of the Task Force for Dutch Indies War Reparations (Dutch acronym: TFIR; Task Force Indisch Rechtsherstel) author of Erfgenamen van Indië [Heirs of the Dutch East Indies] (2004), Zwarte huid, Oranje hart [Black Skin, Orange Heart] (2010), and Opgevangen in andijvielucht [Welcomed by the Smell of Endive] (Amsterdam: Quasar Books, 2014), and the forthcoming Levenslang oorlog [A Lifetime of War] (end of 2016)

Ms. Hilde Janssen, Dutch Journalist and anthropologist, author Schaamte en Onschuld [Shame and Innocent] (2010) and Troostmeisjes/Comfort Women (2013) with photographer Jan Banning, bilingual Dutch and English photo book

Ms. M. Evelina Galang
, professor of English, University of Miami, author, Angel de la Luna and the 5th Glorious Mystery (2013) and the forthcoming Lolas’ House: Women Living with War

Host/moderator: Mike Mochizuki, Associate Professor of Political Science and International Affairs, Japan-U.S. Relations Chair in Memory of Gaston Sigur, George Washington University

Saturday, February 20, 2016

Monday in Washington, February 15, 2016

RUSSIA'S FOREIGN POLICY: NEW SPHERES OF INFLUENCE? 2/22, 9:00am-3:00pm. Sponsor: SAIS, Johns Hopkins. Speakers: John Herbst, Director, Eurasia Center, Atlantic Council; Ivan Vejvoda, Vice President, German Marshall Fund; Caroline Vicini, Deputy Head, Delegation of the European Union to the United States; Dan Hamilton, Executive Director CTR, SAIS; Anna Borshchevskaya, Fellow, Washington Institute for Near East Policy; Marie Mendras, Senior Fellow, Transatlantic Academy; Mark Katz, Professor, George Mason University; Daniel Serwer, Director, Conflict Management Program, SAIS.

RUSSIA'S ECONOMY AND IMPLICATIONS FOR RUSSIA'S FUTURE. 2/22,10:00-11:30am. Sponsor: CSIS. Speaker: Vladislav Inozemtsev, Professor of Economics (Moscow).

TRENDS IN RUSSIAN PUBLIC OPINION UNDER PUTIN: NEW FINDINGS. 2/22, Noon-2:00pm. Sponsor: George Washington University (GWU). Speakers: Theodore P. Gerber, Professor of Sociology, University of Wisconsin; Henry E. Hale, Professor of Political Science and International Affairs, GWU; William Mishler, Professor of Government and Public Policy, University of Arizona; William Reisinger, Professor of Political Science, University of Iowa; Donna Bahry, Professor of Political Science, Pennsylvania State University; Peter Rollberg, Director, Institute for European, Russian and Eurasian Studies, GWU.

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THE KOREAN PENINSULA ISSUES AND UNITED STATES NATIONAL SECURITY. 2/22, 1:30- 4:30pm. Sponsor: ICAS Liberty Foundation. Speakers: David Hoppe, Chief of Staff, Office of the Speaker of the House; Robert Daly, Director, Kissinger Institute on China and the US, Wilson Center; Peter Huessy, President, GeoStrategic Analysis; James A. Lewis, Senior Vice President and Program Director, CSIS, and others.

WILL SYRIA’S WAR EVER END? 2/22, 2:00-3:00pm. Speakers: Rasha Elass — Syrian American journalist and former Damascus-based reporter, PS21 Global Fellow; Andrew Tabler –Senior Fellow, Washington Institute for Near East Policy.

HUMAN SECURITY IN THE FACE OF VIOLENT EXTREMISM. 2/22, 4:00-5:30pm. Sponsor: Berkley Center for Religion, Peace and World Affairs, Georgetown University. Speakers: Zainab Hawa Bangura, U.N. Special Representative on Sexual Violence in Conflict; Alissa Rubin, New York Times.


MINISTERS AT WAR: WINSTON CHURCHILL AND THE WAR CABINET.2/22, 4:00-5:30pm. Sponsor: Wilson Center's History and Public Policy Program. Speaker: Author Jonathan Schneer.

CHINA AND THE GLOBAL FINANCIAL SYSTEM: A CLASH OF CIVILIZATIONS? 2/22, 5:00-7:00pm. Sponsor: SAIS China Forum, Johns Hopkins University. Speaker: Scott Kennedy, Director of Project on Chinese Business and Political Economy, CSIS.

BURDENS OF FREEDOM: WHY AMERICA LEADS. 2/22, 5:30-7:00pm. Sponsor: American Enterprise Institute (AEI). Speakers: Karlyn Bowman, Senior Fellow and Research Coordinator, AEI; Lawrence Mead, Visiting Scholar, AEI.

THE ROLE OF VOICE OF AMERICA AND VALUES JOURNALISM IN COMBATING PROPAGANDA AND VIOLENT EXTREMISM. 2/22, 6:30-8:00pm. Sponsor: George Washington University (GWU). Speakers: David Ensor, Executive Vice President, Atlantic Council; Frank Sesno, Director of the School of Media and Public Affairs, GWU.

Prime Minister of Japan’s Schedule June 15-21, 2015

Monday, June 15, 2015

AM
08:00 At private residence in Tomigaya, Tokyo (no morning visitors)
09:44 Depart from private residence
09:58 Arrive at office
11:16 Accept an interview with the monthly magazine WiLL
11:51 Interview ends
11:52 Meet with Minister of State for Science and Technology Policy Yamaguchi Shunichi and Cabinet Office Director-General for Policies on Cohesive Society Morimoto Koichi
11:58 End meeting with Mr. Yamaguchi and Mr. Morimoto

PM
02:19 Accept an interview with a Hong Kong–based television broadcaster Phoenix Television
02:37 Interview ends
02:38 Meet with the President of Phoenix Television Liu Chang-le
02:51 End meeting with Mr. Liu
04:06 Meet with Minister of State for Regulatory Reform Arimura Haruko and Cabinet Office Director-General for Policies on Cohesive Society Habuka Shigeki
04:28 End meeting with Mr. Arimura and Mr. Habuka
04:32 Receive a courtesy call from members of the Wise-men Group on the Japan-Brazil Strategic Economic Partnership
04:43 Courtesy call ends
04:58 Depart from office
04:59 Arrive at the Diet
05:00 Enter LDP President’s Office
05:01 LDP Officers Meeting
05:22 Meeting ends
05:35 Leave LDP President’s Office
05:36 Depart from the Diet
05:38 Arrive at office
05:43 Meeting of the Ministerial Council on the Monthly Economic Report and Other Relative Issues
05:56 Meeting ends
05:57 Speak with Minister of State for Economic and Fiscal Policy Amari Akira
05:58 Finish speaking with Mr. Amari
06:01 Meet with Chairperson of LDP Policy Research Council Inada Tomomi
06:19 End meeting with Ms. Inada
06:22 Receive a request to the Government on the return of the Northern Territories from Governor of Hokkaido Harumi Takahashi and others
06:32 Finish receiving the request
06:35 Depart from office
06:42 Arrive at Imperial Hotel in Uchisaiwai-Cho, Tokyo. Dinner meeting with Chairman of Japan Association of Corporate Executives Kobayashi Yoshimitsu, Vice-Chairman of Japan Association of Corporate Executives Ninami Takeshi and others
08:35 Depart from the hotel
08:51 Arrive at private residence

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

AM
12:00 At private residence (no visitors)
08:00 At private residence in Tomigaya, Tokyo (no morning visitors)
08:02 Depart from private residence
08:14 Arrive at office
08:29 Meet with Deputy Chief Cabinet Secretary Seko Hiroshige
09:05 End meeting with Mr. Seko
09:07 The fourth meeting of the National Resilience Promotion Headquarters
09:17 Meeting ends
09:24 Cabinet meeting
09:35 Meeting ends
09:36 Speak with Minister of Health, Labour and Welfare Shiozaki Yasuhisa
09:39 Finish speaking with Mr. Shiozaki
09:53 Depart from office
09:55 Arrive at the Diet
09:56 Enter Upper House Committee Room No. 21
10:00 Meeting of the Committee on Economy and Industry of the Upper House
11:58 Meeting adjourns. Leave Upper House Committee Room No. 21

PM
12:00 Depart from the Diet
12:01 Arrive at the office
12:02 Interview open to all media: when asked “the response to the eruption of Mount Asama,” Mr. Abe answers, “The government is strengthening safety measures and gathering relevant information. I hope to achieve perfection of safe measures.”
12:53 Depart from office
12:55 Arrive at the Diet
12:56 Enter Lower House Chamber
12:57 Speak with Chairman of LDP Election Strategy Committee Motegi Toshimitsu
12:59 Finish speaking with Mr. Motegi
01:00 Speak with LDP Executive Acting Secretary-General Hosoda Hiroyuki
01:01 Finish speaking with Mr. Hosoda
01:02 Lower House Plenary Session
01:21 Leave in the middle of Lower House Plenary Session
01:23 Depart from the Diet
01:24 Arrive at the office
01:30 Meet with Minister for Reconstruction Takeshita Wataru and Vice-Minister of Reconstruction Agency Okamoto Masakatsu
01:48 End meeting with Mr. Takeshita and Mr. Okamoto
02:44 Receive a courtesy call from a delegation led by Governor of the State of Hawaii David Ige. Chairman of Japan-Hawaii Parliamentarians’ Union, LDP Lower House member Kawamura Takeo also attends
03:09 Receive proposals from the Special Committee on Fiscal Rehabilitation of the Policy Research Council of the Liberal Democratic Party (LDP); the Regulatory Reform Committee of the Headquarters for Japan's Economic Revitalization; and the Committee for Realizing a Positive Economic Cycle of the Headquarters for Japan's Economic Revitalization
03:43 Finish receiving proposals
03:50 Minister of State for Economic and Fiscal Policy Amari Akira, Vice-Minister of Cabinet Office Matsuyama Kenji, and Cabinet Office Director-General for Policies on Cohesive Society Maekawa Mamoru enter
04:07 Mr. Matsuyama and Mr. Maekawa leave
04:18 Mr. Amari leaves
04:19 Meet with Minister in charge of Administrative Reform Arimura Haruko and Secretary-General of Headquarters for Promotion of Administrative Reform Takimoto Sumio
04:33 End meeting with Ms. Arimura and Mr. Takimoto
04:34 Meet with Chairman of General Assembly of LDP Members in House of Councillors Mizote Kensei
05:04 End meeting with Mr. Mizote
05:05 Meet with Vice-Minister for Foreign Affairs Saiki Akitaka
05:16 End meeting with Mr. Saiki
05:17 The 47th meeting of the Regulatory Reform Council
05:31 Meeting ends
05:37 Director of National Security Council (NSC) Yachi Shotaro and Director of Cabinet Intelligence Kitamura Shigeru enter
05:45 Mr. Yachi leaves
06:00 Mr. Kitamura leaves
06:01 Meet with Director of National Security Council (NSC) Yachi Shotaro, Director of Cabinet Intelligence Kitamura Shigeru, Ministry of Defense (MOD)’s Director-General of Bureau of Defense Policy Kuroe Tetsuro, and Chief of Staff for Joint Staff Council Kawano Katsutoshi
06:27 End meeting with Mr. Yachi, Mr. Kitamura, Mr. Kuroe, and Mr. Kawano
06:30 Depart from the office
06:31 Arrive at the official residence

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

AM
08:00 At the official residence (no morning visitors)
09:08 Depart from official residence
09:09 Arrive at the office
09:50 Depart from the office
09:55 Arrive at the Tokyo Metropolitan Hibiya Public Hall in Hibiya Park, Tokyo. Attend a Regular General Meeting of the National Association of Chairpersons of City Councils, deliver an address
10:13 Depart from the public hall
10:17 Arrive at the office
10:23 Meet with Meet with Deputy Chief Cabinet Secretary Seko Hiroshige
10:36 End meeting with Mr. Seko

PM
02:52 Depart from the office
02:54 Arrive at the Diet
02:56 Enter Upper House Committee Room No. 1
03:00 Party Leaders’ Debate
03:49 Party Leaders’ Debate ends
03:51 Leave Upper House Committee Room No. 1
03:53 Depart from the Diet
03:54 Arrive at the office
04:10 Meet with Minister of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism Ohta Akihiro
04:32 End meeting with Mr. Ohta
04:45 Receive a courtesy call from Deputy Managing Director r of International Monetary Fund (IMF) Furusawa Mitsuhiro
04:59 Courtesy call ends
05:00 Meet with Minister of State for Special Missions Yamaguchi Shunichi and Secretary-General of Intellectual Property Strategy Headquarters Yokoo Hidehiro
05:15 End meeting with Mr. Yamaguchi and Mr. Yokoo
05:23 The first meeting in FY2015 of the Forum for Consultations between the National and Regional Governments
05:32 Meeting ends
05:59 Reception for Prime Minister of the Republic of Croatia Zoran Milanovic. Commemorative photo session
06:00 Commemorative photo session ends
06:01 A ceremony by the guard of honor
06:07 Ceremony ends
06:08 Japan-Croatia summit meeting with Prime Minister Zoran Milanovic
06:51 Summit meeting ends
06:53 Joint press announcement
07:04 Joint press announcement ends
07:05 Depart from office
07:06 Arrive at the official residence. Reception hosted by Prime Minister Abe
08:25 Send-off for Prime Minister Zoran Milanovic
08:26 Send-off ends

Thursday, June 18, 2015

AM
12:00 At official residence (no visitors)
07:09 Depart from official residence
07:10 Arrive at the office
07:11 Meet with Deputy Chief Cabinet Secretary Kato Katsunobu
08:15 End meeting with Mr. Kato
08:48 Depart from office
08:50 Arrive at the Diet
08:52 Enter Lower House Committee Room No.1
08:53 Speak with Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance Aso Taro
08:55 Finish speaking with Mr. Aso
08:56 Meeting of the Budget Committee of the Lower House

PM
12:02 Meeting adjourns
12:03 Leave Lower House Committee Room No.1
12:05 Depart from the Diet
12:06 Arrive at the office
12:53 Depart from the office
12:55 Arrive at the Diet
12:57 Enter Lower House Committee Room No.1
01:00 Meeting of the Budget Committee of the Lower House reopens
05:04 Meeting of the Budget Committee of the Lower House adjourns
05:05 Leave Lower House Committee Room No.1
05:07 Depart from the Diet
05:08 Arrive at the office
05:13 The 1st meeting of Service Productivity & Innovation for Growth
05:46 Meeting ends
05:48 The 17th meeting of the Administrative Reform Promotion Council
05:59 Meeting ends
06:06 The 10th meeting of the Council for Science, Technology, and Innovation
06:29 Meeting ends
06:30 Depart from the office
06:35 Arrive at the official residence of the Lower House Speaker in Nagata-Cho, Tokyo. Informal discussion with Lower House Speaker Oshima Tadamori, Lower House Vice-Speaker Kawabata Tatsuo, Chairman of LDP General Council Nikai Toshihiro, Chairperson of LDP Policy Research Council Inada Tomomi, and other LDP cadres
08:16 Depart from the official residence of the Lower House Speaker
08:33 Arrive at the private residence in Tomigaya, Tokyo

Friday, June 19, 2015

AM
12:00 At the private residence (no visitors)
07:46 Depart from private residence
07:59 Arrive at the office
08:08 Meeting of the Intellectual Property Strategy Headquarters
08:16 Meeting ends
08:20 Cabinet meeting
08:39 Cabinet meeting end
08:40 Speak with Minister of Justice Kamikawa Yoko
08:43 End speaking with Ms. Kamikawa
08:44 Meet with Deputy Chief Cabinet Secretary Kato Katsunobu
09:10 End meeting with Mr. Kato
09:24 Depart from the office
09:25 Arrive at the Diet
09:26 Enter Lower House Committee Room No.16
09:30 Meeting of the Committee on Health, Labour, and Welfare of the Lower House
10:33 Leave in the middle of the meeting
10:35 Depart from the Diet
10:36 Arrive at the office
10:37 Meet with former Minister for Internal Affairs and Communications Masuda Hiroya
10:52 End meeting with Mr. Masuda
10:57 Meet with former Prime Minister Mori Yoshiro, Secretary-General of Japan-Korea Parliamentarians’ Union Kawamura Takeo
11:35 End meeting with Mr. Mori and Mr. Kawamura

PM
12:01 Meet with LDP Secretary-General Tanigaki Sadakazu. Chief Cabinet Secretary Suga Yoshihide also attends
12:34 End meeting with Mr. Tanigaki
12:48 Meet with MOFA’s Director-General of North American Affairs Bureau Tomita Koji and Ministry of Defense (MOD)’s Director-General of Bureau of Defense Policy Kuroe Tetsuro
01:08 End meeting with Mr. Tomita and Mr. Kuroe
01:29 Depart from the office
01:30 Arrive at the Diet
01:31 Enter the Lower House Chamber. Attend the Lower House Plenary Session
01:33 Speak with Minister in charge of Overcoming Population Decline and Vitalizing Local Economy in Japan Ishiba Shigeru
01:36 Finish speaking with Mr. Ishiba
01:37 Speak with LDP Executive Acting Secretary-General Hosoda Hiroyuki
01:38 Finish speaking with Mr. Hosoda
01:43 Low House Plenary Session ends
01:44 Leave Lower House Chamber
01:45 Depart from the Diet
01:47 Arrive at the office
01:48 Meet with Minister in charge of Economic Revitalization Amari Akira and Acting Director of Bureau of Headquarters for Japan’s Economic Revitalization Sugawara Ikuro
02:08 End meeting with Mr. Amari and Mr. Sugawara
02:09 Meet with Director of Cabinet Intelligence Kitamura Shigeru
02:33 End meeting with Mr. Kitamura
02:42 Depart from the office
02:55 Arrive at the Federation of Economic Organizations [Keidanren] Assembly Hall in Otemachi, Tokyo. Attend the Annual Meeting of the National Association of Shinkin Banks, deliver an address
03:20 Depart from the Hall
03:35 Arrive at the office
03:51 Meet with Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance Aso Taro, Ministry of Finance (MOF)’s Deputy Vice-Minister Fukuda Junichi, and MOF’s Director-General of Budget Bureau Tanaka Kazuho, and MOF’s Director-General of Tax Bureau Sato Shinichi
04:23 Minister of State for Economic and Fiscal Policy Amari Akira, Vice-Minister of Cabinet Office Matsuyama Kenji, and Cabinet Office Director-General for Policies on Cohesive Society Maekawa Mamoru, Cabinet Office Director-General for Policies on Cohesive Society Habuka Shigeki, and Cabinet Office Director-General for Policies on Cohesive Society Tawa Hiroshi enter
04:35 Mr. Matsyama, Mr. Maekawa, Mr. Habuka, and Mr. Tawa leave
04:44 Mr. Amari leaves
04:45 Meet with Vice-Minister for Foreign Affairs Saiki Akitaka
04:54 End meeting with Mr. Saiki
04:55 Meet with President of Japan-Korea Parliamentarians’ Union Nukaga Fukushiro
05:18 End meeting with Mr. Nukaga
05:26 Receive a courtesy call from participants of the High-Level Seminar on Peacebuilding, National Reconciliation and Democratization in Asia [3 minutes]
Tomorrow’s seminar is the first ever attempt to gather government representatives, members of international organizations, intellectuals, and members of NGOs who have been involved in the areas of peacebuilding, national reconciliation and democratization in Asian countries. I would like to conclude my address and expression of gratitude to you by stating my hope that this seminar will provide a means for all of you to have a meaningful exchange of opinions, and be an opportunity to communicate your collective wisdom to the international community as we work to build even greater peace and prosperity in Asia.
05:53 Courtesy call ends
05:54 Meet with the Founder and Executive Chairman of World Economic Forum Klaus Schwab and the Professor of Keio University Takenaka Heizō
06:03 End meeting with Mr. Schwab and Mr. Takenaka
06:33 Reception for President of the Republic of Niger Issoufou Mahamadou, commemorative photo session
06:34 Ceremony by the guard of honor
06:41 Ceremony ends
06:43 Japan-Niger Summit Meeting with President Issoufou
07:22 Summit meeting ends
07:24 Signing ceremony. Joint press announcement
07:44 Joint press announcement ends
07:45 Depart from the office
07:46 Arrive at the official residence. Reception dinner hosted by Prime Minster
08:44 Send off for President Issoufou
08:45 Send-off ends

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

USJI Week in Washington February 22-26, 2016


US-JAPAN RESEARCH
ESTABLISHING A GLOBAL PARTNERSHIP FOR SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT: Emerging opportunities for international collaboration on SDG’s. 2/23, 10:30-11:50am, Washington DC. Sponsor: U.S.-Japan Research Institute. Speakers: Fumiko Kasuga, Visiting Professor, Integrated Research System for Sustainability Science, University of Tokyo; Jon Padgham, Capacity Building Lead, Future Earth Secretariat hub in Colorado; Maria Uhle, Program Director, International Activities, Directorate, Geosciences, National Science Foundation (NSF); Moderator: Hassan Virji, Executive Director, International START Secretariat USA. Location: Japan Society for the Promotion of Science Washington Office, 2001 L St., NW, Suite 1050.

REFUGEES UNWILLING TO RETURN: Cases of the Indian Ocean Tsunami, Great East Japan Earthquake, Hurricanes Katrina and Sandy. 2/24, 10:00am-Noon, Washington DC. Sponsor: U.S.-Japan Research Institute (USJI). Carl Bruch , Senior Attorney, Co-Director, International Programs, Environmental Law Institute(ELI); Nicholas S. Bryner, Visiting Associate Professor, George Washington University; Heather Croshaw, Visiting Attorney, Environmental Law Institute (ELI); Moderator, Mikiyasu Nakayama, Operating Advisor, USJI, Professor, The University of Tokyo. Location: Japan Society for the Promotion of Science Washington Office, 2001 L St., NW, Suite 1050.


PLANT SCIENCE RESEARCH FOR GLOBAL FOOD SECURITY. 2/24, 1:00-2:30pm, Washington DC. Sponsor: U.S.-Japan Research Institute (USJI). Speakers: Jocelyn Kenneth Campbell Rose, Professor, Cornell University; James J. Giovannoni, Professor, Cornell University; Tohru Ariizumi, Associate Professor, University of Tsukuba; Moderator: Hiroshi Ezura, Professor, University of Tsukuba. Location: Japan Society for the Promotion of Science Washington Office, 2001 L St., NW, Suite 1050.

ENVIRONMENT AND ENERGY POLICIES IN EAST ASIA. 2/25, 10:00am-Noon, Washington DC. Sponsor: U.S.-Japan Research Institute (USJI). Speakers: Tomoaki Watanabe, Assistant Professor, Kyushu University; Nobuhiro Horii, Associate Professor, Kyushu University; Masaki Takahashi, Senior Power Engineer, World Bank; Joanna Lewis, Associate Professor, Georgetown University; David Livingston, Associate, Carnegie’s Energy and Climate Program; Moderator: Toru Oga, Associate Professor, Kyushu University. Location: Japan Society for the Promotion of Science Washington Office, 2001 L St., NW, Suite 1050.

REJUVENATING JAPAN'S ECONOMY AND INDUSTRIES - Abenomics in the Long Run. 2/25, 1:00-3:00pm, Washington DC. Sponsor: U.S.-Japan Research Institute (USJI). Speakers: Glen S. Fukushima, Senior Fellow, Center for American Progress, University Professor, Waseda University; Junichi Mori, Vice Chair, U.S.-Japan Research Institute, Professor, Vice President, International Relations, Kyoto University; Yoshinori Hara, Professor, Kyoto University; Moderator, Takashi Hikino, Associate Professor, Kyoto University. Location: Japan Society for the Promotion of Science Washington Office, 2001 L St., NW, Suite 1050. Contact:

COMPETING OR COMPLEMENTING ECONOMIC VISIONS? REGIONALISM AND THE PACIFIC ALLIANCE, TPP, RECEP AND THE AIIB. 2/26, 10:30am-Noon, Washington, DC. Sponsor: U.S.-Japan Research Institute (USJI); Wilson Center’s Asia Program. Speakers: Mauricio Moreira, Principal Economic Advisor, Trade and Integration Sector, Inter-American Development Bank; Takashi Terada, Professor of International Relations, Doshisha University; Kent Huges, Wilson Center. Location: Ronald Reagan Building, 1300 Pennsylvania Ave., NW, 6th Floor Auditorium.

BUILDING THE TOMODACHI GENERATION: Engaging U.S. and Japanese University Students in Social Problem-Solving. 2/26, 10:00am-12:30pm, Washington DC. Sponsor: U.S.-Japan Research Institute (USJI). Speakers: Katsuichi Uchida, President, USJI, Assistant to the President, Global Affairs, Waseda University; Christopher Joseph Cook, Chief Compliance Officer, Keel Point Advisors. Location: Washington Center Residential and Academic Facility, 1005 3rd St., NE.

There will also be a series of events only open to students. Please check the homepage for details.

Prime Minister of Japan’s Schedule June 8-14, 2015

Monday, June 8, 2015

AM

(Local time in German)
Hold talks with Prime Minister of the United Kingdom David Cameron in Schloss Elmau
Attend the G7 Summit, discuss energy, climate change, and counter-terrorism issues with outreach guests.

PM
Attend a commemorative photo session with outreach guests
Working lunch with outreach guests on the theme of development, women, health and Africa
Hold a press conference in the city of Munich

Tuesday, June 9, 2015AM
(In transit)

PM
04:47 Arrive at Haneda Airport from Germany on personal government aircraft with wife Akie, completing attendance of the G7 Summit
05:04 Depart from airport
05:26 Arrive at Imperial Palace. Register return to Japan
05:33 Depart from Imperial Palace
05:47 Arrive at private residence in Tomigaya, Tokyo

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

AM

12:00 At private residence (no visitors)
08:00 At private residence in Tomigaya, Tokyo (no morning visitors)
09:41 Depart from private residence
09:55 Arrive at Hotel New Otani in Kioi-Cho, Tokyo. Attend the 85th General Meeting of the Japan Association of City Mayors in the banquet hall Tsuru within the hotel, deliver address
10:17 Depart from hotel
10:22 Arrive at office
10:36 Meet with Minister of State for Economic and Fiscal Policy Amari Akira, Vice-Minister of Cabinet Office Matsuyama Kenji, and Cabinet Office Director-Generals for Policies on Cohesive Society Maekawa Mamoru, Habuka Shigeki, and Tawa Hiroshi
10:58 End meeting with Mr. Amari, Mr. Matsuyama, Mr. Maekawa, Mr. Habuka, and Mr. Tawa
10:59 Meet with wife Junko of former Lower House Speaker, the late Machimura Nobutaka
11:14 End meeting with Ms. Machimura Junko

PM
12:13 Meet with LDP Secretary-General Tanigaki Sadakazu
12:47 End meeting with Mr. Tanigaki
01:15 Meet with Ministry of Defense (MOD)’s Administrative Vice-Minister Nishi Masanori and Director-General of Bureau of Personnel and Education Manabe Ro
02:08 End meeting with Mr. Nishi and Mr. Manabe
02:26 Meet with Secretary-General of Headquarters for Abduction Issue Ishikawa Shoichiro
03:01 End meeting with Mr. Ishikawa
03:04 Meet with Vice-Minister for Foreign Affairs Saiki Akitaka
04:14 End meeting with Mr. Saiki
04:25 Director of National Security Council (NSC) Yachi Shotaro, Director of Cabinet Intelligence Kitamura Shigeru, and MOD’s Director of Defense Intelligence Headquarters (DIH) Miyagawa Tadashi enter
04:33 Mr. Yachi and Mr. Miyagawa leave
04:40 Mr. Kitamura leaves
05:17 Council on Economic and Fiscal Policy meeting
06:20 Council meeting ends
06:21 Speak with Minister of Internal Affairs and Communications Takaichi Sanae
06:31 Finish speaking with Ms. Takaichi
06:33 Depart from office
06:40 Arrive at Chinese restaurant Akasaka Hanten in Akasaka, Tokyo. Dinner meeting with Chairman of Yamaguchi Prefectural Assembly Hatahara Motonari and colleagues
07:52 Depart from restaurant
08:09 Arrive at private residence

Thursday, June 11, 2015

AM

08:00 At private residence in Tomigaya, Tokyo (no morning visitors)
09:30 Depart from private residence
09:47 Arrive at office
10:10 Meet with LDP Lower House member Kawai Katsuyuki
10:25 End meeting with Mr. Kawai
10:50 Meet with Cabinet Office’s Vice-Minister for Policy Coordination Inoue Motomi
11:00 End meeting with Mr. Inoue
11:19 Meet with State Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry Takagi Yosuke
11:39 End meeting with Mr. Takagi
11:49 Receive a courtesy call from the Hokota Brand Ambassadors and others from Hokota City, Ibaraki Prefecture. LDP Lower House member Nukaga Fukushiro also attends
11:55 Courtesy call ends
11:56 Meet with the Governor of Yamaguchi Prefecture Tsugumasa Muraoka and President of Yamaguchi Prefectural Assembly Hatahara Motonari

PM
12:10 End meeting with Mr. Tsugumasa and Mr. Hatahara
01:39 Meet with Minister in charge of Economic Revitalization Amari Akira and Acting Director of Bureau of Headquarters for Japan’s Economic Revitalization Sugawara Ikuro
02:07 End meeting with Mr. Amari and Mr. Sugawara
02:09 Receive a courtesy call from the Governor of Mie Prefecture Eikei Suzuki. Chief Cabinet Secretary Suga Yoshihide
02:22 Courtesy call ends
02:24 Meet with Chairman of Japan War-Bereaved Families Association [Nippon Izokukai], LDP Upper House member Mizuochi Toshiei
02:39 Meet with Director of National Security Council (NSC) Yachi Shotaro, Director of Cabinet Intelligence Kitamura Shigeru, MOFA’s Director-General of Foreign Policy Bureau Hiramatsu Kenji, Ministry of Defense (MOD)’s Director-General of Bureau of Defense Policy Kuroe Tetsuro
02:49 End meeting with Mr. Yachi, Mr. Kitamura, Mr. Hiramatsu, and Mr. Kuroe
02:53 Meet with Special Advisor to the Prime Minister Kimura Taro
02:59 Meet with Minister in charge of Overcoming Population Decline and Vitalizing Local Economy in Japan Ishiba Shigeru, Special Advisor to Minister of State for Special Missions Ito Tatsuya
03:32 End meeting with Mr. Ishiba and Mr. Ito
03:33 Meet with Minister in charge of Total Reform of Social Security and Tax Amari Akira. Deputy Chief Cabinet Secretary Kato Katsunobu also attends
04:02 End meeting with Mr. Amari
04:03 Vice-Minister for Internal Affairs and Communications Oishi Toshio, Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry‘s Administrative Vice-Minister Ishiguro Norihiko, Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA)’s Director-General of Middle Eastern and African Affairs Bureau Uemura Tsukasa. Deputy Chief Cabinet Secretary Seko Hiroshige also attends
04:18 The 21st meeting of the Industrial Competitiveness Council
05:11 Meeting ends
05:13 Meet with Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance Aso Taro
05:35 End meeting with Mr. Aso
05:36 National Security Council meeting
06:09 Meeting ends
06:17 Depart from office
06:25 Arrive at Palace Hotel Tokyo. Attend the gathering organized by Prime Minister supporters’ group Shinsei-kai that is formed by psychiatrists, exchange views with participants. Special Advisor to President of LDP Hagiuda Koichi also attends
06:55 Depart from the hotel
07:09 Arrive at Japanese restaurant Fukudaya. Dinner meeting with financiers including three Honorary Chairmen of Keidanren Imai Takashi, Okuda Hiroshi, Mitarai Fujio, and President of Japan Post Holdings Co. Nishimuro Taizo
08:41 Depart from hotel
08:55 Arrive at private residence

Friday, June 12, 2015

AM

12:00 At private residence (no visitors)
07:51 Depart from private residence in Tomigaya, Tokyo
08:03 Arrive at office
08:11 The 37th meeting of the Nuclear Emergency Response Headquarters
08:24 Meeting ends
08:26 Cabinet meeting
08:38 Meeting ends
08:39 Speak with Minster in charge of Abduction Issue Yamatani Eriko
08:40 Speak with Minister of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology Shimomura Hakubun
08:42 End speaking with Mr. Shimomura
08:48 Meet with Deputy Chief Cabinet Secretary Kato Katsunobu
09:15 End meeting with Mr. Kato
09:53 Depart from office
09:55 Arrive at the Diet
09:56 Enter Lower House Committee Room No. 16
10:12 Meeting of the Committee on Health, Labor, and Welfare of the Lower House begins

PM
12:01 Meeting of the Committee on Health, Labor, and Welfare of the Lower House adjourns, leave Lower House Committee Room No.16
12:03 Depart the Diet
12:04 Arrive at the office
12:06 LDP Research Commission on Regional Diplomatic and Economic Partnership Chairman Komura Masahiko, Chairman of LDP Headquarters for Regional Diplomatic and Economic Partnership Eto Seishiro, and Director of LDP Foreign Affairs Division Akiba Kenya
12:19 End meeting with Mr. Komura, Mr. Eto, and Mr. Akiba
01:39 Meet with Minister in charge of TPP Amari Akira, Chief Domestic Coordinator of Governmental Headquarters for TPP Sasaki Toyonari, Chief Negotiator of Government Headquarters for the TPP Tsuruoka Koji, Deputy Chief Negotiator of Government Headquarters for TPP Oe Hiroshi and others
02:10 End meeting with Mr. Amari, Mr. Sasaki, Mr. Tsuruoka, and Mr. Oe
02:11 Meet with Minister of State for Economic and Fiscal Policy Amari Akira, Vice-Minister of Cabinet Office Matsuyama Kenji, Cabinet Office’s Director-General for Policies on Cohesive Society Tawa Hiroshi
02:18 End meeting with Mr. Amari, Mr. Matsuyama, and Mr. Tawa
02:25 Receive a courtesy call from Admiral Harry B. Harris, Jr. Commander of the U.S. Pacific Command
02:46 Courtesy call ends
02:47 Receive a courtesy call from President of Center for American Progress Neera Tanden
03:20 Courtesy call ends
03:23 Meet with Governor of Fukushima Prefecture Uchibori Masao. Former Minister for Reconstruction Nemoto Takumi also attends
03:37 End meeting with Mr. Uchibori
03:38 Vice-Minister for Foreign Affairs Saiki Akitaka, Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA)’s Special Envoy for Peace in the Middle East Kohno Masaharu, Former Commissioner of Agency for Cultural Affairs Kondo Seiichi enter
03:51 Mr. Kohno and Mr. Kondo leave
04:07 Mr. Saiki leaves
04:08 Meet with Director of Cabinet Intelligence Kitamura Shigeru
04:36 End meeting with Mr. Kitamura
05:02 The sixth meeting of the Council on Overcoming Population Decline and Vitalizing Local Economy in Japan
05:05 Meeting ends
05:51 Deliver an address for the inauguration of Japanese Ambassador to Sri Lanka and Maldives Suganuma Kenichi and other ambassadors
05:56 Finish the address
05:57 Depart from office
06:03 Arrive at Izakaya Fukunohana- Tameike-Sanno in Akasaka, Tokyo. Informal talks with Head of Yamaguchi Prefecture’s Representative Office in Tokyo Murata Dai and others
06:43 Depart from the Izakaya
06:58 Arrive at Japanese restaurant Ginza Syotoh in Ginza, Tokyo. Dinner with wife Akie
09:11 Depart from office
09:34 Arrive at private residence

Saturday, June 13, 2015

AM

08:00 At private residence in Tomigaya, Tokyo (no morning visitors)
08:27 Depart from private residence
08:55 Arrive at Haneda Airport
09:09 Depart from the airport by Japan Air Self-Defense Force (JASDF)’s U4 plane
10:48 Arrive at Kagoshima Airport
11:17 Depart from the airport by JASDF’s C1 Transport

PM
12:03 Arrive at Yakushima Airport
12:09 Depart from the airport
12:26 Arrive at a welfare facility in Yakushima Town. Encourage the residents who had evacuated there
12:35 Depart from the facility
12:41 Depart from the Miyanoura branch of the Yakushima Town Hall. Hear an explanation on the state of damage and state of evacuation, and then exchange views with Governor of Kagoshima Prefecture Ito Yuichiro and Mayor of Yakushima Town Araki Koji
01:08 Finish exchanging views
01:09 Encourage the members of the Yakushima Town Disaster Headquarters
01:12 Finish encouraging the members
01:13 Lunch with Governor of Kagoshima Prefecture Ito Yuichiro and Mayor of Yakushima Town Araki Koji
01:22 Lunch ends
01:28 Arrive at the Miyanoura Community Hall, now an evacuation center
01:30 Exchange views with residents who had evacuated there
01:38 Finish exchanging views
01:40 Encourage the primary school and middle school students who had evacuated there. Commemorative Photo session
01:44 Commemorative Photo session ends
01:49 Interview open to all media: when asked “how will the government handle the situation of the residents from Kuchinoerabu island and other places in the future,” Mr. Abe answers, “Based on observations of the situation, the government will accelerate the preparation for the temporary visits and the building of temporary residences and will strive to restore the damaged reputation.”
01:54 Interview ends
01:58 Depart from the community hall
02:15 Arrive at the Yakushima Airport
02:26 Depart from the airport by JASDF’s C1 Transport
02:49 Arrive at Kagoshima Airport
03:09 Depart from the airport by Japan Air Self-Defense Force (JASDF)’s U4 plane
04:29 Arrive at Haneda Airport
04:40 Depart from the airport
05:01 Arrive at official residence

Sunday, June 14, 2015

AM

11:00 At official residence (no morning visitors)
Stay at official residence throughout morning

PM
02:40 Depart from official residence
02:49 Arrive at hotel Grand Hyatt Tokyo in Roppongi, Tokyo. Do exercise in the gym NAGOMI Spa and Fitness within the hotel
05:44 Depart from hotel
05:55 Arrive at the skyscraper complex project Toranomon Hills in Toranomon, Tokyo. Dinner meeting with Japan Innovation Party’s Supreme Adviser Hashimoto Toru and Japan Innovation Party’s Adviser Matsui Ichiro in the hotel Andaz Tokyo
09:00 Depart from hotel
09:18 Arrive at private residence in Tomigaya, Tokyo


Provisional Translation by Lu Pengqiao

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

I was not a willing Comfort Woman

Jan Ruff-O'Herne, 93-year-old Australian former 'comfort woman', still waiting for apology from Japan

ABC News, AustraliaBy Philip Williams


Jan Ruff-O'Herne, 93, stands in the front garden of her beautiful stone house in Adelaide.

A great grandmother, she has many reasons to look back on her life with immense satisfaction. Sustained by her talented, artistic family, nourished by her deep Christian faith, she describes herself as "lucky".

But there were dark days that have shaped her life too.

As a young woman, she was imprisoned by the Japanese during World War II, along with her family and many other Dutch civilians in what was then the Dutch East Indies, now Indonesia.

But worse was to come. One day Japanese troops came to make a selection, dragging 10 terrified women and girls from their families to life as forced sex slaves in a military-run brothel.




The first night was the worst.

"The tears were streaming down my face as he raped me. It seemed as though he would never stop," she said.

Ms Ruff-O'Herne's situation only got worse when she realised she was pregnant.

"I was absolutely terrified. How could I give birth and love a child conceived in such horror?" she asked.

After being force-fed pills, she miscarried.

For 50 years she kept silent about her ordeal. She and her British husband migrated to Australia for a new start, but the nightmares and fears her wartime horrors would be discovered kept her quiet.

In the early 1990s she was inspired by the courage of some of the Korean women who were speaking out, demanding an apology and compensation.

Summoning all her courage she travelled to Tokyo to tell her story.

It shocked the Japanese to hear this now-Australian woman was also a victim of sexual slavery facilitated and organised by the Japanese military.

For the next two decades Ms Ruff-O'Herne travelled the world campaigning against rape in war.

"Women should never be raped in war; rape should not be accepted because it's war," she said.

"That is one good thing that has come out of speaking out."
'I'm not going to die, I'll live forever'

She is still calling for Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe to apologise and offer compensation — a campaign that gained new momentum after he did offer words of regret and millions of dollars for a compensation fund in December, but only for the Korean survivors.

Why not her, why not the victims from China and the Philippines, she asked.

It is a question she hoped might be answered by Foreign Minister Julie Bishop, in Japan this week for talks, including with Japanese Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida.

Ms Bishop welcomed the deal done between the South Korean and Japanese governments, saying: "Australia will consider it, but at this stage we are working closely with both Korea and Japan to understand the implications of it for this part of the world."

The implications appear crystal clear to a 93-year-old lady in Adelaide, with a message for the Japanese Prime Minister.

"He's waiting for us all to be dead but I'm not going to die, I'm going to live forever," she said, with a long, hearty laugh.

Just in case she is wrong about that, her family will take up the fight, determined a terrible history will not be buried with the last of the victims.

Saturday, February 6, 2016

Monday in Washington, February 8, 2016

AUSTRALIA'S OPPORTUNITIES IN SECURITY AND INTERNATIONAL DEVELOPMENT. 2/8, 9:30-11:00am. Sponsor: CSIS. Andrew Shearer, Former National Security Adviser of Australia, Moderated by: Daniel F. Runde, William A. Schreyer Chair in Global Analysis and Director, Project on Prosperity and Development.

THE SYRIAN REFUGEE CRISIS AND THE UNITED STATES. 2/8, 10:00-11:30am. Sponsor: Brookings. Speakers: Elizabeth Ferris, Nonresident Senior Fellow, Foreign Policy, Project on International Order and Strategy, Brookings; William Galston, Senior Fellow, Governance Studies, Brookings; Robert McKenzie, Visiting Fellow, Foreign Policy Center for the Middle East Policy, U.S. Relations with the Islamic World, Brookings. Moderator: Daniel Byman, Research Director, Center for Middle East Policy, Brookings.

WOMENOMICS 2.0: THE POTENTIAL OF FEMALE ENTREPRENEURS IN JAPAN. 2/8, 10:30am-Noon. Sponsor: Center for East Asia Policy Studies, Brookings Institution. Speakers: Mitsue Kurihara, Audit and Supervisory Board Member, Development Bank of Japan, Panel of Entrepreneurs; Donna Fujimoto Cole, President and CEO, Cole Chemical; Fujiyo Ishiguro, President and CEO, Netyear Group Corporation; Sachiko Kunio, Co-Founder, President and CEO, S&R Foundation; Moderator: Mireya Solís, Senior Fellow, Foreign Policy, Center for East Asia Policy Studies, Philip Knight Chair in Japan Studies.

DISSECTING TAIWAN’S 2016 ELECTION RESULTS. 2/8, 11:00am-12:30pm. Sponsor: Carnegie Endowment. Speakers: Alan Romberg, Director, East Asia Program, Stimson; Douglas Paal, Vice President, Carnegie.

THE PROMISE AND PITFALLS OF ECONOMIC SANCTIONS. 2/8, Noon-1:00pm. Sponsor: CATO Institute. Speakers: Emma Ashford, Visiting Research Fellow, Cato Institute; Eric Lorber, Senior Associate, Financial Integrity Network, Adjunct Fellow, Center for a New American Security; Moderator: Peter Russo, Director of Congressional Affairs, Cato Institute.

THE PSYCHOLOGY OF POLITICAL RISK: REPRESSION, FEAR AND MOBILIZATION. 2/8, Noon-1:00pm. Sponsor: Center for Global Development. Speakers: Aluren Young, Columbia University; Michael Clemens, Center for Global Development.

REPORT LAUNCH: SURGING LNG TRADE, HOW US EXPORTS WILL BENEFIT EUROPEAN AND GLOBAL GAS SUPPLY DIVERSITY, COMPETITION, AND SECURITY. 2/8, Noon-1:30pm. Sponsor: Atlantic Council. Speakers: Bud Coote, Resident Senior Fellow, Global Energy Center, Atlantic Council; Christopher Goncalves, Managing Director, Berkeley Research Group; Fabrice Vareille, Head of Transport, Energy, and Environment Section, EU Delegation to the United States; Introduced and Moderated by: David Koranyi, Director, Eurasian Energy Futures Initiative, Atlantic Council.

U.S. GLOBAL LEADERSHIP UNDER THE NEXT PRESIDENT. 2/8, Noon-1:30pm. Sponsor: The German Marshall Fund. Speakers: Derek Chollet, Counselor, Senior Advisor, Security and Defense Policy, The German Marshall Fund of the United States; Andrew Shearer, Visiting Fellow, CSIS, Former Australian National Security Advisor; Daniel Twining, Senior Fellow for Asia, The German Marshall Fund of the United States; Geoff Dyer, Former Beijing Bureau Chief, Financial Times; Moderator: Joshua Walker, Transatlantic Fellow, The German Marshall Fund of the United States. (Livestreamed).

INTERNATIONAL COOPERATION IN COMBATING TERRORISM: REVIEW OF 2015 AND OUTLOOK FOR 2016. 2/8, 2:00-4:00pm. Sponsor: Potomac Institute of Policy Studies. Speakers: Michael S. Swetnam, CEO and Chairman, Potomac Institute; Lieut. Gen. Vincent R. Stewart, Director of the Defense Intelligence Agency; Gov. Tom Ridge, First Assistant to the President for Homeland Security; Sen. Joseph I. Lieberman, Former United States Senator and Attorney General of the State of Connecticut; Maj. Gen. Omar Al Khaldi, The Defense, Military, Naval and Air Attache, Embassy of Jordan; Gamini Keerawella, Deputy Chief of Mission, Embassy of Sri Lanka; Alfred Gray, Twenty-Ninth Commander of the United States Marine Corps. (Livestreamed).

PAUL GOBLE ON THE FUTURE OF POST-SOVIET COUNTRIES. 2/8, 5:00-7:30pm. Sponsor: SAIS, Johns Hopkins University. Speaker: Paul Goble, U.S. Government Specialist on Ethnicity and Religion in Eurasia and the Former Soviet Republics; Amb. Hafiz Pashayev, Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs, Rector of Azerbaijan Diplomatic Academy; Amb. Eerik Marmei, Ambassador of Estonia to the United States; S. Enders Wimbush, Senior Fellow, Jamestown Foundation; Blair A. Ruble, Vice President for Programs, Wilson Center.

Monday, February 1, 2016

Alarm over deadening of Japan's press

Hiroko Kuniya’s ouster deals another blow to quality journalism in Japan

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

THE JAPAN TIMES, JAN 23, 2016,

Hiroko Kuniya, the widely respected anchor for NHK’s stellar “Close-up Gendai” news analysis program, has been ousted from her position after 23 years with the show. She now joins a growing list of prominent news presenters and commentators who have discovered the apparent perils of not kowtowing to the government. She will remain on air in her 7:30 p.m. slot until April, so enjoy this journalistic giant among pygmies while you can.

Kuniya declined to comment on her impending departure, but told me by email about her approach to journalism.

“I have consciously been trying to follow in the footsteps of Ted Koppel,” she said. “When I was studying in the U.S., (the news program) ‘Nightline’ started and I remember being glued to his fair and in-depth interviews. He has definitely taught me what journalism should be.”

Former New York Times bureau chief Martin Fackler, who is currently journalist in residence at the Rebuild Japan Initiative Foundation, says Kuniya’s work at the show stood apart from that of her peers.

“‘Close-up Gendai’ was refreshing because it was one of the few efforts by NHK or any major media to do anything remotely approaching investigative, public-interest journalism, and in a prominent time slot,” he says. “Just by going outside the press clubs to even talk about social problems — and then having the temerity to ask the obvious questions — ‘Close-Up Gendai’ was a challenge to the well-managed official version of reality that appears, say, on NHK’s own regular newscasts. I think this is why the show, and Kuniya, had remained popular for so long.”

Baseball and yakuza expert Robert Whiting, who appeared on the program, believes Kuniya is “class personified.”

“Her legacy is her intelligence and professionalism in her reporting,” he says. “(She is) a rarity in Japanese television: a female anchor, Ivy League education and as fluent in English as she was in Japanese.”

Whiting also notes that she is always well-prepared for interviews. He was surprised at how much she knew about baseball, which came through particularly in a series of questions about the “wear and tear on pitchers’ arms and how much the Japanese system contributed to that.”

Sophia University’s Koichi Nakano praises the scope of Kuniya’s interviews, ranging from nuclear refugees to labor deregulation and the lack of female representation in politics. He admires her as “a rare TV journalist who presented solid, probing stories, all the while avoiding making herself the story.”

Michael Cucek, an adjunct professor at Waseda University, feels “Close-up Gendai” is of uneven quality, but admires the way it has been able to frame and analyze complicated policy issues such as rural redevelopment, depopulation, immigration and child care.

“Being dull has played a part in the program’s longevity — its producers poking and prodding but never wounding politicians, bureaucrats and other vital actors —and in the TV game, longevity is the standard of success,” he says.

Paraphrasing a Japanese proverb, Cucek concludes that “Kuniya’s legacy is of keeping one’s capacities hidden in order to prevail in the spotlight.”

Intelligent, critical journalism is under siege in Abe’s Japan, as the nation has plummeted in press freedom rankings, from 11th place in 2010 to 61st in 2015 according to Reporters Without Borders, which cites the state secrecy law and political intervention in news coverage as reasons for the drop. One notorious example of such intervention was the prime minister’s appointment of Katsuto Momii, a political crony with no media experience, as NHK president. Momii has been disastrous for the broadcaster’s reputation right from his first press conference, downplaying the “comfort women” issue regarding wartime sexual slavery and proclaiming Pyongyang-esque rules: “When the government says right we can’t say left.”

Andrew Horvat, a professor at Josai International University and former president of the Foreign Correspondents’ Club of Japan believes Momii “sees his role not as the head of a ‘public broadcaster’ whose mandate is to guarantee that pluralism is maintained in news reporting, but as a de facto government appointee, directing a ‘state broadcasting’ organization that acts as a disseminator of policies already decided by those in power.”

Insiders at NHK also complain that the atmosphere has become much more politicized under Momii, and what little critical coverage of the government that once aired has all but disappeared.

“It is not a coincidence that controversial news reporters are being removed from not just NHK but any program that politicians complain about,” Horvat says, referring to Shigeaki Koga and Ichiro Furutachi from TV Asahi’s “Hodo Station,” and TBS “News 23″ commentator Shigetada Kishii, who dared to criticize the government on its handling of new security legislation. Kensuke Okoshi, the anchor of NHK’s “News Watch 9,” and TBS veteran Monta Mino have also been purged.

“Major media companies appear in full retreat under political and social pressure in the Abe era,” Fackler says. “Kuniya is just the latest high-profile journalist to be muzzled by media companies that appear to have grown incredibly risk-adverse, seeking to play it safe by just repeating what they are told in the press clubs, and shunning any topic or story that might draw criticism.

“The result has been the almost complete disappearance of the sort of independent, public-interest journalism that ‘Close-up Gendai’ could, in its best moments, offer.”

It appears the decision to oust Kuniya came because of a July 2014 interview with Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga, in which she crossed the invisible line accepted by Japan’s craven media by asking an unscripted follow-up question that rattled the politician. He had prepared answers and was thus flustered when she gently reiterated the question he had artfully danced around (twice) regarding Abe’s unpopular reinterpretation of Article 9 of the Constitution. It was all polite and low-key, nothing like, for example, BBC’s interview program “Hard Talk,” in which the hosts often go for the jugular.

It was later reported that Suga was infuriated by being put on the spot. From that time on, Kuniya was a marked journalist and her political enemies bided their time, waiting for an opportune moment to strike. When her program aired a staged interview last spring that misrepresented the background of a source, they pounced.

“If all programs in Japan that resorted to an occasional staged interview were shut down, there would be nothing but blank TV screens throughout the country,” says Horvat, who adds that the real reason Kuniya has to go is because “political leaders did not like her incisive reporting.”

“She is an intelligent news reporter and the people in power in Japan today would prefer to have Japan’s TV screens populated by colorful clowns and polite news readers,” he adds.

Hideko Yoshimoto, an associate professor at Yamaguchi Prefectural University, agrees that the non-renewal of Kuniya’s contract was retribution. She also notes there is prejudice against older women on television and a preference for young, cute women regardless of their talent. In her view, Kuniya’s departure means the “death of once-decent NHK journalism.”

Sophia’s Nakano is concerned that the media is severely handicapped in holding the government accountable because journalists now understand the cost of crossing Abe.

“First Koga, then Furutachi, Kishii and now Kuniya — it does look like the Abe government has no more serious critical reporting of news that it needs to be concerned about from April,” Nakano says.

The media lapdog has been well and truly muzzled, and just in time for Diet elections.