Blog

“China, Japan, and the Global Politics of Climate Change” (Kelly Gallagher and Miranda Schreurs seminar)

By Sophie Welsh

[Video link]

Climate change poses an existential threat to humanity and is the most significant global policy challenge of our time, impacting our economy, politics, and society in profound and unprecedented ways. In a panel which brought together the world’s two leading experts, Kelly Gallagher (The Fletcher School, Tufts University) and Miranda Schreurs (Technical University of Munich) examined China and Japan’s distinctive strategies and policies for...

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“Japan, South Korea, and U.S. Alliance Politics in East Asia” (Junya Nishino and Sue Mi Terry seminar)

By Sophie Welsh

[Video link]

The development of North Korea’s missile and nuclear capabilities have emerged as one of the key security challenges in East Asia. At the same time, the relations between two U.S. allies—Japan and South Korea—has been marked by tensions due to historical and territorial issues.

In a panel discussion, Junya Nishino (...

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“Domestic Institutions, Geographic Concentration, and Agricultural Liberalization: Evidence from Remote-Sensed Cropland Data and Elite Interviews” (Megumi Naoi seminar)

By Sophie Welsh

[Video link]

Trade liberalization improves a country’s overall welfare in the long run, but creates winners and losers in the short run. In her policy innovations seminar, Megumi Naoi (University of California, San Diego) presented her co-...

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“Security Threats and Alliance Cooperation in the Indo-Pacific Region” (Panel with Tokuhiro Ikeda, Keita Azuma, Aki Nakai, and Jennifer Lind)

by Sophie Welsh

As the strategic rivalry between the U.S. and China has intensified in the Indo-Pacific region, the U.S. allies have had to adapt their own foreign and national defense policies. Two practitioners and a scholar from Japan spoke in a panel in February 2022 to analyze such security policy dynamics. Tokuhiro Ikeda (Vice Admiral, ret.) spoke about current developments in Japan’s Maritime Self-Defense Forces (MSDF) in the context...

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"How Did the Japanese Public React to the US Withdrawal Decision from the Afghanistan Crisis?" (Yusaku Horiuchi Seminar)

by Sophie Welsh

[Video recording]

After the U.S. government’s decision to withdraw their troops from Afghanistan, the Japanese government Self-Defense Forces (SDF) failed to evacuate about 500 Afghan staff members working in the Japanese embassy. Yusaku Horiuchi (Dartmouth College), in a collaborative project with Takako Hikotani (Gakushuin University) and Atsushi Tago (Waseda Univesity), fielded multiple surveys during this crisis in August last year. In the Special Series...

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“The Global Commons Stewardship: Enacting Systemic Transformations” (Naoko Ishii seminar)

by Sophie Welsh

Our planet earth has been undergoing a cascade of environmental crises, as human society has experienced economic development on a global scale. We are approaching multiple major environmental tipping points and risks, which pose existential threats to human society. In her stimulating seminar, Professor Naoko Ishii (University of Tokyo) argued that we have only about a decade left to set fundamental systemic changes on track across a wide range of areas, including...
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"Why Has the East Asian COVID Model Diverged over Delta and Omicron?” (Yves Tiberghien seminar)

by Sophie Welsh

[Video recording]

The coronavirus pandemic has disrupted many activities worldwide.  Much of the media has covered national responses, from the relative success of various Asian and Oceanian countries to news about the polarized attitudes toward the virus in the United States.  There are many lessons to learn from the factors that led to the diverging responses in each country and the success of various national...
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When and How States Restructure Alliances

by Aki Nakai

From the classical works of Thucydides, Kautilya, and Machiavelli, to the more contemporary writings of Hans Morgenthau and Kenneth Waltz, to name a few, all have discussed the subject of alliances among political units or sovereign states. Alliances are a universal phenomenon, regardless of the times and their locations. Are there particular tendencies in how allies behave? What external and internal factors determine or...
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“UN’s Role in the Global Disarmament Agenda” (Izumi Nakamitsu seminar)

by Sophie Welsh

[Video recording]

The Program on U.S.-Japan Relations welcomed Ms. Izumi Nakamitsu, Under-Secretary- General and High Representative for Disarmament Affairs. United Nations, as its Distinguished Visitor to Harvard campus. Below is an excerpt of her Distinguished Visitor Lecture.

Ms. Nakamitsu argued that disarmament should be thought of as a security policy instrument...
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“Japan and South Korea’s Legalistic Turn” (Celeste Arrington seminar)

by Sophie Welsh

[Video recording]

Japan and South Korea have historically adopted a more bureaucratic, non-legalistic, flexible approach to governance, due to institutional hurdles (such as small number of lawyers) and cultural deterrents to litigation (such as the pro-government bias among judges). However, their systems of governance underwent parallel reforms in the past two decades. What accounts for this legalistic turn in Japan and...
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