The lecture offers an overview of Japan’s security, foreign policy, and foreign economic policy initiatives under Prime Minister Abe and notes the geopolitical shift in Japan’s strategic orientations as well as the emphasis on networking with Japan’s allies and partners for political alignment, security cooperation, and rule- and norm making. The lecture also examines Japan’s Southeast Asia policy under Mr. Abe and underlines the fact that Japan is committed to supporting ASEAN unity and providing assistance for ASEAN integration, while noting that powerful forces are causing a divergence in strategic orientations between mainland and maritime states, with Vietnam as a partial exception.
About the Speaker:
Shiraishi Takashi, born in 1950 in Ehime, Japan; majored in international relations at the University of Tokyo (1972) and obtained Ph.D. in History from Cornell University in 1986. He has taught at the University of Tokyo (1979-1987), Cornell University (1987-98), Kyoto University (1996-2005), and National Graduate Institute for Policy Studies (GRIPS) in Tokyo (2005-2009). He served as Executive Member, Council for Science and Technology Policy (CSTP), Cabinet Office (2009-2012). He currently serves as President, GRIPS (since 2011) and President, Institute of Developing Economies-JETRO (since 2007). He has also served as editor, Indonesia, Cornell Southeast Asia Program (since 1987) and editor-in-chief, nippon.com, a multi-lingual online journal (2011-2014). In 2007, he was awarded the Japanese Medal of Honor with Purple Ribbon. He has published numerous books, including three award-winning works: An Age in Motion (Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 1990, Ohira Masayoshi Asia Pacific Award), Indonesia: Kokka to Seiji (Government and Politics in Indonesia, Tokyo: Libroport, 1990; Suntory Academic Award), and Umi no Teikoku (Empires of the Seas, Tokyo: Chuokoron, 2000; Yomiuri-Yoshino Sakuzo Award). His recent works include The Rise of Middle Classes in Southeast Asia (Kyoto: Kyoto University Press, 2008, edited jointly with Pasuk Phongpaichit), Across The Causeway: Multi-dimensional Study of Malaysia-Singapore Relations (Singapore: Institute of Southeast Asian Studies, 2008), and Chugoku wa Higashi-Ajia wo do’o Kaete iruka (How is China changing East Asia? Tokyo: Chuo Koron, 2012, co-authored with Carol Sy Hau).