Japan’s Role in Strengthening Rule of Law and Democracy in Asia

December 05, 2018
10:00 am - 12:00 pm

About the event

The rise of populism and protectionism in many western countries and growing assertiveness of authoritarian powers has called into question the future of the rules-based liberal international order. As the most populous and economically dynamic region in the world, Asia will feel the impact of growing discontent with globalization and democratic norms and values that have shaped the post-WWII liberal international order. As the first Asian country to modernize and the region’s most advanced economy, what is Japan’s role in supporting and strengthening the liberal international order in Asia? What are the implications of Japan’s reorientation toward a “values-based” foreign policy mean for rule of law and democratic development in Asia? With uncertainty surrounding the role of the United States in the region and China’s growing influence, can Japan play a leadership role in defending the liberal democratic norms and values against these challenges?

about the speakerS

Yukio Takasu is United Nations Under-Secretary-General, Special Advisor to UN Secretary-General on Human Security. In his personal capacity, he chairs a policy study group of Japan Center for International Exchange (JCIE) on expanding support for democratic governance Mr. Takasu has nearly 40 years of multilateral diplomacy and has worked with the UN as Controller and Undersecretary General for Management until May 2017. He has been Special Adviser on Human Security since 2010, and has played a pivotal role in advancing a greater understanding on the notion of human security, both within the United Nations and outside. From July 2007 to August 2010, Mr. Takasu was Permanent Representative of Japan to the United Nations, and served twice as President of UN Security Council.

Maiko Ichihara is an Associate Professor in the Graduate School of Law and the School of International and Public Policy at Hitotsubashi University. Ichihara is also a member of the “Rising Democracies Network,” a research network of leading experts on democracy and foreign policy, dedicated to examining the growing role of non-Western democracies in international democracy support and conflict issues, hosted by the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. Throughout her career, Ichihara has undertaken research on international relations and democracy assistance. She earned her Ph.D. in political science from George Washington University. Ichihara is a Steering Committee member of the East Asia Democracy Forum. Her recent publications include: Japan’s International Democracy Assistance as Soft Power: Neoclassical Realist Analysis (New York and London: Routledge, 2017); “The Changing Role of Democracy in Asian Geopolitics,” Carnegie Endowment for International Peace (2017); and “Japan’s Democracy Support to Indonesia: Weak Involvement of Civil Society Actors,” Asian Survey, 56-5 (September/October 2016), pp.905-930.

Takako Hikotani is Gerald L. Curtis Associate Professor of Modern Japanese Politics and Foreign Policy. She previously taught at the National Defense Academy of Japan, where she was Associate Professor, and lectured at the Ground Self Defense Force and Air Self Defense Force Staff Colleges, and the National Institute for Defense Studies. Her research focuses on civil-military relations and Japanese domestic politics, Japanese foreign policy, and comparative civil-military relations. Her publications (in English) include, “The Japanese Diet and defense policy-making.” International Affairs, 94:1, July, 2018; “Trump’s Gift to Japan: Time for Tokyo to Invest in the Liberal Order,” Foreign Affairs, September/October 2017; and “Japan’s New Executive Leadership: How Electoral Rules “Japan’s New Executive Leadership: How Electoral Rules Make Japanese Security Policy” (with Margarita Estevez-Abe and Toshio Nagahisa), in Frances Rosenbluth and Masaru Kohno eds, Japan in the World (Yale University Press, 2009). She advised and appeared in PBS Wide Angle Program, “Japan’s About Face,” July 8, 2008. She was a Visiting Professional Specialist at Princeton University as Social Science Research Council/Abe Fellow (2010-2011), as well as a Suntory Foundation Torii Fellow (2000-2001), and Fellow of the US-Japan Leadership Program, US-Japan Foundation (2000- ).Professor Hikotani received her BA from Keio University, MAs from Keio University and Stanford University, and PhD in Political Science from Columbia University, where she was a President’s Fellow.

Daniel Twining joined the International Republican Institute as president in September 2017, where he leads the Institute’s mission to advance democracy and freedom around the world. He heads IRI’s team of nearly 500 global experts to link people and governments, motivate people to engage in the political process, and guide politicians and government officials to be responsive to citizens. Previously, he served as counselor and director of the Asia Program at The German Marshall Fund of the United States, based in Washington, DC. As counselor, he served on the executive management team that governs GMF’s annual operations; as director of the Asia Program, he led a team working on the rise of Asia and its implications for the West. Prior to GMF, Twining served as a member of the U.S. Secretary of State’s Policy Planning Staff, as foreign policy advisor to U.S. Senator John McCain, and as a staff member of the U.S. Trade Representative. He has taught at Georgetown University and served as a military instructor associated with the Naval Postgraduate School.

Derek Mitchell is the new president of the National Democratic Institute (NDI). Two decades earlier, Mitchell spent four years at NDI, serving as Senior Program Officer for Asia and the former Soviet Union. In between, Mitchell has had a distinguished career in and out of the U.S. government, in which he has witnessed the connection between democracy and international security. From 2012-2016, Mitchell served as U.S. Ambassador to the Republic of the Union of Myanmar (Burma). He was America’s first ambassador to the country in 22 years. From 2011-12, he served as the U.S. Department of State’s first Special Representative and Policy Coordinator for Burma, with the rank of ambassador. Prior to this appointment, Mitchell served as Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense, Asian and Pacific Security Affairs (APSA), in the Office of the Secretary of Defense. In that capacity, he spent six months as acting APSA Assistant Secretary of Defense, and was responsible for overseeing the Defense Department’s security policy in Northeast, Southeast, South, and Central Asia. For his service, he received the Office of the Secretary of Defense Award for Distinguished Public Service in August 2011. From 2001 to 2009, Mitchell served as Senior Fellow and Director of the Asia Division of the International Security Program at the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS). From 1997 to 2001, he served as Special Assistant for Asian and Pacific Affairs in the Office of the Secretary of Defense. Mitchell was the principal author of the Department of Defense’s 1998 East Asia Strategy Report, the last such report produced by DoD. Mitchell began his work in Washington as a foreign policy assistant in the office of Senator Edward M. Kennedy (D-MA) from 1986-88. Most recently, Mitchell has been a senior advisor at the Albright Stonebridge Group, the United States Institute of Peace, and the Center for Strategic and International Studies, as well as a lecturer for the Stanford-in-Washington program.