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Open lecture: Japan's Quest for a More Assertive Foreign Policy

Wednesday, 16 August 2017 1:16pm

Professor Toshihiro Nakayama, Sir Howard Kippenberger Visiting Chair 2017, Victoria University

About the lecture

During the second term of the Shinzo Abe administration, Japan has experienced a major shift in its foreign policy outlook. This is a result of changing perceptions of regional dynamics, and the willingness on the part of the administration to take proactive steps in reforming aspects of the national security infrastructure and policy. However, the unexpected victory of Donald Trump posed Japan with an existential question. Would it be possible to rely on the alliance to function under a new administration? The actions of the Japanese government were quick. It doubled-down on the alliance, sending a message to the Trump team that Japan is willing to work with the new president. As a result, so far, the U.S. has confirmed the core mission of the alliance. However, an alliance is not a stand-alone institution. It only functions when U.S. is fully committed to the region. Is the commitment there? The answer is unclear to Japan, which sees the shadow of retrenchment encroaching upon American internationalism. The focus of the talk is to review and understand the foreign policy options for Japan in the Trump era.

About the speaker

Professor Toshihiro Nakayama is a Professor of American Politics and Foreign Policy at the Faculty of Policy Management at Keio University. He is also an Adjunct Fellow at the Japan Institute of International Affairs (JIIA). He was a Special Correspondent for the Washington Post at the Far Eastern Bureau (1993-94), Special Assistant at the Permanent Mission of Japan to the United Nations in New York (1996-98), Senior Research Fellow at The Japan Institute of International Affairs (2004-06), Associate Professor at Tsuda College (2006-10), and Professor at Aoyama Gakuin University (2010-14). He was also a CNAPS Visiting Fellow at the Brookings Institution (2005-06). Dr Nakayama received his M.A. (1993) and Ph.D. (2001) from School of International Politics, Economy and Business (SIPEB), Aoyama Gakuin University. He has written two books and numerous articles on American politics, foreign policy and international relations. He was recipient of the Nakasone Yasuhiro Award in 2014.


Wednesday 16 August
5 - 6:30 pm
Archway 3 Lecture Theatre