On Wednesday, April 7th, the 21st Century Japan Politics and Society Initiative (21JPSI*) closed out its 2020-2021 “Japanese Politics & Society” speaker series with a public talk by Professor Michael Green (Georgetown University/CSIS) on Japan’s contemporary Asia strategy.
In his opening remarks, Dr. Green introduced the main ideas of his forthcoming book, “Line of Advantage: Japan’s Grand Strategy in the Era of Abe Shinzo” (Columbia University Press). He argued that Japan’s Cold War-era strategy—characterized largely by a focus on economic growth and minimal security commitments—has gradually been replaced by one tailored in response to East Asia’s rapidly changing security environment. Dr. Green summarized Japan’s new grand strategy as largely driven by the rise of China and Japan’s desire to compete peacefully through balancing (security reforms), while simultaneously pushing forward regional trade liberalization (e.g., the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) and the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP)). In his remarks, he explained that his choice of the phrase “in the era of Abe Shinzo” in the title was deliberate; motivated by a desire to indicate that the recent transformation of Japan’s grand strategy is not exclusive to former Prime Minster Abe or his long tenure as Prime Minister. Rather, it is a longer-term phenomenon that began long before Abe became prime minister and which is likely to continue under current Prime Minister Suga Yoshihide and his successors.
After concluding his remarks, Dr. Green engaged in a brief discussion with 21JPSI Director Adam Liff followed by an open Q&A with the audience of over 108 faculty, students, and community members from Indiana, Japan, and around the world.
21JPSI programming note: Owing to the COVID-19 pandemic, all events will be held exclusively online for the foreseeable future. To learn more, please check out our calendar of upcoming public webinars and sign up for our event announcement mailing list!
*The 21st Century Japan Politics and Society Initiative (21JPSI) was launched at Indiana University’s Hamilton Lugar School of Global and International Studies in 2018. Under the leadership of Founding Director and HLS faculty member Adam Liff, 21JPSI aims to invigorate and expand research, teaching, and programming on contemporary Japanese politics, society, and international (esp. U.S.-Japan) relations, and to educate, raise awareness, and debate policy responses to the various political, social, and foreign policy challenges that Japan faces in this extremely dynamic era of 21st-century change. Supported by a generous $900,000 grant from the Japan Foundation Center for Global Partnership, in its first five years 21JPSI has enabled a new tenure-track faculty search; new courses on contemporary Japan; a speaker series on Japanese Politics and Society; biennial conferences and webinars on U.S.-Japan relations; graduate research fellowships, and faculty travel grants. For more information, please see https://jpsi.indiana.edu/ or write to email@example.com