Friday, November 5, 2010

Shifting Shades of Gray

Raise your hand if you think global cooperation is the future of int'l policy! Via.

Life is not black and white, and the international arena can be one of the biggest planes of shifting shades of gray imaginable. In an age of great interconnection and even greater competitiveness, foreign policy is in a constant state of re-correction to avoid massive global disaster.

Lately grumblings have risen in Northeast Asia (China, Japan, the Koreas), where relations have continued to rock and roll after World War II. There have been constant shifts in the region’s political parities, rising tides of economic stagnation, and lately aggression between the region and the allied U.S.

When thinking of Japan specifically, there have been territorial altercations with China in regards to jurisdiction over the disputed land and seaways, lack of consistent leadership, foreign policy that does not agree with the domestic situation, and the controversial presence of U.S. military and its unknown future .

All of these challenges have affected Japan’s attempts to re-establish its position in East Asia, and even upset the very core of the U.S.-Japan relationship. Only 50 years after the seminal security alliance brought our nations together, some wonder if the pact can stay in tact these days.

On November 8, Japan Society and Asia Society gather top Japan and East Asia experts for Twists & Turns in Japanese Politics: Implications for Japan, the U.S & the Region to discuss these issues and more.

Tobias Harris shares his sharp, inside acumen as seen on his site Observing Japan or his blog for Newsweek Japan

Jun Saito from Yale's Department of Political Science breaks down the impacts of Japan’s recent elections and the rise of Prime Minster Naoto Kan (hear him discuss Japan's domestic politics with us back in May).

Sheila Smith, senior fellow for Japan Studies at the Council of Foreign Relations, takes up the sensitive subject of the U.S.-Japan relations on security and defense, including the issues of military instillations on Futenma and the continuing dispute of Senkaku Island.

Yinan He from Seton Hall University's John C, Whitehead School of Diplomacy reveals the recent politic fluxes in the Asian perspective.

Finally, Edward Lincoln, director of the Center for Japan-U.S. Business and Economic Studies at New York University's Stern School of Business moderates  the discussion. (Lincoln was here in May to discuss 150 Years of U.S.-Japan relations and collaboration: full recap here.)

Expect a lively, illuminating and impacting discussion of the global ramifications of Japan's current politics and policies!


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