Thursday, December 1, 2011

Japan’s Hunt For Former Glory: Recommendations From A Leading East Asia Expert


It is hard to imagine that Japan, the nation many look to for cutting edge technology and pop culture coolness, may be waning as a world power. The revolving door of a government saw six different Prime Ministers in five years led to what some view as unstable domestic politics, and the recent natural disasters devastated the northeast coast of the country and caused a major meltdown at the Fukushima nuclear power plant that is still affecting the city. Japan held the distinction of being an economic powerhouse second only to the U.S. for decades until China surpassed them this year, and the country now faces its third “lost decade” its bubble popped. While tensions surrounding the U.S. base in Okinawa eased a bit this year as a result of Operation Tomodachi, some believe South Korea is becoming a more viable strategic ally for the U.S.

In Losing Its Edge? Evans Revere on How Japan Can Remain a Leader & America’s Closest Partner in East Asia, former diplomat and revered East Asia expert Evans Revere tackle these issues. Sitting down with editor Andrew Bast on December 1 at Japan Society, Revere draws on his experience to offer insights on how Japan can return to its former glory.

Evans J.R. Revere is a Princeton University graduate, a U.S. Air Force veteran and has gone on to become a top foreign affairs specialist, with 35 years of government service under his belt and being fluent in Chinese, Korean, and Japanese. He is currently the Senior Director at the global strategy firm Albright Stonebridge Group and specializes in advising clients concerning Korea, Japan, and China. From 2007 to 2010, he served as the President and CEO of the Korea Society in New York and notably was part of the “New Beginnings” policy study panel that came up with recommendations for improving Korean relations with the U.S. before President Obama met with South Korea President Lee Myung-bak. He has negotiated between the U.S. and North Korea and was responsible for the State Department’s effective response to the tsunami disaster that hit Indonesia and other parts of South Asia in December 2004.

--Sean Tomizawa