Japanese foreign policymaking faces mounting challenges as Prime Minister Suga Yoshihide takes over leadership of the country. The outgoing Trump administration leaves a legacy of diminished US leadership, unsettled trade wars, a more authoritarian and assertive China, and an emboldened North Korea capable of striking North America with nuclear weapons. During the Trump administration, Japan partnered with Canada to defend the liberal international order, most notably pushing forward with the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) despite US withdrawal. Japan also articulated the Free and Open Indo-Pacific (FOIP) vision, which has been adopted by many likeminded states.
Now that the Trump administration is coming to an end, what comes next for Japanese foreign policy? US President-elect Joseph Biden promises to restore US leadership and reimagine its partnerships with allies like Japan and Canada. How can Japan build on its proactive diplomacy over the past decade in confronting regional and global challenges?
As a part of the JAPAN NOW Lecture Series, this online event will honour Okamoto Yukio’s legacy, examining Japan’s current place in the region and liberal international order. Okamoto was a leading thinker and practitioner of foreign policymaking in Japan who tragically passed away in April 2020 due to complications arising from COVID-19. He was a dear friend, and we have asked the speakers to reflect on Okamoto’s legacy in their presentations.
- Deanna Horton, Senior Fellow, Munk School (Moderator)
- Michael J. Green, Senior Vice President for Asia and Japan Chair, Center for Strategic and International Studies
- Richard Samuels, Ford International Professor of Political Science and Director, Center for International Studies, MIT
- Tadokoro Masayuki, Professor of International relations, Faculty of Law, Keio University