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Japan Enters the Post-Abe Era: More of the Same or New Directions?

  • 30 Sep 2020
  • 7:00 PM - 8:00 PM
  • Online


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Japan Enters the Post-Abe Era: More of the Same or New Directions?

Wednesday, September 30, 2020

7:00 PM EDT

4:00PM PDT

Hosted online via Zoom

Just days after becoming the longest sitting Prime Minister in Japan’s history, Shinzo Abe unexpectedly announced on August 28 his resignation citing serious health issues. The next Prime Minister will face unprecedented domestic and foreign challenges ranging from Japan’s demographic crisis, the rise of China’s military and economic power, a global pandemic which is driving a world recession, and doubts about America’s longstanding security commitment to Japan.  What will be the policy priorities of the next Prime Minister, Yoshihide Suga, and how will he differ from PM Abe in content and style of leadership?

The Japan Society of Boston and the Japan Society of Northern California are proud to jointly present a program to explore the opportunities and pitfalls of the post-Abe era. Please join us online on September 30, 2020 to hear from Christina Davis and Tobias Harris, top experts on Japan’s domestic and foreign policy talk about what the change in leadership means for Japan and for its relationship with the US.


Larry Greenwood | Member of the Board, Japan Society of Northern California & Senior Advisor, BowerGroupAsiaLarry 

Greenwood is a consultant advising on government relations and international economic policy, with expertise in trade, finance, development, and Asia. Larry was a career diplomat from 1976 to 2006 and served in a variety of positions in the State Department in Washington, D.C., and at U.S. embassies in Manila, Dakar, Tokyo, and Singapore. After retiring from the Foreign Service, he worked as vice president at the Asian Development Bank in Manila, Philippines, where he oversaw loan and grant operations in East and Southeast Asia and the Pacific Island countries, and as Senior Managing Director for government relations in Asia for MetLife based in Tokyo.  After moving to the Bay Area in 2015, he joined BowerGroupAsia and served as President of the Japan Society of Northern California from 2016-2019.


Christina L. Davis |Professor of Government, Harvard University, Director, Program on U.S.-Japan Relations

Christina L. Davis is a Professor of Government in the Faculty of Arts and Sciences and Susan S. and Kenneth L. Wallach Professor at the Radcliffe Institute. She is the Director of the Program on U.S.-Japan Relations at the Weatherhead Center for International Affairs and serves as co-executive editor of the Japanese Journal of Political Science.

Her research interests include the politics and foreign policy of Japan and East Asia and the study of international organizations, with a focus on trade policy. Professor Davis is the author of  Why Adjudicate? Enforcing Trade Rules in the WTO (Princeton University Press, 2012), which won the International Law Book Award and Chadwick F. Alger Prize from the International Studies Association, as well as the Masayoshi Ohira Memorial Prize. 

Tobias Harris | Senior Vice President, Teneo

Tobias Harris is an expert on Japanese politics, and worked in 2006-2007 on the staff of Keiichiro Asao, at that time a member of the upper house of the Japanese Diet and shadow foreign minister for the Democratic Party of Japan, for whom he conducted research on foreign policy and Japan’s relations with the United States. He was the Fellow for Economy, Trade, and Business at Sasakawa Peace Foundation USA from 2014-2020.  His latest book, The Iconoclast: Shinzo Abe and the New Japan will be published this fall.

Keiichiro Asao (浅尾 慶一郎) | Former Member of the House of Representatives

Keiichiro Asao is a Japanese Politician. After graduating from the Faculty of Law of the University of Tokyo, he joined the Industrial Bank of Japan in 1987 and received an MBA in 1992 from Stanford University while working at the bank. Leaving the bank in 1995, he was elected to the House of Councillors for the first time in 1998 to represent Kanagawa Prefecture.  He was re-elected in 2004, and was appointed the Shadow Foreign Minister by the DPJ leader Seiji Maehara. He was later expelled from the DPJ after announcing he would run for a district seat in Kanagawa during the 2009 General election, joining Your Party as a founding member one month later. He later headed Your Party after the breakout of a scandal of the Party Leader Yoshimi Watanabe. In 2014, he decided to dissolve Your Party over a dispute of the direction of the party and returned $14 million in public grant money to the government for the first time in Japanese political history.  Later that year he was elected to the House of Representatives for the third term.  After failing to reform Japanese politics using a venture party as a vehicle, he joined the ruling Liberal Democratic Party and seeks to reform the system from inside the ruling party.  He has served in the Japanese Diet for 19 years in total.

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