No.59 | Discuss Japan-Japan Foreign Policy Forum

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No.59
No.59, Economy  Jul. 1, 2020

Keidanren Chairman’s strategy for overcoming the global crisis: Executives must perceive “change as opportunity”

Nakanishi Hiroaki, Chairman, Keidanren, Executive Chairman, Hitachi, Ltd. No prospect of much-needed international cooperation ―The Japanese government has acknowledged with regard to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic that the global economy is now truly facing the greatest crisis in the postwar period. Nakanishi Hiroaki: The “Keidanren’s Urgent Proposal to counter Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) Pandemic,” issued by Keidanren (Japan Business Federation) on March 30, also positioned the COVID-19 pandemic as a “dilemma, which is unprecedented in modern times” and then called for action, including “fiscal measures on a scale equal to or greater than the measures taken in the event of the financial crisis of 2007–2008,” saying “the implementation of additional measures, as well as providing focused support to workers and businesses who are truly in need is essential.” The worst part of it all is not knowing when or how the situation will ... ... [Read more]

No.59, Society
Jun. 30, 2020

Hints from the combination of labor economics, Social Sciences of Hope and Social Sciences of Crisis Thinking: Toward ways of working able to respond to abnormality and change

Genda Yuji, Professor, University of Tokyo   Lessons from the 2008 Global Financial Crisis More than anything else, protecting the lives and health of people is necessary to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic. There is no room for argument in that regard. Based on this, many people are hoping they can secure employment that brings in the income needed to cover living expenses in the months ahead. In term of employment, the possibility that this new crisis is more serious than the 2008 global financial crisis, defined by the iconic September 2008 bankruptcy of Lehman Brothers, is a concern given the rapid shrinkage of economic activities associated with the spread of COVID-19. During the 2008 global financial crisis, 950,000 jobs were lost in Japan in only a year, and the unemployment rate rose to 5.5% in July of 2009, matching the previous record high. ... ... [Read more]

No.59, Discussions, Diplomacy
Jun. 29, 2020

Three Experts Discuss: Will the China Model Conquer the World? What Will Happen? The Xi Jinping System After COVID-19

Miyamoto Yuji (former Ambassador of Japan to the People’s Republic of China, Chairman of the Miyamoto Institute of Asian Research), Kawashima Shin (Professor, University of Tokyo), and Ako Tomoko (Professor, University of Tokyo) What COVID-19 Has Brought to Light Miyamoto Yuji: COVID-19 has shaken many of the world’s fundamentals, revealing things that hadn’t been visible before. One is US–China relations. For example, the US’s strictest policy against China is decoupling, but COVID-19 has stopped the movement of people, severed supply chains, and had a major negative impact on the US economy, so is it really possible to establish a decoupling relationship with China? Also, until now, the Xi Jinping administration has talked about the “China Dream” to build a country peerless in the world by the mid-century, but isn’t that a dream founded on extremely optimistic predictions? I hope that China can make this experience ... ... [Read more]

No.59, Diplomacy
Jun. 24, 2020

Rapid infectious disease response is needed: Challenges seen from the frontlines of politics

Various challenges such as political leadership, preparation of medical systems, the relationship between the central and local governments, and the requirements of an emergency law on infectious diseases have become apparent as we respond to the unprecedented infectious disease (COVID-19). An expert on global health administration lays out a comprehensive set of issues for the current and future public health emergencies.   Takemi Keizo, member of the House of Councillors   At the time of writing this article, the world was facing the biggest global-health crisis of the twenty-first century due to COVID-19. From the end of 2019 and into 2020, COVID-19 had spread not just within China from Wuhan City in Hubei Province, but also to Japan and the rest of the world, owing to the fact that its initial spread coincided with the Chinese New Year holiday. As Chairperson of the Special ... ... [Read more]

No.59, Diplomacy
Jun. 23, 2020

A Preeminent Japanese Former International Civil Servant Reveals: Why the Pro-China Bias? – The WHO’s True Identity

Akasaka Kiyotaka, President, Foreign Press Center Japan (FPCJ)   From 1993 to 1997, Mr. Akasaka worked in the secretariat of the World Health Organization (WHO) supporting Mr. Nakajima Hiroshi, the Director-General at that time, and the first Japanese head of an international organization under the United Nations. Before and after that Mr. Akasaka has worked a total of seventeen years as an international civil servant at GATT (General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade), the predecessor of the WTO (World Trade Organization), the OECD (Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development) and United Nations Under-Secretary-General for Communications and Public Information, among others. Currently, Mr. Akasaka conveys information about Japan’s position to overseas media as the President for the Foreign Press Center Japan (FPCJ) and verifies their news coverage of Japan. China’s Presence   ― China has been investing in African nations through its Belt and Road ... ... [Read more]