Japan confronts difficult political and economic choices as international relations become increasingly unstable and complex. It must contend with China’s rise and America’s isolationism, tough negotiations over economic frameworks like the TPP, and the transformation of global distribution and financial networks due to the rapid growth of electronic transactions—all of which have a direct bearing on domestic policy. The External Policy unit analyzes worldwide trends and their impact on domestic policy and offers commentary on the directions Japan should take.
2020 US Presidential Election and Japan-US Relations
The project analyzes policy trends in the United States from various angles following the 2018 midterms and in advance of the presidential election in 2020. The views of project members regarding the implications for Japan’s foreign policy, including economic relations, are regularly communicated to Japan’s policymakers and to the public at large.
The 2016 presidential election offered many insights into the future course of US policy. Not only did Donald Trump, running on a platform of isolationism and protectionism, win the Republican nomination but both Democratic candidates also espoused protectionist sentiments, coming out against the TPP, with Bernie Sanders calling for a more isolationist foreign policy. Trump was the first isolationist Republican nominee since 1945, and 2016 was the first time in the postwar era that both parties fielded protectionist-leaning candidates.
How will Japan’s economic and other ties with the United States evolve should these trends become an entrenched feature of US policy? This project will closely follow US trends in such areas as trade—including negotiations over bilateral FTAs—and foreign investment and analyze long-term implications of the growing popularity of isolationist and protectionist candidates. These analyses will be encapsulated into reports that will suggest optimum responses and paths for Japan’s external policy going forward.
Project leader: Fumiaki Kubo, Senior Fellow, Tokyo Foundation for Policy Research; Professor, Graduate School of Law and Politics, University of Tokyo
Akio Takahata, Professor, Faculty of Business Administration, Hakuoh University
Kazuhiro Maeshima Professor, Faculty of Global Studies, Sophia University
Mieko Nakabayashi, Professor, School of Social Sciences, Waseda University
Takeshi Yamawaki, Senior Writer, Asahi Shimbun
Takeshi Umekawa, Professor, Faculty of Law, Tokyo Metropolitan University
Ryo Sahashi, Associate Professor of International Politics, Institute for Advanced Studies on Asia, University of Tokyo
Tomoyuki Miyata, Associate Professor, Faculty of Law, Teikyo University
Masatoshi Murakami, Lecturer, Doshisha Law School, Doshisha University
Kota Matsui, Lecturer, Faculty of Social Sciences, Kyorin University
Yusuke Nishizumi, Lecturer, Faculty of Law, Chuo University