Saturday, August 22, 2015

Abe’s WWII statement fails history 101

Dove of Peace at
the Yasukuni Shrine
By Professor Tessa Morris-Suzuki, ARC Laureate Fellow based at the School of Culture, History and Language, at the College of Asia and the Pacific at The Australian National University and APP Member
First appeared in the EastAsiaForum, 18 August 2015

As the clock ticked down to the 70th anniversary of the end of the Asia Pacific War, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe faced a dilemma. His right-wing supporters were pushing him to produce a commemorative statement that would move away from the apologetic approach of his predecessors and ‘restore Japan’s pride’. Moderates, Asian neighbours and (most importantly) the US government were pushing him to uphold the earlier apologies issued by former prime ministers Tomiichi Murayama and Junichiro Koizumi. Most of the media anticipation centred around the wording of the forthcoming Abe statement. Would it, like the Murayama Statement of 1995 and the Koizumi Statement of 2005, include the words ‘apology’ (owabi) and aggression (shinryaku)?

Abe’s response to this dilemma was clever. First, he established a committee of hand-picked ‘experts’ to provide a report locating Japan’s wartime past in the broad sweep of 20th-century history. Then, drawing heavily on their report, he produced a statement that was more than twice the length of those issued by his predecessors. His statement, to the relief of many observers, did use the words ‘apology’ and ‘aggression’. In fact, it is almost overladen with all the right words: ‘we must learn from the lessons of history’; ‘our country inflict immeasurable damage and suffering’; ‘deep repentance’; ‘deep remorse and heartfelt apology’; ‘we will engrave in our hearts the past’.

But, focusing on the vocabulary, some observers failed to notice that Abe had embedded these words in a narrative of Japanese history that was entirely different from the one that underpinned previous prime ministerial statements. That is why his statement is so much longer than theirs. So which past is the Abe statement engraving in the hearts of Japanese citizens?

The story presented in Abe’s statement goes like this. Western colonial expansionism forced Japan to modernise, which it did with remarkable success. Japan’s victory in the Russo–Japanese War gave hope to the colonised peoples of the world. After World War I, there was a move to create a peaceful world order. Japan actively participated, but following the Great Depression, the Western powers created economic blocs based on their colonial empires. This dealt a ‘major blow’ to Japan. Forced into a corner, Japan ‘attempted to overcome its diplomatic and economic deadlock through the use of force’. The result was the 1931 Manchurian Incident, Japan’s withdrawal from the League of Nations, and everything that followed. ‘Japan took the wrong course and advanced along the road to war’.

The narrative of war that Abe presents leads naturally to the lessons that he derives from history. Nations should avoid the use of force to break ‘deadlock’. They should promote free trade so that economic blocs will never again become a cause of war. And they should avoid challenging the international order.

The problem with Abe’s new narrative is that it is historically wrong. This is perhaps not surprising, since the committee of experts on whom he relied included only four historians in its 16 members. And its report, running to some 31 pages, contains less than a page about the causes and events of the Asia Pacific War.

In effect, the Abe narrative of history looks like an exam script where the student has accidentally misread the question. He has answered the question about the reasons for Japan’s invasion of Manchuria with an answer that should go with the question about the reasons for the attack on Pearl Harbor.

There is widespread consensus that the immediate cause for Japan’s attack on Pearl Harbor was the stranglehold on Japan created by imperial protectionism and economic blockade by the Western powers. But there is equal consensus that the reasons for the Japanese invasion of Manchuria in 1931, and for the outbreak of full-scale war in China in 1937, were different and much more complex.

Key factors at work in 1931 were the troubled relationship between the Japanese military and the civilian government; Japan’s desire for resources, transport routes and living space; rising nationalism in an economically and socially troubled Japan; and corruption and instability in Northeastern China. By the time Japan launched its full scale invasion of China in 1937, global protectionism was becoming a larger issue. But even then, other issues like Japan’s desire to protect its massive investments in China from the rising forces of Chinese nationalism were paramount.

Economic historians note that the Japanese empire was the first to take serious steps towards imperial protectionism. The slide into global protectionism had barely started at the time of the Manchurian Incident. Britain did not create its imperial preference system until 1932. The economic blockade that strangled the Japanese economy in 1940–41 was the response to Japan’s invasion of China, not its cause.

This is not academic quibbling. These things really matter, and vividly illustrate why historical knowledge is vital to any understanding of contemporary international affairs.

The Abe narrative of history fails to address the causes and nature of Japan’s colonisation of Taiwan (in 1895) and Korea (in 1910), and ignores the large presence of Japanese troops in China long before 1931. It says to China: ‘Sorry we invaded you, but those other guys painted us into a corner’. It offers an untenable explanation for Japan’s actions, and blurs the distinction between aggressive and defensive behaviour. Western media commentators who haven’t studied Japanese history may not pick up these flaws in the narrative, but Chinese and South Korean observers (who have their own, sometimes profoundly problematic, versions of this history) will instantly see them and rightly object.

Engraving a factually flawed story of the past in people’s hearts is not going to solve East Asia’s problems, and risks making them worse. Worse still, the Abe statement is generating deeply divergent responses in the countries where East Asian history is not widely taught (most notably the United States) and those where it is (South Korea, China and Japan itself), thus creating even deeper divisions in our already too divided world.

Abe treads a fine line on WWII

By Professor Gerry Curtis, Columbia University and APP member
First appeared in EastAsiaForum, 20 August 2015

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s statement commemorating the 70th anniversary of the end of World War II probably satisfies no constituency — not his right wing base, not the political opposition, not the Chinese nor the Koreans. If the US government has any qualms about it, it is keeping them to itself.

But Abe did invoke the four key words of the Murayama Statement— aggression, colonialism, apology, remorse — even if not in first person declaratory sentences. And he did not say anything so outrageous as to make an angry response unavoidable. In this sense Abe dodged a bullet.

If China and South Korea want to improve relations with Japan, the statement gives them enough to work with — it shows appreciation to the Chinese for the magnanimity they showed to Japanese civilians caught up in the war in China, and sympathy for the Chinese victims of the war. It refers to the ill treatment of women — in lukewarm language to be sure, but better than saying nothing. The influence of the prime minister’s advisory panel led by Professor Shinichi Kitaoka is evident throughout the statement, including its admission that Japan fought a wrong war and that political parties were too weak to control the military.

Abe did try to make the case that Japan went down the road it did because the Great Depression and the trade policies of the western countries were strangling the Japanese economy. This implies that in the end going to war was a defensive action.

But at least he didn’t say what the right wing believes and what was best stated by the previous emperor Hirohito in his radio address accepting the surrender terms of the Potsdam Declaration: ‘we cannot [help] but express the deepest sense of regret to our allied nations of East Asia, who have consistently cooperated with the Empire toward the emancipation of East Asia’.

Abe referenced the Russo–Japanese war as an inspiration for anti-colonial movements from Asia to Africa, which is entirely true. But he did not pay homage to the right-wing view that Japan’s Greater East Asia War had anything to do with liberating Asian countries from western colonialism. Unfortunately and worryingly, in contrast to the expressions of compassion for Chinese victims of the war, he had virtually nothing to say about the Korean victims of harsh Japanese colonial rule.

It is disappointing that he did not say something about what needs to be done now so that future generations are not ‘predestined’ to engage in unending apologies as he put it. The only way to end demands for apology is for the current generation to apologise in so convincing a manner that attacks on Japan’s lack of repentance lose all credibility.

This is not likely to happen as right-wing self-defined defenders of Japanese national pride can be counted on to find a way to provide ammunition for Chinese and Koreans to continue to demand apologies. He also could have used a better writer or a more skilled editor. He could have said what he said in half as many words and have had more of an impact that way. The statement is painfully repetitive and tedious.

The statement in a certain sense reflects the strength of Japan’s democracy. Abe would not have issued this statement if he were unafraid of how the public and the media would react had he given one more in line with the views of the Liberal Democratic Party’s right wing — views he himself has expressed repeatedly in the past. This statement probably won’t help his poll numbers but it is unlikely to hurt them either. It is a wash. And that is probably true for its impact on relations with China and South Korea as well.

Prime Minister of Japan’s Schedule August 3-9, 2015

Monday, August 3, 2015

AM

12:00 At private residence (no visitors)
09:01 Depart from private residence
09:14 Arrive at office
09:28 Meet with Director of Cabinet Intelligence Kitamura Shigeru
09:42 End meeting with Mr. Kitamura
11:45 Receive courtesy call from a delegation led by President of the Chamber of Deputies of the Parliament of the Czech Republic Jan Hamacek

11:59 Courtesy call ends

PM
12:01 Ruling Party Liaison Conference
12:29 Conference ends
12:39 Meet with Minister in charge of TPP Amari Akira, Deputy Chief Negotiator of Government Headquarters for TPP Oe Hiroshi, Councilor of Cabinet Secretariat Shibuya Kazuhisa. Chief Cabinet Secretary Suga Yoshihide also attends
1:14 End meeting with Mr. Amari, Mr. Oe and Mr. Shibuya
2:34 Meet with new Eastern Army Commander of the Japanese Ground Self Defense Force Moriyama Naotada, former Eastern Army Commander of the Japanese Ground Self Defense Force Isobe, new Commander in Chief of the Self Defense Fleet Shigeoka Yasuhiro and former Commander in Chief of the Self Defense Fleet Funada Eiichi, and colleagues
2:42 End meeting with Mr. Moriyama, Mr. Isobe, Mr. Shigeoka and Mr. Funada
2:53 Receive courtesy call from the 54th group of junior reporters from Okinawa and the 32nd group of junior reporters from Hakodate
3:17 Courtesy call ends
3:40 Meet with State Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry Takagi Yosuke
4:18 End meeting with Mr. Takagi
4:46 Depart from office
4:50 Arrive at LDP Party Headquarters
5:02 LDP officers meeting
5:14 Meeting ends
5:19 LDP Election Strategy Headquarters meeting
5:38 Meeting ends
5:41 Depart from LDP Party Headquarters
5:45 Arrive at office
6:35 Welcome Prime Minister of the Italian Republic Matteo Renzi. Take commemorative photos
6:37 attend ceremony by the guard of honor
6:44 ceremony ends
6:46 Attend Japan-Italy Summit Meeting with Mr. Renzi
7:29 Meeting ends
7:32 Joint Press Release
7:51 Joint Press Release ends
7:52 Depart from office
7:53 Arrive at official residence
7:55 Banquet hosted by Prime Minister Abe and his wife
9:22 Banquet ends
9:27 Give a send-off to Mr. Renzi and his wife
9:28 Send-off ends

Tuesday, August 4, 2015
AM
12:00 At official residence (no visitors)
07:08 Depart from official residence
07:09 Arrive at office
07:17 Meet with Deputy Chief Cabinet Secretary Seko Hiroshige
08:27 End meeting with Mr. Seko
08:30 Cabinet Meeting
08:36 Meeting ends
08:40 Meet with Deputy Chief Cabinet Secretary Seko Hiroshige
08:47 End meeting with Mr. Seko
08:53 Depart from office
08:55 Arrive at Diet
08:57 At Upper House Committee Room No. 1
08:58 Meet with Minister of Defense Nakatani Gen
08:59 End meeting with Mr. Nakatani
09:01 Meeting of Special Committee of the House of Councillors on the Legislation for Peace and Security of Japan and the International Community opens
11:53 Meeting recesses
11:54 Exit Upper House Committee Room No.1
11:56 Depart from Diet
11:58 Arrive at office

PM
12:43 Meet with Mayor of Shimonoseki City (Yamaguchi Prefecture) Nakao Tomoaki and colleagues
12:53 End meeting with Mr. Nakao
12:54 Depart from office
12:56 Arrive at Diet
12:58 At Upper House Committee Room No. 1
01:00 Meeting of Special Committee of the House of Councillor on the Legislation for Peace and Security of Japan and the International Community recommences
05:22 Meeting adjourns
05:23 Exit Upper House Committee Room No. 1
05:24 Depart from Diet
05:26 Arrive at office
05:53 Receive courtesy call from OBON 2015. Minister of Health, Labour and Welfare Shiozaki Yasuhisa also attends
06:11 Courtesy call ends
06:12 Minister of Foreign Affairs Kishida Fumio and MOFA’s Director-General of Asian and Oceanian Affairs Bureau Ihara Junichi enter
06:31 Mr. Ihara leaves
06:44 Mr. Kishida leaves
06:53 Depart from office
07:03 Arrive at Chinese restaurant Turandot Garyukyo at Akasaka. Dinner with secretaries.
08:50 Depart from restaurant
09:06 Arrive at private residence

Wednesday, August 5, 2015
AM
12:00 At private residence (no visitors)
08:01 Depart from private residence
08:13 Arrive at office
08:30 Phone conference with Vice-President of the United States Joe Biden. Chief Cabinet Secretary Suga Yoshihide, Deputy Chief Cabinet Secretary Kato Katsunobu, Deputy Chief Cabinet Secretary Seko Hiroshige, Director of National Security Council Yachi Shotaro and Director of Cabinet Intelligence Kitamura Shigeru also attend
09:00 End phone conference with Mr. Biden
09:12 Meet with Special Advisor to the Prime Minister Kimura Taro
09:16 End meeting with Mr. Kimura
09:17 Meet with LDP Secretary-General Tanigaki Sadakazu
09:51 End meeting with Mr. Tanigaki
10:01 Meet with Chairman of LDP General Council Nikai Toshihiro
10:42 End meeting with Mr. Nikai
10:43 Meet with Governor of Mie Prefecture Suzuki Eikei
10:59 End meeting with Mr. Suzuki
11:00 Meet with new Superintendent General of Metropolitan Police Takahashi Kiyotaka and former Superintendent General of Metropolitan Police Takatsuna Naoyoshi
11:05 End meeting with Mr. Takahashi and Mr. Takatsuna
10:06 Meet with new Vice-Minister of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology Tsuchiya Sadayuki, former Vice-Minister of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology Yamanaka Shinichi and Administrative Vice-Minister of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology Todani Kazuo
10:10 End meeting with Mr. Tsuchiya, Mr. Yamanaka and Mr. Todani
11:13 Director of National Security Council Yachi Shotaro, Director of Cabinet Intelligence Kitamura Shigeru and Ministry of Defense’s Director of Defense Intelligence Headquarters Miyakawa Tadashi enter
11:22 Mr. Yachi and Mr. Miyakawa leave
11:38 Mr. Kitamura leave
11:42 Meet with Special Advisor to President of LDP Hagiuda Koichi and LDP Lower House member Miyagoshi Mitsuhiro and colleagues
11:56 End meeting with Mr. Hagiuda and Mr. Miyagoshi

PM
01:12 Meet with LDP’s Chairman of Party Organization and Campaign Headquarters Tanaka Kazunori, and LDP’s Director of Local Organization and Local Assembly Members Division Akiba Kenya, and colleagues
01:44 End meeting with Mr. Tanaka and Mr. Akiba
01:34 Meet with LDP Lower House member Kawai Katsuyuki
01:56 End meeting with Mr. Kawai
03:05 Record message for Yahoo’s project on 70th anniversary of end of WWII
03:14 End recording
03:48 Receive courtesy call from Speaker of the House of Commons of the United Kingdom John Bercow
04:18 Courtesy call ends
04:41 Depart from office
05:11 Arrive at Haneda Airport
05:45 Depart from Haneda Airport by Flight 683, All Nippon Airways
06:44 Arrive at Hiroshima Airport
06:55 Depart from Hiroshima Airport
07:47 Arrive at Grand Prince Hotel Hiroshima in Hiroshima City
07:58 Dinner with secretaries and office staff in hotel
09:02 Dinner ends

Thursday, August 6, 2015

AM
12:00 At Grand Prince Hotel Hiroshima in Hiroshima City (no visitors)
07:39 Depart from hotel
07:50 Arrive at Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park in Naka Ward, Hiroshima City
08:00 Attend the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Ceremony, offer flowers in tribute, and deliver speech
08:53 Leave ceremony
08:57 Depart from Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park
09:04 Arrive at Rihga Royal Hotel Hiroshima in Naka Ward, Hiroshima City
09:30 Attend meeting to listen to requests by representatives of atomic bomb survivors
10:15 Meeting ends
10:20 Press conference at hotel
10:30 Press conference ends
10:41 Depart from hotel
11:27 Arrive at Hiroshima Airport
11:54 Depart from Hiroshima Airport by Flight 256, Japan Airlines

PM
01:04 Arrive at Haneda Airport
01:19 Depart from Haneda Airport
01:45 Arrive at office
01:57 Meet with LDP Vice-President Komura Masahiko
02:33 End meeting with Mr. Komura
02:55 Meet with Chairperson of LDP Policy Research Council Inada Tomomi
03:31 End meeting with Ms. Inada
03:41 Receive National Personnel Authority (NPA) Recommendation from President of the NPA Ichimiya Nahomi. Minister in charge of Civil Service Reform Arimura Haruko, Chief Cabinet Secretary Suga Yoshihide and Director-General for Cabinet Bureau of Personnel Affairs Kato Katsunobu also attend
03:48 End meeting with Ms. Ichimiya
04:31 Receive Report of the Advisory Panel on the History of the 20th Century and on Japan’s Role and the World Order in the 21st Century from Chairman of the Advisory Panel Nishimuro Taizo
04:39 Finish reception
04:48 Meet with Minister of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism Ohta Akihiro
05:56 End meeting with Mr. Ohta
05:57 Meet with Minister in charge of TPP Amari Akira
06:15 End meeting with Mr. Amari
06:16 Meet with Minister of Internal Affairs and Communications Takaichi Sanae
06:53 End meeting with Ms. Takaichi
07:02 Depart from office
07:09 Arrive at hotel Andaz Tokyo in Toranomon. Dinner with Director of Cabinet Intelligence Kitamura Shigeru, Vice-Minister of Finance Tanaka Kazuho and MOFA’s Director-General of European Affairs Bureau Hayashi Hajime at restaurant Andaz Tavern inside hotel.
09:06 Depart from hotel
09:23 Arrive at private residence

The Week Ahead in Washington - Late August 2015

AGAIN, WE ARE OPPOSED TO MEETINGS IN AUGUST.

PROMOTING NUCLEAR SAFETY COOPERATION IN NORTHEAST ASIA. 8/25, Noon-1:30pm. Sponsor: East-West Center in Washington. Speaker: Dr. James E. Platte, Non-Resident Sasakawa Peace Foundation Fellow, Pacific Forum, CSIS.

WHAT NEXT FOR IRAN AFTER THE NUCLEAR DEAL? 8/25, 6:30-8:30pm. Sponsor: Project for the Study of the 21st Century (PS21). Speakers: Ariane Tabatabai: Visiting Assistant Professor, Security Studies Program at Georgetown University; Kelsey Davenport: Director for Nonproliferation Policy, Arms Control Association; Reza Akbari: Senior Program Officer, Institute for War and Peace Reporting; Sam Cutler, Policy Advisor, Ferrari & Associates, P.C.

THE NEW ICE CURTAIN: RUSSIA'S STRATEGIC REACH TO THE ARCTIC. 8/27, 10:00-11:30am. Sponsor: European Program, CSIS. Speakers: Dr. Marlène Laruelle, Research Professor of International Affairs, George Washington University; Steven Lee Myers, Correspondent, The New York Times.

THE 2015 GLOBAL AGENDA FOR ECONOMIC FREEDOM. 8/27, 11:00am-Noon. Sponsor: Heritage Foundation. Speakers: Grant D. Aldonas, Former Undersecretary for International Trade, U.S. Department of Commerce (2001-2005); James M. Roberts, Research Fellow For Economic Freedom and Growth, Center for Trade and Economics, Heritage Foundation; William T. Wilson, Ph.D., Senior Research Fellow, Asian Studies Center, Heritage Foundation.

JAPAN’S ASSISTANCE FOR FRAGILE STATES: POTENTIAL FOR US-JAPAN COOPERATION. 9/3, 10:00-11:30am. Sponsor: Stimson Center. Speakers: Kazuto Tsuruga, Professor, Osaka University; Kazuo Tase, Director, Global Strategy Office, Deloitte Tohmatsu Consulting.

Thursday, August 20, 2015

Prime Minister of Japan’s Schedule July 27-August 2, 2015

Monday, July 27, 2015
AM
12:00 At private residence (no visitors)
08:00 At private residence (no visitors)
09:31 Depart from private residence
09:43 Arrive at office
10:00 Meet with Deputy Chief Cabinet Secretary Seko Hiroshige
11:05 End meeting with Mr. Seko

PM
12:53 Depart from office
12:54 Arrive at Diet
12:56 Enter Reception Room of the House of Councilors
12:57 Leave room. Enter Chamber of the House of Councilors
12:58 Speak with Minister of Defense Nakatani Gen
12:59 Finish speaking with Mr. Nakatani
01:01 Upper House Plenary Session opens
03:19 Upper House Plenary Session adjourns
03:20 Leave Chamber of the House of Councilors
03:21 Depart from Diet
03:23 Arrive at office
03:38 Meet with Senior Vice-Minister for Foreign Affairs Nakayama Yasuhide
03:53 End meeting with Mr. Nakayama
04:05 Meet with Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan’s Director-General of Disarmament, Non-Proliferation and Science Department Hikihara Takeshi, and colleagues
04:28 Director of the National Security Council Yachi Shotaro, Director of Cabinet Intelligence Kitamura Shigeru, and Deputy Director-General of Public Security Intelligence Agency Sugiyama Haruki enter
04:43 Mr. Yachi and Mr. Sugiyama leave
04:57 Mr. Kitamura leave
04:58 Depart from office
04:59 Arrive at Diet
05:01 Enter LDP President’s Office
05:02 Attend the meeting of LDP executives
05:16 Meeting ends
05:48 Leave LDP President’s Office
05:49 Depart from Diet
05:51 Arrive at office
06:08 Meet with Administrative Vice Minister of Finance Tanaka Kazuho, Vice Minister of Finance for International Affairs Asakawa Masatsugu, and Director-General of the International Bureau Momma Daikichi
06:21 End meeting with Mr. Tanaka, Mr. Asakawa and Mr. Momma
06:31 Depart from office
06:32 Arrive at official residence

Tuesday, July 28, 2015
AM
12:00 At official residence (no visitors)
07:01 Depart from official residence
07:02 Arrive at office
07:07 Meet with Deputy Chief Cabinet Secretary Seko Hiroshige
08:21 End meeting with Mr. Seko
08:25 Cabinet meeting
08:37 Meeting ends
08:53 Depart from official residence
08:54 Arrive at Diet
08:56 Enter Committee Room No.1 of the House of Councilors
09:02 Attend a meeting of the Special Committee of the House of Councilors on the Legislation for Peace and Security of Japan and the International Community
11:54 The Special Committee recesses
11:56 Leave Committee Room No.1. Enter Prime Minister’s Room

PM
12:06 Leave Prime Minister’s Room
12:07 Enter Chamber of the House of Representatives
12:08 Speak with Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of Finance Aso Taro, Chairman of LDP General Council Nikai Toshihiro
12:09 Finish speaking with Mr. Aso and Mr. Nikai
12:10 Speak with Minister of State for Okinawa and Northern Territories Affairs Yamaguchi Shunichi
12:11 Finish speaking with Mr. Yamaguchi
12:12 Lower House Plenary Session opens
12:17 Lower House Plenary Session adjourns
12:18 Leave Chamber of the House of Representatives. Depart from Diet
12:20 Arrive office
12:54 Depart from office
12:55 Arrive at Diet
12:57 Enter Committee Room No.1 of the House of Councilors
01:00 The meeting of the Special Committee of the House of Councilors on the Legislation for Peace and Security of Japan and the International Community reopens
05:16 Meeting adjourns
05:17 Leave Committee Room No.1 of the House of Councilors
05:19 Depart from Diet
05:21 Arrive at office
05:38 Receive a proposal from the Special Mission Committee for the Restoration of the Honor and Credibility of Japan of LDP
05:57 Finish receiving the proposal
06:00 Meeting with Chairman of LDP General Council Nikai Toshihiro
06:17 End meeting with Mr. Nikai
06:26 Depart from office
06:34 Arrive at restaurant Akasaka Tsutsui in Akasaka, Tokyo. Dinner meeting with Senior Vice-Minister for Cabinet Office Nishimura Yasutoshi, Special Advisor to the Prime Minister Isozaki Yosuke, [Abe aide draws flak over comments on security bills that they do not have to be consistent with the Constitution]
LDP Lower House member Akiba Kenya, and colleagues
08:32 Depart from restaurant
09:00 Arrive at private residence

Wednesday, July 29, 2015
AM
12:00 At private residence (no visitors)
07:16 Depart from private residence
07:28 Arrive at official residence
07:36 Meet with Deputy Chief Cabinet Secretary Seko Hiroshige
08:50 End meeting with Mr. Seko
08:54 Depart from office
08:55 Arrive at Diet
08:57 Enter Committee Room No.1 of the House of Councilors
08:58 Speak with Minister for Foreign Affairs Kishida Fumio, Minister of Defense Nakatani Gen
08:59 Finish speaking with Mr. Kishida and Mr. Nakatani
09:00 Attend a meeting of the Special Committee of the House of Councilors on the Legislation for Peace and Security of Japan and the International Community
11:52 The Special Committee recesses
11:53 Leave Committee Room No.1 of the House of Councilors
11:55 Depart from Diet
11:56 Arrive at official residence

PM
12:54 Depart from office
12:56 Arrive at Diet
12:58 Enter Committee Room No.1 of the House of Councilors
01:00 The meeting of the Special Committee of the House of Councilors on the Legislation for Peace and Security of Japan and the International Community reopens
05:15 Meeting adjourns
05:16 Leave Committee Room No.1 of the House of Councilors
05:18 Depart from Diet
05:20 Arrive at official residence
05:36 Meeting with Director of Cabinet Intelligence Kitamura Shigeru
05:43 End meeting with Mr. Kitamura
05:45 Meet with Minister for Internal Affairs and Communications Takaichi Sanae
06:06 End meeting with Ms. Takaichi
06:29 Depart from office
06:30 Arrive at official residence

Thursday, July 30, 2015
AM
12:00 At official residence (no visitors)
07:16 Depart from official residence
07:17 Arrive at office
07:27 Meet with Deputy Chief Cabinet Secretary Seko Hiroshige
08:44 End meeting with Mr. Seko
08:54 Depart from office
08:55 Arrive at Diet
08:57 Enter Committee Room No.1 of the House of Councilors
09:01 Attend a meeting of the Special Committee of the House of Councilors on the Legislation for Peace and Security of Japan and the International Community
11:15 The Special Committee recesses
11:18 Speak with Minister of Defense Nakatani Gen
11:19 Finishing speak with Mr. Nakatani
11:26 The meeting of the Special Committee of the House of Councilors on the Legislation for Peace and Security of Japan and the International Community reopens
11:48 The Special Committee recesses
11:51 Leave Committee Room No.1 of the House of Councilors. Depart from Diet
11:52 Arrive at office

PM
12:01 Receive a courtesy call from Governor of Fukushima Prefecture Uchibori Masao, the Miss Peach Ladies and others
12:05 Courtesy call ends
12:54 Depart from office
12:56 Arrive at Diet
12:57 Enter Committee Room No.1 of the House of Councilors
01:00 The meeting of the Special Committee of the House of Councilors on the Legislation for Peace and Security of Japan and the International Community reopens
05:36 The meeting adjourns
05:38 Depart from Diet
05:40 Arrive at official residence
05:51 Receive a courtesy call from Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Socialist Republic of Viet Nam Pham Binh Minh
06:05 Courtesy call ends
06:06 Meet with Director-General of LDP Election Strategy Committee Modeki Toshimitsu. Chief Cabinet Secretary Suga Yoshihide, also attends
06:40 End meeting with Mr. Modeki and Mr. Suga
06:46 Depart from office
06:54 Arrive at Hotel Toranomon, Tokyo. Attend a party hosted by LDP Member of Lower House, Kawamura Takeo, deliver address
07:02 Depart hotel
07:12 Arrive at Hotel New Otani in Kioicho,Tokyo. Dinner meeting with chairman of Keidanren (Japan Business Federation) Sakakibara Sadayuki; Chairman of Keizai Doyukai (Japan Association of Corporate Executives) Kobayashi Yoshimitsu; Honorary Chairman of Toyota Motor Corporation Cho Fujio; Chairman of the Board of Mitsubishi Corporation Kojima Yorihiko
09:00 Depart from hotel
09:20 Arrive at private residence

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

The Week Ahead in Washington - mid August

It is summer. Congress is in recess and the President is on vacation. No one should be in DC, let alone hold a policy program. Something is wrong with the people below.

NAVAL AVIATION. 8/12, 9:00-10:00am. Sponsor: International Security Program, CSIS. Speakers: Lieutenant General Jon Davis, USMC, Deputy Commandant for Aviation, Headquarters Marine Corps; Vice Admiral Mike Shoemaker, USN, Commander, Naval Air Forces, Commander, Naval Air Force, U.S. Pacific Fleet.

THAILAND AND THE CHANGING GEOPOLITICAL DYNAMICS OF SOUTHEAST ASIA. 8/12, 10:00-11:30am. Sponsor: Carnegie Endowment. Speakers: Nobuhiro Aizawa, Associate Professor, Kyushu University; Abigail Friedman, Founder and CEO, Wisteria Group; James L. Schoff, Senior Associate, Asia Program, Carnegie.

UNDERSTANDING THE IRAN DEAL WITH Dr. Ernest Moniz, US Secretary of Energy. 8/13 at 2 PM EST. LIVE WEBCAST. Sponsors: Jewish Federations from across North America and the Jewish Council for Public Affairs. Register for this event HERE.​

THE IRAN DEAL: KEY ISSUES AND CONTROVERSIES. 8/13, 2:00-3:00pm. Sponsor: Center for Strategic and International Studies. Speakers: Dr. Colin Kahl, Deputy Assistant to the President and National Security Adviser to the Vice President; Jon Wolfsthal, Senior Director for Arms Control and Non-proliferation, National Security Council; Chris Backemeyer, Deputy Coordinator for Sanctions Policy, U.S. Department of State; Moderated by: Dr. Anthony H. Cordesman, Arleigh A. Burke Chair in Strategy, Center for Strategic and International Studies.


THE LAST TEAR. 8/15, 1:00- 4:00pm. Sponsor: US-Korea Institute at SAIS and Fading Away LLC. A documentary film by Christopher H.K. Lee about Korea's Comfort Women. The screening will be followed by Q&A with the director and a reception.This event is free and open to the public. Please RESERVE HERE.

DEFENSE ECONOMY AND AMERICAN PROSPERITY. 8/17, 10:30am-Noon. Sponsor: Brookings Institution. Speakers: Ben S. Bernanke, Distinguished Fellow in Residence, Brookings; Mark Muro, Senior Fellow and Policy Director, Metropolitan Policy Program, Brookings.

ASSESSING JAPAN-REPUBLIC OF KOREA RELATIONS AFTER PRIME MINISTER ABE'S ANNIVERSARY STATEMENT. 8/18, 10:00-11:30am. Sponsor: Heritage Foundation. Speakers: Michael J. Green, Senior Vice President for Asia and Japan Chair, Center for Strategic and International Studies' Evans J.R. Revere, Nonresident Senior Fellow, the Brookings Institution; Sheila A. Smith, Senior Fellow for Japan Studies, Council on Foreign Relations.

EXAMINING ARCTIC OPPORTUNITIES AND CAPABILITIES: DOES THE U.S. HAVE THE INFRASTRUCTURE, SHIPS, AND EQUIPMENT REQUIRED? 8/18, 1:30-3:30pm. Sponsor: Heritage Foundation. Speakers: Keynote Remarks by Admiral Robert J. Papp, Jr., USCG (Ret.) Special Representative for the Arctic, U.S. Department of State; H.E. Geir Haarde, Ambassador of Iceland to the United States and former Prime Minister; Isaac Edwards, Senior Counsel for Chairman Murkowski, U.S. Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources; Luke Coffey, Margaret Thatcher Fellow, Margaret Thatcher Center for Freedom, Heritage Foundation.

CHINA’S MISSILES AND THE IMPLICATIONS FOR THE UNITED STATES. 8/19, 10:00-11:30am. Sponsor: Hudson Institute. Speakers: Trey Obering, Director of Missile Defense Agency, Office of the Secretary of Defense; Dean Cheng, Research Fellow, Heritage; Mark Schneider, Senior Analyst, National Institute for Public Policy; Rebeccah Heinrichs, Adjunct Fellow, Hudson.

TAIWAN'S CHINA TANGLE. 8/20, 2:30-4:00pm, Sponsor: Stimson Center. Speaker: Dr. Tse-Kang Leng, Visiting Fellow with the Stimson Center's East Asia Program; Research Fellow at the Institute of Political Science of Academia Sinica (IPSAS) in Taiwan and Professor of Political Science at National Chengchi University.

WHAT NEXT FOR IRAN AFTER THE NUCLEAR DEAL? 8/25, 6:30-8:30pm. Sponsor: Project for the Study of the 21st Century (PS21). Speakers: Ariane Tabatabai: Visiting Assistant Professor, Security Studies Program at Georgetown University; Kelsey Davenport: Director for Nonproliferation Policy, Arms Control Association; Reza Akbari: Senior Program Officer, Institute for War and Peace Reporting Sam Cutler: Policy Advisor, Ferrari & Associates, P.C.; Moderator: Negar Razavi: PhD candidate, University of Pennsylvania and Global Fellow, PS21

Monday, August 10, 2015

Prime Minister of Japan’s Schedule July 20-26, 2015

Monday, July 20, 2015

AM

12:00 At private residence (no visitors)
09:11 Depart from private residence
09:23 Arrive at Capitol Hotel Tokyu. Attend Grand Opening Ceremony for Special Events in Commemoration of 20th Marine Day held in Tokyo, deliver a speech
09:59 Depart from hotel
10:18 Arrive at a shipyard of Tokyo Coast Guard Office
10:24 Board patrol vessel Matsunami with Commandant of Japan Coast Guard, Sato Yuji. Observe terrorist vessel capture drill, water spraying drill, and hoist rescue drill
11:46 Arrive at Yokohama Maritime Disaster Prevention Base. Encourage members of Japan Coast Guard
11:53 Lunch with Mr. Sato at patrol vessel Akitsushima

PM
12:40 Observe rescue drill and contamination containment drill. Visit Japan Coast Guard Museum Yokohama
01:28 Depart from Japan Coast Guard Museum Yokohama
01:30 Arrive at patrol vessel Akitsushima
01:38 Depart from patrol vessel Akisushima by helicopter
01:51 Arrive at office
01:55 Depart from office
02:09 Arrive at private residence
03:57 Depart from private residence
04:14 Arrive at Fuji Television in Daiba, Tokyo
04:52 Appear on news program
06:36 Depart from Fuji Television
07:02 Arrive at private residence
07:03 Dinner with Chairman of Ushio Inc. Ushio Jiro, LDP Lower House member Kishi Nobuo [Abe's brother] and other relatives
09:41 Dinner ends

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

AM

12:00 At private residence (no visitors)
08:42 Depart from private residence
08:55 Arrive at office
09:02 Cabinet meeting begins
09:10 Cabinet meeting ends
09:13 Attend the ninth meeting of Headquarters for Healthcare and Medical Strategy Promotion
09:23 Meeting ends
10:06 Depart from office
10:16 Arrive at Nippon TV in Higashi-shinbashi, Tokyo
10:30 News program recording
11:17 Recording ends
11:21 Depart from Nippon Television
11:31 Arrive at office

PM
01:00 Meet with representative director of Japan Community Broadcasting Association Tominaga Yoichi, and colleagues
01:10 End meeting with Mr. Tominaga and colleagues
01:43 Meet with LDP Upper House member Ejima Kiyoshi
01:53 End meeting with Mr. Ejima
02:15 Meet with Minister for Internal Affairs and Communications Takaichi Sanae
02:30 End meeting with Ms. Takaichi
02:31 Meet with Vice-Minister for Foreign Affairs Saiki Akitaka and Director-General of Intelligence and Analysis Service Oka Hiroshi
02:57 Mr. Oka leaves
03:01 Mr. Saiki leaves
03:42 Depart from office
03:52 Arrive at Hotel Grand Hyatt Tokyo. Attend a meeting of the Sports and Culture World Forum Public-Private Collaboration Implementation Committee, deliver address
04:10 Depart from hotel
04:20 Arrive at office
04:47 Attend the first meeting of Ministerial Council for Further Consideration of New National Stadium Construction Plan
04:55 Meeting ends
05:06 Attend a meeting of Ministerial Council on the Monthly Economic Report and Other Relative Issues
05:20 Meeting ends
05:31 Attend advisory panel on 70th anniversary statement of the end of World War II
05:58 Discussion ends
06:00 Meet with Director of National Security Council, Yachi Shotaro, and Vice-Minister for Foreign Affairs Saiki Akitaka
06:29 End meeting with Mr. Yachi and Mr. Saiki
06:38 Depart from office
06:39 Arrive at official residence. Host Dinner for members from the advisory panel
08:26 Give a send-off to panel members
08:27 Send-off ends

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

AM

12:00 At official residence (no visitors)
09:25 Depart from official residence
09:26 Arrive at office
09:36 Meet with LDP Lower House member Kawamura Takeo
10:03 End meeting with Kawamura Takeo
10:04 Meet with Head of National Security Council Yachi Shotaro, Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA)’s Director-General of Foreign Policy Bureau Hiramatsu Kenji, Ministry of Defense (MOD)’s Director-General of Defense Policy Bureau Kuroe Tetsuro, and Japan Self-Defense Forces’ (JSDF) chief of Joint Staff Kawano Katsutoshi
10:30 End meeting with Mr. Hiramatsu, Mr. Kuroe, and Mr. Kawano
10:52 End meeting with Mr. Yachi
11:13 Meet with Vice-Minister for Foreign Affairs Saiki Akitaka
11:58 End meeting with Mr. Saiki

PM
01:40 Meet with LDP Lower House member Kawai Katsuyuki
01:58 End meeting with Mr. Kawai
01:59 Meet with LDP Lower House member Imamura Masahiro. Special Adviser to Prime Minister Kimura Taro, also attends
02:23 Record video message for “World Assembly for Women in Tokyo: WAW! 2015”
02:34 Recording ends
02:38 Meet with Minister of State for Economic and Fiscal Policy Amari Akira, Vice-Minister of Cabinet office Matsuyama Kenji, Directors-General for Policy Planning Maekawa Mamoru, Habuka Shigeki and Tawa Hiroshi.
03:01 End meeting with Amari Akira, Matsuyama Kenji, Maekawa Mamoru, Habuka Shigeki and Tawa Hiroshi.
03:10 Meet with Vice Minister of Finance Tanaka Kazuho and Vice Minister of Finance for International Affairs Asakawa Masatsugu
03:35 End meeting with Mr. Tanaka and Mr. Asakawa
04:20 Meet with former president of Federation of Nikkei-jin Kai Philippines, Inc Carlos B. Teraoka and colleagues
04:36 End meeting with Mr. Teraoka
05:15 Attend 13th meeting in 2015 of the Council on Economic and Fiscal Policy
05:51 Meeting ends
06:31 Welcome Juan Orlando Hernández Alvarado, President of the Republic of Honduras. Take commemorative photos
06:41 Attend Japan-Honduras Summit Meeting with Mr. Alvarado
07:16 Meeting ends
07:19 Witness Signing Ceremony
07:21 Signing Ceremony ends
07:22 Joint Press Release
07:38 Joint Press Release ends
07:39 Depart from office
07:40 Arrive at official residence. Dinner meeting hosted by Prime Minister Abe and his wife
08:44 Give a send-off to Mr. Alvarado
08:46 Send-off ends

Thursday, July 23, 2015

AM

12:00 At official residence (no visitors)
08:27 Depart from Prime Minister’s Office
08:30 Arrive at Capitol Hotel Tokyu. Breakfast with Chairman Emeritus of Central Japan Railway Company Kasai Yoshiyuki at Japanese restaurant Suiren in the hotel
09:51 Depart form hotel
09:53 Arrive at office
09:54 Interview open to all media
10:08 Meet with State Minister in Charge of North Korea Abductions of Japanese Nationals Yamatani Eriko
10:44 End meeting with Ms. Yamatani
10:45 Meet with Cabinet Secretariat Fujii Satoshi
11:13 End meeting with Mr. Fujii
11:14 Meet with Special Adviser to Prime Minister Kimura Taro
11:24 End meeting with Mr. Kimura
11:30 Meet with Minister for Reconstruction Takeshita Wataru, Deputy Director-General of Reconstruction Agency Okamoto Masakatsu
11:52 Meet with Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of Finance Aso Taro and Director-General of Budget Bureau Fukuda Junichi

PM
12:02 Attend the Meeting of the Government and Ruling Parties on the FY2016 Guidelines for Budget Requests
12:10 Meeting ends
01:26 Meeting TPP Minister Amari Akira, Vice-Minister of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries Minagawa Yoshitsugu, Chief Domestic Coordination of the Governmental Headquarter for TPP Sasaki Toyonari, and Deputy Chief Negotiator for TPP Oe Hiroshi
02:06 End meeting with Mr. Amari, Mr. Minagawa, Mr. Sasaki, and Mr. Oe
02:07 Meeting of National Security Council. Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry Miyazawa Yoichi also attends
02:41 Meeting ends
02:42 Meet with Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance Aso Taro
02:52 End meeting with Mr. Aso
02:53 Meet with Minister in Charge of Tokyo 2020 Olympics Endo Toshiaki and Cabinet Secretariat Hirata Takeo
03:10 End meeting with Mr. Endo and Mr. Hirata
03:11 Meet with Eto Taku, Head of a Group for Protecting national interests in TPP, consisting of LDP Diet members who have reservations for TPP negotiation, and colleagues
03:28 End meeting with Mr. Eto and colleagues
03:35 Depart from office
03:42 Arrive at Nippon Broadcasting in Yurakucho, Tokyo
04:00 Appear on radio program
04:32 Radio program ends
04:34 Depart from Nippon Broadcasting
04:40 Arrive at office
05:23 Receive a courtesy call from a group of junior high school students who are third and fourth generation descendants of former inhabitants of the Northern Territories of Japan
05:32 Courtesy call ends
05:42 Attend the 14th meeting in 2015 of the Council on Economic and Fiscal Policy
06:09 Meeting ends
06:10 Meet with Vice-Minister for Foreign Affairs Saiki Akitaka, Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA)’s Director-General of Foreign Policy Bureau Hiramatsu Kenji
06:30 End meeting with Mr. Saiki and Mr. Hiramatsu
06:31 Depart from office
06:32 Arrive at Prime Minister’s official residence

Friday, July 24, 2015

AM

12:00 At official residence (no visitors)
08:45 Depart from official residence
08:46 Arrive at office
08:52 Attend the first meeting of the Headquarters for the Promotion of Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic Games
09:10 Meeting ends
09:16 Cabinet meeting
09:37 Meeting ends
09:38 Meet with former Secretary General of LDP Takebe Tsutomu
10:01 End meeting with Takebe Tsutomu
10:02 Receive a request from LDP on national resilience and related matters
10:21 Receiving ceremony ends
10:27 Meet with President of Japan-China Economic Association Muneoka Shoji and former President of Japan-China Economic Association Cho Fujio
10:57 End meeting with Mr. Muneoka and Mr. Cho
10:58 Meet with Vice-Minister for Foreign Affairs Saiki Akitaka and Director-General of Intelligence and Analysis Service Oka Hiroshi
11:39 End meeting with Mr. Saiki and Mr. Oka
11:40 Meet with CEO of African Development Bank Donald Kaberuka
11:51 End meeting with Mr. Kaberuka

PM
12:03 Meet with Secretary General of LDP Tanigaki Sadakazu
12:36 End meeting with Mr. Tanigaki
01:42 Meet with Director of Cabinet Intelligence Kitamura Shigeru
02:17 End meeting with Mr. Kitamura
02:18 Meet with Governor of Nagasaki Prefecture Nakamura Hodo
02:29 End meeting with Mr. Nakamura
02:32 Attend the 14th Meeting amongst Main Ministers on Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP)
02:42 Meeting ends
02:47 Meet with Head of the National Security Council Yachi Shotaro, Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA)’s Director-General of Foreign Policy Bureau Hiramatsu Kenji, Ministry of Defense (MOD)’s Director-General of Defense Policy Bureau Kuroe Tetsuro, MOD’s Director-General of Operation Policy Bureau Miyama Nobuaki and the Japan Self-Defense Forces’ (JSDF) chief of Joint Staff Kawano Katsutoshi
03:11 End meeting with Mr. Yachi, Mr. Hiramatsu, Mr. Kuroe, Mr. Miyama and Mr. Kawano
04:28 Depart from office
04:56 Arrive at temple Zenshoan. Zen meditation with LDP Lower House member Yamamoto Yuji
06:06 Depart from temple Zenshoan
06:37 Arrive at Hotel New Otani at in Kioicho, Tokyo. Dinner with actor Tsugawa Masahiko Tsugawa at Japanese restaurant Kyube in the hotel
09:27 Depart from hotel
09:48 Arrive at private residence

Saturday, July 25, 2015

AM

12:00 At private residence (no visitors)
11:59 At private residence (no morning visitors)
Stay at private residence throughout morning

PM
05:41 Depart from private residence
05:57 Arrive at official residence
06:09 Chairman of Policy Research Council of LDP Inada Tomomi enters the official residence
08:21 Ms. Inada leaves

Sunday, July 26, 2015

AM

12:00 At official residence (no visitors)
09:52 Depart from official residence
10:07 Arrive at Hotel Grand Pacific Le Daiba. Attend the 20th International Conference for Women in Business held at Banquet Hall in the hotel, deliver address, take commemorative photos
10:31 Depart from hotel
10:48 Arrive at Haneda Airport. Lunch with Executive Secretary to Prime Minister at a private room in Haneda Excel Hotel Tokyu

PM
12:17 Depart from Haneda Airport by Flight 3971, Japan Airlines
01:29 Arrive at Kitakyushu Airport
01:36 Depart from Kitakyushu Airport
02:48 Arrive at Michinoekiofuku, Mine City, Yamaguchi Prefecture. Buy soft serve ice cream
02:58 Depart from Michinoekiofuku
03:28 Arrive at cultural facility Raporuyya in Nagato City, Yamaguchi Prefecutre. Attend event “Agri-art Festival 2015”, deliver address
04:37 Depart from Raporuyuya
04:59 Arrive at Japanese bar Nagatohonjin. Dinner with Mayor of Nagato City Onishi Kurao and Executive Secretaries to Prime Minister
05:37 Depart from bar
06:52 Arrive at Yamaguchi Ube Airport
07:29 Depart from Yamaguchi Ube Airport by Flight 296, Japan Airlines
08:46 Arrive at Haneda Airport
08:58 Depart from Haneda Airport
09:24 Arrive at private residence

Provisional Translation by APP staff, Lu Pengqiao and Han Yanchu.