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Friday, January 23, 2015, 12:00 - 13:30

"The Ideas Industry" -- How Ideas are Translated into Policy in Tokyo and Washington
Kent E Calder
Director, The Edwin O. Reischauer Center for East Asian Studies,
School of Advanced International Studies, Johns Hopkins University

Yoshihide Soeya
Professor of Law Department, Director of KEIO Center for
Contemporary Korean Studies (KCCKS),
KEIO Institute of East Asian Studies

Language: The speech and Q & A will be in English

 January 2015 marks the 25th anniversary of the bursting of the Japanese real estate and stock market bubble. Perhaps the biggest casualty of that event has been the concept of "Japan Inc.," a land where super smart bureaucrats work in harmony with big business and politicians to bring forth policies that work. Now if Japan is mentioned at all it is in connection with “lost decades.” Japan’s leaders are widely viewed as lacking in new ideas.

 Kent Calder, director of the Reischauer Center at SAIS in Washington DC and former adviser to US Ambassador Tom Foley, has coordinated a multi-year international project titled the "Ideas Industry," the aim of which is to take a look at Tokyo, Washington and a number of other capitals to see how new ideas emerge and how these are translated into official policy.

 This research project should be of special interest to observers of Japan as it seeks to answer whether politicians really have taken over as initiators of new policies as was hoped when the new electoral system was introduced in 1993, allowing politicians to run on platforms in single seat constituencies and not against members of their own party in large multi-candidate districts. Did Japan’s most recent election fulfill those expectations and if not why not? Another question the project asks concerns the role think tanks. Washington is full of them but Tokyo has few. Has this made a difference? What about the media? Does the closeness of the Japanese media to power make it a conduit for ideas?

 Author of scores of articles and more than a dozen books on Japan and Asia, Calder will also talk about his most recent publication "Asia in Washington" (Brookings Institution Press 2014) about lobbying and advocacy by Asian countries and non-state actors in DC.

 Please reserve in advance, 3211-3161 or on the website(still & TV cameras inclusive). The charge for members/members' guest is 1,750/2,700 yen; non-members including guest-members eligible to attend may pay in cash. (Menu: sauteed salmon with lemon butter.) Reservations canceled less than one hour in advance for working press members, and 24 hours for all others, will be charged in full. Reservations and cancellations are not complete without confirmation. For meal service, please enter the room by 12:25.                                                    

Professional Activities Committee


 Jan 23 15 PL Kento E Calder  Edwin O Reischauer018Jan 23 15 PL Kento E Calder  Edwin O Reischauer035

 Kento E Calder                   Yoshihide Soeya

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