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Previous Events at the East-West Center in Washington


Dr. Peter Petri (left) and Dr. Michael Plummer (right) co-authored a publication in the East West Center Policy Studies series entitled ASEAN Centrality and the ASEAN-US Economic Relationship.April 10 Event: ASEAN Centrality and the ASEAN-US Economic Relationship

The Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) is strategically significant because of its size, dynamism, and role in the Asian economic and security architectures. How ASEAN seeks to strengthen these assets through "centrality" in intraregional and external policy decisions is examined in depth by Dr. Peter Petri and Dr. Michael Plummer in the latest issue of the East-West Center Policy Studies series. In a special launch program at the East-West Center in Washington, both authors discussed their research and recommendations on how ASEAN can use this approach to benefit all member economies. Read more...


Congressman Ed Royce, Chairman of the House Committee on Foreign Affairs, giving remarks at the event.April 9 Event: Special Event: ASEAN Matters For America

The latest edition of the ASEAN Matters for America/America Matters for ASEAN publication was launched on April 9th with an event on Capitol Hill in Washington. Produced jointly by the East-West Center in Washington, the US-ASEAN Business Council and the Institute of Southeast Asian Studies, ASEAN Matters highlights all aspects of the US-ASEAN relationship, including analysis of trade and investment levels, mutual travel and tourism rates, student exchanges, and security alliances, among other things. The publication highlights state- and congressional district-level facts and figures to illustrate the importance of the relationship on a local level. Read more...


Pictured here left to right: Mr. Khalid Khan Kheshgi, Mr. Riaz Burki, Mr. Jeeyand Kashif Sajidi, and Dr. Marvin Weinbaum (Discussant).April 7 Event: Pakistani Journalists' Perspectives on Post-US Afghanistan: Implications for Pakistan

When the United States draws down its presence after over a decade in Afghanistan, the effects will not stop at the border. In a special panel discussion on their visit to the US, participants in the East-West Center’s United States-Pakistan Journalist Exchange Program shared their insights on how neighboring Pakistan will be affected by this change. Issues discussed included the status of Afghan refugees in Pakistan, the impact on the border regions of FATA and Balochistan, and Pakistan government’s relationship with Afghanistan. Read more...


Dr. Daya Thussu discusses his book, Communicating India’s Soft Power: Buddha to Bollywood, at the East-West Center in WashingtonApril 3 Event: Communicating India’s Soft Power: Buddha to Bollywood

The notion of Soft Power, associated with the work of Joseph Nye, is defined, simply, as “the ability to attract people to our side without coercion.” Though Nye’s focus remains primarily on the United States, the concept has been adopted or adapted by countries around the world as an increasingly visible component of foreign policy strategy. Focusing on the Indian case, Dr. Daya Thussu reviewed the contribution that an old civilization like India can have on the discourse of soft power. In his talk at the East-West Center on his new book, Communicating India’s Soft Power: Buddha to Bollywood, he examined how the country has made itself attractive, drawing on its democratic, demographic and diasporic resources. Read more...


In his talk at the East-West Center, Dr. Tsutomu Kikuchi shared his expertise on Japan's engagement with ASEAN, and why it has taken on greater priority in Tokyo policy circles.March 20 Event: Japan is Back: Tokyo’s Reengagement with Southeast Asia

Since the 1970s, Japan has established close and cooperative relations with the ASEAN countries in both economic and political areas. Encouraged by recent grave economic and strategic transformations of Asia, Japan is “re-discovering” the importance of Southeast Asia in its economic and security policies. This was clearly demonstrated by Prime Minister Shinzo Abe visits to all the capitals of the ASEAN member countries within one year since his return to office in late 2012. Dr. Tsutomu Kikuchi addressed the background of Japan’s current policy and explained the challenges and tasks facing Japan in its approach to Southeast Asia. Read more...


East-West Center in Washington Director, Dr. Satu Limaye (right), and Dr. Madoka Fukuda, listen as their colleagues take a question from the floor. Dr. Fukuda and Mr Chihiro Okawa (not pictured) presented their respective research as part of the inaugural year of the "Young Japanese Scholars/Experts Overseas Deployment Program."March 10 Event: Young Japanese Scholars Program: New Views on Politics and Policy from Tokyo to Taiwan

Open communication and the exchange of ideas is a key component of both US-Japan relationship and the Young Japanese Scholars/Experts Overseas Deployment Program. Project advisor Dr. Toshihiro Nakayama, professor at Aoyama Gakuin University, described the "thrust of this program" as to provide new Japanese scholars the skills they need to participate and share ideas in global forums. Two participants in this SPF-sponsored initiative, which is also designed to provide opportunities for international dialogue to a new generation, presented their research on contemporary Japanese policy... Read more...


Dr. Stephen Blank (left) explained how a convergence of mutual needs and shared risks have spurred bilateral efforts for a Russo-Japan rapprochement as discussant Hirohisa Mori looks on.March 7 Event: Beyond the Kuriles: New Trends in Russo-Japanese Relations

Russo-Japanese relations are undergoing a fresh rejuvenation. Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's visit to Sochi underscores his determination to end what he calls the "abnormal" situation, wherein Japan and Russia still have no peace treaty 69 years after the end of World War II. Beyond this fact and the associated territorial issues connected with the Kurile Islands seized by Moscow in 1945, both sides have ample economic and security reasons for getting together. In this presentation at the East-West Center in Washington, Dr. Stephen Blank outlined the latest developments in Russo-Japanese relations in both the economic and security spheres... Read more...


In his talk at the East-West Center in Washington, Dr. Nobuhiro Aizawa, a researcher at the Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO), sought to explain Japan's expanding strategic interest in Southeast Asia, beyond its historical development activities.March 5 Event: Japan's Evolving Relationship with Southeast Asia: Prospects for US-Japan Cooperation

While renewed and expanded engagement with Southeast Asia is a core element of the United States’ rebalance towards Asia, it is not alone in pursuing a strategy of reengagement with this dynamic region. Japan has long been involved in Southeast Asia, with a decades-long track record of overseas development assistance (ODA) and trade and investment. Recently however, Tokyo has taken steps to cultivate and strengthen strategic ties with the region as well. In his talk at the East-West Center in Washington, Dr. Nobuhiro Aizawa explained Japan's evolving relations with Southeast Asia, particularly from the strategic perspective. Read more...


Director of South Asia Programs and Kraemer Strategy Fellow at the American Foreign Policy Council, Jeff M. Smith, explained the complex relationship between India and China in his book talk at the East-West Center in Washington.February 20 Event: Cold Peace: China-India Rivalry in the 21st Century

Mr. Jeff M. Smith launched his latest book, Cold Peace: China–India Rivalry in the Twenty-First Century (Lexington Books, 2014) at the East-West Center in Washington. Through rare and unique field research from the disputed China–India border in the Himalayas to the Andaman and Nicobar Islands; and over 100 interviews with experts, government officials, and military officers in India, China, and the United States, the book seeks to unravel the complex layers of the contemporary China–India rivalry. In his talk, Smith shared some of his insights into what is fast becoming one of the most important relationships in Asia and the world at large. Read more...


Dr. Yoichiro Sato shared the perspective of 'an average Japanese citizen' on the Yasukuni Shrine controversies at the East-West Center in WashingtonFebruary 7 Event: The Yasukuni Puzzle: Why the United States Should Not Buy into the Narrative of Japan's Rightward Drift

Japanese Prime Minister Abe Shinzo's late December visit to the Yasukuni Shrine invited criticism from China, Korea, and the United States. The shrine, long considered a resting place for Japan’s war dead, became controversial after Class A war criminals were included among the interred in the post-war years. Therefore visits by Japanese government officials raise fears among some in the region of a tacit official reverence for Japan’s militant past. Hoping to share the perspective of the average Japanese citizen, Dr. Yoichiro Sato argued that attributing Abe's visit to an ultranationalist foreign policy with broad public support is a gross misinterpretation... Read more...


Dr. Christopher Yung explained the methodology and some of the analysis that has come from his year-long project to create a database of the actions taken by countries to assert their claims in the South China Sea.January 28 Event: Claimant Tactics in the South China Sea

For the past year the Institute for National Strategic Studies (INSS) at the National Defense University has been involved in a study to comprehensively collect the actions and tactics being undertaken by the countries with territorial claims in the South China Sea. In this year-long study, Dr. Christopher Yung, and Patrick McNulty, a research assistant at INSS, collected all open press reports of these activities involving China, Vietnam, the Philippines, Taiwan, Malaysia, and Brunei in the South China Sea, creating a comprehensive database. From this data, various patterns are analyzed and conclusions reached; including which tactics are most often utilized by the claimant countries, which country uses the greatest number of methods and total number of actions to advance its claims, and which countries resort the most (and the least) to the use of military and paramilitary actions... Read more...


Dr. John Ciociari explained history and complicated structure of the Khmer Rouge tribunal in Cambodia to an audience at the East-West Center in Washington.January 16 Event: Hybrid Justice: Trials and Errors at the Khmer Rouge Tribunal

In 2006, a UN-backed tribunal opened its doors to try key Khmer Rouge officials for atrocities of the late 1970s. This unique “hybrid” tribunal fuses Cambodian and international laws, procedure, and personnel in an effort to deliver justice for some of modern history’s most egregious crimes. As Dr. John Ciorciari argues, operating the hybrid court effectively has proven very difficult, and despite some successes, the tribunal’s legacy is in peril... Read more...


Japan Studies Visiting Fellow, Sean Connell, offered his views on how new Japanese economic initiatives can effect US-Japan economic ties, ongoing bilateral initiatives on innovation, and potential areas for new cooperationJanuary 9 Event: Innovation and Growth in US-Japan Economic Relations: Areas for New Engagement?

Innovation is a key characteristic and comparative advantage of the US and Japanese economies, and it is widely recognized by policy makers, business leaders, and the broader public in both countries as essential for future growth and competitiveness. The two governments increasingly recognize innovation as an area with good potential for expanding bilateral cooperation, and in recent years this topic has risen to the fore within several joint initiatives and policy dialogs. With Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s economic revitalization initiatives and Japan’s participation in the Trans-Pacific Partnership negotiations bringing new momentum to US-Japan economic ties, increased focus on innovation offers a potentially valuable framework for identifying new opportunities to collaborate in advancing shared goals... Read more...

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