Nobuhiro Hiwatari - Institute of Social Science, University of Tokyo; Keisuke Iida - Graduate School for Law and Politics, University of Tokyo; Stephen Roach -Yale University, former chair Morgan Stanley Asia
The abrupt end to the long tenure of the LDP government in Japan reminded observers of East Asian international relations of the possible tensions between electoral outcomes and long-standing foreign policy commitments. The DPJ’s 2009 electoral commitment to relocating the Futenma Air Station – a deviation from the 2006 bilateral agreement - epitomizes such tension. While the DPJ tried to attract electoral support in Okinawa and cement non-LDP parties’ electoral pacts, the Hatoyama administration faced almost non-existent room for diplomatic bargaining and eventually encountered an erosion of domestic political support. The Japanese case is not unique. Democracies in East Asia, namely Japan, South Korea, and Taiwan, all underwent revisions of foreign policy following domestic partisan turnover in the government. This two day conference will shed light on the electoral and legislative dynamics that structure foreign policy choices in these three East Asian democracies. Underlying the structured choices are the bilateral security arrangements with the United States and the shadow of rising China. Given this context, we will pay close attention to how electoral and legislative politics interact with security and foreign economic policy in East Asia. By bringing these three empirical cases to broader comparative perspectives, we will examine how institutional configurations of domestic political players and the structure of international bargaining affect eventual policy choices. The comparative analysis of the lessons drawn from these three political systems will contribute to both academic inquiries on the domestic foundations of foreign policy as well as policy deliberations concerning the future of East Asia.
PARTICIPANTS INCLUDE: Nobuhiro Hiwatari - Institute of Social Science, University of Tokyo Jessica Weiss - Department of Political Science, Yale University Jun Saito - Department of Political Science, Yale University Min Gyo Koo - Graduate School of Public Administration, Seoul National University Young-Geun Kim - Keimyung University Hee Min Kim - Department of Political Science, Florida State University Emerson Niou - Department of Political Science, Duke University Yasuhiro Matsuda - Institute for Advanced Studies on Asia, University of Tokyo