Expanding Support for Democratic Governance

2018–Present

In 2018, JCIE launched a multi-pronged initiative to explore and expand Japan’s support for democratic governance that is based on the values of liberty, accountability, the rule of law, and individual dignity and empowerment. The initiative, also known as “Democracy for the Future,” is designed to engage Japanese leaders in dialogue with domestic and overseas experts on ways of strengthening the building blocks of democratic governance in Asia and elsewhere. The program convenes a study group of Japanese experts to identify strategies on how support for these values can be incorporated in Japan’s foreign policy and development assistance. These ideas will be shared widely to raise awareness about the importance of democratic governance among policymakers and opinion leaders. The program also engages Japanese Diet members and other senior leaders in international dialogues on issues related to democracy, and it serves as a platform to involve Japanese experts, civil society leaders, and others in international forums on the topic.

In 2021–2022, JCIE began a new nine-month project, “Japan’s Democracy: Lessons and Reflections.” The project created a platform for Japanese scholars, political and opinion leaders, and the broader Japanese public to reflect on Japan’s own experience in building a democratic society in the post-WWII era.

PROGRAM News


Second Sunnylands Initiative Retreat Hosted in Japan

August 1–2, 2022 | Odawara, Japan

Responding to the urgent need to address the threats to democracy in the Indo-Pacific region and around the world, JCIE convened the second meeting of the Sunnylands Initiative on Enhancing Democratic…


Online International Conference | The Role of Civil Society and the Next Generation for the Future of Democracy

May 30–May 31 (US) | May 31–June 1 (Asia) | Online

JCIE’s Democracy for the Future Program will be hosting an online international conference to explore the role of civil society and the next generation for the future of democracy. Register to attend…


Japan’s Democracy: Lessons and Reflections | Concluding Paper

Harukata Takenaka

May 2022 |

This report serves as the concluding paper for a project on “Japan’s Democracy: Lessons and Reflections” and was written by the project lead, Dr. Harukata Takenaka, to summarize the key points that em…


Webinar | Enhancing Democratic Partnership in Asia

December 7, 2021 | Online

In the lead-up to President Biden’s Summit for Democracy, JCIE organized a webinar on December 7 that convened over 40 Asia-Pacific experts to discuss how to enhance democratic partnership in the regi…


Japan’s Democracy: Lessons and Reflections 3 | Civil Society, Diversity, and Media

Harukata Takenaka, Toshiki Abe, Rieko Kage, Kaori Hayashi

April 2022 |

This report transcribes discussions that took place as part of JCIE’s project on “Japan’s Democracy: Lessons and Reflections”. The report details the contents of the 3rd dialogue to take place as part…


Japan’s Democracy: Lessons and Reflections 2 | Government Systems

Harukata Takenaka, Yosuke Sunahara, Satoshi Machidori, Takako Hikotani

April 2022 |

This report transcribes discussions that took place as part of JCIE’s project on “Japan’s Democracy: Lessons and Reflections”. The report details the contents of the 2nd dialogue to take place as part…


Japan’s Democracy: Lessons and Reflections 1 | The Current State of Japan’s Democracy

Harukata Takenaka, Kenneth Mori McElwain, Kensuke Takayasu, and Naoko Taniguchi

April 2022 |

This report transcribes discussions that took place amongst members of JCIE’s research team for our project on Expanding Support for Democratic Governance. The initial discussion took place shortly af…


CSO Roundtable on Japan's Support in Addressing the Global Crisis for Democracy and Human Rights

August 10, 2021 | Online

JCIE hosted a roundtable which brought together participants from a variety of Japanese and international CSOs to discuss what kind of support is needed from japan to support democracy and human right…


Research Team Trialogue 2: The Spread of COVID-19 and Its Impact on Global Democracy

Kaori Shoji, Hiroaka Shiga, and Ryo Sahashi

January 2021 |

This transcription of a discussion between three research team members from JCIE’s project on Expanding Support for Democratic Governance focuses on the potential threats to democracy in the light of…


Democracy for the Future | Roundtable on Shared Values in Asian Led Efforts to Defend and Support Democracy

June 29, 2021 | Online

JCIE brought together a group of leaders in the field to discuss the question of shared values in Asian led efforts to support and defend democracy


Research Team Trialogue: The Spread of COVID-19 and Its Impact on Global Democracy

Takako Hikotani, Harukata Takenaka, and Kimitoshi Yabuki

November 2020 |

This transcription shares a conversation between three JCIE research team members from the project on Expanding Support for Democratic Governance on their assessments of the current state of democracy…


Webinar | Building Partnerships and Cooperation to Support Democratic Governance in the Indo-Pacific

November 23, 2020 | Online

As part of our program on Democratic Governance, JCIE hosted a webinar to discuss the “Sunnylands Principles on Enhancing Democratic Partnerships in the Indo-Pacific Region.” Over 50 people attended t…


Democracy for the Future | Meeting of Civil Society Leaders on COVID-19 and Challenges to Democratic Values

June 11, 2020 | Online

JCIE brought together a group of civil society leaders for an online discussion on the implications of the COVID-19 pandemic for civil society and the challenges it might pose to democratic values in…


Democracy for the Future | Launch of New Japanese-Language Website

April 1, 2020 | Online

As part of JCIE’s program to expand support for democratic governance, a new website has been launched to serve as a Japanese-language hub to share information and resources on this subject.


Democracy for the Future | Diet Roundtable with NED Vice President Brian Joseph

December 12, 2019 | Tokyo

National Endowment for Democracy (NED) Vice President Brian Joseph spoke about the role of nongovernmental organizations such as the NED in supporting democracies to a group of 15 Diet members as well…

Research Team

CHAIR

YUKIO TAKASU, Former UN Undersecretary-General for Management; former Permanent Representative of Japan to the United Nations

CO-DIRECTORS

MAIKO ICHIHARA, Professor, Graduate School of Law, School of International and Public Policy, Hitotsubashi University

RYO SAHASHI, Associate Professor of International Politics, Institute for Advanced Studies on Asia, University of Tokyo; JCIE Research Fellow

MEMBERS

TAKAKO HIKOTANI, Professor, International Centre, Gakushuin University

HIROAKI SHIGA, Professor, Faculty of International Social Sciences, Division of International Social Sciences, Yokohama National University

KAORI SHOJI, Professor, Department of Political Studies, Gakushuin University

HARUKATA TAKENAKA, Professor, National Graduate Institute for Policy Studies

KIMITOSHI YABUKI, Attorney at Law, Yabuki Law Offices

JCIE/JAPAN

AKIO OKAWARA, President & CEO

HIDEKO KATSUMATA, Executive Director & COO

RYO TAINAKA, Program Officer and Administrative Officer

SHIGEKO KONDO, Program Associate

JCIE/USA

KAZUYO KATO, Executive Director

STEPHEN McHUGH, Associate Program Office