Expanding Support for Democratic Governance


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 July 2021, JCIE began a new 9-month project, “Re-evaluation of Japan’s Democracy,” to create 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 post-WWII, examine the resilience of the elements that support democratic governance in Japan today, and identify possible ways to strengthen it further into the future. JCIE will partner with a leading scholar in Japan, Dr. Harukata Takenaka, to organize a series of three discussions with Japanese scholars and policymakers to conduct this reassessment, and publish a summary of each discussion and a concluding paper. The project is expected to identify both strengths and weaknesses in Japan’s democracy, and lessons that can be shared with other countries about effective democratic governance. The summaries will be delivered in the course of the year and the Concluding Paper is expected to be published in March. Information on the participants and specific topics will be available in the coming weeks.


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…

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…

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

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…

2019 Japanese Diet Delegation to the US

September 17–20, 2019 | Washington DC

The 2019 US-Japan Parliamentary Exchange Program brought the 30th delegation of Japanese diet members and parliamentarians to the US, where they met and engaged in discussions with members of Congress…

Expert–Diet Member Delegation to the United States to Discuss US-Japan Cooperation on Democracy Support

September 17–20, 2019 | Washington DC

JCIE’s 30th Parliamentary Exchange Program featured a delegation that combined members of the Diet with experts in the field of democratic governance. The group traveled to the United States to explor…

Democracy for the Future | Diet Roundtable with Professor Andrew J. Nathan

May 30, 2019 | Tokyo

Twenty-five thought leaders from Japan met with Professor Andrew Nathan for discussions on the state of democracy and democracy assistance.

Democracy for the Future | Our Role, Japan’s Role—Thought Leaders Seminar

April 19, 2019 | Tokyo, Japan

Twenty-five thought leaders from Japan met with the president of the National Democratic Institute for International Affairs (USA) for discussions on the state of democracy and democracy assistance.

Diet Roundtable & Thought Leaders Seminar: Japan’s Support for the Liberal International Order

June 19–20, 2018 | Tokyo

JCIE organized a series of meetings on June 19–20 to explore Japan’s approach to supporting the liberal international order and democratic governance in Asia, including a roundtable with eight leading…

Research Team


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


MAIKO ICHIHARA, Associate 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


KAORI HAYASHI,  Professor, Media and Journalism Studies, The University of Tokyo

TAKAKO HIKOTANI, Gerald L. Curtis Associate Professor of Modern Japanese Politics and Foreign Policy, Columbia University

HIROAKI SHIGA, Senior Research Fellow, JICA Research Institute

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



HIDEKO KATSUMATA, Executive Director & COO

RYO TAINAKA, Program Officer and Administrative Officer


KAZUYO KATO, Executive Director

STEPHEN MCHUGH, Assistant Program Officer