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 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.



Democracy for the Future | Policy Dialogue for Advancing LGBT Rights and Equality in Japan

November 28, 2023


JCIE brought together a group of Diet members to speak with a representative who worked on Taiwan’s campaign for marriage equality, to discuss recent Japanese legislation aimed at protecting LGBTQ people…
Diet Roundtable_Derek Mitchell_2023

Democracy for the Future | Diet Roundtable on "Defending Universal Values in the Indo-Pacific Region: Japan's Role Post-Hiroshima Summit"

July 26, 2023


JCIE brought together a group of Diet members to meet with Derek Mitchel, President, National Democratic Institute, to discuss defending human rights and universal values in the Pacific as a follow-up to the Hiroshima G7 Summit….
Definding Universal Values in the Indo Pacific Banner_Thumbnail

Public Symposium | Defending Universal Values in the Indo-Pacific—The Roles of Japan and the G7 Summit

March 28, 2023


JCIE hosted a public symposium in the lead up to Japan hosting the G7 Summit in Hiroshima to deepen discussions on the role Japan should fulfill in defending universal values and a rules-based order in the Indo-Pacific…

Democracy for the Future | March 2023 Diet Roundtable

March 29, 2023


JCIE brought together a group of leaders in the field to discuss how the international community should address human rights violations and expectations for the G7, which Japan was hosting later that year….

Interviews from the Sunnylands Initiative Retreat

August 1–2, 2022


Odawara, Japan
At the second meeting of the Sunnylands Initiative on Enhancing Democratic Partnership in the Indo-Pacific region in Japan, select participants shared their thoughts on key issues concerning democracy in the region in a series of short video clips. …
DSC04922_For Website

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 Partnership in the Indo-Pacific (Sunnylands Initiative) on August 1-3,…

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

May 30–May 31, 2023 (US) | May 31–June 1,2023 (Asia)


JCIE’s Democracy for the Future Program hosted an online international conference to explore the role of civil society and the next generation for the future of democracy….
1207 International IDEA Event Banner_cropped (1)

Webinar | Enhancing Democratic Partnership in Asia

December 7, 2021


DEmocracy thumbnail

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

August 10, 2021


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 rights….
DEmocracy thumbnail

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

June 29, 2021


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


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


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


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


ISAO KANO, President & CEO

HIDEKO KATSUMATA, Executive Director & COO

RYO TAINAKA, Program Officer and Administrative Officer

SHIGEKO KONDO, Program Associate


KAZUYO KATO, Executive Director

STEPHEN McHUGH, Associate Program Office