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.
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
AKIO OKAWARA, President & CEO
HIDEKO KATSUMATA, Executive Director & COO
RYO TAINAKA, Program Officer and Administrative Officer
KAZUYO KATO, Executive Director
STEPHEN MCHUGH, Assistant Program Officer