The International House of Japan (I-House) is pleased to announce that the merger with Asia Pacific Initiative (API) took effect today. As our first major initiative under the new organization, we established the “Institute of Geoeconomics (IOG)”. Dr. Kazuto Suzuki, professor at the Graduate School of Public Policy of the University of Tokyo, has been appointed the Institute’s Director. The IOG will succeed various projects that have been undertaken by API in the areas of international relations, regional studies, and geopolitics.
Kazuto Suzuki Director of the Institute of Geoeconomics
Kazuto Suzuki is Professor of Science and Technology Policy at the Graduate School of Public Policy at the University of Tokyo, Japan. He graduated from the Department of International Relations, Ritsumeikan University, and received his Ph.D. from Sussex European Institute, University of Sussex, England. He has worked for the Fondation pour la recherche stratégique in Paris, France as an assistant researcher, as an Associate Professor at the University of Tsukuba from 2000 to 2008, and served as Professor of International Politics at Hokkaido University until 2020. He also spent one year at the School of Public and International Affairs at Princeton University from 2012 to 2013 as a visiting researcher. He served as an expert in the Panel of Experts for Iranian Sanction Committee under the United Nations Security Council from 2013 to July 2015. He has been the President of the Japan Association of International Security and Trade.
Greetings from Director Suzuki
In Japan, until recently, the worlds of politics and economy, security and private activities, public and private sectors existed self-sufficiently. Each has been treated autonomously albeit interfering with each other. In today’s world, these distinctions have become meaningless, and there are an increasing number of events that can only be understood within the framework of “geoeconomics,” a fusion of geopolitics and economy. There are many issues that geoeconomics should deal with, such as economic security, economic sanctions, and technological hegemony. At the IOG, we plan to deal with a wide range of geoeconomic themes initially centering on economic security and China, disseminate to the international community with a sense of speed, and grow ourselves to a think tank that will represent Asia and the Pacific. We would appreciate your warm support.
1．Statement of Purpose
In the “100 Japanese Companies Survey on Economic Security” published by API in December 2021, Japanese companies operating globally were found to be caught between the United States and China, and struggling to strike a balance between the two elements of economic activity and security in light of the uncertainties and the impact on the business. In 2022, the protracted war in Ukraine, the economic sanctions on Russia, as well as the enactment of the Economic Security Promotion Law, seem to highlight that the world has been shifted from the post-Cold War globalization era to the era of “geoeconomics” where the international economy and geopolitical strategy are intertwined. What should Japan do to create a free, open, and sustainable future? How should global companies collect information while balancing risks vs costs? To address these questions, Messrs. Hironori Kamezawa (President & Group CEO of Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group, Inc.), Takeshi Niinami (CEO of Suntory Holdings Limited) and Takayuki Morita (President and CEO (Representative Director) of NEC Corporation) launched this new Institute of Geoeconomics.
The IOG, from the standpoint as a private and independent think tank, will utilize the network which API and IHJ have built with foreign think tanks as well as through contacts in government, business, and academia. We aim to create a foundation for intellectual exchange that represents the Asia-Pacific region and to make a significant global impact. Specifically, we will:
- Gather leading figures in Japan and overseas in the fields of international affairs, regional studies, and geopolitics to conduct information and research, accumulate knowledge, and disseminate information.
- Create a high-level community that connects policy makers in the field of economic security with global companies.
- Organize and implement a CGO (Chief Geoeconomics Officer) training program to enhance the ability of globally active companies to respond to geoeconomic risks and economic security challenges. In addition, we will invite corporate fellows to develop the next-generation of executives who have a strong understanding of geoeconomics.
- Cooperate with foreign think tanks and business communities in Asia (including holding regular exchange trips).
Under the guidance of its Executive Committee, the IOG will establish units by subject area / region such as economic security and China-Asia-Pacific. To promote international collaboration, we will form a Global Advisory Group and Global Partners comprising the top executives of foreign leading think tanks as well as frontline practitioners. The Executive Members of the IOG are:
- Dr. Kazuto Suzuki, Director of the IOG (Professor, Graduate School of Public Policy, The University of Tokyo)
- Dr. Yuichi Hosoya, Director of Research, Asia Pacific Initiative (Professor, Faculty of Law, Keio University)
- Mr. Makoto Shiono, Partner, Industrial Growth Platform, Inc.
3．Statements from the IOG’s initiators and promotors
Mr. Hironori Kamezawa, President & Group CEO of Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group, Inc.
“In the field of geopolitical and geoeconomic risks, the whole financial industry has been traditionally working to address the economic sanctions and the tightening of regulations, such as the US OFAC regulations triggered by terrorism. However, looking at the recent upheaval in the international economic order, the risks are expanding even further. I strongly feel a sense of crisis that not a single company nor single industry alone can deal with this risk. I am convinced that it is time to plough the rough ocean by forming a scrum across industries and collaborating with academia and the public sector. I expect the IOG to play a central role on this.”
Mr. Takeshi Niinami, CEO of Suntory Holdings Limited
“Today, the importance of economy in international relations has risen sharply and not a single company can ignore “geoeconomic risk.” It is no exaggeration to say that all the business leaders have been eagerly waiting for the establishment of an independent think tank from Japan that specializes in geoeconomics. I also look forward to the IOG’s initiative to foster “Chief Geoeconomics Officers (CGOs)”. I strongly support the sustainable development of the Japanese economy and the development of a solid and large geoeconomic community that the IOG will catalyze.”
Mr. Takayuki Morita, President and CEO (Representative Director) of NEC Corporation
“In the world facing dramatic changes, it is becoming more and more important for Japan and Japanese companies to analyze the global affairs and act from the perspective of geoeconomics. That said, in Japan, discussions and research in this field have been just begun so collaboration among industry, academia, and government is critical. Moreover, discussions from the perspective of technologies are also important given that possessing advanced technological capabilities such as cyber security and networks is directly linked not only to the country’s international competitiveness but also to national security. Needless to say, these efforts ought to be carried out within the framework of international cooperation. Under such thoughts, the establishment of the IOG is timely and relevant. I will support the IOG to be a globally respected entity.”
1 Press Conference and Event inviting the IISS
On July 26, 2022, we will hold a press conference on the establishment of the IOG (13:00~) and an event (14:00~) inviting experts from the International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS) including the Director of Geo-economics and Strategy entitled “Economic Security from the British and Japanese Perspective”.
2 Inaugural symposium of the IOG
An inaugural symposium of the IOG will take place at the International House of Japan in late September 2022.
3 Corporate Partner for the IOG
The IOG is looking for corporate partners who endorse the vision of the IOG.
For further information, or for those who are interested, please contact the following:
Office of the Chairman, The International House of Japan
5-11-16 Roppongi, Minato-ku, Tokyo 106‐0032 Japan