New Year’s Greetings (Ken Jimbo, API President)

Happy New Year.

We live in a more chaotic world than in any past decades. The stalemate of the war in Ukraine makes it increasingly hard to find a new status quo in Europe. The Israeli-Hamas war has shaken our values of self-defense on one hand, human rights, and coexistence on the other.

Two wars in Europe and the Middle East do not negate the significance of great power competition and geopolitical tensions in East Asia. Competition over advanced technologies, attaining supply chain resiliency, and highly nationalized industrial policy makes the world more divided in the economic domain.

We expect these trends to become even more acute in 2024. In particular, major elections are scheduled in Taiwan, Indonesia, Russia, South Korea, India, Mexico, the European Union, and the United States. We question who will provide the international public goods and sustain international order as the world becomes more domestic-oriented.

As the global situation becomes increasingly unstable, the importance of policy research will only increase. The more divides we find in international relations, the more connections we need among us through intellectual dialogue and cultural exchange.

This year, the Asia Pacific Initiative (API) will continue to tackle policy agendas in Japan, Asia and worldwide. We will further deepen our policy research and actively promote policy proposals.

Last year saw progress in our major geoeconomics and economic security research activities, with the Institute of Geoeconomics (IOG) at the core and establishing a new Emerging Technologies Group. In addition, our Geoeconomics Research Report, “Comparative Study of Defense Industries” by the International Security Order Group, is now available. Our daily research activities are actively disseminated to the public through the IOG Geoeconomics Briefing, Geoeconomics Insight, and the Geoeconomics Online Salon.

We are also making steady progress in our collaboration with think tanks worldwide. We are working towards establishing the Asia Pacific Geoeconomic Council, which will link geoeconomic research in Asia; the Advanced Economic Security Forum with European countries; and the Japan-Korea Future Vision Dialogue, which seeks the strategic development of Japan-Korea relations. There was also a steady stream of VIPs and researchers from abroad visiting throughout the year. The API Roundtable with our researchers deepened policy dialogue with these guests.

In 2024, API will strengthen its research functions, enhance its overseas outreach, and reinforce its partnerships with foreign partners to solidify its role as an intellectual hub in the Asia-Pacific region. With our in-house researchers, visiting researchers, and senior fellows, and with the support of domestic and international political, governmental, and business leaders, API will continue to pioneer a new era.

Ken Jimbo
Managing Director (Representative Director), International House of Japan
President, Asia Pacific Initiative