Project List
The trend of globalization that has been underway since the end of the Cold War has begun to reverse course in recent years following the rise of protectionism, challenges from authoritarian countries, and the spread of the new coronavirus. We are living in an age of geoeconomics in which the international economy and geopolitical strategies are intertwined as states use economic means to achieve geopolitical objectives. These geoeconomic risks have a direct and significant impact not only on the states, which are the object of traditional security considerations, but also on non-state actors, such as corporations and individuals that operate globally.
Asia Pacific Initiative analyzes and shares its insights on various geoeconomic risks, including those in the areas of innovation and cyberspace, with its sights on the post COVID-19 era. API also facilitates close collaboration among politicians, government officials, private sector actors, and academics from its position as an independent think tank.

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In the “Era of Geoeconomics”, states leverage their economies as a means to achieve geopolitical goals. In addition to traditional military power, economic statecraft has also become an important policy tool in a state’s national security strategy. How can Japan secure its indispensable base for economic activities in this era? How can it expand the economic sectors that are essential to the international community? With its economic power, deterrence, and the international order, what policies should Japan develop to strengthen its economic security? How can Japan work with its allies and other like-minded countries? How should the government and private companies collaborate with each other?

When the Kishida Administration took office in October 2021, it placed “economic security” center of its work agenda. Along with the appointment of a Minister for Economic Security, the new administration declared its plan to revise Japan’s 2013 national security strategy incorporating economic security. When the 2013 national security strategy was created, API published a report that recommended strengthening “Quiet Deterrence” as an alternative to the government’s national security strategy. In tandem with the government’s recent revision of Japan’s national security strategy, API also explores what Japan’s economic security strategy should be. In addition, API will promote collaboration between the private and public sectors, which is essential to Japan’s economic security. API aims to build an economic security community in Japan where the government, private sector, and academia can gather in search of a “most optimal solution” for this pressing issue facing Japan.

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After the U.S. withdrawal from the original Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) Agreement, the remaining 11 countries, including Japan, came together to sign the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) in March of 2018, which came into effect in December 2018. In February 2021, the UK, followed by China and Taiwan in September 2021, applied for CPTPP membership. With South Korea’s preparation for its own membership application in December 2021, it appears other nations’ interest in joining the CPTPP is rising.
On the assumption that the U.S. may unlikely rejoin the agreement in the near future, how should Japan approach a CPTPP that various nations are interested in joining? In so doing, Japan will need a grand strategy to protect and strengthen the “Free and Open Indo-Pacific Economic Architecture”, which may be at risk amid growing US-China tensions. How could Japan leverage the CPTPP, which could be considered Japan’s second largest diplomatic asset after the Japan-US alliance?
This project aims to provide strategic recommendations on the kind of diplomacy and trade policies Japan should adopt in the great game of international economy architecture, as well as how Japan can improve its economic future through the CPTPP, for which a strategy to respond to new CPTPP membership applications from a strict, neutral, and fair perspective without giving special treatment to any country (or region) will be explored.

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The Independent Investigation Commission on the Fukushima Nuclear Accident The Independent Investigation Commission on the Fukushima Nuclear Accident has been delving into the causes of the nuclear accident at TEPCO’s Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station and the failure to contain its damage from an independent, private-sector perspective. The Commission announced its 420-page Report after six months of thoroughgoing research and analysis on February 28th, 2012. A detailed testimony by one of the workers at Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant is the prologue of the Report. It describes what the worker saw and experienced during the first hours after the plant had been stricken by the earthquakes and tsunami. The main text consists of four parts:

Part 1: The damage and accident responses at the Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear plants
Part 2: The emergency responses taken by the government ministries, local governments and first responders; crisis management by Prime Minister’s Office; and the reality of chaotic evacuation
Part 3: The historical context and structural factors that led to the negligence of safety improvement
Part 4: Global contexts: International nuclear safety regime, nuclear security and US-Japan relations

The English version of the report was published in Asia, Europe and the United States through Routledge (UK) on March 6th, 2014.

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API established “The Independent Investigation Commission on the Japanese Government’s Response to COVID-19” in July 2020 to examine how Japan responded to the COVID-19 crisis, and published a report titled “The Independent Investigation Commission on the Japanese Government’s Response to COVID-19: Report on Best Practices and Lessons Learned” in Japan on 18 October (electronic version) and 23 October (printed version). Under the guidance of the Commission, which consisted of four leading experts, the Working Group (WG) composed of 19 experts in medical, law, public policy, crisis response, health security, and international relations, conducted 101 interviews with 83 government officials and experts, including the former Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, the former Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga, the former Minister of Health, Labour and Welfare Katsunobu Kato, and the Minister of State for Economic and Fiscal Policy Yasutoshi Nishimura, as well as numerous other senior government officials who provided insight on the background of the events.

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liberal international order
For the past 70 years, Japan has been one of the most significant beneficiary of the U.S.-led liberal international order (LIO). Today the foundations of the post-war international order are in crisis. China has begun challenging the U.S.-led institutions and ideology with its system of state-led capitalism. The traditional leader of the LIO, the United States, has increasingly lacked the commitment and capacity to maintain, lead, and evolve the LIO, particularly in Asia-Pacific.
This project aims to propose what Japan must do to uphold and evolve the LIO in the region, as well as what challenges and restrictions it faces. It will focus upon both domestic governance issues, such as populist politics, constitutional revision and the role of media, as well as contributions to the international system, ranging from progressing multilateral trade to managing the North Korean nuclear threat and the rise of China.

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 Japan-U.S. Military Statesmen Forum

There has been no direct channel for strategic dialogue between the U.S. military and the Japan Self Defense Forces (JSDF). In the age of strategic rebalancing with the East Asia being critically volatile, the need for such channel is increasing.

In today’s globalized world, continuous and extensive strategic dialogue between the two governments is crucial in dealing of rising issues promptly and appropriately. Notably, the value of the military-to-military strategic dialogues between the U.S. and Japan is increasing more than ever before. The strategic insights, shared values and wisdom drawn from the dialogues will certainly indispensable for the security policy debates.

This forum is an assembly of former Chairmen of Joint Chiefs of Staff of the U.S. and former Chiefs of Staff of the Joint Staff of Japan, aiming at strengthening policy dialogues between the U.S. and Japan leading to stronger “bonds” (“kizuna”) between the security policy communities of both countries.   

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PEP(Policy Entrepreneur’s Platform)

PEP (Policy Entrepreneur’s Platform) is a platform that focuses on building an environment for policy entrepreneurs to make influential policies through training, partnerships, and recognition of policy entrepreneurs.

API believes that only having open policy-making,governance, and innovation is no longer sufficient to solve the complex problems of modern societies. Instead, politics, bureaucracy, private sectors, academia, and NPO/NGOs need to cooperate with each other to gather ideas and people together, to meet the new policy demands. Additionally, API regards policy entrepreneurs as key actors of problem-solving. PEP – administered by core members – has 3 missions which are: (1) to show what a policy entrepreneur is; (2) to expand the influence of policy entrepreneurs; and (3) to create an environment where policy entrepreneurs can shine. PEP thus carries out activities and events based on these three project missions.

Website of PEP:

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Social Implementation of Technology Project

AI and self-driving cars – how should we implement these cutting-edge technologies in our society? This is the question that is fundamental to the concept of “social implementation” in the context of technology. During the era of the Fourth Industrial Revolution, in which advanced technologies are used in tandem as part of one highly sophisticated system, implementing these technologies may require us to significantly modify our daily behaviour and social structure. There is no way we can avoid controversy and disputes when implementing these beneficial technologies that may completely change our society. The Social Implementation of Technology Project conducted research to create a better framework to carry out social implementation within Japanese society. Our research has been published in “Mirai wo Jisso Suru [Implementing the future]” (Eiji Press, 2021) written by the chairperson of our project, Takaaki Umada.

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Asia Pacific Initiative Forum(APIF)

Asia Pacific Initiative Forum (APIF)
APIF is an invite-only forum which aims to look forward 30 years into Asia’s future and create a new innovative ecosystem together with business leaders from Japan, India, and the ASEAN countries. We seek to become a platform for exchange and develop synergies through innovative ideas and the work of participating companies. These missions have continued to guide our work ever since we began preparing for the inaugural forum in 2017.
Over the course of the event, next-generation innovators from Asia exchange thoughts on the Fourth Industrial Revolution, as well as the factors that spawn new ideas and synergies aimed at solving shared socio-economic challenges in the region. Importantly, the forum also provides Asian innovators with unique opportunities to voice their opinions to a global audience.

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