Project List
The IOG is a private and independent think tank that focuses on geoeconomics. It aims to be a hub for intellectual exchange in the Asia-Pacific region and make a significant global impact. It will utilize the network with foreign think tanks and contacts in government, business, and academia which API and I-House have built over the years. Specifically, we will:

  1. Collect information, conduct research, accumulate knowledge and disseminate expertise undertaken by leading figures in Japan and the world in the fields of international affairs, regional studies, and geopolitics;
  2. Create a high-level community that connects policy makers in the field of economic security with global companies;
  3. 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;
  4. Cooperate with foreign think tanks and business communities in Asia (including holding regular exchange trips).

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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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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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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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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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The second Abe administration, which lasted for seven years and eight months, turned out to be the longest administration in Japan’s constitutional history. How was this made possible? What did this longest-served stable administration achieve and leave behind?

API’s “Critical Review of the Abe Administration” project aimed to examine the Abe administration’s governance and policy responses. The administration has worked on a wide range of policy challenges, including economic policy, diplomacy and security, work style reform, trade liberalization, and historical issues. This has been made possible by the administration’s distinctive style of governance, including strong leadership from the Prime Minister’s Office, ability to navigate party politics, and overwhelming victories in national elections. On the other hand, the Abe administration left many issues unresolved, including the revision of the Constitution, gender equality, and several scandals that have undermined the legitimacy of the country’s democracy.

This project took up nine major themes related to the policies promoted by the administration, and examined why and how each of these themes did or did not develop based on interviews with more than 50 people working with the administration. We believe that the lessons learned from this review are extremely important for rebuilding political centrism based on thorough debate and compromise, and for strengthening competitive party-based democracy in Japan.

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Asia Pacific Initiative Forum(APIF)

Asia Pacific Initiative Forum (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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