For the past 70 years, Japan has been one of the most significant beneficiary of the U.S.-led liberal international order (LIO). Without the security provided by the U.S. alliance system, General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT) based upon the principles of free-trade and the values system centered on democracy and human rights, security and peace in East Asia would have not been possible, which allowed for Japan, South Korea and China to economically prosper – and in Japan’s case, for it to become a democratic and civilian power through engagement in international institutions. To put it simply, the LIO is the strategical underpinning of Japan’s national interest and well-being.
Today, the foundations of the post-war international order are in crisis globally, including the re-treat of democracy in Asia-Pacific. 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. Rapid technological change and globalization have and will continue to be big challenges for the LIO.
Given this state of affairs, calls are being made for Japan to take on more of a leadership role in the Asia-Pacific. This project has aimed to propose what Japan must do to uphold and develop the LIO in the region, as well as what challenges and restrictions it faces. It has focused 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.
Building on the first stage of this project that specifically examined Japan’s role in upholding the LIO in the Asia-Pacific, we plan on further analyzing ways that Japan and Europe could collaborate to preserve the LIO in the post-pandemic world as the second stage of this project.
The Liberal International Order beyond the War in Ukraine: The Role of Japan and Europe
After the completion of the the Liberal International Order (LIO) Project under the Asia Pacific Initiative (API), the Institute of Geoeconomics (IOG) has taken the project to its second stage and expanded our focus to include the perspectives of Japan, the United States, Europe, as well as other Asian countries. Hosted by the IOG and funded by the National Endowment of Democracy (NED), the LIO Seminar was held in a hybrid format – in person at The Capitol Hotel Tokyu and online via Zoom on October 25, 2022. In the session, participants discussed the war in Ukraine and the rising tensions between the United States and China and the implications of both on the liberal international order.
Keynote Speech: Japan’s global role in human rights issues
Special Advisor to the Prime Minister of Japan for international human rights issues
Member, House of Representatives
Director, International House of Japan
Director of Research, Asia Pacific Initiative
Professor, Faculty of Law, Keio University
Director, Europe Programme
Chatham House, The Royal Institute of International Affairs
Director, Center for Security, Diplomacy and Strategy (CSDS), VUB School of Governance
Head of Japan Research, Center for Asian Studies, French Institute of International Relations (Ifri)
Senior fellow, Japan Chair, Centre for Security, Diplomacy and Strategy (CSDS)
Freelance Journalist, Tokyo
Director, Institute of Geoeconomics, International House of Japan
Professor, Graduate School of Public Policy, University of Tokyo
As a product of our research, we published The Crisis of Liberal Internationalism: Japan and the World Order from Brookings Institution Press in February 2020. The Japanese version of this book was also published from Toyokeizai Shinposha in August 2020. The book consists of two main sections: Japan’s foreign policy and Japan’s governance style. The first half of the book analyzes broad international agendas such as the promotion of multilateral trade, the nuclear threat from North Korea and the resurgence of China. The latter half of the book deals with internal challenges that Japan face such as populism and the role of the media in society. As we complied this volume, we received invaluable input from a number of scholars and experts from a variety of fields. As a result, the book has become a readable volume both for policy-makers and the general public.
“The Crisis of Liberal Internationalism: Japan and the World Order”
Edited by Yoichi Funabashi and G. John Ikenberry
Publisher: Brookings Institution Press
First Published: February 4, 2020
Paperback ISBN: 9780815737674
Ebook ISBN: 9780815737681
Assistant Professor of East Asian International Relations, School of Global and International
Studies (SGIS), Indiana University
Co-Direct and Senior Fellow, Center for East Asia Policy Studies, and Philip Knight Chair in Japan Studies, Brookings Institution
Mireya Solís is an expert in Japan’s foreign economic policies, domestic politics and East Asian multilateralism. Her main research interests include Japanese politics, political economy, and foreign policy; international and comparative political economy; international relations; and government-business relations. Solís earned a PhD in government (1998) and an M.A. in East Asian Studies (1991) from Harvard University, and a B.A. in international relations from El Colegio de México (1989). Previously, Solís was an assistant professor (2003-2008) and a tenured associate professor (2008-2014) at American University’s School of International Service, an assistant professor in the Department of Politics at Brandeis University (1999-2003), an advisor to Mexico’s Ministry of Economy on the Japan-Mexico FTA (1999), and a visiting professor at El Colegio de México’s Center for International Relations (1997-1999). She joined the Center for East Asia Policy Studies at Brookings Institution in 2012. Her most recent publication is Dilemmas of a Trading Nation (Brookings Institution Press, 2017), which was awarded the 2018 Masayoshi Ohira Memorial Prize.
Assistant Professor of Political Science and the Thomas Rohlen Center Fellow at the Shorenstein
Asia Pacific Research Center, Stanford University
Associate Professor, Graduate School of Law and School of International and Public Policy, Hitotsubashi University
Maiko Ichihara’s research focuses on international relations, Japanese foreign policy and democracy support. She is a member of the Rising Democracy Network project of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. She earned her PhD in political science from the George Washington University. Her recent publications include Japan’s International Democracy Assistance as Soft Power: Neoclassical Realist Analysis (Routledge, 2017).
Minister, Permanent Mission of Japan to the International Organizations in Vienna
Attorney and Partner, Nagashima Ohno and Tsunematsu
Associate Professor of Law, Kyoto University
Professor of International Relations, Pardee School of Global Studies, Boston University
Associate Professor of Political Science, Institute of Social Science, University of Tokyo
Professor of Media and Journalism Studies, Graduate School of Interdisciplinary Information Studies, University of Tokyo
Co-founder and Chairman, Asia Pacific Initiative
Albert G. Milbank Professor of Politics and International Affairs, Department of Politics and Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs, Princeton University