Connecting People & Ideas to Advance Mutual Interests in U.S.-Asia Relations

Yasushi Kudo

Yasushi Kudo is the founder and president of The Genron NPO, a Tokyo-based independent think tank established in 2001. Under Mr. Kudo’s leadership, The Genron NPO has conducted policy research programs with a mission of strengthen democracy in Japan, including evaluations of administration policy performances and political parties’ campaign pledges. More than 500 opinion leaders and experts in Japan participate in its discussions and initiatives addressing the pressing issues Japan faces today and policy issues in Asia and in the world. The Genron NPO conducts a wide-range of public dissemination of the fruit of its discussions and frequently makes recommendations to the Japanese government and to the international community.

Mr. Kudo also initiated several Track 1.5 diplomacy and international conferences with The Genron NPO. In 2005, he established a high-level Track 1.5 dialogue between Japan and China, the “Tokyo-Beijing Forum.” He also initiated “Japan-Korea Future Dialogue” between Japan and South Korea in 2013. These annual fora have become one of the most influential non-governmental-organization-led discussion platforms in Northeast Asia. They are sustained even at the times when diplomacy appeared to be at a standstill. Drawing on these foundations and other Track II dialogues with the experts from the United States, The Genron NPO is establishing a new multinational platform involving Japan, the United States, China, and South Korea to develop a peaceful order in the often unstable region of Northeast Asia.

In 2016, Mr. Kudo started the “Asia Opinion Leaders’ Dialogue” as a venue for addressing the issues East Asian Countries and democracy face with the network of Asian democracies including Indonesia, India, Singapore, Malaysia, and the Philippines.

Mr. Kudo is also an active participant in the field international order and global governance. Since 2012, he has served as a member of the Council of Councils from Japan, an international initiative of the Council on Foreign Relations, dedicated to the debate of global governance and formed by the world’s top foreign policy think tanks. In 2016, Mr. Kudo established the “Tokyo Conference” with the heads of 10 of the world’s leading think tanks. The Tokyo Conference engages with the challenges faced with the rule-based liberal international order, multilateralism and democracy, and forwards recommendations to the chair of the G7 each year ahead of the G7 summit.

Prior to the establishment of The Genron NPO, Mr. Kudo was an editor in chief of Financial Business, a monthly financial magazine and Debate: Oriental Economist, Japan’s leading issue-oriented magazine.