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

Weston Konishi, Director of Asia-Pacific Studies at the Institute for Foreign Policy Analysis, was the featured speaker at an August 21, 2012 roundtable at the Mansfield Foundation.  Mr. Konishi discussed the background and findings of his April 2012 report, “From Rhetoric to Reality:  Foreign-Policy Making under the Democratic Party of Japan.”  He outlined the effects on foreign policy of the Japanese political transition from the long-standing Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) to the Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ). He also discussed why some of the DPJ’s foreign-policy making initiatives succeeded and others failed. The report details some of the internal structural obstacles that have impeded the DPJ’s ability to accomplish its foreign policy vision and shows how external factors have influenced the direction of the party’s foreign and security policies in recent years. Mr. Konishi elaborated on these obstacles and his report’s outline of the four main foreign policy schools of thought within the DPJ and how they have helped to shape Japanese diplomacy and strategic choices over the past several years.