Former Ambassador of Japan to USA
Wednesday, May 13, 2015 12:00 - 13:30
Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's recent state visit to the U.S. was a great success in many quarters, including the first revision of U.S.-Japan defense guidelines in nearly two decades and the first speech to a joint session of Congress by a Japanese leader.
But for some Abe went too far, such as promising the passage of legislation by this summer, even before it had been submitted to Parliament, to enable closer defense cooperation with the U.S. – something that might get Japan embroiled in U.S. military actions around the world.Others said he didn't go far enough, such as renewed apologies for Tokyo's actions before and during World War II.
During the visit, the two leaders also discussed reducing the footprint of U.S. military bases in Okinawa and the Trans-Pacific Partnership economic pact.
To better parse what happened during Abe's trip, there probably aren't too many people more qualified than the former Japanese envoy to Washington, Ichiro Fujisaki. So, come to the Club to hear what the veteran diplomat has to say about what the visit means and the outlook for the bilateral military and economic partnership.
Fujisaki joined the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in 1969 and served as director-general of the North American Affairs Bureau, deputy minister for foreign affairs and Japan’s chief negotiator for several trade pacts. He was ambassador and permanent representative to international organizations in Geneva and envoy to the U.S. from 2008 to 2012. Currently, he is a distinguished professor at Sophia University in Tokyo.