Is Japan’s Foreign Policy at a Crossroads?


Tuesday, June 8, 2010, 10:00-11:30


Dr. Bert Edström
Professor Axel Berkofsky
Assistant Professor Norihiro Kubota
Dr. Sangsoo Lee


Japan’s general election in Japan in August 2009 became a historical event, with the landslide victory for Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ). The severe defeat of the Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) left it in shambles. After 54 years in power the LDP had to hand over power to a DPJ-led government under Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama. Despite the fact that the election gave the new government a solid basis in the Diet (the Parliament), it faced an uphill battle when it began to implement the reforms and changes that voters had been promised. This Japan Panel has been organized to discuss some of the foreign policy challenges that Japan’s new government faces. What changes are likely to be seen in the foreign policy of one of the world’s leading economic power with the former opposition now at the rudder?

“The Hatoyama Government Facing the Future with the Past as a Burden,” Dr. Bert Edström, Senior Fellow, Institute for Security and Development Study

“Japan’s Foreign and Security Policies: What’s Old, What’s New and What’s the Problem?” Professor Axel Berkofsky, Gianni Mazzocchi Fellow, University of Pavia, Italy

“Paradox of Commitment: The Hatoyama Government and the Controversies over U.S. Military Bases in Okinawa,” Assistant Professor Norihiro Kubota, National Defense Academy of Japan, Yokosuka

“Climate Change and Japan’s Foreign Policy,” Dr. Sangsoo Lee, Research Fellow, Institute for Security and Development Study

Location: ISDP, Västra Finnbodavägen 2, Stockholm-Nacka. For a map and directions, please go here.

To attend: RSVP to Ms. Martina Klimesova at