T.J. Pempel at CBS Anniversary Seminar

Japan's Role in Asian Regionalism

Fredag, 14 september, 2007 - 14:00 to 15:30

Asia Research Centre celebrates CBS’s 90 Anniversary

Invitation to seminar

“Japan's Role in Asian Regionalism: Dynamics, Challenges, and Implications for the 21st Century”

by T.J. Pempel


Historically Japanese foreign policy has struggled to balance ties to the West with ties to Asia. From the end of World War II into the late 1990s, Japan’s Asian involvement rested primarily on corporate investment and the development of regional production networks. Japanese governmental involvement in Asian regional bodies sought to ensure that all regional bodies included the United States. Hence Japan was a foremost proponent of APEC and the ARF, both pan-Pacific bodies. This has changed. Japan’s economy sagged while that of many others in Asia, but most especially China, have soared, thereby reducing Japan’s regional economic dominance. Meanwhile, in the wake of the Asian Financial Crisis, a number of new regional bodies were created (APT, CMI, ABF, NEET, etc.) with membership restricted to “Asians only.” And finally, the Bush Administration has pursued a unilateral and military approach to foreign policy which Japan under PM Koizumi (and apparently PM Abe) have embraced wholeheartedly. This led to deterioration in Japan’s relations with China, both Koreas and to a lesser extent Southeast Asia. Japan is active in the new regional bodies, but leadership has frequently shifted to China. Regaining a position of leadership in Asia will remain difficult unless or until Japan becomes more sensitive to the Asian skepticism about recent US hegemonic and military policies.


T. J. Pempel (Ph.D., Columbia) joined Berkeley's Political Science Department in July 2001 and served as director of the Institute of East Asian Studies from 2002 until 2006. Professor Pempel's research and teaching focus on comparative politics, political economy, contemporary Japan, and Asian regionalism. His recent books include Remapping East Asia: The Construction of a Region (Cornell University Press); Beyond Bilateralism: U.S.-Japan Relations in the New Asia-Pacific (Stanford University Press); The Politics of the Asian Economic Crisis; Regime Shift: Comparative Dynamics of the Japanese Political Economy; and Uncommon Democracies: The One-Party Dominant Regimes (all from Cornell University Press). In addition, he has published over one hundred scholarly articles and chapters in books and is on editorial boards of several professional journals, and serves on various committees of the American Political Science Association, the Association for Asian Studies, and the Social Science Research Council. He is currently doing research on various problems associated with U.S. foreign policy and Asian regionalism

Confirmation of attendance would be highly appreciated. Contact: Lise Peitersen, lp.int@cbs.dk

Sidst opdateret: Communications // 17/10/2012