Japan & Korea: Domestic Reform & Geopolitical Shifts

December 8, 2010
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Corporate Program past event

Japan and South Korea have followed contrasting paths since the crises of the 1990s, with opposite geopolitical consequences. Despite calls for a reinvigoration of the U.S.-Japan relationship in 2000, U.S.-China partnership on many key issues led instead to widespread talk about a G-2 partnership with China. South Korea, once dismissed by Pentagon aides as selling out to China, has steadily risen in U.S. priorities and has cooled toward China since the sinking of the South Korean Cheonan. When the Democratic Party of Japan defeated the Liberal Party of Japan in 2009, Western opinion celebrated the emergence of a two-party system in Japan. Instead, disconnection between political leadership and bureaucratic expertise has become one more step in the dismantling of a political and economic system that American and Japanese leaders designed to ensure stability and facilitate economic recovery over the past few decades. In the late 1990s South Korea faced many of the same economic, political and demographic problems as Japan. While strong reforms have created a vibrant economy, vigorous democracy and enhanced geopolitical stature, profound political impasses remain domestically and in relations with North Korea. Harvard University Kennedy School of Government’s William Overholt discusses Asia’s dependence on Japanese revival and South Korean management of a deteriorating North Korea, and acknowledges Japan’s capacity for revitalization while questioning whether it can achieve that revitalization without a great crisis.

William Overholt
, Senior Research Fellow, Harvard University Kennedy School of Government

Robert Fallon
, Adjunct Professor, Columbia Business School; Director, Japan Society & The Korea Society

6-6:30 pm Registration
6:30–7:30 Lecture and Q&A
7:30-8 Reception

Admission: Corporate members are entitled to a designated number of free admissions to this event, based on their company’s current membership level. These reservations must be made at least 48 hours prior to the event. Additional corporate registrants and Japan Society individual members at the Patron level and above pay the discounted corporate member rate of $10 for the lecture. Nonmember admission is $15. The academic and government admission rate is $10. When payment is required, prepayment must be made, or registration secured, with a credit card. All registrations and cancellations must be made at least 48 hours prior to the event. Substitutions are welcome.

To register, please send email to [email protected].

For information only, please contact the Corporate Program at 212-715-1208.

Co-organized by The Korea Society.   

  • Wednesday, December 8, 2010
  • 6:00 pm