Panel Discussions on The New Era for Japan: Business, Economy and Regional Security at JAPAN HOUSE Los Angeles

The Consulate General of Japan in Los Angeles and JAPAN HOUSE Los Angeles co-presented “The New Era for Japan: Business, Economy and Regional Security” at JAPAN HOUSE Los Angeles on December 12, 2019. The program began with a keynote speech followed by two panel discussions.

Deputy Mayor of Los Angeles for International Affairs Ambassador Nina Hachigian kicked off the event with a keynote speech on “The Enduring Friendship of Japan and Los Angeles” in which she spoke on the various facets of continued amicable relations between Japan and Los Angeles. Both have been strong supporters for the U.N. Sustainable Development Goals and are in line to host the Olympic and Paralympic Games with Tokyo in 2020 and Los Angeles in 2028. It was also noted that Japan is the largest source of Foreign Direct Investment in Southern California, which has created a number of jobs, and the people-to-people exchanges between Japan and Los Angeles are active including the sister city relationship between Los Angeles and Nagoya and the Mayor’s Young Ambassador Program in 2019.

Next, the first panel on “Trade & Investment in the Asia-Pacific,” moderated by Dr. Saori Katada, Professor and Chair of the Department of Political Science and International Relations at the University of Southern California, featuring panelists Dr. Fukunari Kimura, Professor at the Faculty of Economics at Keio University and Chief Economist for the Economic Research Institute for ASEAN and East Asia, Dr. Kristi Govella, Assistant Professor in the School of Pacific and Asian Studies at the University of Hawaii at Manoa, and Ms. Christine Peterson, Director of International Trade & Investment at the Mayor’s Office at the City of Los Angeles, discussed the current state of trade and investment in the region considering bilateral and multilateral arrangement involving other powers such as China and India, as well as Japan’s strength in providing stability.

The second panel on “Changes in Japan’s Political Economy and Foreign Policy,” moderated by Dr. Michael Thies, Associate Professor at the Department of Political Science at the University of California, Los Angeles including panelists Dr. Harukata Takenaka, Professor at the National Graduate Institute for Policy Studies in Tokyo, Dr. Sheila Smith, Senior Fellow for Japan Studies at the Council on Foreign Relations, and Dr. Gene Park, Associate Professor at the Department of Political Science and Director for the Global Policy Institute at Loyola Marymount University, covered topics including Japan’s foreign policy, such as the Free and Open Indo-Pacific strategy, and the state of affairs in the regional security.

The event was open to the public and attended by about 60 people, including academics and prominent figures in local civic organizations. After each panel, the audience posed questions addressing the current situation of Japan with respect to various topics.

Group Photo
Ambassador Nina Hachigian
Panel 1: "Trade & Investment in the Asia-Pacific"


Panel 2: "Changes in Japan’s Political Economy and Foreign Policy"
Q&A with Audience