The Seventeenth Edition of Roundtable Japan
Tokyo, 19-20, October 2021 (Exceptionally hosted online)
Confronting Heightened Strategic Challenges
TUESDAY OCTOBER 19, 2021
16:00 – 16:05 (JST) 3:00 – 3:05am (EDT)
16:05 – 17:35 (JST) 3:05 – 4:35am (EDT)
The global economic picture and its implications for JapanVaccine access is delineating the fault lines between advanced economies and China, looking at further consolidation of their economic recovery over the coming period, and developing and emerging market countries struggling to revive activity and far off from getting back to pre-pandemic levels. Japan’s economy grew at an annual rate of 1.3% in the last quarter, raising hopes for a gradual recovery. However, geopolitical risks and the rise of COVID infections keep business and political decision-makers on edge, while speculations about when the Federal Reserve and the ECB will start tapering their extra-loose monetary policy are adding to the uncertainties.
- Assessing the drags on theeconomy
- Can Japan continue to count on solid export growth in the coming period?
- How to look at Japan’s 2022 growth prospects in the context of an uneven global recovery?
17:50 – 18:50 (JST) 4:50 – 5:50am (EDT)
Post Olympics, post Suga…still Covid
- A turning point in Japan politics?
- What implications from the elections results?
- What possible changes, what areas of continuity?
19:05 – 20:05 (JST) 6:05 – 7:05am (EDT)
Realizing the “green society”: What the goal of cutting emissions by 46% from 2013 levels means?Prime Minister Suga was responding to international and domestic pressures when he announced, prior to the Climate Change virtual summit last April, Japan’s new target of a 46% cut of CO2 emissions by fiscal 2030 compared to 2013, and that the country would “strive toward the higher goal of 50% reduction”. Achieving this kind of target means putting in place a full range of domestic policies and measures with a radical impact for business and society such as boosting an already high energy efficiency, accelerating the adoption of electric vehicles, a radical reform of the power sector highly dependent on fossil fuels which emits 40% of the country’s emissions, moving much faster to deploy more renewable energy sources, introducing an effective carbon pricing, etc.
- Can the goal be achieved without more nuclear plants restarts?
- What is required to get renewables accounting for 36-38% of power supplies in 2030 ?
- What could be the impact of the BoJ plan to boost preferential funding for fighting climate change ?
20:15 – 21:30 (JST) 7:15 – 8:30am (EDT)
Can Japan afford to align itself so much with the US on the China issue?Looking at it from the outside, Japan seems at risk of acute schizophrenia between its geopolitical and its economic imperatives: While the country is aligning ever more closely with Biden anti-China policy, Japan’s economy is increasingly dependent on China – now the country’s largest export destination, replacing the United States – and accounting for 22.9% of Japan’s total exports. Until recently Japan’s China policy has been successful in succeeding at not provoking China too brashly thus ensuring Beijing’s acceptance of a hedging policy towards the two super-powers. This was also made possible by China’s keen interest in Japan’s investments and technology. However, this balancing act is becoming increasingly difficult to sustain as the Suga government is now aligning itself even more fully with elements of the Biden China policy which are seen as most offensive by Beijing.
- Does Japan have the adequate policy-making structure to align its national security and economic priorities and needs?
- Can Japan continue its rapprochement with Taipei as the US-China rhetoric gets more and more inflammatory without increasing risks to its own security?
- What can corporate Japan do to mitigate the risks created by this dichotomy between the macroeconomic and the geopolitical factors?
- How long can Japan align more closely with the US on security issues while increasing its business with China?
WEDNESDAY OCTOBER 20, 2021