The Courteous Power: Japan and Southeast Asia in the Indo-Pacific Era

The Courteous Power: Japan and Southeast Asia in the Indo-Pacific Era

Tuesday, December 8, 2020
4:00 PM - 5:30 PM

Via Zoom Webinar.

  • John Ciorciari,
  • Emma Chanlett-Avery

Co-sponsored by the Japan Program and the Southeast Asia Program

When Yoshihide Suga recently took over as prime minister of Japan, he tellingly focused his first trip abroad on Southeast Asia. The region has long been crucial to Japan’s foreign policy, and Japan has long been a key external partner to ASEAN and its constitutive states and societies. Japan’s engagement in Southeast Asia has become even more important in the era of the “Free and Open Indo-Pacific,” as the region confronts new economic, political and security challenges against the backdrop of waxing Sino-American rivalry and now a global pandemic. This webinar will examine Japan’s role in Southeast Asia in the recent past and the going forward. Drawing on the findings of a collaborative research project involving scholars from Southeast Asia, Japan, and North America – to be published as an edited volume from the University of Michigan Press – the panel will discuss Japan’s engagement in key areas such as infrastructure investment, maritime security assistance, and multilateral diplomacy, as well as Southeast Asian responses to its initiatives. They will also discuss the important roles played by non-state actors in mediating Japanese ties to Southeast Asia, and review key elements of continuity and change likely to extend into the Suga administration and beyond.   


John D Ciociari 120820 crop 4X4
John Ciorciari is Associate Professor and Director of the Weiser Diplomacy Center and International Policy Center at the Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy, University of Michigan. He is the author of Sovereignty Sharing in Fragile States (Stanford University Press, forthcoming 2021), The Limits of Alignment: Southeast Asia and the Great Powers since 1975 (Georgetown University Press, 2010), co-author of Hybrid Justice: The Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia (University of Michigan Press, 2014), and co-editor of The Courteous Power: Japan and Southeast Asia in the Indo-Pacific Era (University of Michigan Press, forthcoming 2021).


Emma Chanlett-Avery is a Specialist in Asian Affairs at the Congressional Research Service. She focuses on U.S. relations with Japan, the Korean Peninsula, Thailand, and Singapore. Ms. Chanlett-Avery joined CRS in 2003 through the Presidential Management Fellowship, with rotations in the State Department on the Korea Desk and at the Joint U.S. Military Advisory Group in Bangkok, Thailand. She also worked in the Office of Policy Planning as a Harold Rosenthal Fellow. She is a member of the Mansfield Foundation U.S. – Japan Network for the Future, Vice-Chair of the Board of Trustees of the Japan America Society of Washington, and the 2016 recipient of the Kato Prize. Ms. Chanlett-Avery received an MA in international security policy from the School of International and Public Affairs at Columbia University and her BA in Russian studies from Amherst College.

don emmerson 2
Donald K. Emmerson heads the Southeast Asia Program at Stanford University where he is also a faculty affiliate of the Center on Democracy, Development, and the Rule of Law and the Abbasi Program in Islamic Studies.  His new book is The Deer and the Dragon: Southeast Asia and China in the 21st Century (ed., August 2020).  Other recent publications include “Biden in Asia: America Together?,” East Asia Forum, 8 November 2020; “Donald Emmerson on Southeast Asia’s Approach to China” (interview, The Diplomat, Aug. 2020); “‘No Sole Control’ in the South China Sea,” Asia Policy (2019); ASEAN @ 50, Southeast Asia @ Risk: What Should Be Done? (ed., 2018); and “ASEAN Between China and America: Is It Time to Try Horsing the Cow?,” Trans-Regional and -National Studies of Southeast Asia (2017).  He has traveled and lectured widely in Southeast Asia, most recently in Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam (Dec. 2019). Indonesia figured prominently in earlier fieldwork and writing. Before moving to Stanford in 1999, he taught political science at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.  He has held visiting positions at the Institute for Advanced Studies and the Australian National University, among other institutions.  His doctorate in political science is from Yale. 


Kiyoteru Tsutsui 120820 crop 4X4
Kiyoteru Tsutsui is Henri H. and Tomoye Takahashi Professor and Senior Fellow in Japanese Studies at the Walter H. Shorenstein Asia-Pacific Research Center at Stanford University, where he is also Director of the Japan Program, a Senior Fellow of the Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies, and a Professor of Sociology. He is the author of Rights Make Might: Global Human Rights and Minority Social Movements in Japan (Oxford University Press, 2018), co-editor of Corporate Responsibility in a Globalizing World (Oxford University Press, 2016) and co-editor of The Courteous Power: Japan and Southeast Asia in the Indo-Pacific Era (University of Michigan Press, forthcoming 2021).