The Politics of North Korea in Japan


  • Ambassador Rust Deming

This talk will examine the evolution of Japanese attitudes and policy toward the Korean peninsula.

The legacy of Japan's occupation; divisions in Japan's Korean community and the spillover into Japanese domestic politics; the impact of the abduction issue and the North Korean nuclear and missile programs on Japanese attitudes toward Pyongyang will be looked at. The current state of relations, with a focus on the divisions between Tokyo and Washington on how to proceed, will also be discussed.

Ambassador Deming joined the School of Advanced International Studies at Johns Hopkins Universtiy in September 2005, after a 38 year career in the Foreign Service. His last overseas post was as Ambassador to Tunisia from 2000 to 2003. Prior to that, he served as Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for East Asian and Pacific Affairs (June 1998 to August 2000). He was Senior Advisor to the Assistant Secretary for East Asian and Pacific Affairs from December 1997. From October 1997 to December 1997, he was the East Asian and Pacific Affairs Bureau’s Senior Advisor to the United Nations General Assembly in New York.

Ambassador Deming has spent much of his career dealing with Japanese affairs, having served in Japan as Charge d’Affaires, ad interim, from December 1996 to September 1997, and as Deputy Chief of Mission from October 1993 to December 1996. From September 1991 to August 1993, Amb. Deming was Director of the Office of Japanese Affairs in Washington. He served as Minister Counselor for Political Affairs at the American Embassy in Tokyo from August 1987 to July 1991. From 1985 to 1986, Amb. Deming was detailed to the National War College at Fort McNair in Washington, DC.

He received his M.A. in East Asian Studies from Stanford University and B.A. from Rollins College.