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  • Author: Luke Patey
  • Publication Date: 05-2021
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Danish Institute for International Studies
  • Abstract: Recommendations: The US, South Korea, Japan, and the EU can pool resources to level the playing field with China and offer new finance options for developing countries seeking to upgrade their communications and technology infrastructure. The US should look to the India and Vietnam model and help other nations develop domestic capacities that lower dependencies on Huawei and other foreign tech providers over time. Open RAN is no silver bullet to compete with China. Its potential will only be fully realized in the mid and long run, after high integration costs, security gaps, and other problems are worked out.
  • Topic: Security, Foreign Policy, Development, Politics, Science and Technology, Power Politics, Economy, Cyberspace
  • Political Geography: Japan, China, Asia, North America, United States of America
  • Author: Monika Chansoria
  • Publication Date: 06-2020
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Japan Institute Of International Affairs (JIIA)
  • Abstract: The prospects for exploring seabed minerals, specifically rare earth elements (REEs) have risen courtesy technological innovations in the field of deep-sea exploration. REEs are identified as a group of 17 chemical elements in the periodic table, found relatively in abundance in the Earth’s crust. They share similar chemical and physical properties and are of vital use in a variety of sectors, including by military manufacturers and technology firms. The largest subgroup within the REEs are the 15 lanthanides. The two other elements being scandium and yttrium. Based on quantity, the lanthanides, cerium, lanthanum, and neodymium are the most produced rare earths elements. These elements earn the distinction of being ‘rare’ for their availability in quantities which are significant enough to support viable economic mineral development of the deposits. However, from a cost-effective point of view, they are not consumable. It is not economically viable to extract these elements for consumption purposes since they are not concentrated enough and remain thinly dispersed as deep as 6.4 kilometers underwater
  • Topic: Development, Bilateral Relations, Partnerships, Research, Mining, Trade
  • Political Geography: Japan, India, Asia
  • Author: Monika Chansoria
  • Publication Date: 04-2020
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Japan Institute Of International Affairs (JIIA)
  • Abstract: The 20th and 21st centuries will be remembered for many things, including primacy of the vast and seemingly endless seas and oceans. In this setting, the Indian Ocean Region (IOR) finds itself at the heart of the world map connecting distant nations through limitless waters. As a Northeast Asian island nation, Japan’s involvement with the Indian Ocean is heavily defined by virtue of its trade, investment and supplies from this region. Japan’s story in this reference dates back to the 17th century when a prominent Japanese adventurer, merchant, and trader, Tenjiku Tokubei sailed to Siam (Thailand) and subsequently to India in 1626 aboard a Red Seal ship via China, Vietnam and Malacca. Often referred to as the ‘Marco Polo of Japan’, Tokubei’s adventurous journey and account of his travels to India gained distinction also because he became perhaps the first Japanese to visit Magadh (which was an Indian kingdom in southern Bihar during the ancient Indian era).
  • Topic: Security, Development, Regional Cooperation, History, Capacity
  • Political Geography: Japan, Asia, Indian Ocean
  • Author: Monika Chansoria
  • Publication Date: 08-2020
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Japan Institute Of International Affairs (JIIA)
  • Abstract: The Blue Economy concept was first articulated in 2012 by the Small Island Developing States (SIDS) at the 2012 Rio+20 Summit on Sustainable Development. This novel idea was coupled with a concurrent approach that sought to transform traditional ocean economies into an ecosystem harnessing oceanic resources for better conservation of the marine environment. Ever since, the Blue Economy concept and its implementation has remained an evolving one. The broad consensus is that diminishing land resources have induced greater pressure on ocean assets to feed faster growth. At the same time, realization of the dangers of unsustainable approaches is equally compelling. The oceans remain the foremost climate stabilizers as they directly absorb heat and recycle an overwhelming share of greenhouse gases. Rising sea levels are causing submergence of valuable land, and extreme weather conditions and rising temperatures will eventually disrupt the water cycle, and hurt agriculture, fisheries and the rich marine biodiversity. The need to find mitigating solutions ensuring that future economic growth and development be more sustainable remains more pronounced than ever. As per few estimates, in many sectors, the ocean-based productivity will exceed the corresponding land-based production both in terms of value and employment generation by 2030. However, these benefits would likely accrue only in case of the oceans remaining healthy.
  • Topic: Climate Change, Development, Economy, Sustainable Development Goals
  • Political Geography: Japan, Indian Ocean
  • Author: Gabriel Felbermayr, Jasmin Katrin Gröschl, Benedikt Heid
  • Publication Date: 12-2020
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Kiel Institute for the World Economy (IfW)
  • Abstract: We estimate the short-run trade effects of natural disasters using monthly trade data and data on the physical intensity of earthquakes and storms. We find large negative effects for heavily indebted poor, least developed or landlocked developing countries but only small effects for other economies. We use our estimates to identify key parameters of a dynamic quantitative trade model to disentangle the effects of disasters on supply, demand, and welfare and their spillovers on third countries via trade linkages. We apply our model to quantify the effects of the 1992 earthquake in Nicaragua, a small, heavily indebted poor country, and the 2011 Tohoku earthquake in Japan, a large developed economy. We find that spillovers are negligible if the country affected by a disaster is small but sizable for large economies. Similar disasters have heterogeneous effects on countries’ demand and supply, highlighting the importance of event-specific policies in the aftermath of disasters.
  • Topic: Development, Economics, Natural Disasters, Economic Growth, Trade
  • Political Geography: Japan, Nicaragua
  • Author: Judd Devermont
  • Publication Date: 09-2019
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: It has recently become fashionable to host a regional summit with African leaders. The Arab states, China, the European Union, France, India, Russia, and Turkey all established high-profile diplomatic forums with African counterparts. Japan has been one of the pacesetters, inviting African governments, as well as multilateral institutions, to attend TICAD since 1993. TICAD’s seventh iteration, which was staged in Yokohama from August 28- 30, 2019, welcomed 42 African presidents, vice presidents, and prime ministers and witnessed the signing of 110 memorandums of understanding (MOUs) with African countries and private-sector companies.1,2 The United States chaired one such event, the U.S.-Africa Leaders Summit, in August 2014. While it represented a milestone in U.S.-African diplomatic engagement, the United States has not attempted anything on the same scale since. In 2016, the U.S. Department of Commerce with Bloomberg Philanthropies chaired a second U.S.-Africa Business Forum. President Trump met with eight sub-Saharan African leaders on the margins of the UN General Assembly in 2017 and separately invited Nigerian president Muhammadu Buhari and Kenyan president Uhuru Kenyatta to the White House in 2018. If the U.S. government decides to resume the U.S.-Africa Leaders Summit, it has the potential to deepen ties between the United States and African counterparts, as well as promote trade and investment and advance signature initiatives.
  • Topic: Development, Foreign Aid, Leadership, Humanitarian Intervention
  • Political Geography: Africa, Japan, Asia, North America, United States of America
  • Author: James Aird
  • Publication Date: 01-2019
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Harvard Journal of Middle Eastern Politics and Policy
  • Institution: The John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University
  • Abstract: As Egypt’s ‘Year of Education’ begins, the government pushes much needed reform in pre-university education across the country. Supported by a $500 million World Bank loan, the government is accelerating efforts to train teachers, build schools, and implement tablet technology in primary and secondary education. The reforms include one ambitious project that is especially deserving of more attention: the expansion of a pilot program adapting Japanese educational techniques to the Egyptian context. At a meeting in Tokyo on February 29th, 2016, Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi announced a joint partnership that sought to link Egypt to Japan through educational development, in part thanks to al Sisi’s personal admiration for Japan’s education system. As part of the joint partnership, Japanese and Egyptian administrators and policymakers set out to reshape Egyptian pedagogy. Modeled on Japan’s Tokkatsu education system, which refers to a program of “whole child development,” Egypt aims to build schools that place great emphasis on teaching students to be responsible, disciplined, and clean, as opposed to the more traditional model prioritizing higher standardized testing scores. A Tokkatsu-inspired curriculum is already being used at over forty schools that accepted more than 13,000 students in September 2018. While President al Sisi plans to personally monitor the new education system, other MENA states should also watch closely. If it successfully contributes to building Egypt’s human capital and improving students’ competitiveness, other states in the region might consider implementing similar educational policies.
  • Topic: Development, Education, Reform, Children, Partnerships, Youth
  • Political Geography: Japan, Middle East, North Africa, Egypt
  • Author: Monika Chansoria
  • Publication Date: 06-2019
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Japan Institute Of International Affairs (JIIA)
  • Abstract: Signing the Japan-India Vision Statement in Tokyo on 29 October 2018, the Prime Ministers of Japan and India reviewed cooperation on development of connectivity via quality infrastructure and capacitybuilding carried out bilaterally, as well as, with other partners. More so, the need to do this in an open, transparent and non-exclusive manner based on international standards, responsible debt financing practices, and in alignment with local economic and development strategies and priorities was highlighted.1 The synergy finds embodiment in collaborative projects between Japan and India in the Indo-Pacific region, especially in Sri Lanka, Myanmar, Bangladesh, and Africa. In slightly over six months since this statement, Sri Lanka recently announced on 28 May 2019, its decision of entering into a trilateral partnership with India and Japan to develop a deepsea container terminal. The state-run Sri Lanka Ports Authority (SLPA) said a Memorandum of Cooperation (MOC) had been signed between the three countries to jointly develop the East Container Terminal (ECT) of the Colombo Port next to a $500-million Chineserun container jetty in Colombo harbor.
  • Topic: Development, Regional Cooperation, Infrastructure, Trade
  • Political Geography: Japan, South Asia, India, Sri Lanka
  • Author: Carlos Eduardo Carvalho, João Paulo Nicolini Gabriel
  • Publication Date: 10-2018
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Conjuntura Austral: Journal of the Global South
  • Institution: Conjuntura Austral: Journal of the Global South
  • Abstract: The launch of a vision document for Asia-Africa Growth Corridor (AAGC) at the African Development Bank meeting in Gujarat in 2017 reveals an important aspect to grasp the awkening of a strategy to face China’s rise. This conference of the African Development Bank (AfDB) is a landmark for this initiative. This bank is a mechanism for economic and social development with the participation of non-African members (e.g. China, India, Brazil, the United States, and Japan). The main contributors to the African Development Fund -linked to this bank -are the United Kingdom, the USA and Japan. Beijing does not figure among the most influent members of this organization. Thus, it was an opportunity for think tanks, supported by India and Japan, to introduce the idea of a corridor aimed to link Asia to Africa in order to increase co-operation in agriculture, social development and technology sharing.
  • Topic: Development, International Political Economy, International Trade and Finance, Economic Growth, Banks, Trade, Economic Development , Trade Policy, Economic Cooperation
  • Political Geography: Africa, Japan, China, Asia
  • Author: Christopher Roberts
  • Publication Date: 08-2017
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for Non-Traditional Security Studies, S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies
  • Abstract: This Working Paper examines the South China Sea disputes and primarily focuses on developments since 2013 when the Philippines filed for international arbitration. The first part of the paper examines how the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and China reacted to the arbitral process and the potential for the Association to undertake an effective and unified position in the future. The second part of the article builds on the analysis by assessing the prospects for, and likely impact of, the long-sought Code of Conduct. In the process, it examines the continued viability of ASEAN’s consensus-based decision-making approach, whether and how it could be reformed, and the potential benefits and viability of a new institutional arrangement with membership based on shared values and interests (rather than geography). The paper also argues that to enhance the possibility of redress on the issue, other key stakeholder states (such as Japan, Australia, India, and the United States) will need to be more strongly engaged and support claimant countries through a diverse array of activities. Such activities range from investments in capacity building to the provision of coastguards (if invited) to police and protect resources within the Exclusive Economic Zones of claimant states, as clarified by the July 2016 Arbitral Ruling.
  • Topic: Development, Regional Cooperation, Police, ASEAN
  • Political Geography: Japan, India, Asia, Australia, South China Sea