The Courteous Power: Japan and Southeast Asia in an Evolving Indo-Pacific Order


About the Webinar

Shortly after taking office, Japan’s new Prime Minister Fumio Kishida held his first summit with ASEAN leaders and vowed to enhance cooperation with ASEAN to realise the vision for a free and open Indo-Pacific. Southeast Asia and Japan are longstanding important partners of each other, and the relationship has become even more crucial for both sides to deal with myriad regional challenges, especially the Covid-19 pandemic, mounting Sino-American tensions, and forces of nationalism and authoritarianism. During this turbulent period, Japan represents a vital source of aid, trade, and investment, a steady diplomatic partner, and a rising actor in the security sphere. Drawing on findings from their new edited volume, The Courteous Power, John Ciorciari and Kiyoteru Tsutsui will discuss Japan’s engagement and Southeast Asian responses in the past and present, especially in infrastructure investment, multilateral diplomacy, and maritime security assistance. They will also examine the important roles played by non-state actors in the relations, the likely trajectory of Japan’s approach to Southeast Asia under Kishida’s leadership and the implications for the regional order.

About the Speakers

John Ciorciari is Associate Professor and Director of the International Policy Center and Weiser Diplomacy 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, 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, 2021).

Kiyoteru Tsutsui is Henri H. and Tomoye Takahashi Professor in Japanese Studies and Deputy Director of 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, 2021).


This webinar will be delivered online entirely. You can join the webinar at the specified date and time using devices (computer, phone, or tablet) with internet connection.

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Nov 19 2021


10:00 am - 11:15 am