"Japan ist übrigens auch noch da" (Japan is still important)

Germany seems out of touch with Japan. High ranking federal representatives, including Merkel, and the German media seem to focus only little on Japan and its recent developments, such as in economy and politics, or are too heavily focused on very specific topics like the Fukushima catastrophe. This is surprising, given that Japan is the world's fourth largest economy and a vital partner to Germany in the Asia-Pacific region.

Während Bundeskanzlerin Merkel Anfang Juli 2014 schon zum siebten Mal in großer Begleitung nach China reiste, hat sie Japan, die andere wirtschaftliche „Supermacht“ Ostasiens, seit ihrem Amtsantritt erst einmal - 2007 - besucht. Auch für viele andere hochrangige Bundespolitiker ist Tokio nicht die allererste Adresse. Allerdings fahren Ländervertreter häufiger dorthin, um für Investitionen und Unternehmensansiedlungen zu werben. Obwohl sich die Japan- Berichterstattung in den deutschen Medien seit einiger Zeit nicht mehr nur um die Atomruine Fukushima dreht, sondern auch zum Beispiel wichtige wirtschaftspolitische Entwicklungen aufgegriffen werden, entspricht das deutsche Interesse insgesamt nicht der Bedeutung eines Landes, das immerhin die viertgrößte Volkswirtschaft der Welt ist und im asiatisch-pazifischen Raum eine sehr wichtige Rolle spielt.

Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung
Japan Office

7-5-56 Akasaka
Minato-ku
Tokyo, 107-0052
Japan

+03 6277-7551
+03 3588-6035

office(at)fes-japan.org

Photo: FES Japan

Events

EPRIE 2019 - Overcoming the challenges posed by social media: How to make it work for social change?

EPRIE aims to share and exchange perspectives and experiences between East Asia and Europe. In 2018, we examined the challenges posed to the media sector by populism and post-truth politics. This year, together with media practitioners, actors from civil society, scholars and politicians, we will focus on social media as a tool for social change.

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C20 Summit "Promoting Peace, Human Rights and Democratic Governance through the SDG 16+"

Growing inequality, humanitarian crisis and violation of fundamental human rights threaten the international community. As conditions and space for civic society to find solutions to these challenges remain restricted, protecting human rights and the freedom of civic society are crucial. To achieve the SDG 16 focusing on Peace, Human Rights and Democratic Governance the civil society and the world leaders of the G20 must solve global challenges together. During the 2019 Summit "Promoting Peace, Human Rights and Democratic Governance through the SDG 16+" the Tokyo Democracy Forum will review and discuss these challenges within SDG 16 and adopt the Declaration of Tokyo Democracy Forum.

 

 

 

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Lecture "Between a Rock and a Hard Place: Middle Powers Amidst Global Power Shifts"

Less wars, more prosperity—that is a global trend since the end of the Cold War. Yet, illiberalism is increasingly spreading, even in democratic countries, and nationalist populism has come to define the policies of some of the great powers. Do we head towards a world where—to speak with Thucydides—the strong do as they like while the weak do as they must? The most fragile and vulnerable states—the Middle Powers—have to find ways out of the conundrum. To that end, they must find solutions regarding the problems in their own societies.

 

Dr. Volker Stanzel is the former ambassador of the Federal Republic of Germany to Japan and China and currently serves as the Vice President of the German Council on Foreign Relations (DGAP), Senior Distinguished Fellow at the German Institute for International and Security Affairs (SWP), and President of the Association of German-German-Japanese Societies.

 

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Graphic: J. Traud

Latest Publications

Publication "The future of the German automotive industry. Transformation by disaster or by design?"

New concepts of digital mobility from China and Silicon Valley and the issue of environmental driving bans for diesel cars pose grave challenges to the traditional German car industry - the backbone of the German economy. German policies must support the transformation of mobility by initiating a stakeholder dialogue to forge a pact for future mobility to transform the German automotive industry.

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"Education and Patriotism" - A Documentary

The TV documentary "Education and Patriotism" (Kyōiku to aikoku) provides a critical look at recent debates surrounding the introduction of moral education in Japanese elementary and middle schools as a new subject and in particular focuses on the compilation, examination, approval and selection of textbooks for classes in moral education, while extending the analysis to the ongoing history textbook controversies.

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Renewable Energy Policies and the Energy Transition in Japan

This report outlines Japan’s renewable energy policy and the state of the energy transition in the country. It includes current prospects for climate change policy and the status of electrical power systems including nuclear power issues, status sand support policy of renewable energy as well as social issues and political feasibility. Furthermore, long-term vision and scenarios for promoting an energy transition are discussed, including community power and credit systems. Finally, policy recommendations are proposed for promoting energy transition in Japan.

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