The 209th Meeting of "Foreign Policy Briefing" on
"The Problems of the Present International Situation" Held

JFIR monthly organizes a "Foreign Policy Briefing" meeting, former "Foreign Policy Breakfast" meeting renamed, to provide an occasion for members of JFIR to meet in an informal and confidential manner with senior officials of the Japanese Government and/or other experts and specialists in fields related to international relations. The 209th "Foreign Policy Briefing" meeting entitled "The Problems of the Present International Situation" was held on 22 November 2008. Amb. OKAZAKI Hisahiko, President of The OKAZAKI Institute, presented his views as follows.

Because of the victory of Mr. Barack Obama in the US presidential election, Washington DC is full of excitement. Although racial discrimination has been the biggest weakness in the history of the US, the birth of the first black President has enabled the US to acquire the moral authority, thereby establishing a strong position in the international society. The problem is the lineup of government officials in charge of Asia in Obama administration. I am concerned about such an argument that Asia policy should be promoted by three countries, Japan, US and China without mentioning Japan-US alliance. As for the recent financial crisis, we seem to have weathered the worst of the crisis through capital injection to financial institutions by the government. How to deal with the recession of real economy will become the next focus. Recently a lot of people are sensationally claiming that the US will decline. However, the past examples have shown that key currency will not change in 5 or 10 years. The increased influence of Russia and Iran was a popular argument when the oil price was peak several months ago, which no longer reflect the current situation. Above all, Washington DC is very excited after the presidential election and filled with the atmosphere of regaining power in the future.


The Japan Forum on International Relations (JFIR)