Shinzo Abe’s Vision and LegacyVIEW EVENT DETAILS
- Kevin Rudd, Asia Society President and CEO and Asia Society Policy Institute President (Moderator)
- Yoriko Kawaguchi, former Minister for Foreign Affairs of Japan; Visiting Professor, Musashino University, Fellow, Musashino Institute for Global Affairs, and Honorary Researcher, The Tokyo Foundation for Policy Research
- Wendy Cutler, ASPI Vice President
- Daniel Russel, ASPI Vice President
- Takako Hikotani, ASPI Senior Fellow
Please join the Asia Society Policy Institute (ASPI) for a program commemorating the late Shinzo Abe’s accomplishments, vision, and legacy — including through the personal reflections of people who worked with him.
As Japan’s longest-serving Prime Minister and the architect of Japan’s modern leadership role in the Indo-Pacific, Prime Minister Abe leaves behind a record of remarkable achievements — shaping the concept of the Free and Open Indo-Pacific, instituting Abenomics, the stewardship of the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade agreement, the elevation of women in the workplace, among others. Yet, he continued to press for further progress on an agenda to reform Japan’s postwar status and to cement Japan’s role as a key defender of the liberal international order.
Prime Minister Abe’s vision and approach were controversial to some, but rooted in the conviction that a strong Japan could be a force for global peace and stability, and driven by his impressive talents in political leadership and diplomacy. How will his absence shape Japan’s policy choices? What elements of his legacy will continue to further his vision?
The Hon. Kevin Rudd AC is President and CEO of the Asia Society, and inaugural President of the Asia Society Policy Institute. He served as 26th Prime Minister of Australia (2007 to 2010, 2013) and as Foreign Minister (2010 to 2012). He is Chair of the Board of the International Peace Institute in New York, and Chair of Sanitation and Water for All – a global partnership of government and non-governmental organizations dedicated to the implementation of Sustainable Development Goal 6. He is a Distinguished Fellow at Chatham House and the Paulson Institute, and a Distinguished Statesman with the Center for Strategic and International Studies. He is also a member of the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty Organization’s Group of Eminent Persons.
Yoriko Kawaguchi was a Member of the House of Councilors for the Liberal Democratic Party from 2005 to 2013. She was Special Adviser to the Prime Minister of Japan on foreign affairs from 2004 to 2005, Minister for Foreign Affairs from 2002 to 2004, and Minister of the Environment from 2000 to 2002. She also served as Co-chair of the International Commission on Nuclear Non-Proliferation and Disarmament from 2008 to 2010. Ms. Kawaguchi is currently Visiting Professor at Musashino University, a Fellow of Musashino Institute for Global Affairs, and Honorary Researcher for The Tokyo Foundation for Policy Research. Ms. Kawaguchi also holds a professorship at the Meiji Institute for Global Affairs. She is a member of the Asia Pacific Leadership Network, Executive Advisor to the Sasakwa Peace Foundation and Distinguished Fellow at the Tokyo Foundation. She is a member of the Board of Trustees of the International Crisis Group, the Toshiba International Foundation, and the United States-Japan Foundation. She also serves as Outside Director to the Toyota Tsusho Corporation and the Japan Peteroleum Exploration Co., Ltd. Prior to this, Ms. Kawaguchi was a Managing Director of Suntory Ltd., Director General of Global Environmental Affairs at the Ministry of International Trade and Industry, and Minister at the Embassy of Japan to the United States.
Wendy Cutler is Vice President at the Asia Society Policy Institute (ASPI) and the managing director of the Washington, D.C. office. In these roles, she focuses on building ASPI’s presence in the nation's capital and on leading initiatives that address challenges related to trade, investment and innovation, as well as women’s empowerment in Asia. She joined ASPI following an illustrious career of nearly three decades as a diplomat and negotiator in the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR), where she also served as Acting Deputy U.S. Trade Representative. During her USTR career, she worked on a range of bilateral, regional and multilateral trade negotiations and initiatives, including the U.S.-Korea Free Trade Agreement, the Trans Pacific Partnership, U.S.-China negotiations and the WTO Financial Services negotiations.
Daniel Russel is Vice President for International Security and Diplomacy at the Asia Society Policy Institute (ASPI). Previously he served as a Diplomat-in-Residence and Senior Fellow with ASPI for a one year term. A career member of the Senior Foreign Service at the U.S. Department of State, he most recently served as the Assistant Secretary of State for East Asian and Pacific Affairs. He served at the White House as Special Assistant to the President and National Security Council Senior Director for Asian Affairs, where he helped formulate President Obama’s strategic rebalance to the Asia Pacific region, including efforts to strengthen alliances, deepen U.S. engagement with multilateral organizations, and expand cooperation with emerging powers in the region. Among many roles at the Department of State, he served as Director of the Office of Japanese Affairs and U.S. Consul General in Osaka-Kobe.
Takako Hikotani is a Senior Fellow of the Asia Society Policy Institute and Professor at Gakushuin University International Centre. From 2016 to 2021, she was the Gerald L. Curtis Associate Professor of Modern Japanese Politics and Foreign Policy at Columbia University, and continues her affiliation with Columbia as Adjunct Senior Research Scholar at the Weatherhead East Asian Institute. She previously taught at the National Defense Academy of Japan, where she was Associate Professor, and lectured at the Ground and Air Self Defense Force Staff Colleges, and the National Institute for Defense Studies. Her research focuses on civil-military relations, Japanese domestic politics and Japanese foreign policy. Her recent publications (in English) include, The Japanese Diet and defense policy-making and Trump's Gift to Japan: Time for Tokyo to Invest in the Liberal Order. She received her BA from Keio University, MAs from Keio University and Stanford University, and PhD in Political Science from Columbia University, where she was a President's Fellow.