U.S.-Japan Relations in the Biden EraVIEW EVENT DETAILS
In the nearly two years since U.S. Ambassador Rahm Emanuel presented his credentials in Tokyo, Japan has experienced both traumatic shocks, such as the assassination of former Prime Minister Abe, and major accomplishments, including its groundbreaking National Security and Defense Strategies and hosting the G7 Hiroshima Summit. Important progress in strengthening the U.S.-Japan alliance has been augmented by the breakthrough in Japan-South Korea relations and the launch of a leaders-level trilateral process at the Camp David Summit.
All this has occurred at a time when the global order is under pressure from China and Russia, individually and jointly, using coercive and aggressive tactics that threaten stability in Asia and beyond. Intensified competition has made U.S.-Japan coordination increasingly important. The two countries continue to bolster and recalibrate their strategies for dealing with geostrategic risk, uncertain economic trends, supply chain vulnerabilities, and rapid technological change.
Join the Asia Society Policy Institute (ASPI) for a wide-ranging, in-person conversation between U.S. Ambassador to Japan Rahm Emanuel and ASPI Vice President Daniel Russel. Looking ahead to important multilateral events like the G20 and APEC Summits, and with a view to regional and global challenges ranging from North Korea to climate change, the two will discuss the roles and the goals for the U.S.-Japan relationship.
Coffee and pastries will begin at 8:00 a.m. ET.
Rahm Emanuel was confirmed in a bipartisan vote as the 31st United States Ambassador to Japan on December 18, 2021.
Previously, Ambassador Emanuel was the 55th Mayor of the City of Chicago, a position he held until May 2019. During that time, he made the critical choices necessary to secure Chicago’s future as a global capital. As Mayor, the Ambassador added four years to a student’s education. He increased the school day by 75 minutes and added more than 200 hours to the school year, marking the largest single increase in educational time by any city and taking Chicago from having the least educational time of any large school district in the country to being on par with its peers. He implemented universal pre-kindergarten and full-day kindergarten for every Chicago child, and made Chicago the first city in America to provide free community college. The Mayor’s comprehensive public safety strategy focused on expanded prevention programs for at-risk youth, smarter policing strategies, and empowering parents and communities to reduce violence. The Ambassador made it a priority to bring global companies to the city, helping Chicago to lead the U.S. in corporate relocations and foreign direct investment for seven consecutive years. His administration invested in infrastructure, public transportation, open space, and cultural attractions. From the $8.5 billion O’Hare International Airport modernization program that is cementing Chicago’s status as a global leader in travel, tourism, and trade to the development of the iconic 1.25-mile Chicago Riverwalk, the City’s investments are creating thousands of good-paying jobs and making Chicago a better place to live, work, and play.
Prior to becoming Mayor, from November 2008 until October 2010, Ambassador Emanuel served as President Barack Obama’s Chief of Staff. In addition to being the President’s top advisor, the Ambassador helped the Obama administration secure the passage of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 and the landmark Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.
Ambassador Emanuel was elected four times as a Member of the U.S. House of Representatives from Illinois’s 5th Congressional District (2002-2008). As Chairman of the House Democratic Caucus, Emanuel helped pass legislation to raise the minimum wage and authored the Great Lakes Restoration Act.
From 1993 to 1998, Ambassador Emanuel was a key member of President Bill Clinton's administration, rising to serve as Senior Advisor to the President for Policy and Politics. During this time, Emanuel served as a legislative liaison to Congress and spearheaded efforts to pass several of President Clinton’s signature achievements, most notably the Federal Assault Weapons Ban, the Brady Handgun Violence Prevention Act, and the historic Balanced Budget Act, which created the Children's Health Insurance Program that expanded health care coverage to 10 million children. The Ambassador also worked closely with President Joseph R. Biden Jr., then a U.S. Senator, to shepherd the Violence Against Women Act of 1994 through Congress.
As a former Senior Counselor at Centerview Partners and former Managing Director at Wasserstein Perella & Co., Emanuel brings a depth of financial experience to the post.
Ambassador Emanuel graduated from Sarah Lawrence College in 1981 and received a Master's Degree in Speech and Communication from Northwestern University in 1985. He is married to Amy Rule, and they have three children.
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. Prior to his appointment as Assistant Secretary on July 12, 2013, Mr. Russel served at the White House as Special Assistant to the President and National Security Council (NSC) Senior Director for Asian Affairs. During his tenure there, 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.
Prior to joining the NSC in January of 2009, he served as Director of the Office of Japanese Affairs and had assignments as U.S. Consul General in Osaka-Kobe, Japan (2005-2008); Deputy Chief of Mission at the U.S. Embassy in The Hague, Netherlands (2002-2005); Deputy Chief of Mission at the U.S. Embassy in Nicosia, Cyprus (1999-2002); Chief of Staff to the Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs, Ambassador Thomas R. Pickering (1997-99); Special Assistant to the Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs (1995-96); Political Section Unit Chief at U.S. Embassy Seoul, Republic of Korea (1992-95); Political Advisor to the Permanent Representative to the U.S. Mission to the United Nations, Ambassador Pickering (1989-92); Vice Consul in Osaka and Branch Office Manager in Nagoya, Japan (1987-89); and Assistant to the Ambassador to Japan, former Senate Majority Leader Mike Mansfield (1985-87).
In 1996, Mr. Russel was awarded the State Department's Una Chapman Cox Fellowship sabbatical and authored America’s Place in the World, a book published by Georgetown University. Before joining the Foreign Service, he was manager for an international firm in New York City.
Mr. Russel was educated at Sarah Lawrence College and University College, University of London, UK.
This program is a part of Asia Society’s Global Year of Japan – a season of multidisciplinary programming dedicated to Japan, presented across Asia Society’s 16 centers in the United States, Asia, and Europe.