October 19, 2017 - In This Issue:

Japan Political Pulse Analysis: New opposition parties still lagging behind the LDP-but many voters undecided
Sasakawa USA Fellow Tobias Harris' latest Japan Political Pulse analysis takes an early look at Japan's October 22 parliamentary election, including assessments of the new Party of Hope and Constitutional Democratic Party of Japan and the outlook for the Prime Minister Abe's Liberal Democratic Party.

"The LDP could still suffer some losses," writes Harris, "particularly in Tokyo and the greater Kanto region, but it is unclear whether the opposition parties will be able to overcome lingering public doubts about their efficacy and leverage public dissatisfaction with Abe's leadership to deal the prime minister a significant personal defeat, let alone unseat the LDP-Komeito coalition." 
In the News: Tokyo Governor Yuriko Koike decides against run for parliament
Washington Post and Japan Times coverage of competition between Tokyo governor Yurkio Koike's newly formed 'Party of Hope' and Prime Minister Abe's Liberal Democratic Party drew on expertise from Sasakawa USA's Fellow for Economy,  Trade, and Business, Tobias Harris.

"The party's manifesto is unlikely to inspire great passion among independents, without whom it will be impossible for (Party of) Hope to make significant gains at the LDP's expense," Mr. Harris told the Japan Times.

In the News: No big changes expected from Japanese elections, says Amb. Zumwalt
An October 16 Tokyo Business Today article on U.S. perspectives on the upcoming Japanese elections featured insights from U.S.-based Japan experts such as Sasakawa USA's Ambassador James Zumwalt. Despite the importance of the election, the U.S. public and policymakers are not anticipating big changes as a result of the elections, say experts.

Analysis: The story of how Japanese politics got shaken up in 2017
Politics, polling, and prospects for Japan's upcoming snap election on October 22 are discussed in detail in the latest episode of The Diplomat's  Asia Geopolitics podcast  featuring Sasakawa USA's  Tobias Harris .

In-Depth with Nippon.com: PM Abe's drive to amend the Constitution, and Yuriko Koike shakes up October election 

PM Abe's drive to amend the Constitution: Can he overcome the hurdles?: Prime Minister Abe is aiming to amend the Constitution of Japan by 2020. But support for his administration has declined sharply, and if he insists on pushing ahead with the amendment process according to his intended schedule, he runs the risk of failing both at revising the Constitution and at holding on to power.  Click here to read more. 
Koike Yuriko Shakes Up October Election Prospects with Party of Hope: "On September 27, 2017, the Kibō no Tō, or Party of Hope, held a press conference in Tokyo to formally announce its appearance on the national political stage," writes Nippon.com's editorial board in its analysis of the Party of Hope. While the party has the potential to attract a large number of voters, its success is contingent on a various factors.  Click here to read more.
Upcoming event: Post-Summit Evaluation: The United States, Japan and ASEAN   

On November 15, immediately following President Trump's first visit to Southeast Asia to attend the U.S.-ASEAN Summit and the East Asia Summit in the Philippines and the APEC Summit in Vietnam, Sasakawa USA will host a public panel discussion on "Post-Summit Evaluation: The United States, Japan and ASEAN."

During the panel discussion, five knowledgeable experts will evaluate the summit results in the context of current U.S. and Japanese policies toward ASEAN. 
Sasakawa USA Blog: J. LIVE Talk semi-finalists join lunch talk on U.S.-Japan alliance 
On October 13, five of the semi-finalists for the 2017 J. LIVE Talk speech contest visited Sasakawa USA's office in Washington, D.C. over lunch to meet with Sasakawa USA staff about opportunities in U.S.-Japan relations. 

Launched in 2015, J. Live Talk aims to provide a platform for graduate and undergraduate students to showcase their proficiency in Japanese, polish their public speaking skills, share ideas from their unique perspectives, and connect with the larger Japanese-affiliated community. 
Journalism Fellowship: Japan is king of efficiency. But it's losing climate passion  

Despite gains in energy-consciousness, Japan struggles to become more climate-conscious, says Umair Irfan, reporter for ClimateWire and  recipient of Sasakawa USA's 2016 Journalism Fellowship. In the fifth article in his series on Japan's role in global energy and climate change, Mr. Irfan details some of the challenges faced by Japan's environmentalist movement. 

Click here  to read more, and click here  to learn more about Sasakawa USA's Journalism Fellowship.
Sasakawa USA Forum: Now accepting submissions
We are now accepting submissions for the Fall/Winter Sasakawa USA Forum. The Sasakawa USA Forum is  a platform for research and analysis related to Japan and U.S.-Japan relations in a bilateral, regional, and global context. 

Submissions should be 750 to 2,000 words in length and written on issues that previously have been inadequately covered regarding Japan or U.S.-Japan relations from a bilateral, regional, and global context. For more information, contact Darah Phillip at dphillip@spfusa.org. 

Reminder: Sasakawa USA In-Depth Alumni Research Trip accepting applications 
Previous participants in a Sasakawa Peace Foundation or Sasakawa USA sponsored delegation or program are invited to apply for the Sasakawa USA In-Depth Alumni Research Trip. The selected alumni and an accompanying assistant or research partner will have the opportunity to return to Japan to gain a deeper understanding of common challenges in the U.S.-Japan relationship, then to present their findings to the D.C. policy community at an event hosted by Sasakawa USA.
Upcoming events: November 2017
Join Sasakawa USA 's Education program for its upcoming event on U.S.-ASEAN relations in Washington, D.C. Please check our events page for event details and new listings as they get posted.  
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