Photographs, audio, and a report are available here from the September 16, 2014 event “Abenomics, TPP, and the Future of Japan’s Agriculture.” The event featured Professor Gerald L. Curtis, Burgess Professor of Political Science, Columbia University, who moderated a lively discussion with Kay Shimizu, Assistant Professor of Political Science, Columbia University; Patricia Maclachlan, Associate Professor of Government and Asian Studies, University of Texas at Austin; Richard Katz, Editor-in-Chief, The Oriental Economist, and Sheila Smith, Senior Fellow for Japanese Studies, Council on Foreign Relations. The two-hour conversation, which included presentations by each panelist followed by questions from the audience, was co-sponsored by the Center on Japanese Economy and Business at Columbia University. The panel addressed the political, social, demographic, and business aspects of agriculture in Japan.
Audio for the event is available on iTunes here:
During the event, Maclachlan and Shimizu discussed Japanese Agricultural politics and the foreign and domestic sources of reform and opportunities for change. Maclachlan and Shimizu noted in their presentation, “The politics of agricultural reform are at a ‘critical juncture’ – incentives to change are stronger than ever and opportunities for change are widening. The future of reform depends on aggressive government leadership.”
Katz discussed the economic cost of Japan Agriculture’s political power noting “Japan would have higher GDP by paying all its farmers to retire and importing its food and/or stopping Japan Agriculture internal protectionism.” Katz’s presentation included other insightful statistics, such as that consumers in Japan pay 1.7 times the international market price for food. “Freer trade could decrease food costs, liberating money to be spent on other items,” noted Katz in his presentation.
The panel discussion on Abenomics is part of Weatherhead East Asian Institute’s Brown Bag Lecture Series, which features speakers from a diverse range of professions, including academia, government, the arts, business, and journalism. The next Brown Bag is “Xi Jinping’s ‘Coup from the Top:’ Anti-Corruption and Political Reform” featuring Li Weidong, Visiting Scholar at Columbia University on Wednesday, September 24, 2014 from 4:10 pm to 6 pm. The discussion, moderated by Andrew J. Nathan, Class of 1919 Professor of Political Science, Columbia University, will be in Chinese with English translation.