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LIVESTREAM — Japan in a COVID-19 World: A Discussion on Japan’s Responses to the Global Pandemic

April 30, 2020 @ 9:00 am - 10:00 am

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Harukata Takenaka, Professor of Political Science

National Graduate Institute for Policy Studies in Tokyo 

Gerald Curtis, Burgess Professor Emeritus of Political Science

Department of Political Science, Columbia University


Moderated by:

Takako Hikotani, Gerald L. Curtis Associate Professor of Modern Japanese Politics and Foreign Policy

Department of Political Science, Columbia University


Japan experienced one of the early outbreaks of COVID-19 with the Princess Diamond cruise ship incident in February, and is currently seeing a return of rising case numbers throughout the country. How has the political leadership handled the situation, both at the national and local level? How has the public responded to the government’s handling of the crisis? Is there any chance that the Japanese public could become more inclined toward a populist leader if the Abe administration mishandles the situation?


About the Speakers

Harukata Takenaka is professor of political science at the National Graduate Institute for Policy Studies in Tokyo. He specializes in comparative politics and international political economy, with a particular focus on Japanese political economy. His research interests include democracy in Japan, and Japan’s political and economic stagnation since the 1990s. He is currently working on aborted democratization in prewar Japan, the politics of Japan’s financial crisis since the 1990s and the role of the Japanese Senate (House of Councilors) in postwar Japanese politics.

He received a B.A. from the Faculty of Law of the University of Tokyo and an M.A. and Ph.D. in political science from Stanford University. He is the author of Senze Nihon ni okeru Minshuka no Zasetsu [Aborted Democratization in Prewar Japan], (Bokutakusha, 2002), and the co-editor of Akusesu Kokusai Seijikeizai [Access to International Political Economy],(Nihon Keizai Hyoronsha, 2003).

Gerald Curtis (Ph.D., Columbia, 1968) is Burgess Professor Emeritus of Political Science at Columbia University and concurrently Distinguished Research Fellow at the Tokyo Foundation. He served as Director of Columbia’s Weatherhead East Asian Institute for a total of twelve years between 1974 and 1990.

Professor Curtis is the author of The Logic of Japanese Politics, The Japanese Way of Politics, Election Campaigning Japanese Style, Seiji to Sanma – Nihon to Kurashite 45 nen (Politics and Saury: 45 Years Living with Japan)and numerous other books and articles written in both English and Japanese and translated into Chinese, Korean, Thai and other languages. Professor Curtis has held appointments at the Royal Institute of International Affairs, Chatham House, London; the College de France, Paris; the Lee Kwan Yew School of Public Policy in Singapore; and in Tokyo at Keio, Waseda, and Tokyo Universities, the Graduate Research Institute for Policy Studies, and the International Institute of Economic Studies. He is a member of the Board of Directors of the Japan Society of New York, the Japan Center for International Exchange USA, and a member of the Council on Foreign Relations. He has served as Special Advisor to Newsweek for its Japanese and Korean language editions, the International Advisory Board of the Asahi Shimbun, the Advisory Council for the Center for Global Partnership of the Japan Foundation, the Trilateral Commission, the Board of Directors of the US-Japan Foundation and as Director of the U.S.-Japan Parliamentary Exchange Program.

This is a Weatherhead East Asian Institute Lectures and Panels webinar event.



This event was live streamed on WEAI’s Facebook Page.



April 30, 2020

9:00 AM-10:00 AM


Cosponsored by the Suntory Foundation


April 30, 2020
9:00 am - 10:00 am
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