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Host: American Enterprise Institute.
Japan's August 30 general elections could revolutionize Japanese politics. For nearly the first time in six decades, an opposition party might seize power from the pro-alliance Liberal Democratic Party. If it wins, the Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ) will focus on reversing the country’s sharpest economic downturn since World War II, but it will also face numerous foreign policy challenges. The future course of the U.S.-Japanese alliance may be determined by DPJ foreign and security policies over the next few years. The DPJ is questioning current plans for the realignment of U.S. forces in Okinawa, and opposes continuing Japan's refueling mission in the Indian Ocean in support of the war in Afghanistan. DPJ leaders may also tie Japan's overseas security activities more closely to the United Nations and slow down the modernization of Japan's military. What would this historic turnover mean for Japanese domestic and foreign policies? What lies ahead for the future of the U.S.-Japanese alliance?

On September 2, AEI's Michael Auslin will moderate a panel addressing these issues: Kevin Maher, director of the Japan desk at the State Department, Len Schoppa of the University of Virginia, and Nick Szechenyi of the Center for Strategic and International Studies will discuss.

Added by insideronline on August 14, 2009

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