On December 16, 2014, Sasakawa USA welcomed Mr. Tobias Harris for a private, off-the-record discussion moderated by Dr. Sheila Smith on the implications of Japan’s December 14th snap election on Abenomics.
Tobias Harris is the Economy, Trade, and Business Fellow at the Sasakawa Peace Foundation USA. He is also an analyst of Japanese politics and economics at Teneo Intelligence, a political risk advisory firm. Mr. Harris has written about Japanese politics for publications including the Financial Times, Wall Street Journal, and Foreign Affairs and regularly provides on-air analysis for CNBC, Bloomberg, and other networks. In 2006-2007, Mr. Harris worked on the staff of Keiichiro Asao, at that time a member of the upper house of the Japanese Diet and shadow foreign minister for the Democratic Party of Japan, for whom he conducted research on foreign policy and Japan’s relations with the United States. Mr. Harris holds an M.Phil. in International Relations from the University of Cambridge and a BA in Politics and History from Brandeis University. He has also conducted graduate research at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and, from 2011-2012, at the Institute for Social Science at the University of Tokyo as a Fulbright scholar.
Sheila A. Smith, an expert on Japanese politics and foreign policy, is senior fellow for Japan studies at the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR). Dr. Smith is currently completing the project on Japan’s Political Transition and the U.S.-Japan Alliance, and has started a project on Japan’s New Strategic Challenge,the subject of her next book. In fall 2014, she will launch a new project on Northeast Asian Nationalisms and Alliance Management. She also writes for the CFR blog Asia Unbound. Smith’s newest book, Intimate Rivals: Japanese Domestic Politics and a Rising China (Columbia University Press, 2014), will be available in December. Among her other publications are Shifting Terrain: The Domestic Politics of the U.S. Military in Asia, East-West Center Special Report No. 8 (East-West Center, 2006) and Local Voices, National Issues: Local Initiative in Japanese Policymaking (University of Michigan Press, 2000). Dr. Smith joined CFR from the East-West Center in 2007, where she specialized in Asia-Pacific international relations and U.S. policy toward Asia. She was also recently affiliated with Keio University in Tokyo, where she researched and wrote on Japan’s foreign policy toward China and the Northeast Asian region on an Abe Fellowship. From 2004 to 2007, she directed a multinational research team in a cross-national study of the domestic politics of the U.S. military presence in Japan, South Korea, and the Philippines. Prior to joining the East-West Center, Smith was on the faculty of the Department of International Relations at Boston University (1994-2000), and on the staff of the Social Science Research Council (1992-93). She has been a visiting researcher at two leading Japanese foreign and security policy think tanks, the Japan Institute of International Affairs and the Research Institute for Peace and Security, and at the University of Tokyo and the University of the Ryukyus. She is vice chair of the U.S.-Japan Conference on Cultural and Educational Exchange (CULCON), a bi-national advisory panel of government officials and private sectors members. She earned her MA and PhD degrees from the department of political science at Columbia University.