March 15, 2016 | 11:00 am - 12:30 pm
Johns Hopkins – SAIS, Rome Building - Rome Auditorium (1st Floor), 1619 Massachusetts Ave. NW, Washington, DC 20036

A panel discussion with:

Sheila Smith, Council on Foreign Relations

Joshua Walker, German Marshall Fund

E. Wayne Merry, American Foreign Policy Council

Moderator: Clyde Prestowitz, President and Founder of the Economic Strategic Institute 

Japan-Russia relations are at an important crossroads. This May, Japan will preside over the annual meeting of G7 countries, a club that Russia was suspended from in 2014 following the seizure of Crimea. Despite Moscow’s current international exclusion, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has reportedly snubbed an appeal by U.S. President Barack Obama, who asked that he not visit Russia before the summit.

Will Japan use the G7 opportunity to strengthen its ties with Russia? What are the prospects of reconciling the long-standing territorial and treaty disputes? How has Japan related to Russia post-Ukraine crisis, and where has it diverged from the West? Can Moscow serve as Tokyo’s partner to balance against China’s rise? 

On March 15, CGI held a discussion with Sheila Smith, Joshua Walker and E. Wayne Merry on the outlook for the G7 summit. The discussion was moderated by Clyde Prestowitz, president and founder of the Economic Strategic Institute.

About the Speakers:

Clyde Prestowitz is the founder and President of the Economic Strategy Institute (ESI) where he has become one of the world’s leading writers and strategists on globalization and competitiveness and an influential adviser to the U.S. and other governments. He is also the author of the bestselling books The Betrayal of American Prosperity, Three Billion New Capitalists, Rogue Nation, and Trading Places. Prior to founding ESI, Mr. Prestowitz served as Counselor to the Secretary of Commerce in the Reagan Administration where he headed U.S. negotiations with Japan, Korea, the EU, Southeast Asia, and Latin America and served as a leader of the first U.S. trade mission to China. Subsequently, he became a Fellow of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace and was appointed Vice Chairman of President Clinton’s Commission on Trade and Investment in the Asia-Pacific Region as well as a member of the Advisory Board of the U.S. Export-Import Bank. Twitter: @clydeprestowitz


Sheila A. Smith is senior fellow for Japan studies at the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR). She is the author of Intimate Rivals: Japanese Domestic Politics and a Rising China (Columbia University Press, 2015) and Japan’s New Politics and the U.S.-Japan Alliance (Council on Foreign Relations, June 2014). Her current research focuses on how geostrategic change in Asia is shaping Japan’s strategic choices. In the fall of 2014, Smith began a project on Northeast Asian Nationalisms and Alliance Management. Smith is a regular contributor to the CFR blog Asia Unbound, as well as major media outlets in the United States and Asia. Smith 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. Twitter: @SheilaSmithCFR


Joshua Walker is the Vice President of Global Programs at APCO Worldwide, a leading strategic communications firm based in Washington. Before joining the private sector, Dr. Walker worked at the U.S. Department of State, most recently as a senior advisor to Secretaries Kerry and Clinton. He is also a Transatlantic Fellow in the Asia Program at the German Marshall Fund of the United States and he teaches the Politics of National Security at the George Washington University’s Elliot Graduate School of International Affairs. Dr. Walker has written for a variety of print media including the Boston Globe, Christian Science Monitor, Foreign Affairs, Foreign Policy, International Affairs, International Herald Tribune, and The New Republic. He is a regular commentator and contributor on international affairs for a variety of media outlets including Al Jazeera, BBC, CNN, NBC, along with many others, and he is a Huffington Post and War on the Rocks blogger. Twitter: @drjwalk