Chicago Sister Cities International is sponsoring a discussion His Excellency Kenichiro Sasae, Ambassador of Japan to the United States, presented by the Chicago Council on Global Affairs.

“Japan is back,” declared Shinzo Abe, prime minister of Japan, in a major speech in Washington this year. It may well be that the country’s ‘lost decade’ of persistent low growth and deflation has come to an end, bolstered by his ‘Abenomics’—a three-pronged strategy of bold monetary policy, flexible fiscal policy, and structural reforms. Yet the country is facing several other hurdles. Domestically, it is experiencing the economic and social costs of an aging population and the ongoing recovery following the 2011 tsunami. Moreover, Asia’s geopolitical environment remains challenging, as highlighted by the intensified regional territorial disputes and North Korea’s nuclear program. What does the future hold for Japan? Please join The Chicago Council on Global Affairs for a discussion with Japan’s new ambassador on his country’s economic and foreign policy priorities.

His Excellency Kenichiro Sasae was appointed as the ambassador of Japan to the United States in November 2012. Prior to his appointment, he was vice minister and deputy minister for foreign affairs from 2008 to 2012. Previously, he was director general for the Asian and Oceania Affairs Bureau from 2005 to 2008, where he was Japan’s representative to the Six-Party Talks on the North Korean nuclear issue. Sasae also served as director general of the Economic Affairs Bureau, deputy director general of the Foreign Policy Bureau, executive assistant for foreign affairs to the prime minister, and deputy director general for the Asian Affairs Bureau. Sasae has also held positions at the embassies of Japan in the United States and the United Kingdom, and at the permanent mission of Japan to the International Organizations in Geneva.

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