Assessing the Abe Visit
On May 4, the German Marshall Fund’s Asia program hosted an off-the-record dinner to discuss Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s visit to Washington. Program Officer Sharon Stirling-Woolsey moderated the discussion and Transatlantic Fellow Dr. Joshua Walker provided opening remarks. A wide-ranging conversation between a diverse group of invitees reflected on the visit, recent issues such as the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank, and upcoming items of interest such the World War II remembrance festivities this summer. In particular, participants expressed concern that the Trans-Pacific Partnership may not be completed this year. It was noted however that any potential failure to complete TPP will almost certainly not be caused by Japan, but rather by the U.S. Congress. Participants were also cautiously hopeful that the statement Prime Minister Abe is expected to deliver on August 15 will serve to alleviate tensions in East Asia over grievances stemming from World War II.