Publications

Upper House Election 2022

Results and Implications

The Upper House election, held July 10, ended in a landslide victory for the ruling Liberal Democratic Party (LDP). The election took place in a sombre mood of national mourning following the tragic death of former Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, shot while campaigning just two days before polling. This paper describes the implications of this election for the major political parties.

REUTERS/Kim Kyung-Hoon

Japan - Wahlen im Schatten des Attentats

Die liberaldemokratische Regierungspartei LDP gewinnt die Oberhauswahlen mit erwartungsgemäß großer Mehrheit

Der 8. Juli wird sich in Japans Geschichte einbrennen. Es ist der „Kennedy Moment“ des Landes, als um die Mittagszeit Shinzo Abe während eines Wahlkampfauftritts erschossen wird. Wenig später erliegt er seinen Verletzungen und reißt ein tiefes Loch in seine Familie, in seine Partei und in die Politik Japans. Zwei Tage nach dem tödlichen Anschlag auf den ehemaligen Ministerpräsidenten Shinzo Abe erzielt die konservative LDP-Komeito-Koalition eine komfortable Mehrheit im Oberhaus. Zum Feiern ist dennoch niemandem zu Mute. Zu tief sitzt der Schock über den Verlust desjenigen, der bis zum Schluss die Agenda der LDP entscheidend mitbestimmt hat. Die nächsten Wahlen werden voraussichtlich erst im Oktober 2025 stattfinden, wenn das Unterhaus neu zu besetzen ist. Damit hat Premierminister Fumio Kishida nach neun Monaten im Amt freie Hand, um die politische Agenda seiner Regierung voranzutreiben. Der Premier steht nun vor der Frage, wohin er sein politisches Kapital lenken wird: Verfassungsreform und Verteidigungspolitik; Bekämpfung der Inflation und der Energieknappheit; oder sein eigenes politisches Flaggschiff, dem "Neuen Kapitalismus". Kishida hat bereits eine Kabinettsumbildung angekündigt, Anfang September wird er die neue Regierung berufen haben. Im August stehen die Trauerzeremonien für Shinzo Abe an.

Current Status and Outlook of German-Japanese Energy and Environmental Cooperation

-Responding with Pragmatism-

Japan and Germany are strategic partners that share universal values, and the co-operation between the countries in the fields of energy and environment is one of the pillars of the bilateral cooperation. The author has been a member of the German-Japanese Energy Transition Council since 2016 and has been involved in the cooperation between the two countries. In this paper, the author would like to express his humble opinions about the current status and future issues of the German-Japanese energy and environmental cooperation in light of his previous experiences.

Access to Financing Through Digitalization: New Opportunities for Women-Owned SMEs

A close look at Cambodia, Indonesia, Malaysia, Myanmar, Singapore, South Korea, and Vietnam

This report is an offshoot of the The Path to Success: How Women-Owned Businesses Transform in the Era of Digitalization Volume 1 and 2 and takes a closer look at how, through alternative financing models, digitalization can expand WSMEs’ financing options. In this report, we explore how new technology-based financing models can not only lower barriers to entry and optimize application and lending processes, but also support WSMEs’ access to traditional financing. By allowing the entrance of fin-tech firms, tech companies, and mobile network providers, alternative financing solutions also create a more inclusive environment for WSMEs seeking funding.

Age of Ferment

Developments in Asian-European Trade Relations

The papers in this volume—Age of Ferment: Developments in Asian–European Trade Relations— examine the role of trade in facilitating recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic. The publication contains two sections. The first section deals with Asia’s global value chains' transformations in selected sectors and also provides a sketch of the region’s economic trajectory following these systemic disruptions. The second section analyses Europe’s evolving trade relations with Asia using the recent free trade and investment agreements as lenses. As trade relations become increasingly more complex, it is essential to find common ground to ensure an inclusive recovery from the ravages of the current crisis. We hope that the perspectives offered in these papers will be able to contribute to these efforts.

Japan – ASEAN Study

Japan's Role for Southeast Asia Amidst the Great Power Competition and its Implications for the EU-Japan Partnership

Southeast Asia in focus: In no other region is the economic, political and military rise of China so striking and so powerful; in no other region does Beijing question the rules-based international order (especially in the South China Sea) so aggressively. Adaptation strategies to the rise of Beijing and the growing conflict with the former Pacific superpower differ from country to country. Amid a (fear and/or perceived) declining US engagement in the region, Southeast Asia invariably needs to seek alternatives.

The Displaced

Disrupted Trade, Labour, and Politics in the Mekong River Basin

The ‘Mother of Waters’ is heavily troubled. There is an immediate need to reset the institutional rules that are either too outdated, lack regulatory teeth, or fail to substantially address both old and emerging concerns. If governments fail to do this, a unique ecosystem will die, in effect destroying the lives of millions of people. The volume, published by the Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung’s (KAS) Regional Economic Programme Asia (SOPAS), contains country-specific papers or case studies on trade, labour, and China’s growing political influence in the Greater Mekong Region. Topics include (1) labour migration and displacement in the Mekong River basin, (2) the impact of pandemics on economic and social patterns, (3) interregional trade and growing competitiveness, and (4) geopolitical issues resulting from coercive water and energy politics, among others. The chapters also provide discussions on how each state’s respective national framework attempts to address these issues.

REUTERS/ POOL New

In der Sache richtig, aber ohne viel Substanz

Bundeskanzler Olaf Scholz besucht Japan

Während in Berlin der Bundestag an der verteidigungspolitischen Zeitenwende arbeitet und das Sondervermögen der Bundeswehr diskutiert, reiste Bundeskanzler Scholz nach Japan. Dass die Wahl auf Japan fiel, macht das Zögern des damaligen Koalitionspartners bei der Entsendung der Fregatte Bayern in den Indo-Pazifik wieder wett. Dass die erste Asienreise nicht nach China führte, ist ein starkes Zeichen der neuen deutschen Außenpolitik – die jedoch maßgeblich vom grünen Koalitionspartner bestimmt wird.

Transitions and Transformations

Perspectives on the Future of Work in Asia

The publication examines how technology, digitalization, and other relevant forces shape the future of work in Asia. The first section provides an anticipatory look at how life and work is restructured by wide-ranging technological changes. The second section focuses on how our educational systems can be reconfigured to keep up and take advantage of these changes. Lastly, the third section evaluates how similar technologies have different impacts on different sectors of the economy. The papers analyse and look at these issues from different perspectives. Some focus on the regional level, others present country analyses, while a few present micro case studies. We hope that this publication contributes to concrete policy action from both governments and businesses in supporting and preparing human capacities today for our work in the future.

Path to Success: How Women-Owned Businesses Transform in the Era of Digitalisation

South Korea Case Study

One of three case studies that were published in 2022, the South Korea case study explores the present and future new opportunities of digitalisation for South Korean women-owned small and medium-sized enterprises (WSMEs) and provides insights to address the challenges for all ecosystem stakeholders. It is part of a continuation of the same study conducted in 2020 by the Konrad Adenauer Stiftung's (KAS) Regional Economic Programme Asia (SOPAS) and Woomentum, focusing on the role of digitalisation in helping WSMEs navigate throughout the COVID-19 crisis. The South Korea Case Study is structured around four pillars: 1) access to financing; 2) access to mentoring, networking, and skills; 3) business process management; 4) crisis management (COVID-19).