February 4, 2011 — Japan's ambassador to the United States, Ichiro Fujisaki, is coming to the University of Virginia on Wednesday to talk about the future of Asia and why it is important that Washington and Tokyo maintain their good relations.
Fujisaki's talk, "The Future of Asia: Why We Need Each Other," will take place in the Dome Room of the Rotunda at noon. It is free and open to the public, but tickets are required because space is limited. E-mail Mary Jo Bateman at firstname.lastname@example.org by Tuesday at 5 p.m. to reserve a ticket.
Japan's prime minister, Naoto Kan, is pressing for several financial reforms to alleviate his country's indebtedness. In addition to raising the sales tax, he wants to join the Trans-Pacific Trade Partnership, a multilateral grouping of the Asia-Pacific region that is being expanded to include the United States.
He faces stiff resistance from the opposition Liberal Democratic Party and the Democratic Party of Japan.
The United States and Japan enjoy good relations. The U.S. State Department calls Washington's relations with Tokyo the cornerstone of U.S. security interests in Asia and fundamental to regional stability and prosperity.