By Yasushi Kudo, President, The Genron NPO (Japan),
Many in Japan believe that the 2020 U.S. presidential election is a test of the very concept of democracy. Joe Biden’s victory saves the Japanese government some disappointment. Over the past few years, Tokyo’s diplomatic efforts were bolstered by the personal relationship between former Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and President Donald J. Trump. However, no one in the current Japanese government is capable of working with President Trump in the same way. The election result forestalls that conundrum.
Given former Vice President Biden’s election, chances are good that Japan and the United States will be able to work together to rejuvenate international cooperative efforts. First, Biden supports multilateral cooperation. Second, and equally significant, a recent Genron NPO conducted poll in September found that more than 70% of the Japanese people—in the hopes of avoiding global division—support international cooperation.
Japan is also likely to support and align itself with the Biden administration on issues related to free trade, infectious disease, and climate change. A US. decision to return to the Trans-Pacific Partnership would also help change the tide of recent years, fortifying the US.-Japanese alliance as one founded on the values of global freedom and democracy, and, at the same time, helping protect the rules-based global liberal order.