The Indo-Pacific: Opportunities and Challenges for Liberal Democracies and the Future


Time: 17:00-18:00, 13th September 2017

Venue: Committee Room 16, House of Commons, Palace of Westminster, SW1A 0AA


HE the Hon. Alexander Downer AC
High Commissioner, the Australian High Commission

HE Koji Tsuruoka
Ambassador, the Embassy of Japan

With a response from

Mark Field MP, Minister of State for the Foreign and Commonwealth Office

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The Indo-Pacific is increasingly described as the “Asian Paradox” as the region is beset by both some of the most promising trends and some of the most disturbing. On the one hand, the region has seen an explosion in economic growth, rising middle classes, and increasingly inter-connected trade networks. And yet, on the other hand, it remains marked by worrying trends in ever-increasing military spending, rising nationalism, and territorial feuds. Once thought to be the next setting for a European Union-style integration, the region still lacks region-wide institution security institutions like NATO or the European Union, having instead a spaghetti of overlapping regional blocs, military alliances, and diplomatic fora.

As the liberal international order expands to include rising powers and many non-Western powers, there is a natural rejuggling of both regional institutions and global governance, in which rising powers and status-quo powers are compelled to cooperate closely, even as they compete. As increasing amounts of the world’s economic, military, and political weight move to the region, how will states from within the region – and without – adapt to the changing order? How will liberal democracies – such as Australia, Japan, and the United Kingdom – uphold rule-of-law and universal values in their foreign policymaking in the region in a way that increases positive trends and ameliorates tensions?

With a response by Mark Field MP, The Henry Jackson is proud to present a discussion between the Ambassadors of Japan and Australia and the Minister of State for the Asia-Pacific in the Foreign and Commonwealth Office.

mark fieldMark Field MP was appointed Minister of State for the Foreign and Commonwealth Office on 13 June 2017. He was first elected as the Conservative MP for the Cities of London and Westminster in 2001. Mark served on the Intelligence and Security Committee from September 2010 until March 2015. He was made a Privy Counsellor in March 2015 in recognition of his service on this demanding, sensitive parliamentary committee. Throughout the 2015 to 2017 Parliament he served as the Vice Chairman (International Affairs) of the Conservative Party, a role which included extensive diplomatic contact and work alongside senior figures in sister parties across the world. He has led parliamentary delegations to China, Japan, India, Bangladesh and the United States and has also visited many Middle Eastern states and European countries.

kojiH.E. Mr. Koji Tsuruoka was appointed as the Ambassador of Japan to the United Kingdom in April 2016. Prior to this appointment, he was the Chief Negotiator for the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) (2013-2016). He has served in embassies in Moscow, Washington and Jakarta. In the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, he has served as the director of the legal division and North American division, Deputy Director General of the Foreign Policy Bureau (2003-2006), Director-General for Global Issues (2006-2008), Director-General, International Legal Affairs Bureau (2008-2010), Deputy Vice-Minister for Foreign Policy (2010- 2012), and Deputy Minister for Foreign Affairs (2012 –2013).

the honThe Hon Alexander Downer AC was appointed Australian High Commissioner to the United Kingdom in March 2014. Mr. Downer has had a long and distinguished political career in Australia, and was until recently the United Nations Special Adviser to the Secretary-General on Cyprus. He joined the Department of Foreign Affairs in 1976 and served at the Australian Embassy in Belgium before moving into politics. Elected to the Federal Parliament in 1984 (Liberal member for Mayo in South Australia), he held this seat until his retirement from Parliament in July 2008. He served as Australia’s Minister for Foreign Affairs, from 1996 to 2007, making him Australia’s longest-serving Foreign Minister.


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