Event Date: June 15, 2022 - 9:00am EDT to 10:30am EDT
Presented by CIPS, the Asian Studies Network, the CN-Paul M. Tellier Chair, and the Embassy of Japan in Canada
The CIPS Asian Studies Network and CN-Paul M. Tellier Chair on Business and Public Policy at the University of Ottawa, in collaboration with the Embassy of Japan in Canada, welcome Mr. Yasuhiko Ota, editorial writer and columnist for Nikkei, to present and discuss high-tech industries and economic security in Japan, Canada, and across the Indo-Pacific. The event’s goal is to provide information and stimulate discussion on this topic among academics, policy-makers, and the private sector. We will discuss Japan’s strategies and potential cooperation between Japan and Canada, as well as with partner countries.
YAMANOUCHI Kanji, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Japan to Canada
YAMANOUCHI Kanji was appointed Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Japan to Canada in March 2022. Since his arrival in Ottawa in May, the Ambassador has committed himself to utilizing his years of experience to craft a new chapter in Canada-Japan relations that will fit the political, economic, social and cultural demands of the 21st century. Ambassador Yamanouchi grew up in Nagasaki, Japan, a place which instilled in him a deep appreciation for peace. In 1984, he joined the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan and was first posted overseas in Washington, D.C.
In 2007, he became Director of the First North American Division and found himself deeply involved in U.S. politics as well as Canada-Japan relations. As the head of the primary agency in charge of Japan’s policies towards North America, he was an integral part of His Majesties Emperor and Empress’ official visit to Canada, in July 2009. In 2016, he was promoted to the position of Assistant Minister/Director-General for the Economic Affairs Bureau and became a key player in the formation of Japanese foreign economic policy. That year he again witnessed a critical juncture in international affairs – the election of U.S.President Donald Trump and the Brexit, among other major global changes – and contributed greatly to the advancement of international economic policies for Japan, including the CPTPP (TPP 11 Agreement) and Japan-EU Economic Partnership Agreement.
In 2018, Ambassador Yamanouchi was sent to New York as the Ambassador and Consul General of Japan. He spent three years and four months there, then came across COVID-19 pandemic. He did his best to support the Japanese community in the most challenging time, and foster friendship between New York and Japan. Among various activities, his rendition of “Star-Spangled Banner” by electric guitar in Jimi Hendrix style was widely recognized as the expression of his respect and gratitude to New Yorkers. Ambassador Yamanouchi graduated from Tokyo University of Foreign Studies, studied at Cornell University and then went on to receive a Masters in Political Science from Wesleyan University in Middletown, Connecticut in the U.S. He has a deep appreciation of music, and while he can play many instruments, his favorite is the bass guitar. Ambassador Yamanouchi is married and has one daughter.
Mr. Yasuhiko OTA, senior writer for Nikkei
Yasu Ota is a Tokyo-based columnist and TV news commentator for Nikkei, covering foreign affairs, international trade, geopolitics in the Asia Pacific region and various global issues. He frequently travels in Asia to interview political and business leaders. Yasu appears as a host on the popular Japanese TV program “Plus 10”. Yasu has more than 30 years of experience in journalism. He spent more than half of his career as foreign correspondent to cities such as Washington D.C. Frankfurt, Germany, and Singapore. During his career, he has also covered major business and financial events like such as the U.S.-Japan trade dispute, European economic integration, and most recently US-China tension and semiconductor supply chain management.
Before coming back to Tokyo in 2019 he had worked as an editorial writer and columnist in Singapore. He was also one of the authors of Nikkei’s renowned poetic column “Spring & Autumn” and now writes regularly for the news column “Tea Leaves” in the Nikkei Asia, a English-language media. His recently published book “Geopolitics of Semiconductors” became a bestseller in Japan. Yasu holds a degree in Natural Science from the Hokkaido University at Sapporo, with a major in Physics. He also completed a course from the Night Journalism Program at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in the U.S. In his spare time he practices Noh, a traditional Japanese performing art, and plays the flute.
Originally from Vancouver, British Columbia, Ms. McDonald is a graduate of the United World College of the Atlantic in the United Kingdom (IB, 1987) as well as of the University of Toronto’s Trinity College (BA High Distinction, International Relations & Economics, 1991) and Faculty of Law (LLB, 1994). She was called to the Bar of British Columbia in 1995 and joined Global Affairs Canada (GAC) in 1996.
During her time in Ottawa, Ms. McDonald worked in the Legal Bureau, the Trade Law Bureau, and the Trade Policy Bureau of GAC. Prior to her most recent assignments abroad, she served as Director of the Intellectual Property Trade Policy Division where she oversaw the negotiation of the intellectual property provisions of Canada’s bilateral and multilateral trade agreements. Her positions overseas include: Legal Advisor at the Permanent Mission of Canada to the World Trade Organization in Geneva, Switzerland; Counsellor & Head of the trade policy section at the Embassy of Canada in Washington, D.C.; and Consul & Senior Trade Commissioner at the Consulate General of Canada in Hong Kong and Macao. Most recently, Ms. McDonald served as Canada’s High Commissioner to Singapore from 2016-2021. She assumed her current position as Director-General, International Economic Policy, at GAC in September 2021.
Owing to his training and experience in business, economics and international relations, Patrick Leblond’s expertise concerns questions relating to global economic governance and international and comparative political economy, more specifically those that deal with international finance, international economic integration as well as business-government relations. His regional expertise focuses on Europe and North America. Before joining the University of Ottawa in 2008, Patrick was assistant professor of international business at HEC Montréal and director of the Réseau économie internationale (REI) at the Centre d’études et de recherches internationales de l’Université de Montréal (CERIUM). He was also visiting scholar at the Institute for Research on Public Policy (IRPP). Before embarking on his academic career, Patrick worked in accounting and auditing for Ernst & Young (he holds the title of Chartered Accountant) as well as in corporate finance and strategy consulting for Arthur Andersen & Co. and SECOR Consulting.
Scott Simon (Ph.D., McGill University, 1998), is a socio-anthropologist trained in both disciplines (anthropology and sociology). Co-holder of the Chair of Taiwan Studies at the University of Ottawa, he has lived in Taiwan for ten years and returns annually for field research. He has also done field research in Japan and Guam. His research interests include Indigenous rights, development, the contribution of Taiwan to the Indo-Pacific, Taiwan’s international status, and Canada-Taiwan relations. He has written three books and numerous articles about Taiwan. He does policy-oriented research as member of the Centre for International Policy Studies and the Human Rights Research and Education Centre at the University of Ottawa, and as Senior Fellow at Ottawa’s Macdonald-Laurier Institute.