The 32nd AJI Frontier Seminar on the “Feminism in Foreign Policy: Transformation Toward a more Equal World? Some Considerations on the Case of Japan”
On June 8, 2021, the 32nd AJI Research Frontier Seminar was held online. This time, Dr. Hisako Motoyama, (Senior Researcher in the Asia-Japan Research Institute, Ritsumeikan University) gave an informative presentation under the title of "Feminism in Foreign Policy: Transformation Toward a more Equal World? Some Considerations on the Case of Japan" Dr. Motoyama began by explaining that State foreign policies have long excluded women and ignored gender equality but that recently, some state leaders are upholding gender equality as a core value of their foreign policy. “But”, she asked, “are states really taking up feminist transformation or is it being instrumentalized in unequal global relations? She argued that the rise of gender in foreign policy is largely explained by the presence of feminist politicians and bureaucrats, or by a domestic gender equality policy, but that this view ignores the changes in external contexts. Giving the case of Japan as an example, she asked, “How can Japan promote women’s rights globally as a ‘developed nation’,” despite its large gender gap? She concluded that a more comprehensive genealogical study on Japanese foreign policy and gender is required in areas such as women’s rights, economic development and security. Her enthusiastic presentation promoted several questions from the audience during the ensuing Q&A session on this important issue.