Published on February 10, 2019
Check out the official video made for JHUMUNC 2019 here.
Shinzō Abe’s Cabinet (2018)
The year is 2018, and Japan is facing the new year with both hope and trepidation. On one hand, Japan will present itself as a powerful and dynamic nation during the 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo, with centuries of culture and innovation to be proud of. On the other hand, Japan’s problems present a much more sobering reality.
Japan’s neighborhood has become much more volatile in recent years, with a nuclear-armed North Korea and a rising China posing particular challenges to Japan’s national security. Meanwhile, Japan’s rapidly declining and aging population has dragged down its economy by straining the welfare system and leading to a shrinkage of the working-age population; despite government policies trying to reverse them, these demographic trends show no sign of stopping.
Shinzō Abe, having started his fourth term as Prime Minister in 2017, is no stranger in facing difficult challenges. However, many of his policies – taking a hardline stance against North Korea and China, pushing for the remilitarization of an officially pacifist nation, and allowing foreigners to work in Japan on a temporary basis – have been subject to considerable controversy, both in Japan and from abroad.
Japan’s issues are too difficult for one person to face alone; Abe will need his cabinet to come together and come up with smart and creative solutions. Delegates, as Ministers of State in Abe’s cabinet, will work with each other to come up with ways to address Japan’s challenges in both the short and long term, all while balancing competing interests and addressing potential crises. These are not easy tasks by any means, and only wise and forward-looking leadership can bring Japan into a future of harmony and prosperity.
Topic A: Establishing Japanese Foreign Policy in East Asia
Topic B: Addressing Japan’s Demographic Crisis
Letter from the Chair
Dear Esteemed Delegates:
Welcome to JHUMUNC 2020! My name is Kelvin Qian, and I am excited to serve as your chair for Shinzo Abe’s Cabinet. As a senior at Johns Hopkins University, this will be my fourth year at JHUMUNC and my seventh year participating in Model UN overall.
Growing up in central New Jersey, my first experience with Model UN was when I joined my high school’s MUN club as a delegate. I have continued that Model UN journey at Hopkins, switching from delegate to staff member. I have served as a crisis staffer for the UN Security Council as a freshman and the State of Japan committee in the Pacific Theater of the Cold War (Quadrumvirate) as a sophomore; I have also served as a dais member for the International Court of Justice committee as a junior.
As a computer science major at Hopkins, I enjoy my academic pursuits here, from implementing machine learning algorithms to developing Android apps. But I also love everything artsy; I am a member of the Eclectics Dance Group, Hopkins’ largest dance group, and I am a columnist for the JHU News-Letter, Hopkins’ official student-run newspaper.
I engage with Asian culture and politics quite a bit, having studied abroad in Shanghai last summer. Indeed, East Asia is one of the most fascinating places on Earth, a place that exudes dynamism while facing immense challenges, a place with deep roots in history that is constantly on the precipice of change, a place where Japan has been a central figure in its past, present and future.
You, as a member of Prime Minister Shinzō Abe’s cabinet, will work with other delegates to address Japan’s many challenges, from the rise of rival powers in Japan’s neighborhood to Japan’s aging and declining population. As a government minister you will be vested with wide portfolio powers; use them well and you will be seen as a true leader of Japan, but use them poorly and you may lead your nation into crisis.
How will you lead Japan? Will you follow Abe’s hardline foreign policy, or will you advocate for peace and find common ground with North Korea and China? Will you encourage automation to alleviate Japan’s worker shortages, increase immigration, both, or neither? These questions have no easy answers, but you and your fellow delegates must find answers as you all rise up to the challenge.
My hope is that by the end of this committee, you gain knowledge and insight about Japanese current affairs, knowledge that you will keep for the rest of your life as the world swiftly moves towards a new era. I am excited to meet you all at JHUMUNC 2020, and I wish you all the best of luck.
Chair, Shinzō Abe’s Cabinet (2018)