ASEAN Perspectives on Current Geopolitics and Japan


The global geopolitical landscape is presently in a state of flux with shifting balances of power amid growing strategic contestations among major powers. Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, continued impact from the COVID-19 pandemic, rising commodity prices and global supply chain disruptions are some of the challenges facing governments. What direction should ASEAN and Japan aim for in this state of flux?

Ms Sharon Seah, Senior Fellow and Coordinator of the ASEAN Studies Centre at the ISEAS-Yusof Ishak Institute will share key highlights from the ISEAS’ State of Southeast Asia 2022 Survey Report on Southeast Asians’ views on regional affairs, and implications for Japan. A distinguished panel comprising of Professor Thitinan Pongsudhirak of Chulalongkorn University, a seasoned expert on international politics and economics, and Professor Mie Oba of Kanagawa University who specializes in international politics in Asia will discuss the pressing concerns about the current geopolitics and share their perspectives. Mr Tetsuya Watanabe, Vice President of RIETI and Special Advisor to the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI), who possesses extensive experience in Asian policy will moderate the discussion.

*This webinar will be held as one program within the ASEAN-Japan Business Week.
For more information, please refer to the special website at the following link;


  • Time and Date: 16:00pm-17:30pm (Japan Standard Time), Monday, May 30, 2022
  • Venue: Online
  • Language: English / Japanese (with simultaneous interpretation)
  • Hosts: Research Institute of Economy, Trade and Industry (RIETI) / ISEAS-Yusof Ishak Institute

Please register from the URL below:


16:00-16:10 Opening Remarks


Yasuhiko Yoshida's Photo

Yasuhiko Yoshida (Vice Chairman, RIETI)


Choi Shing Kwok's Photo

Choi Shing Kwok (Director and CEO, ISEAS-Yusof Ishak Institute)


Mr Choi Shing Kwok is Director and Chief Executive Officer of the ISEAS – Yusof Ishak Institute and Head of the ASEAN Studies Centre and Singapore APEC Studies Centre at the Institute. Previously, he was Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of the Environment and Water Resources from 2012 to 2017, and Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Transport from 2005 to 2012. Prior to that, he was Director, Security and Intelligence Division, Ministry of Defence. Mr Choi was awarded the Public Administration Medal (Silver) (Military) in 1993 and the Meritorious Service Medal in 2000 for his significant contributions to the Singapore Public Service.


16:10-16:40 Presentations

Highlights from The State of Southeast Asia: 2022 Survey Report and Implications for Japan

Sharon Seah's Photo

Sharon Seah (Senior Fellow and Coordinator of the ASEAN Studies Centre, ISEAS)


Ms Sharon Seah is Senior Fellow and Coordinator of ASEAN Studies Centre and the Climate Change in Southeast Asia Programme at the ISEAS – Yusof Ishak Institute. Prior to academia, Ms Seah spent 15 years in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Singapore and the National Environment Agency. Her research interests are in ASEAN, multilateralism, rule of law, and climate change. Ms Seah graduated with a Master in Public and International Law from the University of Melbourne in 2018. She is co-editor of 50 Years of ASEAN and Singapore (World Scientific: 2017) and editor of Building a New Legal Order for the Oceans (NUS Press: 2019) for Tommy Koh. She is also the lead author of The State of Southeast Asia Survey Report and the Southeast Asia Climate Outlook Survey.


16:40-17:00 Comments


Thitinan Pongsudhirak's Photo

Thitinan Pongsudhirak (Director of the Institute of Security and International Studies and Professor of International Relations, Chulalongkorn University)


Thitinan Pongsudhirak is Professor and Director of the Institute of Security and International Studies at Bangkok’s Chulalongkorn University. He has held visiting positions at Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies and Stanford University, and currently serves on several editorial boards of academic journals, including Journal of Democracy. He has authored many publications and over 1,000 op-eds in mass media, such as The Bangkok Post, Nikkei Asia, The Straits Times, and Project Syndicate. His work focuses on comparative politics and geopolitics/geoeconomics of ASEAN and East Asia. In 2015, he was awarded a prize for excellence in opinion writing from Society of Publishers in Asia; in March 2018, he was appointed ASEAN@50 Fellow by New Zealand’s Minister of Foreign Affairs & Trade; and in May 2019, he was selected as Australia-ASEAN Fellow at Sydney’s Lowy Institute. He earned an award-winning PhD from The London School of Economics.



Mie OBA's Photo

Mie Oba (Professor, Faculty of Law Department of Law, Kanagawa University)


Dr. Mie Oba is Professor at the Faculty of Law, Kanagawa University. She obtained her M.A and Ph.D at the University of Tokyo. Her major is International Relations and the politics in East Asia and Asia-Pacific, especially the development of regionalism in this region, Japan’s policy in terms of regionalism and relationship between Japan and Southeast Asia. She has a lot of articles and books both in Japanese and English, and received The 21st Ohira Masayoshi Memorial Prize (2005) and the 11th Nakasone Yasuhiro Incentive Award(2015) .


17:00-17:30 Panel Discussion


Tetsuya Watanabe's Photo

Tetsuya Watanabe (Special Advisor to the Minister, METI / Vice President, RIETI / Visiting Professor, Graduate School of Public Policy, The University of Tokyo)

*Agenda is subject to change