I developed a relationship with the Japanese embassy in Ottawa, as the next big project involves comparing democracies around the world: how/why do their legislatures vary in overseeing their respective armed forces? Japan is a key case since it shares lots of institutions with European countries, it shares a semi-recent tragic history with Germany, but is in a different security environment. I will be studying Japan for a month next fall thanks for a fellowship I received. My initial inquires with the embassy led to the invitation for this week's trip.
Why did I accept this invitation?
- Tokyo in January has to be warmer than Ottawa?
- Because I get to miss a week of classes?
- Because I am an amateur when it comes to Japanese politics, and this week will help me drink from the firehouse and get a better sense of the place.
- Because I will hopefully develop some competency in navigating this city so that I don't waste much time next fall when I am doing the serious work.
- I hope to develop some useful contacts.