Ever since American Nations came out in Japanese translation a few years ago, there’s been consistent interest in the paradigm in Japan, where those who follow international relations have been trying to make sense of the political, economic, and epidemiological events here in recent years. Tokyo’s Asahi Shimbun interviewed me here in Maine in 2017 and invited me to Japan for the 2018 Asahi World Forum (where I had the chance to meet Jan-Werner Mueller, met my Japanese publishers at Iwanami Shoten, and learned a bit about L.L.Bean’s success there.)
Now, in the aftermath of the January 6th insurrection, they’ve invited me back — virtually this time because of the pandemic — to speak at this year’s Forum, tonight in fact, with Tokyo University’s Shigeki Uno. And ahead of the event, former New York correspondent Satoshi Ukai reached out again for this interview/profile piece that ran earlier this week in the paper. (In Japanese, of course.) I’m looking forward to talking about the (alarming) state of U.S. democracy, how we got here, and what the prospects are for digging our way out of the ongoing crisis.