NEXT Alliance Conference Spring 2024, Tokyo

The fourth NEXT Alliance Conference (NAC) was held in Tokyo from March 1-4, 2024. It is one of two offsite “retreats” Sasakawa USA has convened annually in the past two years focused on a priority issue area for the US-Japan NEXT Alliance Initiative. The Spring 2024 NAC revisited economic security policy coordination, this time with an emphasis on semiconductors, as they have become a top concern for policy makers in both countries. The allies have adopted a variety of measures to support reshoring, protect cutting-edge technology, and invest in the industry of the future, but, these countermeasures will be less effective if poorly coordinated.

The US and Japanese delegations began a long weekend of discussions with briefings from Japan government officials on economic security policies as they related to semiconductors. The government briefings covered new legislation on economic security, the US-Japan Economic 2+2, and an action plan for strengthening industrial technology infrastructure for economic security.

The focus of subsequent workshop discussion centered on: 1) semiconductor supply chain resiliency; 2) export controls; 3) research and development collaboration; and 4) next steps for alliance economic security. Its objective was to foster substantive bilateral expert dialogue on complex issues surrounding economic security policy coordination within the alliance, and to support greater mutual understanding and broader public awareness of these issues. Around 40 specialists from the private sector, think tanks, academia, and government from the two nations participated in the not-for-attribution Track 1.5 dialogue. A subset of the group later discussed these topics publicly at a March 4 event co-hosted by the Research Center for Advanced Science and Technology (RCAST), Economic Security Research Program (ESRP), University of Tokyo, before an audience of about seventy.

  • For the fourth NEXT Alliance Conference’s (NAC) agenda and participant list, click here.
  • To read more summaries from the economic security dialogue series, click here.

 

Japan Government Briefings:

Briefing 1: New Economic Security Legislation

The first government briefing by Mr. Yoichi IIDA, Cabinet Councillor of the Cabinet Secretariat concerned Japan’s new economic security legislation.

Briefing 2: US-Japan Economic 2+2

The second government briefing by Mr. Takatoshi MORI, Director of the 2nd North America Division of the North American Affairs Bureau at MOFA alongside Mr. Ryosuke FUJII, Director of the Americas Division, Trade policy Bureau at METI addressed the US-Japan Economic 2+2.

Briefing 3: Action Plan for Strengthening Industrial Technology Infrastructure for Economic Security

The final government briefing of the morning by Mr. Kazumi NISHIKAWA, Principal Director, Economic Security Office at METI, provided valuable insights into the action plan for strengthening industrial technology infrastructure for economic security.

Keynote Speakers:

Friday evening “kick-off” dinner speaker

        

The first speaker of the conference was Mr. Jason Hyland, Senior Advisor, Dentons Global Advisors – Albright Stonebridge Group, and Director, BrioNexus KK during the “kick-off” dinner on March 1. His opening remarks covered the culture of innovation in the US and how Japanese universities could create an environment of innovation through greater endowment and funding. In the latter half of the dinner, Mr. Hyland joined Senior Director Schoff in a fireside chat style format for further discussion and to field questions from conference participants.

Saturday working lunch speaker

     

The second guest speaker of the conference was Dr. Atsuyoshi KOIKE, President and CEO of Rapidus Corporation during the working lunch on March 2. He gave an inspiring presentation to NEXT Alliance Conference participants about his company’s ambitious plans to mass produce 2nm chips, their vision for a Hokkaido Silicon Valley, and the future of semiconductors as they relate to the US and Japan.

Workshop Sessions:

Welcome and Opening Remarks

The Saturday morning workshops were opened with remarks by Mr. Ray Greene, Deputy Chief of Mission, US Embassy Tokyo.

Session 1: Emerging Market Semiconductor Supply Chain Diversification

   

The first session began with opening commentator Ms. Mary Thornton, VP of Global Policy at SIA and Dr. Takeyasu FUJIKI, Associate Professor of Economics at Wakayama University. Following initial presentations, session discussant Mr. Kazuhiro SUGIYAMA, Consulting Director at OMDIA helped kick-off group dialogue on supply chain diversification moderated by Sr. Director Jim Schoff. The group discussed potential implications and opportunities for semiconductors related to the recent entry into force of the Indo-Pacific Economic Framework (IPEF) Supply Chain Agreement, along with coordinated support for supply chain infrastructure investment in certain South and Southeast Asian countries.

Session 2: Semiconductor Export Control Coordination

   

The second session began with opening remarks from Mr. Kevin Wolf, Partner at Akin Gump and Mr. Yasushi TAGAMI, Member of the Board and General Manager of International Export Control Research and Cooperation Department, CISTEC. Following initial presentations, Dr. Crystal Pryor, Senior Research Fellow, Center for Policy Research (CPR) at SUNY Albany and NEXT Alliance Initiative Non-Resident Scholar moderated the group discussion.  The group considered ways to improve bilateral and multilateral coordination on export controls, as well as ideas for facilitating private sector compliance through appropriate information sharing and simplifying procedures when feasible.

Session 3: Fostering Productive R&D Collaboration

        

The third session was opened with remarks by moderator Ms. Kathleen Kingscott, Sr. Advisor at IBM Research and followed by presentations Mr. Michael Frank, Senior Fellow at CSIS and Mr. Satoshi YAMADA, visiting senior research fellow, Institute of Geoeconomics on potential areas for collaboration in research and development. The group reviewed US and Japanese national efforts to support semiconductor R&D, considered potential areas of synergy, and shared best practices for public-private partnerships.

Session 4: Next Steps for Economic Security

   

The fourth session, moderated by Sr. Director Jim Schoff, began with remarks Dr. Crystal Pryor, Senior Research Fellow, Center for Policy Research (CPR) at SUNY Albany and NEXT Alliance Initiative Non-Resident Scholar along with Mr. Akira IGATA, Project Lecturer at the Research Center for Advanced Science and Technology, University of Tokyo on the topic of next steps for the US and Japan to take in developing their individual and joint economic security.

Session 5: Review/Recommendations Session

Prior to the conclusion of the workshop, participants took time to reflect on the weekend’s discussions and consider overall policy recommendations. Senior Director Schoff led an interactive dialogue with participants.

Public Event:

 

     

On March 4, the final day of the conference, a subset of conference participants journeyed to The University of Tokyo’s Research Center for Advanced Science and Technology (RCAST) for the public facing portion of the conference. NAC participant and Project Lecturer at RCAST (and Director of its Economic Security Research Program), Akira Igata, hosted Sr. Director Jim Schoff, Dr. Crystal Pryor of SUNY Albany’s Center for Policy Research, Ms. Kathleen Kingscott of IBM Research, and Mr. Kevin Wolf of Akin Gump in a fireside chat discussion after they delivered individual reflections on the weekend’s discussions. Following Igata’s directed questions, the panelists fielded questions from the audience. The 70-plus attendees were comprised of students, academics, embassy officials, along with private and public sector representatives.

Photos:

The Volunteer state has become a strategically important state in U.S.-Japan relations, as businesses and politicians alike have won over both the hearts and wallets of Japanese investors. The results of this are in the Fourth Edition 2023 Japan Matters for America book, a project produced by the East West Center and Sasakawa Peace Foundation, which collects data on U.S.-Japan connections on federal, state, and local levels. According to the book, Tennessee ranks in the top three states to receive Greenfield investment from Japanese investors, with 10.3 billion invested into the state as of 2023. It also reports that Greenfield investment has created 25,000 jobs in the state, as Japanese Multinational Enterprises, many of which are automakers, have produced 47,300 jobs for Tennesseans. Outside of economic connections, Tennessee is home to nearly 10,000 Japanese nationals, and has produced three U.S. Ambassadors to Japan. One of these ambassadors was Howard H. Baker Jr., who served as ambassador for the United States to Japan from 2001-2005. During his career, the late ambassador helped to develop the Howard H. Baker Jr. Center for Public Policy, with a mission to educate the public, promote research, and encourage public service and policy engagement.

Sasakawa USA partnered with the Howard H. Baker Jr. Center for Public Policy (Baker Center) at the University of Tennessee Knoxville in recognition of the state’s growing importance in the U.S.-Japan relations sphere. This co-sponsored symposium, “The U.S.-Japan Security Alliance and Economic Relations at Work in Tennessee,” was a part of Sasakawa USA’s U.S.-Japan Strategic Alliance Series. The event took place in the Toyota Auditorium of the Baker Center on March 1, 2023 in Knoxville, TN. It featured two panel discussions covering U.S.-Japan related security issues and economic relations respectively, as well as an in-depth conversation on Japan’s integrated security.

Event

March 1, 2023 | Knoxville, TN | The U.S.-Japan Security Alliance and Economic Relations at Work in Tennessee

The purpose of this symposium was to examine how the crucial bilateral alliance between the U.S. and Japan is evolving to meet new geopolitical and geoeconomic challenges by engaging experts in both military and economic security in public panel discussions.

A dinner before the symposium brought together program panelists, speakers, and organizers to review the themes of the upcoming program, as well as to build networks within the U.S.-Japan professional community.

Plenary Session

The event began the morning of March 1, 2023, with Welcome Remarks from Dr. Marianne Wanamaker, Executive Director of the Howard H. Baker Jr. Center for Public Policy, and Professor in the Department of Economics at the University of Tennessee Knoxville; Consul General Yoichi Matsumoto, Consulate-General of Japan in Nashville; and Dr. Satohiro Akimoto, chairman and president of Sasakawa Peace Foundation USA. Dr. Krista Wiegand, director of the global security program at the Howard H. Baker Jr. Center for Public Policy and professor of political science at the University of Tennessee Knoxville, moderated the Welcome Remarks and served as the Master of Ceremonies for the symposium.

Dr. Wiegand moderated the first panel of the program, “Strengthening the U.S.-Japan Security Alliance.” The session featured remarks from LGEN Koichiro Bansho, former commanding general of the JGSDF Western Army (Ret.); LtGen Larry Nicholson, former commanding general of the III Marine Expeditionary Force (Ret.); and Mr. James Schoff, senior director and leader of the US-Japan NEXT Alliance Initiative at Sasakawa Peace Foundation USA.

This panel examined major areas of security concern for the U.S. and Japan in the Indo-Pacific, as well as how the allies could strengthen their joint activities to mitigate these threats. LGEN Bansho covered the growth of the Japanese military, along with internal pressures (both political and social) facing the U.S.-Japan Alliance. He also highlighted some of the regional threats in the Indo-Pacific. LtGen Nicholson followed by addressing the topic of unity among U.S. and Japanese forces, noting how despite the success of military integration on the main islands of Japan, there are still notable divisions among troops in Okinawa. Unity and trust are key to effective cooperation among allies, especially when dealing with China. A deterrent to China, he suggested, could be the utilization of “secret allies,” countries that benefit from China but would prefer to side with the U.S. if given the opportunity. LtGen Nicholson also emphasized the necessity of staying ahead of our enemies in the technological and information sector, which is especially clear throughout the ongoing war in Ukraine. Mr. Schoff then spoke on the importance of how others perceive U.S. activity in Asia. China could use even seemingly non-threatening actions against the U.S. politically or in the field of public opinion. The U.S. needs to be aware of this when crafting policy for and acting in the region. This panel and its subsequent discussion were particularly relevant considering the rising tension in the Indo-Pacific, due to increasing Chinese military activity in the South China Sea and around Taiwan, as well as due to North Korean missile launches over and around Japan.

The second panel, “Advancing U.S.-Japan Economic Relations,” was moderated by Dr. Akimoto, and featured remarks from Mr. David Boling, Director of Japan & Asian Trade at the Eurasia Group; Mr. Takuji Tanaka, Corporate Staff Section Adviser at the Mitsubishi Corporation (and former Executive Director for Japan at the IMF); and Ms. Masami Tyson, Partner at Womble Bond Dickinson (and former Global Director of FDI and Trade at the Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development).

This panel focused on how to foster U.S.-Japan economic relations, meet global economic challenges, particularly from China, and balance beneficial economic policies while protecting domestic interests and promoting open markets and cooperation. It especially emphasized Tennessee-Japan investments and economic connections. Mr. Tanaka kicked off the panel by covering how the current state of the U.S.-Japan Alliance affects economic policies. In response to an audience member’s question about the impact of domestic issues on the economic relationship between the U.S. and Japan, Mr. Tanaka expressed a positive view for the future of U.S.-Japan economic relations. Mr. Boling then went on to describe some of the economic challenges facing the Alliance, which he explains as having been created by changing trade practices and interests within the U.S. and Japan. Whereas Japan has become less hawkish on trade, the U.S. has become more resistant to free trade policies. After explaining a bit of the history behind this shift, Mr. Boling stressed the importance of understanding the different interests of the allies when discussing trade policy. Ms. Tyson then connected the U.S.-Japan Alliance to the regional economy by informing the audience about the significant amount of Japanese direct investment in Tennessee. For example, one-third of new jobs created by foreign investment were due to Japanese investment. She also told a bit of the history behind Japanese investment in Tennessee, and how Toshiba came to be the first Japanese investors in the state. This panel served well to connect the macro/global picture of U.S.-Japan economic relations and policies to the micro/regional subsequent outcomes. During the discussion, the audience inquired about how to attract additional Japanese businesses to the state to create more jobs.

The in-depth conversation on Japan’s integrated security with AMB Masafumi Ishii, former ambassador of Japan to Indonesia, was held over lunch, with Dr. Akimoto as moderator. The discussion centered on understanding other countries’ perspectives of U.S. activity in Asia, most notably regarding China, and how this affects U.S.-Japan military and economic policies in the Indo-pacific region. AMB Ishii highlighted the importance of increasing U.S.-Japan allies in the region, especially in Southeast Asia, but reminded the audience that different countries require different approaches when trying to establish a partnership. He emphasized the value of forming and preserving these partnerships when the conversation turned to what roles the U.S., Japan, and their allies might play should a potential conflict in Taiwan arise. These comments produced very substantive questions and a productive dialogue with the audience.

Dr. Wiegand provided the closing remarks. Prior to the event, she graciously had given the speakers a tour of the Baker Center, where she guided them through a brief history of the Center, as well as the legacy of the “Great Conciliator,” for whom the Baker Center was named after. This well-rounded and informative symposium upheld AMB Baker’s legacy, as it welcomed around 90 participants both virtually and in-person throughout the event, excited the graduates and undergraduates in attendance about Japan related programs at the university, and engaged international, national, and local U.S.-Japan economic and security experts in productive dialogue with community leaders and rising Indo-Pacific specialist.

For those who were unable to attend this event, the video can be viewed here on the Baker Center website.

Agenda

All times indicated in Eastern Time.

9:00 AM | Welcome Remarks

9:15 AM | Panel 1: Strengthening the U.S.-Japan Security Alliance

10:30 AM | Break

10:45 AM | Panel 2: Advancing U.S.-Japan Economic Relations

12:00 PM | Lunch Starts

12:25 PM | In-Depth Conversation on Japan’s Integrated Security

1:25 PM | Closing Remarks

1:30 PM | Conclusion of Event

Photos

The third NEXT Alliance Conference (NAC) was held in Washington, DC and Annapolis, MD from October 27 to 29, 2023. It is one of two offsite “retreats” convened each year by Sasakawa USA focused on a priority issue area for the US-Japan NEXT Alliance Initiative. The Fall 2023 NAC explored the modernization of US-Japan command and control relationships to enhance alliance security cooperation.

The US and Japanese delegations began a long weekend of discussions with briefings from US government officials on current alliance initiatives and the status of Mission Partner Environment deployment. The participants then traveled to Annapolis, MD for a 2-day bilateral workshop that explored the status of C2 modernization efforts and potential areas for improvement. The workshop included keynote presentations on “contested logistics” and the role of functional commands vis-à-vis INDOPACOM. Participants included active and retired government officials and military personnel, scholars, and private sector representatives from the two countries.

The conference concluded with a public event on October 30, where some NAC participants discussed outcomes of the conference and shared their ideas for alliance C2 modernization. This included an idea for bolstering US Forces Japan (USFJ or a “NewSFJ”) with some additional staff and command authorities to be a more effective partner for Japan’s new Permanent Joint Headquarters to be stood up in 2025. The panel discussion was led by Sasakawa USA Sr. Director Jim Schoff and featured Dr. Kelly Grieco (Senior Fellow, Stimson Center), Mr. Chris Johnstone (Japan Chair, CSIS), Lt. Gen. (Ret.) Sadamasa Oue (JASDF), and Mr. Hideshi Tokuchi (President, Research Institute for Peace and Security (RIPS)). An audience of roughly 40 people participated in the event, which was held at The Army and Navy Club in Washington.

The NEXT team will publish a final report for this project later this fiscal year and is already planning the next NAC on economic security in Tokyo in March. The objective of this NAC was to foster substantive bilateral expert dialogue on complex issues surrounding C2 policy coordination within the alliance, and to support greater mutual understanding and broader public awareness of these issues. Specifically, we focused on: 1) a shifting regional military balance that makes integration of allied forces more vital, 2) a combination of technological advances and operational needs that are driving toward more integrated and combined force concepts, and 3) Japan’s efforts to expand its defense capabilities and improve military “jointness,” such as beginning to develop a counterstrike capability and introducing a permanent joint headquarters for the Self-Defense Forces (SDF).

For the third NEXT Alliance Conference’s (NAC) agenda and participant list, click here.

For the midterm report on US-Japan command and control relationships produced following the NAC Tokyo 2023, click here.

 

US Government Briefings:

US-Japan NEXT Alliance Initiative Senior Director Schoff delivers opening remarks at the beginning of the US Government Briefings on the first day of the NEXT Alliance Conference on the morning of Oct. 27.

Briefing 1: State Department “Alliance Agenda 2023-2024”

The first government briefing by Mr. Nicholas Snyder, Director, Office of Japan Affairs, US Dept. of State and Mr. Luke Collin, Director for Japan and Australia, National Security Council to discuss priorities for a near-term alliance agenda to support peace and stability in the Indo-Pacific region.

Briefing 2: Defense Department “Alliance Modernization Update”

The second government briefing by Mr. Andrew Winternitz, Acting Deputy Asst. Secretary of Defense for East Asia Policy covered alliance modernization efforts to address an increasingly severe security environment by building a more integrated and agile security partnership.

Briefing 3: Joint Staff “Mission Partner Environments”

The third government briefing by Mr. Fred Stanley, Systems Engineer, Coalition Interoperability Assurance & Validation (CIAV), JITC LNO Joint Staff J6 provided valuable technical insights into Combined Joint All Domain Command and Control (CJADC2) and the building of Mission Partner Environments for coalition activities.

US Naval Academy Tour:

After arriving in Annapolis from Washington, participants enjoyed a guided tour of the US Naval Academy on a pleasant autumn day before heading to the kick-off dinner.

Keynote Speakers:

Friday evening “kick-off” dinner speaker

Lt. Gen. Leo Kosinski, USAF, Director for Logistics (J4), The Joint Staff

The first speaker of the conference was Lt. Gen. Leo Kosinski, Director for Logistics (J4) on the Joint Staff during the “Kick-Off” dinner on October 27. Following his opening remarks on “Contested Logistics and C2/COMREL,” the group discussed with him how the US and Japan could improve coordinated and complementary logistical operations.

Saturday working lunch speaker

ADM (Ret.) Cecil D. Haney, fmr. STRATCOM Commander and PACFLEET Commander

The second guest speaker of the conference was former STRATCOM Commander and PACFLEET Commander, Admiral Cecil D. Haney, US Navy (Ret.) during the working lunch on October 28. In his remarks entitled “C2 Modernization and the Role of Functional Commands,” Haney urged the allies to work in a more seamless way as best as we can in fluid situations and to work as a team, modernizing the C2 construct to enhance the alliance in a timely and effective manner.

Saturday dinner speaker

Dr. Toshi Yoshihara, Senior Fellow, Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments

The third guest speaker of the conference was Dr. Toshi Yoshihara, Senior Fellow, Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments during the Saturday night dinner on October 28. His remarks entitled “What Will China Think?” shed light on how modernization efforts and changes to US-Japan command and control would be perceived by Beijing and what, if any, changes in China’s behavior it might trigger.

Workshop Sessions: 

Participants gathered in the conference room for five sessions of presentations, and discussions on different areas of US-Japan C2 modernizations.

Session 1: The State of Alliance C2 Modernization

The first session began with presentations by Lt. Gen. Koichi (Ret.) ISOBE, Japan Ground Self-Defense Forces and Lt. Gen. (Ret.) Lawrence “Larry” Nicholson, US Marine Corps, to review updates on Japan’s progress establishing a Permanent Joint HQ (PJHQ) and related US adjustments for the Indo-Pacific region.

Following initial presentations, session discussants (Professor Hideshi TOKUCHI, President of the Research Institute for Peace and Security (RIPS) and John Schaus, Sr. Fellow at CSIS) helped kick-off group dialogue to set the baseline for the rest of the workshop.

Session 2: Technology Aspects of C2 Modernization

The second session began with presentations by Lt. Gen. (Ret.) Wallace “Chip” Gregson, US Marine Corps and Prof. Satoru MORI, Keio University on relevant technology questions related to info sharing, info security, and industry cooperation related to C2.

Following initial presentations, session discussants Lt. Gen. (Ret.) Burt Field, fmr Commander of US Forces Japan and Mihoko MATSUBARA, Chief Cybersecurity Strategist of NTT) added views from a former practitioner at USFJ and from industry.

Session 3: Korea & other Multilateral Considerations

The third session was moderated by Chris Johnstone, Japan Chair at the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) and began with presentations by ADM (Ret.) Tomohisa TAKEI, Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force and Joseph R. Donovan, fmr Ambassador to Indonesia and State Dept. PDA/S, East Asia & Pacific Affairs, on the topic of how US-Japan C2 may function within a web of regional and global alliances and partnerships during a potential regional contingency.

Following initial presentations, Masashi MURANO, Japan Chair Fellow, Hudson Institute kick-started the group dialogue as a discussant.

Session 4: Sequencing C2 Modernization Next Steps

The fourth session began with presentations by Lt. Gen. (Ret.) Sadamasa Oue, Japan Air Self-Defense Forces and RADM (Ret.) Mark Montgomery, US Navy on the topic of US-Japan C2 strengths and areas for improvement in the near-term.

Following initial presentations, Sugio TAKAHASHI, Head of Defense Policy Division at the National Institute for Defense Studies and Dr. Kelly Grieco, Sr. Fellow, Stimson Center, initiated the group dialogue portion of the session.

Session 5: Conference review and recommendations

    

Prior to the conclusion of the workshop, participants took time to reflect on the weekend’s discussions and consider overall policy recommendations. Senior Director Schoff led an interactive dialogue where participants worked to outline the strengths of US-Japan policy coordination and areas that need improvement.

Public Event:

On October 30, the final day of the conference, a subset of conference participants including: Jim Schoff, Chris Johnstone, Hideshi Tokuchi, Kelly Grieco, and Sadamasa Oue gave a briefing at The Army and Navy Club in Washington DC on the outcomes of the weekend’s discussions to an audience of about 40 attendees.

Photos:

 

The first Japan-based NEXT Alliance Conference (NAC) was held in Tokyo from March 10-13, 2023.

It is one of two offsite “retreats” convened each year by Sasakawa USA focused on a priority issue area for the US-Japan NEXT Alliance Initiative.

The Spring 2023 NAC explored useful adjustments to future US-Japan command and control (C2) relationships, in light of three evolving trends: 1) a shifting regional military balance that makes integration of allied forces more vital to sustaining deterrence or repelling any attack; 2) a combination of technological advances and operational needs that are driving toward more integrated and combined force concepts; and 3) Japan efforts to expand its defense capabilities and improve military “jointness,” such as beginning to develop a counterstrike capability and introducing a permanent joint headquarters for the Self-Defense Forces (SDF).

The objective of this NAC was to foster substantive bilateral expert dialogue on complex issues surrounding command and control relationships within the alliance, and to support greater mutual understanding and broader public awareness of these issues. Specifically, we focused on 1) the C2 structure we have, 2) models of alliance C2, 3) political, legal & institutional considerations, and 4) C2 needs for the future.

  • To read the summary of NAC Tokyo authored by NEXT Alliance Initiative Senior Director Jim Schoff, click here.
    • 日本語での会議の概要はこちらからご覧ください。
  • For the NEXT Alliance Conference’s (NAC) agenda and participant list, click here.
  • To read more summaries from the C2 modernization dialogue series, click here.

 

Japan Government Briefings:

Briefing 1: National Defense Strategy (and Information and Cybersecurity)

The first Japanese Government briefing by Mr. Kouji UEDA, Defense Councilor for Cyber Security and Information Technology Management, Ministry of Defense and Mr. Hidetoshi IIJIMA, Director, Defense Policy Division, Ministry of Defense on the topic of Japan’s new national defense strategy.

Briefing 2: National Security Strategy (and Cybersecurity)

The second government briefing by Mr. Masataka OKANO, Assistant Chief Cabinet Secretary of the National Security Secretariat (NSS) covered Japan’s new national security strategy and cybersecurity issues.

Briefing 3: Japan’s Defense Buildup Plan

The third government briefing by Mr. Shinya ITO, Director at the Defense Planning and Programming Division, Ministry of Defense and Mr. Hidetoshi IIJIMA explained Japan’s new defense buildup plan.

Keynote Speakers:

Friday evening “kick-off” dinner speaker

Amb. Kenichiro SASAE, President, Japan Institute of International Affairs (JIIA)

     

The first speaker of the conference was former Ambassador Kenichiro Sasae, President of the Japan Institute of International Affairs (JIIA) during the “Kick-Off” dinner on March 10. Following his opening remarks, on the “Challenge for Japan and US Alliance” Amb. Sasae spoke with NEXT Alliance Initiative Senior Director Jim Schoff for a fireside chat style of question and answer that encompassed issues pertaining to the US-Japan alliance today.

Saturday working lunch speaker

Gen. Ryoichi ORIKI (Ret.), Chief of Staff, Joint Staff

     

The second speaker of the conference was former Chief of Staff, Joint Staff General Ryoichi Oriki, Ground Self-Defense Forces (Ret.). His remarks “Reflection on Operation Tomodachi” covered US-Japan cooperation and coordination lessons learned during Operation Tomodachi, following the disaster of the Great Eastern Japan Earthquake and Tsunami in 2011, exactly 12 years later to the day.

Workshop Sessions:

Session 1: The C2 Structure We Have

The first session began with remarks and presentations by Lt. Gen. Lawrence “Larry” Nicholson, US Marine Corps (Ret.) and Lt. Gen. Junichi ARAKI, Air Self-Defense Forces (Ret.) on the topic of current C2 structures in place.

Publications:

Lt. Gen. Lawrence Nicholson, US Marine Corps (Ret.): The Clock is Running

Session 2: Models of Alliance C2

The second session began with remarks and presentations by Adm. Scott Swift, US Navy (Ret.) and Adm. Tomohisa TAKEI, Maritime Self-Defense Forces (Ret.) on the topic of models of alliance C2 that could be adapted/serve as a model to modernize US-Japan command and control frameworks.

Session 3: Political, Legal & Institutional Considerations

The third session began with remarks and presentations by Nobushige TAKAMIZAWA, Visiting Professor, University of Tokyo and John Bradford, Executive Director, Yokosuka Council on Asia-Pacific Studies (YCAPS) on the topic of political, legal & institutional considerations for C2 structures.

Publications:

John Bradford, Executive Director, Yokosuka Council on Asia-Pacific Studies (YCAPS): Political and Legal Considerations Regarding the Upgrade of US-Japan Alliance Command and Control Arrangements

Session 4: C2 Needs for the Future

The fourth session was moderated by Chris Johnstone, Japan Chair at the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) and began with remarks and presentations by Lt. Gen. Koichi ISOBE, Ground Self-Defense Forces (Ret.) and Lt. Gen. Chip Gregson, US Marine Corps (Ret.) on the topic of C2 needs for the future.

Publications:

Lt. Gen. Wallace “Chip” Gregson, US Marine Corps (Ret.): Command Relationships for New Collective Defense Challenges

Session 5: Conference review and recommendation

Prior to the conclusion of the workshop, participants took time to reflect on the weekend’s discussions and consider overall policy recommendations. Senior Director Schoff led an interactive dialogue where participants worked to outline the strengths of US-Japan policy coordination and areas that need improvement.

Media Briefing:

On March 13, the final day of the conference, a subset of conference participants including: Satohiro Akimoto, Jim Schoff, Chris Johnstone, Scott Swift, Koichi Isobe, Nobukatsu Kanehara, and Nobushige Takamizawa, Tsuneo Watanabe gave a media briefing at Sasakawa Peace Foundation offices on the progress and consensus made over the weekend conference to print journalists from various media outlets including The Economist, Wall Street Journal, Nikkei and Yomiuri Shinbun.

Site Visit:

The final event of the conference was a site visit to Yokota Air Base in western Tokyo for a briefing with US Forces Japan and a review of ballistic missile defense (BMD) cooperation.

Photo credit (above): US Forces Japan

Photos:

 

Overview

Each year, Sasakawa USA’s US-Japan NEXT Alliance Initiative will convene two offsite “retreats” dedicated to emerging priority issues for the alliance, one in the area of technology and innovation and the other related to foreign and security policy challenges. Participants include relevant scholars, private sector representatives, and current and former government officials from both countries. The NEXT Alliance Conference (NAC)  itinerary involves a series of government briefings to provide background information for delegation, and then a two-day private workshop followed by a public event to share key takeaways from the bilateral dialogue. Our goal is to foster substantive expert discussion on complex issues facing the alliance, develop some practical policy recommendations, and support greater mutual understanding and broader public awareness of these challenges.

The inaugural NEXT Alliance Conference (NAC) was held in Washington, D.C. and Annapolis, MD from November 4 to 7, 2022. It is one of two offsite “retreats” convened each year by Sasakawa USA focused on a priority issue area for the US-Japan NEXT Alliance Initiative. The Fall 2022 NAC explored US-Japan economic security policy coordination.

The US and Japanese delegations carried out a series of discussions over the long weekend with briefings from US government officials on different economic security topics including cyber security, export controls, and fostering technology innovation, followed by travel to Annapolis, MD for a two-day bilateral workshop that dove deeper into each policy area.

The objective of this NAC was to foster substantive bilateral expert dialogue on complex issues surrounding economic security policy coordination within the alliance, and to support greater mutual understanding and broader public awareness of these issues. Specifically, we focused on 1) perceptions of economic security, 2) data and cyber security, 3) export controls, and 4) fostering innovation.

Economic security has become a top concern for policy makers in both countries, as national vulnerabilities to unbalanced supply chains, energy market disruption, cyber security threats, and intense technology competition are pushing governments to adopt countermeasures in pursuit of stability and long-term economic and military competitiveness. However, these countermeasures—be the new export controls, investment restrictions, data governance rules, reshoring subsidies, or innovation initiatives—will be less effective if poorly coordinated among allies. Our focus, therefore, was to examine how economic security policy coordination is carried out within the alliance and explore options for improvement, when appropriate.

For the inaugural NEXT Alliance Conference’s (NAC) agenda and participant list, click here.

US Government Briefings

Briefing 1: Science & Innovation Strategies

The first US Government briefing by Mr. Jason Donavan of the Office of Science and Technology Cooperation (STC) covered science & innovation strategies. The group discussed US-Japan coordination on science collaboration policy, research integrity, emerging technologies, and other related issues.

Briefing 2: Economic 2+2

The second briefing was an update on the US-Japan Economic Policy Consultative Committee (or “Economic 2+2”) by Ms. Pamela Phan (Deputy Assistant Secretary for Asia, Global Markets, Department of Commerce); Ms. Kemy Monahan (Director for East Asia, National Security Council); and Mr. Joel Ehrendreich (Director, Office of Japanese Affairs, Department of State). Participants discussed progress made by the US & Japan in building stronger economic bonds, coordinating economic security policies, and engaging with like-minded nations on this strategic agenda.

Briefing 3: Semiconductor Issues/Export Controls

The third briefing by Mr. Tarun Chhabra (Senior Director for Technology and National Security, National Security Council) covered semiconductor issues and export controls. A major topic of discussion was the October US announcement of new export controls on advanced computing and semiconductor manufacturing items to China.

Keynote Speakers:

Friday evening “kick-off” dinner speaker

Mr. Naoshi Hirose: Economic Security

The first speaker of the conference was Mr. Naoshi Hirose, Special Adviser to the METI Minister, who provided a keynote address on economic security and next steps for the US-Japan alliance.

Saturday working lunch speaker

Dr. Michael Nelson: What’s Shaping the Digital Transformation

The second conference speaker was Dr. Michael Nelson, Senior Fellow at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, who gave a keynote address at lunch on Saturday following the morning workshops. His remarks were entitled “What’s Shaping the Digital Transformation.”

Saturday dinner speaker

Dr. Patricia Falcone: Strategic Science & Technology Cooperation with Allies

The third conference speaker was Dr. Patricia Falcone, Deputy Director for Science and Technology at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory. Her keynote address was entitled “Strategic Science & Technology Cooperation with Allies.”

Workshop Sessions:

Session 1: Alliance Perceptive on Economic Security

The first weekend session began Saturday morning with presentations by Mr. Akira Igata of the University of Tokyo and Dr. Mireya Solís of the Brookings Institution, kicking off group discussion about alliance perceptions on economic security.

Publications:

Dr. Mireya Solís: Economic Security: Boon or Bane for the US-Japan Alliance?

経済安全保障: 日米同盟の追い風となるか向かい風となるか (Solís, Japanese version)

Session 2: Data and Cybersecurity Issues

The second session began with presentations from Ms. Mihoko Matsubara, Chief Cybersecurity Strategist at NTT and Dr. Barbara Grewe, Director for International Strategy and Policy at MITRE on the topic of data and cybersecurity issues.

Publications:

Ms. Mihoko Matsubara: Why Japan and the US Need Cyber and Data Security Cooperation for Their Economic Security

サイバーセキュリティとデータセキュリティの日米協力がなぜ両国の経済安全保障に不可欠か (Matsubara, Japanese version)

Ms. Barbara Grewe: Effectively Integrating Cybersecurity into National and Economic Security to Improve Outcomes in Both Spheres

Session 3: Coordination on Export Controls

The third session began with a presentation by Professor Kazuto Suzuki, the Graduate School of Public Policy at the University of Tokyo on US-Japan coordination on export controls. Sasakawa USA Senior director James Schoff presented slides prepared by Mr. Kevin Wolf, Non-Resident Senior Fellow at Georgetown’s Center for Security and Emerging Technology, who was unable to attend the workshop at the last minute.

Session 4: Pursuing a Technology Alliance

The final issue-specific session of the conference featured presentations from Mr. Jun Kazeki, of the National Graduate Research Institute for Policy Studies and Mr. Martijn Rasser, Senior Fellow/Director of the Technology and National Security Program at CNAS, who spoke about the US and Japan pursuing a technology alliance.

Publications:

Mr. Jun Kazeki: Economic Security and Emerging Technology: Japan’s Perspective for Pursuing a Technology Alliance

経済安全保障と先端技術  技術アライアンスに向けて日本の視点 (Kazeki, Japanese version)

Mr. Martijn Rasser: Pursuing a Technology Alliance: The T-14

Session 5: Conference review and recommendations

Prior to the conclusion of the workshop, participants took time to reflect on the weekend’s discussions and consider overall policy recommendations. Senior Director Schoff led an interactive dialogue where participants worked to outline the strengths of US-Japan policy coordination and areas that need improvement.

Public Event

After the weekend workshop, some participants from the conference joined a public symposium convened by Mireya Solis of the Brookings Institution on “Economic security in the Indo-Pacific: Implications for US-Japan relations.” Dr. Solis (left) moderated the panel discussion featuring (from left to right) Mr. James Schoff, Ms. Mihoko Matsubara, Mr. Jun Kazeki, and Dr. Scott Kennedy. The video of this event is available here.

Photos

Portland, Oregon is a renowned hub for sustainable and equity-based innovation where leaders in trade, marketing, design, and clean technology are working to solve the pressing challenges of our time, including climate change, resource scarcity, and preserving free trade and investment in an increasingly complex international geopolitical landscape. Home to numerous iconic multinational brands which are driving intelligent product design and marketing, the city offers fertile ground for cultivating creative partnerships on a local and global scale.

Oregon also benefits from strong economic, cultural, and people-to-people ties with Japan. In 2021, Japan’s exports to Oregon were valued at $2.1 billion while Oregon’s export value to Japan amounted to $1.5 billion, and there are over 150 Japanese companies operating in the region.[1] Portland maintains an over 60-year-old sister city relationship with Sapporo, one of the oldest sister city partnerships in the country, and is home to the Portland Japanese Garden, one of the most highly acclaimed Japanese gardens found outside of Japan as well as one of the foremost Japanese cultural organizations in North America.

With this context in mind, Sasakawa USA partnered with the Portland Japanese Garden’s newly launched Japan Institute to host the latest installment of its TAWA series, “The Alliance Working in America: Forum for Reimagining the Oregon-Japan Alliance (TAWA PDX 2022).” The program was convened on the Garden’s grounds on July 19, 2022 and featured two panel discussions on opportunities for increased U.S.-Japan cooperation in trade, innovation, and creative enterprises in Portland and the Pacific Northwest.

[1] https://www.portland.us.emb-japan.go.jp/itpr_en/business.html#:~:text=Japan’s%20total%20export%20value%20to,million%20and%20%24209%20million%20respectively.

Event

July 19, 2022 | Portland, OR | Forum for Reimagining the Oregon-Japan Alliance

On the evening before the TAWA PDX program took place, program panelists, speakers, and honored guests gathered at the home of Mr. Robert Zagunis, immediate past Board President of the Portland Japanese Garden (2019-2022), for dinner and discussion on the themes of the upcoming program. Attendees included Senator Elizabeth Steiner Hayward (Oregon State Senator, NW Portland/Beaverton), Consul-General Masaki Shiga of the Consular Office of Japan in Portland, and representatives from the Japan-America Society of Oregon, the City of Portland Mayor’s Office, Business Oregon, Prosper Portland, Port of Portland, and other local businesses.

Plenary Session

The event began with opening remarks by Mr. Steve Bloom, CEO of the Portland Japanese Garden, who highlighted how organizations at the intersection of culture, art, and nature can facilitate more open and meaningful dialogue between Japan and the United States. Mr. Bloom’s introduction was followed by welcome remarks from Ms. Shanti Shoji, Director of Programs at Sasakawa USA, who emphasized the great potential for Japan and the United States to collaborate on shared challenges in our pursuit of a more peaceful, stable, and prosperous society for all.  Congratulatory remarks were also provided by the Honorable Kate Brown, Governor of Oregon, and Consul General Masaki Shiga of the Consular Office of Japan in Portland, who recognized Oregon’s deep and lasting ties with Japan and expressed enthusiasm for programs such as TAWA PDX which provide a venue for exploring how to further enrich U.S.-Japan relations.

A virtual keynote speech was provided by Ms. Katherine Monahan, East Asia Director at the National Security Council, who spoke to the state of the U.S.-Japan relationship following President Biden’s first trip to Japan as president. She reiterated that the U.S.-Japan alliance remains critical to ensuring global peace, security, and prosperity. The alliance is built on a foundation of shared values, including the preservation of a rules-based order as laid out by Japan’s Free and Open Indo-Pacific strategy. Ms. Monahan affirmed that we must continue seeking opportunities to deepen and expand cooperation on all fronts, including innovating clean energy solutions, seeking partnerships in trade and investment, and exploring creative partnerships and grassroots people-to-people exchanges.

Session 1: Agricultural Innovation and Trade in the Age of Climate Disruption

The first session was moderated by Ms. Marianna Grossman, Founder and Managing Partner of Minerva Ventures, whose company provides business development support to start-ups in the clean tech sector and works with established companies to help them better identify opportunities for innovation in addressing the realities of climate change. Ms. Grossman set the stage by pointing to the exponential global temperature rise in recent years, which threatens human lives and livelihoods with drought, severe weather events, and unpredictable weather patterns and seasons. In addition to the physical ravages of climate change, there will also be economic and social challenges such as mass migration, market instability, and capital being redirected to recovery rather than being put toward innovation.

Next, Mr. Ron Pernick, Managing Director of Clean Edge, Inc., spoke on the necessity of shifting to clean energy options and how to minimize negative economic and social impacts while navigating this transition. He identified some of the key drivers of the shift to clean energy, which include declining costs of clean tech, low carbon policies that encourage clean energy use and innovation, shifts in investment away from fossil fuels, trends towards smart grids and electrification, and increased public support for clean energy. He noted that many Japanese companies are investing in clean technology development in the United States, and there are opportunities for more bidirectional investment and exchange of ideas. He closed by identifying seven recommendations for smoothly transitioning to clean energy:

  1. Focus on improving efficiency first.
  2. Significantly scale up wind and solar energy.
  3. Pair renewables with storage at scale.
  4. Prioritize electrification of heating and vehicles.
  5. Modernize transmission and distribution grids.
  6. Develop green hydrogen, ammonia, and fuels.
  7. Secure sustainably mined and recycled materials.

Mr. Pernick’s presentation was followed by remarks from Mr. Darren Padget, recent former Chairman of U.S. Wheat Associates. In conversation with Ms. Grossman, Mr. Padget explained the strong wheat export relationship Oregon shares with Japan, which has benefited from a long history of people-to-people exchange facilitated by trade organizations such as U.S. Wheat Associates. He emphasized that these grassroots exchanges help cultivate a more nuanced and meaningful relationship between wheat suppliers and consumers, which is more important than ever considering the scale of the United States’ global wheat exports and the potential for supply chain disruptions brought about by global events like Russia’s invasion of Ukraine this past year.

Session 2: Weaving the Common Threads: New Creative Dynamics in U.S.-Japan Partnership

The second panel was moderated Ms. Zeljka Carol Kekez, Founder and Principal of the innovative design studio PLACE. She began by introducing Japan as a world leader in education, commerce, and technology, as well as an international hub for arts and culture. Similarly, Portland is permeated by an ethos of individualism which embraces creative, unconventional entrepreneurship. PLACE embodies the synergies between the creative cultures of Portland and Japan with its multinational team of designers working to make environmentally and socially conscious installations, structures, and landscapes. PLACE also models how Japan and Portland can concretely engage with one another on creative ventures; for example, PLACE will be bringing Japanese talent to Portland through an upcoming installation at their headquarters featuring the intricate salt designs of artist Motoi Yamamoto.

Continuing the theme of creative partnerships between the U.S. and Japan, Mr. Takeshi “Ted” Homma, Founder & CEO of Homma Group Inc., presented on how Japan’s model of home design and construction can be applied in the United States to make the process more efficient, intuitive, and environmentally conscious. He noted that in Japan, homes are frequently assembled from prefabricated sets (such as for bathrooms and kitchens), as opposed to in the U.S. where homes are commonly built on-site. As a result, custom-built homes in Japan can be assembled more quickly (in less than 12 months, compared to an average of 2-3 years in the U.S.), and are much more commonplace compared to in the United States (53% of homes in Japan are custom, versus a mere 2% in the U.S.). Because the demand for new homes in the United States is on the rise, there is an opportunity here to introduce Japanese innovation into American home construction. Furthermore, increased customization in home design means increased opportunities to transition towards smart home technologies that not only improve the homeowner’s living experience, but also improve energy efficiency. Homma Group’s latest project located in Mount Tabor, Oregon (dubbed the “Homma Haus”) exemplifies how smart technologies can be integrated seamlessly into home design and construction.

Next came remarks from Mr. John C. Jay, President and Executive Creative Director of GX and President of Global Creative, UNIQLO. Mr. Jay began by highlighting the creative talent present in both Portland and Japan. He referenced Ace Hotel’s collaboration with renowned Japanese architect Kengo Kuma on the hotel’s Kyoto location as an example of a successful partnership that tapped into the talents of American and Japanese creatives. The concept of collaboration is a powerful tool in advertising as well; surprisingly, many competing brands in Japan have achieved mutually beneficial outcomes by collaborating on the creation of new products and brands. Mr. Jay also drew from his experience working on brand imaging for UNIQLO and Nike to demonstrate how intuitive and intelligent advertising can create opportunities for brands to expand their audience, challenge consumer expectations, and generate new demand for products.

Conclusion

Mr. Bloom concluded the event by thanking the panelists and speakers, as well as the Portland Japanese Garden staff members and Sasakawa USA staff who supported the event preparations. He reiterated the importance of continuing collaboration between the innovators, creatives, investors, and leaders in Portland and Japan who are united by their shared interest in building a more peaceful, prosperous, equitable, and sustainable world for future generations.

Agenda

*All times indicated in Pacific Time.

2:00 pm – 2:40 pm | Plenary Remarks

2:45 pm – 4:00 pm |Session 1 “Agricultural Innovation and Trade in the Age of Climate Disruption”

4:15 pm – 5:30 pm | Session 2 “Weaving the Common Threads: New Creative Dynamics in U.S.-Japan Partnership”

5:30 pm – 6:30 pm | Networking Opportunity

Photos

Japanese economic investments in Alabama continue to play a pivotal role in moving Alabama forward. With over 174 Japanese owned or affiliated firms already in Alabama, Japanese companies are continuing to invest in Alabama. In addition to the investments Japanese companies have made in Alabama in terms of establishing new business operations, they have also invested heavily in the communities they now call home. Honorary Consul General of Japan Mark Jackson explains it best, the single largest one-time Japanese investment in the U.S. occurred when Daichi purchased a Birmingham life insurance company for $5.7 billion and more companies have followed suit including Mazda-Toyota which recently completed a $1.6 billion investment in Huntsville, AL.

The East-West Center in Washington’s Japan Matters for America publication details the many ways that the Alabama-Japan relationship continues to grow in other sectors as well, as five Alabama cities enjoy sister city relationships with Japanese cities, including the Tuscaloosa-Narashino relationship which began in 1954, Japanese gardens are maintained in eight locales, and the Japan-America of Alabama provides opportunities throughout the state for enriching the Alabama-Japan relationship.

As Alabama continues to be the destination for Japanese businesses to establish their headquarters, Sasakawa USA traveled to the Huntsville, AL, the Silicon Valley of the South, from April 25-26, 2022, to hold a public panel discussion on the importance of the U.S.-Japan relationship on U.S. and Alabama economic interests and the opportunities for increased Japanese investment throughout Alabama.

 

Event

April 26, 2022 | Huntsville, AL | U.S. Japan Cooperation and Economic Legacy

Sasakawa USA co-sponsored a public panel discussion at the Redstone Federal Credit Union Atrium in Huntsville, AL, in partnership with Global Ties Alabama. The featured panelists included Mr. Mark Brazeal, Vice President of Administration, Mazda Toyota Manufacturing USA, Inc; Ms. Emma Chanlett-Avery, Specialist in Asian Affairs, Congressional Research Service; The Hon. Paul Finley, Mayor of the City of Madison, AL; and Mr. Kenji Kunimoto, Treasurer, Toyota Motor Manufacturing of Alabama. Ms. Shanti Shoji, Director of Programs, Sasakawa USA, moderated the discussion. Panelists discussed why Northern Alabama continues to attract Japanese businesses to establish operations in the area, what their presence means for the community, and the wider U.S.-Japan relationship. This event was held as part of The Alliance Working in America (TAWA) series.

The event began with a welcome address by Ms. Jacquelyn Shipe, CEO of Global Ties Alabama. Ms. Shipe draws on her wealth of experience in a variety of sectors including work for the World Bank Group to lead Global Ties Alabama by coordinating international exchange programs that bring people from all over the world to Alabama. The Hon. Mark Jackson, Honorary Consul General of Japan for Alabama then presented introductory remarks on Alabama-Japan relations, including the deep impact Japanese FDI provides to the people of Alabama, and efforts throughout the state to enrich the relationship further.

 

Ms. Shoji then began the discussion by briefly introducing the panelists and having Ms. Chanlett-Avery provide information on current U.S.-Japan topics and future outlook for cooperation. Mayor Finley then explained the impact of Japanese investment in Northern Alabama, particularly in Madison and Huntsville and his role as Mayor in facilitating greater opportunities for Japanese companies. Mr. Brazeal and Mr. Kunimoto took turns discussing their respective organizations, Mazda Toyota and Toyota, and how they have impacted the community as well as opportunities for growth. During Q&A, one audience member asked about increasing Japanese investment in Alabama’s more impoverished areas, specifically the “Black Belt” region which has seen limited investment. Panelists then had a discussion on what brings companies to Northern Alabama, and that the presence of Redstone Arsenal and NASA have really driven increased investment. In order to increase investment in other areas, they explained that the State of Alabama needed to take a bigger role in increasing investment in the Black Belt region. Other topics of discussion in the Q&A included future investment in Alabama and Huntsville/Madison community specific questions.

Please see the below for photos of the event.

Agenda

*All times indicated in Central Time.

11:15 am – 11:30 am | Registration and Reception

11:30 am – 12:00 pm | Welcome Remarks and Lunch is served

12:00 pm – 1:15 pm | Panel Discussion

1:15 pm – 1:30 pm | Closing Remarks and Conclusion of Event

Photos

Overview

Sasakawa USA’s U.S.-Japan Research Exchange provides experts from the U.S. and Japan the opportunity to cultivate a deeper understanding of current challenges and opportunities within the U.S.-Japan relationship. Individuals invited to participate have engaged in Sasakawa USA activities or have made significant contributions to U.S.-Japan relations. Through a one-to-two-week research trip to the U.S. or Japan, participants engage in meetings, roundtable discussions, and networking opportunities with an array of high-level leaders from the government, civil society, academia, and the media. During this research trip, participants can also take part in engagements with either Sasakawa Peace Foundation in Tokyo or Sasakawa USA in Washington, D.C.

Upon completion of the trip, each participant shares their findings with Sasakawa USA through activities such as a public briefing or a research paper. Through the participants’ engagements and strengthened network, this program contributes to deepening and expanding discourse on a variety of U.S.-Japan topics and generates more opportunities for collaboration and idea exchange among experts in both countries.

Overview

At the inter-section of diplomacy, security cooperation, & technology policy coordination, our dialogue and research activities focus on two overlapping lines of effort: 1) Technology & Innovation Connections; and Changing Foreign & Security Policy Challenges. Current NEXT Alliance areas of interest include:

  • Economic Security: For relevant publications, click here.
    (including telecommunications, export controls, and innovation)
  • Digital Transformation: For relevant publications, click here.
    (including data governance, digital currencies, and cyber security)
  • Defense Cooperation: For relevant publications, click here.
  • Foreign Policy: For relevant publications, click here.

Photo: Courtesy of US-Asia Institute “Japan 2022 Briefing Series,” April 2022

Overview

Our NEXT Alliance Bilateral Dialogue Series aims to become a trusted, valued, and well-recognized forum for sustained dialogue involving new bilateral networks and talents, as the alliance adapts to fast changing global developments. It supplements the work of policy makers and business leaders in both countries who are working to keep the alliance relevant to each nation’s strategy for security and prosperity.

Texas’ economic relationship with Japan continues to grow. With over 400 Japanese companies operating in Texas, and more setting up shop in the Lone Star state every year, Japan has become a valuable partner for economic growth. Additionally, in 2020, Japan was Texas’ third highest import partner and source of greenfield foreign direct investment (FDI) projects, rising from being respectively the eighth and fifth highest in 2016.

The East-West Center in Washington’s Japan Matters for America publication details the many ways that the Texas-Japan relationship continues to grow in other sectors as well, as 11 Texas cities enjoy sister city relationships with Japanese cities, Japanese gardens are maintained in 11 locales, and four separate Japan-America societies serve to improve Texas’ relationship with Japan throughout the state. Additionally, in September 2019, Texas Governor Greg Abbott led an economic development trip to Japan, accompanied by several major companies in Texas, economic development organizations from across the state, and other financial corporations.

As Texas continues to be the destination for Japanese businesses to establish their headquarters, Sasakawa USA traveled to the greater Dallas area between November 29 to December 1, 2021, to hold a public panel discussion on the importance of the U.S.-Japan relationship on U.S. and Texas economic interests and the opportunities for increased Japanese investment in the “Lone Star” State.

Events

November 30, 2021 | Addison, TX | The U.S.-Japan Alliance: Economic Impact on North Texas

Sasakawa USA co-sponsored a public panel discussion at the Renaissance Dallas Addison Hotel in Addison, Texas, with the World Affairs Council of Dallas/Fort Worth and the World Affairs Councils of America. The featured panelists included Mr. Mark Ikeno, President and CEO, NEC Corporation of America; Mr. Yoichiro Suzuki, Senior Vice President of Corporate Collaboration, NTT DATA Services; and Mr. Yasuhiro Uozumi, Executive Director, Keidanren USA. Ms. Shanti Shoji, Director of Programs, Sasakawa USA, moderated the discussion. Panelists discussed why Dallas-Fort Worth has become the perfect location for many Japanese businesses to establish their North American headquarters, what Japanese businesses are doing for the community outside of the direct economic impact, and the wider U.S.-Japan relationship. This event was held as part of The Alliance Working in America (TAWA) series.

The event began with a welcome address by the Mayor of Addison, Mr. Joe Chow. As a local business owner and entrepreneur, Mayor Chow shared his firsthand experience in business in North Texas, before handing it off to Ms. Liz Brailsford, President and CEO of World Affairs Council of Dallas/Fort Worth to share a few words on her organization. Ms. Brailsford then welcomed Dr. Satohiro Akimoto, Chairman and President of Sasakawa USA, who provided introductory remarks on Sasakawa USA and the origins of TAWA.

Ms. Shoji then began the discussion by introducing the panelists and having Mr. Uozumi provide the first opening remarks. Mr. Uozumi explained the role of Keidanren USA and discussed the impact that Japanese businesses have throughout the United States before focusing directly on Japanese businesses in Texas. In addition to the direct economic benefits that Japanese companies have on Texas, Mr. Uozumi presented information on how they also work to support the communities they serve directly through community service initiatives and civic engagement. Mr. Ikeno and Mr. Suzuki then discussed what led their companies to establish headquarters in Texas as well as specific examples of community engagement. The Q&A session covered topics such as how the political environment of the U.S. is impacting Japanese businesses and their panelist hopes for future investment in Texas.

Please see the below for photos and a full recording of the event.

Agenda

*All times indicated in Central Time.

6:00 pm – 6:30 pm | Registration and Reception

6:30 pm – 7:30 pm | Welcome and Panel Discussion

7:30 pm – 8:30 pm | Networking Opportunity

Photos

2024 Sasakawa USA | Privacy Policy | Sitemap

Custom WordPress Design, Development & Digital Marketing by time4design