Security and Foreign Affairs

The U.S.-Japan alliance remains the cornerstone of the bilateral relationship and a bulwark for peace and prosperity in the Asia-Pacific. In the past few years, Japan has issued a new security strategy, created a national security council, and reinterpreted its constitution to permit collective self-defense. The two countries currently are reshaping the alliance based on the first new bilateral defense guidelines in almost two decades. Japan and the United States also are adapting their foreign policies, individually and together, to reflect regional and global changes.

Sasakawa USA’s Security and Foreign Affairs Program includes research, publications, and events that analyze a range of issues relevant to the U.S.-Japan alliance, while also considering Japan’s relationships with other countries. Current ongoing initiatives include the Maritime Awareness Project, a joint project with the National Bureau of Asian Research that analyzes maritime issues in the Pacific, mapping U.S.-Japan alliance structural connections, and exploring Guam relocation challenges. The program’s capstone event each year is the Sasakawa USA Annual Security Forum, a major conference on the alliance featuring high-level speakers and in-depth discussion.


Annual Security Forum

Each spring, Sasakawa USA gathers key security experts and officials from government, business, think tanks, and academia in the United States and Japan for a one-day forum. In-depth discussions center around the year’s developments and new challenges regarding the U.S.-Japan alliance as well as strategies to enhance it for the future.


Japan-Russia Relations: Implications for the U.S.-Japan Alliance

Sasakawa USA hosted a public forum and compiled a book seeking to better understand outstanding historical issues between Japan and Russia, prospects for cooperation in the fields of security, energy, trade, and investment, and the impact of these relations on the U.S.-Japan alliance.

Maritime Awareness Project (MAP)

In April 2016, Sasakawa USA and The National Bureau of Asian Research (NBR) launched the Maritime Awareness Project (MAP), a joint initiative to assist policymakers, the press, and interested public in better understanding critical maritime problems and possible routes to their peaceful resolution.

U.S.-Japan Commission on the Future of the Alliance

In 2013, the Sasakawa Peace Foundation, Sasakawa USA, and and the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) established the U.S.-Japan Commission on the Future of the Alliance, a bilateral commission of distinguished policymakers and scholars, to develop a strategic vision for the U.S.-Japan alliance. The Commission met numerous times over the course of three years to discuss a range of issues animating the bilateral relationship. In February 2016, the Commission released its final report proposing a shared vision for Asia and the U.S.-Japan Alliance through 2030.


Testing Trilateral, U.S.-Japan, and U.S.-ROK Responses to North Korean Provocations: Tabletop Exercise Pacific Trident

Author: Admiral Michael McDevitt and Yoichi Kato

Categories: Tabletop Exercise

Tabletop Exercise Pacific Trident explored trilateral, U.S.-Japan, and U.S.-Republic of Korea (ROK) responses to unexpected events and deliberate North Korean provocations. This report summarizes the exercise, its policy-level insights, and its final recommendations to policymakers in the United States, ROK, and Japan.

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The Past May Rhyme, But is Asia Now Singing a Different Tune?

Author: Chris Nelson

Chris Nelson, Sasakawa USA Fellow for U.S.-Asia Relations, reflects on the 2017 Shangri-La Dialogue, organized by the International Institute on Strategic Studies, and the implications for U.S. allies and friends in Asia of the Trump administration’s uncertain policies. In the absence of U.S. leadership, says Nelson, Japan seems to be taking a more proactive role in the region.

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Cybersecurity and smart grids: report on the Twelfth U.S.-Japan Critical Infrastructure Protection Forum

This report compiles the results of the second day of the Twelfth U.S.-Japan Critical Infrastructure Protection Forum. The event brought together experts from the private power and cybersecurity industries, consultants, researchers, and government regulators from both the United States and Japan to discuss cybersecurity threats to smart grids and opportunities for bilateral cooperation in addressing those threats.

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Adm. Dennis C. Blair
Chairman and Distinguished Senior Fellow (Non-Resident)

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Daniel Bob
Distinguished Senior Fellow

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Sayuri Romei
Associate Fellow for Security and Foreign Affairs

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Tomohiko Taniguchi
Distinguished Non-Resident Fellow

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William “Bud” Roth
Non-Resident Fellow for Cybersecurity

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Hideshi Tokuchi
Distinguished Non-Resident Fellow

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Hiroko Maeda
Non-Resident Fellow