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.


Sasakawa USA 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’s New National Defense Program Guidelines: Alliance Strategies for the Third Post-Cold War Era

On January 11, 2019, in partnership with the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, Sasakawa USA organized a symposium to discuss the NDPG. A bilateral group of scholars and former defense officials assessed Japan’s policy priorities and defense capabilities through the lens of its newly revised guidelines and Mid-Term Defense Plan. A book that will bring together the analyses of conference participants will be published in April 2019.

Tabletop Exercise: Pacific Trident II

Sasakawa USA’s Tabletop Exercise: Pacific Trident II, conducted in October 2018, built on the successes of Exercise: Pacific Trident to address U.S.-Japan, U.S.-ROK, and U.S.-Japan-ROK responses to signs of instability and illicit sanctions evasion activities in North Korea.

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.


Testing the U.S.-Japan and U.S.-ROK Security Alliances

Author: Admiral Michael McDevitt

Categories: Tabletop Exercise

Tabletop Exercise Pacific Trident II was the second Sasakawa USA tabletop exercise (TTX) exploring trilateral cooperation mechanisms between the United States, Japan, and South Korea in the context of a crisis in North Korea. 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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Strategic Distraction: America, China, and Japan in the 21st Century Competitive Space

Author: Sharon Burke, Senior Advisor and Program Director, New America

Categories: Sasakawa USA Alumni

The Honorable Sharon Burke participated in the Sasakawa USA 2017-2018 In-Depth Alumni Research Trip to Japan. In this paper, Burke posits that Japan–playing to its strengths as a security builder–has an opportunity to improve global readiness for the great security challenges of the later part of this century, not all of which are military in nature.

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Fighting in Maritime Gray Zone Warfare in East Asia

Author: Hideshi Tokuchi

China’s maritime expansion poses a threat to the sea’s power to connect in East Asia. This article discusses the following: first, China’s gray zone warfare at sea; second, China’s political warfare related to the sea; and third, measures Japan should take.

Policy Recommendations by the Quadripartite Commission on the Indian Ocean Regional Security

Author: Sasakawa Peace Foundation

How can the United States work with India, Japan, and Australia to promote peace, security, and economic prosperity in the Indian Ocean region? A report from the Quadrilateral Commission on Indian Ocean Security– comprised of representatives from Sasakawa Peace Foundation in Japan, Vivekananda Foundation of India, the National Security College of the Australia National University, and Sasakawa USA–makes recommendations for cooperation among major democracies.

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

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Christopher Rodeman
Research Fellow and Director of the Japan-U.S. Military Program (JUMP)

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Sayuri Romei
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