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.


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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Start-ups and their entrepreneurial leadership cannot hold off on cybersecurity: Governments can and should help

Author: Megan Stifel, Cybersecurity Policy Director, Public Knowledge

Categories: Sasakawa USA Alumni, Sasakawa USA Blog

In December 2017, Sasakawa USA partnered with the Center for a New American Security (CNAS) to take a cohort of seven rising U.S. cybersecurity experts and technology entrepreneurs for a week-long study trip to Japan. Here, cohort member Megan Stifel, Cybersecurity Policy Director, Public Knowledge, writes about the challenges governments and entrepreneurs face when addressing cybersecurity.

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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

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Hiroko Maeda
Non-Resident Fellow