20th Japan-US Security Seminar

March 21-22, 2014, Washington, DC


Friday, March 21

Session 1: Domestic politics, economics, and security policy (includes trade policy)

US speaker for Japan: Sheila Smith
Japan speaker for US: Toshihiro Nakayama

This session will examine domestic developments in each country that provide the basis for security policy and alliance cooperation. Each speaker should assess prevailing political winds in the other’s capital, each government’s popularity, and relations with the opposition. What is the status of each country’s economy and how will economic developments influence policy? How will the 2014 midterm elections affect the Obama administration? How will divided government in Washington affect US capacity to act and its credibility internationally? Will Abenomics continue to spur economic growth? How do Americans assess the Abe administration’s national security agenda? What is the level of Japanese public support for the Japanese government’s national security agenda?

Saturday, March 22

Session 2: Challenges and threats

Japan speaker: Akio Takahara
US speaker: Bonnie Glaser

This session compares national perspectives on challenges and threats to national security as well as discusses recent issues regarding China. What are the challenges and threats to security environment surrounding Japan? What are the implications of China’s economic rise and military modernization on regional stability? How do you characterize or assess Chinese behavior, military and diplomacy (eg, those in the East China Sea, especially behavior in the waters around Senkaku Islands and announcement of ADIZ. How should Japan and the US respond and give messages to China in light of these issues)? Are Tokyo and Washington in sync with each other (and with Seoul) regarding North Korea as well?

Session 3: Japanese security policy

US speaker: Michael Green
Japan speaker: Yuichi Hosoya

This session assesses developments and perspectives in Japan’s national security policy. How should Japan translate “proactive contribution to peace” into a specific set of actions/measures? How does a National Security Council and a new interpretation of the right of collective self-defense change alliance security dynamics? How do you assess the new Japanese National Security Strategy? What does the new Japanese National Security Strategy identify as primary concerns? Do these align with US concerns? Do priorities match? Where are the differences and how are they likely to affect alliance coordination? What is the key message and significance of the new National Defense Program Guidelines and the Midterm Defense Program and how do they differ from previous documents? How should Japan obtain understanding from surrounding countries? Can the US help Japan obtain such understanding? How? What could be the impediments for Japan’s efforts in strategic messaging? What kind of message should Japan send to neighboring countries?

Session 4: US Security Policy

Japan speaker: Matake Kamiya
US speaker: Jim Thomas

This session looks at the rebalance. How has the rebalance been implemented? Has it been successful? Are there significant differences in design and implementation? Are there questions about the credibility of the US extended deterrent? If so, why? If so, what can be done to reassure Japan? What can be done to draw synergy effect from Japan’s initiative and the US policy of strategic rebalancing toward the Asia Pacific? How does each side define Japan’s contribution to the rebalance?

Session 5: Future of the alliance

US speaker: Evans Revere
Japan speaker: Yukio Okamoto

This session tries to ascertain the future of the alliance. What is the outcome of the Security Consultative Committee meeting and its implications for the region and beyond? What are specific areas where Japan and the US can materialize cooperation? How can Japan and the US cooperate more effectively? How can Japan and the US utilize their momentum to enhance the alliance’s deterrent? What are potential impediments to alliance strategic messaging? What lessons can be drawn from the previous experience of Guidelines revision in 1997? How can the alliance facilitate equipment acquisition collaboration? What messages should Japan and the US individually or collectively send to neighboring countries to obtain agreement to this new policy? How can Japan and the US involve people in the US, including the Congress, to promote further understanding on Japan-US bilateral cooperation? How can the Japan-US alliance best engage South Korea to strengthen trilateral coordination?