The US-Japan Alliance as a Regional Problem Solving Mechanism

Sponsored by the Tokyo Foundation in partnership with the Pacific Forum CSIS and the US Embassy Tokyo

June 27-July 1, the Pacific Forum, in partnership with the Tokyo Foundation and support from the US embassy in Tokyo, held a two-day quadrilateral conference (US, Japan, ROK, China) on “The US-Japan alliance as a regional problem solving mechanism.” After the conference and a public panel session in Tokyo, ED Brad Glosserman took three participants to Sapporo, Nagoya, and Kyoto to discuss that topic with regional audiences.


Link to the Agenda
Link to the Participant List
Link to the Conference Report

Monday, June 28, 2016

Introductory Remarks
Ippeita NISHIDA

Session 1: Security Perspectives
Each presenter will explain how his/her country assesses East Asian threats. What are the most imminent challenges and concerns? What are medium-term and longer-term threats? What could cause escalation to a military engagement in the region? What are the most likely escalation risks? Which are most worrisome? Presenters should be as detailed as possible.

China presenter: ZHA Daojiong
Japan presenter: Yoji KODA
ROK presenter: KIM Young Ho
US presenter: Grant NEWSHAM

Session 2: Changes in Japanese Security Policy
A Japanese presenter will explain recent changes in Japanese national security policy, their implications for Japan and the region, and what can be expected to come next. Discussion in this session will focus on the impact of a more active Japanese regional security role; alliance issues will be taken up in the next session.

Japan presenter: Hideshi TOKUCHI

Session 3: Changes in the US-Japan Alliance
Speakers will assess the impact of recent changes in the US-Japan alliance and how they can and should affect regional security. What are their objectives and how will they be operationalized? What has been accomplished since the new Guidelines for US-Japan Defense Cooperation were agreed? How can or will this affect cooperation with other countries in the region? What more needs to be done?

Japan presenter: Satoru MORI
ROK presenter: KIM Tae Hyo
US presenter: Adam LIFF

Session 4: Regional Security Architecture
Presenters will assess the existing regional security architecture. What are its core components? What is missing? What can be done to fill gaps to address the concerns identified in session 1? What is the role of US alliances in the Asia Pacific in general and the US-Japan alliance in particular?

China presenter: ZHU Feng
US presenter: Jim SCHOFF
ROK presenter: LEE Shin-wha

Session 5: Maritime Security
What mechanisms exist to maintain and ensure maritime security? What are their limits? How can they be surmounted? What specifically can the alliance do and in what context? What other options are available and why are they to be preferred?

China Presenter: ZHU Feng
US Presenter: Weston KONISHI

Session 6: Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief
This session looks specifically at the mechanisms to address HADR. What tools are available to deal with this problem? What limits their effectiveness? What can be done to overcome these limits? What specifically can the alliance do? What more should it do? This discussion and the one after should be as specific as possible.

US Presenter: Jim SCHOFF
Japan Presenter: Takashi KAWAMOTO

Session 7: Wrap-up and Next Steps

Public Panel Session: 102nd Tokyo Foundation Forum on “The Regional Role of the Japan-US Alliance”