Symposium on New Dynamics in Japanese Security Policy

March 31, 2015

Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy, Tufts University

Symposium Agenda

Welcome & Introduction

Dr. Charles M. Perry, Vice President & Dierector of Studies, IFPA

Session 1: Japan’s New National Security Structures and Abe’s “Proactive Pacifism”

This session examined recent changes in Japan’s national security policies, organizational structures, and decision making process, together with updates to Japan’s defense posture and the Abe administration’s moves to reinterpret Japan’s constitution to allow for the exercise of collective self-defense. Panelists discussed the reasons why Japan has moved in this direction, what the domestic and regional reactions have been to these initiatives, and what this all suggests about the likely scope, pace, and focus of Japan’s emergence as a “proactive contributor to peace” at the regional and global levels.

Key sub-topics included:

  • Security challenges and policy priorities outlined in the Japan’s first-ever National Security Strategy
  • New defense missions and capability needs identified in the 2013 NDPG and Mid-Term Defense Program
  • Main conclusions of the May 2014 Advisory Panel on collective self-defense and next steps required for implementation
  • Likely range of military operations and support activities Japan could undertake under collective self-defense
  • Potential constraints on “proactive pacifism”

Panel Members:

  • The Honorable Satoshi Morimoto, former Japanese Minister of Defense and Professor, Graduate School of Tokushoku University
  • Mr. Joseph Young, Director, Office of Japanese Affairs, U.S. Department of State
  • Dr. Takashi Kawakami, Professor and President, Institute of World Studies, Graduate School of Tokushoku University
  • Dr. Sheila Smith, Senior Fellow for Japan Studies, Council on Foreign Relations

Luncheon with Keynote Address by the Honorable Hideshi Tokuchi, Vice Minister for International Affairs, Japanese Ministry of Defense

Download keynote address

Session 2: New Opportunities for U.S.-Japanese and Broader Regional Security Cooperation

This session examined more closely the effect of Japan’s national security reforms and adjustments on efforts to create a more balanced U.S.-Japanese alliance, especially with respect to new roles and responsibilities under the revised bilateral guidelines for defense cooperation. Panelists aslo discussed the ways in which Japan and the United States can collaborate more closely as they both take steps to improve trilateral cooperation with South Korea, to strengthen their ties with Australia and India, to build up the defense capabilities of Southeast Asian countries (particularly Vietnam and the Philippines), and to cooperate when and where possible with China on regional security tasks. The degree to which Tokyo and Washington can and should work together to encourage additional trilateral, mini-lateral, and wider multilateral security cooperation was also explored.

Key sub-topics included:

  • New divisions of labor under the revised U.S.-Japan Guidelines for Defense Cooperation
  • U.S.-Japan-ROK, U.S.-Japan-Australia, and U.S.-Japan-India security cooperation: what’s possible and how can it best be achieved?
  • Capacity-building for new partners in Southeast and South Asia: what are the priorities?
  • Identifying areas for risk-reduction and security cooperation with China
  • Leveraging Japan’s “proactive pacifism” and America’s rebalance to Asia to create a more stable security architecture in the Asia-Pacific region

Panel Members:

  • Mr. David Helvey, Deputy Assistant Secretary for East Asia, U.S. Department of Defense
  • Dr. Ken Jimbo, Associate Professor, Faculty of Policy Management and Center for Asia-Pacific Studies, Keio University
  • Dr. Andrew Oros, Associate Professor of Political Science and Director of International Studies, Washington College
  • Lieutenant General Noboru Yamaguchi, JGSDF (Ret.), former Professor of Military History and Strategy, National Defense Academy of Japan, and former Commanding General, JGSDF Research and Development Command
  • Mr. Ian Rinehart, Analyst in Asian Affairs, Congressional Research Service