February 8, 2019 - In This Issue:

U.S. Marine Sgt. Ignacia Gonzalez translates a safety brief to Japan Ground Self-Defense Force Soldiers of 1st Amphibious Rapid Deployment Regiment, before a swim qualification during Iron Fist Jan. 16, 2019 on U.S. Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton, CA. ( U.S. Marine Corps photo by Cpl. Cutler Brice.)
Chairman's Message: What Japan's Third National Defense Program Guidelines Should Have Said

In his latest Chairman's Message,  Admiral Dennis Blair addresses his concerns with Japan's third National Defense Program Guidelines, released in December last year. Blair writes that "Although there are many positive features of the NDPG, they are inadequate in the very important area of achieving joint operations by the Self Defense Force."

Blair believes the NDPG should have directed the development of joint task forces and operational concepts in three specific areas: joint air and missile defense; joint amphibious operations; and joint operational commands. Read all of his recommendations in  " What Japan's Third National Defense Program Guidelines Should Have Said. "

Commentary: Japan Should Take a Leadership Role in Climate Change: Ambitions for G20 Action
Source: Prime Minister's Official Website

Dr. Phyllis Genther YoshidaSenior Fellow for Energy and Technology, advocates for Japan to take on a greater global leadership role in fighting climate change in a commentary published on Sasakawa USA's website. In particular, she sees a role for Japan to demonstrate decoupling domestically and internationally, which to a large extent means decarbonizing the energy and transportation sectors while providing expanded economic opportunities and energy access. 

News: Sasakawa USA appoints new President

Sasakawa USA is pleased to announce the appointment of Dr. Satohiro Akimoto as its new president, effective January 3, 2019. Akimoto will work with Admiral Dennis Blair, Chairman, and Ambassador James Zumwalt, CEO, to advance Sasakawa USA's mission of strengthening U.S.-Japan relations through education, programs, and research. Akimoto brings to Sasakawa USA extensive experience in the business and non-profit world. Read more about his appointment on the Sasakawa USA website. 
Event Recap: Japan's New National Defense Program Guidelines: Alliance Strategies for the Third Post-Cold War Era

Sasakawa USA and the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace co-sponsored a January 11, 2019, symposium in Washington, D.C. on Japan's new National Defense Program Guidelines At this symposium, 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. The discussion also considered implications for the U.S.-Japan alliance and regional security in the future. 

View a video of the event on the Sasakawa USA website.

Sasakawa USA Forum: Japan-Russia Territorial Negotiations and the U.S.-Japan Security Treaty
Source: www.kremlin.ru

Writer James D.J. Brown tackles "Japan-Russia Territorial Negotiations and the U.S.-Japan Security Treaty" in Issue No. 17 of the Sasakawa USA Forum. As negotiations between Japan and Russia over the status of the disputed Southern Kuril Islands have accelerated under Prime Minister Shinzō Abe's administration, Moscow has increasingly looked to connect the issue to the U.S.-Japan Security Treaty. Brown asserts that Abe's Russia policy may be naive and disconcerting to many in the West, but should be permitted to run its natural course.
Event Recap: The 6th U.S.-Japan-Korea Trilateral Symposium 

The 6th U.S.-Japan-Korea Trilateral Symposium on January 4 brought together students and current professionals in the field of U.S.-Asia relations to enhance trilateral cooperation. The event aimed both to educate and to give the future generation of all three countries a voice regarding the promotion of peace, stability, and prosperity in the Asia-Pacific region. The symposium was organized by International Student Conferences (ISC), Sasakawa USA, and Korea Foundation.

Read a recap of the event on the Sasakawa USA website. A video of the event is available on the C-SPAN website.

In the News: Two minutes to midnight: chipping away at global arms control and alliances

Dr. Sayuri Romei, Fellow for Security and Foreign Affairs at Sasakawa USA, discussed the possible implications of the U.S. withdrawal from the INF (Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces) Treaty in an op-ed February 3, 2019 Kyodo News article, "OPINION: Two minutes to midnight: chipping away at global arms control and alliances." Romei writes that "With the Doomsday Clock at two minutes to midnight for the second year in a row - the last time it was this close to midnight was in 1953 - the Trump administration has embarked upon a very dangerous path."

In the News: Articles published by Sasakawa USA Emerging Experts Delegation (SEED) journalist participants

The Art of the Balance: Japan, China and the United States: Catherine Putz, Managing Editor for The Diplomat, was one of eight rising U.S. journalists covering U.S. national security and defense issues who participated in a week-long study trip to Japan in December 2018 as part of the  Sasakawa USA Emerging Experts Delegation (SEED) program. Putz published "The Art of the Balance: Japan, China and the United States" in The Diplomat on January 30, 2019. 

How will Japan defend itself, if it can't get its youth to serve?: Tara Copp, Pentagon Bureau Chief for Military Times, also participated in the SEED program trip. Copp published "How will Japan defend itself, if it can't get its youth to serve?" in the Military Times on January 30, 2019. Copp's article examines the cultural issues surrounding Japan's difficulties recruiting young people to serve in the Self Defense Forces.
Report: China and 5G: Tumult in 2018

Recent moves by Five Eyes countries to ban Huawei equipment from future 5G networks has become a major point of contention in the growing trade war between China and the United States. Bud Roth, Non-Resident Fellow for Cybersecurity, covers these concerns in a recent Sasakawa USA report: "China and 5G: Tumult in 2018." 

"This is an area of shared concern with Japan," Roth writes, "and we can expect significant diplomatic interaction between our two countries on this topic."
Event Recap: Northeast Asia and the New Congress

On January 8, 2019, the Korea Economic Institute of America and Sasakawa USA hosted "Northeast Asia and the New Congress," a panel discussion on Democratic control of the House of Representatives and the potential impacts on U.S. policy towards Northeast Asia.  Speakers included Congressman Charles Boustany, Ambassador Kathleen Stephens, Ambassador Joseph Yun, and Ambassador  James Zumwalt . Read a recap of the event on the Sasakawa USA website.
News: Sasakawa USA Forum is accepting submissions for 2019

The Sasakawa USA Forum is currently 
accepting submissions   for Winter/Spring 2019. Submissions should be 750 to 2,000 words in length and written on issues that previously have been inadequately covered regarding Japan or U.S.-Japan relations from a bilateral, regional, and global context. Eligible authors of accepted articles will receive a modest honorarium.

For more information, contact Darah Phillip at  dphillip@spfusa.org.      

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