September 9, 2016 - In This Issue:
Introducing two new Sasakawa USA Fellows: Phyllis Yoshida and Hideshi Tokuchi
Sasakawa USA is pleased to welcome to its team of U.S.-Japan experts Dr. Phyllis Yoshida and Mr. Hideshi Tokuchi, whose combined experience on energy and defense issues spans more than 65 years.
Dr. Yoshida, who joins Sasakawa USA as a Fellow for Energy and Technology, will be working on projects focused on fostering U.S.-Japan cooperation in energy, science, and technology. Mr. Tokuchi joins Sasakawa USA as a Non-Resident Distinguished Fellow following a 36-year career of service IN the Government of Japan, most recently as the nation's first Vice-Minister of Defense for International Affairs. 


Op-ed: The global threat that went undiscussed at the G20 Summit

This year's G20 agenda focused on global economics, free trade, innovation, structural reforms, and international anti-corruption, all traditional topics that led leaders to take expected positions and make bland commitments for cooperation, writes Sasakawa USA CEO and Chairman Adm. Dennis Blair in this op-ed that appeared in Defense One.

What was not officially discussed, but should have been front and center throughout the summit, was the increasingly dangerous threats against every nation in the civilized world posed by cyber crime and cyber warfare. Aside from an unscheduled meeting between Presidents Barack Obama and Vladimir Putin, of Russia, where cyber capacities were briefly mentioned, the topic went unaddressed.

News: Congressional Staff Program on Asia kicks off on Capitol Hill today

The East-West Center in Washington, with support from Sasakawa USA, will hold the first session of the EWC-Sasakawa USA Congressional Staff Program on Asia (CSPA) today on Capitol Hill. This bipartisan educational certificate program for Congressional staff members will cover a range of contemporary, policy-relevant topics in U.S.-Asia relations over a series of weekly sessions, featuring speakers and discussions with U.S. officials and leading experts.

The inaugural class was selected through a competitive application process, and represents both chambers and political parties, and staff from committees as well as  personal offices.

Event recap: The U.S.-Japan Alliance and Roles of the Japan Self-Defense Force

On July 30, 2016, Sasakawa USA and PHP Institute co-hosted an event in Tokyo bringing together three senior former Japan Self-Defense Force members to discuss the role of the JSDF within the U.S.-Japan Alliance. Admiral Dennis Blair and General Ryoichi Oriki were present to provide further comments and analysis on the three speakers' remarks.

The public event provided an opportunity to explore the core relationship of asymmetrical cooperation between the U.S. Armed Forces and JSDF, and discuss concrete ways in which the JSDF has contributed to sustaining and expanding the alliance. Sasakawa USA anticipates releasing a report detailing its findings in these areas in early 2017.  

Cyber Beat: It's time to treat Bitcoin ransom as stolen goods

There has been a great deal of legal debate about whether Bitcoin is a currency, a security, or a commodity, writes Sasakawa USA's William "Bud" Roth in the Cyber Beat blog. That judgement will determine whether Bitcoins used to pay ransom can be reclaimed by victims.

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Japan Political Pulse: Polls show Japanese public's deepening distrust of China

While anti-Japan sentiment in China has drawn considerable attention as a possible factor constraining Beijing's Japan policy, less attention has been paid to deepening anti-China sentiment in Japan as a factor shaping Japan's China policy and its politics, writes Sasakawa USA's Tobias Harris.

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In the News: Sasakawa USA fellows comment on military spending, security ties, and Sino-Japanese relations 
Japanese government urges another increase in military spending: Japan's current budget request to increase defense spending and expand missile capabilities does not suggest that the nation is switching from a defensive to more offensive posture, Sasakawa USA's Dr. Jeffrey Hornung said in an August 31 article in The New York Times. Click here to read more.

Could a tiny islet in the South China Sea be key to maritime dominance by Beijing?:  If China succeeds at militarizing the Scarborough Shoal, the result would be a tremendous shift in regional power relations in the South China Sea, Sasakawa USA's Dr. Jeffrey Hornung said in an article in the Japan Times. Click here to read more. 

Retired SDF officers counter Trump's remarks on security ties:
Japan's self-defense forces play a large role in sustaining and enhancing the U.S.-Japan alliance, several JSDF officers and others explained at a July 30 conference co-hosted by Sasakawa USA and the PHP Institute that recently was featured in The Asahi Shimbun and Sankei Shimbun. Click here to read more. 

Little chance of thaw in Sino-Japanese ties at G20 summit: Tokyo's relationship with Beijing has fluctuated greatly in the past several years, Sasakawa USA's non-resident fellow Hiroko Maeda said in an article by the South China Morning Post leading up to the G20 Leaders' Summit that China hosted last weekend. Click here to read more. 

From Teen voters and Japan's hate laws

Teen voters and politics in Japan:
This July, in the first national election since the lowering of the voting age, young people seemed to endorse the status quo. But voting is not the only form of political activity, writes author Shin Satō, arguing that adult voters should reconsider their own approach to politics. Click here to read more.

Can laws control Japan's hate epidemic?: On May 24, the National Diet took action to stem Japan's rising tide of racism and xenophobia with the nation's first law targeting hate speech. In this article from, Author Tsunehira Furuya assesses the legislation's impact and remaining challenges. Click here to read more. 

autumn_avenue_painting.jpg Upcoming events: September and
October 2016

As summer winds down and the temperatures begin to cool, Sasakawa USA's calendar is heating up with upcoming events in Washington D.C., Seattle, Tokyo, Cleveland, Philadelphia, and Pensacola. Not all events are open to the public -----     check each event link for details and check our events page for new listings. 
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