March 29, 2017 - In This Issue:
Second annual JUMP dinner highlights bright future for US-Japan alliance

The importance of the U.S.-Japan alliance as a critical partnership during a period of increasingly fast-paced maritime competition was stressed at the  Second Annual Japan-U.S. Military Program (JUMP) Dinner in Washington, D.C. on March 16.

Exploring the theme of the future of the U.S.-Japan alliance, the dinner brought together over 100 JUMP members at the prestigious Army and Navy Club to enjoy the company of others who have served in Japan, and hear about the state of the alliance from keynote speaker, Chief of Naval Operations Admiral John Michael Richardson.
Book: U.S.-Japan Approaches to Democracy Promotion  
Academic research on democratic transitions has established that democracy endures longer when it is established by peaceful means, and that it is most effectively established by internal forces. Nonetheless, assistance from other countries is important, whether by example or by more direct assistance to democratic forces within another country.
The objective of this new book, co-edited by Michael Auslin of the American Enterprise Institute and Daniel Bob of Sasakawa USA, is to recommend practical ways in which the United States and Japan can support democratic development in countries that are emerging from autocratic regimes and those that have achieved a measure of democracy, but are in danger of regressing. 

This book was publicly launched at an  event in Washington, D.C. on March 25 and additionally will be discussed at a public event in Tokyo on April 7.
Japan Political Pulse: Abe's poll numbers slide with the Moritomo Gakuen scandal

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's approval ratings in the latest Yomiuri Shimbun poll have fallen suddenly by ten percent, writes Sasakawa's Tobias Harris in the latest from Japan Political Pulse. 

The plunge comes in the midst of a scandal - a steeply discounted public land sale to a private right-wing educational foundation in Osaka with links to the prime minister and his wife - that has dominated headlines and parliamentary debate. 

Recap: New America Foundation SEED Trip

From March 4 -11, 2017, Sasakawa USA partnered with the New America Foundation, a think tank in Washington D.C., to take eight policy experts for a week-long study trip to Japan. 
During their visit to Tokyo and Fukushima, the delegates met with a range of Japanese government officials and experts from the Prime Minister's Office, government ministries, the Diet, corporations, and research institutions to explore various themes at the intersection of clean energy, national and international security, and climate change. 
Job opportunity: Program Assistant for the Education department

Sasakawa USA is currently accepting applications for a Program Assistant (12-month contract) for the Education department. The Program Assistant will provide programmatic and administrative support to the Associate Program Officer, and assist with event planning and execution and communications. The deadline to apply is April 28, 2017. 

Report: Securing Critical Resources in a New Green and Industrial Era

The U.S. and Japan are global leaders in developing new and innovative technologies that increasingly rely on rare metals, an entirely new set of critical materials that often come from a single country or mine. The speed of technological change and the growing number of new devices may soon begin to outpace the ability of manufacturers to secure the rare metals this new industrial age requires. 

This report , launched at a public event on March 24, considers the challenges, opportunities, and limitations of creating resilient supplies of rare metals. The report is based on a  conference held in November by Sasakawa USA in partnership with Stanford's Shorenstein Asia-Pacific Research Center. 

Report: Spotlight on U.S.-Japan civil nuclear engagement

Tight U.S.-Japan integration in nuclear energy means that when the Japanese industry sneezes, the U.S. industry catches a cold and vice versa, writes Sasakawa Fellow Phyllis Yoshida in her latest report. 

The continuing fallout from the events of March 11, 2011 and Toshiba Corporation's financial woes signals a difficult time for the nuclear industry in both countries in 2017. 

In the News: China's maritime build-up, Japan's defense minister involved in scandal, and the impact of a Fed rate hike
Adm. Dennis Blair, Maritime Awareness Project featured in PBS episode: Sasakawa USA's Chairman Adm. Dennis Blair and the Maritime Awareness Project, a joint project between Sasakawa USA and the National Bureau of Asian Research, are featured in an episode of the PBS Great Decisions in Foreign Policy Series on "China's Maritime Build-Up." Click here to read more.

In Japan, right-wing school scandal entangles two women close to Abe:  Japanese Defense Minister Tomomi Inada may have a difficult time regaining public trust after a scandal involving a right-wing education group, and another related to the role of Japanese Self Defense Forces operating in South Sudan, Sasakawa USA's Dr. Jeffrey Hornung told the New York Times in an article on March 21.  The article, by Motoko Rich, details "allegations that a right-wing education group received improper political favors."  Click here to read more.

Fed rate hike could impact U.S.-Japan exchange rates, says Sasakawa USA's Harris:  The Federal Reserve's willingness to raise its benchmark rate "suggests that the U.S. economy is healthier than it has been in years, with robust job creation and rising wages and prices," Sasakawa USA Fellow Tobias Harris said in a Nishi Nippon Shimbun article on March 17. Click here to read more.          
Sasakawa USA Forum Issue No. 6: Japan's Realism and Liberalism
In Issue No. 6 of the Sasakawa USA Forum, "Japan's Realism and Liberalism: Myanmar, the United States, and Regional Peace in Southeast Asia," author Junjiro Shida, a research associate at Chuo University in Japan and a visiting associate fellow at Sasakawa USA, describes the challenges faced by Myanmar in the areas of democratization, national reconciliation, and sustainable development. 

He concludes that in tackling challenges in Myanmar through the mechanism of the U.S.-Japan alliance, Japan's well-balanced realism and liberalism are required.

Asia on Air Episode 03: Ambassador James Zumwalt remembers 3/11  
In Episode 3 of Asia on Air, we sit down with Sasakawa USA CEO Ambassador James Zumwalt to discuss the Great East Japan Earthquake and Tsunami, which changed the face of Japan six years ago, on March 11, 2011. When the disaster struck, Amb. Zumwalt was serving as Deputy Chief of Mission at the U.S. Embassy in Tokyo, where he coordinated the United States' support for the Japanese Government's response to the crisis.

In this conversation, Amb. Zumwalt recounts the days and moments leading up to the earthquake, the immediate reaction, and longer term management needs.
From Toshiba in crisis after failed nuclear gamble

In this article, originally published by, journalist Mori Kazuo describes the current existential crisis faced by Toshiba, brought about primarily by a failed investment in US firm Westinghouse Electric Company. The Japanese firm was led astray by the dream of becoming the world's largest builder of nuclear reactor facilities. 

Announcement: Deadline nearing for applications to 2017-18 Sasakawa USA APSA Congressional Fellowship Program   
Applications are now being accepted for  the 2017-18 Sasakawa USA Congressional Fellowship Program. Every year, one Fellowship is sponsored through the American Political Science Association's Congressional Fellowship Program, the nation's oldest and most prestigious Congressional fellowship. 
The Fellowship provides a unique opportunity for recipients to serve in a Congressional office and gain hands-on experience in the U.S. legislative process.  The deadline to apply is  April 15, 2017.  
  Upcoming events: April and May 2017
With the Cherry Blossom Festival in full swing, sign up today for some of our featured events! Not all events are open to the public. Please    check each event link for details and view our events page for new listings as they get posted. 
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