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Maritime Challenges in the Indo-Pacific: Common Causes for the US and Japan Beyond Traditional Security (Sasebo)



Sasebo, Japan


Hosted with support from the US Embassy Tokyo
In cooperation with the Japan-America Society Sasebo, the Yokosuka Council for Asia-Pacific Affairs (YCAPS), and the Japan-US Military Program (JUMP)

Free event open to the public

Sasebo Central Public Hall
857-0053, 6-1 Tokiwacho, Sasebo City

Simultaneous interpretation (Japanese/English) will be provided. 

What does “Free and Open” mean in the context of the full range of maritime issues? These issues span the law of the sea to maritime domain awareness and information sharing to managing the environment and ocean resources. The panel discussion will address ways in which the United States and Japan can collaborate on maritime issues and opportunities to articulate a “Free and Open Indo-Pacific,” and how Coast Guards in these two countries and in Southeast Asia can support this vision for the region.


RADM Robert P. “Bob” GIRRIER, USN, Ret., President, Pacific Forum
Professor Yoichiro SATO, Professor, Ritsumeikan Asia Pacific University
Dr. Deo Florence L. ONDA, Assistant Professor, Marine Science Institute, University of the Philippines – Diliman (UPMSI)


Mr. Brad GLOSSERMAN, Deputy Director and Visiting Professor, Center for Rule-making Strategies, Tama University and Senior Adviser, Pacific Forum

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RADM Robert P. “Bob” GIRRIER, USN, Ret., is president of Pacific Forum, a Honolulu-based non-profit, non-partisan private foreign policy research institute providing timely, informative, and innovative analysis of political, security and strategic developments in the Indo-Pacific region.

A naval leader with over thirty years’ maritime experience and extensive operations throughout the Indo-Pacific, Europe and Middle East, his operational assignments culminated as Deputy Commander Pacific Fleet and as the Director of Operations for U.S. Pacific Command. Command assignments included two carrier strike groups, a destroyer squadron, destroyer, global mine warfare operations and a mine countermeasures ship.

In theater, he served as lead maritime representative to the team negotiating Rules of Behavior in the Maritime Domain with the Chinese Navy. He also led the first U.S. on-scene naval support during Operation Tomodachi in the wake of the Japanese earthquake and tsunami and resulting consequence management and disaster response efforts. In Washington, he led the stand-up of the Navy Staff’s first-ever office of Unmanned Warfare Systems, making the value case for unmanned & manned systems working in collaboration – and more capably – across increasingly connected environments.

Co-author of three professional naval books on command-at-sea, watch-standing skills and leadership/management, and co-author of 3rd edition of “Fleet Tactics and Naval Operations” (June 2018), he was selected as the U.S. Naval Institute Press Author of the Year for 2017.

Professor Yoichiro SATO holds a BA (Law) from Keio University, MA (International Studies) from University of South Carolina, and Ph.D (Political Science) from University of Hawaii. He is a professor at Ritsumeikan Asia Pacific University. Previously, he also taught at multiple tertiary and governmental institutions including the U.S. Department of Defense’s Asia-Pacific Center for Security Studies, Auckland University (New Zealand), and University of Hawaii. His major works include The Rise of China and International Security (co-edited with Kevin Cooney, Routledge, 2008), The U.S.-Japan Security Alliance (co-edited with Takashi Inoguchi and G. John Ikenberry, Palgrave, 2011), U.S. Engagement in the Asia Pacific (co-edited with See Seng Tang, Cambria, 2015), and Re-rising Japan: Its Strategic Power in International Relations (co-edited with Hidekazu Sakai, Peter Lang, 2017). He has been an invited speaker at various top-ranked policy think tanks globally, including the Chatham House and the Royal United Services Institute (London), the East-West Center and the Wilson Center (Washington, D.C.), the National Bureau of Research (Seattle), the Observer Research Foundation (New Delhi), and the Australian Institute of International Affairs (Canberra). His articles and comments have appeared in various international media, including Time, Newsweek, USA Today, National Public Radio, Voice of America, Agence France-Presse, Al Jazeera, Radio Australia, Bloomberg, MSNBC, Nikkei Asian Review, Japan Times, and TVNZ.

Dr. Deo Florence L. ONDA is a current Assistant Professor at the Marine Science Institute in the University of the Philippines – Diliman (UPMSI) and the founding Principal Investigator of the Microbial Oceanography Laboratory. He is also serving as the Deputy Director for Research of the UP MSI. He obtained his Interuniversity PhD in Oceanography in Université Laval in Quebec, Canada, and returned to the Philippines as a Returning PhD Fellow of the UP System and a Returning Scientist Fellow of the Philippines’ Department of Science and Technology. His work is mainly focused on the how microbial assemblages can be used as indicators of the changing environment, for which he received several international awards and fellowships. He has also recently started working on plastics pollution as an emerging transnational boundary problem. As an oceanographer, he has been involved and still has ongoing collaborations with several international research institutions for Polar and tropical research, including the South China Sea. He is also currently involved in conservation efforts for the marine environment particularly in the West Philippine Sea. Recently, he served as the Chief Scientist and Program Leader of the scientific expedition to the Kalayaan Island Group in the Spratlys Islands.

Mr. Brad GLOSSERMAN is a Deputy Director of and Visiting Professor at the Center for Rule-making Strategies, Tama University. He is also a Senior Adviser at Pacific Forum, where he served for 13 years (2004-2017) as executive director.

Brad is the author of Peak Japan: The End of Grand Ambitions (Georgetown University Press, 2019) and co-author (with Scott Snyder) of The Japan-South Korea Identity Clash (Columbia University Press, 2015). He is the editor, with Tae-hyo Kim, of The Future of U.S.-Korea-Japan Relations: Balancing Values and Interests (CSIS, 2004). He is also the English-language editor of the journal of the New Asia Research Institute (NARI) in Seoul. A frequent participant in US State Department visiting lecture programs and the US Navy’s Regional Security Education Program, he speaks at conferences, research institutes and universities around the world. His commentary regularly appears in media around the globe. He has written dozens of monographs and articles on US foreign policy and Asian security relations and he has contributed numerous chapters to books on regional security.

He was for 10 years a member of the editorial board of The Japan Times and continues to serve as a contributing editor.

He is an adjunct lecturer at the Management Center of Innsbruck (MCI) and a guest lecturer at the Osaka University School of International Public Policy (OSIPP). He has a JD from the George Washington University National Law Center, an MA from the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS) and a BA from Reed College.