For over a decade, the Pacific Forum, with partner institutions in Japan and China, has sponsored a trilateral U.S.-Japan-China dialogue. While that discussion has plumbed the tensions that plague relations among the three countries, its focus has been the opportunities available for trilateral cooperation and the need to seize them. Fortunately, most participants recognized the value of such cooperation. Unfortunately, political issues all too often intervene to undermine their ability to do so. Obstacles to cooperation range from mistrust to the clash of national interests (nor are the two discrete problems). Our discussions have underscored the need for greater understanding among the three parties of their partners’ thinking and concerns.