The Japan Institute of International Affairs (JIIA) and the Pacific Forum were pleased and honored to again co-host the 17th annual Japan-US Security Seminar on March 25-26, 2011. This year’s seminar convened under trying circumstances. Our meeting was just weeks after the triple catastrophe of March 11, 2011 – now known as 3/11 – and for a while it wasn’t even certain if we would convene. The sponsors and participants recognized, however, that it was more important than ever, in the wake of this disaster, that supporters of the alliance meet as planned and try to assess the impact of this event and its impact on our bilateral relationship. Indeed, while there were (and remain) concerns about the long-term impact of that horrific day, participants felt that March 11 offered our two nations a chance to validate our alliance and that the participants rose to the challenge. Much of the credit goes to the courage, resilience and determination of the Japanese people, but there is no mistaking the extraordinary efforts by both our countries to overcome the difficulties that followed. The response to 3/11 validated for our participants the value of our alliance. The joint response confirmed the strength and durability of the two nations’ commitment to each other.
Issues & Insights Vol. 11 – No. 11
October 14, 2011