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Issues & Insights Vol. 23, SR 9 – The United States & Japan: Allied Against Disinformation — Next Generation Voices Speak

  • Rachel E. Brooks

    Project Manager at Microsoft's Democracy Forward Initiative

  • Taro Nishikawa

  • Tom Ramage

    Economic Policy Analyst at the Korea Economic Institute of America

  • Ryohei Suzuki

  • Jonathon Marek

    Project Manager at the National Bureau of Asian Research

  • Koutaka Yuichiro


The United States & Japan: Allied Against Disinformation


Pacific Forum, like the US government and much of the international security community, considers the information space a crucial theater in the United States’ ongoing great power competition with the People’s Republic of China and Russia. To meet the need for fresh policy ideas, as well as Pacific Forum’s long-standing mandate to train the next generation of policy professions in the US and its partners, we present to you this volume. In it, readers will find the finalists of our Young Professionals Essay Contest, as part of our ongoing program, The United States & Japan: Allied Against Disinformation. Open to nationals of the two countries, the contest received numerous entries and the final decision was not an easy one—especially when comparing our finalists. On the Japanese side, Yuichiro Kotaka raises the threat posed by generative AI and poses solutions for how governments can address it, while Ryohei Suzuki suggests putting the public broadcaster NHK to use. On the US side, Jonathon Marek raises the alarm over the threat posed by authoritarian governments who have recognized disinformation as a valuable tool, while Thomas Ramage offers suggestion on how the alliance itself can address the threat that disinformation poses. However, our committee ultimately settled on two essays that stood out above the rest: on the Japanese side, Taro Nishikawa’s essay on counter-disinformation campaigns in the age of cognitive warfare was singled out for addressing the current discourse within China and for its focus on US-Japan responses. Among the American entries, Rachel Brooks’ take on how countering disinformation can be part of school curriculums received praise for its originality, creativity, and for providing both an educator’s narrative and an educator’s solution. We thank all of our contestants for their participation, and for contributing potential solutions in this age of information competition.

Rob York

Director of Regional Affairs

Pacific Forum 

This Issues and Insights special report was funded by a grant from the United States Department of State. The opinions, findings and conclusions stated herein are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect those of the United States Department of State.

Download the full volume here.




Special thanks to the Research Center for Advanced Science and Technology (RCAST), The University of Tokyo, Pacific Forum’s partners in conducting this project.







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Download Japenese version here.


Table of Contents

1.The Case For Anti-Disinformation Education In School Curriculum | Rachel E. Brooks
2.Breaking The Information Cocoon: Japan-Us New Approaches To Counter Disinformation Campaigns In The Age Of Cognitive Warfare | Taro Nishikawa
3.Digital Allies: How The United States And Japan Can Partner Against Disinformation | Tom Ramage
4.A Proposal For Countermeasures Against Disinformation: Utilization Of NHK As A Public Broadcaster | Ryohei Suzuki
5.Parrying The Principal Threat: Reducing The Disinformation Risks Of Authoritarian-Influenced Platforms Through Us-Japan Cooperation On Threat Analysis And Mitigation | Jonathon Marek
6.Countermeasures Against The Spread Of False Information By Generative Ai | YuichiroKotaka

About the Authors

Rachel E. Brooks is a risk intelligence professional specialized in disinformation and other digital threats to democracy. Rachel is currently a Project Manager at Microsoft’s Democracy Forward Initiative and previously served as a private sector intelligence analyst, Fulbright grantee in South Korea, and Rotary International Peace Fellow in England. 

Taro Nishikawa is a Master’s candidate in International Affairs at the Hertie School in Berlin. He previously served as an Officer at the Japan Ground Self-Defense Force, specializing in Military Logistics and Liaison for over four years. 

Tom Ramage is an Economic Policy Analyst at the Korea Economic Institute of America and a 2021 Pacific Forum Young Leader 

Ryohei Suzuki is a doctoral student at the Graduate School of Law, Hitsotsubashi University. He has published various Japanese translations including chapters 5 through 7 of Ill Winds: Saving Democracy from Russian Rage, Chinese Ambition, and American Complacency and “The Sunnylands Principles on Enhancing Democratic Partnership in the Indo-Pacific Region.” 

Jonathon Marek is a Project Manager at the National Bureau of Asian Research, where he oversees research on Indo-Pacific digital governance, emerging technology, trade, and intellectual property issues. He is a graduate of Georgetown University’s Walsh School of Foreign Service, and his academic interests include the role of economic statecraft in grand strategy; the intersection of technology, trade, and national security; and China’s economic and technology ambitions. 

Koutaka Yuichiro is a second-year master’s student at Tohoku University Graduate School of Public Policy researching Japan’s economic security.