PacNet #63 – AUKUS: Stepping boldly into space

Our information-based societies are inseparable from space technology, and space is an increasingly “contested, congested, and competitive” domain. With over 5,000 operational satellites in orbit and tens of thousands more to launch over the coming decades, reliance on space will only increase, as will its importance as a domain for strategic competition. Space-based assets provide services essential for telecommunications, weather and climate monitoring, agricultural management, the finance sector, natural disaster response and recovery, and more.

In recent years, governments and the commercial sector have awoken to the risk of space assets as a single point of failure, given that the degradation of access to space or the destruction of space-based assets would catastrophically affect civil, commercial, and national security sectors.

However, establishing a resilient and robust space industry ecosystem is an enormous, complex task requiring a significant degree of international collaboration on sensitive technologies—making AUKUS a prime medium for elevating such cooperation. The United States increasingly recognizes the need to support and scale international allies and their space capabilities as to deepen interoperable architectures and build resilient space systems.

Previously the sole preserve of a few governments, the space industry is now heavily dependent on commercial operators. SpaceX operates approximately one-half of all satellites in orbit, followed by OneWeb Satellites and Planet Labs. The proliferation of satellites and access to space is largely due to improvements led by the commercial launch sector over the past decade. In 2020, the global space industry’s value reached an estimated $424 billion, expanding 70% since 2010.

With space increasingly recognized as a strategically pivotal domain of critical technology, its future will mirror that of cyber: trending towards bifurcation in trade and research as globalization retreats. This will spur intensification of space competition, presenting risks for civil, commercial, and national security uses.

Though the United States remains the pre-eminent global space power, Russia and China have been designated as the greatest threats to America and its allies in space, as outlined in a recent Defense Intelligence Agency report. Their significant investment and focus on space follows a common objective to out-perform the United States and its allies and to exploit reliance on space-based systems. Russia and China’s combined operational space fleets have grown by approximately 70% between 2019 and 2021.

The Chinese government has a strategic approach that considers US dependence on space “its Achilles’ heel,” and is rapidly expanding its capabilities to exploit this. The Rosetta Stone for interpreting China’s ambitions for space is its approach to Antarctica and the South China Sea, where it previously professed a commitment to non-escalatory behavior while continuing to incrementally expand its presence and assert its claims. Ye Peijian, the chief commander of the Chinese Lunar Exploration Program, compares the moon and Mars to the Senkaku and Spratly Islands, adding that China must protect its “space rights and interests.”

Investment in new and emerging capabilities continues to grow in counterspace technologies.

The capabilities of Russia and China, in particular, are rapidly evolving. The most totemic counterspace weapon is a direct ascent anti-satellite weapon (ASAT), of which 16 tests have been conducted by four counties—the United States, China, Russia, and India. Yet it is investment in energy weapons beyond direct-ascent ASAT technologies by all major space players will define the future of counterspace technologies. These energy weapons include high-powered lasers and microwave weapons. Attacks from these weapons will be difficult to attribute as damage can be temporary or reversible. In the immediate term, however, use of cyber-attacks and radio frequency jammers targeting space infrastructure remains the most urgent military threat to space systems.

In-orbit collision is another risk that is difficult to mitigate. There is potential for a cascading series of orbital impacts—the Kessler effect—that could wreak havoc on all orbiting space assets and potentially render space inaccessible. Space weather can add to potential collision risks by rendering satellites uncontrollable. While the threat of radiation can be minimized, there is a limit to what can be done to protect from powerful geomagnetic storms that can either destroy or significantly harm the functionality of space-based assets.

Opportunity for AUKUS

The technology-centric trilateral AUKUS agreement could elevate space cooperation and build mutually beneficial space capabilities. One can already see space-related momentum in agreements on complementary technologies such as quantum computing, artificial intelligence, and hypersonics. For the United Kingdom, space cooperation and improving interoperability via AUKUS would support its recent designation of space as part of its Critical National Infrastructure. The 2022 UK Defense Space Strategy underscored Britain’s desire to be “at the heart of Allied space efforts.” The United States would profit from shared uplift in capabilities of the United Kingdom and Australia, which could for example become capable of reconstituting mutually beneficial space-based assets in the event of a crisis. This includes global navigation satellite systems that provide vital position, navigation, and timing services used for all forms of transportation, the finance industry, agriculture, emergency management and more. Additionally, via AUKUS, these partners can investigate opportunities to improve and streamline space “innovation cycles and co-development processes” for building mutually reinforcing capabilities in times of crises. These could include common satellite technologies.

Through AUKUS, they may take steps to boost space resilience against military or natural crises by ensuring that the countries maintain minimum viable capabilities across key elements of the space industry supply chain. This could include focusing on elements required to reconstitute vital space-based assets, as well as systems for disaggregating and complementing existing capabilities. This process should include AUKUS governments working together to incorporate new and emerging technology firms into the space industry supply chain.

The completion of the Australia-US Technology Safeguards Agreement (TSA) negotiations would help deepen cooperation. Using the recently completed UK-US TSA as a model, this agreement would enable US companies to operate from Australian spaceports and help pave the way to exporting space launch technology to Australia. It would ensure that US spaceflight technology is properly protected when operating in either the United Kingdom or Australia via a legally binding framework. The lack of a TSA between Australia and the United States is a significant barrier to further commercial activity across civil, commercial, and national security space sectors. Under the AUKUS banner, a TSA could be singled out for fast-tracking and would see both Australia and the United Kingdom able to more deeply engage world-leading US companies and their technologies.

Promoting the development of spaceports and mutual access via the AUKUS framework will improve both access to space and resilience building. Australia is well-positioned for launch activities by leveraging its geographic advantages and regional accessibility. All three countries will need access to capable launch vehicles. The Australian Department of Defense’s new Space Strategy notes that “Defence anticipates it will need access to a responsive and assured space launch capability in the future.” The UK Defence Space Strategy, also released this year, underscores the importance of launch. Both Australia and the United Kingdom continue to support development and operation of a number of spaceports, as well as a number of companies seeking to develop launch vehicles.

The United States and United Kingdom maintain globally leading satellite manufacturing capabilities. However, all three countries should ensure the ability to support higher rates of commercialization in the burgeoning small satellite manufacturing industry, particularly as rapidly emerging capabilities and advanced technologies can quickly change the satellite-manufacturing ecosystem. For Australia, targeted investment in the ability to manufacture small satellite constellations would meet local demand while servicing an expanding segment of the global space industry. As noted earlier, commercial firms are the largest operators of satellites, but planned satellite constellations and fillings booming into the tens of thousands will increasingly strain launch infrastructure and supply chains. Recognizing this, the Australian government has moved to fund the creation of space-focused collaborative manufacturing hubs.

These recommendations, however, represent only some of the many potential areas for greater cooperation through AUKUS. For example, as we become further dependent on space technologies, significant investment in ground segment would be integral to bolstering resilience. Similarly, emerging capabilities in optical communications can change the space industry landscape.

The AUKUS partnership can minimize the impact of a crisis, from conflict to natural disaster, on space infrastructure. By expanding complementary low-earth orbit small satellite constellations; streamlining mutual access to launch facilities; and bolstering each other’s domestic space manufacturing capabilities, the AUKUS partners could strengthen the resilience of their space-dependent societies. Better coordination of trilateral investment in new and emerging space-related technologies can support these initiatives.

Philip Citowicki (citowicki@gmail.com) is a Non-resident Vasey Fellow at Pacific Forum and an Australian foreign policy commentator.

This is an abridged publication from Triple Constellation: AUKUS in Space by Philip Citowicki for the Australian National University National Security College.

PacNet commentaries and responses represent the views of the respective authors. Alternative viewpoints are always welcomed and encouraged.

Issues & Insights Vol. 22, WP7 – Rising from the Ashes: The Future of Arms Control

Abstract

This paper employs a comparative approach to provide an initial comprehensive analysis of the political interactions, contemporary nuclear policies, and military strategies and capabilities of China, Russia, and the United States in the context of the unstable international security landscape. At a time when the global arms control regime is teetering on the brink of disintegration, the authors aim to offer practical and feasible policy recommendations for remodeling the arms control regime from the Chinese and Russian perspectives. The authors stress the need to revive “traditional” arms control and advocate the search for ways to control emerging military technologies. This paper endeavors to present a two-pronged vision proposed by representatives of two major global players.

Click here to download the full paper.


About the Authors

Victor Mizin is a leading research fellow at the Institute of International Studies of the Moscow State Institute of International Relations (MGIMO University) and a senior research fellow at the Center of International Security Studies at the Russian Academy of Sciences’ Institute of World Economy and International Relations. He is a member of of the trilateral Deep Cuts Commission. He was a diplomat at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (Russia/Soviet Union). He served at the Russian mission to the United Nations as a political affairs counselor and was an inspector of the United Nations Monitoring, Verification, and Inspection Commission. He was a senior research fellow at the James Martin Center for Nonproliferation Studies at the Middlebury Institute of International Studies at Monterey in the United States. He received a PhD from the Institute for US and Canadian Studies of the Russian Academy of Sciences in 1991. He participated as an adviser in arms-control negotiations, including START I and START II, INF, SCC on the ABM Treaty, Conference on Disarmament, and the UN Disarmament Commission.

Yue Yuan is a PhD candidate of China Foreign Affairs University and Moscow State Institute of International Relations (MGIMO University). She is an ACONA fellow (2021–2022) of Harvard University’s Davis Center for Russian and Eurasian Studies. She is pursuing research on space security policy, China-US-Russia relations, and nuclear arms control and disarmament. She worked with the United Nations Institute for Disarmament Research’s space security team and the Center on Terrorism, Extremism, and Counterterrorism at the Middlebury Institute. She holds a dual master’s degree in international affairs from MGIMO University in Russia and nonproliferation and terrorism studies from the Middlebury Institute of International Studies at Monterey in the United States.

Introduction: An Alliance Renewed? Future-proofing U.S.-Japan Security Relations

About this Volume

Authors of this volume participated in the inaugural U.S.-Japan Next-Generation Leaders Initiative, sponsored by the U.S. Department of State, through the U.S. Embassy Tokyo. With backgrounds from academia, government, military and industry, the cohort brings rich insights on the past, present, and future of the U.S.-Japan bilateral security relations.

The statements made and views expressed are solely the responsibility of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of their respective organizations and affiliations. Pacific Forum’s publications do not necessarily reflect the positions of its staff, donors and sponsors.

Click here to download the full volume.


Introduction

On September 8, 1951, the Security Treaty between the United States and Japan was signed, marking the beginning of an alliance relationship that would serve as the cornerstone of regional peace, security, and prosperity in the decades that followed. Forged in the aftermath of the Second World War, at a time when a new post-war international order was being crafted around the United Nations, and an emergent superpower rivalry between the United States and the Soviet Union was taking shape, the alliance has endured both economic shocks and geopolitical change. The alliance’s resilience is partly due to its ability to adapt to the changing strategic environment enabled by the willingness of both sides to reconcile, compromise,  and prioritize the welfare and security of their peoples. In 1960, the relationship evolved significantly. The Security Treaty was replaced by the Treaty of Mutual Cooperation and Security, granting the United States a permanent presence in Japanese territories in exchange for defending Japan in the event of an armed attack.

When the Cold War ended, the alliance did not fall into obscurity. Instead, it continued to adapt. Alliance managers found negotiating expectations and future responsibilities prudent given new realities. This culminated in the release of the Guidelines for Japan-U.S. Defense Cooperation in 1997. The Guidelines created a “solid basis for more effective and credible U.S.-Japan cooperation under normal circumstances, in case of an armed attack against Japan, and in situations in areas surrounding Japan.” Soon after the 9/11 terrorist attacks, the Japanese Self-Defense Forces (SDF) were dispatched in support of combat operations  overseas for the first time, initially to the Indian Ocean to assist U.S. operations in Afghanistan, but later also to Iraq to help in reconstruction. The SDF continued to carve out a broader international role by engaging in Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief (HADR) operations in South and Southeast Asia. Regional countries welcomed Japan’s de facto armed forces to their shores, alongside those of the United States, as they coped with natural disasters such as the Boxing Day tsunami in 2004 that impacted countries like Indonesia, Thailand, Myanmar, India, and Sri Lanka, and Typhoon Haiyan in 2013 that killed over 6,000 in the Philippines.

Meanwhile, as North Korea pressed on with its nuclear and missile development programs in violation of multiple UN Security Council Resolutions, and as the region grows weary of the security implications of China’s rise, including effort to operationalize illegal claims in many of the region’s maritime commons, the U.S.-Japan alliance remained responsive. In 2015, Japanese policymakers reinterpreted their constitution and allowed the SDF to exercise the right to collective self-defense, for instance, by defending U.S. vessels subjected to an armed attack. Japan’s embrace of collective self-defense, already enshrined in the UN Charter, resulted in the revision of the 1997 Guidelines for Japan-U.S. Defense Cooperation, making the alliance even more relevant to the rapidly changing security environment.

In 2022, the alliance is, in many ways, at a crossroads. The United States, under the Trump and Biden administrations, is no longer an anchor of trade liberalization, and both administrations have sought to recalibrate U.S. relationships with close allies in the context of growing challenges to the rules-based order that defined the last three decades. While the alliance has endured, there are challenges, some of which are domestic, that will continue to test the security relationship. For instance, the planned relocation of Marine Corps Air Station Futenma, which to many Okinawans does not address the overwhelming presence of the U.S. military in Okinawa, the issue of burden sharing in the alliance, the defense of Taiwan, and the demand for Tokyo to dramatically increase defense budget to over 1% of GDP to better cope with the increasingly unfavorable regional balance of power will persist and have to be managed. It is vital that next-generation Japanese and Americans are involved in these economic and security discourses and are mutually invested in the growth of their countries’ partnerships.

It is within this context of change, with the challenges confronting the U.S.-Japan alliance in flux, that our contributors shed light on some of those critical questions that will undoubtedly define not just the future of U.S.-Japan relations but the trajectory of international order in the coming years. This collection of papers includes contributions from emerging voices in academia, government, and the armed forces. It is a timely intervention that takes into account strategic competition between Washington and Beijing, the impact of Russia’s February 2022 invasion of Ukraine on international order, and heightened tensions over Taiwan.

This collection of papers begins with contributions that explore how the alliance will continue to evolve in the face of emergent challenges. Indeed, the first paper by Jada Fraser places an emphasis on rethinking how the United States can more effectively harness its alliance relationships in East Asia to advance shared interests and counter emerging threats. Fraser identifies the “advantages of organizing the U.S.-Japan-ROK trilateral as a form of flexible multilateralism based on overlapping frameworks of cooperation rather than a formally binding agreement.”

The second contribution to this volume, by Cassie Rodriguez, examines how U.S. relationships in East Asia are shifting from a more traditional network of ‘hub-and-spokes’ security arrangements to a ‘minilateralist’ approach that favors informal alignments of countries that are more targeted and issue-specific. For Rodriguez, the U.S.-Japan alliance could become a model for minilaterlism and a driver for the establishment of robust, yet flexible small groupings of states working closely together on shared challenges. An example of this is the Quad.

The next two papers offer insights from international relations theory. Yu Inagaki draws on Kosaka Masataka’s power, interests, and norms framework to offer recommendations for both the United States and Japan to bring both countries into closer alignment. Meanwhile, Shusuke Ioku presents quantitative data analyses of territorial aggression and formal modeling of gray zone conflicts to argue that the key to deterring gray zone coercion is helping sustain the presence of Southeast Asian claimants through capacity building related to reinforcement of presence, constant naval and air patrols, and other measures that would allow them to withstand low-level aggression without backing down. Ioku recommends that Japan and the United States channel limited recourses accordingly and not be content with symbolic joint exercises and rhetorical support for rules-based resolution of disputes.

The next four papers delve deeper into issue-specific areas and contingencies that present challenges and opportunities for the U.S.-Japan alliance going forward. First, Ayae Yoshimoto provides Japan’s perspective on heightened tensions over Taiwan. Offering recommendations that aim to bolster Taiwan’s own position and image in the international community alongside more practical observations relating to a Taiwan contingency, Yoshimoto underlines the critical importance of Taiwan for Japan’s national security. Next, Rena Sasaki provides a more granular analysis of the legislative, regulatory, and political constraints that a more limited Taiwan contingency scenario would pose for Tokyo. Both Yoshimoto and Sasaki underline how Taiwan contingencies demonstrate the urgent need for Tokyo and Washington to bolster crisis response mechanisms.

Shinichi Hirao then turns to examine how NATO standards can enhance the U.S.-Japan alliance. Benchmarking against NATO’s core tasks of Deterrence and Defense, Crisis Management, and Cooperative Security, as outlined in the 2022 Strategic Concept, Hirao draws lessons for the U.S.-Japan security relationship. Hirao also concludes by offering specific recommendations to Tokyo for defense procurement. The final paper of this collection, by Brittany Bradley-Marcial, explores the question of bringing Japan into the Five Eyes community, analyzing both the rationale and the obstacles to membership, as well as potential paths forward that could bring Japan into a closer intelligence sharing relationship with the Five Eyes.

In sum, each contribution to this volume contains new insights into the U.S.-Japan alliance from the next generation of scholars, decision-makers, or military leaders. To be sure, this collection of papers attests to one of the critical factors that explains the longevity of the U.S.-Japan alliance: the alliance’s continuous ability to remake itself in the face of new and emerging challenges.


PhotoU.S. Marines display the American and Japanese flag attached to the M777’s for the Friendship Festival on May 11, 2019, at Combined Arms Training Center Camp Fuji, Shizuoka, Japan. Source: U.S. Marine Corps photo by Pfc. Karis Mattingly/ Public Domain

Issues & Insights Vol. 22, SR9 – An Alliance Renewed? Future-proofing U.S.-Japan Security Relations

About this Volume

Authors of this volume participated in the inaugural U.S.-Japan Next-Generation Leaders Initiative, sponsored by the U.S. Department of State, through the U.S. Embassy Tokyo. With backgrounds from academia, government, military and industry, the cohort brings rich insights on the past, present, and future of the U.S.-Japan bilateral security relations.

The statements made and views expressed are solely the responsibility of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of their respective organizations and affiliations. Pacific Forum’s publications do not necessarily reflect the positions of its staff, donors and sponsors.

Click here to download the full volume.


Table of Contents

Introduction: An Alliance Renewed? Future-proofing U.S.-Japan Security Relations | Christopher Lamont & Jeffrey Ordaniel 
Chapter 1: The Cornerstone and the Linchpin: Reconstituting U.S.-ROK- Japan Trilateral Security CooperationJada Fraser
Chapter 2: The Evolution of U.S.-Led Alliance Systems: A Minilateralist Approach in the Indo-Pacific | Cassie Rodriguez
Chapter 3: Japan-U.S. Alliance in Harmony? Perspectives from Power, Interests, and Values | Yu Inagaki
Chapter 4: Extended Gray Zone Deterrence in the South China Sea | Shusuke Ioku
Chapter 5: Enhancing Taiwan’s Resistance: Military and Diplomatic Roles of the U.S.-Japan Security Alliance | Ayae Yoshimoto
Chapter 6: Why Defending Taiwan is Crucial for the Future of the U.S.- Japan Alliance? | Rena Sasaki
Chapter 7:
Applying NATO’s Practices to the Japan-U.S. Alliance | Shinichi Hirao
Chapter 8: Expanding the Eyes: Japan and the Five Eyes Alliance | Brittany Bardsley-Marcial


This collection of papers begins with contributions that explore how the alliance will continue to evolve in the face of emergent challenges. Indeed, the first paper by Jada Fraser places an emphasis on rethinking how the United States can more effectively harness its alliance relationships in East Asia to advance shared interests and counter emerging threats. Fraser identifies the “advantages of organizing the U.S.-Japan-ROK trilateral as a form of flexible multilateralism based on overlapping frameworks of cooperation rather than a formally binding agreement.”

The second contribution to this volume, by Cassie Rodriguez, examines how U.S. relationships in East Asia are shifting from a more traditional network of ‘hub-and-spokes’ security arrangements to a ‘minilateralist’ approach that favors informal alignments of countries that are more targeted and issue-specific. For Rodriguez, the U.S.-Japan alliance could become a model for minilaterlism and a driver for the establishment of robust, yet flexible small groupings of states working closely together on shared challenges. An example of this is the Quad.

The next two papers offer insights from international relations theory. Yu Inagaki draws on Kosaka Masataka’s power, interests, and norms framework to offer recommendations for both the United States and Japan to bring both countries into closer alignment. Meanwhile, Shusuke Ioku presents quantitative data analyses of territorial aggression and formal modeling of gray zone conflicts to argue that the key to deterring gray zone coercion is helping sustain the presence of Southeast Asian claimants through capacity building related to reinforcement of presence, constant naval and air patrols, and other measures that would allow them to withstand low-level aggression without backing down. Ioku recommends that Japan and the United States channel limited recourses accordingly and not be content with symbolic joint exercises and rhetorical support for rules-based resolution of disputes.

The next four papers delve deeper into issue-specific areas and contingencies that present challenges and opportunities for the U.S.-Japan alliance going forward. First, Ayae Yoshimoto provides Japan’s perspective on heightened tensions over Taiwan. Offering recommendations that aim to bolster Taiwan’s own position and image in the international community alongside more practical observations relating to a Taiwan contingency, Yoshimoto underlines the critical importance of Taiwan for Japan’s national security. Next, Rena Sasaki provides a more granular analysis of the legislative, regulatory, and political constraints that a more limited Taiwan contingency scenario would pose for Tokyo. Both Yoshimoto and Sasaki underline how Taiwan contingencies demonstrate the urgent need for Tokyo and Washington to bolster crisis response mechanisms.

Shinichi Hirao then turns to examine how NATO standards can enhance the U.S.-Japan alliance. Benchmarking against NATO’s core tasks of Deterrence and Defense, Crisis Management, and Cooperative Security, as outlined in the 2022 Strategic Concept, Hirao draws lessons for the U.S.-Japan security relationship. Hirao also concludes by offering specific recommendations to Tokyo for defense procurement. The final paper of this collection, by Brittany Bradley-Marcial, explores the question of bringing Japan into the Five Eyes community, analyzing both the rationale and the obstacles to membership, as well as potential paths forward that could bring Japan into a closer intelligence sharing relationship with the Five Eyes.

In sum, each contribution to this volume contains new insights into the U.S.-Japan alliance from the next generation of scholars, decision-makers, or military leaders. To be sure, this collection of papers attests to one of the critical factors that explains the longevity of the U.S.-Japan alliance: the alliance’s continuous ability to remake itself in the face of new and emerging challenges.


About the Authors

Brittany Bardsley-Marcial is a graduate student at Missouri State University pursuing a master’s degree in Cybersecurity. Brittany interned with the Daniel K. Inouye Asia-Pacific Center for Security Studies (DKI- APCSS), where she had many opportunities to work with faculty members on projects related to Indo-Pacific security issues. She helped developed a strategic game scenario at APCSS, which was incorporated into one of the courses run in February 2022. Brittany received her BA in Political Science, with a Minor in Japanese from Hawaii Pacific University. To broaden her understanding of the Japanese language and culture, she studied abroad at Nagoya University of Foreign Studies, for one year.

Jada Fraser is an M.A. Student in Asian Studies at Georgetown University’s School of Foreign Service. Previously, she was a Policy Research Fellow with the Edwin O. Reischauer Center for East Asian Studies at Johns Hopkins SAIS. Her research for the Center primarily focused on prevailing geopolitical trends in the U.S.-Japan-China strategic triangle. Prior to joining SAIS, Jada worked as a Research Assistant with the Japan Chair at the Center for Strategic and International Studies. She focused on issues in the U.S.-Japan Alliance and U.S. and allies’ Indo-Pacific strategy. Her work has been published on the CSIS website. Jada graduated with High Honors and Departmental Special Honors from the University of Texas at Austin where she completed her B.A. in International Relations and Global Studies and was awarded a certificate in Security Studies from the Clements Center for National Security. Her current research interests include U.S. alliance strategy in the Indo-Pacific, Japan-South Korea relations, and strategic competition with China.

Shinichi Hirao is a Captain of the Japan Ground Self Defense Force (JGSDF). He received his BA in law from the University of Tokyo in 2014. After graduation, he joined the JGSDF and was commissioned as a Second Lieutenant in 2016. He served as a platoon leader and joined a disaster relief operation in Kumamoto in 2016. He was then selected to study in the United States, where he earned his Master of Public Policy degree from the Frank Batten School of Leadership and Public Policy, the University of Virginia, in December 2020. Upon graduation, he returned to the JGSDF, and was appointed as Operations and Training Officer of an infantry company under the 34th Infantry Regiment, Gotemba, Shizuoka.

Yu Inagaki is a research assistant at the Sasakawa Peace Foundation (SPF) working under the Japan-U.S. Program. He is also an active member of the Young Leaders Program at the Pacific Forum. Yu received his MA from the School of Advanced International Studies, Johns Hopkins University, where he majored in international relations and strategic studies. His research interests include theories of International Relations, grand strategy, international order, and security in the Indo-Pacific. Among his latest work is a paper comparing the Indo-Pacific Strategy of Japan and the United States. Previously, he interned at the Hudson Institute and the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS), both in Washington, DC, and also at the Asia Pacific Initiative in Tokyo. At SPF, he helps run several study groups on Japan-U.S. relations and assists in related research.

Shusuke Ioku is a Ph.D. student at the Department of Political Science, the University of Rochester where he studies formal Political Theory and International Relations. His current research projects address inefficiency of coercive diplomacy and subnational political consequences of Chinese economic statecraft. He has a particular interest in gray-zone maritime disputes in the East and South China Seas since he did an internship at the Asia Maritime Transparency Initiative under the Center for Strategic and International Studies. Before coming to the United States, he received an M.A. in Political Science from Waseda University and B.A. in Philosophy from the University of Tokyo.

Casimira “Cassie” Rodriguez of San Bernardino, California is a graduate student and a Scholars in the Nation’s Service Initiative (SINSI) fellow at Princeton’s School of Public and International Affairs. She graduated from Princeton in 2019 with an A.B. in Politics and certificates in East Asian Studies and the History and Practice of Diplomacy, completing a senior thesis on Japanese security policy. Following graduation, she studied advanced Japanese in Yokohama at the Inter-University Center for Japanese Language Studies as a Blakemore Freeman fellow and presented her research on alliance politics. She has interned at both the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) and the Sasakawa Peace Foundation in Washington, D.C., taking part in research/publications on U.S.-Japan issues and helping facilitate U.S.-Japan exchange events. Her areas of research include Japanese foreign policy, the international relations of East Asia, and security politics. As part of her SINSI fellowship, she will complete two years of federal government service before graduating from her MPA program. She is currently working on the Japan Desk at the U.S. Department of State.

Rena Sasaki is a graduate student at the School of Foreign Service, Georgetown University, pursuing a Master’s degree in Foreign Service. Rena was a senior associate at Strategy& (formerly Booz & Company), global management consulting firm and has engaged in defense and security projects with the Japanese Ministry of Defense and the defense industry for more than five years. She has deep knowledge of defense equipment acquisition, domestic supply chains for defense manufactures, and game-changing technology. She is interested in regional security issues in the Indo-Pacific and has engaged in several research projects on China’s military and economic security. She was selected as a delegate for the U.S-.China Dialogue which is a student-to-student dialogue between Georgetown University and Peking University. She graduated from Waseda University with a Bachelor’s in Engineering and Master’s in Engineering, and majored in Statistics. Rena is an intermediate-level Mandarin speaker.

Ayae Yoshimoto is currently working at the Consulate-General of Japan in San Francisco. Previously, she was a junior visiting fellow at the Japan Institute of International Affairs (JIIA). She received her B.A. in Communication from Doshisha University in Japan and then her M.A. in International Relations from the National Chengchi University in Taiwan. Her research interests include Japan’s foreign and security policy, Sino-Japan relations, cross-strait relations, and U.S.-Japan Alliance. While in graduate school in Taiwan, she did a research internship on Taiwan-Japan relations at Taiwan NextGen Foundation. In addition to her mother tongue, Japanese, she is fluent in English and Chinese.

About the Editors

Christopher Lamont is Assistant Dean of E-Track Programs and Associate Professor of International Relations. Previously, he held a tenured position at the University of Groningen, and was a postdoctoral fellow at the University of Ulster. He was also previously a Fulbright scholar at the University of Zagreb in Croatia. He holds a PhD from the University of Glasgow and has published widely on human rights and transitional justice. His recent publications have appeared in the Journal of Democracy, the International Journal of Human Rights, Global Policy, Journal of Intervention and Statebuilding, and Human Rights Review. He also co-edited, New Crifical Spaces in Transitional Justice (with Arnaud Kurze, Indiana University Press, 2019) and is the author of two research methods textbooks, Research Methods in International Relations (Sage 2015, second edition 2021), and Research Methods in Politics and International Relations (with Mieczyslaw Boduszyński, Sage 2020). In addition to his scholarly work, his writings have also appeared in Foreign Policy, Foreign Affairs, and the Washington Post’s Monkey Cage.

Jeffrey Ordaniel is Director for Maritime Security (non-resident) at the Pacific Forum. Concurrently, he is also Associate Professor of International Security Studies at Tokyo International University (TIU) in Japan. He holds a Ph.D. in International Relations and specializes in the study of offshore territorial and maritime entitlement disputes in Asia. His teaching and research revolve around maritime security and ocean governance, ASEAN regionalism, and broadly, U.S. alliances and engagements in the Indo-Pacific. From 2016 to 2019, he was based in Honolulu and was the holder of the endowed Admiral Joe Vasey Fellowship at the Pacific Forum. Since 2019, Dr. Ordaniel has been convening several track II dialogues on U.S. security relations in the Indo-Pacific, and workshops on maritime security issues. His current research on maritime security in Asia is funded by the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science (JSPS). With JSPS funding, he also serves as Project Researcher with RCAST- Open Lab for Emerging Strategies, The University of Tokyo.


Photo: President Joe Biden and Japanese Prime Minister Kishida Fumio participate in an arrival ceremony, Monday, May 23, 2022, at Akasaka Palace in Tokyo. Source: Official White House Photo by Adam Schultz/Public Domain

Expanding the Eyes: Japan and the Five Eyes Alliance

Issues & Insights Vol. 22, SR9, pp. 65-69

Abstract

This contribution argues that Japan can offer the Five Eyes the use of its electronic surveillance capabilities, its vast intelligence infrastructure network, and its analysis and perspective on Asian politics. The Five Eyes would, in turn, be able to shore up capabilities that Japan is lacking, such as foreign intelligence and military defense. Despite Tokyo’s attempts at improvement, there remain significant issues with Japan’s complex and limited intelligence system, and its security clearance system. Moreover, clashes among the Five Eyes members (with or without Japan’s admittance) can potentially hinder trust and intelligence-sharing. With these unresolved issues, expectations from both Japan and the Five Eyes may be too high to consider outright admittance at this time.

About this Volume

Authors of this volume participated in the inaugural U.S.-Japan Next-Generation Leaders Initiative, sponsored by the U.S. Department of State, through the U.S. Embassy Tokyo. With backgrounds from academia, government, military and industry, the cohort brings rich insights on the past, present, and future of the U.S.-Japan bilateral security relations.

The statements made and views expressed are solely the responsibility of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of their respective organizations and affiliations. Pacific Forum’s publications do not necessarily reflect the positions of its staff, donors and sponsors.

Click here to download the full volume.


Brittany Bardsley-Marcial is a graduate student at Missouri State University pursuing a master’s degree in Cybersecurity. Brittany interned with the Daniel K. Inouye Asia-Pacific Center for Security Studies (DKI- APCSS), where she had many opportunities to work with faculty members on projects related to Indo-Pacific security issues. She helped developed a strategic game scenario at APCSS, which was incorporated into one of the courses run in February 2022. Brittany received her BA in Political Science, with a Minor in Japanese from Hawaii Pacific University. To broaden her understanding of the Japanese language and culture, she studied abroad at Nagoya University of Foreign Studies, for one year.


Photo: iStock

Applying NATO’s Practices to the Japan-U.S. Alliance

Issues & Insights Vol. 22, SR9, pp. 57-64

Abstract

The Japan-U.S. alliance has been the foundation of Japan’s defense. Considering the implications of China’s rise, Russia’s resurgence, and the persistent challenge of nuclear-armed North Korea, the Japan-U.S. alliance should adapt, and the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) could serve as a model. First, NATO has successfully adapted to new circumstances since the end of the Cold War. Second, NATO members and Japan share common values such as democracy, respect for human rights, and the rule of law. And third, the United States is the foundation of both alliances, which makes sharing best practices feasible. This paper explores NATO’s five practices described in the 2010 and 2022 Strategic Concepts and identifies where the Japan-U.S. alliance is in these practices. The paper then analyzes the applicability of NATO’s practices to the Japan-U.S. alliance and concludes with policy recommendations for the government of Japan.

About this Volume

Authors of this volume participated in the inaugural U.S.-Japan Next-Generation Leaders Initiative, sponsored by the U.S. Department of State, through the U.S. Embassy Tokyo. With backgrounds from academia, government, military and industry, the cohort brings rich insights on the past, present, and future of the U.S.-Japan bilateral security relations.

The statements made and views expressed are solely the responsibility of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of their respective organizations and affiliations. Pacific Forum’s publications do not necessarily reflect the positions of its staff, donors and sponsors.

Click here to download the full volume.


Shinichi Hirao is a Captain of the Japan Ground Self Defense Force (JGSDF). He received his BA in law from the University of Tokyo in 2014. After graduation, he joined the JGSDF and was commissioned as a Second Lieutenant in 2016. He served as a platoon leader and joined a disaster relief operation in Kumamoto in 2016. He was then selected to study in the United States, where he earned his Master of Public Policy degree from the Frank Batten School of Leadership and Public Policy, the University of Virginia, in December 2020. Upon graduation, he returned to the JGSDF, and was appointed as Operations and Training Officer of an infantry company under the 34th Infantry Regiment, Gotemba, Shizuoka.


Photo: A 9th Expeditionary Bomb Squadron B-1B Lancer conducts a training mission in the vicinity of Japan where they integrated with Japan Air Self Defense Force (JASDF) assets, May 12, 2020. The 9th EBS is deployed to Andersen Air Force Base, Guam, as part of a Bomber Task Force and is supporting Pacific Air Forces’ strategic deterrence missions and commitment to the security and stability of the Indo-Pacific region. Source: U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman River Bruce

Why Defending Taiwan is Crucial for the Future of the U.S.-Japan Alliance?

Issues & Insights Vol. 22, SR9, pp. 47-56

Abstract

A potential Taiwan crisis is a salient issue for both the United States and Japan. Despite its importance, there has not been enough discussion about the impact of a Taiwan Strait crisis on the U.S.-Japan alliance and how it would affect Japan. Japan’s role in the U.S.-Japan alliance is described in the 2015 U.S.-Japan Defense Guidelines. The challenges to Japan include recognizing a situation that can legally permit the deployment of the Japan Self Defense Forces (JSDF) in a timely manner and for all stakeholders, including the private sector, to take action accordingly. While the JSDF is assumed to be able to operate following these guidelines, other stakeholders such as the Japan Coast Guard (JCG), airport and port operators, the defense industry, and energy providers may have limited response capabilities. This paper argues that the U.S. Department of Defense and Japan’s Ministry of Defense (MoD) should develop detailed bilateral planning in advance, including what to do if a Taiwan contingency arises. Moreover, the Japanese government should take the lead in supporting private operators in the event of a Taiwan Strait crisis.

About this Volume

Authors of this volume participated in the inaugural U.S.-Japan Next-Generation Leaders Initiative, sponsored by the U.S. Department of State, through the U.S. Embassy Tokyo. With backgrounds from academia, government, military and industry, the cohort brings rich insights on the past, present, and future of the U.S.-Japan bilateral security relations.

The statements made and views expressed are solely the responsibility of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of their respective organizations and affiliations. Pacific Forum’s publications do not necessarily reflect the positions of its staff, donors and sponsors.

Click here to download the full volume.


Rena Sasaki is a graduate student at the School of Foreign Service, Georgetown University, pursuing a Master’s degree in Foreign Service. Rena was a senior associate at Strategy& (formerly Booz & Company), global management consulting firm and has engaged in defense and security projects with the Japanese Ministry of Defense and the defense industry for more than five years. She has deep knowledge of defense equipment acquisition, domestic supply chains for defense manufactures, and game-changing technology. She is interested in regional security issues in the Indo-Pacific and has engaged in several research projects on China’s military and economic security. She was selected as a delegate for the U.S-.China Dialogue which is a student-to-student dialogue between Georgetown University and Peking University. She graduated from Waseda University with a Bachelor’s in Engineering and Master’s in Engineering, and majored in Statistics. Rena is an intermediate-level Mandarin speaker.


Photo: iStock

Enhancing Taiwan’s Resistance: Military and Diplomatic Roles of the U.S.-Japan Security Alliance

Issues & Insights Vol. 22, SR9, pp. 40-46

Abstract

This contribution provides recommendations on the scope for coordination on the part of the U.S.-Japan alliance to raise the costs for Beijing of a Chinese invasion of Taiwan. As the threat posed by China’s attempt to unilaterally change the status quo becomes more serious, the Taiwan issue has once again become a focal point of international attention. China’s rise is a common challenge for Japan and the United States, and stability in the Taiwan Strait is their common interest. After considering various Taiwan contingency scenarios, preventing a worst-case scenario will require a greater willingness and ability of the Taiwanese people to resist and prompt U.S. intervention. To strengthen prospects for these two, this paper discusses how the United States and Japan should militarily and diplomatically work together.

About this Volume

Authors of this volume participated in the inaugural U.S.-Japan Next-Generation Leaders Initiative, sponsored by the U.S. Department of State, through the U.S. Embassy Tokyo. With backgrounds from academia, government, military and industry, the cohort brings rich insights on the past, present, and future of the U.S.-Japan bilateral security relations.

The statements made and views expressed are solely the responsibility of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of their respective organizations and affiliations. Pacific Forum’s publications do not necessarily reflect the positions of its staff, donors and sponsors.

Click here to download the full volume.


Ayae Yoshimoto is currently working at the Consulate-General of Japan in San Francisco. Previously, she was a junior visiting fellow at the Japan Institute of International Affairs (JIIA). She received her B.A. in Communication from Doshisha University in Japan and then her M.A. in International Relations from the National Chengchi University in Taiwan. Her research interests include Japan’s foreign and security policy, Sino-Japan relations, cross-strait relations, and U.S.-Japan Alliance. While in graduate school in Taiwan, she did a research internship on Taiwan-Japan relations at Taiwan NextGen Foundation. In addition to her mother tongue, Japanese, she is fluent in English and Chinese.


Photo: iStock

Japan-U.S. Alliance in Harmony? Perspectives from Power, Interests, and Values

Issues & Insights Vol. 22, SR9, pp. 21-30

Abstract

This paper analyzes the policies of Japan and the United States from three perspectives: power, economic interests, and values. The paper explores where their policy preferences converge and where they differ. Unsurprisingly, Japan and the United States have contrasting interests, but if their strategies are too different, it could allow China or Russia an opportunity to decouple them. Regarding power, Japan and the United States share threat perceptions of China and have cooperated to strengthen the alliance. Though there are challenges to be resolved, especially for Japan to play a more active role, they are basically on the same page. In terms of economic interests, they have different priorities; while the current U.S. economic policy is affected by the Trump administration’s America First approach and economic security, Japan has tried to maintain a liberal economic order. As for the values, the two countries also take different approaches. The United States tends to project values such as democracy and human rights more into diplomacy. However, Japan is reluctant to emphasize those values. Overall, Japan needs to evaluate how sustainable its passive stance on values is in the face of intensifying U.S.-China competition. The United States, on the other hand, needs to evaluate how effective its economic strategy and values-based diplomacy will be in sustaining the liberal international order.

About this Volume

Authors of this volume participated in the inaugural U.S.-Japan Next-Generation Leaders Initiative, sponsored by the U.S. Department of State, through the U.S. Embassy Tokyo. With backgrounds from academia, government, military and industry, the cohort brings rich insights on the past, present, and future of the U.S.-Japan bilateral security relations.

The statements made and views expressed are solely the responsibility of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of their respective organizations and affiliations. Pacific Forum’s publications do not necessarily reflect the positions of its staff, donors and sponsors.

Click here to download the full volume.


Yu Inagaki is a research assistant at the Sasakawa Peace Foundation (SPF) working under the Japan-U.S. Program. He is also an active member of the Young Leaders Program at the Pacific Forum. Yu received his MA from the School of Advanced International Studies, Johns Hopkins University, where he majored in international relations and strategic studies. His research interests include theories of International Relations, grand strategy, international order, and security in the Indo-Pacific. Among his latest work is a paper comparing the Indo-Pacific Strategy of Japan and the United States. Previously, he interned at the Hudson Institute and the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS), both in Washington, DC, and also at the Asia Pacific Initiative in Tokyo. At SPF, he helps run several study groups on Japan-U.S. relations and assists in related research.


Photo: President Joe Biden attends a green tea ceremony hosted by Japanese Prime Minister Kishida Fumio and his wife Yuko Kishida, Monday, May 23, 2022, at Kochuan restaurant in Tokyo. Source: Official White House Photo by Adam Schultz

The Evolution of U.S.-led Alliance Systems: A Minilateralist Approach in the Indo-Pacific

Issues & Insights Vol. 22, SR9, pp. 13-20

Abstract

The United States established a system of alliances in Europe and East Asia to combat emerging threats and lay the foundations of a sustained American presence. These two systems of alliances are often characterized as the sole choices available to policymakers: the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) in Europe is a prime example of a multilateral alliance, while the U.S.-led network of bilateral alliances in East Asia epitomizes a “hub-and-spokes” model. Yet, as the security environment in Asia continues to deteriorate, the United States has been trying a new approach – ‘minilateralism.’ While not necessarily downplaying its traditional network of bilateral alliances, Washington has been forming exclusive informal alignments that adopt a targeted/issue-based ‘minilateralist’ approach. This paper considers three possible explanations: the legacy of security bilateralism, shifting geopolitical calculations, and specific foreign policy initiatives of past and current administrations. It concludes with recommendations for the United States to maximize benefits from its minilateralist approach in the Indo-Pacific.

About this Volume

Authors of this volume participated in the inaugural U.S.-Japan Next-Generation Leaders Initiative, sponsored by the U.S. Department of State, through the U.S. Embassy Tokyo. With backgrounds from academia, government, military and industry, the cohort brings rich insights on the past, present, and future of the U.S.-Japan bilateral security relations.

The statements made and views expressed are solely the responsibility of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of their respective organizations and affiliations. Pacific Forum’s publications do not necessarily reflect the positions of its staff, donors and sponsors.

Click here to download the full volume.


Casimira “Cassie” Rodriguez of San Bernardino, California is a graduate student and a Scholars in the Nation’s Service Initiative (SINSI) fellow at Princeton’s School of Public and International Affairs. She graduated from Princeton in 2019 with an A.B. in Politics and certificates in East Asian Studies and the History and Practice of Diplomacy, completing a senior thesis on Japanese security policy. Following graduation, she studied advanced Japanese in Yokohama at the Inter-University Center for Japanese Language Studies as a Blakemore Freeman fellow and presented her research on alliance politics. She has interned at both the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) and the Sasakawa Peace Foundation in Washington, D.C., taking part in research/publications on U.S.-Japan issues and helping facilitate U.S.-Japan exchange events. Her areas of research include Japanese foreign policy, the international relations of East Asia, and security politics. As part of her SINSI fellowship, she will complete two years of federal government service before graduating from her MPA program. She is currently working on the Japan Desk at the U.S. Department of State.


Photo: President Joe Biden, Japanese Prime Minister Kishida Fumio, Prime Minister of India Narendra Modi and Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese pose for a photo at Kantei, the Japanese Prime Minister’s office and official residence, Monday, May 24, 2022, before the Quad Leaders’ Summit in Tokyo. Source: Official White House Photo by Cameron Smith/Released