The East Asian region surrounding Okinawa is changing at a dizzying pace, as rising tensions in the Taiwan Strait dramatically alter the security situation. The revision of Japan’s Three Security Documents in December, the proposed increase in its defense budget, and the strengthening of the U.S.-Japanese alliance announced at the meeting between President Biden and Prime Minister Kishida in January all signify the intensification of deterrence efforts in the region, and local residents are increasingly anxious about the increased military presence and the increased frequency of military exercises.
On the other hand, plans are underway for the re-alignment of Marine Corps stationed in Okinawa, and the transferring of some units based in the prefecture to Guam. Against this backdrop, many voices in Okinawa are calling for persistent diplomatic efforts among East Asian states that rely as much on dialogue and reassurance as on deterrence.
To discuss these issues and more, the Quincy Institute for Responsible Statecraft is co-sponsoring an online and in-person event with the Okinawa Prefectural Government and George Washington University. The discussion will feature Okinawa Governor Yasuhiro “Denny” Tamaki, on his first visit to the U.S. in three years; and Michael Swaine, Senior Research Fellow at the Quincy Institute. Mike Mochizuki, Associate Professor of U.S.-Japan relations at George Washington University and non-resident fellow at the Quincy Institute, will moderate.