Japan’s Prime Minister Fumio Kishida met with President Biden in Washington, D.C. last Friday, January 13th. The joint statement issued by the two nations on that date carried further the overall strengthening of the U.S-Japan alliance and Japan’s security policies that have been underway for several years. This has included a significant unprecedented increase in Japanese defense spending, Tokyo’s decision to acquire counter-strike capabilities against China, and overall greater U.S.-Japan defense coordination and integration.
Although clearly intended to counter-balance rising Chinese regional power and a nuclear-armed North Korea, these developments pose several critical questions for the future stability of Asia. Are Tokyo and Washington now entirely on the same page regarding the handling of China, or do they still differ in potentially major ways? What do the changes in the alliance and Japan’s defense posture portend for a possible future Taiwan conflict? Do these changes strike the right overall balance between deterring and reassuring Beijing regarding Taiwan and other potential regional hotspots? What additional developments, if any, regarding the US-Japan alliance should take place to create a more stable regional security environment?
Join us in addressing these questions with Mike Mochizuki, Japan-US Relations Chair in Memory of Gaston Sigur at the George Washington University Elliott School of International Affairs and a Non-Resident Fellow at the Quincy Institute; Yuki Tatsumi, Senior Fellow and Co-Director of the East Asia Program and Director of the Japan Program at the Stimson Center; and Tobias Harris, Senior Fellow and Deputy Director of Asia Program at the German Marshall Fund of the United States. Michael Swaine, Senior Fellow at the Quincy Institute’s East Asia Program, will moderate.