Japan’s Emerging Security Partnerships

Since his inauguration, Prime Minister Abe’s determination to expand Japan’s diplomatic presence around the world is reflected in the “diplomacy that takes panoramic view of the world map” (chikyuugi wo fukan suru gaiko) initiative. Actively engaging in top-level diplomacy to foster relationships that have grown stagnant in recent years, Abe has especially focused on Europe and Australia. Abe visited Europe in both April/May and June, meeting with NATO and EU country leaders to further Japan’s partnership with European countries. Abe described NATO and Japan as “natural partners,” and increasing security cooperation was a main focus of his visits in Europe. With Australia, Prime Minister Tony Abbott called Japan Australia’s “closest friend in Asia” last October, supporting Japan’s defense efforts. In July, Abe visited Australia and signed an agreement regarding the transfer of defense equipment and technology.  News reports have suggested that Australia is close to purchasing several Japanese Soryu-class stealth submarines, and Japan may also share previously sensitive submarine technology with Australia. As Abe is likely to continue pursuing relations with Europe and Australia, Dr. Tomohiko Satake remarked on prospects for US-Japan-Australia security relations and Dr. Michito Tsuruoka on Japan-NATO. 

WHAT: Discussion on Japan’s emerging security partnerships with Europe and Australia.

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Dr. Tomohiko Satake is a fellow at the National Institute for Defense Studies (NIDS) located in Tokyo. He specializes in alliance studies, Asia-Pacific security and Japanese security policies. Between 2013 and 2014, he worked for the International Policy Division of the Defense Policy Bureau of the Japan Ministry of Defense, where he worked as a deputy director for international security. He earned his B.A. and M.A. from Keio University, and Ph.D. in international relations from the Australian National University. His publication includes: “Japan, Australia and International Security Burden-sharing with the United States,” in William Tow and Rikki Kersten (eds), Bilateral Perspectives on Regional Security: Australia, Japan and the Asia-Pacific Region (Palgrave Macmillan, 2012); “The Origin of Trilateralism? The US-Japan-Australia Security Relations during the 1990s,” The International Relations of the Asia-Pacific, Vol. 11, No. 1, 2011; and “Japan’s Nuclear Policy: Between Non-nuclear Identity and US Extended Deterrence,” Austral Policy Forum, 09 12-A (May 2009).

Dr. Michito Tsuruoka is a Senior Research Fellow at the National Institute for Defense Studies (NIDS), Ministry of Defense, Japan. He is concurrently a Research Fellow (non-resident) at The Tokyo Foundation. Before joining the NIDS in 2009, he was a Resident Fellow of the German Marshall Fund of the United States (GMF) and served as a Special Adviser for NATO at the Embassy of Japan in Belgium from 2005 to 2008. From April 2012 to April 2013, Dr. Tsuruoka was seconded to the Ministry of Defense as a Deputy Director of the International Policy Division, Bureau of Defense Policy, where he was in charge of multilateral security and defence cooperation in the Asia-Pacific region, mainly the ASEAN Defence Ministers’ Meeting-Plus (ADMM-Plus) and ASEAN Regional Forum (ARF). Following it until March 2014, he was based in London as a Visiting Fellow at Royal United Services Institute for Defence and Security Studies (RUSI). Dr. Tsuruoka studied politics and international relations at Keio University, Tokyo, and Georgetown University, Washington, D.C. and received a Ph.D. in War Studies from King’s College London. His areas of expertise include European security, NATO, European integration, European foreign policy (particularly Europe-Japan/Asia relations), defence diplomacy, nuclear policy and Japan’s foreign, security and defence policy.

Yuki Tatsumi (moderator) was appointed senior associate of the East Asia program at the Stimson Center in September 2008 after serving as a research fellow since 2004. Before joining Stimson, Tatsumi worked as a research associate at the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) and as the special assistant for political affairs at the Embassy of Japan in Washington, DC. In September 2006 Tatsumi testified before the House Committee on International Relations. She is a recipient of the 2009 Yasuhiro Nakasone Incentive Award. In 2012 she was awarded the Letter of Appreciation from the Ministry of National Policy of Japan for her contribution in advancing mutual understanding between the United States and Japan. A native of Tokyo, Tatsumi holds a B.A. in liberal arts from the International Christian University in Tokyo, Japan and an M.A. in international economics and Asian studies from the Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS) at Johns Hopkins University in Washington.   

View discussion below or here.

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