Pamela Kennedy

Research Analyst

China, East Asia, Japan

Pamela Kennedy is a Research Analyst with the East Asia program at Stimson. She holds a M.A. in International Relations and International Economics from Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies and a B.A. summa cum laude in Government and East Asian Studies from the College of William and Mary. Prior to joining Stimson, Kennedy interned with the Center for Strategic and International Studies’ Japan Chair and the Reischauer Center for East Asian Studies. She was also previously an Associate Examiner with the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, where she reviewed Asian and American banks for safety and soundness.

To learn more about Pamela’s background, read her “My Story.”


Improving U.S. and Japanese policymakers’ understanding of shared security and political challenges as both countries face new regional dynamics

Policy solutions and in-depth analysis of the complex relationship between mainland China and Taiwan

Creative approaches to Japan’s most significant international security and foreign policy challenges

A unique opportunity for Japanese security experts to conduct policy research in Washington, D.C.

Deepening understanding of China’s foreign policy behaviors and their motivations and impact

Research & Writing
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Project Note
Trilateral Dialogue: Developments in Japan-Taiwan Relations and Possibilities for Maritime Safety Cooperation

The Stimson Center conducted a Track 1.5 trilateral dialogue with experts from Japan, Taiwan, and the United States on September 29, 2021 to discuss the recent developments in Japan-Taiwan relations and the possibilities for further cooperation on maritime safety.

Parsing Japan’s Support for Taiwan

Originally published in the Diplomat

Maintaining Strategic Ambiguity with Today’s Cross-Strait Status Quo

The United States should optimize the tools it possesses to improve the current policy of strategic ambiguity towards Taiwan.

Policy Memo
North Korea and China’s Year of Treading Water

China and North Korea have maintained their relationship in the pandemic, but 2021 prospects depend on Biden’s policies towards them

Japan-Taiwan Relations: Opportunities and Challenges

Four Japanese scholars explore the current state of Japan-Taiwan relations and make recommendations for further development.

Taiwan Security Brief: 2020

Examining Taiwan’s policy decisions in 2020 on U.S.-Taiwan relations, cross-Strait relations, and domestic pandemic response

Tsai’s Trade Gamble: Can Pork and Beef Imports Pave the Way to a Trade Deal?

Taiwan’s move to ease restrictions on imports of U.S. pork and beef could lead to progress on a U.S.-Taiwan trade agreement

Japan’s China Policy in Flux

Japan has crafted its China policies to balance security threat and economic opportunity, but rising tension will force Japan to find a new normal

Vincent Chao on Taiwan’s Lessons from the COVID-19 Pandemic

How Taiwan has flattened its curve and how Taiwan and the United States can cooperate going forward.

Innovation and Adaptation in a (Coronavirus) Panic

Analyzing the innovative nontraditional security responses prompted by the rapid outbreak COVID-19 that have helped keep communities healthy

Taiwan & COVID-19: Avoiding Widespread Outbreak So Far

Taiwan has managed to avoid a widespread outbreak so far. Early decisions to suspend entry to the island and strict social measures are the key to Taiwan’s success.

Audrey Tang on Taiwan’s Digital Democracy, COVID-19, and Combating Disinformation

Taiwan’s digital minister discusses the importance of open governance, multi-generational dialogue, and her work on an app in response to the COVID-19 outbreak

Key Challenges in Japan’s Defense Policy

Policy briefs by Japanese security experts on Japan’s core security issues, from emerging domains to enduring challenges

Treading Choppy Waters: Cross-Strait Relations in Taiwan’s 2020 Presidential Election

This article was originally published in The Diplomat on January 15, 2020.

Disinformation, Cybersecurity, and Energy Challenges

This collection of essays examines three nontraditional challenges: disinformation, cybersecurity, and energy security. The three authors, who are emerging experts on Taiwan, assess their chosen topic by analyzing the Taiwan government’s current policies and making recommendations to increase security. The three articles show how these multifaceted security challenges require a more contemporary approach to security, and how Taiwan’s unique situation provides opportunities for innovation.

Taiwan and North Korea: Star-Crossed Business Partners

Last month, the world learned that North Korea attempted to sell submarine designs to Taiwan in 2016. As Taiwan and North Korea do not have formal relations, the offer came through an unusual channel: a Taiwanese trading company that did busi…

International Disaster Response: Rebuilding the Quad? Views from the Next Generation

In 2004, Australia, India, Japan, and the U.S. worked together to respond to the devastating Indian Ocean tsunami. In 2007, these four countries formed the Quadrilateral Security Dialogue – the Quad – seeking to deepen their cooperation, only to disban…

Japan and South Korea: Why We Can’t Have Nice Things

October 8 will mark the 20th anniversary of a declaration between Japan and South Korea to “squarely face the past and develop relations based on mutual understanding and trust.” This month, the foreign ministers of Japan and South Korea…

Voices from Japan

An annual symposium that brings senior-level Japanese opinion leaders to discuss Japan’s national security challenges

Stimson in the News
Pamela Kennedy Interviewed on Pompeo Pyongyang Visit

  Listen to the full interview here

Stimson in the News
Pamela Kennedy Quoted on Trump-Abe Meeting

  Read the full article here

Stimson in the News
Pamela Kennedy Interviewed on Trump-Abe Talks

  Read the full article here

Can Abe Help Trump Prepare for the North Korea Summit?

By Pamela Kennedy After a fall and summer of spiraling tensions between North Korea, its neighbors, and the U.S., the new season of summits is a welcome respite, and one that Japan is determined to use to its advantage. Soon, in meetings with President…

Trump’s Misunderstanding of the U.S.-Japan Alliance

Just as U.S. President Donald Trump’s “Make America Great Again” hats imply a vague policy outcome without any actionable specifics, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s “Make Alliance Even Greater” hats, presented to Trump during his visit to Japan la…

Lost in Translation? U.S. Defense Innovation and Northeast Asia

The United States must ensure that its military can adapt to an evolving threat environment to maintain its relative advantage vis-à-vis potential adversaries. Should the U.S. tackle this task unilaterally, however, the perception of relative U.S. decl…

How Japan’s Aging Population Impacts National Defense

In 2015, Japan’s census confirmed that its population had decreased for the first time since the government began counting in 1920. The population decline will obviously have severe economic consequences as fewer workers support a benefits sy…

Stimson in the News
Pamela Kennedy’s Op-Ed in The Diplomat on South Korea-Japan-U.S. Relations

Tensions between Japan and South Korea are an ongoing concern, with controversies relating to historical issues periodically souring diplomatic relations. Japan recently sent its ambassador back to South Korea after a three-month absence foll…

South Korea-Japan-US: A Window for Trilateral Cooperation

Tensions between Japan and South Korea are an ongoing concern, with controversies relating to historical issues periodically souring diplomatic relations. Japan recently sent its ambassador back to South Korea after a three-month absence following the…

Leveraging the Third Offset Strategy in the US-Japan Alliance

When President Rodrigo Duterte of the Philippines announced a “separation from the United States” and a warming of Sino-Philippines relations during his state visit in China on October 20, disagreements over China’s activities in the Sou…

Stimson in the News
Yuki Tatsumi and Pamela Kennedy op-ed in The Diplomat on US-Japan alliance

When President Rodrigo Duterte of the Philippines announced a “separation from the United States” and a warming of Sino-Philippines relations during his state visit in China on October 20, disagreements over China’s activities in the Sou…

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