International Dialogue

Summary of Dialogues

The Third Japan-U.S. Dialogue Convened "U.S.-Japan Security Relations under the New U.S. Administration"

The Global Forum of Japan (GFJ) and the Mansfield Center for Pacific Affairs (MCPA), with the support of the Japan Foundation Center for Global Partnerships, co-sponsored the Third U.S.-Japan Dialogue on the theme of "U.S.-Japan Security Relations under the New U.S. Administration" on May 27-28, 2001 in Tokyo. After a welcome dinner on the evening of the 27th held by GFJ Chairman Okawara Yoshio, a lively full-day discussion on the 28th amongst the 105 participants from Japan and the U.S. centering on GFJ members ensued.

Prof. Ito Kenichi, Governor and Executive Director, GFJ, greeting guests at the welcome dinner

Okinawa and the U.S.-Japan Alliance
Session I of the 28th was chaired by Prof. Ito Kenichi, Governor and Executive Director of GFJ, with the theme "Okinawa and Alliance Maintenance under the Bush Administration" being deliberated. Mr. James Auer, Professor, Vanderbilt University, began proceedings with his keynote speech in which he stated that, "If U.S.-Japan relations could be raised to the level of U.S.-British relations, except for the Yokosuka and Kadena bases, the U.S. would be open to re-considering the structure of other U.S. forces in Japan and Okinawa. Furthermore, with the advent of the "Megafloat" concept, it may become possible that not only Futenma but also other facilities be transferred there and that the U.S. presence in Japan may decrease while maintaining the necessary deterrent."

In response to the keynote speech, there was a lively expression of opinions from the two lead discussants, Prof. Takubo Tadae, Dean, Faculty of Social Sciences, Kyorin University, and Mr. Fariel Saeed, Political-Military Officer, Japan Desk, U.S. State Department, and also from the participants such as, "A decision to interpret the constitution in way to allow Japan to exercise the right of collective defense would make it possible to restructure the U.S.-Japan Alliance in a way that would lead to a solving of the Okinawa issue."

A lively discussion between participants

The Asia Pacific Region
In Session II, Mr. Gordon Flake, Executive Director, MCPA, assumed the role of Chairman with "The Administration’s New Approach to Regional Concerns: China and Korea" being the topic for debate. The keynote speech was by Gen. H.C. Stackpole, President, Asia-Pacific Center for Security Studies, who stated that, "As a security model for the Asia-Pacific region, a multi-national approach is necessary. However, the structure should not be like NATO’s, but rather one that strengthens bilateral relations and reinforces a comprehensive approach to security that includes conflict prevention."

Following on from the keynote speech, the two lead discussants, Mr. Akiyama Masahiro, former Vice Administrative Minister, Defense Agency, and Mr. David Steinberg, Director of Asian Studies, Georgetown University, as well as other participants from the floor put forward a number of views such as, "There is a likelihood that a unified Korea would give importance to its relationship with China. Based on this premise, the regional security system should be seriously thought about."

Amb. Okawara Yoshio, Chairman, GFJ, acting as Chairman of Session III. (fourth from the left)

New Missile Defense Initiatives
Continuing on to Session III, Amb. Okawara Yoshio, Chairman, GFJ, took the chair for discussion under the theme "Implications of New Missile Defense Initiatives." Mr. James Przystup, Senior Fellow, Institute for National Strategic Studies, The National Defense University, presented the keynote speech in which he stated that, "Japan is within range of North Korea’s No-dong and Taep’o-dong missiles as well as China’s IRBM. In the case of an incident on the Korean Peninsula or in the Taiwan Straits, there is a possibility that U.S. bases in Japan and/or Japan itself could become the target of attack. To deal with this threat, not only deterrence, but also defense must be considered."

In response to the keynote speech, the two lead discussants, Prof. Watanabe Akio, President, Research Institute for Peace and Security, and Mr. Dan Bob, former Aide to Senator Roth, together with other dialogue participants voiced opinions such as, "The issue at hand is whether deterring China is effective in the same way as deterring Russia is effective, or is meaningless as it is the case with deterring a rogue state."

In the evening of the 28th, a farewell dinner hosted by Mr. Gordon Flake, Executive Director, MCPA, was held thereby bringing to a close a successful dialogue. The contents of the dialogue were reported in articles in the Asahi Shimbun on May 29 and 30. The dialogue was also reported in the Nihon Keizai Shimbun on May 29 and the Japan Times on May 31.