Congressional Study Group Discussion

U.S.-Japan Relations

Honorary Dinner Speakers

Pamela Phan, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Asia, International Trade Administration

Jeffrey Hornung, Senior Political Scientist, RAND Corporation

Japan released three long-awaited strategic documents at the end of 2022, including a National Security Strategy (NSS), National Defense Strategy (NDS), and a multi-year Defense Buildup Program. These come against the backdrop of what Japan calls a “security environment as severe and complex as it has ever been,” emphasizing the essential role of the U.S.-Japan alliance to achieve territorial defense and regional stability. Japan’s new NSS also identifies “supply chain vulnerabilities, growing threats to critical infrastructure, and the struggle for control over advanced technologies” as areas of economic security. The growing focus of the U.S.-Japan partnership on economic security and regional stability is an attempt to address serious challenges to the global order and can serve to build multilateral initiatives in the Indo-Pacific region.

In March of 2023, the National Bureau of Asian Research (NBR) hosted the next iteration of the Pacific Rim Congressional Study Group Dinner for senior congressional staff. The group was joined by Deputy Assistant Secretary Pamela Phan and Dr. Jeffrey Hornung. Participants exchanged ideas on the following topics:

  • the implications of Japan’s new National Security Strategy as a trend-setter for economic security policies regionally and globally
  • further opportunities for collaboration in economic security in areas such as supply chain resilience, joint investment in innovation, and protection of critical infrastructure
  • the institutionalization of high-level U.S.-Japan efforts to address economic security challenges, such as JUCIP and the “Economic 2+2” among the U.S. Departments of State and Commerce, and their Japanese counterparts
  • the potential of regional economic architecture to advance collective economic security and economic well-being, such as APEC, G7 and IPEF
  • the importance of Japan implementing its defense doctrine and capabilities outlined in the NDS and Defense Buildup Program in the context of the U.S.-Japan alliance
  • the implications of Japan’s new NDS for stability in the Taiwan Strait and on the Korean Peninsula.