Leading a Competitive and Resilient Indo-Pacific Digital Transformation

Recent technological advances and the Covid-19 pandemic have spurred greater digitalization and connectivity throughout the world, especially in rapidly developing economies in the Indo-Pacific. To keep up with these changes, many countries have welcomed Chinese investments through the Belt and Road Initiative and accompanying Digital Silk Road, even as these investments often push countries to adopt digital policies that run counter to liberal values supported by countries such as the United States and Japan. To support liberal norms in the region, it is critical that the United States and Japan work together to provide alternative and affordable options for digital development.

On October 13, 2022, NBR held a virtual discussion on Indo-Pacific digital transformation. The roundtable examined how the United States and Japan can cooperate to more effectively shape the Indo-Pacific’s digital transformation in line with shared values and interests. Participating experts discussed Japan’s domestic digital transformation, including smart cities and the Kishida administration’s Digital Garden City Nation strategy; U.S.-Japan bilateral cooperation in the digital economy; and ways the United States and Japan can more effectively drive regional cooperation.



Roy Kamphausen, The National Bureau of Asian Research

SESSION 1: Smart Cities and Japan’s Digital Garden City Nation Strategy

Ulrike Schaede, Professor of Japanese Business, University of California, San Diego, and Board of Advisors, NBR

Takehiko Nagumo, Executive Managing Director at Smart City Institute Japan

SESSION 2: U.S.-Japan Cooperation in the Digital Economy

Jonathan McHale, Vice President at Computer and Communications Industry Association, former Deputy Assistant USTR for ICT Services and Digital Trade

Hideyuki Miura, Associate Professor, Kyorin University

SESSION 3: Advancing Digital Transformation through Regional Collaboration

Sanchita Basu-Das, Economist, Economic Research and Regional Cooperation Department, Asian Development Bank

Andreyka Natalegawa, Associate Fellow, Southeast Asia Program, Center for Strategic and International Studies


Roy Kamphausen, The National Bureau of Asian Research

About the Speakers

Sanchita Basu-Das is an economist at the Regional Cooperation and Integration Division of the Economic Research and Regional Cooperation Department of ADB. She contributes to the division’s flagship publication, namely the Asian Economic Integration Report, and other knowledge products. She also supports the ASEAN regional forum. Her core research interests include regional cooperation and initiatives related to them, such as trade, logistics, industrial corridors, tourism, digital economy, institutions, and others. Sanchita joined ADB in November 2018 and served as an economist in the South Asia Regional Department processing loans and grants, implementing technical assistance projects, and leading operationally relevant analytical studies. Prior to joining ADB, Sanchita was the lead researcher for economic affairs at the ASEAN Studies Centre of ISEAS-Yusof Ishak Institute, Singapore. She earned her PhD in international political economy from Nanyang Technology University, Singapore, and her master’s in economics and business management from the University of Delhi and the National University of Singapore, respectively.

Roy Kamphausen is President of the National Bureau of Asian Research (NBR). He joined NBR in 2004, and formerly served as Senior Vice President for Research, providing executive leadership to NBR’s policy research agenda and engagement with the administration, U.S. Congress, and foreign embassies in Washington, D.C. Prior to joining NBR, Mr. Kamphausen served as a career U.S. Army officer. As a China foreign area officer, his career included assignments as China policy director in the Office of the Secretary of Defense, China strategist for the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and a military attaché at the U.S. Embassy in Beijing. He holds a BA in Political Science from Wheaton College and an MA in International Affairs from Columbia University. He studied Chinese at both the Defense Language Institute and Beijing’s Capital Normal University. He is a member of the National Committee on U.S.- China Relations.

Jonathan McHale is Vice President, Digital Trade at the Computer and Communications Industry Association, where he leads the Association’s digital trade advocacy in the United States and international fora. Until 2022, he was the Deputy Assistant U.S. Trade Representative for ICT Services and Digital Trade. He has two decades of experience working to open foreign markets in the telecommunications and digital trade sectors at both the Department of State and USTR, through policy development, negotiation, enforcement, and dispute settlement. He was the lead negotiator for the USMCA Digital Trade chapter, the Telecommunications and Electronic Commerce issues in the Trans-Pacific Partnership FTA, as well as KORUS, AUSFTA, and the Singapore-U.S. FTA. Prior to joining USTR, he served as an economic officer at the Department of State in Tokyo, Washington D.C. and Paris. He holds a B.A. from Brown University and an M.A. in international relations from Columbia University.

Hideyuki Miura is an Associate Professor at Kyorin University, where he focuses on Japanese trade policy, international political economy, and international relations of the Asia-Pacific region. Dr. Miura has also served as a visiting researcher at the Japan Institute of International Affairs, a research associate at Waseda University, and a research associate at the Asian Development Bank Institute. He received an MA in international relations and a PhD in international relations from Waseda University.

Takehiko Nagumo is the Executive Managing Director at the Smart City Institute Japan, dedicated to designing policies and building strategic alliances for smart cities and digital government. He is concurrently the Senior Managing Executive Officer at Mitsubishi UFJ Research and Consulting, Ltd. In the Japanese Government, he serves as Regulatory Reform Promotion Council Member, Cabinet Office, and as Well-Being City Indicator Committee Member, Digital Agency. He is also a Fellow at the World Economic Forum Fourth Industrial Revolution Japan Center. In addition, he serves as the Smart City Advisor to various local governments, including Tokyo, Kamakura, Hamamatsu, Yokohama, and more. In academia, Nagumo is an Adjunct Professor at Kyoto University Graduate School of Management, Tokai University, and Kanazawa Institute of Technology, as well as a Visiting Professor at Tallinn University of Technology in Estonia.

Andreyka Natalegawa is an Associate Fellow for the Southeast Asia Program at the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) in Washington, D.C. He holds an MA in Asian studies from Georgetown University. Prior to joining CSIS in 2017, he received a bachelor’s degree in politics from New York University, with minors in Chinese and social and public policy. He is a member of the Pacific Forum Young Leaders Program and previously served as a Bunker fellow for 2021–2022 at the Institute for the Study of Diplomacy at Georgetown University.

Ulrike Schaede is Professor of Japanese business at the UC San Diego School of Global Policy and Strategy (GPS). She is the founding director of the Japan Forum for Innovation and Technology, and the faculty coordinator of the International Management track at GPS. Schaede’s research focuses on Japanese business organization, strategy, and management. Her 2020 book, The Business Reinvention of Japan: How to Make Sense of the New Japan and Why It Matters, won the 2021 Masayoshi Ohira Memorial Prize from Japan, as well as the 2021 U.S. Axiom Business Book Award. In 2022, it was published in Japanese. In 2022, Schaede also published a monograph titled “The Digital Transformation and Japan’s Political Economy” (with Kay Shimizu), at Cambridge University Press. Schaede is Associate Editor of The Journal of the Japanese and International Economies. She also serves on the Advisory Board of the National Bureau of Asian Research. In Japan, she is a member of the Advisory Board of IGPI, Inc., as well as a research fellow and supporter of ICF, “Initiative to Co-Create the Future” at Mitsubishi Research Institute, and LINK-J, the “Life Science Innovation Network Japan.”