Sino-Japan Dynamics and Implications for the U.S.-Japan Alliance

NBR and the U.S.-Japan Research Institute (USJI) convened a discussion on “Sino-Japan Dynamics and Implications for the U.S.-Japan Alliance” on Thursday, February 27, in Washington, D.C. This event was part of USJI’s annual “Japan Week” and featured insights from senior security and international relations experts, including former Deputy Secretary of State Richard L. Armitage (Armitage International, L.C.), Fumiaki Kubo (USJI and University of Tokyo), David M. Lampton (Johns Hopkins University), and Abraham M. Denmark (NBR). The discussion examined the recent dynamics that have contributed to heightened tension in the Sino-Japan relationship, analyzed implications for Washington, and explored how the United States might help improve the current situation in Northeast Asia.

Featured Speakers

The Honorable Richard L. Armitage, Armitage International, L.C.; Former Deputy Secretary of State

Fumiaki Kubo, U.S.-Japan Research Institute, University of Tokyo

David M. Lampton, Johns Hopkins University, Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies

Abraham M. Denmark (Moderator), The National Bureau of Asian Research

Speaker Bios

The Honorable Richard L. Armitage became President of Armitage International since March 2005. Previously, his nomination as Deputy Secretary of State was confirmed by the Senate on March 23, 2001. He was sworn in on March 26, 2001. Prior to returning to government service in 2001, Mr. Armitage was President of Armitage Associates L.C. from May 1993 until March 2001. He had been engaged in a range of worldwide business and public policy endeavors as well as frequent public speaking and writing. From March 1992 until his departure from public service in May 1993, Mr. Armitage (with the personal rank of Ambassador) directed U.S. assistance to the new independent states (NIS) of the former Soviet Union.

Fumiaki Kubo is the A. Barton Hepburn Professor of American Government and History at the Graduate Schools for Law and Politics, the University of Tokyo since 2003. He is also a Visiting Professor at Keio University where he has taught since 1988, as well as a Visiting Scholar at the Japan Institute for International Affairs. In addition, he is a Senior Research Fellow at the Tokyo Foundation. He was born in Tokyo in 1956. He studied at Cornell University in 1984-1986 as a Nitobe Fellow, at the Johns Hopkins University in 1991-93 on an ACLS and Abe Fellowship, and at Georgetown University and the University of Maryland in 1998-99 as a Fulbright Scholar. Kubo attended the Faculty of Law, the University of Tokyo, and received his PhD from the University of Tokyo in 1989.

David M. Lampton is Hyman Professor and Director of China Studies at the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies, where he also heads SAIS China, the school’s overall presence in the PRC. Chairman of the The Asia Foundation, former president of the National Committee on United States-China Relations, and Dean of Faculty at SAIS, he is the author of The Three Faces of Chinese Power: Might, Money, and Minds (2008) and The Making of Chinese Foreign and Security Policy (editor, 2001). He received his BA, MA, and PhD degrees from Stanford University. He has an honorary doctorate from the Russian Academy of Sciences’ Institute of Far Eastern Studies, is an Honorary Senior Fellow of the American Studies Institute of the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, was winner of the Scalapino Prize in 2010, and is a Gilman Scholar at Johns Hopkins. His newest book, Following the Leader: Ruling China, from Deng Xiaoping to Xi Jinping, has just been published by UC Press in January 2014.

Abraham M. Denmark is Vice President for Political and Security Affairs at NBR, where he manages a team of resident and non-resident experts and staff to bring objective, detailed analysis of geopolitical trends and challenges in Asia to the attention of policymakers in Washington, D.C. Mr. Denmark has significant experience both inside and outside government. He previously worked as a Fellow at the Center for a New American Security and served in the Pentagon as Country Director for China Affairs in the Office of the Secretary of Defense. Mr. Denmark is widely published, having authored several book chapters and reports on U.S. strategy toward the Asia-Pacific region and the global commons. Mr. Denmark regularly lectures at leading universities and learning centers around the world, including Peking University and the U.S. Naval War College.

Background on the Issues

Recent developments in the long-standing territorial and historical disputes between Tokyo and Beijing have caused a sharp rise in tensions and injected a real sense of danger and uncertainty into the relationship between Asia’s two most powerful nations. As the United States continues to implement the rebalance to Asia in an effort to sustain stability within the region, understanding the complex dynamics at play in the relationship between these the two key nations is of the utmost importance to U.S. policymakers.

Event Co-Host