During the Cold War era, the alliance between Japan and the United States (US) was asymmetrical. Japan offered bases for the US Forces, and the latter provided security. Since the collapse of the bipolar world order, Japan has been trying to change the nature of the alliance to one that is less asymmetrical by sending the Self Defense Forces overseas to contribute to international security and peace. In the 2022 National Security Strategy, the Kishida government declared that defense capability is central to Japan’s national strategy and announced plans to match the capabilities of Japan’s adversaries. Simultaneously, Japan has promoted the concept of a “Free and Open Indo-Pacific,” and has tried to establish strategic relations with the nations in the region. There are four important variables which will shape the future international order of Indo-Pacific: Chinese economic conditions, Japanese economic conditions, Chinese strategic ambitions, and the US commitments to the region. Japan will need to strengthen its strategic role in the bilateral alliance with the US, to ensure US commitments to the Indo-Pacific region.
About the Speaker
Tomohito Shinoda is a Professor of International Relations and Director of Matsushita Library and Information Center at the International University of Japan. He received a PhD from the Johns Hopkins University’s School of Advanced International Studies in Washington, D.C., and served as an adviser to the Minister of Defense under the Abe Administration. His research covers Japan’s politics and foreign policy, international relations in East Asia and US-Japan relations. His publications include Contemporary Japanese Politics: Institutional Changes and Power Shift (2013); Koizumi Diplomacy: Japan’s Kantei Approach in Foreign and Defense Affairs (2007); Leading Japan: The Role of the Prime Minister (2000); and Redefining the Partnership: The United States and Japan in East Asia (1998).
About the Chair
Srabani Roy Choudhury is a Professor in Japanese Studies, Centre for East Asian Studies, School of International Studies, Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi. Her association with Japan began with the Japan Foundation Fellowship 1996-1997. She has been on a visiting scholar programme at Keizai Koho Centre, Ministry of Economics and Industry, Japan, Policy Research Institute, Ministry of Finance, Japan, REIB, Kobe University, GSID, Nagoya University. Her recent publications are centred on economic diplomacy between Japan and India with reference to Japanese business. Currently, she is looking at India-Japan relations from the perspective of the power dynamics in the Indo-Pacific region. She has to her credit two edited volumes titled Japan-SAARC Partnership: A Way Ahead (2014) and India-Japan Relations @ 70: Building Beyond Bilateral (2022).
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