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Past Event

The U.S.-Japan Alliance and Evolving Challenges in East Asia: Freedom of Navigation and North Korea

Recent developments in East Asia have illustrated evolving challenges to the U.S.-Japan alliance. Freedom of navigation has become one of the key geopolitical issues in the region following territorial disputes and tensions from the Yellow Sea to the South China Sea. Uncertainty on the Korean peninsula regarding the Kim Jong-il regime’s succession process, North Korea’s increasing aggression toward the Republic of Korea, and new developments in North Korea’s nuclear program add new urgency to a traditional challenge.

On December 15, the Center for Northeast Asian Policy Studies at Brookings and the Slavic Research Center and the Global Center of Excellence (GCOE) Program at Hokkaido University in Japan hosted Japanese and American experts to discuss whether and how the U.S.-Japan alliance should address the evolving challenges of freedom of navigation and North Korea.

After each panel, participants took audience questions.


9:00 AM -- Introduction


Takeo Akiba

Minister, Head of Political Section, Embassy of Japan


Akihiro Iwashita

Professor - Slavic-Eurasian Research Center, Hokkaido University

9:15 AM -- Panel 1: Freedom of Navigation in East Asia


Peter Dutton

Professor of Strategic Studies and Director, China Maritime Studies Institute - U.S. Naval War College


Koichi Sato

Professor of Asian Studies, J.F. Oberlin University, Tokyo

11:00 AM -- Panel 2: North Korea

Kongdan Oh

Former Brookings Expert

Asian Specialist - Institute for Defense Analysis


Mitsuhiro Mimura

Associate Senior Research Fellow, Economic Research Institute for Northeast Asia


Yuki Asaba

Associate Professor of International Studies, Yamaguchi Prefectural University

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(202) 797-6105

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