Atlantic Council

Japan’s Security Role and Capabilities In the 2020s

Barry Pavel,
Vice President, Arnold Kanter Chair, and Director,
Brent Scowcroft Center on International Security, Atlantic Council

David B. Shear,
Assistant Secretary of Defense for Asian and Pacific Security Affairs,
U.S. Department of Defense

Dr. Narushige Michishita,
Japan Scholar, Asia Program,
Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars

Dr. Sheila A. Smith,
Senior Fellow for Japan Studies,
Council on Foreign Relations

Dr. Roger Cliff,
Nonresident Senior Fellow,
Brent Scowcroft Center on International Security, Atlantic Council

Harry J. Kazianis,
Executive Editor,
The National Interest

Location: Atlantic Council, Washington, D.C.

Time: 12:15 p.m. EST
Date: Friday, November 13, 2015

Transcript By
Superior Transcriptions LLC

BARRY PAVEL: Well, welcome, everyone, to the Atlantic Council. Thanks for joining us. I’m Barry Pavel. I’m a vice president at the Council here and also director of the Brent Scowcroft Center on International Security. And this event is part of the Asia Security Initiative, which is in the Brent Scowcroft Center. Today we discuss the issues surrounding a new report by our Nonresident Senior Fellow Roger Cliff on Japan’s future security roles and capabilities.

And it certainly comes at a key time for the Asia-Pacific region, although I guess you could say that at almost any time. But it seems particularly key right now. Developments regarding North Korea potentially developing a nuclear warhead that can be delivered by an intercontinental ballistic missile, China becoming still increasingly assertive in the disputed areas in the western Pacific waters, and certainly in two months Taiwan will hold elections in which in the presidential candidate from a pro-independence party is the frontrunner and pro-independence parties may, for the first time, win a majority of seats in Taiwan’s legislature.

In response to these developments, the leadership and role of Japan at a time of such flux certainly is very important, and as the Japanese have been trying to define a new security role for the country. Japan’s legislature recently enacted revisions to the country’s national security laws that loosen limitations on the use of Japan’s armed forces. And the government of Prime Minister Abe has said that it will increase Japan’s overall defense spending. There are concerns however, both within Japan and elsewhere, about what types of roles the country will play, what types of roles are appropriate for it to play, given its history.

And so the author of this report, Dr. Cliff, has attempted to provide what I consider as objective and systematic an assessment of the types of roles and associated capabilities to play those roles in the 2020s as one can develop – and in particular the types of roles and capabilities that are in the interests of Japan and the broader Asia-Pacific region, from a neutral standpoint, which never happens in practice. (Chuckles.)

So the report analyzes the types of security challenges that Japan and the region are likely to face over the next 10 to 15 years. It considers the different types of roles that Japan could potentially pay in dealing with those challenges. It then identifies the types of capabilities that would be required for Japan to play those roles, and then assesses the financial and technological and, perhaps most importantly, political feasibility of those different roles and capabilities. And I really found it to be a very, very useful and comprehensive reference for these issues.

Dr. Cliff’s findings come in the form of a recommended overall security role for Japan in coming years, and a set of specific capabilities that would be required to play that role. The report also includes recommendations on what the United States, as Japan’s most important ally, should do to facilitate Japan’s assumption of the new security role. Dr. Cliff does not believe that his report is the final word on the topic, but rather hope that it represents the beginning of a discussion involving not just the governments of the United States and Japan, but also the interested publics in both countries as well as elsewhere in the region.

And this is not an uncontroversial set of propositions, as you no doubt can surmise from the discussion – from the way I framed the discussion already and from what you’re likely to hear. So to that end, we hope to have a very lively and frank discussion today. We very much welcome your thoughts and perspectives on the findings of this report.

I’d like to now briefly introduce Assistant Secretary of Defense David Shear. He is assistant secretary for Asian and Pacific security affairs at the Department of Defense. He’s responsible for defense and security policy in the Asian-Pacific region. He’s just back from a trip with Secretary of Defense Ash Carter. Prior to his confirmation in July 2014, Mr. Shear served for 32 years in the Foreign Service of the United States, most recently as the United States ambassador to Vietnam. But he also has served in Japan, in Beijing and in Kuala Lumpur. In Washington, he served in the State Department’s Offices of Japanese, Chinese and Korean Affairs, and as the special assistant to the undersecretary for political affairs. He previously served in a range of positions also in the State Department regarding Asian matters.

We will – this is a public event. It’s being broadcast live. And we’re also very active on Twitter, and we want you to be. So the hashtag we’re using for this event is hashtag #FutureJapan. And you’ll see a lot of tweets coming from @ACScowcroft, the Scowcroft Center’s Atlantic Council account. So, without further ado, I’d love to welcome Mr. Shear to the stage. (Applause.)

DAVID SHEAR: Thanks very much. Thank you very much, Barry. And congratulations to Roger on the issue, it’s a fine report on Japan and the region.

Perhaps you’re all wondering what it’s like to work for DOD after working 32 years as a diplomat in the State Department. And the only answer I can offer to you on that is that you know you’re still new at DOD when you go to a meeting, you sit in the wrong seat, you don’t know anybody at the table, and you can’t understand anything they say. (Laughter.) But in the first few months of my job there, which were very rewarding and continue to be very rewarding, I think I’ve overcome just about all of those, except maybe the understanding part. There are a lot of acronyms I still need to look up on occasion.

But, again, heartfelt thanks to Barry, and for the Scowcroft Center for inviting me to join you today. The release of Roger’s report on Japan’s future security roles and capabilities is very timely, coming on top of a string of alliance successes this year, including the release of new defense guidelines and Japan’s passage of historic security legislation this fall. The report’s recommendations are spot-on and dovetail with many of our ongoing efforts to enhance operational cooperation and increase the capabilities of the Japan Self-Defense Forces. And I’ll discuss some of these efforts later in my remarks.

The underlying rationale for our efforts and the U.S. rebalance to the Asia-Pacific is the understanding of the changing security environment in this economically vital region. The U.S. remains a strong Pacific power and is fundamentally linked to the political and security order in Northeast Asia. As Secretary Carter has said, the United States seeks to promote a regional order in which everyone can prosper, everyone can rise, and everyone can win – including China, including Japan, and including the rest of the region.

It should be a region that respects the rule of law, freedom of navigation, and freedom of lawful commerce. It should be a region that features an open, inclusive security architecture in which participants don’t resort to coercion in order to achieve their goals. And of course, it should be a region that not only respects the rule of law internationally, but one that respects human rights. Our security strategy is designed to pursue these goals. Under the president’s rebalance to Asia, we’re placing a larger portion of our air and naval assets in the Pacific. We’re putting our most capable military platforms in the region. And we will be developing new technologies to design – designed to meet regional challenges.

At the same time that we are watching Chinese military modernization and China’s activities in the East and South China Seas, we are engaging the Chinese in order to build trust, increase transparency, and minimize the risk of misunderstanding and miscommunication. It’s a complicated relationship with both cooperative and competitive elements. And those cooperative and competitive elements are reflected in the military-to-military relationship, as they are in the relationship as a whole.

We’re also strengthening our alliances with Japan, Australia and the Philippines, and seeking new strategic partners, like Vietnam. Our allies and partners in the region view the United States as a guarantor of their independence, and economically as a market and source of investment that can help them maintain diverse trade relationships. This is why the Trans-Pacific Partnership is important strategically as well as economically.

Our allies and partners want the U.S. to remain strongly engaged in the region economically, politically, and militarily, across the board. And they’re willing to more strongly partner with us in order for us to remain strong in the region. So the rebalance is not just a military strategy. It is a whole-of-government strategy that brings together all the tools of statecraft to more vigorously and more systematically pursue our interests in the East Asia Pacific and with our allies, like Japan.

And of course, nowhere is all this more true than with Japan. As I noted earlier in my remarks, this has been a pivotal year in our alliance, and we’re poised to do big things with our Japanese partners with the release of the new bilateral defense guidelines. Let me give you a brief history of the guidelines. You could call it a personal history, because as I was engaged in negotiating the current guidelines in the past few years I was also engaged in the past year – since I came onboard as assistant secretary – I was also engaged in negotiating the 1996 defense guidelines.

The guidelines which we – which were first drafted in 1978 reflected Japan’s growing regional influence and allowed our forces to cooperate more closely in the face of the Soviet threat. They were updated in 1997 to reflect the end of the Cold War, and Japan’s growing ability to defend itself. Our alliance has – I said 1996 – we negotiated them through 1996 and released them in 1997. And our alliance had developed significantly since the drafting of the first 1978 guidelines. And they have – or, the alliance has developed significantly just since the drafting of the 1997 guidelines.

The new guidelines released this past spring will help us to respond flexibly to the full scope of challenges we face in the Asia-Pacific region, as well as to further expand cooperation on regional and global issues. Under the new guidelines, we’ll significantly strengthen our bilateral framework for coordination. In doing so, our armed forces and the self-defense forces will be able to swiftly respond to situations in any phase from peacetime to contingencies that might have an important impact on Japan’s security.

This is the establishment of the alliance coordination mechanism, which is a more thorough and more systematic way of coordinating on a whole-of-government basis on both sides in response to any range of contingencies. And it’s the closest thing we have in Japan to the combined forces command in Korea. We don’t have a combined forces command with the Japanese, but the alliance coordination mechanism will certainly be an improvement over its predecessor and will take us closer to being able to coordinate more thoroughly and more systematically.

While the core of the guidelines is the U.S. commitment to Japan’s peace and security, we also believe that Japan’s ready to do more regionally and globally. The guidelines will enable greater alliance contributions to international security initiatives wherever appropriate. So this is a global alliance. It’s not just a regional alliance. We will also continue to identify new bilateral missions, conduct exercises which will strengthen the interoperability of our two forces, and strengthen stability and cooperation in emerging domains like space and cyberspace. The report being released today aptly notes several major areas where we are actively seeking to expand operational cooperation over the coming years, particularly maritime domain awareness, logistic support, missile defense, and anti-submarine warfare.

One thing I’ve learned in my 30-year-plus career if that you don’t talk about U.S.-Japan alliance relations without talking about the realignment of our facilities. While we’re updating the software of the alliance through upgrades to the guidelines, our efforts at placing our hardware in the region is another major bilateral effort. A key part, but not the only part of it, is our realigning of U.S. forces in Japan. From our perspective, realignment is a very good story.

And I’ll share a fact with you: Four of our largest overseas peacetime military construction projects since World War II are in the Asia-Pacific region – Marine Corps Air Station Iwakuni, Futenma Replacement Facility, our facilities in Guam, and in future, the facilities we will be using with the Australians in northern Australia. These facilities will help us maintain a regional posture that is operationally resilient, geographically dispersed, and politically sustainable.

All of these projects also reflect our desire to significantly reduce our footprint on Okinawa to lessen our impact on local communities. We also have a plan with Japan to return upwards of 2,500 acres of land in Okinawa once we have finished consolidating our forces. We look forward to ensuring that the consolidation plan for our forces on Okinawa is implemented in a timely manner.

Lastly, I’d like to share a few thoughts on our alliance and regional – further thoughts on our alliance and regional cooperation. The U.S. commitment to Japan is unwavering. During President Obama’s visit to Japan last year, the president reiterated our commitment to Japan and affirmed that Article 5 of our security treaty covers all territories under Japan’s administration, including the Senkaku Islands. This delivered a strong, unambiguous message to Japan and to the region. And as we move forward, regional cooperation will be of utmost importance to growing our alliance with Japan. It’s imperative that we and our regional allies and partners work together.

I’m pleased with the growing relationship between Japan and the ASEAN countries, particularly in the area of maritime capacity building. We also have strong trilateral relationships with India and Australia, the latter of which was on full display during the Shangri-La Dialogue, when Secretary Carter met trilaterally with his ROK and Japanese counterparts. Both of these trends will continue to grow in importance. However, it’s most important that the trilateral partnership between the U.S., Japan, and the Republic of Korea continue to progress.

I was very pleased that we signed a trilateral information memorandum of understanding with Japan and the ROK late last year. Secretary Carter, as I mentioned, also had a very positive and productive trilateral meeting with his Japanese and ROK counterparts at the Shangri-La Dialogue in early June of this year. We look forward to seizing the momentum to operationalize the information sharing arrangement and build a robust and resilient trilateral relationship that will continue to promote regional deterrence.

I, of course, look forward to working with our Japanese counterparts, with the support of invaluable organizations like the Scowcroft Center and the Atlantic Council, on all of these vital efforts. Our work on strengthening the alliance reaffirms that the U.S.-Japan alliance is and will continue to be the cornerstone of peace and prosperity in the Asia-Pacific. Thank you very much. (Applause.)

HARRY KAZIANIS: Coming right here?

MR. SHEAR: Would you like me to sit?

MR. KAZIANIS: Oh, all right. OK. Well, good afternoon, everybody. I hope everybody’s doing well. And thank you for coming out, on a Friday, no less. That’s sometimes always a tough one in Washington. So thank you for that. I would urge everybody to sort of follow the conversation online with our hashtag #FutureJapan.

So with that, thank you, Mr. Secretary, for joining us. We appreciate it.

MR. SHEAR: Thanks for having me.

MR. KAZIANIS: Excellent. So I’m going to ask you maybe one or two questions. Then, of course, I’m going to open up to our wonderful audience. The first one I think I think I’d like to ask is maybe a very short question, but probably the toughest of all. When we think about the U.S.-Japan alliance, what would you say is the greatest security challenge that the alliances faces collectively?

MR. SHEAR: Well, I think the North Korean threat is certainly a challenge that we continue to face daily. As Secretary Carter said when he was there, North Korea is up close and dangerous, because of its nuclear activities, because of its missile developments, because of the threat of the proliferation of those capabilities, and because of the uncertainty associated with the current regime in Pyongyang. All of these combine to produce a threat not only to the ROK, but to Japan, the region, and to the United States as well.

MR. KAZIANIS: OK, fair enough. The second question for you, Secretary Carter’s been a big believer and supporter in something called the third offset strategy, which I’m also a big fan of. What things can the United States and Japan do together to sort of – to see that through, and in what ways is Japan sort of involved in the third offset?

MR. SHEAR: Well, the third offset is an effort to ensure that we maintain technological superiority in our military capabilities. It is patterned intellectually on previous offsets, including the way in which we developed stealth technologies, for example, in the ’70s and ’80s. And our effort is very much geared toward developing and fielding the new cutting-edge technologies that will maintain U.S. military superiority in the future. So that’s what the third offset is all about.

With regard to Japan, I think there are opportunities for us to cooperate more in technology areas that can contribute to the third offset, that can contribute to strengthening of capabilities of both sides. And as we – as we develop this, we will – we will be speaking more broadly with our Japanese allies. We already – we’re already conducting significant cooperation in military technology, including with the SM-3 missile. So whatever we do in the future with the Japanese in terms of joint technology and coproduction, we already have a very strong base.

MR. KAZIANIS: A final question and then I will open it up to our wonderful audience. So one of the things that has gained some traction in the press is some challenges, obviously, with these Japanese economy. There’s obviously a lot of long term, shall we say, headwinds – an aging population, a declining population. Here today we’re talking about different ways to enhance Japan’s security profile, and at the same time we would be enhancing the U.S.-Japan alliance. In what ways will some of the problems with the Japanese economy either hinder or create some challenges there?

MR. SHEAR: Well, I’m not an economist, so I can’t speak authoritatively about current Japanese economic conditions.

MR. KAZIANIS: Fair enough. (Chuckles.)

MR. SHEAR: But I think Japanese participation in the Trans-Pacific Partnership is a watershed. It’s a watershed for Japanese-U.S. bilateral economic relations. I think it’s a watershed for Japan’s relationship with the other TPP partners in the region. And as I suggested in my speech, TPP is not just economically beneficial, it’s strategic. It’s strategic for us and it’s strategic, I believe, for the Japanese as well. So I think the conclusion – the implementation of TPP will mark a very significant new effort for us to strengthen our presence in the region, not just militarily but economically and politically as well. And I think that applies to Japan.

MR. KAZIANIS: OK, fair enough. So I think we have time for a few questions. So whoever would like to jump in? Sir, you first, please.

Q: Thank you. Is there any attention being given to selling defensive arms to Vietnam – speaking to the former ambassador to Vietnam? And is there any attention being given to furthering economic cooperation on oil and gas drilling between Japan and China, apart from these tensions?

MR. SHEAR: With regard to the sale of arms to Vietnam, last year we partially lifted the arms embargo on Vietnam for articles relating to maritime security. We have as yet had no major sales to Vietnam, but this is going to take time. We have different systems. The Vietnamese have procured their weapon systems – their foreign-procured weapon systems from others for many years. So we’re getting to know each other. And as we get to know each other, I expect our defense cooperation in this area will strengthen.

A notable development, not only with Vietnam, but with other ASEAN partners, particularly ASEAN claimants in the South China Sea, I think will be the Maritime Security Initiative, which is a new initiative in the FY 2016 NDAA, which will allow us to greatly strengthen our partner capacity building efforts in Southeast Asia, in the region. And as part of that, we will be coordinating I think much more closely with our allies, Japan and Australia, in our efforts to build partner capacity.

And certainly developing strong defense cooperation and the possibilities for arms transfers will be part of that. It won’t be all of it. Building maritime law enforcement capacity will be another part of it. But certainly the MSI will, I think greatly strengthen our efforts in the region. And they be will be congruent, I think, with efforts made by Japan and Australia as well.

MR. KAZIANIS: OK, thank you. So I think we have time for maybe two more. And if you could state your name and affiliation, that’s always helpful. Please.

Q: Thank you. Junko Tanaka with NHK.

How important is it for you to involve the allies in your current effort and operation in the South China Sea? And more specifically, how do you see the role of Japan on this issue, whether the participation in FON operation in the future, or more broader defense cooperation with the countries in the region? Thank you.

MR. SHEAR: Well, as Secretary Carter has said, freedom of navigation is a fundamental principle. It is something we wish to defend, not only regionally but globally as well. And we do so globally through the exercise of freedom of navigation operations. These take place not only in East Asia, but they take place globally. We welcome the assertion of maritime rights under international law by others, including allies, everywhere – not just in the region but elsewhere – given the importance we place on freedom of navigation and freedom of overflight. So in general, we support efforts to bolster freedom of navigation as an international principle.

Specifically with regard to Japan, I can’t speak for the Japanese government, so I’m not going to comment on what they may be planning in the future. I do know that the Maritime Self-Defense Force operates not only in the East China Sea, but in the South China Sea. And we just concluded a significant trilateral exercise with Japan and India called the Malabar exercise in the Bay of Bengal just a couple weeks ago. And I believe a Japanese warship steamed along with the Teddy Roosevelt battlegroup back from that for a time.

So we operate with the Japanese globally. We operate with the Maritime Self-Defense Force throughout the Pacific, and now in the Indian Ocean as well. So there will be lots of opportunities for us to work together in the future, I think.

MR. KAZIANIS: All right. We’ve got time for one more. Any takers? Sir, please.

Q: Thank you. My name is Hermetz Levi (ph).

I just wondered if you can elaborate a bit about the U.S. giving more freedom or more opportunity for the Okinawa people. Thank you.

MR. SHEAR: Well, as I suggested in my speech, we are very sensitive to Okinawan concerns. And our efforts to realign our bases and our forces in Okinawa result from that. I hope that we don’t forget that the construction of the Futenma Replacement Facility in Henoko is designed to replace the Futenma facility in Futenma. It is designed to reduce the noise and the traffic – air traffic in the vicinity of Futenma, which the population in the area has grown considerably over the past couple of decades. So the effort to build a new base at Henoko is an effort to replace the Futenma Marine air facility to Futenma.

And I think our other efforts, including the movement of Marines from Okinawa to Guam and Australia, is a major story that needs more attention. I think that’s one reason why Chief Cabinet Secretary Suga recently traveled to Guam to see the results of American and Japanese efforts and expenditures on Guam, designed to allow us to move Marines from Okinawa elsewhere. So this is a good news story. And it’s partly designed to make our forces in Okinawa more politically sustainable.

MR. KAZIANIS: All right. Well, I think we’ll have to leave it there. Mr. Secretary, thank you for your time. Always a pleasure, sir.

MR. SHEAR: Thank you very much.

MR. KAZIANIS: If you could give a round of applause for our guest that would be great. (Applause.) Thank you, sir.

MR. SHEAR: Sorry I can’t stay longer.

MR. KAZIANIS: (Chuckles.) So if you could just give us maybe a few minutes, folks, just to get some more chairs up here and get set up, and we’ll be right on to the next part of our presentation.


MR. KAZIANIS: All right. Well, thank you for bearing with us. That was lightning fast. (Laughs.)

So I’d like to just take a few minutes to talk a little bit about sort of the report – and it’s a really, really excellent report – talk a little bit about Roger, and then sort of move onto the presentation today. Obviously the question that we’re all asking here when we’re thinking about this report is can Japan become sort of a greater regional security leader? And I think that’s an important question for a lot of different, very obvious reasons.

Obviously there a tremendous amount of challenges coming from North Korea, whether we’re talking about nuclear weapons, the ability to deliver those nuclear weapons. Obviously, there’s a lot of talk in the press about different delivery systems, possibly ballistic weapons that could hit either the U.S. homeland or Japan – so something that’s obviously very timely. We talk a lot about weapons – different types of weapons of mass destruction, biological, chemical that the North Korean regime could be developing. So those things are all obviously very timely when we talk about Japan and the U.S.-Japan alliance.

But there’s also a lot of other challenges that have been in the news a lot lately – whether we’re talking about China, issues in the East China Sea that maybe have come off the news cycle a little bit, but are obviously still there. Obviously challenges in the South China Sea that are in the news basically every day at this point when we’re talking about freedom of navigation operations, the flow of trade. So all these things are obviously very important, not only to Japan but the U.S.-Japan alliance. So obviously this report is extremely timely.

So, Roger, I’m going to admit, first of all, I’m a member of your fan club – maybe the president of your fan club. No, there is a Roger Cliff fan club, I promise you. Just to share a just a brief sort of history, when I was in grad school, one of the reasons that I got very interested in sort of China’s military buildup is I read a wonderful report by Roger Cliff that talked about some of the different challenges when it comes to Chinese anti-access/area denial. So if there’s any students in the audience, you can find this report on the RAND website. It is really a classic and sort of builds the narrative of some of the different challenges the United States is going to have when it comes to power projection, different security challenges in Asia. So another great report by Roger Cliff.

But this report is really quite excellent, quite timely, has a lot of great recommendations on not only where the U.S.-Japan alliance can go in 2020, just five years away, but where Japan can go in the future, what capabilities will it need to develop? So there’s a lot there and I really encourage you to give it a solid read. So now, I will hand it over to Roger.

ROGER CLIFF: How long do I have?

MR. KAZIANIS: You have 10 minutes, sir.

MR. CLIFF: Ten minutes? OK.

MR. KAZIANIS: Ten minutes.

MR. CLIFF: I will do my best.


MR. CLIFF: So yeah, I thought it might be useful for me to give just a little bit of background to why I decided to embark on this particular study. And it was really occasioned by a couple of developments. One was the election of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe in Japan, who came into office promising to revitalize the Japanese economy, but also in fact in the beginning he was even talking about revising the Japanese constitution to allow for more latitude in the use of Japan’s armed forces. In the end, they have chosen to go a different route in terms of reinterpreting rather than revising the constitution. But nonetheless, that has succeeded and, as Assistant Secretary Shear said, was recently reacted into legislation.

But the other observation was – another project I was working on at the time was a study of China’s future military capabilities. And as I was conducting that analysis for the book, which is now available for purchase from Cambridge University Press and on – (laughter) – was that subtle enough? (Laughter.)

MR. KAZIANIS: It’s good. It’s good.

MR. CLIFF: In the course of writing that book, it really became very clear to me what an important role Japan had to play in potential future conflict scenarios in East Asia, particularly those involving China, although North Korea is always a factor as well. And so that was kind of the genesis of this project. And the MacArthur Foundation very generously has funded it.

And, oh, I should mention I also had a couple of concerns going on, which was with this renewed push to expand both the amount of resources going to Japan’s security forces and also the easing of restrictions on the circumstances under which those forces could be used, it created both opportunities and risks for Japan, I felt. And one of the risks was that rather – that given that the Japanese political system, as a non-Japan specialist understands it, is largely drive by the career bureaucracies and so on, that a lot of the decision making in Japan would be very incremental, there wouldn’t be really enough advantage taken of the new opportunities provided. That was one concern I had, that they would, if you will, sub-optimize the choices they made.

And the other concern was that somehow this could potentially lead to resurgent nationalism in China. Prime Minister Abe is known – or certainly characterized as being nationalist. And so you know, there was also in my mind a concern that Japan would go too far, and maybe become too forward-leaning and aggressive once the shackles were removed. And so I thought it would be useful for an outsider to kind of, as Barry said, try to take an objective look at where Japan ought to be going both in terms of the overall security role it played in the region and the type of capabilities it acquired in order to play that role.

I was going to bore you with details about my methodology. I will skip that. (Laughter.) Round of applause. (Laughter.) But I will say that I did – as I mentioned, I primarily have focused on China in the past. I’m not a Japan expert. So I did talk to a lot of smart people that are Japan experts and East Asia security experts. And in the U.S., and that includes Dr. Smith, in the interests of full disclosure, although she’s not responsible for any of my findings, and also officials and academics and researchers in Japan. And Professor Michishita was one of the people I talked to on a trip to Japan. And we’re fortunate that he’s now in the U.S. and able to share his thoughts with us. But I also looked at the broader trends that were going on in the region in terms of security developments, economic developments, technological trends, and so on.

And so to skip to my findings, I would say, you know, maybe the biggest finding is the one that’s almost unstated in the report, which is I was actually quite reassured. I found that in fact most of the decisions that are being made by the Japanese government, some of which have already been implemented and some of which are still under considerations, but I largely agreed with most of them, and I think the Japanese Ministry of Defense and other security forces actually compare quite favorably to their counterparts in other countries, including the U.S. in their recognition of changed security circumstances and their adaptation to them.

Nonetheless, I did have a few areas where I felt that Japan should go in a different direction than is currently being contemplated. And I’ll describe those in a moment. But overall, my recommendation was that I felt that Japan, the overall role that Japan should take on in the region is what I call a regional security leader, which I define as a nation that can take the lead in organizing multilateral responses to regional security challenges.

So that would differ both on the one hand from the very passive role has tended to play in regional security affairs in the past. On the other hand, I’m also not advocating for Japan to become a fully autonomous security actor with a fully – a complete set of military capabilities and complete freedom of action. And in particular, I recommend that Japan maintain its close alliance with the U.S. and rely on the U.S. to provide certain key capabilities.

In the report, I detail a number of specific areas where Japan’s capabilities ought to increase. I was going to talk about those, but again, in the interests of time, I think I will skip over them. They are nicely summarized in bullet point form in the report, so you can just read the report. But let me talk about a couple of things that I did disagree with current plans of the Japanese government. And one is their interest in acquiring the capability to conduct precision strikes against mobile ground targets. And this is talked about primarily in the context of what would Japan do if threatened by North Korean ballistic missiles.

And so the response has been, well, we want to have an independent capability to find those missile launchers and destroy them on the ground before they can launch their missiles at Japan. Now, although that’s certainly understandable, particularly given that those missiles could potentially be armed with chemical, biological, or even nuclear warheads, however this is a capability and a mission that the U.S. military has been investment billions of dollars in over the past two and a half decades. And even today, our ability as Americans to carry it out is quite limited. And therefore I – you know, although I understand the desire to have this capability in Japan, I simply think it is not a good investment of Japan’s constrained defense resources.

A second area is – in some Japanese documents they will make reference to what are called multipurpose ships. And this is a reference to developing an amphibious assault carrier, similar to the LHAs and LHDs that are operated by the U.S. Marine Corps, that are capable of carrying not just helicopters but also vertical take-off – or Short Take-Off Vertical Landing, STOVL, aircraft, like the AV-8 harriers that we currently operate and the F-35 – Marine Corps versions of the F-35 joint strike fighter that is coming into service.

And again, my feeling is although these ships have a definite utility, they are extremely expensive, they cost about $4 billion a piece here in the U.S. I expect they would cost more in Japan. And that doesn’t include the aircraft that would equip them. And in the event of a conflict with a high-end adversary, such as China, they would be highly vulnerable targets. And therefore, I think Japan should defer the acquisition of this capability for now.

So in terms – now, I was – in doing this study, I was really trying to put myself in the shoes of the Japanese, but I think as an American I – and because the U.S. alliance is so important to Japan, it would be remiss for me not to talk about what this means for the U.S. And I derived three implications in particular. One is that the U.S. should be willing to share an increasing amount of sensitive technical and operational data with the Japanese forces. There have been concerns in this area in the past, but Japan has recently enacted legislation that improves their protection, their legal authorities under which they can protect such information.

And one of my other recommendations that Japan also needs to ensure that it has strengthened its cyber defenses. But if Japan does those things, then I think the U.S. should be willing to share both technical data on weapons systems that in some cases has been embargoed from Japan in the past, and also at the day-to-day operational level, to be able to share a common operational picture with the Japanese Self-Defense Forces, but also other security forces, such as the Japan Coast Guard.

Second recommendation which Assistant Secretary Shear also alluded to, is to engage in the joint development of new weapon systems. Because of Japan’s longstanding ban on arms exports, Japan hasn’t been able to do this because if it jointly developed a weapon system then it would have to be – part of it would exported and Japan until very recently was not able to do that. In the past year, they have lifted this self-imposed restriction and are now able to do this. And both the U.S. and Japan should take advantage of this to jointly develop weapons systems. This will reduce development costs for both and allow the technological strengths of both countries to come into play.

And finally, again, Assistant Secretary Shear mentioned this one as well, is that the U.S. needs to ensure that its extended security guarantees to Japan remain credible. I talked about Japan deferring capability to flying mobile missile launchers. Well, the corollary of that is that the U.S. must retain that capability, both to deter such missile launches in the first place, but also to ensure any adversary, particularly one that might contemplate attacking Japan with nuclear, chemical or biological weapons, that the U.S. will have the ability and the will to respond and inflict unacceptable damage on such a country.

So to sum up, my overall argument is I believe Japan has the potential to play a significantly greater role in regional security, and that the region really – this is a time when the region needs Japan to step up. The United States can’t do it all on its own anymore, and no other country in the region has really the potential to play a positive role in regional security like Japan does. And therefore, the United States should not simply allow this, but should in fact encourage and support Japan in doing so. Thank you.

MR. KAZIANIS: All right. Well, thank you, Roger. So next we’re going to bring in two discussants to comment a little bit about the report. I would like to welcome Shiela Smith. She’s a senior fellow for Japan studies at the Council on Foreign Relations. Shiela, take it away.

SHIELA SMITH: Thank you, Harry. I’m delighted to be here to help celebrate the publication of Roger’s report. Roger came to talk to me early on in the project. I’m I was delighted to see the report and to learn a great deal from it. So I’m happy to be here. My job was actually to help with the political factors – some of the political variables.

And I was – I want to wholeheartedly support the conceptualization that you have for Japan as a regional security leader, as defined as the organizer or the leader helping to organize what I think is going to be critical for the future stability of the Asia-Pacific, which is a collective effort not only to manage the tensions that are emerging in the region effectively, but also to forestall some of the kinds of trends that we can see beginning to emerge both in terms of maritime behavior.

But also, you know, we’re not all pointed at China here, but looking down further in Southeast Asia you can start to see much more energized economies getting much more interested in beefing up their military capabilities. And I think given all these factors of change in the region, it’ll be important for a collective effort to build norms, laws, particularly, but to build institutions as well to resolve disputes. So I absolutely believe that Roger has got us focused in the right direction here.

I do think – you know, just to – you mentioned two very political concerns as you approach this project. One was the incrementalism, the bureaucratic policy making process. And the other was this kind of right-wing nationalism. And let me talk a little bit about those two concerns that you put forward. You know, Japan’s track record so far – and, you know, your report is looking five, 10, 15 years out, in that medium time range. If you look at the last 10 to 15 years of what Japan has managed to do in the security realm, they’re actually quite considerable achievements.

So if you look at the nuclearization of the North Korean, right, the proliferation of missiles, Japan has responded adequately and invested a great deal of its resources in ballistic missile defense. It has reoriented in some ways the way it manages crisis, a potential crisis emanating from the north. It passed in 2005 requisite legislation that allowed it to reorganize a ballistic missile response legally under the constitution. So there’s been a lot of changes, even though we think of Japan as this very slow, plodding kind of adapter to the region. In fact, when it comes to specific and very visible threats to Japan and to the alliance, Japan responds very well.

The Chinese maritime activities, we all know, have been very energetic in and around the waters surrounding Japan, both from survey and research aspects, right, in terms of a contest over the maritime boundary. Japan has responded with a new law of its own, its new oceans law. It has tracked and done its own sort of survey responses. It has built the coast guard at least specifically dedicated towards being more capable in the East China Sea. And as the Chinese themselves began to deploy around the Senkaku Islands, Japan has yet again upped its ISR capability and has put an additional investment into its coast guard.

Again, to commend another aspect of Rogers report to those of you who haven’t read it yet, he’s not just talking about military power in the report. And I think that’s an important piece of understanding his approach. He’s looking at civilian, maritime, and other kinds of capabilities that will enable Japan to play the leading role that he suggests. I also want to point out that the Japanese themselves, that the navy and the Maritime Self-Defense Force, has also taken on a longer-range mission in the Gulf of Aden, the anti-piracy mission.

And we don’t think about that often when we think of North Korea or China, but it is an important piece of the puzzle, as Assistant Secretary Shear was mentioning. Japan now operates and exercises with the United States and with India in the Indian Ocean. But its navy has the capability at projection, right, to operate effectively and to conduct missions collectively with others, even outside what we normally think of as the Asia-Pacific. So again, we all know in this room since we’re sitting in Washington that the alliance has also responded. In fact, Japan initiated this latest round of discussions with Washington about upgrading the alliance the U.S.-Japan Defense Cooperation Guidelines.

So, yes, the Japanese decision making system is bureaucratic, but it hasn’t always – and incremental – but it has not failed, I think, in many ways to understand the challenges that are confronting Japan and to respond in a meaningful way. The other piece that you don’t mention in your report, but I think it’s important for those of us who are all watching Japan, is the political decision making process itself has undergone some revision. We’ve all watched it, most notably, under Prime Minister Abe – a new national security strategy, a new national security council, new secrecy laws to speak a little bit to our ability to operate and to work effectively with Japan.

There is – the guidelines, again, fall under this. And also inside the Defense Ministry itself, the uniformed and civilian leadership in the policy making process has also undergone its own revisions of the way in which it works, the uniformed and civilian policymakers work together. So institutionally Japan is better prepared, better organized now to deal with the kinds of crisis management scenarios it may confront. And that, I think, is an equally as important as the hard power kind of adaptation that Japan’s made.

Let me talk a little bit about the second factor that you were worried about, which is nationalism and the debate over the constitution. When we’re outside of Japan, we either see the constitution as, you know, constraining Japan too much, and yet when we see people advocating for revision we get a little worried – (laughter) – that the shackles are going to be unleashed and we’ll have this, you know, Japan that can do anything it wants.

The goldilocks kind of, you know, too hot or too cold version of the constitution and what it does for Japan is probably something we should avoid. I don’t think we should underestimate, however, public sentiment in Japan. And I think the political landscape in Japan today is very different from the 1955 system that we’re used to, which is largely an LDP-dominated political system. You have new parties rising and falling, some of them on the left, some of them are little bit more conservative. I think there’s more fluidity, frankly, in Japanese political articulation of Japanese interests, including issues related to the constitution or identity-focused – national identity-focused issues.

I think we don’t yet see, at least in my personal view – I don’t yet see a lot of advocates that this should translate into military power or an independent Japan. I don’t see that, you know, alignment of kind of some of these ideational issues or nationalist issues with military power, per se. I do however, and I wrote about this in the book that I wrote this year, I see some areas where you can see nationalist leaders on the right pick up issues and get a lot more political play in Japan than in the past. Yasukuni Shrine is one of them. The Senkaku Island dispute is another. So I think we should be alert to it. And I think the interaction between Japan and its neighbors is another piece of the reactive nationalisms of Northeast Asia. But I don’t think we should be too sanguine about. But I want to at least reassure you in the sense that I don’t see this translating into an advocacy for greater military power or greater autonomous defense – yet, anyway.

So let’s – and let me conclude with a couple of comments on what do I think is going to be easier and more difficult for Japanese political leaders? I mean, Mr. Abe, of course, has always had a very strong perspective on collective self-defense – the right of collective self-defense. He advocated for this in 2006 during his first term in office. He has also – he inherited the island dispute with China from his predecessor, Mr. Noda. But it was under Prime Minister Noda that we had the request for a review of the guidelines and a strengthening of the alliance. So again, a lot of people say Mr. Abe is the key catalyst, but I think we may be underestimating the consensus behind some of this defense policy reforms, at least.

So I think it’s going to be easier for Japanese leaders today of any stripe, frankly, to enhance civilian maritime capability – Japan Coast Guard, for example. I think it’s going to be very easy for Japanese political leaders to advocate that Japan be more aware. So ISR-type activities, support for general integration with us, information-sharing, those kind of things, Japan advocating for and supporting maritime domain awareness all feeds into a sense I think most Japanese political leaders have that Japan has to be more prepared and has to raise the level of its preparedness and its readiness. And I think you have a fairly strong consensus behind ballistic missile defense. So anything that’s related to advancing that cause, that mission, or technological enhancements, as you mentioned, I think is not going to be a political problem.

More difficult is going to be the exercise, I think, of the right of collective self-defense. We do have new laws in Japan, but it is a limited vision, I think, for allowing the self-defense force to work with us, and with the PKO and with potential partners in the region. And I think at each decision making point when collective self-defense will be raised, you will have a healthy debate in the Japanese parliament about the scope, the mission, and the objectives of that implementation.

I think there’s still tentativeness in Japan about any kind of perception of a military confrontation with China. So again, whether you’re on the conservative side or the liberal side of the Japanese political spectrum, I think you’re going to have caution when it comes to potential military interactions with China. That being said, I think there’s also a pretty strong consensus in closer U.S.-Japan cooperation, in dealing with the very complex nature of Chinese behavior and expansion – military expansion.

I don’t think you have any support in Japan for Japanese participation in conflict in the Middle East. And that’s different than previous, I think, eras in Japanese politics. But I don’t see on either side of the spectrum, or in the middle for that matter, any effort to engage in coalition activities in the Middle East.

What I think is not likely, and I conclude with this, is where I think this is off of the spectrum of what’s likely in the next 10 years. And again, this is barring any massive change in the current security climate in Japan, right? Barring a war, barring a conflict, barring a failure of the alliance, right? I don’t think you will have a sound debate in Japan over the acquisition of nuclear weapons. I don’t think there’s any interest in moving in that direction, or independent strike capability, frankly, except for perhaps a shared limited strike capability. I don’t think you’ll find in Japan much advocacy for the full lifting of constraints on the Self-Defense Forces and the exercise of military power by the government. And I don’t think you’ll see any kind of effort or advocacy for preemption in Japan.

So I think you have a political consensus. Even in the most extreme right wing you don’t hear any of these issues being treated seriously as enhancing – as a policy agenda for enhancing Japanese security. So I think we can rest assured that so long as the U.S.-Japan alliance adequately ensures Japan’s security that the political spectrum in Japan is not going to veer off and take Japan in a direction that might make the United State concerned.

But thank you. It’s a wonderful report.

MR. CLIFF: Thank you.

MR. KAZIANIS: All right. Well, thank you, Shiela. Always excellent commentary. So next I’m going to turn it over to Professor Michishita, who is Japan scholar in the Asia Program at the Woodrow Wilson Center for – actually, the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars. Professor, thank you.

NARUSHIGE MICHISHITA: Thank you very much for that introduction. Congratulations, Roger, for the excellent report, which was – I have read it and it was accurate, it was comprehensive, and it was thought-provoking. And it was really – I didn’t have anything to disagree with. So I learned a lot from it. So let me talk a little bit about what Japan has been doing in terms of our response to, you know, the growing threat of North Korea and China in order to complement and supplement in some sense Roger’s report.

First, I think Japan is seeing a growing threat coming from North Korea in terms of the fact that North Korea might have – there is a larger – (inaudible) – now that North Korea has actually acquired usable miniaturized nuclear weapons, which could be seen in a third nuclear test conducted in February 2013. And actually, after the – just after the test, North Korean authority declared that it had used miniaturized and lighter version of nuclear device.

And also, North Korea has been testing more realistic – operationally realistic launch flight tests of another missile, which is capable of reaching most part of Japan. For example, in March 2014, North Korea for the first time launched two Nodong missiles from the northwestern part of North Korea, which North Korea had already – always been launching Nodong missiles from east coast, but now it’s launching those missiles from deeper inside its territory, which it was, I would say, more realistic in wartime.

So faced with this growing threat coming from North Korea, I would say Japan has been taking three measures, or have taken three security measure to cope with it. One is a ballistic missile defense, which Roger talked about in his report. We have – Japan has two different systems, sea-based SM-3 and land-based Patriot PAC-3. And it is now trying to upgrade the sea-based system to one with more agility, you know, speed, and accuracy, which is called SM-3 Block IIA.

And second element is, which actually Roger did mention in his report, is the introduction of civil defense measures, which the Japanese parliament – Japanese parliament enacted civil protection law in 2004. It’s been a while. And based on that law, installed two different warning systems. One is called EMNet (sp), emergency network, which it textbook – sorry – text-based warning system. And the other is a more automated system, called the J-Alert. And those – the Japanese government have activated these systems every time North Korea launched a long-range missile since 2009.

And the third one is certainly a new security – we recently passed a new security legislation with which I think there are now two important missions that the self-defense force can undertake in Korean contingency scenario. One is BMD, which is – in the past, before this law, if North Korea launched missiles against Hawaii or Guam, the missiles would be flying over northern Japan or western part of Japan. But the Self-Defense Force could not – or were not allowed, legally, to shoot down these missiles. That was stupid. But now we will be able to do so. So it’s good news.

Another thing is – actually, I think this is the most important change. But now in case of contingencies, the self-defense force will be able to conduct minesweeping operations in the borders close to North Korea territories. So that will be very important because, you know, one of the most important capabilities that the Self-Defense Force has always maintained is our minesweeping capability. So it’s kind of – Maritime Self-Defense Force does it very well. So now we can be able to make a lot of contributions to the security effort that the U.S. and South Korea will be taking – making in case of conflict.

In terms of our response to – Japan’s response to China, I would say – I mean, the most important security objective of Japan – Japanese government – is to maintain balance of power in the Asia-Pacific region in the face of rising China. And in order to do so, I think we – Japan has a three-pillar security strategy. Our first pillar is to make – is to enhance Japanese capability to undertake more – a larger number of missions in a more effective manner. And in order to do so, I think most of the things that Roger also talked about in this report.

The first one element is an establishment of a national security council, NSC, a Japanese version, in order to streamline and make policymaking process more coherent and effective. A second pillar is lifting of a ban on arms exports. And it was – Roger really talked about this – elaborated on this point in his report. And there are two important consequences of this. One is that now Japan can export arms to friendly countries. And, two, now Japan can participate in joint – international joint development and production of arms. Supposedly that would – with that we will be able to acquire better weapons with lower prices.

The third is element in this first pillar is certainly our collective self-defense, with which now the Self-Defense Force can operate very closely with the countries – armed forces of the countries in the region. In the past, we were operating with U.S. forces, U.S. allies. But we couldn’t operate, for example, with South Korean forces, Australian forces, Indian forces, or Southeast Asian countries forces in a meaningful manner. We could just play – you know, conduct training exercises together, but it was not really a combined or joint operations that we could engage in.

And finally, this is another pillar, which actually Roger didn’t mention this too specifically. But the one change that the Japanese government made was that now – the decision was made in February this year to make it possible for the Japanese government to use off-shore developmental assistance for security policies. And Roger talked about the capacity building effort that Japan is trying to make, but the – you know, which was actually made possible by this change. The ODA has been – you know, has always been one of the most important flagships of Japanese foreign policy. But now – and we have in the past used ODA for strategic purposes. We are talking about providing strategic aid to the countries like Turkey, China, Pakistan, during the Cold War. But now we are doing – we will be able to do so in a more direct manner.

And the second pillar in this strategy is the strengthening of U.S.-Japan alliance. And in that, now that we have the third new defense guidelines with which we’ll be talking about how to share roles, missions, and capabilities – so, how to share a burden and what kind of roles each party will play. And eventually, as we promised in the guidelines in the document, we will be – we will formulate a joint operation plan.

And finally, another important pillar in this strategy is to enhance and strengthen our regional security partnership with countries such as South Korea, Australia, Southeast Asian countries, and India. Why is this important? Because, for example, according to SIPRI data, you know, Stockholm Institution for International Peace Research Institute, in the past 10 years defense expenditure of both the United States and Japan has declined in dollar terms. Whereas, Chinese defense expenditure has grown by almost 170 percent. So we know that even if the U.S. and Japan, you know, stick together and work together, we will not be able to keep competing with China.

So how can we make the ends meet to, you know, invite new friends to our partnership. And so it’s – the good news is India is now in the seventh place in terms of the – you know, the world’s 15 – or the world’s largest defense spenders. So India is in the seventh place. And with its defense expenditure growing by 39 percent in the past 10 years. South Korea is now in the 10th place next to Japan. Japan is now in the ninth place, with its defense spending growing by 34 percent the past decade. And Australia, given its size of population, it’s amazing it’s in the 13th place, doing a great job, with its defense expenditure growing by 27 percent in the past 10 years.

So we are talking about, you know, bringing all the partners together in order to maintain balance of power in this region. And the ultimate goal of doing this is to encourage China to decide to become a responsible peace-loving country, and to do so by peaceful means. Thank you very much.

MR. KAZIANIS: All right. Well, thank you. I think we are just about out of time. Is that right, 1:30?

STAFF: (Off mic.)

MR. KAZIANIS: Excellent. Great. Thank you. So I’d love to open it to the audience for some questions. We could take maybe two or three. Sir, in the back, please. I saw you first. And, of course, state your name and affiliation. That is always helpful.

Q: John Sheldon. I’m with the Atlantic Council.

My question is regarding Japanese industry, the nascent defense industry that we’re seeing. I’ve dealt with Japan issues in regards to space for the past several years. And one of the problems that from a U.S. perspective we find is that industry often has a very poor or ill-disciplined requirements process, and in the end we build equipment or the Japanese build equipment that is not interoperable or is wasteful and not needed and so on. How is it we can engage with Japanese industry from a U.S. perspective to make sure there’s a better requirements discipline to achieve a lot of the things that Roger has been talking about, and not make this some sort of METI-driven Japanese sales drive, but it actually meets the security requirements of the alliance?

MR. KAZIANIS: That’s a great question. Who’d like to jump on that one?

MS. SMITH: Everybody’s looking at me.

MR. CLIFF: No, we’re all looking at you.

MS. SMITH: I can say a couple words. I’m not sure I can answer your question, but we have a new agency that’s been established at the Ministry of Defense that is now dedicated solely to acquisition technology and development issues. The director of that agency, Watanabe, was just in town a couple of weeks ago. And I think he spoke at another institution here publicly. I had a chance to talk to him. His idea, and I think, you know, they’re in the early stage of rationalizing what they’re about to do in terms of implementing the relaxation of these technology transfer issues, right?

But what they want to do in the end is speak to the larger objective that Roger suggested here, which is they have a limited budget. And the only way that can contribute is through technological innovation and enhancement. And so it really is the desire to harness not only for Japan’s national security but for the collective alliance and broader initiative here, is to make what – do what Japan does best, which is innovate and bring its technology to bear in terms of military cooperation.

But the second tier is, how do you engage Japanese industry in this objective with you? And so there’s several concerns. He didn’t note your concern specifically, but one that he did note was the Japanese industry doesn’t have an incentive to innovate and be rewarded for innovation. And so they’re working on, and we’ll see it sometime in the next six months or so, some of the new incentive structures that the government’s going to build into the way in which they engage Japanese defense industry.

The second one, and this is a different issue than what you raised but it’s an important one to remember, is that most of Japan’s defense industry is embedded in a civilian industry, right? It’s not organized the way that ours or European defense industries are organized, which is they are defense industries, and identifiably so. So all of your major manufacturers, or some of your, you know, electronics and more sophisticated ceramics, et cetera, they also produce largely for a civilian market and have a portion of their sales and production and innovation dedicated to military purposes. And that’s going to be an engagement process that this new agency is also going to be directed at.

So it speaks to your concern about how to get them more engaged in doing what they need to do going forward. But it may take some iterations of this new incentive structure to get the changes you are looking for.

MR. CLIFF: If I could just jump on with a couple of other points. So one of mine was about the strategy now that Japan’s Defense Ministry, but also Japan’s defense industries ought to take, which is now that the restrictions are exports – arms exports on Japan have been lifted, one thing to do would be to take everything that’s – all these systems that have been made in Japan in the past, just for the Japanese military, and try to export them. And there may be some examples where there is a market for that, like the Soryu submarines, which they’re trying to sell to Australia.

But I think a better strategy – the international arms market is a highly competitive one. Rather than to say, hey, we’re going to sell whole weapons systems to other people around the world and compete with the Americans the Russians, increasingly the Chinese, the Europeans and so on, would be to take a strategy more akin to what Japan has done in commercial aviation which is, anyone ever flown on a Japanese-made airplane? Actually, we all have because, you know, there are more parts of the Boeing 787, for example, are made in Japan than are made in the U.S. They don’t have the nameplate on the outside, but they’re very deeply embedded in the construction of commercial aircraft.

So I think that should be the model that they take. So how do you get around the whole requirements creep process and so on? You know, but I – you know, at the detail level I’m not an expert in his area, but I think if you get away from the idea that the way we’re going to keep Japan’s defense industries alive is by giving them guaranteed products to produce certain types of weapon systems should be replaced by one. Let’s let them compete on the strengths that they have in world market, but in cooperation with the U.S.

And Assistant Secretary Shear gave the example the SM-3, but also the Patriot missile now has components that are made in Japan. So when the U.S. sells SM-3 Block IIAs or Patriot PAC-3s to anybody, Japan’s getting a piece of the action. And I think that’s the model that Japan should try to follow in the future.

Didn’t mean to cut you off, sir. (Laughs.)

MR. KAZIANIS: So I think we have time maybe just for one more brief question. Please. Right there. The young lady right there.

Q: This is Jiunko (ph), also from Atlantic Council.

And to be – for Japan to be the regional security leader, I’m sure that there must be – there must be agreement from other neighborhood countries, such as ROK and maybe Russia or something. And then as you know, there was kind of historical event which happened before 100 years ago. There was a colonial period at the time. And then there could be some kind of traumatic kind of response from – which we can expect from all the neighborhood countries. Then how could you think that Japan can get the kind of – the agreement to be the regional security leader? Thank you.

MR. KAZIANIS: Go ahead, please.

MR. MICHISHITA: One is that, well, people – some people say that Japan is moving away from pacifism toward militarism. But that’s not true. Japan is actually moving away from isolationism toward internationalism. And if you hear Japanese people saying, we are pacifists, you know, don’t buy into it. Japan has never been, you know, pacifist. It has supported most of the wars that the United States has fought. And it has financed – the Persian Gulf War we provided, massive, $13 billion to the war effort. Pacifists don’t, you know, support wars or finance wars. We did.

And so this is actually isolationism because we – it’s quite convenient for Japan to remain isolated or isolationist because we didn’t have to buy that way. And the U.S. was so dominant that we could rely on the U.S. security umbrella for a long time. And so we could – I wouldn’t say we are free riding, but we are cheap riding, certainly. (Laughter.) And then it was a good deal. And so we didn’t have to put our service men and women in harm’s way. So but the problem is now, as I said, you know, China is growing so rapidly U.S., you know, its growth rate – our growth rate are not, you know, in a shape that – in such that we cannot compete with China without, you know, kind of us doing more.

And another thing is Japan has been trying to persuade particularly South Koreans and the Chinese that we are – trying to convince them that Japan is peace-loving country, but failed. Why? Because one of the reasons is that we are trying to do so by words, not by action, right? We are saying, well, we don’t do anything, so don’t worry. But you know, by doing nothing, you cannot create trust. By doing – taking actions in a responsible and constructive manner, that’s the only way to really convince our neighbors that Japanese intentions are peace loving and we are capable enough to take necessary actions to achieve our constructive and positive goals. So those two combined I think we will be able to do a better job of convincing those countries, our neighbors, by taking responsible, positive actions.

MR. CLIFF: Can I just say something? I was going to answer that question, but his answer is so much better than the one I was going to give, I yield my time to the person on my left. (Laughter.)

MS. SMITH: I was simply going to point out that the definition that Roger presents in his report is leadership through multilateralism, right? It’s not leadership through independent military capability. It’s not leadership through contention, right? It’s leadership in terms of building and sustaining and contributing to multilateral responses to security concerns.

And I think as long as you understand that that’s the definition that Roger is presenting, I think it then – it may not erase all of the issues of contention between South Korea and Japan or between China and Japan in terms of war memory and talking about the past, but in terms of talking about shared security concerns, be it the instability in the Korean Peninsula instigated by the north, be it proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, be it maritime stability issues, then a collective response is really what’s needed. South Korean and even Chinese interests are also at stake here.

And so I think that’s really the conception that we have to bring to bear in the Asia-Pacific that this is for the region’s stability going forward. And I think Japan has an excellent role to play, and has for the last decade – several decades been a strong supporter of a multilateral Asia-Pacific, especially when it comes to the security realm.

MR. KAZIANIS: And I think we will have to leave it there. Can we have a round of applause for our wonderful panel and for Roger Cliff? (Applause.) Excellent. Well, happy Friday, everybody. Thank you so much for coming out.