Trilateral cooperation among the United States, the Republic of Korea (ROK), and Japan is integral to security, prosperity, and freedom in the Indo-Pacific. To advance this aim, the Scowcroft Center, in partnership with the Korea Foundation, has developed a new agenda for US-ROK-Japan trilateral cooperation, centered on next-generation perspectives. This agenda defines areas where targeted, flexible, and informal cooperative arrangements among the three countries can provide clear mutual benefit, and thus create a foundation for deeper integration moving forward. In particular, this agenda seeks to address issues of both traditional and nontraditional security, such as deterrence, nonproliferation, trade, climate change, and pandemic response.
In pursuit of this agenda, the Scowcroft Center and the Korea Foundation convened three private virtual roundtables with rising American, South Korean, and Japanese junior- and mid-career experts who represent the next generation of policymakers, officials, and private-sector leaders that will operationalize trilateral cooperation over the course of their careers. This issue brief highlights the key insights from these roundtable discussions and offers concrete policy recommendations for US-ROK-Japan trilateral cooperation in three areas: security and defense, science and technology (S&T), and global public goods. At this public launch event, roundtable participants—including the issue brief authors—will discuss the key recommendations developed over the course of the project.
Director (Acting), Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security, Atlantic Council
Associate Director, Indo-Pacific Security Initiative, Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security, Atlantic Council
Program Assistant, Indo-Pacific Security Initiative, Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security, Atlantic Council
PhD Student, Sam Nunn School of International Affairs, Georgia Institute of Technology
Senior Project Lead, DPRK Counterproliferation, CRDF Global
Eleanor Shiori Hughes
Defense Analyst, The Asia Group
Nonresident Senior Fellow, Indo-Pacific Security Initiative, Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security, Atlantic Council
Issue Brief Dec 20, 2022
A next-generation agenda for US-ROK-Japan cooperation
By Lauren D. Gilbert, Kyoko Imai
Trilateral cooperation among the United States, Japan, and South Korea has proved challenging over the years, owing largely to historical tensions. As a result, this project has sought perspectives from next-generation leaders of the three countries to define areas where targeted, flexible, and informal cooperative arrangements can provide clear mutual benefit to all.
The Indo-Pacific Security Initiative, housed within the Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security, fosters a trans-Atlantic-Pacific Community with a dual analytical approach grounded in key traditional and non-traditional security issues in order to develop new strategies and policies for the United States, its allies, and its partners.