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U.S.-Japan Yearbook Research Conference

US-Japan flags in the shape of buttons

Johns Hopkins SAIS’ Edwin O. Reischauer Center for East Asian Studies hosted a conference to highlight the research of six student researchers from the spring 2020 U.S.-Japan in Global Context research course. 

The first panel of students focused on Japan’s security concerns. During the discussion, students spoke on the “Abe Doctrine,” making note of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s “proactive pacifism,” which helped strengthen Japanese foreign policy, especially through bilateral visits. The students also mentioned how Japan will carefully re-militarize to seek the freedom of navigation going forward. The panel concluded with the presentation of the economic statecraft in technological cooperation. The students found that Japan has significant technological asymmetry in the military domain, but has achieved parity commercially, and increasingly seeks U.S. cooperation in the crisis response fields.

The second panel touched on Japan’s socio-economic concerns, the power dynamics in the Arctic, and how Japan seeks to protect its environmental, economic, and maritime interests in the region. The students also discussed the catastrophic birthrate in Japan, stemming from female empowerment, attitudes towards marriage, and economic insecurity, which could result in a forty-million fall in population by 2065. In conclusion, the students presented on the importance of major trade deals to Japan, noting how the Japan-EU EPA as well as the CPTPP is reducing the U.S. role in the Japanese economy.

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