From DKI APCSS to Harvard to the University of Hawaii


I recently said “a hui hou” (“until we meet again”) to my colleagues at the Daniel K. Inouye Asia-Pacific Center for Security Studies. I’ll be making a transition to a postdoctoral fellowship at Harvard University’s Weatherhead Center for International Affairs and then returning to Honolulu to take up a tenure-track position in the Asian Studies Program at the University of Hawaii at Manoa. I had an amazing time as a faculty member at DKI APCSS, a unique hybrid institution that brings together education, research, and policy under one roof. I look forward to keeping in touch with all of my former colleagues and students!

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International Visitor Leadership Program: Okinawa Delegation

I was happy to be the academic lead for this International Visitor Leadership Program group from Okinawa, Japan. Representatives from the Okinawa Prefectural Government, the Nisei-Nippon Shimbun, Chatan Town Office, and the Kadena Town Base Liaison Section were visiting various locations in the the United States to look at ways to improve cooperation and communication between the US military bases on Okinawa and the local community.  At DKI APCSS, they participated in a roundtable on Asia-Pacific security and the US-Japan Alliance.

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Another successful Asia-Pacific Orientation Course complete!

On June 23, we finished up another successful Asia-Pacific Orientation Course (APOC 17-2) at the Daniel K. Inouye Asia-Pacific Center for Security Studies. We had 148 students from the United States, Australia, Canada, Hong Kong, Japan, Malaysia, New Zealand, the Republic of Korea, Singapore, and Taiwan. It was really a pleasure to work with everyone and to talk to such a diverse group of mid-career security practitioners about trends in the security, economics, and in the Asia-Pacific region. I gave the plenary lecture on Economics & Security in the Asia-Pacific and enjoyed hearing the varied questions from the audience about trade, investment, development assistance, and socioeconomic trends.

A new innovation in this course was a set of sub-regional elective panels covering perceptions of US foreign policy in Northeast Asia, Southeast Asia, South Asia, and Oceania. These were intended to provide short overviews of country-specific views, particularly for those with relatively little experience in a sub-region. I participated in the panel on Northeast Asia, where I had a chance to speak specifically about Japanese perspectives on US foreign policy during the Obama and Trump administrations. My colleagues from DKI APCSS focused on China, Russia, and the two Koreas respectively.


I also gave an updated version of my elective on Contemporary Japanese Security Policy, which situates recent developments under the Abe administration in political, social, and historical context. The lecture begins with a systematic discussion of the security reforms undertaken by Japan since the election of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe in December 2012, starting with the creation of the National Security Council and Japan’s first-ever National Security Strategy and ending with the recent passage of anti-conspiracy legislation. It then provides an analysis of the key domestic and international factors shaping Japan’s security policy and suggests some challenges and opportunities that these changes in security policy may present for the US and for Japan’s neighbors in Asia.


This was the third Asia-Pacific Orientation Course that I’ve taught since joining the Daniel K. Inouye Asia-Pacific Center for Security Studies last year. Each one is a little different, and it’s always very informative to see the shifting mood of the US and of the region reflected in the perspectives of our students. Thanks for the good discussions!

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2017 Global Vision Summit on the South China Sea

On March 4, I was invited by the Pacific and Asian Affairs Council to participate in their 2017 Global Vision Summit. The event brought together 148 high school students from 22 schools on Oahu, Maui, and Hawaii Island to learn about rising tensions in the South China Sea. Together with the staff at PAAC, we helped to develop a negotiation simulation for the students based on past conflicts around the Spratly Islands. The students formed teams to take on the roles of diplomats from China, Vietnam, Singapore, Philippines, Japan, and the United States. I provided the briefing for the student team representing Japan (pictured above) and helped to advise them during their negotiations with the other teams. The other teams were coached by experts from the University of Hawaii at Manoa, US Pacific Fleet, and Pacific Forum CSIS, as well as by my colleagues from the Daniel K. Inouye Asia-Pacific Center for Security Studies. In the end, the students gained a strong appreciation for the difficulty of these issues and of the diplomatic process.

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