National Asia Research Program Fellowship

I have been named a Fellow with the National Asia Research Program (NARP), a major research and conference program organized by the National Bureau of Asian Research and the Institute for National Strategic Studies at the National Defense University. In order to promote policy-relevant research on Asia and build bridges between academe and the policy community, 20 rising Asia scholars have been selected in a competitive, nationwide process to conduct research in four major areas: geopolitics and grand strategy, international security and military modernization, domestic transitions and transformations, and non-traditional security issues. The program provides financial support for fellows’ research, opportunities to present and publish research, and engagement with policymakers.

University of Hawaii Press Release

2019 National Asia Research Program Fellows

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Lecture at Manoa International Education Week

I was happy to be asked by the Assistant Vice Chancellor for International and Exchange Programs to be part of this year’s Manoa International Education Week. On November 15, I gave a lecture on “Trump, Asia, and the Future of the International Order” in the University of Hawaii Law School Moot Court Room. The lecture discussed areas of continuity and change in US policy toward Asia since the beginning of the Trump administration, highlighting differences in the relative amount of change in economic policy versus security policy toward the region and drawing out some potential implications for the international order more broadly. Thanks to the organizers for putting together this great event!

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Interviews with NBC, New York Times & NPR

I was recently interviewed for NBC News about Shinzo Abe’s current political outlook and his chances of becoming the longest-serving prime minister in Japanese history. I also talked to The New York Times about Japan’s announcement that it had conducted a submarine drill in the contested waters of the South China Sea.

Read the full articles here:

The New York Times, “With a Submarine, Japan Sends a Message in the South China Sea,”  September 18, 2018.

NBC News, “Japan’s scandal-plagued Shinzo Abe eyes his place in history books,” August 19, 2018.

I also talked with Marketplace on NPR about Secretary Pompeo’s announcement of $113 million in US investment to the Indo-Pacific region.

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2017-2018 Talks in Review

Korean Studies Core University Conference:
Diversity, Identity, and Universality in Global Korea, University of Hawaii at Manoa

The 2017-2018 academic year was packed with conferences and talks! This year, I gave the following presentations:

  • “Ripe for Recruitment: Japanese Firms in Global Information Technology Politics.” Annual Meeting of the American Political Science Association, San Francisco (September 1, 2017).
  • “Permeable Policymaking: Foreign Firms, Cross-National Coalitions, and Varieties of Sectoral Liberalization in Japan.” Harvard University (October 17, 2017). link
  • “Between Aid and Arms: Japan’s Emerging Approach to Defense Capacity Building.” Annual Japan Studies Association Conference, Honolulu (January 6, 2018).
  • “Globalizing Government-Business Relations: Multinational Corporations and the Japanese Pharmaceutical Market.” Association of Asian Studies Annual Meeting, Washington DC (March 23, 2018).
  • “The Shifting Nexus of Economics and Security in Asia.” Korean Studies Core University Conference: Diversity, Identity, and Universality in Global Korea, University of Hawaii at Manoa (April 6, 2018).

I was also invited to give a lecture on “Economics and Security in the Asia-Pacific” at the Joint Foreign Area Officer Phase II Pacific Course in Honolulu on March 16, and I participated as a roundtable panelist at a discussion on “Security Issues on the Korean Peninsula” at the East-West Center on April 27.

International Visitor Leadership Program: Security Issues on the Korean Peninsula, East-West Center, April 27, 2018

I had a great time meeting people and exchanging ideas this year, and I’m looking forward to incorporating some of our great discussions into my writing this summer!

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Interviews in The New York Times and USA Today

I recently commented on Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s political challenges at home and abroad in The New York Times and USA Today:

The New York Times, “As Scandal-Tarred Abe Meets Trump, ‘the Situation is Getting Dangerous’,” April 16, 2018, by Motoko Rich.

USA Today, “Trump backs North-South Korea Peace Talks in Summit with Japan’s Leader at Mar-a-Lago,” April 17, 2018, by David Jackson.

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American Friends of the International House of Japan Next Generation Fellowship

I have been selected as one of the inaugural recipients of the American Friends of the International House of Japan Next Generation Fellowship. The Next Generation Fellows Program generously provides three years of support for promising young American leaders in the US-Japan relationship to play an active role in the dynamic International House of Japan community. In its inaugural year, the program competitively selected 16 Americans aged 42 and under to become Fellows. The Fellowship covers initiation and membership costs to the I-House for three years and also allows fellows to participate in the I-House’s Asia-Pacific Young Leaders Program. The program is funded and administered by the American Friends of the International House of Japan in close cooperation with the International House of Japan.

The International House of Japan is a private, non-profit organization incorporated, with support from the Rockefeller Foundation and other private institutions and individuals, in 1952 for the purpose of promoting cultural exchange and intellectual cooperation between the peoples of Japan and those of other countries. The American Friends of the International House of Japan is a US-based 501-c-3 not-for-profit organization with the mission of promoting international goodwill and understanding by encouraging and fostering active relationships among scholars, educators, scientists, business people and other persons from Japan, the United States, and other nations, as well as educational and other institutions. 

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Comments in The New York Times & Financial Review

My comments on recent developments in US foreign policy toward Asia were featured in two recent news articles:

The New York Times, “Trump’s Unpredictability on Trade and North Korea Opens a Door for China,” March 10, 2018, by Motoko Rich.

Financial Review, “Donald Trump’s Snap Decision to Meet With Kim Jong-un,” March 10, 2018, by Peter Baker and Choe Sang-hun.


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PAAC Global Vision Summit on Climate Change

On Saturday, March 3, the Pacific and Asian Affairs Council brought together 189 students from 27 high schools on 5 islands for their Global Vision Summit on Climate Change hosted at UH West Oahu. Students played the roles of delegates representing specific nations, negotiating blocs, or interests groups. The goal was to reach a global agreement that keeps global temperature rise below 2 degrees Celcius. The simulation utilized C-ROADS, a computer simulator that shows the long-term climate impacts of negotiated policy actions. I had a great time participating as the Community Expert for the US negotiating team. Other experts advising the student teams were drawn from the United Nations Development Programme, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the East-West Center, the Hawaii Institute for Human Rights, the Daniel K. Inouye Asia-Pacific Center for Security Studies, Tsuchiyama & Associates, and the Australian Consulate-General in Honolulu.

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Interview in The New York Times

I was recently interviewed in The New York Times about Japanese Foreign Minister Taro Kono. Since Kono was appointed in August 2017, there has been much speculation about his potential as a future leader of the Liberal Democratic Party and of Japan.

Read the full article

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Talk at Japan Studies Association, Spring 2018 Courses

After a wonderful fall semester as a postdoctoral fellow at the Harvard University Program on US-Japan Relations, I am back in Honolulu and off to a running start. I presented some of my new research on Japanese defense capacity building assistance and Abe-era security reforms at the Japan Studies Association annual conference here in Honolulu on January 6. I also chaired a very lively panel on “Japan in the Global Economy (Just Not How You Thought),” where we talked about the Tokyo Olympics, fermented food production, and pedagogy.

I’m offering two courses at the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa this semester: an undergraduate course called Contemporary Asian Civilizations (ASAN 312) and our program’s graduate-level Research Seminar in Asian Studies (ASAN 750). There are still a few more open spots left!

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