New Publication in The Washington Post

My article on President Trump’s recent visit to Japan was published this morning in the Monkey Cage column on The Washington Post website. While Prime Minister Abe and President Trump succeeded in orchestrating an impressive display of the strengths of the US-Japan relationship, some tensions were also visible during the trip, particularly on the issues of trade and North Korea.

Read the full article

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US-Japan Network for the Future

I’m pleased to announced that I have been selected as a member of the fifth cohort of the US-Japan Network for the Future. The US-Japan Network for the Future is a two-year program designed to build and enhance a network of Japan specialists that can bring diverse expertise and perspectives to the bilateral policy-making process in the mid- and long-term. This will lead to deeper and more vigorous dialogue and research on topics of immediate concern as well as on ways to strengthen the US-Japan relationship through cooperation and shared goals in the global arena. The network includes US-Japan specialists from all regions of the United States and Japan. This program is supported by the Maureen and Mike Mansfield Foundation and the Japan Foundation Center for Global Partnership.

Throughout the two-year program, participants are expected to: develop their network of contacts; engage with other Network members; engage others in the academic and policy fields with what they have learned about Japan; prepare for and actively participate in the program’s meetings, workshops, and study trip; participate in group activities and support the program’s larger goals and objectives; conduct independent research on key issues of particular interest to them; produce op-ed pieces, commentaries, and blog posts on important policy issues in U.S.-Japan relations; and produce and seek to publish or otherwise disseminate a brief policy paper. Network participants present their papers and discuss current issues in the region during the program’s last meeting, a public symposium in Washington, D.C. The program covers the costs of travel, accommodations, and meals associated with participation in program meetings and study trips.

Press Release from the Mansfield Foundation

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Joining the East-West Center as an Adjunct Fellow

I’m pleased to share that I’ve been invited to join the East-West Center as an Adjunct Fellow with the Research Program. Established by the U.S. Congress in 1960, the East-West Center promotes better relations and understanding among the people and nations of the United States, Asia, and the Pacific through cooperative study, research, and dialogue. It has built a worldwide network of 65,000 alumni and more than 1,100 partner organizations. Its 21-acre Honolulu campus, adjacent to the University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa, is located midway between Asia and the U.S. mainland and features research, residential, and international conference facilities. The East-West Center was recently named the fourth best government-affiliated think tank in the world by the Lauder Institute.

The East-West Center Research Program works with research and policy communities in the US and the Asia Pacific to provide more complete knowledge and deeper understanding of environments, societies, economies, governments, and international relations in the region. Research is conducted in close collaboration with networks of individuals and institutions throughout Asia and the Pacific and is shared broadly with planners, policymakers, regional specialists, the media, and the general public.

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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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