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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Interview in The New York Times

I was recently interviewed by The New York Times about the “fresh start” in Sino-Japanese relations announced by Prime Minister Abe and President Xi and the potential for meaningful improvement between the two countries.

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Interview on BBC World News

I enjoyed speaking with BBC World News this evening about President Trump’s visit to Asia and trade policy.

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Interview in The Washington Post

I was recently interviewed by The Washington Post about American alliances in Asia and President Trump’s contrasting personal relationships with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and Korean President Moon Jae-in up to this point.

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New: Japan’s Quest to Preserve the Trans-Pacific Partnership

I have a short article out in Asia Dialogue today on Japan’s efforts to keep the Trans-Pacific Partnership alive after the US withdrawal from the agreement in January. Thanks to the editors for inviting me to be part of their series of pieces focusing on Japan.

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Talk at Harvard Program on US-Japan Relations

On October 17, I gave a talk on my book project at the Harvard University Program on US-Japan Relations. I am currently a postdoctoral fellow in the Program on US-Japan Relations, which is part of the Weatherhead Center for International Affairs. I spoke about the framework of my project, which looks at how internationalization affects the politics of trade, and presented findings from three very different sectors: agriculture, pharmaceuticals, and insurance.

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Course Collaboration with the University of Washington

This summer, I had the pleasure of collaborating with the University of Washington Honors Program to pilot a new study abroad course in Tokyo. Being a proud UW Honors alum (and former program staff member), I was honored when Associate Director Julie Villegas asked me to help send the first-ever group of 12 Honors students to Tokyo, Japan. We created a three-week interdisciplinary curriculum on the topic of “Constructing Japanese Identity: Comparing National Narratives in Japan and the US,” exploring the complex and shifting web of narratives surrounding Japanese national identity in a comparative perspective. We drew on materials from both the social sciences and the humanities to discuss identity from a variety of perspectives, including history, politics, race, gender, age, religion, art, culture, and food. In addition to attending lectures by faculty from Waseda University, Toyo University, Sophia University, the Fulbright Foundation, and other Tokyo-based organizations, students also had the opportunity to visit key sites in Tokyo, Hiroshima, and Kyoto.

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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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