Event Report | April 24, 2018

Second U.S.-Japan Military-to-Military Dialogue

The EastWest Institute (EWI), in partnership with the Japan Institute of International Affairs (JIIA), convened the second meeting of the U.S.-Japan Military-to-Military Dialogue from April 16-17, 2018. Senior retired flag officers from the U.S. military met with their counterparts from the Japan Self-Defense Forces in Tokyo to discuss issues of critical concern to both countries and to address the intensified uncertainty in the Asia-Pacific region.

The meeting occurred against the backdrop of the release of the U.S. National Security Strategy, National Defense Strategy, and the Nuclear Posture Review, as well as Japan’s forthcoming National Defense Program Guidelines. It sought to engender enhanced strategic policy understanding and coordination between the two allies, while eliciting concrete policy recommendations. While in Tokyo, the delegation spent a full day sharing respective views on defense planning and strategy to effectively address the changing allied power dynamics with China, Russia and North Korea.

Launched in 2017, the process built on EWI’s key Track 2 dialogues—the U.S.-China High-Level Political Party Leaders Dialogue and the U.S.-China Sanya Initiative—to facilitate trust building and better coordination between retired senior members of the U.S. and Chinese political parties and militaries. This U.S.- Japan dialogue process brings Japanese perspectives into EWI’s programmatic work and enhances its impact on identifying creative solutions to prevent conflict. In the future, EWI will seek to expand the dialogue process and to include other countries in the region.

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