Press Statement of the U.S.-Japan Commission on the Future of the Alliance

WASHINGTON, January 27, 2015—The Asia Pacific is the most dynamic region in the world, with increased economic interdependence and a maturing institutional architecture. Yet, the region also faces an array of challenges that could destabilize the region’s security and impede its growing prosperity. The U.S.-Japan alliance has been the cornerstone of security in the Asia Pacific for decades and should play a central role in shaping the regional order in the years ahead.

In 2013, the Sasakawa Peace Foundation and the Center for Strategic and International Studies established a bilateral commission of distinguished policymakers and scholars to develop a strategic vision for the alliance. The commission met for the fourth time on January 27 in Washington, D.C. and will meet twice more before issuing a final report of its findings in 2016.

At this fourth meeting the commission examined several regional and global security issues. Major topics of discussion included the rise of China and the role of the alliance in maintaining stability in the Asia Pacific; the importance of Southeast Asia to regional security and prosperity; challenges and opportunities on the Korean peninsula; alliance cooperation on cyber security and space; and specific initiatives to modernize the U.S.-Japan alliance. The participants unanimously agreed on the economic and strategic importance of the Trans-Pacific Partnership and looked forward to the conclusion of bilateral trade negotiations linked to TPP that would bolster the economic pillar of the alliance and broader liberalization of regional and global trade.  The participants also agreed that the process of revising the interpretation of the constitution to allow for the exercise of the right of collective self-defense and updating the bilateral defense guidelines are vital to modernize the alliance to address emerging challenges. Finally, the participants agreed on the importance of addressing the continuing threat from terrorism.

Commission members are as follows:

  • Richard Armitage, President, Armitage International L.C.; CSIS Trustee
  • Dennis C. Blair, Chairman of the Board, Sasakawa Peace Foundation USA
  • Aaron Friedberg, Professor of Politics and International Affairs, Princeton University
  • Michael Green, Senior Vice President for Asia and Japan Chair, CSIS and Associate Professor, Georgetown University
  • John Hamre, President, CEO and Pritzker Chair, CSIS
  • Jiro Hanyu, Chairman, The Sasakawa Peace Foundation
  • Ryozo Kato, former Ambassador of Japan to the United States
  • Masashi Nishihara, President, Research Institute for Peace and Security
  • Joseph Nye Jr., University Distinguished Service Professor, John F. Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University; CSIS Trustee
  • Yukio Okamoto, President, Okamoto Associates
  • Ryouichi Oriki, Former Chief of Staff, Joint Staff
  • Koji Tanami, Former Administrative Vice Minister, Ministry of Finance and former President, Japan Bank for International Cooperation
  • Noboru Yamaguchi, Director for International Programs and Professor of Military History and Strategy, the National Defense Academy of Japan


The Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) is a bipartisan, nonprofit organization founded in 1962 and headquartered in Washington, D.C. It seeks to advance global security and prosperity by providing strategic insights and policy solutions to decisionmakers.