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RUSI Japan

RUSI Japan was launched in October 2012 to act as an independent research hub for Asia-Pacific defence and security. RUSI Japan underscores the deep and established relationship between RUSI and Japan's research and policy community.

In the spirit of the Japan-UK defence co-operation memorandum and in the light of the growing strategic importance of the Asia-Pacific region to the UK's national security, RUSI is delighted to open a representative office in Tokyo: RUSI Japan.

Headed by its director, Dr Chiaki Akimoto, a longstanding friend and Associate Fellow of the Institute, the office will serve as an independent research hub for all matters pertaining to Asia-Pacific defence and security.

Governed by an advisory board of senior British and Japanese experts in defence, security and foreign affairs, the office will aim to foster discussion and debate about current and future threats to the region and to provide assessments that will inform the policy arena in Tokyo, London and beyond.

Building on the existing strong relationship with the Japanese government and in particular with the Japanese Ministry of Defence's National Institute of Defence Studies (NIDS), RUSI Japan will act as a conduit for intellectual exchange and joint research projects between the defence research communities of both countries.

Previous Activities

RUSI Japan-UK Security Co-operation

Over the last five years, RUSI has become increasingly involved in a number of projects in Japan, which highlight Japan's interest in security diversification. While its relationship with the US remains paramount, Japan has begun to cooperate with the UK in a number of key areas, and sees much that it can learn from the British experience. RUSI has been a key track two player in pushing dicussions forward and remains committed to future projects which facilitate this evolution of Japanese - British security ties.

At a time of shifting security scenarios, the future role of Japan's military power and its relationship with Europe remains uncertain. Interaction between the UK and Japan, in particular, raises issues of alliance management with the United States. These concerns highlight the operational procurement requirements that Japan faces in meeting its national security goals for the next twenty years.

RUSI NIDS Collaboration

Since 2006 RUSI and the National Institute of Defense Studies (NIDS) have run a Fellowship exchange programme based in RUSI's London office. RUSI is pleased to announce that this year a RUSI Fellow be sent to NIDS in Tokyo, Japan.

RUSI and NIDS came together in February, in NIDS' annual International Symposium 2009, entitled The Role of the Military in Peacebuilding: A New Approach to Conflict Resolution in the Twenty-First Century. The event was held over two days in the Okura Hotel, Tokyo. RUSI Director Professor Michael Clarke gave the keynote speech, while Director of International Security Studies Dr Jonathan Eyal delivered a paper highlighting the UK's perspective and the experience of the military in peacebuilding.

With International Peace Cooperation Activities being positioned as one of the primary missions of the Self-Defense Forces (SDF), efforts are being made in Japan to establish a general law on such activities. With this background, NIDS invited a number of distinguished experts from Australia, France, Germany, Japan, the UK, and the US to explore the roles and missions of the military in peacebuilding.

On the second day of the symposium, a closed door session was held in which the attendees could discuss aspects of military roles in peacebuilding, including security sector reform, alliance management and strategy-creation. The session wound down with the foreign experts being asked to give policy recommendations to Japanese policy-makers and peacebuilding practioners, many of whom were present.

RUSI AFJ Collaboration

RUSI and the Asian Forum Japan (AFJ) have joined forces in 2008, the 150th anniversary of the establishment of formal relations between the UK and Japan, to strengthen collaboration, interaction and links between Japanese and British defence and security experts from government, academia and industry.

This conference sought to examine Japanese-UK security relations in the light of continuing uncertainty in the global security environment and the nascent security debate in Japan, with the following objectives:

  • To provide an applied forum for the analysis of Japan's role in international security and the role the UK can play within Japanese security initiatives
  • To bring together the defence and security communities of Japan and Europe in a way that encourages strategic dialogue
  • To analyse and inform strategic and tactical policy-making in the UK and Japan in order to optimise the delivery of mid- to long-term international and regional security

A panel of Japanese and British security experts delivered addresses aimed at stimulating debate on issues of crucial importance to the defence and security communities in East Asia and Europe. The symposium attempted to tackle a number of emerging and vitally important issues for the UK and Japan including:

  • Collaboration between the UK and Japan in countering threats from trans-national terrorism and non-state actors
  • Peace Support Operations - co-operation between the UK and Japan in multinational peace and stability missions
  • UK-Japanese security co-operation - understanding Japanese domestic security concerns and where the UK fits in
  • Alliance Management: the United States, Japan and the UK 
  • New regional threats and the balance of power in East Asia
  • Conflict prevention and global security - expanding ties and next steps  

Delivering Defence Industrial Change

Fifty years of strong US-Japanese ties have created a culture in which the United States Air Force dominates Japanese defence procurement, a RUSI Occasional Paper suggests.

As a result, Europe has found it difficult to create a strategic relationship on a par with that between the US and Japan. However, as the Japanese Ministry of Defense (JMOD) reforms itself, Europe now has a window of opportunity to establish a new relationship with Japan.  

Read the report here >

1402 Shimbashi Plaza Bldg
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Recent Events

Third UK-Japan Security Dialogue

01 November 2016, 9:00
RUSI Japan

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