Japan Rearmed
with Sheila Smith, Senior Fellow for Japan Studies, CFR

Dr. Sheila A. Smith

Senior Fellow for Japan Studies, CFR

Dr. Gene Park

Director of the Global Policy Institute, LMU

November 14, 2019 8:00 AM    Breakfast

Add to Calendar 11/14/2019 8:00 AM 11/14/2019 10:00 AM America/Los_Angeles Breakfast: Japan Rearmed see details at: www.lawac.org Akasha Cafe & Restaurant: 9543 Culver Blvd., Culver City, CA 90232 Los Angeles World Affairs Council reservations@lawac.org false MM/DD/YYYY

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Japan has one of Asia’s most technologically advanced militaries and yet struggles to use its hard power as an instrument of national policy. The horrors of World War II continue to haunt policymakers in Tokyo, while China and South Korea remain wary of any military ambitions Japan may entertain. Yet a fundamental shift in East Asian geopolitics has forced Japan to rethink the commitment to pacifism it made during the U.S. occupation. The military, once feared as a security liability, now appears to be an indispensable asset, called upon with increasing frequency and given a seat at the policymaking table. Sheila A. Smith argues that Japan is not only responding to increasing threats from North Korean missiles and Chinese maritime activities but also reevaluating its dependence on the United States. No longer convinced that they can rely on Americans to defend Japan, Tokyo’s political leaders are now confronting the possibility that they may need to prepare the nation’s military for war.

***Sheila Smith's book "Japan Rearmed: The Politics of Military Power" will be available to purchase***

Sheila A. Smith, an expert on Japanese politics and foreign policy, is senior fellow for Japan studies at the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR). Smith is a regular contributor to the CFR blog Asia Unbound, and frequent contributor to major media outlets in the United States and Asia. She joined CFR from the East-West Center in 2007, where she directed a multinational research team in a cross-national study of the domestic politics of the U.S. military presence in Japan, South Korea, and the Philippines. She was a visiting scholar at Keio University in 2007-08, where she researched Japan’s foreign policy towards China, supported by the Abe Fellowship. Smith has been a visiting researcher at two leading Japanese foreign and security policy think tanks, the Japan Institute of International Affairs and the Research Institute for Peace and Security, and at the University of Tokyo and the University of the Ryukyus. Smith is vice chair of the U.S. advisors to the U.S.-Japan Conference on Cultural and Educational Interchange (CULCON), a bi-national advisory panel of government officials and private sector members. 

Dr. Gene Park (Moderator) is Director of the Global Policy Institute and Associate Professor of Political Science at Loyola Marymount University. Dr. Park’s research interests include comparative and international political economy; Japanese foreign policy and politics; and the politics of monetary policy, public spending and taxation. He also has a broad interest in East Asian security. His most recent co-authored book is Taming Japan's Deflation, The Debate over Unconventional Monetary Policy (Cornell University Press, 2018). An earlier book, Spending without Taxation, FILP and Politics of Public Finance, was published in 2011 (Stanford University Press). Dr. Park received a B.A. in Philosophy from Swarthmore College and Ph.D. in Political Science from University of California Berkeley. He is an avid tennis player.