The U.S.-Japan Alliance and the Future of Extended Deterrence



James Schoff, Asia-Pacific Studies, Institute for Foreign Policy Analysis

Date and Time

May 11, 2009 12:00 PM - 1:30 PM



RSVP required by 5PM May 07.


Philippines Conference Room

North Korea’s nuclear weapon test in October 2006 and the subsequent “debate” in Japan about whether or not to ponder its own nuclear future brought renewed attention to the subject of Japan and nuclear weapons.  Pundits and policy makers in both the United States and Japan contemplated the implications of Pyongyang’s nuclear breakout, and many wondered if this marked the beginning of fundamental change in Japanese thinking on these issues.  Just as North Korea’s long-range missile test over Japanese airspace in 1998 was a major catalyst leading to Japan’s full-fledged embrace of America’s missile defense (MD) development program a few years later, might the 2006 nuclear test eventually prove to be a similar watershed moment in Japanese defense policy?  Would there be a rising tide of Japanese sentiment in favor of reexamining the three non-nuclear principles of non-possession, non-manufacture, and non-introduction? 

In pursuit of answers to these questions, the Institute for Foreign Policy Analysis (IFPA) conducted an extended research effort over the past two years to examine not only Japan’s propensity and capacity to “go nuclear,” but also to explore the overarching issue of how deterrence is functioning and changing in the context of the U.S.-Japan alliance.  It is these latter questions in particular regarding deterrence and extended deterrence that proved most interesting and, we think, particularly important to U.S. policy makers, given the dramatic changes underway in the regional security environment in East Asia and relevant proposals in the areas of non-proliferation and arms control.  Mr. Schoff's presentation will describe the results of IFPA's study and offer steps that the allies can take to reshape extended deterrence for the twenty-first century in ways that strengthen and diversify the bilateral relationship, and ultimately contribute to regional stability and prosperity.

About the Speaker:

James L. Schoff is the Associate Director of Asia-Pacific Studies at the Institute for Foreign Policy Analysis (IFPA) in Cambridge, MA, where he specializes in East Asian security issues, U.S. alliance relations, international crisis management cooperation, and regional efforts to stem WMD proliferation. He also contributes to IFPA’s U.S. government and military contract work relating to East Asia. Some of his recent publications include Realigning Priorities: The U.S.-Japan Alliance and the Future of Extended Deterrence (IFPA 2009); Nuclear Matters in North Korea: Building a Multilateral Response for Future Stability in Northeast Asia (Potomac Books 2008) (co-author); In Times of Crisis: Global and Local Civil-Military Disaster Relief Coordination in the United States and Japan (IFPA, 2007); “Transformation of the U.S.-Japan Alliance,” in The Fletcher Forum of World Affairs (Winter 2007); Political Fences and Bad Neighbors: North Korea Policy Making in Japan and Implications for the United States (IFPA, 2006); and Tools for Trilateralism: Improving U.S.-Japan-Korea Cooperation to Manage Complex Contingencies (Potomac Books, 2005).

Mr. Schoff joined IFPA in 2003, after serving as the program officer in charge of policy studies at the United States-Japan Foundation. Prior to that he was the business manager for Bovis Japan and Bovis Asia Pacific, and international construction and project management firm. Mr. Schoff graduated from Duke University and earned an M.A. in International Relations from The Johns Hopkins University School for Advanced International Studies (SAIS). He also studied for one year at International Christian University (ICU) in Tokyo, Japan, and he lectured at Boston University in 2007.

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