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On November 16, 2017, JUMP sponsored a panel discussion and reception at the National War College in Washington, D.C. on “Persistent Challenges for the Northeast Asia Region: Japan, China, the Korean Peninsula, and U.S. Perspectives.” The event, which was co-sponsored by the Japan-America Society of Washington DC, the National Association of Japan-America Societies, and the Embassy of Japan in Washington, D.C., brought together experts on Japan, China, and the Korean peninsula for an engaging discussion on the U.S.-Japan alliance, China’s strategic priorities in the Asia-Pacific, and the continued threat from North Korea. About 150 people from a range of fields attended the talk and the reception which followed it, including high-ranking members of the military, professors, students, and experts on Northeast Asia politics and security.

The event kicked off with welcoming remarks from Brigadier General Chad T. Manske, USAF, Commandant of the National War College, and General Yoshiki Adachi of the Defense Attache of the Embassy of Japan, and a keynote address from Ambassador James Zumwalt, CEO of Sasakawa USA. General Manske mentioned the significance of the National War College in his remarks, while General Adachi discussed the value of the U.S.-Japan alliance in Northeast Asia’s security. Ambassador Zumwalt’s address highlighted the depth of relations between the U.S. and Japan as seen in the two countries’ economic ties and more.

A panel discussion followed these remarks, with Sheila Smith, Senior Fellow for Japan Studies at the Council on Foreign Relations, Bruce Klingner, Senior Research Fellow for Northeast Asia at the Heritage Foundation, Bonnie Glaser, Senior Advisor for Asia & Director of the China Power Project at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, and Lt. Gen Chip Gregson Jr. (ret.), Senior Advisor of Avascent Global Advisors, as panelists. Dr. Cynthia Watson, Professor of Strategy at the National War College, moderated the discussion. The panelists spoke about recent developments in Northeast Asia, including Japan’s Diet lower house election in October, China’s 19th Party Congress, and North Korea’s continued missile tests. An audience Q&A session followed, in which panelists were asked about U.S. military capabilities and the proliferation of nuclear weapons in Northeast Asia.

The event concluded with remarks by Gene Russell, Executive Director of the National War College Alumni Association, and a toast by Matthew Goodman, Senior Advisor for Asian Economics at the Center for Strategic and International Studies.

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IMG_0096More than 120 potential “goodwill ambassadors” for Japanese relations in the United States attended a standing-room only JUMP panel and reception November 17 sponsored by Sasakawa USA and the Japan-America Society of Washington, D.C.

JUMP (The Japan-U.S. Military Program) seeks to connect and bring together service members, families and government civilians who have served in Japan. This event, held at the National War College in Washington, D.C., went a step further by also drawing in those who have yet to serve in Japan.

Attendees included students and faculty of the National War College, NWC alumni and members of the Japan-America Society of Washington, D.C. At the event, up-and-coming U.S. Military officers mingled with senior officers and diplomats until long after the panel discussion had concluded.

In introductory remarks, Masato Otaka, Minister of Public Affairs with the Embassy of Japan in D.C., said all those in attendance could be future “goodwill ambassadors” for the country.

“We want to reach out to people who are back in the states… who might be interested in connecting with Japan,” he said of the JUMP program, adding it has grown considerably in the past two years under the leadership of Sasakawa USA.

IMG_0113Admiral Dennis Blair, Sasakawa USA’s Chairman and CEO, said Japan is a strong economic partner to the U.S. in Asia, a region that is growing in its influence.

He advised all in attendance to take notice of Japan’s recent changes to its Collective Self-Defense policy, telling students preparing to embark on trips to Asia that issue is “something that needs to be in your mind.”

The program continued with a panel discussion on “Potential Flashpoints for the Northeast Asia Region: Japan, China and U.S. Perspectives.” Panelists Lieutenant General Wallace “Chip” Gregson Jr.; Dr. Kent Calder with Johns Hopkins University; and Dr. Cynthia Watson, Professor of Strategy at The National War College joined Moderator Ambassador Rust Deming, Adjunct Professor of Japan Studies at SAIS for a discussion.

Topics included China’s demographics problem related to its recently amended one-child policy, the U.S.-Japan alliance’s importance to security in East Asia, freedom of the seas in East Asian waters, Japan’s recent constitutional change that allows for collective self-defense and the status of Japan’s Coast Guard capabilities.

James Kendall, Sasakawa USA’s Fellow for Common Challenges who spearheads JUMP, said he is looking forward to employing the program as a conduit for strengthening relations between the United States and Japan, as well as bringing together those who have a shared experience that they wish to continue.

“This is such a great way for people to further develop their relationship with Japan even after they have returned stateside,” he said. “This event at the National War College definitely achieved that by educating those who attended on current issues that are relevant to that relationship, while also providing a venue to network and simply socialize with others who also have that shared interest.”

“I’m excited for more great JUMP events to come.”


• Minister Masato Otaka, Public Affairs Section, Embassy of Japan
• Admiral Dennis Blair, Chairman, Sasakawa USA
• Dr. Kent Calder, Director, Reischauer Center for East Asian Studies, Johns Hopkins University
• Dr. Cynthia Watson, Professor, National War College
• Lieutenant General Wallace “Chip” Gregson, Retired, United States Marine Corps
• Moderator: Ambassador Rust Deming, Adjunct Professor, Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies
• Gene Russell, Executive Director, National War College Alumni Association
• Ambassador John R. Malott, President of Japan-America Society of Washington DC

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