YCAPS Afloat is a new initiative series through which Yokosuka Council on Asia-Pacific Studies (YCAPS) directly supports U.S. Navy personal in their efforts to expand their regional knowledge and strategic thinking while deployed. Working through commands’ leadership and/or Morale, Welfare and Recreation (MWR) programs, YCAPS Afloat provides information and other resources or, when there are sufficient interested personnel, establishes a YCAPS chapter on board specific ships.
The first YCAPS Afloat chapter is onboard the USS Blue Ridge, the 7th Fleet Flagship. Its members come from the Blue Ridge crew, the 7th Fleet Staff, and the embarked Marine force. Since Blue Ridge began its 2019 spring patrol, the chapter has been particularly active. It has organized a Japanese-language study club meeting three times a week and a weekly regional studies movie night. Supporting the professional development of Sailors’ during Blue Ridge’s port visits, it has also worked with the MWR program to recommend tours and provide information directly to those interested about the most valuable places to visit for those seeking to enlarge their regional understanding.
On March 15, YCAPS Afloat kicked off its inaugural port visit event in Manila with a discussion round-table featuring four prominent Filipino scholars: Jay Batongbacal, Richard Heydarian, Jose Custodio, and Deo Onda. Noteably, this was also the first YCAPS event to be organized outside of Japan. Eight Sailors attended and the event was developed in partnership with Japan-U.S. Military Program (JUMP). Each of the scholars introduced their areas of expertise before engaging with attendees in a round-table discussion.
Dr. Batongbacal began the discussion with a brief overview of the ongoing encroachment of the PRC into Philippine territorial waters and island formations since the departure of the U.S. military in the early 1990s through to the present day. He touched heavily on the influence that the Duterte presidency has had on growing ties with China, while approaching the relationship with the United States as one that the U.S. should not take for granted. He highlighted, however, that as of late, with sputtering execution of promised infrastructure and development projects from the PRC that the historical relationship with the United States still largely applied despite a perceived shift in Philippine foreign policy.
Mr. Heydarian provided detailed insight into the Duterte administration policy trends and cabinet members and drew many parallels with the Trump administration. The discussion specifically delved into Duterte’s reluctance to aggressively pursue action and pressure the international community to stand with the Philippines regarding the Hague’s ruling on the South China Sea Arbitration case. Instead, Duterte has chosen to placate the PRC with muffled rhetoric on the subject.
Mr. Custodio examined the role of the military in past and current administrations, emphasizing the large role the Philippine Army has had historically with the Navy or Air Force, and the impact this has had on Philippine foreign policy as the Philippines largely looks inward to maintain border integrity from separatists and rebel groups. This has left the Philippines wanting in terms of Naval and Air Force firepower and readiness, something that of late has begun to be addressed due to territorial incursion from the PRC.
Mr. Onda covered and answered questions regarding the condition of state-funded scientific research and institutions in the Philippines today, as well the impact of land reclamation on the destruction of natural fisheries surrounding the Philippines. He provided a unique look into what the PRC demands during so-called “joint research,” where in fact much of the data and research is done and kept by the Chinese exclusively, sometimes with the Philippine government’s blessing if that is seen as politically or economically advantageous to the administration.
AFN Tokyo featured a Yokosuka Council on Asia-Pacific Studies (YCAPS)-JUMP seminar in a short video piece which began airing on Oct. 17, 2018.
The video highlighted an October 10 YCAPS-JUMP seminar held in Fussa City, the second event YCAPS has held near Yokota Airbase. The event was standing-room only to hear a panel of six distinguished experts lead a discussion on the topic of “NATO States’ & Asian Security: From Interests to Action.”
YCAPs aims to promote the study of strategic, diplomatic, and legal issues affecting the Asia-Pacific Region. Capitalizing on Yokosuka City’s unique pool of global expertise and rich maritime heritage, YCAPS seeks to build networks between individuals, promote dialogue, provide world-class educational opportunities and enable professional mentorship.
View the video by clicking here.
The members of YCAPS and JUMP recently held a meeting to talk about a few different topics. Check out this video to find out more.- LCpl Alexander Palmer.
Posted by AFN Tokyo on Tuesday, October 16, 2018
Members of JUMP and the Yokuska Council on Asia-Pacific Studies (YCAPS) toured the Toga Shrine in Tokyo for a recent event co-sponsored by JUMP. The November 4 tour was arranged by Captain Keizo Kitagawa of the Japanese Maritime Self-Defense Force (JMSDF) and included a visit to the nearby Suikokai Club.
YCAPS aims to promote the study of strategic, diplomatic, and legal issues affecting the Asia-Pacific Region. In January 2017, JUMP announced its formal partnership with YCAPS. The partnership helps JUMP to extend its outreach to service members in Japan.
Togo Shrine, located in Meiji Jinju, is a Shinto shrine dedicated to Admiral Heihachiro Togo. The tour attendees received an introduction to the life of Admiral Togo, who is widely regarded as one of the world’s greatest admirals. Admiral Togo is famous for destroying the Russian Baltic Fleet in 1905 during the Russo-Japanese War, eventually leading to Japan’s victory. The tour also included time to enjoy the shrine’s beautiful gardens.
During a bento lunch at the Suikokai Club, Haruo Adachi, executive director of Togokai, briefed the group on Admiral Togo and the history of Togo Shrine. After lunch, Rear Admiral Anzai (JMSDF, retired), managing director of Suikokai, gave a brief on the history and activities of the organization. Suikokai is an organization dedicated to conducting research, supporting the JMSDF and honoring those who have served Japan at sea.
To read more about this outing, visit the YCAPS website.
JUMP is pleased to officially announce a formal partnership with the Yokosuka Council on Asia-Pacific Studies (YCAPS). YCAPS aims to promote the study of strategic, diplomatic, and legal issues affecting the Asia-Pacific Region, and this partnership allows JUMP to extend its outreach to service members in Japan. Capitalizing on Yokosuka City’s unique pool of global expertise and rich maritime heritage, YCAPS seeks to build networks between individuals, promote dialogue, provide world-class educational opportunities and enable professional mentorship.
To date, YCAPS has already hosted many successful events, ranging from social lunches and film screenings to more formal discussions on the importance of the U.S.-Japan alliance and role of Europe in Asia. Click here to view all upcoming events from both JUMP and YCAPS.
JUMP is proud to be a sponsor of YCAPS and is excited about the wonderful success the organization has been able to achieve in a short amount of time. To find out more about YCAPS and how to get involved visit their website or their Facebook page. JUMP also recently featured YCAPS President John Bradford, in the Spotlight Series Q&A, which can be read here.
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