James L. Schoff

Senior Associate
Asia Program
Schoff is a senior associate in the Carnegie Asia Program. His research focuses on U.S.-Japanese relations and regional engagement, Japanese politics and security, and the private sector’s role in Japanese policymaking.


MA, International Relations, Johns Hopkins University School for Advanced International Studies
BA, Duke University


English; Japanese


James L. Schoff is a senior associate in the Carnegie Asia Program. His research focuses on U.S.-Japanese relations and regional engagement, Japanese politics and security, and the private sector’s role in Japanese policymaking. He previously served as senior adviser for East Asia policy at the U.S. Office of the Secretary of Defense and as director of Asia Pacific Studies at the Institute for Foreign Policy Analysis (IFPA).

At the Department of Defense, Schoff was responsible for strategic planning and policy development for relations with Japan and the Republic of Korea. He also spearheaded trilateral initiatives and regional security cooperation issues, including missile defense, disaster relief, and maritime security. He was awarded the Department of Defense Medal for Exceptional Public Service.

From 2003 to 2010, Schoff directed Asia Pacific Studies at IFPA in Cambridge, Massachusetts, where he specialized in East Asian security issues, U.S. alliance relations in the region, and nonproliferation of weapons of mass destruction, focused on North Korea. Prior to joining IFPA, he served as program officer in charge of policy studies at the United States-Japan Foundation in New York.

Schoff has written extensively on East Asian security and foreign policy issues. His publications include: In Times of Crisis: U.S.-Japan Civil-Military Disaster Relief Coordination (co-author, Potomac Books Inc., 2009), “Realigning Priorities: The U.S.-Japan Alliance & the Future of Extended Deterrence” (IFPA, 2009), and Tools for Trilateralism: Improving U.S.-Japan-Korea Cooperation to Manage Complex Contingencies (Potomac Books Inc., 2005).


  • BloombergTV December 15, 2014
    Will Abe Ever Be Able to Reform Japan’s Economy?

    The December 2014 election has given Abe four more years until the next election. This potentially gives Abe the time needed to implement unpopular economic measures like structural reform in Japan.

  • Take Away with John Hockenberry February 12, 2013
    North Korea Conducts Most Powerful Nuclear Test Yet

    While the third North Korean nuclear test is a serious watershed, the country's policy remains far from posing an immediate threat.

  • CNBC December 13, 2012
    A Likely Overwhelming Defeat For the DPJ

    Even if the Liberal Democratic Party of Japan wins in the upcoming elections, it will be more of an overwhelming defeat for the Democratic Party of Japan than a victory for the Liberal Democratic Party.

  • Japan Defense
    March 5, 2015 Washington, DC
    Postponed: A New Defense Technology Frontier in the U.S.-Japan Alliance

    How Japan’s entry into the global arms market will impact the security situation in East Asia depends on how Tokyo implements its new policies, as well as the allies’ ability to capitalize on this opportunity to cooperate.

  • Myanmar Development
    March 4, 2015 Washington, DC
    Development in Myanmar and the U.S.-Japan Alliance

    Japan and the United States are fine-tuning their aid programs in Myanmar to maximize political and social impact nationwide and to involve the private sector.

  • Southeast Asian Regionalism
    March 3, 2015 Washington, DC
    Competitive Approaches to Southeast Asia and the Future of Regionalism

    East Asia’s growing economic interdependence, spurred in part by China and Japan’s economic diplomacy, feeds great-power competition. Ironically, it could delay future efforts toward further regional economic integration.

  • Thailand
    February 26, 2015 Washington, DC
    Can Thailand Escape the Middle Income Trap?

    Thailand finds itself struggling to escape the middle income trap and adjust to changing trade structures in a dynamic region. Amid a combination of both tough scrutiny and encouragement from Washington and Tokyo, can the country overcome these challenges successfully?

  • February 11, 2015 Washington, DC
    Japan’s Northeast Asia Policy Under Abe

    During his tenure as Japan’s prime minister, Shinzo Abe has faced particularly challenging foreign policy issues in his own back yard.

  • January 29, 2015 Washington, DC
    The ASEAN Economic Community in 2015: A Progress Report from Japan and the Region

    In 2009, Southeast Asian political leaders accelerated their target date for realizing the ASEAN Economic Community (AEC) to 2015. As the deadline looms, there are competing opinions on what can be accomplished by the end of this year, the AEC’s potential impact, and its near-term priorities.

  • January 22, 2015 Washington, DC
    Japan in 2015: A Look at the Year Ahead

    A number of major foreign and domestic policy challenges face Japan in 2015.

  • November 21, 2014 Washington, DC 中文
    The U.S.-Japan Alliance in a New Defense Guidelines Era

    The United States and Japan are entering the critical final phase in revising their guidelines for defense cooperation.

  • October 22, 2014 Washington, DC 中文
    Japan-North Korea Rapprochement: Dare to Dream or Doomed to Fail?

    North Korea agreed in May to reopen an investigation into the abductions of Japanese nationals in the 1970s and ‘80s in exchange for sanctions relief from Tokyo. Some thought this step could lead to a breakthrough in Japan-North Korea ties, but there has been little progress.

  • October 2, 2014 Washington, DC 中文
    Abenomics: Will It Work for Japan and the Region?

    A recent IMF staff report on Japan finds some progress for so-called Abenomics, but says that progress is uneven and substantial medium-term risks remain. The success or failure of the policies have important implications for both Japan and the region.

Source: http://carnegieendowment.org/experts/index.cfm?fa=expert_view&expert_id=745

Areas of Expertise

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