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).


  • Diplomat May 7, 2015
    Shinzo Abe’s Historic U.S. Visit

    The main goal of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s visit to the United States was was to lay the foundation for greater alliance cooperation going forward.

  • 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.

  • Anton Tsvetov and James L. Schoff
    November 11, 2015 Moscow
    A U.S. Perspective on Japan’s Foreign Policy Under Prime Minister Abe

    A very firm friendship between the United States and Japan will become stronger in the new regional context.

    October 30, 2015 Washington, DC 中文
    Japan and U.S. Perspectives on Southeast Asia Development

    Seventy years after World War II, Southeast Asia stands at a crossroads amid multilateral trade negotiations, economic integration initiatives, political turmoil, and the establishment of new development institutions and regional governance frameworks.

  • October 14, 2015 Washington, DC 中文
    Japan-Korea Relations: Fifty Years and Beyond

    Over the past five decades, bilateral relations between Japan and the Republic of Korea have far surpassed those of the previous sixteen centuries, yet the scars of the past continue to challenge efforts toward more fundamental reconciliation and deeper collaboration.

  • Thailand
    August 12, 2015 Washington, DC 中文
    Thailand and the Changing Geopolitical Dynamics of Southeast Asia

    In the Asia-Pacific, economic development and interconnectivity is growing alongside increasing tensions between neighbor states. This is no clearer than in the fight for building Thailand’s infrastructure.

  • May 7, 2015 Washington, DC
    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.

  • 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.

  • March 3, 2015 Washington, DC 中文
    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.

  • 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 中文
    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.

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

The U.S.-Japan Alliance: Past Is Prologue

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