Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is placing a high priority on his country’s diplomacy in Southeast Asia, and policy coordination in the region is now firmly on the U.S.-Japan alliance agenda following last month’s Obama-Abe summit. Kei Koga of Singapore’s Nanyang Technological University examined and evaluated this diplomatic strategy from Japanese and Southeast Asian perspectives. How is Japan’s diplomacy toward Southeast Asia changing? How might it impact an already tense regional security environment, and what are the implications for U.S. policy? Brian Harding, former Southeast Asia country director at the U.S. Department of Defense, provided comments from a U.S. perspective, and Carnegie’s James L. Schoff moderated.
This event was made possible by the Japan Foundation Center for Global Partnership.

Kei Koga

Kei Koga is assistant professor in the School of Humanities and Social Sciences at Nanyang Technological University. His research focuses on U.S. bilateral security networks and ASEAN-led institutions.

Brian Harding

Brian Harding served from 2009 to 2013 in the Office of the Secretary of Defense (Policy) as country director for Asian and Pacific security affairs, where he managed U.S. defense relations with major U.S. partners in Southeast Asia and Oceania and advised senior Department of Defense leadership on Asia-Pacific regional strategy.

James L. Schoff

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.