Online registration is now closed. Onsite registration will be available. Watch the livestream at 9:00 A.M. 

The security environment in Northeast Asia has become increasingly complex since 2013, when Japan last revised its National Defense Program Guidelines (NDPG). Moreover, the United States is shifting towards a sharper rivalry with China and Russia across multiple domains. At this symposium, a bilateral group of scholars and former defense officials will assess Japan’s policy priorities and defense capabilities through the lens of its newly revised guidelines and Mid-Term Defense Plan. The discussion will also consider implications for the U.S.-Japan alliance and regional security in the future. 

This event is co-sponsored by the Sasakawa Peace Foundation USA.


9:00 to 9:15 a.m.

Opening Remarks

James L. Schoff, James Zumwalt

9:15 to 10:30 a.m.

Operational Aspects of the NDPG

Eric Heginbotham, Koichi Isobe, Yuki Tatsumi, James L. Schoff

10:45 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.

Policy Implications of the NDPG

Kaleb Redden, Masanori Nishi, Kathleen Hicks, Sayuri Romei


James L. Schoff

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

James Zumwalt

James Zumwalt is CEO of the Sasakawa Peace Foundation USA. He was United States ambassador to the Republic of Senegal and the Republic of Guinea Bissau from 2015 to January 2017 and previously was responsible for policy toward Japan and Korea as deputy assistant secretary in the Bureau of East Asia Affairs at the U.S. Department of State.

Eric Heginbotham

Eric Heginbotham is a principal research scientist at MIT’s Center for International Studies and a specialist in Asian security issues. Before joining MIT, he was a senior political scientist at the RAND Corporation, where he led research projects on China, Japan, and regional security issues 

Kochi Isobe

Koichi Isobe is a resident fellow at Harvard University's Asia Center and concurrently serves as both strategic adviser to Kawasaki Heavy Industries and a senior fellow to the Asia Pacific Initiative in Tokyo. In 2015 he retired from the Japanese Ground Self Defense Force as a Lieutenant General following 35 years of service. 

Yuki Tatsumi

Yuki Tatsumi is co-director of the East Asia Program and director of the Japan Program at the Stimson Center. Before joining Stimson, Tatsumi worked as a research associate at the Center for Strategic and International Studies and as the special assistant for political affairs at the Embassy of Japan in Washington.

Kaleb Redden

Kaleb Redden is the director for strategy in the Office of the Secretary of Defense for Policy at the U.S. Department of Defense. He served previously as the director for Northern and Western Europe from 2013 to 2015 and in 2014 was detailed to the Middle East office to establish a new directorate for Iraq and Coalition Affairs.

Masanori Nishi

Masanori Nishi is senior adviser to the Nippon Life Insurance Company and has been a special adviser to the Japanese minister of Defense since August of 2017. Nishi previously served at Japan's Ministry of Defense as administrative vice minister of Defense and has also held positions as director general of the Ministry's Bureau of Defense Policy.

Kathleen Hicks

Kathleen Hicks is senior vice president, Henry A. Kissinger chair, and director of the International Security Program at CSIS. She previously served in the Obama administration as the principal deputy undersecretary of Defense for policy and the deputy undersecretary of Defense for strategy, plans, and forces. She led the development of the 2012 Defense Strategic Guidance and the 2010 Quadrennial Defense Review.

Sayuri Romei

Sayuri Romei is the fellow for security and foreign affairs at Sasakawa USA. Prior to joining Sasakawa USA, Romei spent a year at Stanford University’s Center for International Security and Cooperation (CISAC) as a MacArthur nuclear security pre-doctoral fellow.