Introduction

Techno-nationalism is resurgent in the world today, and it comes at a time of more intense strategic friction between the United States and China, compared to the U.S.-Japan trade battles and technology competition from three decades ago.  That was a relatively short-lived era of rivalry between allies, but this is likely to  be a longer-term and intense competition with China that sees the United States and Japan on the same side for the most part, due to their wide  range of  shared interests.

This memo assesses the scope of evolving technology development challenges to the United States and Japan, summarizes some of the steps that both countries are taking to address these challenges—through a combination of access restriction and collaborative innovation—and recommends additional measures they can consider for protecting national and economic security without risking technological isolation. The memo focuses heavily on the unique role that the U.S-Japan alliance can play with regard to these challenges, given the two countries’ science and technology strengths, their shared regional and global interests, and their track record of basic science collaboration that spans more than fifty years.

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This policy memorandum was originally published by the Sasakawa Peace Foundation.