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Session with Chief Cabinet Secretary Suga and Former Defense Minister Onodera at Meiji Kinenkan © RJIF

Japan – U.S. Military Statesmen Forum

Prior to this present forum, there had been no direct channel of strategic dialogue existing between the Japanese Self-Defense Forces (JSDF) and U.S. Forces. Moreover, in light of the shifting regional security climate within Pacific Asia, there has been an increasingly pressing need for the implementation of such a forum.

Under the dramatic changes unfolding in the international environment, it is imperative for both the Japanese and U.S. governments sustain mutual engagement through comprehensive high-level policy dialogue in order to adequately address present security challenges. In this manner, the importance of strengthening strategic dialogue between JSDF and U.S. Forces has never been greater. With this strategic focus in mind, such a dialogue will constitute an integral aspect to the ongoing security policy debate for the region.

Japan-U.S. Military Statesmen Forum (MSF) seeks to provide this channel for strategic dialogue. By bringing together the long-term military service experiences from both the former Chairmen of the Joint Chiefs of Staff of the U.S. military, and the former Chiefs of Staff of the Joint Staff of the JSDF, MSF hopes to further enhance Japan-U.S. policy dialogue in this era of strategic rebalancing in this region, establishing a security policy community through which deeper and stronger bonds may be forged.

Dr. Yoichi Funabashi
Chairman
Rebuild Japan Initiative Foundation

Forum Members

Japan

Takashi SAITO
(2nd Chief of Staff of the Joint Staff)
Ryoichi ORIKI
(3rd Chief of Staff of the Joint Staff)
Shigeru IWASAKI
(4th Chief of Staff of the Joint Staff)

U.S.

Richard MYERS
(15th Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff)
Peter PACE
(16th Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff)
Michael MULLEN
(17th Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff)


Welcome Message

Admiral Takashi Saito (Ret.),
2nd Chief of Staff of Joint Staff

It has been five years since my retirement from the Japan Self Defense Forces.  In the last five years, the security environment in East Asia has dramatically shifted, and a fast-flowing change seems to be evolving into a big wind waves.  Navigating through significant changes in strategic environment, the current Abe Administration has formulated the very first National Security Strategy of Japan, followed by the new National Defense Program Guidelines.  Under such security climate, the Japan Self Defense Forces (JSDF) is too reorienting its establishment, while the United States has announced the Rebalancing to Asia.

At this crucial juncture and decisive point in time, the Japan-U.S. Military Statesmen Forum (MSF) is to be launched in July 2014 in Tokyo.  Organized by Rebuild Japan Initiative Foundation (RJIF), experienced retired military personnel from U.S. and Japan will sit on the same table for strategic dialogue at the Forum.

This forum will be an assembly of former Chairmen of Joint Chiefs of Staff of the U.S. and former Chiefs of Staff of the Joint Staff of Japan to share the knowledge and experiences with each other on common strategic challenges.  I particularly wish for the forum to generate “Wisdom” of accomplished top military officers from both countries on important issues such as “Rebalancing” of the U.S., Japan’s “Dynamic Joint Defense Force,” and Japan-U.S. joint operations; and share the wisdom with all involved in the security community.

Moreover, I strongly believe that this forum will be an expression of strong Kizuna present in the Japan-U.S. Alliance, and an inspiration for the alliance to advance.

When I held the post of Chief of Staff of the Joint Staff, I recognized acute need of a network of former military officers from which the active-duty officers could draw lessons and benefit from the insights of our seniors.  There were no efforts made to realize the idea until this day.  The establishment of this Japan-U.S. Military Statesmen Forum is a significant achievement, and I aspire to take an active role as a member of the Forum.

General Richard B. Myers (Ret.),
15th Chairman of Joint Chiefs of Staff

Launching military-to-military strategic dialogues and establishing a strong communication network between former military statesmen from the two biggest democratic economies in the Asia-Pacific—the United States and Japan—is essential for the contemporary Asia-Pacific region, given the security challenges in the region.

There have been myriad efforts at different levels to strengthen the U.S.-Japan Alliances, however deeper policy dialogues between both countries’ retired senior military officers hasn’t existed before in the 60-year history of the Alliance. I strongly believe that it is high time for both militaries to come together and share experiences, strategic insights and expertise. The wisdom of former American and Japanese military statesmen will not only enhance the strengthened nexus of the U.S.-Japan alliance but also will help to properly address issues which both countries face today.  The consolidation of these efforts and wisdom through cultivating a more robust working relationship between national security policy communities on both sides is much needed and long overdue.

With the leadership of Rebuild Japan Initiative Foundation (RJIF), the Japan-U.S. Military Statesmen Forum is to be inaugurated in July 2014 in Tokyo, joining former military statesmen from both the U.S. and Japan—including the former Chairmen of the Joint Chiefs of Staff of the US Military, the former Chiefs of Staff of the Joint Staff of Japan’s Self Defense Forces (SDFs), as well as other senior military officers—who have all contributed tremendously to strengthening the U.S.-Japan alliance over the years.

As a member of the forum, I welcome the initiation of Japan-U.S. Military Statesmen Forum and I’m looking forward to joining our Japanese friends in July to strengthen Kizuna of both militaries.

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The Third Annual Japan-U.S. MSF 

RJIF hosted its third annual Japan-U.S. Military Statesmen Forum (MSF) on July 26-29, 2016 in Tokyo, Japan.

Topics discussed included:

  • The Third Offset Strategy
  • Cyber Security
  • Maritime Security Cooperation
  • The Balance of Power in the South and East China Seas
  • The U.S.-Japan Alliance and the Global Commons
  • Multilayered Trilaterals with the U.S.-Japan Alliance
  • Security Challenges on the Korean Peninsula
  • Civil-Military Relations
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Attendees

Japanese Participants:

Regular Members

Takashi SAITO 2nd Chief of Staff of the Joint Staff, 2006-2009; Admiral, JMSDF
Ryoichi ORIKI 3rd Chief of Staff of the Joint Staff, 2009-2012; General, JGSDF
Shigeru IWASAKI 4th Chief of Staff of the Joint Staff, 2012-2014; General, JASDF

Auxiliary Members

Masanori YOSHIDA 40th Commandant, Sasebo District, 2012-2014; VADM, JMSDF
Masayuki HIRONAKA 20th Commander, Air Training Command, 2013-2014; LtGen, JASDF
Izuru FUKUMOTO 40th President, Command and Staff College, 2012-2014, VADM, JMSDF
Koichi ISOBE 37th Commanding General, Eastern Army, 2013-2015; LTG, JGSDF

Active Duty Special Guests

Katsutoshi KAWANO 5th and Incumbent Chief of Staff of the Joint Staff, 2014-Present; ADM, JMSDF
Yoshihide YOSHIDA Cabinet Councillor, National Security Secretariat / Deputy Assistant Chief Cabinet Secretary, 2015-Present; MG, JGSDF

Keynote Speakers (in order of presentation)

Nobukatsu KANEHARA Assistant Chief Cabinet Secretary, Deputy Secretary-General, National Security Secretariat
Yuji SATO Commandant, Admiral (Ret.), Japan Coast Guard, 2013-2016

Presenters (in order of presentation)

Hideaki WATANABE Commissioner, Acquisition, Technology and Logistics Agency, MOD
Nobushige TAKAMIZAWA Former Director-General, National Center of Incident readinesss and Strategy for Cybersecurity (NISC), 2015-2016
Jiro HIROE Director General, C4 Systems Department (J6); MG, JGSDF
Ro MANABE Vice Minister of Defense for International Affairs, MOD, 2016-Present
Takeo AKIBA Deputy Minister for Foreign Affairs, MOFA

US Members

Regular Members

Richard MYERS 15th Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, 2001-2005; General,USAF
Michael MULLEN 17th Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, 2007-2011; Admiral, USN

Auxiliary Members

Dennis BLAIR Director of National Intelligence, 2009-2010; ADM, USN
Wallace GREGSON Assistant Secretary of Defense, 2009-2011; LtGen, USMC (Absent)
Timothy KEATING Commander of the U.S. Pacific Command; 2007-2009; ADM, USN
Gary ROUGHEAD Chief of Naval Operations, 2007-2011; ADM, USN
Walter SHARP Commander of the ROK-U.S. Combined Forces Command, 2008-2011; GEN, USA
Burton FIELD Air Force Deputy Chief of Staff for Operations, Plans and Requirements, 2012-2015; LtGen, USAF

Active Duty Special Guests

Harry HARRIS Commander, U.S. Pacific Command, 2015-; ADM, USN
Michael ROGERS Commander, U.S. Cyber Command, Director, NSA, 2014-; ADM, USN

Ambassadors

H.E. Caroline KENNEDY Ambassador to Japan, 2013-
H.E. Mark LIPPERT Ambassador to the Republic of Korea, 2014-

RJIF Distinguished Guest Scholar

Michael GREEN Senior Vice President for Asia, Japan Chair, CSIS; Associate Professor, Georgetown University

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Conference Session with Senator John McCain and Congressman Mac Thornberry © RJIF

The Second Annual Japan-U.S. MSF:
“Revival of Geopolitics and the U.S.-Japan Alliance”

RJIF hosted its second annual Japan-U.S. Military Statesmen Forum (MSF) on June 7th-9th 2015 in Washington D.C., U.S.

Topics discussed included:

  • Right of Collective Self-Defense
  • Guidelines for Japan-U.S. Defense Cooperation
  • National Security Council
  • Maritime Security in East Asia
  • Security in Northeast Asia
  • Cybersecurity and Space
  • Military Technology, Industrial Infrastructure and Innovation
  • Civil-Military Relations

Attendees

Japanese Members

Regular Members

Takashi SAITO 2nd Chief of Staff of the Joint Staff, 2006-2009; Admiral, JMSDF
Ryoichi ORIKI 3rd Chief of Staff of the Joint Staff, 2009-2012; General, JGSDF
Shigeru IWASAKI 4th Chief of Staff of the Joint Staff, 2012-2014; General, JASDF

Auxiliary Members

Tatsuhiro TANAKA 33rd Principal, Signal School, 2008-2009; Major General, JGSDF
Haruhiko KATAOKA 32nd Chief of Staff of the JASDF, 2012-2013; General, JASDF
Masanori YOSHIDA 40th Commandant, Sasebo District, 2012-2014; Vice Admiral, JMSDF
Izuru FUKUMOTO 40th President, Command and Staff College, 2012-2014; Vice Admiral, JMSDF
Masayuki HIRONAKA 20th Commander, Air Training Command, 2013-2014; Lt. General, JASDF

Special Guests (Active Duty)

Katsutoshi KAWANO 5th Chief of Staff for the Joint Staff, 2014-; Admiral, JMSDF
Jun NAGASHIMA Deputy Assistant Chief Cabinet Secretary, NSS, 2009-; Major General, JASDF
Hideshi TOKUCHI Vice Minister for International Affairs, Ministry of Defense, 2014-

US Members


Regular Members

Richard MYERS 15th Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, 2001-2005; General, USAF

Auxiliary Members

Dennis BLAIR Director of National Intelligence, 2009-2010; Admiral, USN
Timothy KEATING Commander of the U.S. Pacific Command, 2007-2009; Admiral, USN
James JONES National Security Advisor, 2009-2010; General, USMC
Gary ROUGHEAD Chief of Naval Operations, 2007-2011; Admiral, USN
Wallace GREGSON Assistant Secretary of Defense, 2009-2011; Lieutenant General, USMC

Special Guests (Active Duty)

Frank PANDOLFE Director of Strategic Plans and Policy, Joint Staff, 2013-; Vice Admiral, USN

Dignitaries

Kenichiro SASAE Japan Ambassador to U.S.
John MCCAIN Chairman of the Senate Committee on Armed Services; U.S. Senator
Mac THORNBERRY Chairman of the House Armed Services Committee; U.S. Congressman

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Lunch reception at the residence of US Ambassador to Japan Caroline Kennedy © RJIF

The First Annual Japan-U.S. MSF:
“The Japan-U.S. Alliance: Enduring KIZUNA for the Future”

The Rebuild Japan Initiative Foundation (RJIF) hosted its first annual Japan-U.S. Military Statesmen Forum (MSF) on July 27th-29th 2014 in Tokyo, Japan.

Topics discussed included:

  • Security Environment in East Asia
  • Asia-Pacific Rebalance Strategy
  • U.S. Basing in Japan
  • Cyber, Space, and Energy Security
  • Role of the National Security Council
  • Management of the U.S.-Japan Alliance

Attendees

Japanese Members

Regular Members

Takashi SAITO 2nd Chief of Staff of the Joint Staff, 2006-2009; Admiral, JMSDF
Ryoichi ORIKI 3rd Chief of Staff of the Joint Staff, 2009-2012; General, JGSDF

Auxiliary Members

Yoshifumi HIBAKO 32nd Chief of Staff of JGSDF, 2009-2011; General, JGSDF
Keiji AKAHOSHI 29th Chief of Staff of JMSDF, 2008-2010; Admiral, JMSDF
Kenichiro HOKAZONO 30th Chief of Staff of JASDF, 2008-2010; General, JASDF
Koji SHIMOHIRA 6th Commander, Defense Intelligence Headquarters; General, JASDF

Special Guests (Active Duty)

Shigeru IWASAKI 4th Chief of Staff of the Joint Staff, 2012-; General, JASDF
Tomohisa TAKEI Commandant, Yokosuka District, 2012-; Vice Admiral, JMSDF
Masayuki HIRONAKA 20th Commander, Air Training Command, 2013-; General, JASDF
Koichi ISOBE Commanding General, Eastern Army, 2013-; Lt. General, JGSDF

US Members


Regular Members

Richard MYERS 15th Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, 2001-2005; General, USAF
Michael MULLEN 17th Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, 2007-2011; Admiral, USN

Auxiliary Members:

Dennis BLAIR Director of National Intelligence, 2009-2010; Admiral, USN
Ralph EBERHART Commander of NORTHCOM, 2002-2005; General, USAF
Wallace GREGSON Assistant Secretary of Defense, 2009-2011; Lt. General, USMC

Special Guests (Active Duty)

Salvatore ANGELELLA Commander of U.S. Forces Japan, 2012-; General, USAF

Dignitaries

Yoshihide SUGA Chief Cabinet Secretary
Itsunori ONODERA Minister of Defense
Caroline KENNEDY U.S. Ambassador to Japan

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