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Science, Technology, and the U.S.–Japan Alliance

Arthur Herman

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The U.S.-Japan alliance is the oldest one in Asia and for decades has been essential to the peace and security of the Pacific Rim. In diplomatic, intelligence, strategic and even military cooperation, the relationship could hardly be stronger—even though competition between two of the world’s largest and most vibrant economies has at times generated political friction.

All the same, the rise of new security challenges in the region in the past decade requires a new level of cooperation from both countries and even more of a coordinated joint response than in the past. These challenges also demand a new sector for cooperation, rooted in scientific and technological cooperation, in order to bolster defense.

On December 19, 2016, a team of security and defense experts as well as industry and government officials gathered at the Hudson Institute for a day-long conference. They considered how to increase such cooperation and assessed the opportunities and obstacles that remain to forwarding that relationship, especially given recent landmark changes in Japan’s defense policy and in its rapidly changing security environment.

There was never an emphasis on achieving consensus on any of these points. This report incorporates key insights from conference participants to give a clearer and more comprehensive picture of the future of the U.S.-Japan defense technology partnership and point the way to steps needed to encourage this increasingly important aspect of the U.S.-Japan alliance.

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