Wednesday, March 20, 2019

Why Japan is U.S.’s Strongest Ally Today

With flickering lights, one out two elevators operating and a limited sound system, the Korbel School hosted 80 stout participants for a discussion of Japanese-American relations the day after the bomb cyclone. Fortunately, Maglione Hall was up to the challenge.

Prof. Toshihiro Nakayama
Japan may be America’s strongest ally in the Trump era. Professor Toshihiro Nakayama of Keio University described the factors that distinguish Japan from most of Europe and its leaders in its embrace of President Trump and the alliance with the U.S. Professor Nakayama (called Toshi by colleagues and friends) attributed much of the recent steadfast affection for the alliance and President Trump to the rise of an expansive China and the lack of an alternative to America’s deterrent power.

New Consul-General in Denver, Midori Takeuchi, described Japanese relations with the region and specifically with Korea. She highlighted the government’s commitment to women’s positions in the economy and government, including the foreign ministry.

The audience stayed until 7:00 pm asking questions for twenty minutes. It was clear that people, including a number of students, were interested in the relationship with Japan, had concerns about the strength of the alliance, and the strategies to address the rise of China and its ambition in the Pacific.

The event was sponsored by the Crossley Center for Public Opinion Research, the Office of Global Engagement and the Denver Japanese Consulate-General. I moderated the event, and based on my recent trip to Japan, a host of recent blog posts have been published.

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