Fit for Purpose?: The US-Japan Alliance at 60


As part of the Center for the National Interest’s series examining the evolving security relationship between the United States and Japan, the Center hosted a panel discussion on February 12, 2021 to discuss the nature of the alliance after sixty years.  This session addressed the current policy effectiveness of the US-Japan alliance and prospects for its adjustment to a new strategic and historical context, and featured the following group of distinguished experts:

  • Nobukatsu Kanehara is a Professor at Doshisha University in Kyoto, Japan and a Senior Advisor to The Asia Group.  A distinguished former diplomat, he served as Assistant Chief Cabinet Secretary to Prime Minister Shinzo Abe from 2012 to 2019.  He has also served as Deputy Secretary-General of Japan’s National Security Secretariat, and Deputy Director of the Cabinet Intelligence and Research Office.  His diplomatic career included assignments as Minister at the Embassy of Japan in Washington, and at the Permanent Mission of Japan to the United Nations.

  • Daniel Russel is Vice President for International Security and Diplomacy at the Asia Society Policy Institute (ASPI).  A career member of the Senior Foreign Service at the U.S. Department of State, he served as Assistant Secretary of State for East Asian and Pacific Affairs, and as Senior Director for Asian Affairs at the National Security Council.  His foreign service assignments included several tours in Japan and as Director of the Office of Japanese Affairs.
  • Chris Hughes is Professor of International Politics and Japanese Studies at the University of Warwick, where he also serves as Vice Chancellor for Education.  He has previously served as a visiting professor at Hiroshima University, Tokyo University, the East Asia Institute at the Free University of Berlin, and Harvard University.  He has also been a Research Associate at the International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS), and is currently a Research Associate at Harvard’s Reischauer Institute of Japanese Studies.
  • General Wallace Gregson (USMC, Ret.), the Senior Director for China and the Pacific at the Center for the National Interest and former Assistant Secretary of Defense for Asian and Pacific Security Affairs, moderated the discussion.