"Cooperative Strategy" to Realize "Competitive Strategy":
The composite structure of Japan's "Free and Open Indo-Pacific" strategy (vision)
Professor at The National Defense Academy of Japan
In recent years, the "Free and Open Indo-Pacific" strategy (vision) has suddenly become considered "the most important asset of Japanese diplomacy."1 Observing this development, the present author cannot help but feel a certain sense of content, because he is one of the earliest scholars who started to work on this subject in Japan. Since the early 2010s, he has been giving consistent focus to the concept of "Indo-Pacific" and discussing whether it could be a core concept in Japan's regional security policy. (His papers on this topic enumerated below eloquently testify to the author's contribution to establishing this strategic concept. --- The Editor)2
However, it is not necessarily clear as to what are the nature and goals of this strategy. What makes matters complicated is that Japan's Indo-Pacific strategy includes two aspects of both a "competitive strategy" and a "cooperative strategy" targeting China.3 Moreover, this tendency seems to recently become increasingly more notable. In view of the developments as will be elaborated later, there is no doubt that Japan's initial motive of discussing the regional concept of "Indo-Pacific" was intended to maintain the liberal, rules-based regional order based on liberal rules in the face of the increasing assertiveness of a rising China. Obviously, such an idea has not yet disappeared. Nowadays, however, the Japanese government has come to refrain from using the word "strategy" and instead uses the expression "vision", when talking about "Free and Open Indo-Pacific." Reportedly, the Japanese government is giving consideration to Southeast Asian countries that worry about becoming sandwiched between the United States and Japan, both of which are advocating this strategy, and China.4 The "comprehensiveness" and "inclusiveness" of the concept have been stressed to suggest that "Free and Open Indo-Pacific" is not designed to exclude China. In January 2019, the Japanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) posted on its website a briefing material titled "Free and Open Indo-Pacific." In the English version of the material, "Free and Open Indo-Pacific" is represented as a vision; and furthermore, the vision is defined as "an open, comprehensive concept, not exclusive to anybody." On the other hand, it is emphasized that toward the realization of "Free and Open Indo-Pacific," Japan will "maintain" or "promote" the fundamental principles of the international order, which are the foundation of peace and stability in the Indo-Pacific," such as rule of law and freedom of navigation.5 Behind such emphasis lies Japan's wariness about China's increasing assertiveness that is undermining the existing rules-based regional order.
What is the reason for this apparent incongruity? Is the strategic or conceptual dualism a proof that "inconsistency" is inherent in Japan's Indo-Pacific strategy?6
1. Pre-history of the "Free and Open Indo-Pacific" strategy: "competitive strategy" as a motive
As is widely known, Japan's Indo-Pacific strategy originated from an idea of Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.
The "National Security Strategy" issued in December 2013, which expounds on the basic principles of diplomatic and security policies of the second Abe administration, states that "the maintenance and protection of international order based on rules and universal values, such as freedom, democracy, respect for fundamental human rights, and the rule of law, are likewise in Japan's national interests."7 Based on this idea, the Abe administration has been trying to strengthen diplomatic and security engagement in the vast area that constitute the linkage connecting the traditional Asia-Pacific region and the Indian Ocean as far as Africa.
In fact, immediately after returning to power at the end of December 2012, Prime Minister Abe started to regard the areas extending from the Pacific Ocean to the Indian Ocean as a region, and to extend the horizon of Japan's Asia strategy to include the Asia-Pacific and the Indian Ocean. He began to be proactive in taking leadership in maintaining the liberal, rules-based international order that have been the foundation of peace and prosperity in Asia, the world, and Japan for many years after World War II. He planned to give an important diplomatic address entitled "The Bounty of the Open Seas: Five New Principles for Japanese Diplomacy" in Jakarta on January 18, 2013, only three weeks after the inauguration of his second administration. Although the speech was not actually delivered because the Prime Minister had to cut short his visit to return home earlier than scheduled due to the occurrence of the Japanese hostage crisis in Algeria. Yet, the full text of the speech was immediately posted on the website of the Prime Minister of Japan and His Cabinet.8 In it, Abe stated, "Japan's national interest lies eternally in keeping Asia's seas unequivocally open, free, and peaceful — in maintaining them as the commons for all the people of the world, where the rule of law is fully realized." Abe emphasized that "freedom of thought, expression, and speech in this region where two oceans (the Pacific Ocean and the Indian Ocean) meet" had to be protected. "These are universal values that humanity has gained and they must be allowed to flower to the fullest," said the Prime Minister. He further maintained that it had to be ensured that "the seas, which are the most vital commons to us all, are governed by laws and rules, not by might." Although the word "Indo-Pacific" was not employed in this undelivered speech, Abe regarded "the confluence of the two oceans, the Indian and the Pacific", as an integral region, where, he appealed to the world, "universal values" had to be respected, and the order based on "laws and rules", instead of "might," had to be maintained.
About one month later, on February 23, 2013, Prime Minister Abe, in a policy speech entitled "Japan is Back" at the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) in Washington, clearly uttered the word "Indo-Pacific."9 The Prime Minister declared, "… when the Asia-Pacific, or the Indo-Pacific region gets more and more prosperous. Japan must remain a leading promoter of rules." After returning home, the Prime Minister said in his Policy Speech to the 183rd Session of the Diet on February 28, "We will deepen our cooperation with Australia and India as well as the countries of ASEAN and other maritime Asian nations, with the close Japan-U.S. relationship as our cornerstone."10 The statement also represented the Prime Minister's will to expand Japan's Asia diplomacy from the traditional Asia-Pacific region through the Indian Ocean.
Then, what was Prime Minister Abe's motive for aiming to "expand" the Asia-Pacific? An important clue to answer this question is his English article "Asia's Democratic Security Diamond" that came out on December 27, 2012, a day after his assuming office for the second time.11 In this paper, written in November 2012 prior to the General Elections of the year, Abe expressed his views on the then international environment surrounding Japan more straightforwardly than in his speeches and addresses delivered after his second inauguration. In the introductory part of the paper, Abe declared, "Peace, stability, and freedom of navigation in the Pacific Ocean are inseparable from peace, stability, and freedom of navigation in the Indian Ocean." He then continued, "Japan, as one of the oldest sea-faring democracies in Asia, should play a greater role in preserving the common good in both regions." The common good in this context was "navigational freedom across the Pacific and Indian oceans" which, Abe fundamentally recognized, was being threatened by China's challenge. "[I]ncreasingly, the South China Sea seems set to become a ‘Lake Beijing'," he warned. In order to prevent the South China Sea from becoming "even more fortified" by China, Japan should not yield to the country trying to add to pressure around the Senkaku Islands in the East China Sea. "Japan's top foreign-policy priority must be to expand the country's strategic horizons." The paper's title phrase "Asia's Democratic Security Diamond" represented a graphic form of Japan's expanded strategic horizons that Abe advocated. It signified a strategic vision aiming at the diamond-shaped formation of framework connecting democratic countries in the region — Japan, Hawaii (USA), Australia, and India.
Thus, at the root of Abe's vision of linking the Indian Ocean to the Asia-Pacific lay his intention to check the increasing assertiveness of a rising China. In his "Security Diamond" paper, Abe invited not only the United States, Australia and India but also Britain and France to participate in "strengthening Asia's Security" by encouraging them to "stage a comeback" to the region. He referred to South Korea as a trading nation that would be seriously affected, if China further engaged with its fortifications in the South China Sea. Abe's "Security Diamond" came from the idea that these countries should be linked by common values inherent to liberal democracy, and should collaborate as guardians of navigational freedom across the Pacific and Indian Oceans.
Abe's Indo-Pacific-oriented policy also strongly reflected the influence of "value-oriented diplomacy" that he propounded in his first administration. For example, at the end of the "Security Diamond" paper, Abe argued that in order to improve the Japan-China relations Japan first had to consolidate its relationship with the United States, although he acknowledged that the relationship with China was of cardinal importance to the well-being of the Japanese. He further stated as follows:
… for, at the end of the day, Japan's diplomacy must always be rooted in democracy, the rule of law, and respect for human rights. These universal values have guided Japan's postwar development. I firmly believe that, in 2013 and beyond, the Asia-Pacific region's future prosperity should rest on them as well.
What symbolized the value-oriented diplomacy of the first Abe administration was the concept of "Arc of Freedom and Prosperity." This was to transform the sweeping arc stretching from Northern Europe to the Baltic States, Central and South Eastern Europe, Central Asia and the Caucasus, the Middle East, the Indian Subcontinent, Southeast Asia, and Northeast Asia into a prosperous, stable region based on universal values such as freedom, democracy, human rights, the rule of law, and market economy.12 In this concept, Abe imparted an important position to India, which, with a huge population, was achieving economic development under democracy. Abe came up with the idea of a "broader Asia" linking the Pacific Ocean and the Indian Ocean.
This idea was clearly expounded in the speech he delivered at the Indian Parliament on 22 August 2007.13 Its title "Confluence of the Two Seas" indicated his perception of the times: "The Pacific and the Indian Oceans are now bringing about a dynamic coupling as seas of freedom and of prosperity. A ‘broader Asia' that broke away geographical boundaries is now beginning to take on a distinct form."
The first Abe administration established a "Strategic Global Partnership" with the Indian government. According to Abe, "This partnership is an association in which we share fundamental values such as freedom, democracy, and the respect for basic human rights as well as strategic interests" and "The Strategic Global Partnership of Japan and India is pivotal for" Japan's efforts to form "a region called ‘the Arc of Freedom and Prosperity.'" Then, he continued:
By Japan and India coming together in this way, this "broader Asia" will evolve into an immense network spanning the entirety of the Pacific Ocean, incorporating the United States of America and Australia. Open and transparent, this network will allow people, goods, capital, and knowledge to flow freely.
Can we not say that faced with this wide, open, broader Asia, it is incumbent upon us two democracies, Japan and India, to carry out the pursuit of freedom and prosperity in the region?
He called on India for cooperation, emphasizing that both Japan and India are democracies.
At the same time, Abe pointed out that as maritime states, "both India and Japan have vital interests in the security of sea lanes," and proposed:
From now on let us together bear this weighty responsibility that has been entrusted to us, by joining forces with like-minded countries.
The question of what Japan and India should do cooperatively in the area of security in the years to come is one that the officials in charge of diplomacy and defence in our countries must consider jointly.
Although Abe did not mention China in his speech at the Indian Parliament, he evidently took into consideration the rising China when he proposed that Japan, the United States, Australia and other countries should strengthen cooperation with India, considering the Pacific Ocean and the Indian Ocean as one region. In this sense, Abe's "broader Asia" vision portended the basic idea of the Indo-Pacific strategy that he was to advocate in his second administration. Abe himself is aware of that. He began his paper "Asia's Democratic Security Diamond" by recalling that his speech at the Indian parliament received great applause from Indian legislators, adding, "In the five years since then, I have become even more strongly convinced that what I said was correct."
As is clear from the above brief analysis, the starting point of Japan's "Free and Open Indo-Pacific" strategy can be found in Prime Minister Abe's belief that, in the face of China's growing assertiveness, the liberal, rules-based international order which has served as the foundation of international peace and prosperity in the post-war era must be maintained. Abe had long thought that Japan should play a leading role in such efforts. To that end, he worked out the vision of extending the geographical scope of the Asia-Pacific to include the Indian Ocean, thereby promoting cooperation with India and Australia. In other words, Japan's Indo-Pacific strategy started as a "competitive strategy" against the increasingly assertive China.
2. Japan's proposal of the "Free and Open Indo-Pacific" strategy and the emergence of the dimension of "cooperative strategy"
Prime Minister Abe presented his Indo-Pacific strategic vision as the "Free and Open Indo-Pacific Strategy" (FOIP) in his keynote speech at the Sixth Tokyo International Conference on African Development (TICAD VI) in Nairobi, Kenya on August 27, 2016.14 In this speech, the Prime Minister said, "Japan bears the responsibility of fostering the confluence of the Pacific and Indian Oceans and of Asia and Africa into a place that values freedom, the rule of law, and the market economy, free from force or coercion, and making it prosperous;" "Japan wants to work together with you in Africa in order to make the seas that connect the two continents into peaceful seas that are governed by the rule of law." Abe did not mention China. However, his remarks that he would like to foster "the confluence of … Asia and Africa into a place that values freedom, the rule of law, and the market economy, free from force or coercion" was obviously based on his recognition that China was increasingly attempting to change the status quo by force, if necessary without hesitation, particularly in the South China Sea and East China Sea.
According to the Japanese government, the FOIP is based on the following "three pillars": (1) "Promotion and establishment of fundamental values (rule of law, freedom of navigation, etc.) by "maintain[ing] fundamental principles of the international order, which are the foundation of peace and stability in the Indo-Pacific." (2) "Pursuit of economic prosperity" by improving "three connectivities," i.e.: (a) "physical connectivity" through quality infrastructure development; (b) "people-to-people connectivity" through assistance in education and job training and promotion of friendship; and (c) "institutional connectivity" by harmonization and common rules including through EPA/FTAs. (3) "Commitment for peace and stability" through capacity-building assistance including the strengthening of capacity of maritime law enforcement and through cooperation in such fields as, among other things, humanitarian assistance and disaster relief.15 The strategy aims at securing peace, stability and prosperity in the Indo-Pacific as a free and open region. Again, behind the expression — the maintenance of "fundamental principles of the international order, which are the foundation of peace and stability in the Indo-Pacific" — is obviously a recognition that this order is recently under increasing strain because of China's challenges. Seeing that "Promotion and establishment of fundamental values (rule of law, freedom of navigation, etc.)" by "maintain[ing] fundamental principles of the international order, which are the foundation of peace and stability in the Indo-Pacific" takes precedence over the other two pillars, Japan's Indo-Pacific strategy, irrespective of being labeled as "free and open," consistently retains its aspect of "competitive strategy" against China as an essential factor.
However, the feature that cannot be overlooked regarding Japanese government's FOIP is that it has come to assume the aspect of "cooperative strategy" toward China.
When Prime Minister Abe explained the FOIP in his Policy Speech to the Diet on January 22, 2018, he maintained his emphasis on the aspect of "competitive strategy" against China.16
Japan will work together with countries with which we share fundamental values such as freedom, democracy, human rights, and the rule of law. We will work hand-in-hand with the United States, as well as Europe, ASEAN members, Australia, India, and other countries to ensure the peace and prosperity of this region stretching from Asia and the Pacific Rim to the Indian Ocean.
A vast expanse of sea stretches from the Pacific Ocean to the Indian Ocean. Since ancient times the people of this region have enjoyed affluence and prosperity from this large and free body of water. Freedom of navigation and the rule of law form their bedrock. We must ensure that these waters are a public good that brings peace and prosperity to all people without discrimination into the future. To this end, we will promote the Free and Open Indo-Pacific Strategy.
However, the Prime Minister continued, "Based on this overall direction, we will also work with China to meet the growing infrastructure demand in Asia." In other words, it was a manifestation of his intention to explore cooperation with China under the FOIP, or to adopt a "cooperative strategy" toward China.
Since then, the Japanese government has in fact begun to explore the possibility of cooperation with China over the FOIP and the "Belt and Road Initiative."17 In this process, when talking about "Free and Open Indo-Pacific," the Japanese government, as mentioned earlier, came to employ the word "vision" instead of "strategy." Prime Minister Abe's reference to the Indo-Pacific in his Policy Speech to the Diet on January 28, 2019 showed a remarkable change from his Policy Speech one year ago.
We will make the vast seas and skies from the Indian Ocean to the Pacific Ocean the foundation of peace and prosperity from which every country, whether large or small, can benefit. Japan will create a "free and open Indo-Pacific," working together with all the countries that share this vision."18
In this speech, the word "strategy" disappeared, and "vision" was employed instead. Since the expression "peace and prosperity from which every country, large or small, can benefit" suggested such peace and prosperity as based on rules that would not allow large countries to pursue their national interests by exerting pressure by force on small countries, the speech preserved the nuance of "competitive strategy" with China in mind. Nonetheless, any expression as was found in his speech in the previous year, "Japan will work together with countries with which we share fundamental values such as freedom, democracy, human rights, and the rule of law," did not appear.
The reported reason was that the Japanese government did not like its commitment to "Free and Open Indo-Pacific" to be misunderstood as a containment strategy against China. Since Prime Minister Abe sought to improve Japan-China relations on the occasion of the 40th anniversary of the signing of the Treaty of Peace and Friendship between Japan and China, he did not want to unnecessarily irritate China by use of the word "strategy." The Japanese government, with the agreement of the U.S. Trump administration, began to change wording from around September 2018.19 For example, during his visits to three Asia-Pacific nations in November 2018, Abe did not use the word "strategy" when referring to the Indo-Pacific. At the East Asia Summit in Singapore on November 15, the Prime Minister stated, "The ‘Free and Open Indo-Pacific' vision will not exclude any country."20 By saying that, he emphasized that Japan's vision of Free and Open Indo-Pacific would be inclusive of China.
Earlier than this at the time of Abe's visit to China in late October 2018, the two countries confirmed to promote bilateral cooperation in infrastructure investments in third countries through implementation of win-win-win projects beneficial to those countries that meet international standards, such as openness, transparency, economic viability and fiscal sustainability. This is drawing attention as a move to explore the points of contact and compatibility between Japan's FOIP and China's "Belt and Road Initiative."21
In this way, Japan's Indo-Pacific strategy (vision) has incorporated a new policy direction of including China as much as possible in the quest for peace and stability in this region, in addition to the original policy direction of advancing cooperation with such countries as the United States, Australia and India that share fundamental values and principles with Japan, thereby establishing a desirable order in this region.22 Moreover, since the announcement of the FOIP, the latter policy direction has seemed to gradually increase in salience.
3. Inevitable coexistence: "cooperative strategy" to make "competitive strategy" work
How should we view the fact that in Japan's Indo-Pacific strategy, there exist simultaneously two opposite directions toward "competitive strategy" and "cooperative strategy" regarding China? Should it be interpreted as "inconsistency", as one researcher argues?23 Or is there any reason for the coexistence of two directions beyond mere "inconsistency"?
Actually, as the following analysis shows, inevitable reasons are recognized for the coexistence of the two directions.
First of all, it is impossible for Japan's Indo-Pacific strategy to lose its direction to the "competitive strategy," because, as has already been seen, Japan's fundamental motive of proposing this strategy lies in its desire to safeguard the existing liberal, rules-based regional order in the face of the increasing assertiveness of China, as well as in its recognition that Japan should fulfill a leading role to this end.
Prime Minister Abe's remarks in this respect are unwavering. Looking at his Policy Speech to the Diet on January 28, 2019, although there was no expression such as "Japan will work together with countries with which we share fundamental values such as freedom, democracy, human rights, and the rule of law" as was in his Policy Speech to the Diet the year before, Abe did not forget to send a signal to China to the effect that the country should not oppress small countries by force to pursue its national interests, by using the expression "peace and prosperity from which every country, whether large or small, can benefit." On November 13, 2018, half a month after his visit to China at the end of October 2018 to improve the bilateral relations, Prime Minister Abe met with U.S. Vice President Mike Pence in Tokyo and, he reportedly agreed with the U.S. Vice President that Japan and the United States should work together under the "Free and Open Indo-Pacific" vision to accelerate cooperation in high-quality infrastructure and energy and digital sectors in third countries, and to continue diplomatic and economic collaboration, thereby checking China's demonstration of its hegemonic intention ignoring international rules.24 On October 28, 2018 or the next day after returning home from his visit to China, Abe invited Prime Minister Narendra Modi of India to his private cottage at Narusawa village in Yamanashi Prefecture near Mt. Fuji to dine together. He demonstrated his closeness with the Indian premier in manifesting his will to strengthen the Japan-India cooperation under the FOIP.25 According to a certain high ranking MOFA official, Prime Minister Modi's visit to Japan was intentionally scheduled for immediately following Abe's return home from China — although circumstantial coordination reasons with the Chinese side on Abe's trip made the visit on the very next day of his return home — in order to show to the world that Japan's basic stance in its Indo-Pacific strategy will be unequivocal, regardless of some improvements in the Japan-China relations.26
The "inclusiveness" of Japan's "Free and Open Indo-Pacific" vision, which the Japanese government has emphasized lately, does not negate its aspect of "competitive strategy," for this comprehensiveness is not unconditional. In his January 28, 2019 Policy Speech cited earlier, Prime Minister Abe said that Japan would build a "Free and Open Indo-Pacific," in cooperation with all the countries that share the vision of making "the vast seas and skies from the Indian Ocean to the Pacific Ocean the foundation of peace and prosperity from which every country, whether large or small, can benefit." As mentioned earlier, the expression "peace and prosperity from which every country, whether large or small, can benefit" implies that what matters is peace and prosperity based on rules that do not allow large countries to oppress small countries by force in pursuit of their national interests. Consequently, this remark by Abe can be construed to suggest that China's attitude of respecting the Japanese "vision" of the "rule-based Indo-Pacific order" would be a prerequisite for Japan to cooperate with China in the Indo-Pacific.
It is therefore inevitable that Japan's India-Pacific strategy retains the aspect of a "competitive strategy." Why, then, is the aspect of "cooperative strategy" expanding on the other hand? One reason is that Prime Minister Abe intends to improve the Japan-China relations. Because Japan is located geographically close to China, it is impossible for it to maintain an exclusively confrontational policy against China in the way the United States has lately shown. Since the so-called four-point agreement in November 2014, Abe has endeavored to improve Japan-China relations. In his talks with Chinese Premier Li Keqiang on the occasion of his visit to China in October 2018, Abe reportedly manifested his will to lift the Japan-China relationship to a new era, switching from competition to collaboration.27 Actually, as is known from the fact that Japan's Indo-Pacific strategy retains the aspect of "competitive strategy" after this visit, Japan's China policy has not been directed to become exclusively cooperative. Even if it is acknowledged that the Japan-China relationship is improving, it is still "on the way recovering from minus back to even"28 — it has not yet returned to an even score. It is natural that Prime Minister Abe does not want his Indo-Pacific strategy to unnecessarily irritate China, in order not to throw the bilateral relationship back to an extremely bad state like prior to the four-point agreement.
Having said that, there is another more important reason why Japan is now emphasizing the aspect of "cooperative strategy" in its Indo-Pacific strategy. It is necessary to avoid giving the impression to other counties that Japan's Indo-Pacific strategy is excessively confrontational toward China, if Japan wants to safeguard the existing international order favorable to Japanese interests.
For example, ASEAN countries are anxious that Japan's Indo-Pacific vision may have a meaning of checking or excluding China.29 Indian Prime Minister Modi, who shows his readiness to work with Japan over the FOIP, says that India's strategic autonomy remains unchanged and India will not ride on any Indo-Pacific strategy antagonistic to specific countries.30 For Australia, the Indo-Pacific is a strategic concept taking into account a possible rivalry with China, but not a vision to exclude China. Australia's ultimate goal seems to build the international order based on rules in the way China is included.31
What matters here is that the international order cannot be constructed merely by unilateral efforts of particular countries. Japan is definitely still the third largest economy in the world in terms of GDP. The United States, which proposes its own "free and open Indo-Pacific" strategy bearing a nuance somewhat different from the Japanese vision, boasts of its position as the world's top economic and military power. Nonetheless, it would be impossible, with the efforts of Japan and the United States alone, to build a "free and open order" in the Indo-Pacific. It is not until other countries become ready to accept such an order concept that the order in question will be formed with success.
Therefore, as long as Japan is earnest about the realization of "Free and Open Indo-Pacific," Japan must focus on "attracting" other countries to its vision. ASEAN countries, India and Australia are particularly important countries from this point of view. As mentioned earlier, however, if Japan's Indo-Pacific strategy were to bring too much to the fore its aspect of a "competitive strategy" against China, these countries might withdraw from the Japanese vision. To avoid this, Japan needs to emphasize that its Indo-Pacific vision also includes the aspect of a "cooperative strategy" toward China.
To put it differently, for the purpose of making a success of its vision of order in the Indo-Pacific as a "competitive strategy" against China, Japan must give more than a certain amount of consideration to its aspect of "cooperative strategy" toward China.
In Lieu of Conclusion
It is not appropriate to consider it "inconsistent" that the following two different policy directions coexist in Japan's Indo-Pacific strategy:
1) The direction to counter China to build a desirable international order in this region, by cooperating with the countries which share basic values and ideals with Japan, such as the United States, Australia and India, and
2) The direction to seek for peace and stability in the region by including China in Japan's strategic vision as much as possible and to promote cooperation with China.
In order to make Japan's "competitive strategy" succeed, Japan needs a "cooperative strategy." This is the reality surrounding Japan's Indo-Pacific regional vision.
Since it involves these two opposite policy directions, Japan's "Free and Open Indo-Pacific" strategy (vision) is not easy to pursue. Whether it succeeds depends on whether Japanese diplomacy can discover measures to solve this challenge.
- June 2020,"Transformation of the International Order in the Middle East--- Varying Degrees of "Stateness" and Three Directions of the New Order" written by Satoshi Ikeuchi, Professor, Research Center for Advanced Science and Technology, The University of Tokyo
- June 2020,"Destabilization in the Middle East and its Impacts on Japan's Energy Security" written by Amane Kobayashi, Research Fellow, The Institute of Energy Economics
- May 2020: Urgent Recommendations "Toward a V-shaped Recovery after the Novel Coronavirus Pandemic "Coronavirus Testing for All" --- the First Step of the Next Phase"
- May 2020: "US Diplomacy toward Iran: Economic Sanctions as a Diplomatic Tool" Hiroki Sugita Columnist, Kyodo News
- "Russian Factors in the Middle East" Taisuke Abiru Senior Research Fellow, Sasakawa Peace Foundation
- "The SDF Dispatches to the Middle East --- History and Significance" Ippeita Nishida Senior Research Fellow, Sasakawa Peace Foundation
- March 2020, "Space and Security" Kazuto Suzuki Professor, Hokkaido University
- March 2020, "The US Security Space Policy --- With a Focus on the Establishment of Two Space Forces" Yasuhito Fukushima Chief Researcher, The National Institute for Defense Studies
- March 2020, "China's Recent Activities in Space and Cyberspace" Bonji Ohara Senior Research Fellow, Sasakawa Peace Foundation
- March 2020, "Environmental Security and Japan" Takashi Sekiyama Associate Professor, Kyoto University
- March 2020, "Changes in Global Environment and Security --- US Security Strategy" Hideshi Tokuchi Senior Fellow, National Graduate Institute for Policy Studies (GRIPS)
- February 2020, "Cyberspace Security" Motohiro Tsuchiya Professor, Keio University
- February 2020, "Japan's Space and Cyberspace Policy" Yukinari Hirose Former President of the National Institute for Defense Studies
- December 2019, "The US-China Confrontation --- Where Will Hegemony Reside Next?" Akio Takahara Professor, the University of Tokyo
- December 2019, "Challenges Facing the Chinese Economy" Osamu Tanaka Chief Senior Researcher, Institute of Developing Economies, JETRO
- December 2019, "US Strategic Perception on China: Implications for US Allied Partners" Tsuneo Watanabe Senior Fellow, Sasakawa Peace Foundation
- November 2019, "The Xi Jinping Administration's View of the International Order– China's emphasis on United Nations diplomacy and liberal economic policies−" Shin Kawashima, Professor, the University of Tokyo
- November 2019, "The Future of China's Security Strategy" Hideshi Tokuchi, Senior Fellow, National Graduate Institute for Policy Studies
- November 2019, "China --- Its Confidence and Anxiety" Bonji Ohara, Senior Research Fellow, Sasakawa Peace Foundation
- August 2019: Several Perspectives on the Korean Peninsula Issue--- The Deteriorating Japan-South Korea Relationship and the Uncertain Denuclearization of North Korea --- By Masahiro Akiyama Chairman, the SSDP
- July 2019, "An Outlook on the Denuclearization of North Korea--- What is the Stance of North Korea?---", Junya Nishino, Professor, Keio University
- July 2019, "An Outlook on the Denuclearization of North Korea --- How will the US move?", Narushige Michishita, Vice President, National Graduate Institute for Policy Studies
- July 2019, "Discussion on Denuclearization of North Korea", SSDP Discussion Meeting on May 8, 2019
- May 2019: "Current Status and Prospects of South Korea and Japan's Frictions over History: How to address the Judicial Problems", Masao Okonogi, Professor Emeritus, Keio University
- May 2019: "South Korea and Japan's Frictions over History" (Comments), Junya Nishino, Professor, Keio University
- May 2019: Japan and South Korea Relationships (Question & Answer)
- March 2019: "The Present State and Prospects of the Indian Economy and Economic Policies" written by Koji Kobayashi, Senior Economist Mizuho Research Institute Ltd.
- March 2019: "The "Modi diplomacy" in the History of Indian diplomacy--- Departure from or maintenance of the traditional diplomacy? ---" written by Toru Ito, The National Defense Academy of Japan
- February 2019: Dynamics of Indian Politics and the 2019 General Elections, written by Chiharu Takenaka, Professor of Rikkyo University
- February 2019: "Cooperative Strategy" to Realize "Competitive Strategy"--- The composite structure of Japan's "Free and Open Indo-Pacific" strategy (vision) ---, written by Matake Kamiya, Professor at The National Defense Academy of Japan
- January 2019:, A paper, "How will the US midterm elections results affect the Trump administration's foreign policy for 2019?" written by Tsuneo Watanabe, Senior Fellow, the Sasakawa Peace Foundation
- January 2019:, A paper, "The Present and Future of the International Trade Order" , written by Akihiko Tamura, Professor, National Graduate Institute for Policy Studies
- December 2018: The US-China Competition and Japan, written by Ryo Sahashi, Professor at Kanagawa University
- December 2018: An Outlook for the US-China Trade War―What makes the two economically interdependent superpowers confront each other?―, written by Takashi Sekiyama, Associate professor at Toyo University
- September 2018: Proposal, "The Denuclearization of North Korea and the Restoration of Peace in the Korean Peninsula― Correct Perceptions and Eight Proposals on Japan's North Korea Diplomacy－" edited by the Society of Security and Diplomatic Policy Studies
- September 2018: "The Taiwan Policy of the Xi Jinping Administration in its Second Term: An Outlook on Cross-Strait Relations in the New Era" written by Yasuhiro Matsuda, Professor of the Tokyo University
- July 2018: "The EU States and Russia on North Korea Issues- Expansion of Influence through Diplomacy: Attempts and Limitations -" lectured by Yuichi Hosoya, Professor of Keio University
- "An Assessment of the US-North Korea Summit and an Outlook for the Future of the Korean Peninsula" lectured by Junya Nishino, Professor of Keio University
- "Korean Peninsula Issue and Japan's Future Security Policy" written by Hideshi Tokuchi, Senior Fellow of National Graduate Institute for Policy Studies
- July 2018: "US North Korea policy affected by personnel changes in the Trump administration" lectured by Tsuneo Watanabe, Senior Fellow of the Sasakawa Peace Foundation.
- "China-North Korea relationship under Xi Jinping" lectured by Shin Kawashima, Professor of the Tokyo University.
- "North Korean Denuclearization and Russia" lectured by Nobuo Shimotomai, Professor of the Hosei University.
- March 2018: "The Network Hegemony Theory for a Security Architecture in The Asia Pacific Region" lectured by Masahiro Akiyama, Chairman, the Society of Security and Diplomatic Policy Studies
- January 2018: "A Destabilized Middle East" lectured by Koichiro Tanaka, Professor, Keio University
- December 2017: "Problems in Sino-Japanese Relations, 1992-2042" lectured by Ezra F. Vogel, Professor of the Social Sciences Emeritus at Harvard University
- November 2017: "The Future of the Asia-Pacific Region" written by Yoriko Kawaguchi, Fellow, the Meiji Institute for Global Affairs, Former Minister Foreign Affairs
- October 2017: "A New Trend in India's Foreign Policy and Japan" Written by HIROSE,Takako, Professor, Senshu University
- August 2017: "The Shocks that shook the Transatlantic World and their Implication for Japan's Foreign Policy" written by HOSOYA, Yuichi, Professor, Keio University
- August 2017: "Does Economic Interdependence not Encourage Collaboration? ―Thinking Japan-China Relations from an Economic Perspective―" written by Takashi SEKIYAMA, Ph.D., Toyo University
- July 2017: Proposal article "The Trump Administration's Impact on the Cross-Strait Relations" written by Yasuhiro Matsuda, Ph.D.
- June 2017: Proposal article "The outlook for the relationship between two great powers and implications for Japanese diplomacy" written by Professor Shin Kawashima
- May 2017: (Emergency Proposal) Facing the Inconvenient Truth: Re-examining Policy for Peace and Denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula (Chief author, Masao Okonogi)
- March 2017: "Economic Influences of the Trump Administration" written by Professor Motoshige Ito
- February, 2017: Proposal article "Trump's Foreign and Security Policy - Unpredictable President, Realistic Secretaries - " written by Mr. Tsuneo Watanabe is posted on the website of SSDP.
- December, 2016: Proposal article "Reconsidering North Korea Policy: How to Deal with a Nuclear Armed Divided States" written by Professor Masao Okonogi is posted on the website of SSDP.
- May 2020: "Rivalries in the Middle East in New Security Dynamics", Written by Sayed Ghoneim, Major General (retired) of the Egyptian Armed Forces, Chairman, Institute for Global Security & Defence Affairs
- March 2020: The Japan-South Korea Relationship in a Cul-de-Sac--- Where is an Exit ? Masao Okonogi Professor Emeritus, Keio Universit
- December 2019: The Hong Kong Upheaval and the Future of Cross-Straits Relations－The 2019 Japan-Taiwan Strategic Dialogue Report OGATA, Makoto Former Chief of the Japan-Taiwan Exchange Association in Taipei
- August 2019: Report; 2019 FUTURE CONSENSUS DIALOGUE --Sustainable Prosperity and Future of Korea-U.S.-Japan Cooperation-- By Future Consensus Institute (Yeosijae)
- June 2019: Report on India – Japan Security Dialogue 2019 by Ms. Vindu Mai Chotani, Ph.D Student, The University of Tokyo
June 2019: Four papers on Japan-India Cooperation submitted to India-Japan Security Dialogue 2019
Japan's Rationale for a Free and Open Indo-Pacific Vision
Tsuneo Watanabe, Senior Fellow, The Sasakawa Peace Foundation
The Significance and Possibilities of India-Japan Cooperation in the Concept of the Indo-Pacific
Toru ITO Associate Professor, National Defense Academy of Japan
Japan-India Defense Cooperation in the Indo-Pacific Context - Operationalizing the Security Aspect of the Indo-Pacific Vision –
Hideshi Tokuchi, Senior Fellow, National Graduate Institute for Policy Studies (GRIPS)
India-US-Japan Defense Cooperation: What's next?
Dr. Satoru Nagao, Hudson Institute
- Japan's Rationale for a Free and Open Indo-Pacific Vision
- November 2018: "The Present State of the Japanese Economy and Policy Issues" lectured by Motoshige Itoh, Professor Emeritus at the University of Tokyo.
- November 2018: "Expanding Social Security Expenses and Fiscal Reforms" lectured by Kazumasa Oguro, Professor at Hosei University.
- September 2018: "Taiwan Identity and Cross-Strait Relations and Trump's Taiwan Policy and the Future of Taiwan-US Relations-Discussion at The Second Japan-Taiwan Strategic Dialogue (June 21, 2018, Taipei)-" written by OGATA, Makoto
- September 2018: "Japan-Taiwan Dialogue 2018 Minutes", 21st June 2018, Taipei, Taiwan.
- July 2018: Report on The Second Japan – Philippines Strategic Dialogue prepared by Ms. Vindu Mai Chotani, Ph.D. Student, Graduate School of Public Policy, Tokyo University.
- May 2018: "Civilian Control "at Crisis"? – Perhaps Not, for the Case of the Field Sit-reps from SDF's South Sudan Mission" reported by Ippeita Nishida, Research Fellow, the Sasakawa Peace Foundation
- January 2018: "Fukushima, Genki？Project－Young Taiwanese volunteers introduce the facts on Fukushima's revival through documentary films－" reported by OGATA, Makoto, Former Chief of the Japan-Taiwan Exchange Association in Taipei
- December 2017: "Commemorating a Quarter Century of Dispatches of the JSDF's PKO Units: Challenges and Possibilities in the Post South Sudan" written by Takayuki Shoji, Lecturer, Nihon University
- November 2017: "19th CCP National Congress" written by Mr. Bonji Ohara, Senior Research Fellow, the Sasakawa Peace Fondation
- October 2017: "What is Japan's Role in the Indo-China border conflict?" written by Dr. NGAO,Satoru, Research Fellow, Institute for Future Engineering
- July 2017: "Overview of the Current Situation in Taiwan-" the Naturally Independent Generation" will affect the Taiwan"s politics-" written by Makoto Ogata MGE.(Ret.)
- June 2017: "Japan-U.S. Economic Dialogue" written by Mr.Takaaki Asano
- March 2017: "The Japan-Philippines Strategic Dialogue" written by Mr. Hideshi Tokuchi
- February, 2017: Current topic "The Importance of Japan's Security Role Under Trump" written by Dr. Satoru Nagao is posted on the SSDP website.
- December, 2016: Current topic "Widening Security Task: Will SDF do the Job?" written by Mr. Ippeita Nishida is posted on the SSDP website.
- May 2020: A research journal "Security Studies (vol2 no1) - Cyber, Space, Environment and Security - " March 2020 (English edition)
- February 2020, "A research journal "Security Studies (vol1 no4) " (English edition)"
- September 2019: A research journal "Security Studies (vol1 no3) " (English edition)
- August 2019: Korea-Japan Joint Seminar: FUTURE CONSENSUS DIALOGUE
- April 2019: "Security Studies (vol1 no2) April 2019"
- March 2019: A research journal "Security Studies vol1 no01" just published
- February 2019: The Denuclearization of North Korea and the Takeshima Issue
- December 2018: Former Vice Defense Minister Masahiro Akiyama's Memoirs (An Ad)
- November 2018: Participation in the Future Consensus Forum held in Beijing
- September 2018: "2018 Indo-Pacific Security Dialogue" reported by Masahiro Akiyama
- 2017 December: "The Butterfly Project-A possibility of showing a solution to the North Korea problem-"
- October 2017: Campaign on the problems with North Korea
- August 2017: A New Containment Policy Strategy
- June 2017: Korean peninsla
- March 2017: President Duterte
- February, 2017: Kazakhstan
- November, 2016: Participated in Astana Club 2016 held in Kazakhstan on November 14- 16, 2016.