Destabilization in the Middle East and its Impacts on Japan's Energy Security
Research Fellow, The Institute of Energy Economics, Japan
This paper will delve into the impact on Japan's energy security of increasing uncertainty in the Middle East and global energy trends.1
In recent years, the situation in the Middle East has been unstable; the countries in the region are facing mounting tensions, and unpredictable armed conflicts have begun to occur. Since Japan relies on the Middle East for crude oil and natural gas supplies, the instability in the region is bound to have a serious impact on Japan's energy security and its economy. On the other hand, under the present circumstances, it is not easy for Japan to realize in the short term a "fossil fuel-free society" or "independence from the Middle East". Consequently, Japan needs to create a system capable of responding to the destabilization of the political and security situation in the Middle East, assuming that dependence on the region for its energy resources will continue into the foreseeable future. If so, Japan's contribution to stabilizing the Middle East will become all the more important.
Increasing Uncertainty in the Middle East and Decreasing US Involvement
The strategic environment in the Middle East is rapidly changing, such as the reduction of US involvement in the region, the expansion of Russia's military presence, and China's political and economic advance. In particular, the United States under the Trump administration is reducing its involvement in the Middle East, and is abandoning its role as "mediator." These US moves have significant political and security impacts. On the other hand, Russia is increasing its military presence in the region through military intervention in the civil war and construction of military bases in Syria, and sales of weapons and military supplies. Also, the Middle East is vital for China's Belt and Road Initiative.
In this changing environment, countries in the Middle East have developed their own foreign and security policies, but their pursuit of national interests has hindered the regional stability. Furthermore, multiple structures of conflict and cooperation have emerged --- Israel versus Iran and pro-Iran powers; Iran and the Gulf Arab States; and Saudi Arabia/UAE/Egypt and Qatar/Turkey. As a result, regional cooperation framework such as Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) failed to function. Moreover, the governments of Yemen, Libya, and Syria became fragile because of the civil wars after the "Arab Spring," and are incapable of border controls and maintaining security. In these circumstances, powerful non-state actors have emerged --- Hezbollah (Lebanon), Hamas (Palestine), the Houthi (Yemen), Kurdish militants (Iraq and Syria), anti-government forces (Syria), and Shiite militias (Iraq). They have acquired influence comparable to that of the regional states.
As described above, since countries in the Middle East prioritize national interests rather than regional stability, the mechanisms for the resolution of regional disputes do not function. While the government has weakened in some countries, the emergence of non-state actors has heightened the probability of an accidental military collision. On top of this, as the channels of dialogue between conflicting states have narrowed, the possibility of an escalation of conflicts has increased through the cycle of collisions.
There have been a lot of significant changes in US energy and Middle East policies. The Trump administration pledged "An America First Energy Plan," and has promoted: the maximum use of domestic energy resources, the termination of dependence on oil imports, the relaxation of environmental regulations on fossil fuel production, the creation of employment by the maximization of shale oil and gas production, the development of clean coal technology, and the regeneration of the coal industry.2 Thanks to the increasing of shale oil and gas production, the United States is expected to become a net petroleum exporter in 2020 and remain as such until 2050.3 The US is likely to link this superiority in energy supply and demand with its diplomatic policy, particularly toward the Middle East. In other words, as long as its energy security is maintained with the robustness against external risks, there is the likelihood that the United States will adopt a harsh or unilateral foreign policy. US's harsh policy toward Iran is an example of the linkage between its energy and the Middle East policies.4 The United States shows a keen interest in maintaining oil and gas prices but is not committed to securing sea lane for a stable energy supply, in the belief that its efforts to protect freedom of navigation is a one-sided burden on the United States. Therefore, it is demanding "burden-sharing" from its allies and partners.
The "energy independence" will diminish the strategic importance of the Middle East for the United States. Of course, US's interests in the Middle East are not limited to oil and gas but other economic interests, alliances and partnerships, US military bases and troops in the region. Although not directly related to energy security, US energy companies operating in the Middle East are also important elements. However, the necessity for the US to contribute to the stabilization of the Middle East, bearing risks and costs solely for its energy security is diminished.
At present, neither of the United States, Iran, Israel, nor Saudi Arabia wants to start war. The Trump administration does not hesitate to use force in the Middle East, as it has conducted the assassination of major general Qasem Soleimani of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps of Iran, killing Abu Bakr Baghdadi of the Islamic State (ISIS), and the missile attacks in Syria. On the other hand, the administration has so far restricted its attacks on limited targets and avoided escalation to the full-scale war. If, however, Iran, Israel, or Saudi Arabia miscalculates or tries to put pressure on rivals, or if a non-state actor suddenly conducts an armed attack, a single conflict may invite an over-reaction among the parties concerned and escalates into an "unwanted war" in the region.5
Japan's Vulnerable Energy Security
With the growing uncertainty in the Middle East, Japan's energy security is becoming increasingly vulnerable, as it relies overwhelmingly for the crude oil and natural gas supply on the region.
The most important task of each country in formulating its energy policy is to maintain a desirable balance between "Stable Energy Supply," "Economic Efficiency," and the "Environment," while giving primary preference to "Safety." To achieve a stable energy supply, it is necessary to secure a constant procurement of energy resources like oil and gas and maintain the sustainable energy supply.6
Japan depends on imports from abroad for most of its needed energy resources such as crude oil, natural gas, and coal. In addition, there are technical, economic, and social challenges for introducing large-scale renewables and nuclear energy. Japan's energy self-sufficiency rate maintained a level of 20% in the 2000s. However, since nuclear power generation decreased after the 2011 Great East Japan Earthquake, it temporarily dropped to 6%. In recent years, the self-sufficiency rate has recovered due to the increase of power generation by renewables, a partial resumption of nuclear power plants, and the progress of energy-saving. Still, it remains less than 10%, as of 2020.
The Idea of 3E + S in Energy
Source: Agency for Natural Resources and Energy7
Japan's geographical and climatic conditions make it difficult to secure stable energy supply. Geographically isolated, Japan maintains no energy infrastructures connected with neighboring countries; therefore, it is almost impossible to borrow or lend energy resources and electricity with its neighbors as is the case among European or Eurasian countries. Moreover, due to recent tensions in the East and South China Seas, the security of sea lanes for transporting energy supplies may be threatened in the event of an emergency. Climatically, frequent major natural disasters coupled with the ageing of energy infrastructures caused an increase in the disruption of domestic energy supply.
Under such circumstances, the increasing geopolitical risks in the Middle East constitute a major risk to the energy security of Japan that imports more than 80% of the crude oil and about 30% of the natural gas from the region. Some could argue the option of reducing dependence on the Middle East for crude oil and natural gas imports for the avoidance of the risks. However, it seems to be difficult to decrease Japan's energy dependence on the Middle East in a short time.
First, the Middle East holds about half of the world's proven crude oil reserves and has a large export capacity. It is therefore possible for the importers, particularly international oil companies to purchase and load large quantities of crude oil efficiently. The production cost of crude oil in the Middle East is also the lowest in the world. In oil-producing countries other than the Middle East, exploration and production of the crude oil costs often fluctuate, making it difficult to secure a stable amount of the oil over the long term.8 The costs for crude oil transportation to Asian countries including Japan from the Middle East are also relatively cheaper, considering the geographical location.
Since Japan has for long imported large quantities of crude oil from the Middle East, many Japanese refineries are designed and operated to chiefly refine the Middle Eastern crude oil. Therefore, it is not easy technically and economically to increase imports of the crude oil from areas other than the Middle East. In addition, the Japanese government is legally not in a position to impose restrictions on private oil companies to reduce their dependency on the Middle East. This is not the case in China, for instance, where the government can control and order private sectors according to its policy.
Some Middle Eastern oil-producing countries, particularly Saudi Arabia, are managing their oil production capacity to balance supply and demand in the global oil market. Thus, they are ready to meet the urgent demand for additional supply. Oil-importing countries including Japan need to maintain a good relationship with Middle Eastern oil-producing countries having surplus production capacity so that they could secure a stable supply of crude oil in an emergency.
Japan's Crude Oil Imports and Its Dependency on the Middle East
Source: Made from data in "Yearbooks / Monthly Reports of Mineral Resources and Petroleum Products Statistics" published by the Agency for Natural Resources and Energy.
Japan's crude oil imports have decreased by 1.5 million barrels per day (b/d) since the mid-1990s. It is estimated that oil demand will continue to decline due to the decreasing population and the development of energy-saving technology. On the other hand, even if crude oil imports and consumption decrease in Japan, the dependency on the Middle East is unlikely to fall in the short term for the above reasons. Even if a decrease in demand for petroleum products could be set off by the reduction of crude oil imports from the Middle East, the dependency would not drop more than 70%.
Origins of Japan's Crude Oil Imports (2017)
* Crude oil imports from Iran is in suspension since May 2019.
Source: Agency for Natural Resources and Energy9
Energy Geopolitics and the Strait of Hormuz
As mentioned above, Japan's energy self-sufficiency rate is still less than 10%, and a high level of dependency on the Middle East in crude oil supply is likely to continue. Therefore, political and security instability in the Middle East would have a great impact on Japan's energy security. Japanese citizens and interests have been involved in terrorist attacks and armed crushes in the region. For example, in the "In Amenas hostage crisis" in 2013, armed groups attacked natural gas facilities in southern Algeria, and killed 10 Japanese citizens. In June 2019, a tanker owned by a Japanese shipping company was attacked while sailing near the Strait of Hormuz. These incidents highlighted the potential risks that instability in the Middle East would constitute a direct threat to Japanese interests.
Robert Kaplan pointed out that it is necessary to put a focus on the places of energy supply and consumption and transportation routes connecting them to understand the geopolitics of energy. Kaplan stressed the importance of the concepts of chokepoints and sea lanes.10 Energy geopolitics is the idea that does not necessarily assume classical strategic competition between nations, but provides perspectives combining geopolitics, international security, and national strategies, as the stable energy supply is essential for the survival and prosperity of nations.
From the perspective of energy geopolitics, it is necessary to consider not only the destabilization of oil and gas producing countries in the Middle East, but also the various risks of supply disruptions and market destabilization. Such risks include the destabilization of transportation routes, large-scale natural disasters, and armed conflicts. In the Middle East, there are several crude oil chokepoints, the Strait of Hormuz, the Strait of Bab el-Mandeb, and the Suez Canal, thus it is vulnerable to supply disruptions caused by political upheavals and conflicts. In addition, such supply disruption would easily lead to a sharp rise in crude oil prices, if the surplus production capacity of oil producing countries responsible for urgent additional production is insufficient, or international cooperation for managing stocks of crude oil is inadequate.11
Particularly, the Strait of Hormuz is extremely important as a chokepoint for global oil and gas transportation. The strait is the passing point for crude oil exports from the Persian Gulf coasts to various destinations in the world; between 2016 and 2018, 21% of global crude oil and petroleum products exports passed through the Strait of Hormuz. The transportation to Asia increased while Europe and the United States decreased their oil imports through the strait. Especially, Japan and South Korea are highly dependent on transportation via the Strait of Hormuz : 85% of crude oil and 30% of liquefied natural gas (LNG) for Japan, and over 70% of crude oil and some 40% of LNG for South Korea are passing through the strait. On the other hand, Chinese dependence on the Middle Eastern crude oil imports is about 30%, because Beijing could make Chinese oil companies diversify the sources of crude oil imports. Therefore, the risks for China's energy security being involved in a crisis in the Hormuz Strait would be relatively lower than Japan or South Korea.
Alternative transportation routes for the Straits of Hormuz include 1) the East-West pipeline (the Petroline) that runs across Saudi Arabia; and 2) UAE's Habshan-Fujairah pipeline. Saudi Arabia tried to avoid concentrating hubs for energy exports and industries in the coastal areas of the Persian Gulf facing Iran, and engage to the Red Sea for hedging risks. In 1981, the East-West Pipeline, an oil and gas route bypassing the Strait of Hormuz was completed. As of 2016, the pipeline is estimated to hold a transportation capacity of 4.8 million b/d and a surplus oil transmission capacity of 1 to 2.8 million b/d. Likewise, the UAE also started in 2012 the operation of the Habshan-Fujairah pipeline with a transportation capacity of 1.5 million b/d, which has enabled the UAE to transport crude oil without passing through the Strait of Hormuz.
However, even with these alternative transportation routes, the security risks of the Strait of Hormuz would not be eliminated. First, the total transportation capacity of the two pipelines is about 8 million b/d, which is much less than the 17 million b/d of maritime transportation through the Strait of Hormuz. Also, if a large-scale armed conflict took place around the strait, it would involve the two alternative pipelines, and oil, shipping, and insurance companies would limit their activities concerning the regional situation. As a result, oil supplies needed for the Japanese economy could not be loaded or transported from the Middle East. In addition, the waters around the Red Sea are also fraught with risks, because of the instability in Yemen and Somalia and the existence of another chokepoint, the Strait of Bab el-Mandeb.
World Maritime Oil Checkpoints
Estimates in million barrels per day, based on 2016 data.
Source: Made from Bloomberg12
Mounting Geopolitical Risks and Challenges for Japan
Despite that geopolitical risks in the Middle East has increased, global oil and gas market remains nearly unresponsive and calm. This is because the market has been oversupplied, and concerns over the deteriorated global economy was bigger than that of the geopolitical risks. On September 14, 2019, there was a large-scale attack presumably using cruise missiles and drones against the oil facilities in Saudi Arabia. The United States and Saudi Arabia suggested Iran's involvement in the attack, but this was not proved. Immediately after the incident, Brent crude oil prices rose sharply from around $60/barrel to $69/barrel, but soon dropped due to the Saudi Arabia's announcement of a quick recovery plan. Another factor preventing the rise of the oil prices was shared concerns about the risks deteriorating global economy including the US-China trade war. In October of the same year, despite that security risks increased as tankers navigating the Red Sea was attacked, crude oil prices barely fluctuated.
Considering current market trends, it seems unlikely that crude oil prices will rise significantly in the short term. Yet, the quantity of oil supply disruption caused by the September 2019 attack on oil facilities in Saudi Arabia amounted to 5.7 million b/d at maximum. This amount is comparable to that at the time of the Iranian Revolution in 1979, and bigger than supply disruption at the time of the 1973 Arab oil embargoes (4.3 million b/d) or the 1990 Gulf War (4.3 million b/d). The September 2019 incident may have drastically pushed up crude oil prices in case of tight supply and demand in the market.
Saudi Arabia has capacity of 4 million b/d surplus crude oil production, which is the largest in the world. The total surplus production capacity of the OPEC member states except Saudi Arabia is less than 1 million b/d. In other words, Saudi Arabia is the most important country that can stabilize the oil market by production adjustment. If the country is attacked and its production capacity suddenly drops, no other countries could adjust the global supply-demand balance of crude oil as Saudi Arabia does. Although the impact of the recent incidents on the oil market was limited, it should not be discounted the implications of possible armed conflicts in the Middle East for the mid-term or long-term energy security.
Although it is unlikely that an all-out war involving multiple countries would occur in the Middle East in the short term, the regional countries are in persistent tensions, an armed crush could suddenly occur involving Japanese citizens and interests. Since January 2020, the Japanese government has dispatched the Self-Defense Forces to the northern part of the Arabian Sea, the Gulf of Aden, and Djibouti for information gathering. As the tensions in the Middle East are not transient, preparedness for emergency response is essential. In addition to the collection and analyses of information regarding to the energy geopolitics, it is also necessary to analyze the impact of revolution in military affairs such as cyber security and drone capability on the regional security situation.
If crude oil supply from the Middle East is disrupted or sharply declined, competition for securing crude oil supply with other countries would be intensified. Therefore, it is needed for Japan to reserve sufficient amount of crude oil. Currently, Japan maintains crude oil reserves equivalent to the amount of 238 days' consumption, including private and governmental reserves and joint stockpiles with oil-producing countries.13 Since, however, the government-stockpiled oil has never been released, it is critical to improve the system to secure the stable and smooth supply of the stockpiled oil in case of an emergency.
Paradoxically, despite the unstable political and security environment in the Middle East, prices of crude oil and natural gas do not fluctuate. Thus, this timing is critical to reconsider Japan's policies toward the Middle East and energy security. Japan's contribution toward easing tensions in the Middle East would help to reduce the risks of conflict in the short term and achieve energy security in Asia including Japan in the longer term. In this sense, the "Free and Open Indo-Pacific (FOIP)" vision/strategy could function as a geo-strategy for Japan's engagement to the Middle East combining economic, diplomatic, and security aspects, and a multilateral cooperation framework. In other words, with the FOIP vision/strategy, Japan and other countries could collaborate to stabilize the Middle East, sharing the macro perspective of sea lane safety and energy security in Asia.
Conclusion: "Two Shocks" Attacking the Middle East
This paper examined the impacts on Japan's energy security of increasing volatility in the Middle East and global energy trends. Finally, I would like to look at the "two shocks" currently prevailing in the Middle East --- the spread of the new coronavirus infection and the plummeting crude oil prices, as of May 2020.
In April 2020, the World Bank drastically reduced its annual economic outlook of the Middle East and North African region from 2.6% (as in October 2019) to minus 1.1%. The global economic stagnation and movement restrictions due to the novel coronavirus infection will shrink demand for oil and natural gas. Therefore, the economic growth of the major oil-producing countries is expected to be adversely damaged --- Saudi Arabia: 0.2%, UAE: minus 1.1%, and Iran: minus 3.7%.
The outlook for non-oil producing countries is more severe due to the pandemic's stagnating effects on the tourism, manufacturing, and remittances from oil-producing countries --- Lebanon: minus 10.9% and Tunisia: minus 4.0%. The Expo 2020 Dubai, which was scheduled for October 2020 in UAE, has been postponed for one year, and a dark cloud is hanging over the upcoming G20 Summit in Riyad, Saudi Arabia.
In addition, the collapse of the coordinated production cut among the oil-producing countries and the sharp drop in oil prices are exacerbating the situation. On March 6, the negotiations of OPEC-plus including Russia for cutting oil production broke down. Soon after Saudi Arabia announced a large-scale production increase, and crude oil prices plunged to almost lower than $20 per barrel. On April 12, OPEC-plus agreed on the largest ever production cut of 9.7 million b/d, but due to the decrease in global demand accompanied by the spread of new coronavirus infection, the WTI crude oil price temporarily recorded a minus sign on April 20.
At present, not only countries in the Middle East and Russia but also the United States have been facing a serious crisis due to declining oil prices. The leaders of these countries seem to be continuing efforts to stabilize oil prices favorable for their oil and gas industries, but the decline in global energy demand is predicted to prolong and expand.14
Oil export revenues account for a greater part of the financial revenues of major oil-producing countries in the Middle East. The countries share the serious concern that their economies would slow down because of the reduction of governmental expenditures resulting from the diminishing oil revenues. Non-oil-producing countries are likewise affected by the economies of the oil-producing countries as they receive investment and assistance from the oil-producing countries and provide labor to them to earn revenues from foreign remittances. "Too cheap crude oil" could not only induce political and economic destabilization in both oil-producing and non-oil-producing countries but also impede necessary energy investment, and threaten damaging global energy security in the medium- to long-term.
December 2022, Proposal "Defending Our Country – Defense Policy in a New Cold War Era" was announced
- Front Cover
- Changes in the Security Environment Surrounding Japan - Shifting Power Balance and the Three Front Threats Ken Jimbo
- How Will "Japan Contingencies" Emerge? Osamu Onoda
- The Japan-US Alliance Revisited: Is it Dependable? Chikako Kawakatsu Ueki
- A New Phase of Defense Diplomacy and Defense Production and Technology Base Ippeita Nishida, Tsuneo Watanabe
- Intelligence Activities in the Post-Ukraine War Era Jun Nagashima
- Responding to the Nuclear Threat Masashi Murano
- No Time to Lose for Improving Japan's Defense Capabilities - Can the JSDF Defend the Homeland? - Ryoichi Oriki
- Toward the Formulation of a New "National Security Strategy" Hideshi Tokuchi
- October 2022, "Japan-China Relations under the Long-term Administration of Xi Jinping: Current Status, Prospects, and Expectations" written by Kazuyuki Suwa, Professor, University of Shizuoka
- October 2022, "China's Policy on the Global South --- China's World View and the Configuration of the US-China Confrontation " written by Shin Kawashima, Professor, the University of Tokyo
- October 2022, "Military Strategy of Xi Jinping's China" written by Bonji Ohara, Senior Fellow, Sasagawa Peace Foundation
- September 2022, " Social Governance by the Communist Party of China: The Present State and the Future Prospects " written by Kazuko Kojima, Professor, Keio University
- September 2022, "The Relationship between Domestic Politics and Diplomacy under the Xi Jinping Administration- Why Were the Large-Scale Military Exercises Decided?" written by Chisako T. Masuo, Professor, Kyushu University
- September 2022, "Xi Jinping's China--- Prospects for Its Climate Change Policy ---" written by Takashi Sekiyama, Associate Professor, The University of Kyoto
- August 2022, " Current Assessment of the Xi Jinping's Rule and Prospects for the Third Term of the Xi Administration " written by Takashi Suzuki, Associate Professor, Aichi Prefectural University
- August 2022, " Economic Challenges Awaiting the Xi Jinping Administration As it Enters its Third Term" written by Toshiya Tsugami, Director, Tsugami Toshiya's Works
- July 2022, "The Russian Invasion of Ukraine and the Future International Legal Order" written by Masahiro Kurosaki, Associate Professor, National Defense Academy
- July 2022, "The Ukraine War and Security in East Asia" written by Narushige Michishita, Vice President, National Graduate Institute for Policy Studies
- July 2022, "How Will the Ukraine War Change the New US-China Cold War?" written by Yasuhiro Matsuda, Professor, the University of Tokyo
- July 2022, "Impact of the Ukraine War on the Global Economy" written by Tatsuhiko Yoshizaki, Chief Economist, Sojitz Research Institute, Ltd.
- June 2022, "Why War Occurs in Europe?--The Structural Transformation of the European Security Order in the Post-Cold War Era --" written by Yuichi Hosoya, Professor, Keio University
- June 2022,"The Russia-Ukrainian War and the Behind-the-Scenes Stance of the United States" "On Economic Security" written by Tsuneo Watanabe, Senior Fellow, Sasakawa Peace Foundation
- June 2022, "The Russia-Ukraine War and NATO", written by Michito Tsuruoka, Associate Professor, Keio University
- June 2022, "The Ukrainian War Viewed from Theories of International Politics" written by Matake Kamiya, Professor, National Defens Academy
- March 2022, "Economic Security Challenges and Cyber Security" written by Jun Osawa, Senior Research Fellow, Nakasone Peace Institute
- March 2022, "On Economic Security" written by Matake Kamiya, Professor, the Ntional Defense Academy
- March 2022, ""Economic Security" and the Review of the 2013 NSS and the Related Strategy Documents" written by Nobushige Takamizawa, Visiting Professor, the University of Tokyo
- March 2022, "The US-China Rivalry and Economic Security" written by Yuzo Murayama, Professor, Doshisya University
- March 2022, "Japan's National Security Policies and Science and Technology" written by Nobukatsu Kanehara, Professor, Doshisya University
- March 2022, "Economic Security in the Free Trade Regime" written by Kazuto Suzuki, Professor, the University of Tokyo
- January 2022, "The 2022 South Korean Presidential Election and the Next Administration's Foreign and Security Policy" written by Junya Nishino, Professor, Keio University
- January 2022, "North Korea's Nuclear and Missile Development and Japan's Defense" written by Hideshi Tokuchi, Senior Fellow, GRIPS
- January 2022, "What will Become of Japan-South Korea Relations? The 1965 Japan-South Korea Treaty System in Jeopardy" written by Masao Okonogi, Professor Emeritus, Keio University
- December 2021, "Economic and Social Conditions in North Korea and its Relations with South Korea" written by Mitsuhiro Mimura, Chief Research Fellow, The Economic Research Institute for Northeast Asia.
- December 2021, "China's Korean Peninsula Policy and North Korea" written by Shin Kawashima, Professor, the University of Tokyo.
- December 2021, "China's Korean Peninsula Policy and North Korea" written by Shunji Hiraiwa, Professor, Nanzan University.
- December 2021, "What to Do with the Relations with North Korea?" written by Hitoshi Tanaka, Chairman for Institute for International Strategy at the Japan Research Institute.
- October 2021, "Strategic Implications of North Korea's Enhanced Nuclear and Missile Capabilities" written by Narushige Michishita, Vice President, National Graduate Institute for Policy Studies.
- October 2021, "The Biden Administration's North Korea Policy: Its Low Priority and Looming Crises" written by Tsuneo Watanabe, Senior Fellow, Sasakawa Peace Foundation.
- October 2021, "The Evolution of the US-ROK Alliance: Tasks in the Biden Era" written by Yasuyo Sakata, Professor, Kanda University of International Studies.
- September 2021, "The Development of Regional Security Architecture: From Asia-Pacific to Indo-Pacific" written by Ken Jimbo, Professor, Keio University.
- September 2021, "The Strategic Development of Japanese Security Cooperation under Superpower Competition and the Development of the FOIP and its Operationalization" written by Nobushige Takamizawa, Visiting Professor, Graduate School of Public Policy, The University of Tokyo.
- August 2021, "Security Perceptions of Central Asian Countries--- From the Perspective of China Studies ---" written by Shin Kawashima, Professor, the University of Tokyo.
- August 2021, "Security in the Indian Ocean Region---Implication of the Galwan Incident for QUAD in the Indo-Pacific" written by Dr. Satoru Nagao, Fellow (Non-Resident), Hudson Institute.
- August 2021, "Easternization and Security in Asia" written by Tsuneo Watanabe, Senior Fellow, Sasakawa Peace Foundation.
- July 2021, "The Ideas of "Autonomy" and "Self-Reliance" in Contemporary India's Foreign Strategy" written by Kazutoshi TAMARI, Associate Professor,Chukyo University.
- July 2021, "Thailand's Security Policies and Threat Perceptions" written by Saya Kiba, Associate Professor, Komatsu University, Faculty of Intercultural Communication.
- July 2021, "Myanmar's Security Perceptions and the February 1 Coup d'Etat" written by Yoshihiro Nakanishi, Associate Professor, Kyoto University.
- July 2021, "Australia's Security Perceptions and the "Asia Threat"" written byTomohiko Satake, Senior Fellow, Defense Policy Division, Policy Studies Department, NIDS .
- June 2021, "The Indo-Pacific Regional Architecture: Its Future--- Multipolar Order Beyond US-China Relations ---" by Tsutomu Kikuchi, Professor, Aoyama Gakuin University
- June 2021, "The Quad Plus in the Security of Asia: Its Significance and Outlook" by Hideshi Tokuchi, Senior Fellow, National Graduate Institute for Policy Studies
- June 2021, "Indonesian Views and Perceptions on National Security" by Nobuhiro Aizawa, Associate Professor, The Graduate School of Social and Cultural Studies, Kyushu University
- June 2021, "Normalized Tensions in the Cross-Strait Relations--- Structural Changes in Taiwanese Society and the Xi Jinping Administration's Strategic Shift ---" by Yasuhiro Matsuda, Professor, The University of Tokyo
- June 2021, "China's Maritime Strategy and Responses of the United States and Japan" by Yoji Koda, Former Commander in Chief, Self Defense Fleet
- June 2021, "The South China Issues from the Perspective of the International Law Order",by Shigeki Sakamoto, Emeritus Professor, Kobe University
- May 2021, "Indonesian Views and Perceptions on National Security" by Nobuhiro Aizawa, Associate Professor, Kyushu University
- May, 2021, "The Philippine Foreign and Security Policy Perspective" written by Yusuke Takagi Associate Professor,National Graduate Institute for Policy Studies.
- May, 2021, "Vietnam's Security: Challenges and Responses" written by Tomotaka Shoji Head, Asia and Africa Division, Regional Studies Department, National Institute for Defense Studies
- March, 2021, "Can the Biden Administration Restore America as a Global Leader?" written by Matake Kamiya, Professor, the National Defense Academy of Japan.
- March, 2021, "The Biden Administration and Japan's Security Strategy" written by Hideshi Tokuchi, Senior Fellow, National Graduate Institute for Policy Studies.
- February,2021, "US Foreign and Security Policy Direction Viewed from the Biden Administration's Lineup" written by Tsuneo Watanabe, Senior Fellow, Sasakawa Peace Foundation
- February,2021, "Trade Policies of the Biden Administration" written by Takaaki Asano, Senior Analyst, Sumitomo Corporation Global Research Co. Ltd.
- February,2021, "The Biden Administration's Policy toward Russia" written by Taisuke Abiru, Senior Fellow, Sasakawa Peace Foundation
- January,2021, "Will US Policy Toward China Change?" lectured by Ryo Sahashi, Associate Professor, the University of Tokyo
- January,2021, "How will China View the Biden Administration?" written by Bonji Ohara, Senior Fellow, Sasakawa Peace Foundation
- January,2021, "An Assessment of the 2020 US Presidential Election－American Democracy Now－" lectured by Fumiaki Kubo, Professor, the University of Tokyo
- January,2021, "Two Trumpian Mysteries－Why did Trump win over 70 million votes? Why is his outrageous behavior unchecked?－" lectured by Kazuhiro Maeshima, Professor, Sophia University
- September, 2020, "The Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) Pandemic and Internationa Relationsl" by Matake Kamiya, Professor, National Defense Academy of Japan
- September, 2020, "The Policy Agenda for the Xi Jinping Administration- COVID-19 Countermeasures and China's International Relations -" by Shin Kawashima, Professor, The University of Tokyo
- "Control in the United States and International Relations" by Koji Murata, Professor, Doshisha University
- September, 2020, "The EU's Response to COVID-19 and International Relations" by Yuichi Hosoya, Professor, Keio University
- August, 2020, "The Corona Crisis Seen from a Macroeconomic Perspective" written by Motoshige Itoh, Professor Emeritus, The University of Tokyo
- August, 2020, "The Coronavirus Pandemic and Japan's Infectious Disease Control" written by Takashi Mihara, Senior Research Fellow, NLI Research Institute
- August, 2020, "Infectious Disease Crisis Control in Japan- Recommendations on an Exit Strategy -" written by Kazumasa Oguro, Professor, Hosei University
- August, 2020, "Security against Infectious Disease Threats --- Policy Responses Abroad" written by Takashi Sekiyama, Associate Professor, Kyoto University
- 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.
- March 2022, A remembrance seminar "Remembering Professor Ezra Vogel" held on January 17, 2022
- March 2021, Japan-ROK Parliamentary Dialogue -Japan-ROK Cooperation in the Era of US-China Competition- held on March 11, 2021
- December 2020: The report of the Japan-ROK Future Dialogue held on November 21 to discuss "Japan-ROK Cooperation in the Post-Covid-19 Era
- October 2020: "Responses to COVID-19 and Agendas for the Post-COVID-19 Era", A Brief Overview of the Japan-Korea Experts Dialogue held on July 29,30, 2020
- October 2020: "The China-Taiwan Confrontation over Corona Response and Taiwan's Security" written by Makoto Ogata, Former Chief of the Japan-Taiwan Exchange Association in Taipei
- 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.
- October 2022, Research Jounal "Security Studies (vol 4 no 3)" - Xi Jinping's China - Politics, Economy, Society and Diplomacy - was published.
- Jun 2022, Research Jounal "Security Studies (vol 4 no 2)" -The Russia-Ukraine War and Its Global Impact- was published.
- March 2022, Research Jounal "Security Studies (vol 4 no 1)"-What is Economic Security?- was published.
- December 2021, Research Jounal "Security Studies (vol 3 no 4)"-Korean Peninsula Situation- was published.
- September 2021, A research journal "Security Studies vol03 no03" -Asia's Security II- (English edition)
- June 2021, A research journal "Security Studies vol03 no02" -Asia's Security I- (English edition)
- March 2021: Research journal "Security Studies (vol3 no1) "- US Foreign Policy in the Biden Administration / The 2020 US Presidential Election and American Democracy -(English edition)
- December 2020: A research journal "Security Studies (vol2 no4) "- Normalize Japan-South Korea Relations trough Dialogues -(English edition)
- September 2020: A research journal "Security Studies (vol2 no3) "-The Novel Coronavirus and Security-(English edition)
- July 2020: A research journal "Security Studies (vol2 no2) - Middle East Situation and Japan's Security - " (English edition) was published
- 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.