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The Japan-US Alliance and the North Korean threat
- Narushige Michishita (Professor and the director of the Security and International Studies Program at the National Graduate Institute for Policy Studies (GRIPS))
- Michael MacArthur Bosack (Ph.D. Candidate at the International University of Japan's Graduate School of International Relations)
- John Bradford (President of the Yokosuka Council on Asia-Pacific Studies and ICAS adjunct fellow)
North Korea played a key role in the development of the alliance between Japan and the United States. Its invasion of the South in 1950 prompted Washington to push for Japanese rearmament. American orders for Japanese goods and services to support the US-led UN forces contributed to the post-war economic recovery of Japan.
In the past two decades, North Korea’s ballistic missile and nuclear weapons program has contributed to greater Japan-US military cooperation, especially in the field of missile defense. The latest series of North Korean bomb and missiles tests have ratchet up tensions and present new challenges for the Japan-US Alliance.
For this panel discussion ICAS Fellow John F. Bradford, Professor Narushige Michishita, and Mr. Michael Bosack to discuss issues related to the ongoing crisis in North Korea, who, alongside the U.S. under the Trump administration, has amplified its political rhetoric, with the looming threat of war raising concerns about regional stability and Japan’s international relations.
Professor Michishita will address the growing threat from North Korea, which has encouraged Japan to strengthen its defense capabilities and commitment to the defense of South Korea. However, it is worrisome that the same threat might undermine US-Japan alliance’s ability to defend South Korea in the future.
Commander John F. Bradford will describe recommendations for the Republic of Korea, Japan, and the United States to cooperatively address the evolving challenges posted by North Korea. The views he expresses as an ICAS adjunct fellow are his own and do not reflect the official policy or position of the Department of Defense or the U.S. Government.
Mr. Bosack will discuss the structure of the US/JAPAN Alliance, specifically focusing on Japanese Security Practice, and the role that the United Nations Command has in addressing the threat posed by North Korean brinkmanship on regional stability.”
Professor and the director of the Security and International Studies Program at the National Graduate Institute for Policy Studies (GRIPS)
Narushige Michishita is professor and the director of the Security and International Studies Program at the National Graduate Institute for Policy Studies (GRIPS). Previously, he served as senior research fellow at the National Institute for Defense Studies (NIDS), Ministry of Defense and assistant counsellor at the Cabinet Secretariat for Security and Crisis Management of the Government of Japan. He acquired his Ph.D. from the School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS), Johns Hopkins University. A specialist in Japanese security and foreign policy as well as security issues on the Korean Peninsula, his works include North Korea’s Military-Diplomatic Campaigns, 1966-2008 (Routledge, 2009) and Lessons of the Cold War in the Pacific: U.S. Maritime Strategy, Crisis Prevention, and Japan’s Role (Woodrow Wilson Center, 2016) (co-authored with Peter M. Swartz and David F. Winkler).
Michael MacArthur Bosack
Ph.D. Candidate at the International University of Japan's Graduate School of International Relations
Michael MacArthur Bosack is a Ph.D. Candidate at the International University of Japan’s Graduate School of International Relations. Prior to leaving military service to pursue his Ph.D., he served as the Deputy Chief of Government Relations at Headquarters, U.S. Forces, Japan. There, he was part of the team that drafted and implemented the 2015 Guidelines for U.S.-Japan Defense Cooperation. Michael was one of the founding members of the Alliance Coordination Mechanism and acted as the lead negotiator for the United States government in implementation of mutual asset protection authorities. He also served as the Headquarters’ multilateral coordinator, working with United Nations Command and South Korean and Australian partners.
His current Ph.D. research examines Alliance Theory, specifically focusing on the negotiations and outcomes of the 1997 and 2015 Defense Guidelines between the United States and Japan. Other research areas include Japanese Security Practice, North Korean brinkmanship, Postwar Occupation Policy, and Leadership Studies.
President of the Yokosuka Council on Asia-Pacific Studies and ICAS adjunct fellow
Commander John F. Bradford, United States Navy, is the President of the Yokosuka Council on Asia-Pacific Studies. He maintains an active research agenda focused on Asian security with special attention given to maritime issues and cooperative affairs. His written work can be found in journals such as Contemporary Southeast Asia, Asia Policy, Asian Security, Asian Survey, Naval War College Review, and Naval Institute Proceedings as well is in edited volumes, online publications and monographs published by leading international think tanks.
As a Navy officer he has served as Commanding Officer, Executive Officer, Combat Systems Officer, Chief Engineer, Navigator, and First Lieutenant in ships forward-deployed to Japan. His staff assignments have included Regional Cooperation Coordinator for the U.S. Seventh Fleet, Country Director for Japan in the Office of the Secretary of Defense and Asia-Pacific Politico-military Officer on the Navy Staff.
As an Olmsted Scholar, CDR Bradford studied in the Department of Political Science at Gadjah Mada University in Indonesia and completed an MSc (Strategic Studies) from the Rajaratnam School of International Studies in Singapore.