Event Recap — US & Japan vs. China: Cooperation and Competition in the War for Technology Leadership

 In Diplomacy

This week, The Japan Society of Northern California had a special opportunity to hold a timely discussion about what the US and Japan can do to cooperate and leverage complementary strengths to better compete with China in technology development and deployment.

Mr. Larry Greenwood, the Board Chairman of the Japan Society of Northern California, was the moderator for this event. He is a consultant advising on government relations and international economic policy, with expertise in trade, finance, development, and Asia, and has experience as a career diplomat in the Foreign Service. Mr. Greenwood welcomed everyone to the event and introduced our two speakers: Kazuto Suzuki and Kurt Tong.

The first speaker was Professor Kazuto Suzuki of the Graduate School of Public Policy at the University of Tokyo, Japan. He is also Director of the Institute of Geoeconomics at International House of Japan. He currently serves as a member of the National Space Policy Committee of the Cabinet Office, the Government of Japan, and the President of Japan Association of International Security and Trade. His research focuses on the conjunction of science/technology and international relations; subjects including space policy, non-proliferation, export control and sanctions. His presentation detailed the Japanese national security strategy against China’s technology. He discussed Japan’s reactive policies towards China, focusing on coexisting with this nation, rather than taking active steps to weaken China.

Following Professor Suzuki’s presentation, Mr. Kurt Tong focused his talk on the United States’ policy towards China. Mr. Tong is the Managing Partner at The Asia Group, where he leads the firm’s work in Japan and the broader East Asia region. Before joining The Asia Group, Ambassador Tong was an American diplomat for 30 years. He also served as the Deputy Chief of Mission and Chargé d’Affaires at the U.S. Embassy in Tokyo from 2011 to 2014, setting the stage for Japan’s entry into the Trans-Pacific Partnership. In his presentation, Mr. Tong detailed America’s three strategies America uses to weaken China: invest, align, and compete. 

Once the speakers were finished presenting, Mr. Greenwood opened the Q&A session. He interviewed each speaker, before turning the floor over to the guests. It was an engaging discussion, with questions and interesting responses. Finally, Mr. Steve Pollock, President of the Japan Society of Northern California, closed the session formally. There was some networking, after the event had concluded.

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