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Asia in Danger: The Evolving US-Japan Security Alliance and what it means for Regional Security

January 18, 2018 @ 6:00 pm - 9:00 pm

$10 – $20

(Students Free & Great Sushi!)
Venue: Morrison & Foerster, 755 Page Mill Road, Palo Alto, CA 94306

The new National Security Strategy unveiled by President Trump on December 18 welcomed the “strong leadership role of our critical ally, Japan,” to counter security threats in an increasingly dangerous world that include an increasingly aggressive North Korean leader, a rising China looking to seize a leadership role in the region, potential conflicts in the East and South China Seas and the risk of the spread of terrorism in Southeast Asia.
Japan has long played an important but unappreciated role in buttressing peace and security in the region through its leadership in creating institutions such as ARF and APEC, providing ODA to key players in the region to support and stabilize them and supporting nation-building exercises in countries like Myanmar and Cambodia. With changes in interpretation of the Constitution, lifting of the weapons export, higher military spending and a new will at the top to exercise regional leadership, Japan is now poised to undertake an even more important leadership role in underpinning Asian security.
The Japan Society of Northern California is pleased to present a program that will explore the evolving US-Japan security alliance and its impact on regional security. The event will feature speakers including Former Vice Minister of Defense, and Visiting Fellow at CSIS, Mr. Masanori Nishi, former U.S. Ambassador to Japan and Shorenstein APARC Fellow at Stanford University, Mr. Michael Armacost, and former Assistant Secretary of Defense and US Ambassador to Vietnam David Shear. Speakers will discuss the evolving U.S.-Japan security alliance and its impact on regional security challenges such as those related to North Korea and the East and South China Seas.


Michael Armacost, Fellow, Walter H. Shorenstein Asia-Pacific Research Center  and Former U.S. Ambassador to Japan and Shorenstein APARC Fellow at Stanford University

Michael Armacost has been a Fellow at the Walter H. Shorenstein Asia-Pacific Research Center (Shorenstein APARC) since 2002. Between 1995 and 2002, he served as president of Washington, D.C.’s Brookings Institution, the nation’s oldest think tank and a leader in research on politics, government, international affairs, economics, and public policy. Previously, in his twenty-four-year government career in the State Department, Defense Department and the National Security Council, he served, among other positions, as Undersecretary of State for Political Affairs and as US Ambassador to Japan and the Philippines.

Armacost is the author of three books, including Friends or Rivals? published in 1996, which draws on his tenure as ambassador to Japan. He also co-edited, with Daniel Okimoto, the Future of America’s Alliances in Northeast Asia, published in 2004 by Shorenstein APARC. Armacost has served on numerous corporate and nonprofit boards, including TRW, AFLAC, Applied Materials, USEC, Inc., Cargill, Inc., and Carleton College, and The Asia Foundation.

A native of Ohio, Armacost graduated from Carleton College and earned his master’s and doctorate in public law and government from Columbia University. He has received the President’s Distinguished Service Award, the Defense Department’s Distinguished Civilian Service Award, the Secretary of State’s Distinguished Services Award, and the Japanese Government’s Grand Cordon of the Order of the Rising Sun.

Masanori Nishi, Senior Advisor, Nippon Life Insurance Company and Former Vice Minister of Japan Ministry of Defense, and Visiting Fellow at CSIS

Masanori Nishi is a Senior Advisor at Nippon Life Insurance Company. He has been a Special Adviser to the Minister of Defense since August of 2017 after holding the role previously from 2015-2016. Mr. Nishi has held numerous roles at the Ministry of Defense such as Director General of the Bureau of Finance and Equipment, Director General of the Bureau of Defense Policy, and Administrative Vice Minister of Defense.

Mr. Nishi first joined Japan Defense Agency (JDA) in April of 1978 and through the years held various roles in the Secretarial Division, Bureau of Personnel, Bureau of Equipment, NAHA Defense Facility Bureau, and the Technical Research and Development Institute.

Mr. Nishi holds a Bachelor of Laws from the University of Tokyo and a M.Litt of International Relations from the University of Oxford.

David Shear, Chairman, National Association of Japan-America Societies and Former Assistant Secretary of Defense and US Ambassador to Vietnam

Ambassador David B. Shear served as Assistant Secretary of Defense for Asian and Pacific Security Affairs from 2014 to 2016, when he performed the duties of Principal Deputy Under Secretary of Defense for Policy. Prior to 2014, Ambassador Shear served for 32 years in the US Foreign Service, most recently as the US Ambassador to Vietnam. He has also served in Sapporo, Beijing, Tokyo, and Kuala Lumpur. In Washington, Ambassador Shear has served in the Offices of Japanese, Chinese, and Korean Affairs and as the Special Assistant to the Under Secretary for Political Affairs. He was Director of the Office of Chinese and Mongolian Affairs in 2008-2009 and served as Deputy Assistant Secretary in the Bureau of East Asian and Pacific Affairs in 2009-2011. In 2017, Ambassador Shear was elected Chairman of the National Association of Japan-America Societies in Washington DC.

Ambassador Shear was a Rusk Fellow at Georgetown University’s Institute for the Study of Diplomacy Ambassador Shear graduated from Earlham College and has a Master’s degree in International Affairs from the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies. He has attended Waseda University, Tai-wan National University, and Nanjing University, and he speaks Chinese and Japanese.



  • 6:00 PM – 6:30 PM Networking & Registration
  • 6:30 PM – 8:00 PM Presentation with audience Q&A
  • 8:00 PM – 9:00 PM Networking & Reception

Sushi and wine provided.

Purchase Tickets:


  • No refunds after Thursday, January 11.
  • Online registration closes at 12:00 PM on Thursday, January 18.
  • Walk-Ins accepted at $25.00 per guest.

The event venue has been provided with generous support from:



January 18, 2018
6:00 pm - 9:00 pm
$10 – $20


(415) 986-4383
View Organizer Website


Morrison Foerster
755 Page Mill Rd # B
Palo Alto, CA 94304 United States
+ Google Map
(415) 813-5718
View Venue Website
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