The rise of China has put many countries around the world on notice. Some may see it as an exciting shift in the world order, and others may approach it with caution. However, no country feels China’s rise more deeply than Japan. Dr. Sheila Smith, an expert on Japanese and regional politics, will discuss how Japan’s relationship with a rising China influences Japanese domestic and foreign policy. Whether it be conflicts in the East China Sea, managing a volatile North Korea or strategies of island defense, Smith will explore the policy issues testing the Japanese government as it tries to navigate this storied and often complex relationship.
SPEAKER: Sheila Smith, Senior Fellow for Japan Studies, Council on Foreign Relations
Sheila A. Smith, an expert on Japanese politics and foreign policy, is senior fellow for Japan studies at the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR). Dr. Smith is the author of Intimate Rivals: Japanese Domestic Politics and a Rising China (Columbia University Press, 2015) and Japan’s New Politics and the US-Japan Alliance (Council on Foreign Relations, 2014). Her current research focuses on how geostrategic change in Asia is shaping Japan’s strategic choices. In the fall of 2014, Dr. Smith began a new project on northeast Asian nationalisms and alliance management.
Dr. Smith is a regular contributor to the CFR blog Asia Unbound and to major media outlets in the United States and Asia. She joined CFR from the East-West Center in 2007, where she directed a multinational research team in a cross-national study of the domestic politics of the US military presence in Japan, South Korea, and the Philippines. Dr. Smith was a visiting scholar at Keio University in 2007–2008, where she researched Japan’s foreign policy towards China, supported by the Abe Fellowship. She has been a visiting researcher at two leading Japanese foreign and security policy think tanks, the Japan Institute of International Affairs and the Research Institute for Peace and Security, and at the University of Tokyo and the University of the Ryukyus.
Dr. Smith is vice chair of the US advisors to the US-Japan Conference on Cultural and Educational Exchange, a binational advisory panel of government officials and private sector members. She teaches as an adjunct professor at Georgetown University’s Asian Studies Department and serves on the board of the Georgetown Journal of Asian Affairs. Dr. Smith earned her MA and PhD degrees from the department of political science at Columbia University.