November 15, 2013

The 2013 Next Gen Trip to Japan and Taiwan

By Zachary Hosford

In September 2013, CNAS assembled a group of participants from its Next Generation National Security Leaders Program to participate in a two-week trip to Taiwan and Japan. The trip, facilitated by the Taipei Economic and Cultural Representative Office, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan and the Japan Foundation, offered a unique opportunity for rising American researchers and practitioners to discuss critical national security issues at play in the Asia-Pacific region.

The delegation first traveled to Taiwan to engage with government officials from a wide variety of agencies – including the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Ministry of National Defense and the National Security Council – on regional security and issues of importance to the U.S.-Taiwan relationship. The group also met with military officers, including during a visit to Taiwan’s largest naval base, as well as opposition party officials, academics, private sector companies and U.S. diplomats.  The meetings focused on Taiwan’s role in the U.S. rebalancing to Asia and on maritime security issues in the Asia-Pacific, particularly in the context of cross-strait relations and ongoing maritime territorial disputes.

From there, the delegation traveled to Japan to continue discussions with its close ally on a number of security issues of mutual importance. The delegation met with multiple representatives from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and several bureaus from the Ministry of Defense, all of which occurred directly ahead of the official “2+2” meetings between the foreign and defense ministers of both the United States and Japan. The CNAS Next Gen delegation continued its discussions of maritime security with U.S. naval officers in Yokosuka, Japan and conducted a ship visit of the USS Fitzgerald (DDG-62) before meeting Japan Coast Guard officers at their Tokyo headquarters. After a busy schedule of meetings, the group was able to visit Honda Motor Company and the National Museum of Emerging Science and Innovation before departing Tokyo on the shinkansen (bullet train) for some sightseeing in historic Kyoto. The trip concluded with a presentation from the Next Gen class on its impressions from the trip to Japan.

List of Places Visited - Taiwan:

  • American Institute of Taiwan (AIT)
  • National Security Council (NSC)
  • Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA)
  • Mainland Affairs Council (MAC)
  • Ministry of National Defense (MND)
  • Coast Guard Administration, Executive Yuan
  • Democratic Progressive Party (DPP)
  • National Chengchi University Institute of International Relations
  • National Security Bureau (NSB)
  • Tso-Ying Naval Base
  • CSBC Shipyard
  • Container Security Initiative (CSI) and Megaports Initiative at Kaohsiung Port

List of Places Visited - Japan:

  • Japan Foundation
  • North American Affairs Bureau, Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA)
  • Defense Policy Bureau, Ministry of Defense (MOD)
  • Joint Staff, Ministry of Defense (MOD)
  • Commander, Naval Forces Japan (CNFJ)
  • Japan Coast Guard (JCG) 3rd Regional Coast Guard Headquarters
  • Honda Motor Company
  • National Museum of Emerging Science and Innovation
  • Gekkeikan Sake Museum, Nijo Castle and the Golden Pavilion, Kyoto