Lessons from Fukushima: Big Changes in Japan’s Self Defense Forces

Col. Grant Newsham, USMC, U.S. Military Liaison Officer to the Japan SDF (Army)

Col. Grant Newsham, USMC, U.S. Military Liaison Officer to the Japan SDF (Army)

         

 

 

        On the Anniversary of the Great Tohoku Earthquake and the Fukushima nuclear disaster, Col. Newsham discusses what it was like on the ground then, the shortcomings in the disaster relief efforts, and the lessons learned—including the need for Japan’s Self Defense forces to now develop an amphibious capability. The conversation also turns to the significance of this new capacity in Japan’s future role in disaster relief and humanitarian assistance actions in the Asia Pacific Region. 

A Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force Landing Craft Air Cushion drives onto the beach as part of exercise Dawn Blitz,testing new amphibious operations

A Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force Landing Craft Air Cushion drives onto the beach as part of exercise Dawn Blitz,testing new amphibious operations

 

 

Host: David Day

A Japanese Self-Defense Force landing craft, air cushion lands on Red Beach at Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton, Calif.

A Japanese Self-Defense Force landing craft, air cushion lands on Red Beach at Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton, Calif.

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The Korean War & Its Armistice: Unfinished Framework for a Future

Hyunh-Oh Kim, Consul for Political Affairs Consulate, Republic of Korea

Hyun-Oh Kim, Consul for Political Affairs Consulate, Republic of Korea, Honolulu

               June 25, 1950 marked the beginning of the Korean War and in Hawaii, as well as in many other locations around the globe, ceremonies of commemoration were held. The ceremony in Hawaii is the starting point for this conversation that covers a brief overview of the Korean War, its decimation of South Korea, and the uneasy truce that punctuates the DMZ–all of which has served to create a framework for the unfinished future of Northeast Asia. Korean Consul Kim discusses the rise of South Korea, literally from ashes, to the global stage and credits that rise, in significant part, to the critical involvement of the United States in the war and its assistance to South Korea in the rebuilding process.

Seongho Hong  Kelley Fellow  Pacific Forum CSIS

Seongho Hong
Kelley Fellow
Pacific Forum CSIS

Seongho Kim, talks about the missing piece in the framework for Northeast Asia–North Korea. He also emphasizes that the Korean War Armistice froze the 2 Koreas in place, along the DMZ, and effectively blocked the Korean peninsula from developing economically to its full potential. Both Counsel Kim and Seongho drill down on the missing piece and the need to somehow get North Korea back to the bargaining table for not only nuclear talks but also the discussion of economic development (for North Korea) options.

 

Kerry Gershaneck, former US Marine Officer stationed in Korea and Senior Associate and Director of Governmental Affairs, Pacific Forum CSIS

Kerry Gershaneck, former US Marine Officer stationed in Korea and Senior Associate and Director of Governmental Affairs, Pacific Forum CSIS

Finally, the discussion between Consul Kim, Seongho Hong and Kerry Gershaneck looks at Mdme. President Park’s current visit to Beijing and the interesting language issued in the Joint Communique between China and South Korea directed at North Korea.

Host: David Day

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Power, Diplomacy, Crisis, and Consuls: The Role of the U.S. Embassies

Two career diplomats, a husband and wife team: Ambassadors James and Lauren Kahea Moriarty join David Day in a conversation over the wide range of roles that US Embassy staff play, and how they work and live in countries that range from the glamorous and technologically sophisticated to the brutal and primitive.

Amb. James Moriarty

Amb. James Moriarty

The closure of U.S. embassies in 19 Middle Eastern and African cities in the face of terrorist threats highlights the important—yet often dangerous—work of the thousands of men and women serving in U.S. Embassies as they represent American interests around the world. These men and women play crucial roles in the success of American foreign policy, economic growth, national security, and international influence.  However, relatively few Americans understand what these diplomats and other Embassy staff do, nor the unique challenges and perils they face on a daily basis.

Amb Lauren Moriarty

Amb Lauren Moriarty

 

 

Program sponsored by Pacific Forum, CSIS

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The Asia-Pacific Region’s Flashpoints: An Update

Brad Glosserman Executive Director Pacific Forum, CSIS

Brad Glosserman
Executive Director
Pacific Forum, CSIS

Pacific Forum CSIS’s Executive Director, Brad Glosserman, reviews with David Day the key tense and potentially dangerous security Flashpoints that the Asia-Pacific Region now faces.

 

Asia Pacific Region

Asia Pacific Region

The conversation places these Flashpoints in the context of the rising economic dynamism of the Region, the re-focus of the “whole of government and business” into the Region and its need for stability and security. Potential border spillover Flashpoints are considered with (1)  the ethnic violence in Myanmar,(2) the latest developments in the South China Sea disputes (including the possibility of China now dragging Malaysia into the fray, in addition to the Philippines and Vietnam), (3) China’s dispute with Japan over the Senkakus, and (4) the current situation with the enhanced bellicose rhetoric coming out of North Korea.

 

Hosted by David Day

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Fall of Saigon: What Did We Accomplish and What have we learned?

April 30, marks the 38th anniversary of the Fall of Saigon and the end of the Vietnam War for the United States. This year is also the 40th anniversary of the signing of the Paris Peace Accords. This program looks at the linkage between these two momentous events and how they impacted American and Vietnamese lives, Southeast Asia, as well as the Cold War.

Gene Castagnetti USMC Col. (Ret.) Director, U.S. Memorial Cemetary of the Pacific

Gene Castagnetti
USMC Col. (Ret.)
Director, U.S. Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific

In this conversation,  former combat USMC (ret) Col. Gene Castagnetti and Stanford’s Nguyen Van Canh examine the background of the U.S. involvement in Vietnam, the impact of the Paris Peace Accords, and then the collapse of the government and country of South Vietnam on April 30, 1975. Wars, like elections, have consequences, and the discussion includes a look at the downside of the U.S. withdrawal and the losses on the South Vietnamese side, the genocide, imprisonment, executions, re-education camps and then the bloodbath in Laos and Cambodia that followed. Both guests talk about the victory in Vietnam that has gone unrecognized and unappreciated as well as a theme of betrayal of our men and women in arms by our own political leadership.

Prof. Nguyen Van Canh Stanford University

Prof. Nguyen Van Canh
Stanford University

 

 

Hosted by David Day

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The Asia Pacific Center for Security Studies: Impacting the Region from Hawaii

The Asia Pacific Center for Security Studies, that collection of buildings next to the Halekoa parking garage in Waikiki and one of Hawaii’s intellectual pillars vis.a.vis Asia.

Lt. General Dan Leaf Asia Pacific Center for Security Studies

Lt. General Dan Leaf
Asia Pacific Center for Security Studies

Hosted by David Day, our special guest is Lt General (USAF ret.) Dan Leaf, Director, Asia Pacific Center for Security Studies in Waikiki.

David Day and Lt General (USAF ret.) Dan Leaf, Director, Asia Pacific Center for Security Studies in Waikiki discuss APCSS, what goes on at this institution, its impact on the Region, and why the Center is important.

The conversation includes an overview of some of the courses and workshops that APCSS undertakes along with its increasing role in the policy of “rebalance” in the Pacific.  Looking to the future direction of APCSS, Lt. Gen. Leaf discusses the initial defense engagement with a representative of the Burmese military at APCSS and his belief that the Center will play an increasing role with the U.S. engagement with Burma. He also talks about the visit of Aung San Suu Kyi to the Center and discusses the important role of women in the field of peace & security. .

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Gulf of Tonkin: The Record Set Straight…Finally

 

The Gulf of Tonkin incident in early August of 1964 is a key point in American History. It is the flash of armed conflict that formally brought the United States into the Vietnam War (or, “American War” as the Vietnamese call it) through the passage of the Gulf of Tonkin Resolution. The actual history of this incident got all entangled in the politics of the time and resulted in a conventional wisdom/urban myth (check out the Wikipedia version here)  which is 180 degrees from the actual facts.

 

In this program, Admiral Lloyd “Joe” Vasey, who investigated the incident contemporaneously, now sets the record straight. Interviewed by David Day, this is the very same Admiral Vasey that served as a junior officer to John McCain, Sr (Senator McCain’s father) during WW II and is the founder of the distinguished foreign policy thinktank in the Asia-Pacific Region, Pacific Forum, CSIS.

At the time this program was recorded, Admiral Vasey was 95 years old.

 

There were 2 U.S. destroyers involved in the Gulf of Tonkin incident. The first, the USS Maddox was fired upon on August 2, 1964. There was no dispute that the Maddox was engaged on August 2. There was a bullet hole in the ship to prove it. Because the Maddox carried sensitive and classified electronic equipment onboard, the USS Turner Joy was immediately dispatched to defend the Maddox and got between the Maddox and the incoming North Vietnamese patrol craft as its “shield.” It is the August 4 attacks on the Turner Joy that have been disputed by history.  Admiral Vasey corrects the twisted history here.

 

Admiral Vasey wrote an extensive article in the August, 2010 issue of Proceedings, published by the U.S. Naval Institute, Annapolis, Maryland and reprints can be ordered here.

Admiral Vasey was Chief of Staff for Commander Seventh Fleet. Subsequently, he commanded a fleet of destroyers, was Secretary to the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and chief strategist for CINCPAC. He served as a submarine officer in the invasion of North Africa and then in the Pacific through World War II.

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Eastern Europe & Stability on the Korean Peninsula

A provocative discussion on North Korea’s relationship with the former Soviet Eastern-Block countries and their impact upon the stability on the Korean Peninsula. This interesting conversation examines the diplomatic history, the current ongoing trade and aid relationships, and examines the soft power that these Eastern European nations now have with North Korea and how that soft power might be utilized to assist North Korea to navigate a path of economic reform.

This program also proves the viewer with an unusual glimpse of recent European private sector company investments in North Korea.

This television show , aired statewide in Hawaii, features as its special guest, Petra Dunne, a Kelly Fellow at Pacific Forum CSIS and a former member of the Czech Republic delegation to the UN. The show is hosted by David Day.

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