- What are you focusing on during your fellowship period?
By doing research on the history of Japan-U.S. cooperation on defense technology, I will clarify three aspects, namely, procedures, frameworks and policy changes, which are necessary in promoting joint research, development and production with other countries.
Through this process, I will try to present a model which Japan should establish for facilitating joint research with foreign counties in the future. Recently in Japan, there is growing debate over the foundation of defense-related industry. However, this debate is triggered by domestic situations such as Japan’s fiscal condition or the hardship that domestic companies suffer, and they are not from the viewpoint of national security, particularly not from that of foreign relations. Therefore, with the purpose of developing such a viewpoint, I decided to put myself in America, Washington DC, where institutions are best organized, debates are conducted actively and information on foreign countries is amassed.
- Could you explain briefly what exactly you have been doing during the International Fellowship period?
As a visiting fellow at the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS), I have been studying the history of cooperation in Japan-U.S. defense technology and conducting research on the trend of debate in America concerning the foundation of defense-related industry
In Washington DC, seminars on the foundation of defense-related industry are held almost every week, and debates are frequently conducted at hearings on Capitol Hill. Attending these, I can not only feel the atmosphere of the debates, but also occasionally get a chance to be actually involved in the framework of Japan-U.S. cooperation in defense technology such as at the “Japan-U.S. Technology Forum.” I also organize meetings periodically with experts from home and abroad on the foundation of defense-related industry. This summer, I plan to join the project of CSIS about the foundation of defense-related industry.
- Please give your feedback on the International Fellowship Program.
This is a significant program which can contribute to Japan’s future in a wide range of areas and the most advantageous of all the frameworks which provide an opportunity to be trained abroad. Great features of the program are a well-prepared “subsidy for study,” which enables us to work actively in the country where we are staying, and the consideration for our family members who accompany us. Though I couldn’t have the benefit of the latter, in the orientation they said that they were willing to provide my family with a chance to stay with me abroad. If you share the concept of this program, which is introduced on the website, “Go into the world and contribute to Japan,” you could utilize this valuable framework with your family , and I would be grateful.
- How do you want to build on your studies in the US after returning to Japan?
I been abroad several times so far, and this time am in Washington DC, the United States, which is described as “the center of world politics.” I place myself in, among other places, a think tank where experts from various fields discuss and consider issues based on information that is gathered from a wide range of sources and I feel that it has broadened my horizons.
The foundation of defense-related industry is an essential aspect of national security. Movements regarding the foundation in Japan face a major turning point after the April 2014 cabinet decision entitled, Three Principles on Transfer of Defense Equipment. In the short and medium term, I want to take this as an opportunity to use in my work the knowledge that I learned during my stay in the US this time; and in the long term, based on all these experiences, I want to be a capable person who can be involved in all aspects of national security. At the same time, I want to contribute to the development of Japan-U.S. relations, which have a far-reaching importance.