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To listen to a podcast of today’s event, download the audio files for Panel 1 and Panel 2.

Event Summary

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzō Abe’s renewed interest in the US-India-Japan trilateral relationship comes at a sensitive time in Asia. AEI’s Dan Blumenthal opened a two-panel conference on Thursday during which experts discussed the opportunities for and hindrances to economic and security cooperation between the three countries.

During the first panel, Anil Gupta of the University of Maryland emphasized that China’s hostile attitude toward Japan is pushing Japan to approach India. Ron Somers of the US-India Business Council then explained why India is appealing to the US, citing its young population that believes in a free market, its strong appetite for liquid natural gas and defense equipment, and its rapidly growing middle class. AEI’s Derek Scissors concluded by arguing that increasing US shale gas production and a successful Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) could strengthen trilateral ties.

Michael Auslin from AEI opened the second panel by noting that continued economic growth depends on maintaining security and stability in the Indo-Pacific region. According to Paul Giarra of Global Strategies & Transformation, Japan is undergoing normalization, during which it needs to keep global politics in mind to ensure its new defense plans are effective.

Dhruva Jaishankar of the German Marshall Fund detailed the drivers of security cooperation, which include China’s militaristic rise, maintaining open sea lanes, and common values. Patrick Cronin of the Center for a New American Security wrapped up the discussion by stressing that strong trilateral relations could positively shape China’s participation in an open regional order and could choke off trade and communication points if China were to become aggressive.
–Shannon Mann and Hemal Shah

Event Description

Prime Minister Shinzō Abe’s more forward-leaning foreign and national security policies have led to renewed interest in the potential for a US-India-Japan trilateral relationship. At this public event, experts will explore the rationales behind and roadblocks to greater cooperation.

Are there opportunities for enhanced trade and investment relationships? Will shared security concerns lead to greater defense collaboration? And how will stronger US-India-Japan ties influence China’s posture in the region?

If you are unable to attend, we welcome you to watch the event live on this page. Full video will be posted within 24 hours.


8:45 AM
Registration and Breakfast

9:00 AM
Opening Remarks
Dan Blumenthal, AEI

9:15 AM
Panel I: Economics

Anil K. Gupta, Robert H. Smith School of Business
Richard Katz, The Oriental Economist
Derek Scissors, AEI
Ron Somers, US-India Business Council

Sadanand Dhume, AEI

10:45 AM
Panel II: Security
Patrick Cronin, Center for New American Security
Paul Giarra, Global Strategies & Transformation
Dhruva Jaishankar, German Marshall Fund of the United States

Michael Auslin, AEI

12:30 PM

Event Contact Information

For more information, please contact Shannon Mann at [email protected], 202.862.5911.

Media Contact Information

For media inquiries, please contact [email protected], 202.862.5829.

Speaker Biographies

Michael Auslin is a resident scholar and the director of Japan Studies at AEI, where he studies Asian regional security and political issues. Before joining AEI, he was an associate professor of history at Yale University. A prolific writer, Auslin is a biweekly columnist for The Wall Street Journal Asia and his longer writings include the book “Pacific Cosmopolitans: A Cultural History of US-Japan Relations” (Harvard University Press, 2011) and the study “Security in the Indo-Pacific Commons: Toward a Regional Strategy” (AEI Press, 2010). He was named a Young Global Leader by the World Economic Forum, a Marshall Memorial Fellow by the German Marshall Fund, and a Fulbright and Japan Foundation Scholar.

Dan Blumenthal is the director of Asian Studies at AEI, where he focuses on East Asian security issues and Sino-American relations. He has both served in and advised the US government on China issues for over a decade. From 2001 to 2004, he served as senior director for China, Taiwan, and Mongolia at the Department of Defense. Additionally, he served as a commissioner on the congressionally mandated US-China Economic and Security Review Commission since 2006–12 and held the position of vice chairman in 2007. He has also served on the Academic Advisory Board of the congressional US-China Working Group. Blumenthal is the coauthor of “An Awkward Embrace: The United States and China in the 21st Century” (AEI Press, November 2012).

Patrick Cronin is a senior adviser and senior director of the Asia-Pacific Security Program at the Center for a New American Security. Previously, he served as senior director of the Institute for National Strategic Studies at the National Defense University and as senior vice president and director of research at the Center for Strategic and International Studies. In 2001, Cronin was confirmed by the US Senate to the third-ranking position at the US Agency for International Development. While serving as assistant administrator for policy and program coordination, he led the interagency task force that helped design the Millennium Challenge Corporation. He has also been a senior analyst at the Center for Naval Analyses, a US Naval Reserve Intelligence officer, and an analyst with the Congressional Research Service and SRI International. Cronin has taught at Georgetown University’s Security Studies Program, The Johns Hopkins University’s Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies, and the University of Virginia’s Woodrow Wilson Department of Government.

Sadanand Dhume is a resident fellow at AEI. He writes about South Asian political economy, foreign policy, business, and society, with a focus on India and Pakistan. He is also a South Asia columnist for the Wall Street Journal. He has worked as a foreign correspondent for the Far Eastern Economic Review in India and Indonesia and was a Bernard Schwartz Fellow at the Asia Society in Washington, DC. His political travelogue about the rise of radical Islam in Indonesia, “My Friend the Fanatic: Travels with a Radical Islamist,” has been published in four countries. He has twice been selected by Foreign Policy magazine as one of the world’s top 100 Twitterati. Follow him on Twitter @dhume.

Paul Giarra leads Global Strategies & Transformation, a professional services firm and consultancy providing national security strategic analysis, defense concept development, military transformation expertise, and application of history as a planning tool. Previously, he was a senior program manager and director of the global strategies and transformation program at Hicks and Associates Inc., where he led analyst and data collection teams at US Northern Command and NATO Allied/Command Transformation. As a military transformation expert, he has supported reshaping and experimentation in the Office of the Secretary of Defense, at US Joint Forces Command, at NATO Headquarters, and at NATO Allied Command Transformation. Giarra has also regularly moderated, designed, and led seminars, workshops, and war games for a variety of US government clients.

Anil K. Gupta is the Michael D. Dingman Chair in Strategy and Entrepreneurship at the Robert H. Smith School of Business at the University of Maryland–College Park. He is also one of only three professors out of more than 25,000 worldwide to have been elected as a Lifetime Fellow of the Academy of Management, Strategic Management Society, and Academy of International Business. Additionally, he is a member of the World Economic Forum’s Global Agenda Council on Emerging Multinationals and has also served on the boards of several New York Stock Exchange– and NASDAQ-listed companies in the US. Gupta’s newest book, “The Silk Road Rediscovered: How Indian and Chinese Companies Become Globally Stronger by Competing in Each Other’s Markets” (Jossey-Bass, cowritten by Girija Pande and Haiyan Wang), will be published in April. He has also cowritten “Getting China and India Right: Strategies for Leveraging the World’s Fastest Growing Economies for Global Advantage” (Jossey-Bass, 2009) and “The Quest for Global Dominance: Transforming Global Presence into Global Competitive Advantage” (Jossey-Bass, 2011).

Dhruva Jaishankar is a trans-Atlantic fellow with the Asia Program of the German Marshall Fund (GMF). He manages GMF’s India Trilateral Forum, organizes regular trans-Atlantic meetings on Pakistan, and writes occasional articles on international affairs for the Indian Express, Economic Times, and Foreign Policy. His current research is focused on Indian foreign and security policy and on Internet freedom in South and Southeast Asia. Previously, he was program officer for Asia at GMF, senior research assistant with the 21st Century Defense Initiative at the Brookings Institution, research assistant in Foreign Policy Studies at Brookings, news writer and reporter for CNN-IBN television in New Delhi, and Brent Scowcroft Award Fellow with the Aspen Strategy Group.

Richard Katz is editor of The Oriental Economist Report, a monthly newsletter on Japan, as well as the semiweekly TOE Alert e-mail service on Japan, and is also a special correspondent at Weekly Toyo Keizai, a leading Japanese business weekly. Katz is the author of two books on Japan: “Japan: The System That Soured—The Rise and Fall of the Japanese Economic Miracle” (M.E. Sharpe, 1998) and “Japanese Phoenix: The Long Road to Economic Revival” (M.E. Sharpe, 2002). He has taught about Japan as an adjunct professor in economics at the State University of New York at Stony Brook and at the New York University Stern School of Business. He regularly writes op-eds for newspapers such as the Wall Street Journal Asia and the Financial Times, as well as essays for a variety of journals, such as Foreign Affairs and The International Economy.

Derek Scissors is a resident scholar at AEI, where he studies Asian economic issues and trends. In particular, he focuses on the Chinese and Indian economies and US economic relations with China and India. Scissors is also an adjunct professor at George Washington University, where he teaches a course on the Chinese economy. Before joining AEI, Scissors was a senior research fellow in the Asian Studies Center at the Heritage Foundation. He has also worked in London for Intelligence Research Ltd., taught economics at Lingnan University in Hong Kong, and served as an action officer in international economics and energy for the US Department of Defense.

Ron Somers is president of the US-India Business Council (USIBC), the premier business advocacy organization committed to strengthening US-India commercial ties. Previously, Somers was Unocal Corporation’s chief executive in India, developing commercial opportunities in India’s emerging-energy market. Before that, he was managing director for India on behalf of Cogentrix Energy. During Somers’s time in India, he served on the board of directors of Hindustan Oil Exploration Company, India’s first private-sector oil exploration-company, as well as on the board of the US Educational Foundation in India, which oversees the country’s Fulbright and Hubert H. Humphrey scholarship programs. He is currently on the International Leadership Council of the Monterey Institute of International Studies.

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