The Ukraine Crisis and Japan’s Russia Challenge


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When: Mar 9 2015 - 12:30pm until Mar 9 2015 - 1:30pm
Where: 1819 L Street, NW, Washington, DC, Sixth Floor Conference Room

The Ukraine Crisis and Japan’s Russia Challenge

An Asia Pacific Foreign Policy and Defense Seminar featuring:

Dr. Michito Tsuruoka
Senior Research Fellow
National Institute for Defense Studies (NIDS), Japan

Dr. Michito Tsuruoka, Senior Research Fellow, National Institute for Defense Studies; and Dr. Ellen Frost, East-West Center in Washington

The crisis in Ukraine – Russia’s annexation of the Crimea and its intervention in Eastern Ukraine – has had global implications. Resisting any attempt to change the status quo by force or coercion used to be a challenge mainly in East Asia. However, in the wake of the Ukraine crisis, Europe and Japan (and Asia as a whole) are now facing in common the same challenge. Still, the question of how to manage the relationship with Russia remains tricky for Tokyo, particularly in the context of the territorial dispute and peace treaty negotiations between the two countries and the rise of China. The Shinzo Abe government invested a lot in cultivating relations with Moscow – or with Putin personally. It is, therefore, not surprising that Japan has often been seen as among the most reluctant of G7 members along with Germany regarding economic sanctions on Russia, while firmly committed to the process of G7 coordination. Japan, in short, faces its own Russia challenge in the wake of the Ukraine crisis.

Dr. Michito Tsuruoka discussed what considerations and calculations have been at work behind Japan’s response to the crisis in Ukraine. It is much more than just about the bilateral relationship between Japan and Russia. He also examined (alleged) extended deterrence implications as well as concerns about “hybrid warfare.”

Dr. Michito Tsuruoka is a Senior Research Fellow at the National Institute for Defense Studies (NIDS), Ministry of Defense, Japan. He is concurrently a Research Fellow (part-time) at the Tokyo Foundation. Prior to joining the NIDS in 2009, he served as a Special Adviser for NATO at the Embassy of Japan in Belgium (2005-2008) and Resident Fellow at the German Marshall Fund of the United States (GMF) in Brussels (2009). From 2012 to 2013, Dr Tsuruoka was seconded to the Ministry of Defense as a Deputy Director at the International Policy Division in charge of multilateral security cooperation in the Asia-Pacific region, most notably the ASEAN Defense Ministers’ Meeting-Plus (ADMM-Plus). He then spent 10 months as a Visiting Fellow at the Royal United Services Institute for Defence and Security Studies (RUSI) in London (2013-2014). Dr Tsuruoka has widely published on NATO, European security, Japan’s foreign and security policy, extended deterrence and nuclear policy. He studied politics and international relations at Keio University and Georgetown University and received a PhD in War Studies from King’s College London.

Primary Contact Info:
Name: Sarah Batiuk
Phone: 202-327-9755