JASH hosts Japan U.S. Military Program

On June 5, 2017, JASH held its first ever JUMP event (Japan U.S. Military Program) in partnership with Sasakawa Peace Foundation USA and National Association of Japan-America Societies, and with the support of the Consulate General of Japan in Honolulu. 

Given the recent events of the Indo-Asia-Pacific region and Hawaii’s position as a crossroads between east and west, the JUMP event provided attendees with a highly relevant and engaging day of learning and conversation. Guests heard advice from a decorated United States Brigadier General, a thought provoking and provocative panel discussion with faculty from the Daniel K. Inouye Asia-Pacific Center for Security Studies and had an opportunity to connect with U.S. military service members who have served in Japan and members of the community with an interest in U.S.-Japan defense and security issues. 

JASH President Reyna Kaneko opened the day by welcoming attendees and introducing Peter Kelley, the President of National Association of Japan-America Societies, from Washington D.C.  Sal Miwa, Chairman of the Board of JASH then introduced Brigadier General (Ret) James T. Hirai, the Deputy General of Asia-Pacific Center for Security Studies, as the keynote speaker.

General Hirai began his speech emphasizing the need for the United States and Japan to take a “long view” when determining actions and policies that will impact the Indo-Asia-Pacific region. He noted that it is only this “long view” that will ensure international order and carry the region through the inevitable “shocks and surprises” that will occur in the next 30 years.  In closing, and speaking specifically to the nearly 200 newly commissioned officers of the Japan Maritime Self Defense Force in attendance, General Hirai emphasized the need to ardently defend global order, and  gave his last and perhaps most important piece of advice to the officers and guests: “become master learners”.  

Following the keynote speech, attendees enjoyed lunch at the Hale Koa Hotel and continued on to the nearby Daniel K. Inouye Asia-Pacific Center for Security Studies (APCSS) for a tour of the beautiful and high tech campus followed by a panel discussion and question and answer session on Asia-Pacific security issues.  Panelists included James Kendall, Fellow for Common Challenges and Executive Director of JUMP and Sasakawa Peace Foundation USA; J. Mohan Malik, PhD, Professor at APCSS; Alfred Oehlers, PhD, Professor at APCSS; and Chris J.G. Snedden, PhD, Professor at APCSS. The panelists spent time explaining their various areas of expertise to the audience, followed by a question and answer session.  The deep knowledge possessed by the panelists of the intricate issues and challenges faced by the Indo-Asia-Pacific region afforded guests an incredible opportunity to learn and gain insight into a complicated part of the world. 

JASH would like to thank Sasakawa USA and the National Association of Japan-America Societies for providing funding for this program. Also, thank you to all of the speakers and panelists who took time out of their busy schedules to share their experiences and expertise with our JASH members and guests.