Asia Program

Competing Visions For East Asia

The United States' re-balance or "pivot" to Asia reflects a recognition that much of the history of the 21st century will be written in Asia. The Wilson Center's Asia Program closely follows political, diplomatic, economic, and security developments in the region, and will use these pages to provide context, present conflicting perspectives, and stimulate discussion and debate on many of the most significant issues touching on U.S. interests in East Asia and the Pacific.

U.S.-Korea Relations in Public Diplomacy

Nov 18, 2014
Public opinion is playing an ever-increasing role in forging diplomatic ties, including relations between the United States and Korea. Public diplomacy between and within the two countries, and the role the media plays in shaping foreign policy will be assessed in a joint conference with Ewha Womans University and the Korean Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

TPP and the Political Economy of U.S.-Japan Trade Negotiations

Oct 06, 2014
Japan may no longer be the economic threat it once was, but tensions with the United States still prevail over trade, most notably in pushing forward with the Trans-Pacific Partnership agreement

Strategic Rebalancing and the Trans-Pacific Partnership: Assessing U.S. Security and Trade Policy Toward Asia Under Obama

Oct 16, 2014
Centerpieces of United States policy toward Asia—especially East and Southeast Asia—during the Obama presidency have included the “pivot” or “rebalancing” on the security side and seeking a massive Trans-Pacific Partnership trade agreement on the economic side. With midterm congressional elections looming and the Obama administration beset by foreign policy challenges from outside the East and Southeast Asian region, this full-day conference will assess the progress, problems and prospects of “rebalancing” and the TPP.

Foreign Policy and Security Implications of Global Aging for the Future of U.S.-Japan Relations HELD IN TOKYO

Oct 06, 2014
The sixth annual joint U.S.-Japan public policy forum held with the Sasakawa Peace Foundation will focus on the foreign policy and security implications of an ageing society worldwide. This event is held in Tokyo, Japan.

Tackling Japan’s Demographic Time Bomb

Aug 29, 2014
Japan’s demographic time bomb is not merely ticking—it is already on the brink of exploding. The country needs more tax-paying, young citizens to offset its ever-increasing number of pensioners if retirees wish to maintain their current standards of living.

Recent Japan Scholars Continue To Weigh In On Key Public Policy Issues

Jul 17, 2014
Japan Scholars Kuniko Ashizawa and Nobuo Fukuda both contributed articles to the National Bureau of Asian Research's Asia Policy 17.

The Rebalance Within Asia: The Evolution of Japan-India Relations

Aug 28, 2014
Japan and India are the two largest democracies in the most populous and dynamic region in the world. Join us in a discussion about prospects for a strategic partnership between the two countries and how closer ties will impact relations with their neighbors in the Asia-Pacific region.

Assessing Threats Facing the U.S.-Korea Alliance

Jun 03, 2014
The dynamism of Asian markets, China’s rise, and Japan’s quest to become a normal state, play key roles in determining the future of the US-ROK alliance. At the same time, U.S. perception of China’s growing influence differs from that of Korea’s. Similarly, Washington does not see eye-to-eye with Seoul over changes in Japan’s policies. While the bilateral alliance remains strongest in dealing with North Korea, the two allies also have different views on dealing with this challenge.

New Trading Blocs in the Asia-Pacific?: TPP, RCEP, U.S.-Korea Cooperation

Jun 27, 2014
The Wilson Center recently partnered with the East Asia Foundation to host a half-day conference, "Asessing Threats Facing the U.S.-Korea Alliance." In the second panel discussion entitled New Trading Blocs in the Asia-Pacific?: TPP, RCEP, and US-Korea Cooperation, the Wilson Center's Asia Program director Robert Hathaway moderated a heated debate about Korea's interests and free trade regimes.

The Challenges of Asymmetrical Alliance

Jun 19, 2014
On June 17, the Woodrow Wilson Center hosted a private luncheon discussion to discuss why the price of maintaining peace must include the ability to join in collective self-defense operations. This was an opportunity for some of Washington’s top Japan analysts and scholars to exchange views with Japan’s leading authority on the legalities of collective self-defense.

Don't Pivot Away from TPP

May 21, 2014
As hopes for the United States to sign on to the biggest global trade deal to date rapidly deteriorate, the cost of U.S. political deadlock may be felt most painfully in Asia in the near term, writes Shihoko Goto.

Taiwan: Small but Hardly Insignificant

May 07, 2014
Robert Hathaway authored this piece on US-Taiwan relations following a recent trip to Taiwan.

Japan's Vision For East Asia

Apr 07, 2014
As questions about U.S. commitment to its rebalance to the Asia-Pacific region remain, how Japan sees its own role in East Asia continues to evolve. The changing nature of Tokyo’s relations with Beijing and Seoul, and Japan’s internal debate about whether it should become a “normal” country with greater defense capabilities are among some key issues discussed in the Wilson Center’s latest publication.

Assessing the Rebalance: The Evolution of U.S. Interests in Asia

Mar 25, 2014
President Barack Obama’s pivot to Asia has been developed into a broader, more coherent strategy since announced in November 2011, and rebadged as the “rebalance” to reflect continuities in U.S. interest. Join Hamish McDonald as he discusses the implications of this rebalance.

Overcoming History's Hurdles: Rising Above the Challenges Facing Relations Between Japan, Korea, and China

Mar 20, 2014
Relations between three of Asia’s biggest economies are at their lowest in decades, as growing nationalistic fervor overwhelms multiple common challenges facing Seoul, Tokyo, and Beijing. Why are the three governments stumbling in history’s hurdles?

The Taiwan Relations Act: Still Essential in Changing Times

Mar 25, 2014
Retired State Department official David Keegan argues that the TRA has protected the interests of both Taiwan and the United States over the past 35 years, but adds that Washington needs to integrate Taipei more clearly into its China policy, including U.S. security planning for China’s maritime periphery.

The Taiwan Relations Act: A Mid-Life Crisis at 35?

Mar 18, 2014
In this policy brief, Professor Dennis Hickey of Missouri State University urges the U.S. Congress to resist the temptation to use Taiwan as a “political football” or to micromanage relations with Taiwan.

Asia Program Hosts Conference on Japan's Vision for East Asia

Mar 14, 2014
On March 5th and 6th, the Asia Program hosted a conference titled Japan's Vision for East Asia: Diplomacy Amid Geopolitical Challenges to discuss Japan's longer-term vision for the region and how it sees its role in Asia.

Japan and Cross-Strait Relations: Why Japan-Taiwan Relations Continue to Grow

Feb 25, 2014
The rise of China has raised the level of tension throughout Northeast Asia, intensifying competition between China and Japan. Taiwan is often seen as caught between the two, pressured on the one hand by China for closer relations, and lured by shared interests with Japan on the other.

An Emergent U.S. Security Strategy in Southeast Asia

Feb 10, 2014
Senior Scholar Marvin Ott and Research Assistant Kenneth Ngo contributed this piece to the Asia Pacific Bulletin by the East-West Center.

Asia’s Scramble for Africa: Who Woos Best?

Jan 27, 2014
A new scramble for Africa is unfolding. But it’s no longer Western powers vying for land and the continent’s wealth as they had until the outbreak of World War I. The power struggle now is among Asian nations, most notably China and Japan.

Why U.S. Angst Over Chinese Buyouts is Warranted

Jan 27, 2014
Worries about Chinese takeovers of key U.S. companies are a deepening concern to both policymakers and consumer advocacy groups. And the American public has reason to be wary of these acquisitions.

Japan in 2014: Can Abe Manage China Tensions?

Jan 09, 2014
Will Japan assert its own vision for East Asia, or will it continue simply to react to China? That will be the biggest question in 2014 for Tokyo as tensions with Beijing continue to mount writes Shihoko Goto.

Experts & Staff