On 15 September this year AUKUS, a trilateral security pact between Australia, the United Kingdom and the United States, centred on the supply during the 2030s of a fleet of eight nuclear-powered submarines, was announced. To discuss what this means for a ‘free and open Indo-Pacific’ and its implications for Japan and the UK, Japan Society chairman Bill Emmott is joined by two international relations and security experts: Professor Kiichi Fujiwara at the University of Tokyo and Professor Alessio Patalano at King’s College London.
Widely interpreted as a response to China’s increasing military and economic assertiveness in the region, and particular pressures on Australia, how effective is the pact likely to be in ensuring stability and security in the region? Japan has formally welcomed the announcement but what has been the reaction of other neighbours in the region? What does the introduction of AUKUS mean to other groupings such as the Quadrilateral Security Dialogue (Quad), including the US, India, Japan and Australia, and the Five Eyes intelligence sharing network of the US, UK, Canada, Australia and New Zealand? What consequences might Australia’s cancellation of its previous submarines contract with France have on relations within the western alliance and collaboration in the Indo-Pacific?
Kiichi Fujiwara is Director of the Security Studies Unit of the Institute for Future Initiatives and Professor of International Politics at the University of Tokyo, majoring in international politics, comparative politics, and Southeast Asian studies. He is also a special assistant to the president of the University of Tokyo. A graduate of the University of Tokyo, Professor Fujiwara studied as a Fulbright student at Yale University before he returned to Japan at the Institute of Social Science (ISS). He first joined the faculty at Chiba University, and then returned to ISS as an Associate Professor for seven years before assuming the present position. He has held positions at the University of the Philippines, the Johns Hopkins University, the University of Bristol, and was selected as a fellow of the Woodrow Wilson International Center at Washington D.C. from 1995 to 1996. He was the president of the Japanese Comparative Politics Association from 2008 to 2010. Prof. Fujiwara has published extensively on international affairs, whose works include Remembering the War (2001, Korean translation 2003); A Democratic Empire (2002, Korean translation 2002); Is There Really a Just War? (2003); Peace for Realists (winner of the Ishibashi Tanzan award, 2005, substantially revised in 2010); Constructing Peace (edited with Ryo Oshiba and Tetsuya Yamada, 2006); International Politics (2007); War Unleashed (2007); Conditions of War (2013); and A Destabilizing World (2020). Professor Fujiwara is a regular commentator on international affairs and Japanese foreign policy in NHK, TBS, BBC, and CNN, and writes a monthly column for the Asahi
Alessio Patalano is professor of War & Strategy in East Asia at the Department of War Studies (DWS), King’s College London, where he specialises in Japanese naval history and strategy and contemporary maritime issues in East Asia. In Japan, he was a visiting professor at Aoyama Gakuin University and at the National Graduate Institute for Policy Studies (GRIPS), both in Tokyo, and is currently Adjunct Fellow at the Institute of Contemporary Asian Studies, Temple University Japan and Visiting Professor at the Japan Maritime Command and Staff College (JMCSC). His publications include Post-war Japan as a Seapower: Imperial Legacy, Wartime Experience, and the Making of a Navy (2015) and, as co-editor with Marcus Faulkner, The Sea and the Second World War: Maritime Aspects of a Global Conflict (2019).
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