Enabling Professional Growth and Fostering Dialogue

  • About

    We are a 501(c)(3) non-profit tax exempt organization

    • The Yokosuka Council on Asia-Pacific Studies aims to promote the study of strategic, diplomatic, and legal issues affecting the Asia-Pacific Region.
    • Capitalizing on Yokosuka City's unique pool of global expertise and rich maritime heritage, we seek to build networks between individuals, promote dialogue, provide world-class educational opportunities and enable professional mentorship.
    • All discussions are held in personal capacity of the participants and all the activities are off-the-record in nature. Comments made by members are non-attributable and made in the spirit of education and conceptual exchange. All of the views expressed are personal and, more specifically, no comments or discussions presented during our meetings reflect any official government policy.
  • Join Us

    YCAPS wants you!

    We are a small group taking aim at big

    issues impacting the Asia-Pacific Region


    If you'd like to join an event just RSVP and turn up. If you aren't sure and want more information, then drop us a line. We bring together a diverse group of individuals with different backgrounds and experiences to help us explore common challenges. Our members include students, young professionals, leaders at the top of their careers and retired experts. Our programs are designed to help everyone develop while building bridges between Yokosuka's thought communities.

  • Upcoming Events

    We always have interesting events planned

    China's Drive For Global Power, A Year in Review and a Look Ahead (YCAPS-JUMP Seminar)

    16 May 2018

    17:30-18:30 (reception) 18:30-20:30 (seminar)

    Honcho Community Center in Yokosuka (Sogo Fukushi Kaikan Hall), 5th Floor, Training Room 2

    Experienced Indo-Pacific analyst, widely published author and YCAPS executive committee member, Tuan Pham will describe his observations about China's strategic decisions of the last year and predict what we can expect to see in the year to come.


    Start the evening anytime during the 5:30 PM - 6:30 PM reception that will feature a light meal, drinks, and excellent conversation. Find seats at 6:30 PM for this YCAPS-JUMP Seminar. The event is free of charge and will be held in English.

    Location: Honcho Community Center in Yokosuka (Sogo Fukushi Kaikan Hall), 5th Floor, Training Room 2. Find it with the center's access information page or Google Maps.


    This is events is part of the JUMP Seminar series and also co-sponsored by Temple University Japan's Institute of Contemporary Asian Studies.

    -- Event Abstract --

    At the end of 2017, China felt content that it had advanced its regional and global standing at the expense of perceived strategic rival the United States, and was more confident about carrying out its global ambitions in the coming years. At the year-end 19th National Congress of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP), President Xi Jinping emphatically reaffirmed a strategic roadmap for national rejuvenation (Chinese Dream) and officially heralded a new era in Chinese national development. Beijing seems determined to move forward from Mao Zedong’s revolutionary legacy and Deng Xiaoping’s iconic dictum; and poised to expand its global power and influence through the ambitious Belt and Road Initiative, expansive military build-up and modernization, assertive foreign policy, and forceful public diplomacy. In terms of great power relations, Beijing views itself as a rising power and Washington as a declining power – with both seen as being interlocked in a strategic competition for regional and global preeminence.


    A good starting point for assessing China’s strategic actions in 2018 and beyond is Xi’s remarks at the 19th National Congress. A closer examination of Xi’s statements reveals Beijing’s true global ambitions. He spoke at great length about the “Four Greats – experience the great struggle in the new era, construct the great project of CCP building, and promote the great cause of socialism with Chinese characteristics, in order to realize China’s great dream of national rejuvenation.” All in all, the speech outlined Chinese strategic intent in terms of “what” (national rejuvenation), “when” (by what date should national rejuvenation be achieved by), and “how” (ways and means to achieve national rejuvenation).


    -- About the speaker --

    Tuan N. Pham serves on the executive committee of the Yokosuka Council on Asia-Pacific Studies (YCAPS); has over 16 years of experience in the Indo-Pacific; and is widely published in the Diplomat, National Interest, Center for International Maritime Security, and Proceedings (U.S. Naval Institute) on national security affairs and international relations.


    Tuan is a graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy, U.S. Naval War College (Mahan Scholar), and Salve Regina University. He has completed the Federal Executive Fellowship at Johns Hopkins University/Applied Physics Laboratory, Senior Executive Fellowship at John F. Kennedy School of Government (Harvard University), and Seminar XXI Fellowship at Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He holds a B.S. degree in Oceanography (Physics) and three M.A. degrees in National Security and Strategic Studies, International Relations, and Global Business Management.


    Tuan is an active-duty senior naval officer, currently stationed in Japan (third tour). He has had operational assignments in Guam, Japan, and Iraq. He has held staff positions at the Office of the Secretary of Defense, Office of the Secretary of Navy, Joint Staff, Navy Staff, National Security Agency, Defense Intelligence Agency, U.S. Cyber Command, and U.S. Pacific Command. He is a Navy-designated Asia-Pacific (China) Hand (Master-level), Maritime Strategist, Strategic Planner, and Joint Staff Officer. He was also the recipient of the Navy Intelligence Admiral Showers Award for Excellence and Admiral Layton Award for Leadership and Mentorship.


    Published works – ​Now is Not the Time to Back Down in the South China Sea;A Sign of the Times China’s Recent Actions and the Undermining of Global Rules (Part 2); A Sign of the Times, China’s Recent Actions and the Undermining of Global Rules (Part 1); China in 2018, What to Expect; China 2017, Year in Review; Chinese Dream and Beijing’s Grand Strategy; Time to Stop Losing Ground to China in the South China Sea; How America Can Keep From Losing in the South China Sea; America Has Not Lost in the South China Sea; Chinese Double Standard in Maritime Domain; After Shangri-la Dialogue - For China, So What and Now What; Trump-Xi Summit, A Month Later - So What and What's Next; Trump-Xi Summit, Looking Back One Month Later; After the Trump-Xi Summit: Where Do U.S.-China Relations Go From Here; China’s Connected Strategic Themes Across Contested Global Commons (Part 2); China’s Connected Strategic Themes Across Contested Global Commons (Part 1); The Final Frontier, Future of Defending Space as a Global Commons (Part 2); The Final Frontier, Future of Defending Space as a Global Commons (Part 1); China’s Maritime Strategy on the Horizon; The South China Sea Ruling, One Month Later; America Has a Chance to Beat Back China's South China Sea Strategy; Why the U.S. Rebalance to Asia Is More Important Than Ever; After the South China Sea Ruling; South China Sea, A Legal Analysis of China's Maritime Claims; A South China Sea Game Changer; The 21st Century Space Race; More Maritime Strategists Now; The Rebalance Requires Brains as Well As Brawn; Open Source Intelligence, Doctrine’s Neglected Child


    The views and perspectives that will be expressed at the YCAPS Seminar on May 16 are his own and do not reflect the official policy or position of the U.S. Government. As is standard for YCAPS events, comments and discussions will be off-the-record.

    Shimoda Black Ships Festival

    (Tour and Relationship-building events)

    18 May


    Shimoda City, Shizuoka Prefecture

    On 18 May, YCAPS members will visit important historical and cultural locations during the 79th Shimoda Black Ships Festival. Joining with a professor and cadets from the Japan Defense Academy in Yokosuka, we will enjoy private tours and excellent food during this festival celebrating the U.S. Navy's Japan Expeditions, the opening of Shimoda as an international port, the resultant modernization of the Japanese nation.

    In the morning, we visit the fantastic Shimoda Museum which has artifacts and bilingual displays informing visitors about the Japan expeditions, Shimoda's role in the modernization of Japan and the city's vibrant culture. We will then enjoy lunch at Hajime, famous for his large portions of tonkatsu, Japanese fried pork cutlet. In the afternoon, will visit Commodore Perry's landing site where there will be a ceremony, We will then go to Gyokusen-Ji temple, the structure that served as the first U.S. consulate in Japan and where U.S. Navy Sailors and Marines who lost their lives during the expedition are buried. At Gyokusen-Ji we will witness a U.S. Navy graveside commemoration ceremony and then receive a guided tour of the grounds. The tour will include a visit to the Harris Townsend Museum, dedicated to the first American consul in Japan. Finally, we will go to Madogahama Park, to socialize and celebrate 165 years of U.S.-Japan relations while watching the famous Shimoda Black Ships Festival Firework Display.

    It is not necessary to join the entire day’s event, but join us for only portions depending on your schedule. We can discuss individual plans when you RSVP.

    Shimoda is located about 3 1/2 hours from Yokosuka from by car or rail. Because the festival will continue until Sunday 21 May and there are so many other wonderful things to do in Shimoda, participants may want to consider spending a night or the weekend in the city. YCAPS is will facilitate carpooling and will reimburse volunteer driversl There is no charge for the event, but participants will want to bring money for the admission (1500 yen), lunch, snacks and souvenirs.

    Please contact YCAPS at info@YCAPS.org to RSVP for this event and get more information about the tour and Shimoda. Also, visit YCAPS.org for more information

    Japanese National Diet Tour and Briefing (YCAPS-JUMP Seminar)

    28 May 2018


    Meeting at Iwaen, Chinese Restaurant in Kasumigaseki


    The event will begin with a social lunch and briefing on the Japanese Diet and legislative process by Japanese politics specialist Michael Bosack. We will then proceed to Japan’s National Diet Building where the group will
    enjoy a private tour led by a professional diet staff member. In conjunction with the tour, we will also enjoy the opportunity to have small group discussion on international affairs with experts working in the Diet building. Schedules pending, we expect that discussion may
    include an elected member of the Diet.


    Meet at noon for the lunch at Iwaen, Chinese Restaurant in Kasumigaseki.

    Michael Bosack is a Ph.D. Candidate at the International University of Japan's Graduate School of International Relations. Previously, he was the Deputy Chief of Government Relations at Headquarters, U.S. Forces, Japan, where he was part of the team that drafted and implemented
    the 2015 Guidelines for U.S.-Japan Defense Cooperation. Michael is a graduated Mansfield Fellow and military veteran with two tours to Afghanistan.


    This is events is part of the JUMP series.


    This event is currently a capacity, but please RSVP to info@YCAPS.org if you would like to be added to the waiting list.

    The Battle of Midway: Primary Causes of Japanese Failure(YCAPS-JUMP Seminar)

    4 Jun 2018

    17:30-18:30 (reception) 18:30-20:30 (seminar)

    Honcho Community Center in Yokosuka (Sogo Fukushi Kaikan Hall)


    From 4 to 7 June 1942, the Imperial Japanese Navy and U.S. Navy fought the Battle of Midway, a critical inflection point after which the United States seized the initiative in the Pacific War. In most histories written in the English, the U.S. victory can be attributed to superior intelligence, tactics, and, perhaps, luck. On this 76th anniversary of this battle, VADM Yoji Koda will tell this history from a Japanese perceptive based on his original research involving Imperial Japanese Navy records and the lessons that the Japan Maritime Self Defense Force (JMSDF) has incorporated into their training and doctrine.

    Start the evening by anytime during the 5:30 PM - 6:30 PM reception that will feature a light meal, drinks, and excellent conversation. Find seats at 6:30 PM for this YCAPS-JUMP Seminar.


    This is events is part of the JUMP Seminar series and also co-sponsored by Temple University Japan's Institute of Contemporary Asian Studies.



    VADM Yoji Koda is a graduate of Yokosuka’s Japan Defense Academy, the JMSDF Staff College, and the U.S. Naval War College. As a surface officer, he commanded JS Sawayuki (DD-125), Destroyer Flotilla Three and Fleet Escort Force at sea. His shore duty includes Director General (DG) for Plans and Operations, Maritime Staff and DG Joint Staff as well as Commandant JMSDF Sasebo District.


    Vice Admiral Koda retired from the JMSDF as Commander in Chief, Self-Defense Fleet, a force headquartered in Yokosuka in 2008. He was then invited to Asia-Center, Harvard University as a research fellow on Chinese Naval Strategy from June 2009 to July 2011. He served as an advisor to Japan National Security Secretariat of the Government of Japan until March 2016.


    VADM Koda frequently writes on maritime affairs and military history. His recent articles include: “The Russo-Japanese War: Primary Causes of Japanese Success,” U.S. Naval War College Review, “Japanese Perspective on China’s Rise as a Naval Power,” Harvard Asia Quarterly, “A New Carrier Race: Strategy, Force Planning and JS Hyuga,” U.S. Naval War College Review, “The U.S.- Japan Alliance: Responding to China’s A2/ AD Threat,” Center for New American Security, and “Maritime Security in the Region: SCS and ECS as Key Arenas for Converging Political Interests,” Asia Pacific Review, Institute for International Policy Studies. He also contributed to Refighting the Pacific War: Alternative History of World War II (U.S. Naval Institute Press) and co-authored, Maritime Strategy and National Security in Japan and Britain (Leiden and Boston, Global Oriental).




    Have a look at our Facebook site to learn more about past YCAPS events.

  • Professional Development

    YCAPS is committed to supporting the personal and professional development of our members

    Network Development

    Meet People with Shared Interests and Common Ambitions

    YCAPS events are organized on the principal that who you meet is as important as what you learn. Therefore seminars and tour typically include a social portion where members can interact on a personal level with the world-class facilitators as well as the other participants. The events have proven to be be fantastic opportunities to find mentors and develop peer-to-peer support networks.

    YCAPS members at an important security conference

    Fellowships, Scholarships, and Conferences

    YCAPS has formal and informal relationships with many organizations that sponsor a wide range of professional development programs. These include university scholarships, fellowships, internships, travel grants, and conferences. If some cases, YCAPS members have opportunities for priority placement in these programs. In other cases, YCAPS volunteers are available to advise on placement and coach applications. Download the guide or contact us for more information.

    YCAPS Writers' Circle

    Become a YCAPS Writer

    The YCAPS Writers' Circle is a peer-to-peer network that supports professional writing throughout the process from idea to publication. Some of our members are very experienced authors who have published a number of books and articles. Others are aspiring to see their first piece in print. If you would like to get involved to get some advice regarding outlets and audiences, receive feedback on a draft manuscript, or to help others on their writing projects, email the Writers' Circle. We'll find you partners that suit your needs.

  • Connect With Us

    Be a part of our active Facebook community

  • Our Partners

    YCAPS partners with other organizations to improve our programming

    YCAPS has an active partnership with the Japan-U.S. Military Program (JUMP) based on our common objectives and shared values. The most tangible manifestation of this partnership is the YCAPS-JUMP Seminar Series which provides opportunities for members of the U.S. military community in Yokosuka to develop professional networks with strategic thinkers from across Greater Tokyo and learn from world-class experts.

    YCAPS and TUJ's Institute of Contemporary Asian Studies (ICAS) both serve as centers of gravity for professional development and advanced thinking on issues related to Asian politics, society, and economics. Because our regular event venues are about 90 minutes from each other, we share some audience members while serving different core communities. YCAPS and ICAS take advantage of this situation to regularly co-sponsor events.

  • Executive Committee

    Volunteers who keep YCAPS on track and moving forward

    John Bradford


    Joseph Le


    Justin Boyd


    Tuan Pham


    Thomas Lattanzio

    Tokyo Fellow

    Christina Wong

    Founding Secretary & Past Treasurer

    Darian Wilson

    Outreach and Publicity

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