• Enabling Professional Growth and Fostering Dialogue


  • About

    We are a non-profit organization building connections and developing people in the Yokosuka Community

    Our Charter

    • The Yokosuka Council on Asia-Pacific Studies (YCAPS) promotes 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, YCAPS builds networks between individuals, promotes dialogue, provides world-class educational opportunities, and enables professional mentorship.
    • All discussions are held in personal capacity of the participants and, unless specifically noted otherwise, all activities are off-the-record in nature. Comments made by members are non-attributable and made in the spirit of education and conceptual exchange. No comments or discussions presented during YCAPS meetings reflect any official government policy.
  • Join Us

    YCAPS wants you!

    We are a rapidly growing 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

    All YCAPS Events will be Virtual during the COVID-19 Pandemic

    YCAPS-JUMP Community Conversation (via Google Meet)

    Thursday, October 1, 2020 at 19:00 JST (18:00 Ulaanbaatar time)

    Experts from Mongolia, Japan, and the United States will discuss the wide array of potential cooperation opportunities for these three countries. The panelists will review the history and significance of the 2020 Mongolia-Japan-US Trilateral Meeting held in January 2020 while examining strengths and new opportunities for collaboration between these strategic partnerships. They will also discuss regional development initiatives, economic investment and community relations programs that can contribute to more prosperous and rewarding relationships.


    To join, please go to: meet.google.com/gkr-fved-tqp.

    Lt. Col. TC Philip Luu is currently serving as the US Defense Attaché (DATT) in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia. He graduated from the United States Military Academy (USMA) in 2000 and served as an Armor and Armored Cavalry officer for nine years, deploying numerous times in support of Operations Desert Spring and Iraqi Freedom. He earned a Master’s Degree in East Asian Security Studies from the Naval Postgraduate School (NPS) in 2012, before serving as a US Army China Foreign Area Officer (FAO) in Beijing and Washington DC. LTC Luu is married and has 2 daughters. He can speak Chinese, Vietnamese, Spanish and is currently studying Mongolian.

    Lt. Col. Higashiya Keiichi is currently serving as the Japanese Defense Attaché (DATT) in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia. He graduated from the National Defense Academy (NDA) in 2000 and served as an Artillery officer for nine years and an Intelligence officer for ten years. He earned a Master’s Degree in International Security Studies from the NDA Graduate School in 2012. He can speak English and is currently studying Mongolian.

    Otgonbaatar Byambaa is currently serving as a diplomat and second secretary (political affairs) in the Mongolian Embassy to Tokyo, Japan. He graduated from the School of Foreign Service of the National University of Mongolia (NUM) in 2008 and earned a Master's Degree in International Relations from the International University of Japan (IUJ) in 2010. He has been studying China’s foreign policy decisions in the energy sector with particular interest on its trans-border pipelines. Currently he is a Ph.D. candidate at Waseda University. Otgonbaatar is married, has a son, and can speak Japanese, Chinese and English.

    Webinar Cost: Free of charge
    Co-sponsors: Japan-US Military Program (JUMP)
    Moderator: Nick Millward
    Please register by RSVP to info@ycaps.org. RSVP not required, but helpful for organizers.

    YCAPS Indo-Pacific Maritime Hour (via Google Meet)

    Tuesday, October 13, 2020, 9:00 JST

    (Monday, October 12, 2020, 14:00 Honolulu, 20:00 Washington DC)

    YCAPS is pleased to announce its first Indo-Pacific Maritime Hour. The webinar will feature Professor Quentin Hanich discussing the findings of a collaborative study between Global Fishing Watch, Japan’s Fisheries and Research Education Centre, and the Australian National Centre for Ocean Resources and Security, Global Fishing Watch Report, Illuminating Dark Fishing Fleets in North Korea. The study found that more than 900 vessels of Chinese origin in 2017 and 700 vessels in 2018 likely violated United Nations sanctions by fishing in North Korean waters. These vessels also likely caught almost as much Pacific flying squid as Japan and South Korea vessels combined and the previously unidentified vessels pose a huge challenge for squid stock management. The resultant shortage is also found to be directly related to the hundreds of North Korean boats that have washed ashore on Japanese and Russian coasts in recent years. These "Ghost Ship" incidents often involve starvation and deaths, and many fishing villages on North Korea’s eastern coast have now been coined “widows’ villages.”


    To join please go to https://meet.google.com/gkr-fved-tqp

    Associate Professor Quentin Hanich leads the Fisheries Governance Research Program at the Australian National Centre for Ocean Resources and Security (ANCORS), University of Wollongong, where he is a Nippon Foundation Ocean Nexus Chair. Associate Prof Hanich has worked widely throughout the Asia-Pacific in various international research partnerships focusing on ocean governance and emerging technologies, marine conservation, fisheries management and development. He has chaired international working groups at treaty meetings, facilitated inter-governmental workshops, and advised Ministerial meetings and national delegations. In addition to his roles at the University of Wollongong, A/Prof Hanich is the Editor-in-Chief of the highly ranked Elsevier journal Marine Policy, a Principal Investigator in the Nippon Foundation funded Ocean Nexus Program, a research partner with the Japanese Fisheries Research and Education Agency and Global Fishing Watch, and an Adjunct Scholar at Dalhousie University.

    Webinar Cost: Free of charge

    Co-sponsors: Japan-US Military Program
    Please register by RSVP to info@ycaps.org. RSVP not required, but helpful for organizers.

    YCAPS-JUMP Panel Discussion (via Google Meet)

    Thursday, October 15, 2020 at 9::00~10:45 JST

    The forthcoming US elections are being watched with keen interests in the capitals around the world. Key questions for elections observers revolve around the trajectory of US foreign and domestic policy going forth under a re-elected President Trump or President-elect Biden and what that means for allies and partners of the US.

    This session will bring in four voices from four countries/ regions in the Indo-Pacific region including Australia, Japan, Singapore/Southeast Asia, and South Korea. They will share their personal views about the upcoming US elections and how their respective countries see the opportunities and challenges associated with the outcome of the election.

    To join please go to https://meet.google.com/gkr-fved-tqp

    Dr Rebecca (Bec) Strating is the Executive Director of La Trobe Asia and a Senior Lecturer in Politics and International Relations in the Department of Politics, Media and Philosophy at La Trobe University. Her current research interests include maritime disputes in Asia and Australian foreign and defence policy. In 2019, she was awarded an Asian Studies Visiting Fellowship at the East-West Center in Washington DC, and was a visiting affiliate fellow at the Institute of Southeast Asian Studies. She is also a non-resident fellow at the Perth USAsia Centre. Bec received her PhD in politics from Monash University in 2013, and in her academic career has published three monographs and numerous scholarly articles and book chapters. Her latest monograph ‘Defending the Maritime Rules-based Order: Regional States and the South China Sea Disputes’ was published by the East West Center in 2020. In 2018, her article on the Timor Sea maritime dispute was awarded the prestigious Boyer Prize for best article published in the Australian Journal of International Affairs in 2017.

    Professor Toshihiro Nakayama is a Professor of American Politics and Foreign Policy at the Faculty of Policy Management at Keio University. He is also a Senior Adjunct Fellow at the Japan Institute of International Affairs (JIIA). He was a Special Correspondent for the Washington Post at the Far Eastern Bureau (1993-94), Special Assistant at the Permanent Mission of Japan to the United Nations in New York (1996-98), Senior Research Fellow at The Japan Institute of International Affairs (2004-06), Associate Professor at Tsuda College (2006-10), and Professor at Aoyama Gakuin University (2010-14). He was also a CNAPS Visiting Fellow at the Brookings Institution (2005-06), Sir Howard Kippenberger Chair Visiting Professor at the Center for Strategic Studies, Victoria University in Wellington (2017) and a Japan Scholar at the Woodrow Wilson Center (2018-2019). He received his M.A.(1993) and Ph.D.(2001) from Aoyama Gakuin University. He has written two books and numerous articles on American politics, foreign policy and international relations. Recipient of Nakasone Yasuhiro Award (Incentive Award) in 2014.

    Nicholas Fang graduated from Oxford University with a Masters in Politics, Philosophy and Economics. He joined Singapore’s oldest think tank, the Singapore Institute of International Affairs, in 2010. He is currently Director, Security and Global Affairs, at the institute, which was ranked top local think tank, and among the best in Asia and the Pacific over the past seven years. Nicholas started his working life as a journalist, and spent nine years at Singapore’s national daily newspaper, rising to the post of Senior Correspondent. He then spent two years as business desk editor at national broadcaster Mediacorp’s regional news channel - Channel NewsAsia. He was most recently deputy chief editor of Singapore news at Mediacorp. Nicholas was appointed Nominated Member of the Singapore Parliament in February 2012, and served a two-and-a-half-year term where he focused on issues pertaining to international affairs, media, defence and security, and sports. Nicholas currently chairs the MINDEF expert panel for strategic communications.

    Professor J.J. Suh is currently Professor at International Christian University (Tokyo, Japan). He has served as Associate Professor and Director of Korea Studies at SAIS, Johns Hopkins University and Assistant Professor in Department of Government at Cornell University as well as on the Presidential Commission on Policy Planning (Republic of Korea). An expert on the U.S.-Korea relations, U.S. policy toward Asia, international relations of East Asia, international security, and IR theory, he is currently working on regional orders in East Asia, human security, and North Korea. He has authored and edited numerous journal articles and books, including Power, Interest and Identity in Military Alliances (2007); Rethinking Security in East Asia: Identity, Power and Efficiency (2004); Truth and Reconciliation in the Republic of Korea: Between the Present and Future of the Korean Wars (2012); Origins of North Korea’s Juche: Colonialism, War, and Development (2012);“The Imbalance of Power, the Balance of Asymmetric Terror: Mutual Assured Destruction (MAD) in Korea,” “Changes in U.S. Military Strategy and the U.S.-Korea Alliance,” “The Two-Wars Doctrine and the Regional Arms Race: Contradictions in U.S. Post-Cold War Security Policy in Northeast Asia,” and “War-Like History or Diplomatic History? Historical Contentions and Regional Order in East Asia

    Moderator: Senior Associate Professor Stephen Nagy
    Stephen Nagy is a senior associate professor at the International Christian University in Tokyo; a distinguished fellow with Canada’s Asia Pacific Foundation; a fellow at the Canadian Global Affairs Institute (CGAI); and a visiting fellow with the Japan Institute for International Affairs (JIIA). Previously, he was an Assistant Professor at the Department of Japanese Studies at the Chinese University of Hong Kong from December 2009 to January 2014. He obtained his PhD from Waseda University, Japan in International Relations in December 2008. He also serves as the Director for Policy Research, for the Yokosuka Council for Asia-Pacific Studies (YCAPS)

    Webinar Cost: Free of charge
    Co-sponsors: Japan-US Military Program (JUMP)
    Please register by RSVP to info@ycaps.org. RSVP not required, but helpful for organizers.

    Shinzo Abe: Life & Legacy of Japan's Longest-serving Prime Minister

    YCAPS-JUMP-ICAS Community Conversation (via Google Meet)

    Wednesday, October 21, 2020 at 19:00 JST

    Join YCAPS for the next iteration of our webinar series exploring interesting and contemporary topics relevant to our base communities and beyond. Our featured guest will be Tobias Harris, author of The Iconoclast: Shinzo Abe and the New Japan.


    To join, please go to: meet.google.com/gkr-fved-tqp

    As an Alliance modernizer, Prime Minister Abe Shinzo drove controversial defense legislation, legalized Japan's option to provide collective self-defense for its U.S. ally, approved Japan's first National Security Strategy and organized a National Security Council. However, his story is not one unblemished by failures. In 2007, seemingly overwhelmed, he resigned after only a year as prime minister. Then, following five years of reinvention, he masterfully regained the premiership in 2012 proceeded to dominate Japanese politics for eight years and achieve status as Japan's longest serving Prime Minister. He staked out a global leadership role for Japan in a region being rapidly transformed by the rise of China and India, while carefully preserving an ironclad relationship with the United States. In The Iconoclast, the only English-language biography of Abe, Harris tells the story of Abe's meteoric rise and stunning fall, his remarkable comeback and his emergence as a world-class statesman. During this webinar, Harris will provide an overview of Abe’s biography and take your questions.

    Tobias S. Harris is a leading expert on Japanese politics, widely quoted in leading world publications and a regular guest on television and radio programs. After working on the staff of a Japanese legislator from 2006 to 2007, he ran the popular blog “Observing Japan,” contributed to the Wall Street Journal Asia and Far Eastern Economic Review, and conducted graduate research at MIT and the University of Tokyo. Since 2013, he has been the Japan analyst at Teneo Intelligence, the political risk division of Teneo, a leading CEO advisory firm. He was Economy, Trade, and Business Fellow at the Sasakawa Peace Foundation USA, a Washington, DC-based think tank focused on U.S.-Japan relations, from 2014 to 2020. He was born in Chicago and currently lives in Bethesda, Maryland with his wife, their two sons and their two cats. He has an M.Phil in International Relations from the University of Cambridge and a BA in Politics and History from Brandeis University.

    Webinar price: Free
    Co-sponsors: Japan-US Military Program (JUMP), Institute of Contemporary Asian Studies (ICAS).
    Moderator: Caitlin Doornbos
    Please register by RSVP to info@ycaps.org. RSVP not required, but helpful for organizers.

    YCAPS-ICAS-JUMP webinar section (via Google Meet)

    Thursday, October 22, 2020 at 19:00 JST

    (11:00 London/12:00 Brussels, 06:00 Washington DC)

    Join us for the next YCAPS-ICAS-JUMP session on rising tensions in the Senkaku/Diaoyu area offered by Dr. Alessio Patalano from King's College London.

    To join please go to https://meet.google.com/gkr-fved-tqp


    PRC activities in the waters around the Senkaku islands, known in China as Diaoyu, have undergone a significant change over the past few months. This is a potentially dangerous development for Sino–Japanese relations. In addition, the increased confrontation between China and the US, as well as India, could add fuel to the fire of an already combustible dispute.

    Alessio Patalano will discuss these issues in a joint YCAPS-ICAS session. Prior to the talk, you might wish to read Alessio's work "A Gathering Storm? The Chinese ‘Attrition’ Strategy for the Senkaku/Diaoyu Islands" and "What is China's Strategy in the Senkaku Islands".

    Dr. Alessio Patalano specialises in maritime strategy and doctrine, Japanese military history and strategy, East Asian Security, and Italian defence policy. From 2006 to 2015, he was visiting professor in Strategy at the Italian Naval War College (ISMM), Venice. In Japan, Dr Patalano has been a visiting professor at Aoyama Gakuin University and at the National Graduate Institute for Policy Studies (GRIPS), both in Tokyo, and currently is Adjunct Fellow at the Institute of Contemporary Asian Studies, Temple University Japan and Visiting Professor at the Japan Maritime Command and Staff College (JMCSC). At KCL, Dr Patalano is the Director of the Asian Security and Warfare Research Group the leading UK forum for research and education on East Asia and the King’s Japan Programme. Dr Patalano is also a senior fellow with the Royal United Services Institute (RUSI) and at Policy Exchange, he leading think tanks on defence and security matters in the UK. For more info please visit https://www.kcl.ac.uk/people/dr-alessio-patalano


    Webinar Cost: Free of charge
    Co-sponsors: Japan-US Military Program (JUMP), Institute of Contemporary Asian Studies (ICAS).
    Moderator: John Bradford
    Please register by RSVP to info@ycaps.org. RSVP not required, but helpful for organizers.



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

  • Professional Development Programs

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

    Network Building

    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 professional development experiences 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 fantastic opportunities to find mentors and develop peer-to-peer support networks.

    Open Seminar Series

    Learn from World-class Experts in a Relaxed Setting

    YCAPS open seminars feature leading experts who come from around the world to share their perspectives with our participants. Open to the public, the setting is community-oriented relaxed, accessible and professional. The Community Conversation series highlights topics that are of immediate interest to the base-hosting communities in Japan. These seminars are specifically designed to be applicable to all levels of expertise, from curious students to professionals working in that field.  Indo-Pacific Maritime Hour events are more technical in nature. These interactive online discussions

    engaged regional practitioners directly involved in maritime security to

    shed light on maritime issues that have significant implications on regional stability in the Indo-Pacific.

    YCAPS Roundtables

    Informed Small-group Dinner Discussions

    YCAPS members gather in small groups to discuss timely topics in a lively social atmosphere. Each roundtable is facilitated by a specialist who provides read-ahead materials to enable those attending to dive right into the discussion even before the food arrives. Invitations are shared with YCAPS members and those on our email list.

    YCAPS members at an important security conference

    Mongolia Connect

    Strengthening grassroots community connections for the common good.


    The YCAPS Mongolia Connect program creates opportunities for Americans, Japanese, and Mongolians to establish international friendships, develop intercultural leadership skills, and learn about issues impacting the greater international community. The program's events mix of social and educational experiences, language lessons, and opportunities to serve others in a unique and impactful way. Through empowering and connecting these three countries’ communities, YCAPS seeks to create lasting impacts and sustainable people-to-people relationships. 

    YCAPS Afloat

    Supporting U.S. Navy Sailors at sea and their commands

    YCAPS Afloat directly supports U.S. miltary personnel in their efforts to expand their regional knowledge and strategic thinking while deployed and during port visits throughout the Indo-Pacific. Working in alignment with commands’ leadership and/or Morale, Welfare & Recreation (MWR) programs, YCAPS Afloat provides information and other resources or, when there are sufficient interested personnel, establishes a YCAPS chapter on board specific ships. If you are interested in receiving resources or establishing a YCAPS Afloat chapter, please send us an email get in touch.

    Yokosuka Mariners

    Develop Leadership and Explore the Region Under Sail

    YCAPS has partnered with the International Sail & Power Association Japan (ISPA) to provide opportunities for members of our community to develop leadership skills, learn environmental stewardship, and connect with Yokosuka's maritime heritage through sailing expeditions and shore-based camps. Stars & Stripes newspaper reported on, our biggest Yokosuka Mariners event to date, the inaugural YCAPS-ISPA Japan's leadership development voyage in the Seto Inland Sea in this article and one of the young leaders created this photo essay. 

    YCAPS members at an important security conference

    Young Yokosuka

    Building Lasting Relationships among the Next Generation of U.S.-Japan Alliance Ambassadors

    The YCAPS Young Yokosuka program creates opportunities for individuals in their teens and early 20s to establish international friendships, develop intercultural leadership skills, and learn about issues impacting their community. The event series involves a mix of social and educational opportunities such trips to community festivals, bowling nights, leadership workshops, speed-cubing competitions, tours and lectures tailored to interests of Young Yokosuka participants.

    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 professional editors or experienced authors who have published many 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!

    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.

  • News & Announcements

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  • Our Partners

    YCAPS partners with other organizations to deliver world-class 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 & Professional Development Program 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.

    The Pacific Forum is a non-profit, foreign policy research institute based in Honolulu, Hawaii. YCAPS collaborates with the Pacific Forum to gather regional perspectives and disseminating findings and recommendations to opinion leaders, governments, and publics. We have co-sponsored public seminars, published collaborative reports, and jointly deliver the online Maritime Discussion series.

  • Volunteer Leaders

    The team that keeps YCAPS on track and moving forward

    Executive Director




    Vice President








    Director for Public Promotion



    Director for Community Relations



    Director for Policy Research



    Director for Information Technology & Business Relations



    Director for University Engagement



    Director for Southeast Asia Programs












    Senior Advisor



    Special Advisor for Education & Policy



    Dr. Asyura Salleh​

    Special Advisor of Maritime Security



    Special Advisor for Government Affairs

    Special Advisor for Public Affairs and Public Diplomacy



    Advisor for Youth Programming and Professional Development



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