• Enabling Professional Growth & Fostering Grassroots Connections

    with World-class Expertise


  • 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)

    Monday, 25 January 2021 at 19:30 (Japan)

    The Google Meet room will be open from 19:20

    Join YCAPS for the next iteration of our community conversation webinar series exploring interesting and contemporary topics relevant to our base communities and beyond.

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

    No registration code is required.

    In December 2010, President Obama signed legislation to end the 1993 policy commonly referred to as "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" which technically lifted the U.S. military ban on LGBT servicemembers, but in practice continued to institutionalize discrimination. YCAPS is pleased to work with its partners to organize a panel discussion about the repeal, 10 years later. Leading LGBT Navy officers and civilians will describe their experiences both within the Navy and being forward-deployed, operating in an international community with widely varying policies and social norms.


    Event Details

    Webinar Cost: Free
    Format: Off-the-Record. All participants are speaking in their personal capacity. None of the views expressed represent the positions of YCAPS, the US Navy or any other group.

    Co-sponsors: Fruits in Suits Tokyo, Japan-US Military Program (JUMP),, Institute of Contemporary Asian Studies (ICAS).

    Fruits in Suits Tokyo Community Page: https://www.facebook.com/groups/finstokyo/
    Fruits in Suits Tokyo Twitter: @finstokyo


    Please register by RSVP to info@ycaps.org. RSVP not required, but helpful for organizers.


    Sequence of Events (in Japan Time)
    1925 - Virtual Room Opens
    1930 - Event Start
    --- YCAPS Welcome, Introduction and Announcements
    --- Fruits in Suits Tokyo Welcome and Introduction
    --- Moderator Introduces Panel
    --- Panelists provide prepared remarks (5-10 min each)
    --- Questions and Answer/Discussion
    --- Finish (between 2030 and 2100)



    Captain Rich Jarrett is the Commander of Fleet Activities Yokosuka. He is a native of Charleston, West Virginia. He earned a commission from the United States Naval Academy in 1996. Upon completion of graduate education at West Virginia University, he commenced his first sea assignment in USS Vella Gulf (CG 72), where he served as Strike Officer and Navigator deploying to the Adriatic Sea in support of Operation Noble Anvil/Allied Force and later to the North Arabian Sea in support of Operation Enduring Freedom following the attacks of September 11, 2001. He earned recognition as the COMNAVSURFLANT Junior Officer Ship handler of the Year for both 1999 and 2000. Capt. Jarrett served as Operations Officer in USS Ross (DDG 71) from 2004 to 2005, again deploying in support of Operation Enduring Freedom. He earned recognition as the COMNAVSURFLANT Junior Officer Tactician of the Year in 2004. In 2005, Capt. Jarrett began a second department head assignment as the commissioning Operations Officer in USS Freedom (LCS 1). He sailed in the inaugural transit of the Navy’s first LCS-class ship from the building yard in Marinette, Wisconsin to Norfolk, Virginia. Capt. Jarrett served as Commanding Officer of LCS Crew 102 from 2013 to 2015, deploying in both USS Freedom (LCS 1) and USS Fort Worth (LCS 3) to the Asia Indo-Pacific Theater of operations. Ashore, Capt. Jarrett was assigned at Surface Warfare Officers School in Newport, RI, where he taught the Fleet’s future department heads in the subject of tactics, administration, and leadership. He has also served in the Office of the Under Secretary of Defense for Personnel and Readiness and as the U.S. Fleet Forces Command Liaison Officer in Washington, DC.

    Commander Allison Christy serves on the U.S. 7th Fleet Staff embarked on USS Blue Ridge. She is from Seattle, Washington. She graduated from the United States Naval Academy in 2000 with a Bachelor of Science in Political Science.
    CDR Christy's at sea assignments include Combat Information Center Officer, Strike Officer and Navigator in USS PORTER (DDG 78), Operations Officer in USS PAUL HAMILTON (DDG 60), and Combat Systems Officer in USS PORT ROYAL (CG 73). From March 2016 through July 2017, she served as Executive Officer in USS McCAMPBELL (DDG 85). Shore duty assignments include Junior Officer Detailer and Junior Officer Shore Coordinator (PERS 412) in Navy Personnel Command, and Surface and Expeditionary Portfolio Manager in the Navy Office of Legislative Affairs. CDR Christy holds a Master of Arts in National Security and Strategic Studies from the Naval War College in Newport, Rhode Island.


    Lieutneant Commander Nicole Lobecker serves on the Destroyer Squadron 15 staff in Yokosuka, Japan as the Theater Surface Warfare Zulu Operations Director. She graduated from Slippery Rock University in Slippery Rock, Pennsylvania with a Bachelors of Science in Biology. She joined the Navy as an enlisted Machinists Mate and after three years of enlisted service, was selected for Officer Candidate School in Newport, Rhode Island. LCDR Lobecker's first Division Officer tour was onboard the USS RUSSELL (DDG-59) in Pearl Harbor as the Gunnery Officer and Communications Officer. Her second Division Officer tour was onboard USS PORT ROYAL (CG-73) in Pearl Harbor as the Engineering Training Officer and Assistant Combat Systems Officer. Her two Department Head tours were onboard USS STETHEM (DDG-63) and the USS ANTIETAM (CG-54) as the Chief Engineer. Her first shore tour was at Navy Personnel Command in Millington, Tennessee where she served as a Junior Officer Detailer and New Accessions Detailer. Next, she reported to OPNAV N96 and served as the DDG 51 FLT III and New Construction Requirements Officer. LCDR Lobecker completed her Masters’ program through the Naval War College Fleet Seminar Program to earn JPME Phase I and her Masters’ Degree in National Security and Strategic Studies focusing on the Asia-Pacific. She is married and has no children. Hobbies include running, hiking, camping, traveling, painting, and reading.

    Ms. Lorelei McKelvey is a US civil service employee working for Naval Surface Warfare Center Corona and serves as the 7th Fleet Quantitative Fleet Feedback Project Lead. She supports 7th Fleet training as an analyst, maintaining the Operational Fleet Readiness Program and managing the status of training performance assessments to ensure requirements are met. She has worked as a Navy government service employee for 14 years and a government contractor for another 13 years. Prior to working at 7th Fleet, she worked in data science and data management for Undersea Warfighting Development Center for 15 years. She also worked as an Alteration Installation Team project lead and pipefitter, installing naval surface ship systems. She is a transgender woman and transitioned fulltime in October of 2018, just a few months before taking her new position with C7F in Japan. She is native to San Diego, California and lived there until moving to Yokosuka. Her current interests include singing and performance, musical theater, opera, comic conventions, skiing, martial arts, and travel.

    Moderator: ENS William Yale serves as YCAPS Treasurer and as a Surface Warfare Officer stationed in Yokosuka, Japan.


    Reference article: https://www.hrw.org/news/2010/12/22/us-obama-repeals-dont-ask-dont-tell

    YCAPS Community Conversation (via Google Meet)

    Wednesday, 27 January 2021 at 10:00~11:00 (Tokyo)

    26 Jan 2021 15:00 (Tahiti/Honolulu); 20:00 (New York)

    The Google Meet room will be open from 9:55

    YCAPS will host a discussion with Rear Admiral Jean-Mathieu REY, Joint Commander French Armed Forces, in Asia-Pacific. France is a European state, with the core ability to deploy its capital assets worldwide from the mainland, but it is also a resident of the Indo-Pacific with military forces permanently stationed in its Indian Ocean and Pacific Territories. Since around 2014 the French Navy and the Air Force have become clearly more active in the region with more deployments and more engagements. Key strategic documents such as France’s 2018 Indo-Pacific Strategy paper and 2017 Defense and National Security Strategic Review reflect the thinking that is driving this enhanced engagement. Rear Admiral Jean-Mathieu REY will provide his perspective on France’s maritime engagement with the region while reflecting on both the challenges and accomplishments of the recent past. He will then take your questions.


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

    No access code it required.


    Format: This event will be off-the-record. Because of a strict 1 hour time constraints, priority will be given to questions submitted in advance. Please send yours to info@ycaps.org.


    Speaker biography

    Rear Admiral Jean-Mathieu REY assumed his current position as Commander, French Armed Forces in French Polynesia (COMSUP POLYNESIE) in Tahiti and Commanding General, Joint Forces, Pacific (ALPACI) on 1 August 2020.

    Jean-Mathieu Rey is a French Rear Admiral with high operational experience on board surface ships (Air-defence destroyers and aircraft carriers) and within the naval special forces.
    He operated at sea and from the sea for 25 years, mainly in the Indo-Pacific where it all started on a frigate based in Tahiti. Then, he assumed different positions ranging from commando platoon leader, patrol boat commander in the Pacific Ocean, frigate commander in the Indian Ocean to chief of staff of the carrier strike group Charles de Gaulle and commander of the air defence destroyer Forbin during the Libyan campaign (2011). Detached to the Foreign Affairs Ministry, he was also adviser for security and defence cooperation in Asia and South America.

    A graduate of the Higher Command and Staff Course in the United Kingdom and French equivalent courses (CHEM and IHEDN), he has been posted to Paris since 2013 assuming various responsibilities within the Joint Staff and the Naval Staff on financial, support and transformation matters. Since 2017, he has been Deputy Director of Fleet Service Support (operational preparation of surface ships, nuclear submarines and aircraft carrier) being promoted to Rear Admiral.

    Married with Katai, of Indochina roots, and father of five children, he likes geopolitics and scuba diving.

    Webinar Cost: Free of charge
    Please register by RSVP to info@ycaps.org. RSVP not required, but helpful for organizers.


    YCAPS-ICAS Webinar (via Zoom)
    Wednesday, 3 February 2021 at 12:00 (Japan)

    Relations between Australia and China have been on a downward spiral since 2017, hitting their lowest point in 2020. Beijing has imposed trade sanctions on a number of Australian industries, apparently in response to Canberra's call for an investigation into the origins of the Covid-19 pandemic. Is the current antagonism here to last? What does that mean for Australia’s relationship with its largest trading partner? Is China's approach toward the dispute illustrative of broader trends in Chinese foreign policy?

    To join please go to: https://temple.zoom.us/j/98920111856
    Meeting ID: 989 2011 1856

    Natasha Kassam directs the Lowy Institute’s Public Opinion and Foreign Policy Program and is a former Australian diplomat, researching Australia’s Indo-Pacific strategy, China’s domestic politics, Taiwan, and Australia-China relations. She is also a Fellow of the National Security College’s Futures Council in Canberra, and a member of the Melbourne University Asian Law Centre’s Advisory Board. Natasha is a regular contributor to Australian and international media outlets including CNN, BBC, Bloomberg, CNBC and the New York Times. Prior to joining the Lowy Institute, Natasha worked on human rights and legal issues in China, and she drafted the Australian government’s 2017 Foreign Policy White Paper. Natasha was also a law and justice advisor to the Regional Assistance Mission to Solomon Islands (RAMSI) in Honiara. She holds a Bachelor of Laws (Hons I) and a Bachelor of International Studies from the University of Sydney and speaks Mandarin.


    Webinar price: Free
    Co-sponsors: Institute of Contemporary Asian Studies (ICAS).
    Moderator: Benoit Hardy-Chartrand (Adjunct Professor of Political Science and International Affairs, Temple University Japan)
    RSVP not required but helpful for organizers. Please RSVP to icas@tuj.temple.edu.

    YCAPS Community Conversation (via Google Meet)

    Wednesday, 3 February 2021 at 18:30-20:00 (Japan)

    China’s re-emergence to region centrality has come hand-in-hand with nationalism with Chinese characteristics. Understanding contemporary Chinese nationalism requires an exploration of the “Invention of China” and what Chinese nationalism under Xi Jinping means for China’s and the region’s future order and relations. To aid us in this process, Bill Hayton, author of “The Invention of China” will join us for a discussion on the origin of Chinese nationalism based on his newest book by the same name. Key discussion themes will include but not be exclusive to: 1) The roots of contemporary Chinese nationalism; 2) Chinese nationalism in the Xi Jinping Era; and 3) The implications of Chinese nationalism for the region and international order.

    You can find more details from the publisher's website here.
    To join please go to https://meet.google.com/gkr-fved-tqp
    Bill Hayton began his journalistic career with a focus on the Middle East in 1995 with his first ever travelling to Iran and interview Ayatollah Ali Akbar Mohtashemi. He migrated to an interest in Asia in 2006/7 in which he spent a year as the BBC’s reporter in Vietnam and then wrote the book, Vietnam: rising dragon which was published in 2010. In 2011 he began writing the South China Sea book, which was completed during 2013 while he was working in Myanmar. The book was published in 2014. The book on The Invention of China was published in 2020, along with a second edition of Vietnam: rising dragon.

    Webinar Cost: Free of charge
    Co-sponsor: Japan-US Military Program (JUMP), Institute of Contemporary Asian Studies (ICAS)
    Moderator: Stephen Nagy, YCAPS Director for Policy Research
    Please register by RSVP to info@ycaps.org. RSVP not required, but helpful for organizers.

    YCAPS-JUMP-ICAS Webinar (via Google Meet)

    Thursday, 11 February 2021 at 19:00 (Japan)

    The Google Meet room will be open from 18:50

    Join YCAPS for the next iteration of our webinar series exploring interesting and contemporary topics relevant to our base communities and beyond.


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


    Jeffrey Hall will discuss depictions of the Japan Self-Defense Force (SDF), U.S. military and Yokosuka in popular Japanese manga and anime. In particular, he will describe the Aozakura: The Story of National Defense Academy and Gate: Thus the Japanese Self-Defense Force Fought There. Both of these tell stories that depict a Japanese conservative/neo-nationalist ideal of the JSDF without being overtly political. While Aozakura is set in Yokosuka, it never depicts the US military presence there. In contrast, Gate depicts the U.S. military as a hostile force.

    Jeffrey Hall is an Assistant Professor at Waseda University’s Global Asia Research Center. He is a specialist on Japanese politics and society, and has taught at Hosei University, Meiji Gakuin, Tsukuba University, and Japan’s National Defense Academy. Prof. Hall has an M.A. and PhD in International Relations from Waseda University, and a B.A. in History from the George Washington University.


    Webinar Cost: Free
    Format: Off-the-Record
    Co-sponsors: Japan-US Military Program (JUMP), Institute of Contemporary Asian Studies (ICAS).
    Moderator: John Bradford, Executive Director of YCAPS
    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 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.

    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 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 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.

    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.

  • Connect With Us

    Be a part of our active Facebook community

  • 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 Policy Research



    Director for University Engagement



    Director for Southeast Asia Programs



    Director for Information Technology & Business Relations

    Director for Community Relations












    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



  • Support

    YCAPS is an all-volunteer organization, but we do need funds to deliver our programming

    Your Financial Support is Appreciated

    Make a Donation

    YCAPS volunteers do not accept salaries or any sort of material compensation. However, we cannot deliver programs and events without funding. Internet services, advertising, consumables at our receptions, and tokens of appreciation for our speakers are among the largest costs. Partnerships with like-minded organizations and donations in kind from supporting businesses are a tremendous help, but more funds enable us to do more for our community. Follow this link to donate. Your donations are very much appreciated. YCAPS is 501(c)3 organization and donations are deductible from US income taxes.

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