Dr. Yurika Ishii and Captain Kentaro Furuya joined YCAPS in Yokosuka on June 28th, 2023 to discuss “ Japan-Pacific Islands Countries Cooperation on Maritime Law” at Werk Yokosuka. Dr. Ishii gave a thorough and wide ranging presentation on Maritime law enforcement, initially introducing the audience to the 16 May 2023 “Notes on the Project for Strengthening Capacity of Maritime Law Enforcement in the Pacific Island Countries” that Japan signed and exchanged with multiple Pacific Islands countries before explaining the general geopolitical background of the region and Japanese, US and Chinese perspectives and action in the Pacific. Her comprehensive talk really helped the audience to understand the significance of Maritime Law Cooperation in the Pacific.
Following Dr. Ishii’s presentation, Captain Kentaro Furuya gave real world examples from his extensive experience in the Japanese Coast Guard and helped to unpack how this cooperation works in practice. Captain Furuya specifically talked about the JCG’s work on capacity building with partner nations in the pacific and the challenges and benefits of the work, as well as areas where Japan is particularly suited for helping partner nations in the pacific.
The audience was engaged throughout the event and in the Q&A session, some of the hot button topics were strategic competition with China, China’s zero-sum mindset in the Pacific, as well as interest in the framework of how the US-Japan Alliance can engage with Pacific Islands Countries. It was a great chance to really sit down and discuss this topic together with members of the Yokosuka community while enjoying some delicious food and making new friends! Hope to see you all at the next Yokosuka event!