On 22 November 2019, YCAPS hosted the seminar on Indo-Pacific maritime challenges with support from the US Embassy in Tokyo and in partnership with Japan-US Military Program (JUMP), and the senior think-tank Pacific Forum (PacForum). Approximately 40 YCAPS members were provided the opportunity to engage with a panel of experts regarding growing security measures in the Indo-Pacific. RADM Robert Girrier (retired), Dr. Asyura Salleh, Dr. Deo Onda and Dr. Ito Go reflected on their individual spheres of expertise, expounding on territorial conflicts, rule of law, international involvement, and unsustainable environmental destruction. The speakers brought unique first-hand glimpses into the issues receiving global attention now.
Mr. Brad Glosserman (MC) led off with an outstanding and information-packed introduction, providing a general overview of the topics above. RADM Girrier shared his wealth of knowledge and expertise on the concern of eroding rule of law, the implications to the world order, and what the terms “free and open” actually entail. Following RADM Girrier, Dr. Salleh provided an outstanding overview of environmental impacts of destructive fishing habits and discussed the actionable steps for concerned parties. Dr. Ito discussed threats for maritime security, impacts on commerce, the need for a free and unimpeded trade routes, and the threats associated with the South China Sea. Dr. Onda shed light on growing and serious concerns of the scientific community, providing insight and background to the global importance of the South China Sea and its vital role in the world’s fishing industry. The Q&A session provided an opportunity for well-informed YCAPS members and members from the greater Tokyo area to ask informed questions for the experts, displaying the necessity to keep engaged with these growing concerns.