On 19 November 2019, YCAPS hosted their first ever seminar in Sasebo, with support from the US Embassy in Tokyo and in partnership with the Japan America Society of Sasebo (JASS), Japan-US Military Program (JUMP), and the Pacific Forum (PacForum). Approximately 40 JASS members and members of the U.S. military were given the opportunity to engage with a panel of experts regarding growing security measures in the Indo-Pacific. RADM Robert Girrier (retired), Dr. Sato, and Dr. Onda reflected on their experiences and expertise, expounding on territorial conflicts, rule of law, 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. Mr. Girrier shared his wealth of knowledge and expertise on the concern of eroding rule of law, and the implications to the world order. He addressed and provided clarification on the definition of “Indo-Pacific” and why this term was introduced into the world’s vocabulary. Following Mr. Girrier, Dr. Sato discussed maritime security’s impacts on commerce and the need for a free and open trade route. Dr. Onda shed light on growing and serious concerns of the scientific community, providing insight and background to the global importance to the South China Sea and its vital role in the world’s fishing industry. The Q&A session provided an opportunity for well-informed JASS members and members of the military to ask informed questions for the experts, displaying the necessity to revisit Sasebo in the future.