YCAPS Research Fellows Sam Baron and Takuya Matsuda recently represented the organization at the “Australia-Japan-United States Indo-Pacific Roundtable” jointly organized by the Australian Institute of International Affairs (AIIA) and Osaka School of International Public Policy (OSIPP) from 14-15 June in Osaka, Japan. Funded by the U.S. Embassy in Tokyo and supported by the Maureen and Mike Mansfield Foundation, the roundtable brought together scholars and policy experts from the U.S., Australia, and Japan to discuss emerging regional challenges facing the three countries in the Indo-Pacific and to recommend ways to strengthen trilateral cooperation to address them.
Following a keynote address by Ambassador Masafumi Ishii, a former Japanese Ambassador to Indonesia, Baron and Matsuda spoke respectively on the “Energy Supply Chains and Critical Technology” and “Security and State Capacity” panels.
In his remarks on supply chain cooperation, Baron highlighted the need for the three countries to address human rights challenges such as forced labor and poor workplace conditions that often result in supply chain disruptions, proposing that the countries form a new working group to strengthen the capacity of the private sector to carry-out human rights and environmental due diligence.
Speaking on the Security and State Capacity panel, Dr. Matsuda unpacked the different strategic underpinnings of regional order building initiatives such as the Quad. He underscored how alliance politics, economic statecraft, and naval power played a role in shaping order-building initiatives in an age of great power competition. Dr. Matsuda also illuminated the importance of understanding the intricate theoretical assumptions that animate this framework for a successful and well-integrated grand strategy in the Indo-Pacific.
The closed-door discussion was followed by a public event held on the campus of Osaka University, in which Sam Baron spoke alongside Dr. Yoichiro Sato and Dr. Marianne Hanson to provide a U.S. perspective on trilateral cooperation and how Southeast Asian states may view such cooperation in the future.