• 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!

    A man in a suit lectures to a seminar room full of people. The projector shows a slide of a map of East and Southeast Asia

    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. You can also sign up to our mailing list. 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. If you are already active in YCAPS and you want to expand your roles as a volunteer please explain your interest via this form.

  • Upcoming Events

    YCAPS Events Connect Audience Members with Each Other and World-Class Experts

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    Getting to Know Japan Webinar Series (Zoom)

    Tues. April 4 2023 - 10:30 (Japan)

    Dr. Mike Bosack is joining the Getting to Know Japan series to speak on the structure of Japan's government and the basics of its constitution. His presentation will help give you a lay of the land, and touch on how the current system came to fruition in the postwar period. Join us as we kick off another year of this weekly webinar series that introduces you to Japan's history, culture, and politics!

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    Getting to Know Japan Webinar Series (Zoom)

    Thurs. April 13 2023 - 19:00 (Japan)

    April will be election time in many towns, cities and prefectures in Japan. There will be sound trucks repeating the candidates’s names, thinly attended rallies at train stations entrances and boards going up in front of the local elementary school with posters of politicians displaying varying degrees of determination and friendliness. Michael Cucek will be joining us to help us make sense of all the ruckus – and explore some of the larger issues dividing Japan’s political classes: decreasing populations, relative decline in economic strength, an increased defense budget, marriage equality, and more.

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    Getting to Know Japan Webinar Series (Zoom)

    Tues. April 18 2023 - 10:00 (Japan)

    In this talk, Dr. Levi McLaughlin will provide an overview of the numerous religious and religion-affiliated organizations that intersect with politics in Japan. He will discuss the Unification Church (and how it relates to Shinzo Abe's assassination), Shinto-affiliated nationalists (including Nippon Kaigi and its signatories), Buddhist activists (including Soka Gakkai and its affiliated party Komeito), and other actors in this sphere. Dr. McLaughlin is Associate Professor at the Department of Philosophy and Religious Studies at North Carolina State University.

    YCAPS-SPF Community Conversations Series (Sasebo)

    Tues. April 18 2023 - 17:30 (Japan)

    In recent years, the military threats posed by China and North Korea are strengthening and changing in nature, leading to more complex implications for the US-Japan alliance. In particular, we not only see sharper strategies and greater military readiness by China and North Korea, but also the risks of a simultaneous conflict in the Taiwan Strait and the Korean Peninsula. Focusing on the naval domain, Ryo will talk about the current and emerging threats and vulnerabilities for the US-Japan alliance, and the measures needed going forward.

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    Getting to Know Japan Webinar Series (Zoom)

    Thurs. April 27 2023 - 19:00 (Japan)

    What do anti-communist sound trucks, anti-imperial anarchists, anti-war teenagers, and anti-racist countermovements have in common? In this talk, Professor Smith will discuss the post-WWII history and contemporary status of several activist movements in Japan, based in part on his fieldwork since 2005 into the Japanese far right. As activist movements engage each other, lay society, the Japanese government, US-Japan relations, and Japan’s relationship with Asian neighbors, they offer insight into the dynamism of political life in contemporary Japan.


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    Getting to Know Japan Webinar Series (Zoom)

    Tues. May 16 2023 - 10:00 (Japan)

    In this discussion, Captain Keizo Kitagawa will give an introductory presentation on Commodore Matthew C. Perry and his US Navy expedition to Japan. This seminar will also address the impact of Perry's "Black Ships" on 19th century Japan, the conclusion of Japans' era of isolation and the subsequent Meiji Restoration and transition into a modern state.

  • Professional Development Programs

    YCAPS is committed to supporting the personal and professional development of our members

    A group of 15 smiling people are sitting around tables at on outdoor restaurant in Yokohama, for beers, snacks, and discussion

    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.

    Photo taken from the back of a seminar hall where many attendees are quietly watching a presenter at the front of the room

    Open Seminar Series

    Learn from World-Class Experts in a Relaxed Setting

    YCAPS' open seminars bring experts 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 YCAPS/US-Japan Foundation Getting to Know Japan webinars offer introductory-level information about Japan's social and cultural landscape.


    The YCAPS/Sasakawa Peace Foundation 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. They are typically held in-person near U.S. bases in Japan.


    The YCAPS/Japan International Christian University Foundation Indo-Pacific Policy Dialogue program is designed to address advanced-level policy-oriented interests for academics, experts, and other specialists. These interactive online sessions facilitate dialogue among security experts, policy analysts, and senior academics in an effort to examine a wide range of issues affecting the Indo-Pacific region. Indo-Pacific Maritime Hour events are more technical in nature. These interactive online discussions engage 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 Mongolia Connect logo (the Mongolian flag in the shape of the country, with a YCAPS logo in the center)

    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 social and educational experiences, language lessons, and volunteer opportunities in a unique and impactful way. Through empowering and connecting people from these three countries, YCAPS seeks to create long-lasting relationships.

    Seven smiling people gathered around an Izakaya table for dinner and discussion

    YCAPS Roundtables

    Informed Small-group Dinner Discussions

    YCAPS members gather in small groups to discuss current events in a casual 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.

    Group of smiling people posting for a photo in front of a large naval canon

    YCAPS Afloat

    Supporting U.S. Navy Sailors at sea and their commands

    YCAPS Afloat directly supports U.S. military personnel in their efforts to expand their regional knowledge and strategic thinking while deployed and during port visits throughout the Indo-Pacific region. 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 to get in touch.

    Book cover of "Underwriting the Alliance" 2021 Edition, by John Bradford & Michael Bosack

    Reference Materials

    Organizing and Sharing Information

    YCAPS creates and distributes reference materials for practitioners, researchers and students engaging with the region's strategic, diplomatic and legal affairs. Underwriting the Alliance is an annotated collection of the key bilateral treaties, agreements, and policy documents that provide the structure of the U.S.-Japan Alliance. Negotiate is a guide to negotiations for government practitioners. The YCAPS reading list is built on the suggestions of our members and participants.

    YCAPS members at an important security conference

    Fellowships, Internships, Scholarships, and Conferences

    Connecting People with Opportunities

    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. In 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 YCAPS Guide to Fellowships, Scholarships and Conferences, or contact us for more information. YCAPS hosts interns via a small program that tailors the terms of each internship to the specific needs of each applicant. Individuals interested in interning with YCAPS should complete this statement of interest.

    YCAPS Director sits with a young woman in a classroom while they collaborate on something on a laptop

    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!


    News & Announcements 

    Read our latest headlines


    February 1, 2023
      Two Years After the Myanmar Coup: Regional Perspectives on Human Security. Co-Sponsored Event...
    On March 21, 2023, YCAPS hosted a distinguished panel of experts to discuss the ongoing situation...
    YCAPS is please to wish our friends at PLAT ABC in Iwakuni a happy first anniversary since their...
    More Posts
  • Our Partners

    YCAPS partners with other organizations to deliver world-class programming

    United States-Japan Foundation Logo

    The United States-Japan Foundation (US-JF), established in 1980, is committed to promoting stronger ties between Americans and Japanese by supporting projects that foster mutual knowledge and education, deepen understanding, create effective channels of communication, and address common concerns in an increasingly interdependent world. YCAPS collaborates with US-JF to jointly deliver the Getting to Know Japan Webinar Series.

    Sasakawa Peace Foundation Logo

    The Sasakawa Peace Foundation (SPF), established in 1986, is a private foundation with the concept of “Think, Do, and Innovate-tank”. SPF conducts original research and does work that is rooted in the field to resolve issues based on local conditions and needs, with the aim of creating a world where people can live together and coexist, transcending politics, ideology, religion, race, and national borders. YCAPS collaborates with SPF to jointly deliver the Community Conversations Series.

    Japan US Military Program (JUMP) logo

    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.

    ISDP Logo

    The Institute for Security and Development Policy (ISDP) is a Stockholm-based non-profit and non-partisan research and policy organization. ISDP is dedicated to expanding understanding of international affairs, focusing on the inter-relationship between security, conflict, and development. YCAPS collaborates with ISDP's Stockholm Centre for South Asia and Indo-Pacific Affairs (SCSA-IPA) to jointly deliver our Europe-Asia Webinar Series.

    Temple University: Japan Campus Logo

    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.

    ISIC logo

    The International Security Industry Council (ISIC Japan) was established in 2019 to promote collaboration between indigenous space and defense companies with their foreign counterparts. Its mission is to foster personal and commercial relationships through persistent and informative engagement, online and in-person. YCAPS has collaborated with ISIC to build public awareness of the contributions American military bases provide, in an educational online series called Community Conversation, that engendered trust and commitment.

    The Japan Foundation Center for Global Partnership (CGP) logo

    The Japan Foundation Center for Global Partnership (CGP) was established in 1991 to promote collaboration between the people of Japan, the United States, and beyond in order to address issues of global concern. YCAPS has collaborated with CGP to jointly deliver the online Getting to Know Japan Webinar Series.

    Pacific Forum Logo

    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 the public. We have co-sponsored public seminars, published collaborative reports, and jointly delivered the online Maritime Discussion Series that preceded the current Indo-Pacific Maritime Hour.

  • Connect With Us 

    Be a part of our active Facebook community


  • Team Members

    Smiling group of roughly 30 people is gathered for a photo on the deck of the Miskasa museum ship in Yokoksuka

    YCAPS and its services wouldn't be possible without our dedicated team of staff, research fellows, and volunteers. From social media management, website planning, and webinar moderating, to event organization, research, and community outreach, our team works tirelessly to ensure that we can continue to deliver world-class events and research that appeal to both experts and casual attendees.


    To learn more about our team members and their backgrounds, please visit our team page.

  • Support

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

    Two men have an informal conversation over refreshments at a seminar

    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 U.S. income taxes.

  • Contact Us

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