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Strategic Assistance: Disaster Relief and Asia-Pacific Stability

As Asia emerges as the global economic engine of the 21st century, large scale disasters in this vital region will carry increasingly profound consequences. Sudden disasters resulting in mass casualties, the widespread destruction of property and essential infrastructure, and the prolonged displacement of large populations will severely test existing national and international institutions and could present a broader threat to regional stability. Faced with this challenge, Japan and the United States—owing to their unique capabilities and shared interests within the region— should seek to enhance bilateral cooperation and coordination on humanitarian assistance and disaster relief (HA/DR) in Asia.




    JAPAN RESEARCH TEAM

    Senior Advisor

    Lt. Gen. Noboru Yamaguchi, GSDF (Ret.)
    National Defense Academy of Japan

    Principal Investigator

    Dr. Ryo Sahashi
    Japan Center for International Exchange

    Project Associate

    Dr. Kei Koga
    Belfer Center for Science and
    International Affairs


    U.S. RESEARCH TEAM

    Senior Advisor

    Admiral Thomas B. Fargo, USN (Ret.)
    The National Bureau of Asian Research


    PROJECT SPONSORS


This project—a collaborative initiative between The National Bureau of Asian Research (NBR) and the Japan Center for International Exchange (JCIE)—seeks to develop a more coordinated, strategic bilateral approach to HA/DR operations in Asia, a concept we have termed Strategic Assistance. Over its two-year lifespan, the project will identify the policies, capabilities, and strategies necessary for enhancing U.S.-Japan cooperation and coordination on HA/DR in the Asia-Pacific.


About the Project

Project activities and deliverables include:

  • Workshops in the United States, Indonesia, and Japan with specialists from across the region
  • Commissioned analyses and conference reports by U.S. and Japanese specialists on current and future levels of demand for HA/DR in the Asia-Pacific and the capabilities and resources employed by the United States and Japan in response to major disaster incidents
  • Commissioned analyses by specialists from the Asia-Pacific representing regional perspectives
  • A final report authored by Admiral Thomas B. Fargo, USN (Ret.); Lt. Gen. Noboru Yamaguchi, JGSDF (Ret.); Dr. Ryo Sahashi; and Mr. Abraham M. Denmark summarizing the project’s findings and recommending policy and strategy changes for Japan and the United States in order to move toward operationalizing the Strategic Assistance concept
  • Briefings for Japanese and U.S. government and military officials

Contact

For more information, including upcoming events and ongoing research, please contact:

Alison Szalwinski
Project Manager, Political and Security Affairs
psa@nbr.org

Preparing for Future Disasters: Strategic Assistance and the U.S.-Japan Alliance

This report is the culmination of the Strategic Assistance: Disaster Relief and Asia-Pacific Stability project’s findings and provides recommendations for the United States and Japan for three components of the Strategic Assistance framework: building resilience, strengthening response, and enhancing recovery.

Strategic Assistance: Disaster Relief and Asia-Pacific Stability

This project report presents the project’s initial findings and considers a basic framework for strategic assistance aimed at enhancing U.S.-Japan cooperation and coordination on HA/DR.

Strategic Assistance: Regional Reactions and Geopolitical Challenges

This report examines regional vulnerability to major disasters, as well as the geopolitical perspectives of South and Southeast Asian nations on the potential for enhanced U.S.-Japan coordination on HA/DR operations.