On 12 November 2018 the Griffith Asia Institute held its annual Australia-Japan Dialogue in the port city of Yokosuka, Japan, home to both a sizable contingent of the Maritime Self-Defense Force and to a major United States naval base. It was the eighth time GAI has convened the Dialogue, an initiative begun by Associate Professor Michael Heazle that forms a key part of our research and policy engagement work focused on Japan and the bilateral relationship.
The event was generously hosted by the National Defense Academy of Japan’s Center for Global Security, which is headed by Professor Hideya Kurata. It was kindly sponsored by the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade’s Australia-Japan Foundation.
The topic of this year’s Dialogue was the impact of greater connectivity and infrastructure development on regional security. The Dialogue addressed issues arising from China’s evolving Belt and Road Initiative, the India and Japan-backed Asia-Africa Growth Corridor, and emerging trilateral infrastructure projects under development by Australia, Japan, and the United States.
Scholars from Griffith Asia Institute, the Australian National University, LaTrobe University, and Macquarie University travelled to Yokosuka for the Dialogue. On the Japanese side, we were privileged to hear from scholars from the National Defense Academy, Aoyama Gakuin University, and Sophia University. The event was also attended by officials from both governments. It was addressed by Mr. Kansuke Nagaoka from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan, and by Mr. Bassim Blazey from the Australian Embassy in Tokyo.
A collection of papers from the dialogue, together with a set of reflections about the policy implications of what was discussed, will be published in early 2019.