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Japan’s Role in the Cold War

Time and Location

June 26, 9pm EDT (10am JST)


During the 1980s, Japan played two critical roles in assisting the United States to execute its Maritime Strategy in the Pacific: blockading key chokepoint straits and defending the sea lines of communication. Those blockade operations made it difficult for Soviet naval forces to transit between Vladivostok and the Western Pacific. Defense of the sea lines of communication was intended to help US aircraft carrier battle groups transit the Western Pacific safely to striking positions. There was one problem, however, the US planners were concerned that Japan might decide to remain neutral in the event of a war between the United States and the Soviet Union.

The event will be recorded and published in YCAPS’ web archive. Questions are encouraged during the live event.



Dr. Narushige Michishita is executive vice president and professor at the National Graduate Institute for Policy Studies (GRIPS) in Tokyo. He has served as a member of the National Security Secretariat Advisory Board and a global fellow at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars. He acquired his Ph.D. from the School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS), Johns Hopkins University. A specialist in Japanese security and foreign policy as well as security issues on the Korean Peninsula, he is the author of The US Maritime Strategy in the Pacific during the Cold War, in Sebastian Bruns and Sarandis Papadopoulos, eds., Conceptualizing Maritime and Naval Strategy: Festschrift for Peter M. Swartz, Captain (USN) retired (Baden-Baden: Nomos, 2020); Lessons of the Cold War in the Pacific: U.S. Maritime Strategy, Crisis Prevention, and Japan’s Role (Woodrow Wilson Center, 2016) (co-authored with Peter M. Swartz and David F. Winkler); and North Korea’s Military-Diplomatic Campaigns, 1966-2008 (Routledge, 2009).

Visit Yokosuka Council on Asia-Pacific Studies (YCAPS) website for more information.

This event is supported through the Japan Foundation New York’s Salary Assistance Grant for U.S.-Japan Community Grassroots Exchange Program.

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