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The U.S.-Japan Alliance and Taiwan

March 6, 2023
La Jolla, CA
UC San Diego, Robinson Building Complex, Building 3, Room 3106

Please join us on March 6 at 4 p.m. for an in-person only talk by Professor Adam P. Liff of Indiana University in conference rm. 3106 at GPS.

This talk by Adam P. Liff of Indiana University will examine the historical evolution of Japanese perspectives on the U.S.-Japan security alliance and the Japan Self-defense Forces’ (SDF) potential roles in a “Taiwan contingency.”

In April 2021, Japan’s Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga and U.S. President Joe Biden made global headlines when they jointly “underscored the importance of peace and stability across the Taiwan Strait”—the first such reference in a summit-level statement since both governments switched diplomatic recognition from Taipei to Beijing in the 1970s. Amidst a rapidly changing regional balance of power and with the Biden administration asserting that U.S. allies would “take action” if Beijing seeks “to use force to disrupt the status quo.” Though Tokyo’s nuanced positions and policies are often neglected in the U.S.-centric academic literature and policy discourse, Japan is a critical front-line player. Its choices are today—and will inevitably remain—crucial variables affecting cross-strait deterrence, U.S. options, and how things may play out if deterrence fails. This talk will be based primarily on the speaker’s July 2022 article in the peer-reviewed journal Asia Policy.


  • Adam P. Liff is an associate professor of East Asian international relations at Indiana University’s Hamilton Lugar School of Global and International Studies, where he serves as Founding Director of its 21st Century Japan Politics and Society Initiative (“21JPSI”) and a founding organizer of its “East Asia and the World” Speaker Series. Beyond IU, he is a Nonresident Senior Fellow with the Center for East Asia Policy Studies at the Brookings Institution, as well as an Associate-in-Research at Harvard University’s Reischauer Institute of Japanese Studies and Fairbank Center for Chinese Studies.
  • Ulrike Schaede is a professor of Japanese business at the UC San Diego School of Global Policy and Strategy and the director of JFIT. Her research focuses on Japan’s changing corporate strategies, including business culture, change management, and business organization. Her 2020 book “The Business Reinvention of Japan” analyzes how Japanese companies are responding to the rise of China and the changing global competition. (Moderator)

Cosponsors: UC Institute on Global Conflict and Cooperation and the UC San Diego School of Global Policy and Strategy’s 21st Century China Center and Korea-Pacific Program