The Japan Symposium 2020

The Japan Symposium 2020

Australia, Japan and INDIA STRENGTHENING trilateral strategic relationships in the indo-pacific

In collaboration with Japanese Consulate in Perth, the Perth USAsia Centre will convene the Japan Symposium 2020 in February. This is the third annual iteration of a forum for policymakers, business and academic leaders to discuss issues of shared concern in the Indo-Pacific.

On Monday 17th a private full day dialogue will be held followed by a public event on Tuesday 18th.

This year’s Symposium will explore the topic Australia, Japan and India: Strengthening trilateral strategic relationships. It will bring together senior officials, experts and strategic thinkers from Australia, Japan and India. The Symposium will facilitate expert-led discussion about the complex strategic challenges the three nations face in the Indo-Pacific region, and enhance cooperation between them in the economic and security realms.

Date and time: Tuesday 18 February, 9.00am - 10.30am
Location: The University Club of Western Australia Auditorium, The University of Western Australia
Cost: Free (registration is essential, all catering is provided and only limited seating available)

An overview of the 2018 and 2019 Japan Symposia is available at the links provided.
His Excellency Reiichiro Takahashi  -

His Excellency Reiichiro Takahashi

Ambassador of Japan to Australia

His Excellency Reiichiro Takahashi is the Ambassador of Japan to Australia, since being appointed in February 2019. Prior to this assignment, Ambassador Takahashi served as Consul-General at the Consulate General of Japan in New York. Ambassador Takahashi has served as Director-General of the International Peace Cooperation Headquarters, Cabinet Office from 2012-2015. He has served in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs for over 35 years. He held the position of Deputy Director- General, Economic Cooperation Bureau, Ministry of Foreign affairs (2006-2007), as well as Director, Management and Coordination Division, Ministerial Secretariat, (2004- 2006), Press Division (2001-2003) and First South-East Asia Division (1999-2001). His diplomatic postings include assignments to Japanese Embassies in Afghanistan as Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary from 2011-2012, The Republic of Korea as Minister (2007-2011), India as Minister (2003- 2004), USA as Counsellor (1997-1999) and the Philippines as First Secretary (1994-1997). Ambassador Takahashi obtained a Bachelor’s degree in International Relations from Tokyo University.

Dr Jeffrey Wilson -

Dr Jeffrey Wilson

Research Director, Perth USAsia Centre.​

Dr Jeffrey Wilson is the Research Director at the Perth USAsia Centre. He provides leadership and strategic direction in developing the Centre’s research program across its publications, policy and dialogue activities.
Dr Wilson specialises in the regional economic integration of the Indo-Pacific. He has particular expertise in the politics of trade agreements, regional economic institutions, and Australia’s economic ties with Asia. He has been featured in local and international media outlets, contributed to a range of track two dialogues between Australia and key regional partners, and supported policy development through consultancy, publication and advisory work.

Madeleine King MP -

Madeleine King MP

Federal Member for Brand; Shadow Minister for Trade

Madeleine King was elected to Federal Parliament in July 2016 as the Member for Brand, and was re-elected in May 2019.

In June 2019 she was promoted to the front bench of the Labor Opposition to serve as Shadow Minister for Trade. She previously held the positions of Shadow Minister for Consumer Affairs, Shadow Minister Assisting for Small Business and Shadow Minister Assisting for Resources. Ms King worked as a solicitor in private practice before moving into the higher education sector as a lawyer and then as Chief of Staff at The University of Western Australia.

Before entering the Parliament, Ms King was the founding executive and Chief Operating Officer of the Perth USAsia Centre between 2012 and 2016. In her leadership of the Perth USAsia Centre, she helped to bring a unique Western Australian perspective to international discussion on Australia’s role in the emerging Indo-Pacific region.

Ms King has strong personal links with her seat of Brand, which includes the major centres of Rockingham and Kwinana, having grown up in the area and attended local public schools.

Yohei Tanaka -

Yohei Tanaka

Lead Economist, INPEX Corporation

Yohei Tanaka is Lead Economist and Deputy Manager at the Americas Projects Division, INPEX, Japan’s largest oil and gas Exploration and Production company. He has worked on the Ichthys LNG project in Australia, the Japan’s largest foreign investment, where he was responsible for the negotiation of major project contracts and the structuring which led to the final investment decision and securing of the world’s largest Project Finance.
He writes articles on economy, currency and energy policy. His work appears in outlets such as East Asia Forum, RSIS, Nikkei Asian Review and International Business Law and Practice.
Prior to INPEX, he has worked in Macquarie Capital, Goldman Sachs and KPMG. He holds a Bachelor of Arts (Business and Commerce) from the Keio University and a CPA license of Japan.

Bonji Ohara -

Bonji Ohara

Senior Fellow, The Sasakawa Peace Foundation

Mr. Bonji Ohara graduated from the National Defense Academy in 1985 and completed a master’s program at the University of Tsukuba in 1998. He enrolled in the General Course of the NIDS in 2001. Mr. Ohara was stationed in China between 2003 and 2006 as a Naval Attaché and became a chief of the intelligence section, Maritime Staff Office in MoD, in 2006; Commanding Officer of the 21st flight squadron in 2009. Mr. Ohara worked for IHS Jane’s from 2011 as an analyst and business development manager, and for the Tokyo Foundation as a Director of Research before assuming the position of Senior Fellow in the Sasakawa Peace Foundation in June 2017.

Darshana M. Baruah -

Darshana M. Baruah

Visiting Fellow, Sasakawa Peace Foundation, Tokyo
Nonresident Scholar, Carnegie Endowment for International Peace

Darshana M. Baruah is currently a visiting fellow at the Sasakawa Peace Foundation, Tokyo, where she is working on a book about the significance of strategic islands in the Indian Ocean region. She is also a nonresident scholar with the South Asia Program at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. Her primary research focuses on maritime security in Asia and the role of the Indian Navy in a new security architecture. Her work also examines the strategic implications of China’s infrastructure and connectivity projects as well as trilateral partnerships in the Indo-Pacific.

Previously, Baruah was the associate director and a senior research analyst at Carnegie India where she led the center’s initiative on maritime security. As the associate director, Baruah’s institutional responsibilities included coordinating and overseeing the centre’s development, outreach, and institutional partnerships. While at Carnegie India, Baruah also coordinated and led various track 1.5 dialogues and seminars, such as the India-Australia-France trilateral dialogue, India-Japan-Sri Lanka trilateral dialogue, India-EU dialogue, and India-UK maritime dialogue, among others. Her research projects included work on the Andaman and Nicobar Islands as well as trilateral partnerships and strategic connectivity projects in the Indo-Pacific.

Ashley Townshend -

Ashley Townshend

Director of Foreign Policy and Defence, United States Studies Centre at the University of Sydney

Ashley Townshend is Director of Foreign Policy and Defence at the United States Studies Centre at the University of Sydney. He works on international security and strategic affairs with a focus on the Indo-Pacific, including regional alliances and partnerships, maritime security, defence policy, and US, Chinese, and Australian strategy. Ashley is also the founding convenor and co-chair of the US-Australia Indo-Pacific Deterrence Dialogue and a lecturer in the Centre’s postgraduate program. A frequent contributor to the Australian and international media, Ashley’s analysis has appeared in outlets such as the Financial TimesCNN, the Australian Financial ReviewBloombergABC, and Sky News.

Previously, Ashley has held research and teaching positions in the Alliance 21 Program at the United States Studies Centre, the International Security Program at the Lowy Institute for International Policy, the Department of Government and International Relations at the University of Sydney, the Center for Asia-Pacific Cooperation and Governance at Fudan University, the Warrior-Scholar Project at Yale University, the Strategic and Defence Studies Centre at the Australian National University, and Pacific Friends of the Global Fund. He completed his studies at the University of Oxford, Peking University, Sciences Po, Paris, and the University of Sydney where he received the University Medal.

Dr Erika Techera -

Dr Erika Techera

Professor of Law, The University of Western Australia

Dr Erika Techera is Professor of Law at The University of Western Australia, and is a member of the UWA Law School, UWA Oceans Institute, UWA Public Policy Institute and African Research and Engagement Centre. She specialises in international and comparative environmental law with a particular emphasis on marine governance. Her research explores Indo-Pacific maritime issues: marine protected area governance, marine spatial planning and pollution law, as well as international law for the conservation and management of wild species. Her most recent projects include Indian Ocean environmental laws for the blue economy; Indo-Pacific shark conservation and management laws; environmental crime including illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing; rigs-to-reefs law and policy; and intangible maritime heritage protection. 

Erika is the author of more than 80 publications including books, chapters and journal articles, and regularly presents public lectures and at academic and industry conferences. She holds a bachelor's degree in law with honours, two Masters degrees in domestic and international environmental law and postgraduate qualifications in teaching. Her PhD centred on legal frameworks to support community-based management in the Pacific islands. 

Erika was formerly a barrister and company director. She is a Fellow of the Australian Academy of Law, a Graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors, and in 2016 was recognised in the Lawyers Weekly Australian Law Awards as 'Academic of the Year'.

Dr Jagannath Panda -

Dr Jagannath Panda

Research Fellow, Institute for Defence Studies and Analyses (IDSA)

Dr. Jagannath P. Panda is a Research Fellow and Centre Coordinator for East Asia at the Institute for Defence Studies and Analyses (IDSA), New Delhi, India. He is an expert on India-China Relations, China, Indo-Pacific security, Indian Foreign Policy and Korean peninsula. Dr. Panda is also the Series Editor for Routledge Studies on Think Asia. Dr. Panda is the author of the book India-China Relations: Politics of Resources, Identity and Authority in a Multipolar World Order (Routledge: 2017). He is also the author of the book China’s Path to Power: Party, Military and the Politics of State Transition (Pentagon Press: 2010). He is also the editor of the newly released edited volume India and China in Asia: Between Equations and Equilibrium (Routledge, 2019). Dr. Panda is a Member of the Editorial Board of the Journal of Asian Public Policy (Routledge). He has published in leading peer-reviewed journals like Rising Powers Quarterly, Journal of Asian Public Policy (Routledge), Journal of Asian and African Studies (Sage), Asian Perspective (Lynne Reiner), Journal of Contemporary China (Routledge), Georgetown Journal of Asian Affairs (Georgetown), Strategic Analyses (Routledge), China Report (Sage), Indian Foreign Affairs Journal (MD Publication), Portuguese Journal of International Affairs (Euro Press) etc.

Dr Priya Chacko -

Dr Priya Chacko

Senior Lecturer, Department of Politics and International Studies, University of Adelaide

Dr Priya Chacko is a Senior Lecturer in International Politics in the Department of Politics and International Studies at the University of Adelaide and a Visiting Academic Fellow of the Australia-India Institute at the University of Melbourne.
Dr Chacko specialises in the politics, political economy and foreign policy of India, and the geopolitics and geoeconomics of the Indo-Pacific region with a particular focus on the economics-security nexus and contestations over regional order. She has published extensively on these issues in academic outlets and contributes commentary on these topics for the Australian and international media. She has been a part of the Australian delegations to the India-Australia 1.5 Track Defence Strategic Dialogue and an Indian Ocean Rim Association 1.5 Track Dialogue.
Dr Chacko is President of the South Asian Studies Association of Australia and is the South Asia Councillor for the Asian Studies Association of Australia.  She holds a Bachelor of Arts (International Relations)(Honours) from the University of Queensland and a PhD in Politics from the University of Adelaide.

Professor Stephen Smith -

Professor Stephen Smith

Former Minister for Defence and Minister for Foreign Affairs

Professor Stephen Smith has been a Professor of Public International Law at the University of Western Australia since 2014. He is currently the Chairman of archTIS, Chairman of Sapien Cyber, Chair of the Advisory Board of the UWA Public Policy Institute, a member of the Board of the Perth USAsia Centre and a Member of the Board of the LNG Marine Fuel Institute. Professor Smith was Federal Member for Perth for the Australian Labor Party from March 1993 until September 2013. In a distinguished career spanning 20 years in the Australian Federal Parliament, Professor Smith served as the Minister for Defence, and prior to that, as Minister for Foreign Affairs and Minister for Trade.
Following upon his retirement from the Australian Parliament in 2013, Professor Smith was a member of the EY (Ernst and Young) Oceania Government and Public Sector Advisory Board (2014 - 2017), Chair of the Asia Desk and a member of the Advisory Board of Perth Law firm Lavan (2014 – 2017), and a member of the Board of Hockey Australia (2013 - 2016). Professor Smith completed his Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Laws at the University of Western Australia, and has practised as a Barrister and Solicitor in Perth. He completed a Master of Laws in Public International Law at London University, and subsequently lectured and tutored in Law in London.

Professor Nick Bisley -

Professor Nick Bisley

Head, School of Humanities and Social Sciences, La Trobe University

Nick Bisley is the Dean of Humanities and Social Sciences and Professor of International Relations at La Trobe University. His research and teaching expertise is in Asia's international relations, great power politics and Australian foreign and defence policy. Nick is a member of the advisory board of China Matters and a member of the Council for Security and Cooperation in the Asia-Pacific. He was Editor in Chief of the Australian Journal of International Affairs and been a Senior Research Associate of the International Institute of Strategic Studies. Nick is the author of many works on international relations, including Issues in 21st Century World Politics, 3rd Edition (Palgrave, 2017), Great Powers in the Changing International Order (Lynne Rienner, 2012), and Building Asia's Security (IISS/Routledge, 2009, Adelphi No. 408). He regularly contributes to and is quoted in national and international media including The Guardian, The Wall Street Journal, CNN and Time Magazine.

Dr Amitendu Palit -

Dr Amitendu Palit

Senior Research Fellow; and Research Lead (Trade and Economics), Institute of South Asian Studies (ISAS)

Dr Amitendu Palit is Senior Research Fellow and Research Lead (Trade & Economic Policy) at the Institute of South Asian Studies (ISAS) in the National University of Singapore. Prior to joining ISAS, he worked in India’s Ministry of Finance for a decade and handled India’s external sector, industrial and infrastructure policies. He is Member of the World Economic Forum (WEF)’s Global Future Council on Trade and Investment. He specializes in global and regional trade policies, political economy of international trade and Indian economic policies. His current projects include trade, connectivity & institutions and prospects for Asia; India’s trade policy and its global role; and mobility of talent from Asia. He has written several books and published in peer-reviewed academic journals. He is a columnist for India’s ‘Financial Express’,  a contributor for the East-West Centre and East Asia Forum, and a commentator for BBC, Bloomberg News, Channel News Asia and CNBC.

Dr Rajeswari Rajagopalan -

Dr Rajeswari Rajagopalan

Distinguished Fellow and Head, Nuclear and Space Policy Initiative, Observer Research Foundation

Dr. Rajeswari Pillai Rajagopalan is Distinguished Fellow and Head of the Nuclear and Space Policy Initiative at Observer Research Foundation. She is also a senior Asia defence writer for The Diplomat. Dr. Rajagopalan joined ORF after a five-year stint at the National Security Council Secretariat (2003-2007), where she was an Assistant Director. Prior to joining the NSCS, she was Research Officer at the Institute of Defence Studies and Analyses, New Delhi. She was also a Visiting Professor at the Graduate Institute of International Politics, National Chung Hsing University, Taichung, Taiwan in 2012.

Dr. Rajagopalan has lectured at Indian military and policy institutions such as the Defence Service and Staff College (Wellington), National Defence College (New Delhi), Army War College (Mhow), and the Foreign Service Institute (New Delhi). She has also been invited to speak at international fora including the UN COPUOS (Vienna), Conference on Disarmament (Geneva), UNIDIR (Geneva), ASEAN Regional Forum (ARF) and the European Union.

Nobumasa Akiyama -

Nobumasa Akiyama

Dean, School of International and Public Policy, Hitotsubashi University

Nobumasa Akiyama is Dean of the School of International and Public Policy, and Professor at the Graduate School of Law at Hitotsubashi University. He is also an Adjunct Research Fellow at Japan Institute of International Affairs. Before appointed to the current position, he served as Minister-Counsellor at the Permanent Mission of Japan to the International Organizations in Vienna and Special Advisor to Ambassador on Nuclear Security from April 2016 to March 2018 when he was on loan to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan. His other professional appointments included a member of the Eminent Persons Group for the Substantive Advancement of Nuclear Disarmament, Foreign Minister’s consultative group and advisor to the Japanese delegation to the NPT Review Conferences. He contributes articles on international security, energy security and nuclear issues to various journals

Professor Akiko Fukushima -

Professor Akiko Fukushima

Professor, School of Global Studies and Collaboration, Aoyama Gakuin University

Dr. Akiko Fukushima is a Professor, School of Global Studies and Collaboration, Aoyama Gakuin University with a Doctoral degree from Osaka University and M.A. from the Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS), Johns Hopkins University. Her carrier includes Adjunct Professor of the Law School at Keio University, Director of Policy Studies at the National Institute for Research Advancement (NIRA), Senior Fellow at the Japan Foundation and a visiting scholar of CSIS, US.

Concurrently Dr Fukushima has served on the Japanese government committees including the Advisory Council on National Security and Defense Capabilities to the Prime Minister in 2013. Her publications include Japanese Foreign Policy: The Emerging Logic of Multilateralism (1999) by MacMillan, Conflict and Cultural Diplomacy (2012) by Keio University Press, . She has also contributed chapters including “Multilateralism Recalibrated,” in Postwar Japan (CSIS 2017).

Danielle Rajendram -

Danielle Rajendram

Manager, Research and Information, Asialink Business

Danielle is the Manager of the Research and Information team at Asialink Business. In this role she manages evidence-based research and market insights projects to help Australian organisations capitalise on opportunities with Asia. She has a background in management consulting and government, with significant experience in enhancing Australia’s engagement with Asia.  

Prior to joining Asialink Business Danielle was a Senior Consultant at Nous Group, where she worked on a range of public policy and strategy projects for clients in government, non-government organisations and the private sector. Danielle has previously held Asia policy roles at the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade and Department of Defence, and worked as a Research Associate at the Lowy Institute for International Policy. She was a Steering Committee member of the Australia India Youth Dialogue and has published widely on Asian strategic and economic policy.  

Professor L. Gordon Flake  -

Professor L. Gordon Flake

CEO, Perth USAsia Centre

Professor L. Gordon Flake is the founding CEO of the Perth USAsia Centre, a position he assumed in January of 2014. He was previously Executive Director of the Maureen and Mike Mansfield Foundation, a Senior Fellow and Associate Director of the Program on Conflict Resolution at The Atlantic Council of the United States and prior to that Director for Research and Academic Affairs at the Korea Economic Institute of America. Read more