The Hale Report: Episode 27 with Michael Green
Japan's new role in the Indo-Pacific, with Eleanor Shiori Hughes
Beginning with John Mearsheimer in December, our podcasts guests have vaulted into the news soon after their appearances. It was just announced that my latest guest, Michael J. Green, will be moving to Sydney to take up a key post as CEO of the United States Studies Centre in Australia. One outcome of increasing tensions with China has been closer ties at all levels between the US and Australia, which we discuss in detail during this podcast.
Until his new appointment, Dr Green served as the Senior Vice President for Asia, Japan, and the Henry Kissinger Chair at CSIS, the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington DC. He was also Director of the Asian Studies Program at Georgetown University’s eminent School of Foreign Service. From 2001-2005, he served on the National Security Council, first as Director for Asian Affairs, and then as Special Assistant to the President for National Security Affairs and Senior Director for Asia (under George W Bush).
Joining me with Dr Green is Eleanor Shiori Hughes, one of his graduate students at the Georgetown School of Foreign Service and an EconVue contributor. I believe Eleanor rather enjoyed turning the table on her professor to ask him questions. Since she recently interviewed former Prime Minister Shinzō Abe, who has taken an outsized role in Japan’s new diplomacy in Asia, I thought it would be wonderful to include her in the podcast.
A bit of news: we are adding a book review section to the EconVue website, and Eleanor will be reviewing Dr Green’s new book, Line of Advantage: Japan’s Grand Strategy in the Era of Abe Shinzō. The book is an insider’s view of Japan’s strategic thinking under Abe, who was able to transform Japan from a rule follower to a rule maker during his time as prime minister.
I hope you will enjoy our wide-ranging conversation. We covered a variety of topics, including Dr Green’s recent trip to Taipei as part of a US government delegation, in the wake of the crisis in Ukraine. Some of the other questions we posed:
Lee Kwan Yew commented that for the past 70 years the US has had a stop and go policy in Asia. What could change that trajectory and add more stability?
How will the invasion of Ukraine affect the Biden Administration’s ability to fully project its Indo-Pacific strategy?
Since we have many Australian listeners, how has Canberra come to play such an outsized role in the Info-Pacific?
The Biden Administration has not yet articulated a China policy. What should that look like?
What are Japan’s key economic, defense, and diplomatic priorities?
How does Japan pursue competition with China without losing the benefits of economic cooperation? Is the Japan-China relationship too big to fail?
Taiwan, North Korea, Ukraine, and much more.
Books by Michael Green
In this book, Michael J. Green provides a groundbreaking and comprehensive account of Japan’s strategic thinking under Abe. He explains the foundational logic and the worldview behind this approach, from key precedents in Japanese history to the specific economic, defense, and diplomatic priorities shaping contemporary policy toward China, the United States, the two Koreas, and the Indo-Pacific region.
In a history that spans the eighteenth century to the present, Michael J. Green follows the development of U.S. strategic thinking toward East Asia, identifying recurring themes in American statecraft that reflect the nation's political philosophy and material realities.
Recent Events & Articles
March 22, 2022 / CSIS China Power Project
A discussion of the geopolitical, economic, and military impacts of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and the potential lessons learned for Taiwan.
March 7, 2022 / CSIS
A new major CSIS International Security Program report and public conference explore whether and how domestic political, geographic, racial, socio-economic, and other divisions impact U.S. national security and engagements abroad and identifies opportunities for cooperation.
March 17, 2022 / Asia Chessboard
Andrew Schwartz guest hosts the Asia Chessboard to discuss Michael Green’s new book, “Line of Advantage: Japan’s Grand Strategy in the Era of Shinzo Abe” Andrew asks Mike about the origins of the book and how former Prime Minister Abe changed Japan’s strategic trajectory during his tenure. The two also discuss the U.S.-Japan alliance, President Biden’s approach to Japan, and current events in the region concerning Ukraine, Taiwan, and South Korea.
March 14, 2022 /Asia Chessboard
Dr Green discusses the dynamic geopolitics of the Pacific Islands with Georgetown University Professor Patricia O’Brien. They explore the post-World War II history of this complex region, analyze recent political trends in key countries such as Samoa, the Solomon Islands, and Fiji, and explain how the Pacific Islands fit in with overall U.S. strategy in Asia.
March 1, 2022 / CSIS
Some in Washington have called for an “Asia First” policy to ignore Ukraine and focus on China, but this would be folly. In many respects, the next chapter in Asia is being written now on the streets of Kyiv.
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Recent Hale Report Podcasts
Let me say at the outset that I expected to disagree with the thesis of my esteemed guests today. However, I have to admit that their research into the underlying causes of the current unrest and division is enlightening and intriguing.
This week’s guest is an expert I have followed for a long time, Yanzhong Huang, who is Senior Fellow for Global Health at the Council on Foreign Relations and Professor at Seton Hall University. He writes extensively about global public health and China’s health care system in Foreign Affairs and major publications.
My guest today is Elizabeth C. Economy. We first met while she was Director of Asia Studies at the Council on Foreign Relations. On leave from the Hoover Institution at Stanford, she now serves as Senior Advisor for China to the Secretary of Commerce. Everyone who follows China follows Liz Economy. She has become one of the most listened to voices in her field in the Biden Administration.
Today’s guest Dr Ellis is currently research professor of Latin American Studies at the U.S. Army War College Strategic Studies Institute, with a focus on the region’s relationships with China and other non-Western Hemisphere actors such as Russia and Iran. During our podcast, he offers a disturbing tour d’horizon of the changing political and economic landscape in Central and South America.
If you are concerned about the US-China relationship, Mearsheimer’s works are required reading for understanding the arc of engagement between the two countries over the past fifty years. And yes, we discussed Russia and Ukraine during this December podcast.
A final note: given current events, ICYMI I would highly recommend our podcast back in February with Dr Yanzhong Huang, as well as his excellent Twitter feed @YanzhongHuang for updated information about the rapidly evolving Covid-19 situation in China.
With all best wishes,