US-Japan security alliance: possible tips for Ukraine”
15 March 2021, 15:50


The New Europe Center held the first online-discussion “US-Japan security alliance: possible tips for Ukraine”.  The event was organised following the results of the “Asia Strategy in Action. The Role of Ukraine-Japan Cooperation”  forum. During this week the New Europe Center will hold two more Ukrainian-Japanese online discussions.

During the event the analytical commentary “US-Japan security alliance: points to watch in Ukraine” by Bonji Ohara, Senior Fellow of the Sasakawa Peace Foundation was presented.


Some key points from the speakers:

  • Ukrainian-Japanese discussions is a follow-up on topics that we did not manage to discuss at the “Asia Strategy in Action” forum. One of such topics is the lessons of the American-Japanese alliance for Ukraine.
  • Military bases in Japan are important for US geographically and geopolitically. But bases are not enough to make contribution to the US security policies. Japan must be in charge of its defence itself. US has the rule to support the defence of other countries if they are making effort to defend themselves.
  • Even if we Japan is quite satisfied with the current state of the alliance, that does not mean that we feel 100% safe. Not because of the lack of credibility of the US, that’s not the case. But mainly because of threats and challenges that we face in the region: China is there, North Kore is still there. On the one hand, the fact that US puts the great emphasis on Japan and Asia that’s good news. But that is mainly because there are threats and challenges to be addressed.
  • I want to emphasise the multifaceted, multidimensional character of US-Japan alliance. It is a military alliance, but it is much more than that. We don’t just focus on the defence and military cooperation between US and Japan forces. That is very much the pillar of the alliance for sure. But at the end of the day if and when the real crisis happens on the US side, it’s not the military leader who decides whether or not to support Japan. It is president, of course. We also need to gain support of congress, other politicians and people. We need to get them on board. So that is why it is a political-military alliance. And these political, societal and economic dimension are all important. Thus we should not focus explicitly on the military side of the story.
  • China has already officially stated that the Senkaku Islands belong to it. This is a direct path to confrontation. Ukraine should not question that the islands belong to Japan.



  • Bonji Ohara, Senior Fellow, Sasakawa Peace Foundation;
  • Sergiy Korsunsky, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Ukraine to Japan;
  • Michito Tsuruoka, Associate Professor, Keio University;
  • Pavlo Zhovnirenko, Advisor to the Secretary of the National Security and Defense Council of Ukraine; Chairman, Center for Strategic Studies;
  • Hanna Hopko Chair of the Board, “ANTS”;
  • Oleksiy Melnyk, Co-Director, Foreign Relations and International Security Programs, Razumkov Centre;
  • Nataliia Butyrska, East Asia specialist;

Moderator: Alyona Getmanchuk, Director, New Europe Center


Watch the event in English here:



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