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Maximizing U.S. Interests in Science and Technology Relations with Japan: Report of the Defense Task Force 1 Introduction Over the 50 years since the end of World War II, the U.S. security commitment to the Asia-Pacific region has played an important role in the peace and stability of the region and the world. The U.S.-Japan Treaty of Mutual Cooperation and Security has been a central element of that commitment. Vital American interests have been protected and advanced. Since early in this century, the United States has recognized an interest in preventing the Asia-Pacific region from falling under the control of a hostile power, and advancing this interest was closely linked with geopolitical containment of the Soviet Union during the Cold War. By supporting a largely favorable political and economic environment in the region through its military presence and open markets, the United States has contributed to unleashing the tremendous energy and vitality of the peoples and nations of the Asia-Pacific region, including Japan, as they have built the political and market structures necessary for stable international relations and rapid economic growth. The United States continues to have vital security interests in the Asia-Pacific region.1 However, the structure of the U.S.-Japan alliance, which was formed following the victory of communism in China and the outbreak of the Korean War, as well as the conventional mechanisms for formulating and implementing U.S. policies toward Japan, need to be reconsidered in light of recent radical changes in the international environment and the very different balance of economic and technological power that now exists between the two countries. Despite a long-term trend toward greater U.S.-Japan cooperation in the security realm, Japan ’s increasing strength in a number of critical high-technology industries, large and persistent bilateral trade imbalances, and a series of trade and investment disputes have convinced a broad section of the American public that economic and technological relations display a fundamental asymmetry of benefits and lack of reciprocity in favor of Japan. These underlying troubling trends have had a corrosive effect on the overall relationship. With growing concern over the U.S.-Japan relationship focused on interactions in high technology and their effect on U.S. economic strength and national security, it has become apparent that U.S. interests in the relationship with Japan remain as critical as ever but are increasingly complex and multifaceted. Debate within the United States has revealed sharp differences in perspective over the priorities that different interests should have in U.S. policymaking and over alternative strategies for pursuing those interests. The end of the Cold War, while representing freedom from a major geopolitical threat, has been accompanied by significant uncertainties over the nature of the global security environment in the coming decades. It was in this context that the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Years 1992 and 1993 called for “a comprehensive assessment of the scientific and technological relations 1 See William J. Clinton, “Remarks by the President in Address to the National Assembly of the Republic of Korea,” July 10, 1993.
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Maximizing U.S. Interests in Science and Technology Relations with Japan: Report of the Defense Task Force between the United States and Japan” by the National Academy of Sciences.2 This report by the Defense Task Force focuses on U.S. national security interests at stake in science and technology relations with Japan, and was undertaken with support from the Department of Defense. In addition to this stand-alone report, the work of the Defense Task Force will be integrated with that of the Committee on Japan’s Competitiveness Task Force into a final report supported by the Departments of Commerce, Energy, and State as well as the National Science Foundation. The final report will develop an overall framework for maximizing U.S. interests in science and technology relations with Japan. How should the United States manage its scientific and technological collaboration with Japan so that its national security interests are protected and advanced through this interaction in the years ahead? That is the critical question addressed by this study. Reaching conclusions and developing recommendations have involved the examination of several important issues. One key issue is the future of the U.S.-Japan security alliance and the evolution of U.S. and Japanese defense postures and capabilities. Particularly in defense technology cooperation, patterns of technology development, application, and transfer between the two countries have been profoundly influenced by the security environment. An understanding of the possible directions the alliance might take in the future and the likely implications will be necessary to set and achieve U.S. goals in science and technology interaction. During the time that the task force has been at work, future options for defense and security policy have been actively debated in both the United States and Japan. While many uncertainties remain, the outlines of these debates have become clearer in recent months. These questions are examined in Chapter 2. A second key issue involves the specific goals and management of U.S.-Japan cooperation in defense technology cooperation, as well as interaction in dual-use technologies, mainly areas of commercial technology with defense applications.3 The committee examined the current technological capabilities and trajectories of the two countries, the historical experience with various forms of cooperation, and the likely future needs of the two countries in terms of defense systems and underlying technologies. From this examination the committee has drawn conclusions on how defense and dual-use technology cooperation might be effectively managed in the future, including possible areas and mechanisms for U.S.-Japan cooperation and likely obstacles to achieving U.S. goals. These issues are examined in Chapters Chapter 3, Chapter 4, and Chapter 5. During the course of the study, the Department of Defense has pursued its Technology-for-Technology (TFT) initiative with Japan.4 The Defense Task Force has had an opportunity to learn about TFT and about other initiatives and collaborative programs that are being undertaken. Taken together, these important efforts on the part of the DoD and other U.S. agencies illustrate the significant challenges and opportunities we face in structuring scientific and technological 2 Committee on Armed Services, United States Senate, National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Years 1992 and 1993 (Washington, D.C.: U.S. Government Printing Office, 1991). 3 Dual-use technology is an increasingly important factor in overall U.S. strategy toward maintaining the technology base for future weapons systems and in thinking about U.S.-Japan relationships. The term “dual-use” can be applied in discussing several distinct sorts of issues. In this report we mainly refer to dual-use in two contexts (1) commercial technologies that can be used in military applications (such as flat panel displays and many other electronic components) and (2) broad areas of technological development and application that can have military and civilian uses (such as transport aircraft and space). To avoid confusion, we specify which context is being discussed throughout the report. 4 Although not the subject of an official policy statement, this initiative has been discussed by DoD officials in various public fora. See Japan Economic Institute, “Washington Pushes for Expanded U.S.-Japan Defense Technology Exchanges,” JEI Report, April 8, 1994.
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Maximizing U.S. Interests in Science and Technology Relations with Japan: Report of the Defense Task Force interactions with Japan that produce mutual benefits. The task force has endeavored to draw appropriate lessons from this experience that will hopefully benefit U.S. policymakers as they pursue collaboration with Japan. In Chapter 6, prospects for U.S. and Japanese technological needs, obstacles to achieving U.S. goals, and options for enhancing U.S.-Japan cooperation are reviewed and evaluated. Conclusions and recommendations are presented in Chapter 7. Additional information and assessment are provided in the appendixes. This report and the resulting recommendations generally focus on issues and interests that come substantially under the purview of the Department of Defense and, to some extent, the Department of State. The committee is aware that a fundamental underpinning of the nation’s security over the long term is our economic and overall technological strength. Further, the increasing industrial power of Japan and other nations relative to the United States poses important questions of how science and technology relations on the civilian side affect the political and military aspects of security. Apart from pointing out areas where cooperative efforts between U.S. agencies or between U.S. government and industry would enhance U.S. national security, the task force has chosen to refrain from developing specific conclusions and recommendations on this set of issues. The links between competitiveness and security are recognized and examined, in areas such as managing the possible risks of dependence on Japanese technological capabilities for U.S. defense systems. This report also points to areas where the Department of Defense, in cooperation with other agencies of the U.S. government, could play an important role in enhancing national security and competitiveness. The Defense Task Force hopes that this report will be helpful to the Committee on Japan and the Competitiveness Task Force as they consider issues related to the competitiveness of U.S. civilian industries and perhaps develop specific recommendations related to U.S. economic interests and competitiveness.
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