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Regular Promotion of Mutual Understanding between Priority Regions and Japan~Exchange Program between Japan and The United States


Young Strategists Forum

Implementing Agency The German Marshall Fund(GMF)of the United States Year 2011
Project classification Self-OperatedGrantCommissionedOthers Year project budget implementation 10,378,249yen
Project Outline
In an age of constrained resources and mounting international challenges, the United States and Japan will require a new generation of strategic thinkers if they are to successfully navigate a world in flux. While each nation has a sizeable number of young experts on foreign policy, emerging leaders who can see beyond a handful of issue areas and weave together national ways, ends, and means remain in short supply.

To create a cohort of young strategists and expose them to Japan, the German Marshall Fund of the United States (GMF) will convene a “Young Strategists Forum” in Japan. Led by Dr. Daniel Kliman, Transatlantic Fellow for Asia at GMF, this forum brings together fifteen emerging leaders from democratic nations, with more than half coming from the United States and Japan, and the remainder coming from Europe, India, Indonesia, and South Korea. The Young Strategists Forum will include the following deliverables:
  • A one-day seminar on national strategy
  • A one-day foreign policy simulation
  • A one-day study tour
  • A Young Strategists Paper Series containing four policy briefs
The Forum aims to endow emerging leaders in the United States, Japan, and other major democracies with a new skill-set: the ability to plan and implement national strategy. Beyond filling a gap in national capacity, the Forum will provide a basis for enhanced coordination among major democracies as emerging leaders become increasingly influential in their respective countries. Lastly, the Forum will place Japan at the center of a new network and expose a rising generation of Western and Asian leaders to the country.
Implementation Plan
The following are the activities of this one-year project:
  • Young Strategists Forum
    A total of fifteen young policy researchers aged 25 to 39 from Japan, the United States, Europe, South Korea, India, and Indonesia will be invited to participate in a “Young Strategists Forum” in Japan in late February to early March 2012. GMF will recruit a globally recognized strategist to serve as faculty for the forum.

    The four segments of the forum are as follows:
    • (1) Seminar on National Strategy (in Sendai)
      The first segment of the Forum will be a one-day seminar on the core elements of national strategy. The faculty will develop a curriculum, craft a short reading list for advanced distribution to participants, and teach the actual seminar. The seminar will help participants to break down complex national challenges into ends, ways, and means, to evaluate comparative strategies, and to determine how strategies can interact.
    • (2) 12-hour Simulation Exercise (in Sendai)
      The second segment of the Forum will be a twelve-hour simulation exercise. Working in consultation with GMF staff, the faculty will prepare a detailed plan for a foreign policy simulation dividing participants into country teams and bureaucratic affiliations. The simulation will focus on Asia and include a series of military, political, and economic crises with no predetermined outcomes. At the end of the exercise, participants will be debriefed on lessons learned and asked whether they were able to consistently pursue a strategy or lost sight of their overarching objectives.
    • (3) Study-tour in Tohoku region
      The tsunami that devastated the coast of Tohoku and the nuclear crisis that followed has reshaped Japan’s society, economy, domestic politics, and foreign policy. To enhance awareness of the repercussions of March 11, 2011 among emerging leaders from the United States, Europe, and other major democracies, the Forum will organize a short study-tour in the Tohoku region.
    • (4) Study-tour in Tokyo
      To gain a high-level perspective on Japan’s domestic politics, economy, and foreign policy, participants will travel to Tokyo to meet with Diet members, business leaders, and officials from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Ministry of Defense.
  • Research Travel (Tokyo and Beijing, January 2012)
    Dr. Kliman will travel to Japan in preparation for the Young Strategists Forum.
  • Young Strategists Paper Series
    In addition to the Young Strategists Forum, GMF will initiate a Young Strategists Paper Series to give Forum participants a new platform for voicing their perspectives on key military, political, and economic issues. Author collaboration across national lines will be strongly encouraged. All papers will be disseminated to a wider audience, available both on the GMF website, and at other GMF events.
Project Results
In March 2012, the project brought together 17 emerging leaders in Japan and the United States and other democratic nations in Asia and Europe, between the age of 25 and 29, for a four-day forum in Tokyo and Sendai. During their stay, the participants took part in strategy-related seminars and simulation exercises, visited disaster-hit areas from the Great East Japan Earthquake, and met with various Japanese policymakers and experts in the field of foreign, security, and economic policies.