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Events - 03.01.2024

The U.S.-Japan Alliance Realizing a Free and Open Indo-Pacific

The U.S.-Japan Alliance Series, Year X

U.S. and Japan flags, with Mount. Fuji in the background
Photo by Karis Mattingly/U.S. Marine Corps


03.01.2024 (Fri.)


10:00 AM – 04:00 PM (PST)


In-person | JAPAN HOUSE Salon, Level 5
Online | Zoom



The Abe Shinzō administration debuted its Indo-Pacific strategy in 2016, calling for a Free and Open Indo-Pacific, or FOIP. Subsequently, not only did the United States adopt the approach, but the concept has spread among regional countries seeking to maintain a stable rules-based order. With so many states focused on the Indo-Pacific region, and the U.S.-Japan alliance keeping FOIP central to their regional engagements, it is critical to better understand how the alliance is working together in the region and how regional countries are responding to this engagement.

RAND, JAPAN HOUSE Los Angeles and Japan’s Consulate General of Los Angeles are hosting a free and public conference to explore questions such as: How do American and Japanese experts assess their countries’ free and open Indo-Pacific strategies in regard to security issues? How do American and Japanese experts assess their countries’ free and open Indo-Pacific strategies in regard to economic issues? Finally, what are regional countries doing in their strategic engagement to the region?

This conference is aimed at a general audience and will not assume any previous knowledge of foreign policy; we believe that audience members of all backgrounds will learn new things about this exciting topic. This conference will explore the perspectives of U.S. and Japanese specialists, as well as representatives of other regional countries, and contribute to public understanding of the key issues confronting Washington and Tokyo.


*Subject to change. Scroll down for speaker bios.

10:00 AM – 10:15 AM | Welcome Remarks
• Dr. Jeffrey W. Hornung, Japan Lead, National Security Research Division; Senior Political Scientist, RAND 
• Mr. Kenko Sone, Consul General of Japan in Los Angeles 
• Ms. Yuko Kaifu, President, JAPAN HOUSE Los Angeles

10:15 AM – 11:45 AM | Morning Panel
The Security Dimensions of FOIP: Is Conflict Inevitable?
• Dr. Ken Jimbo, Professor of International Relations, Keio University; Managing Director of Programs, International House of Japan 
• Mr. Christopher Johnstone, Senior Adviser and Japan Chair, Center for Strategic and International Studies 
• Ms. Kristen Gunness, Senior Policy Researcher, RAND

11:45 AM – 12:45 PM | Lunch Break
Lunch and light refreshments (coffee/tea) will be provided.

12:45 PM – 2:00 PM | Keynote Address, Diplomatic Round Table
• Ms. Emily Cloke, British Consul General of Los Angeles 
• Mr. Francis Maynard S. Maleon, Consul and Head, Political & Economic Section, Philippine Consulate General (Los Angeles)
• Mr. Zaib Shaikh, Canadian Consul General of Los Angeles
• Mr. Kenko Sone, Japanese Consul General of Los Angeles

2:00 PM – 2:15 PM | Break

2:15 PM – 3:45 PM | Afternoon Panel
The Economic Dimensions of FOIP: Competition or Cooperation?
• Dr. Howard Shatz: Senior Economist, RAND 
• Ms. Shihoko Goto: Director, Asia Program; Director for Geoeconomics and Indo-Pacific Enterprise, Wilson Center 
• Mr. Kunihiko Shinoda: Professor, Executive Advisor (GRIPS Alliance), National Graduate Institute for Policy Studies (GRIPS)

3:45 PM – 4:00 PM | Closing Remarks
• Dr. Jeffrey W. Hornung, Japan Lead, National Security Research Division; Senior Political Scientist, RAND

About the Speakers | Morning Panel

Ken Jimbo
Professor of International Relations, Keio University; Managing Director of Programs, International House of Japan
Dr. Ken Jimbo is a Professor of International Relations at Keio University and a Managing Director of Programs at the International House of Japan (IHJ/I-House). He is concurrently an adjunct Senior Research Fellow at the Canon Institute for Global Studies (CIGS). He served as a Special Advisor to the Minister of Defense, ...  Read more.

Japan Ministry of Defense (2020) and Senior Advisor to the National Security Secretariat (2018-20). Dr. Jimbo’s main research interests are in International Security, Japan-US Security Relations, and Japan’s Foreign and Defense Policy. He has been a policy advisor for various Japanese governmental commissions and research groups, including the National Security Secretariat, the Ministry of Defense, and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. His policy writings have appeared in various outlets, including the RAND Corporation, NBR, Stimson Center, Pacific Forum CSIS, Japan Times, Nikkei, Yomiuri, Asahi and Sankei Shimbun.

Christopher Johnstone
Senior Adviser and Japan Chair, Center for Strategic and International Studies
Christopher B. Johnstone is senior adviser and Japan Chair at the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS). Prior to joining CSIS, Mr. Johnstone served in government for 25 years in a variety of senior positions with a focus on U.S. policy toward Japan and the Indo-Pacific. He served twice on the National Security Council, as director for East Asia under President Biden ...  Read more.

and director for Japan and Oceanian affairs under President Obama (2014–2016). In the Office of the Secretary of Defense, Mr. Johnstone led offices with responsibility for South and Southeast Asia (2017–2021) and East Asia (2016–2017); he was director for Northeast Asia from 2010 to 2014, where he had principal responsibility for developing strategy for the U.S.-Japan alliance. Mr. Johnstone began his career as an intelligence officer in the Central Intelligence Agency, where he worked on national security issues in Northeast Asia and served in an overseas field station. Mr. Johnstone has a master's in public affairs from Princeton University's School of Public and International Affairs and a Bachelor of Arts from Swarthmore College. He speaks fluent Japanese.

Kristen Gunness
Senior Policy Researcher, RAND
Ms. Kristen Gunness is a senior policy researcher at the RAND Corporation. Her background includes military, security, and foreign policy issues in the Indo Pacific region with a focus on China, and deterrence and escalation management. Ms. Gunness has worked with a range of U.S. Department of Defense and private sector clients throughout her career and advised senior leaders in the United States Navy, ...  Read more.

USINDOPACOM, Office of the Secretary of Defense, and the Intelligence Community. Before joining RAND, she served as the Director of the Navy Asia Pacific Advisory Group at the Pentagon, where she advised the Chief of Naval Operations on security and foreign policy trends in the Indo Pacific region with a focus on Chinese maritime strategy and naval capabilities. Prior to her position on the Navy staff, Ms. Gunness was senior project director on Chinese military and security affairs at CNA. Gunness holds a B.A. from Tufts University in international relations, a certificate in Chinese studies from the Johns Hopkins SAIS Nanjing Center, and an M.A. in security studies from Georgetown University’s Walsh School of Foreign Service.

About the Keynote Speakers

Emily Cloke
British Consul General in Los Angeles
Ms. Emily Cloke is British Consul General in Los Angeles. She is the senior representative of the UK government in Southern California, Arizona, Nevada, Utah and Hawaii. In this role, she promotes trade and investment, scientific cooperation, tackling climate change, creative and media collaborations and educational partnerships between the UK and the southwestern United States. She also oversees delivery ...  Read more.

of essential consular services to a 600,000-strong British resident community and British visitors. Ms. Cloke has a range of policy, commercial and international experience working for the British Government. Her recent roles include as Deputy CEO for the UK-Africa Investment Summit hosted by the Prime Minister in 2020, and as a senior leader in the Department for International Trade’s Sectors Group, overseeing export and investment promotion for industry sectors including aerospace, advanced manufacturing and education. She has worked overseas as Trade Director for the British Embassy Tehran, setting up and leading the UK’s trade section and strategy following the re-opening of the British Embassy in 2015, and as Head of Trade at the British Embassy Sweden. Ms. Cloke’s wider experience includes advising on the creation of the world’s first Green Investment Bank, and leading the Ministerial private office for the Minister of Employment Relations and Consumer Affairs/Minister for Women & Equalities. Ms. Cloke started her career as a lawyer in the City of London and studied law at Cambridge University.

Francis Maynard S. Maleon
Consul and Head, Political & Economic Section, Philippine Consulate General (Los Angeles)
Mr. Francis Maynard S. Maleon is Consul at the Philippines Consulate General in Los Angeles, in charge of the Political and Economic Section as well as the Overseas Voting Section. Mr. Maleon arrived in Los Angeles in August 2021. Prior to his current role, he served as Special Assistant at the Office of Undersecretary for Civilian Security and Consular Concerns. Overseas, Mr. Maleon ...  Read more.

was previously assigned to the Philippine Embassy in Damascus, Syria and the Philippine Embassy in Nairobi, Kenya. Mr. Maleon is a graduate of Arellano School of Law. He also holds a Bachelor of Arts in Philosophy from the Ateneo de Manila University and educational certificates from Harvard University, University of London, University of Washington and Georgetown University. Mr. Maleon has been working with the Department of Foreign Affairs for 13 years. He is married to a lawyer, Ms. Karen Aboud.

Zaib Shaikh
Canadian Consul General of Los Angeles
Mr. Zaib Shaikh began his mandate as Consul General of Canada in Los Angeles in December 2018. He is the Government of Canada’s senior representative in Southern California, Arizona and Nevada. Mr. Shaikh comes to the posting after an extensive career in the media and entertainment industries having worked as an actor and producer in theatre, film and television. His work includes acting roles in Deepa Mehta’s film ...  Read more.

Midnight’s Children, as well as starring in the CBC comedy series Little Mosque on the Prairie, which has been seen in more than 80 countries. Mr. Shaikh co‐produced the special Long Story Short: CBC Turns 75 and co‐wrote, directed and co‐produced the film Othello: The Tragedy of the Moor. He also co-founded and served as an artistic producer of the Whistler Theatre Project in British Columbia. From 2014 until his appointment in 2018, Mr. Shaikh was the Film Commissioner and Director of Entertainment Industries for the City of Toronto. In that role, he oversaw and grew the city’s screen, music, live festival, sporting event and tourism sectors, helping to double the value of film production in Canada’s largest city which surpassed $2 billion in 2016. Mr. Shaikh has served as a board member for the Institute for Canadian Citizenship, the Canadian Centre for Diversity and Inclusion, and most recently, on the board of AFC (formerly the Actors Fund of Canada). He has served on juries and committees for the Gemini Awards, ACTRA Awards, Ontario Arts Council, and Theatre Ontario Youth Program as well as an ambassador for the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health and for Amnesty International Canada. Mr. Shaikh is married to Ms. Kirstine Stewart. They have two children.

Kenko Sone
Japanese Consul General of Los Angeles
Kenko Sone has served as Consul General of Japan in Los Angeles since September 2022. He graduated from Hitotsubashi University and joined the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in 1989. After studying at Wesleyan University, he served at the Embassy of Japan in Washington DC from 1992-95 and later returned as Economic Counselor from 2011-13. He has served as Director of the OECD Division, Economic Affairs Bureau (2008-10), ...  Read more.

International Economy Division, Economic Affairs Bureau (2010-11), and First North America Division, North American Affairs Bureau (2013-14). He served in the Prime Minister’s Office as Deputy Cabinet Secretary for Public Affairs from 2014-16.

He has also served as Deputy Director-General of the Economic Affairs Bureau (2019-20) and Asian and Oceanian Affairs Bureau (2020-21), and as Ambassador in Charge of Economic Diplomacy (2019-20). His most recent assignments were as Assistant Minister and Director-General for Cultural Affairs and Ambassador in Charge of Sport and Budo (2021-22). Consul General Sone’s additional overseas assignments include Counselor to the Permanent Mission in Geneva, Switzerland (2005-08) and Minister for Economy & Development at the Embassy of Japan in India (2016-19).

About the Speakers | Afternoon Panel

Howard Shatz
Senior Economist, RAND
Dr. Howard J. Shatz is a senior economist at the RAND Corporation and a professor at the Pardee RAND Graduate School. He specializes in international economics, including international development, and economics and national security. Dr. Shatz’s RAND research has included U.S. international economic strategy, economic competition, and the U.S. role in the global economic order; ...  Read more.

Ukraine’s post-war reconstruction and economic issues related to Russia’s war on Ukraine; great power competition in the Middle East; the Chinese and Russian economies; the finances and management of the Islamic State and its predecessors; and socio-economic policy projects in China, Israel, the Kurdistan Region of Iraq, Mongolia, and Saudi Arabia. From 2007 to 2008, he was on leave from RAND, serving as a senior economist at the U.S. President’s Council of Economic Advisers. He has written academic journal articles, book chapters, and policy reports on trade and labor markets, the geography of international investment, exchange rates and economic performance, services trade, and trade barriers and low-income countries. He holds a Ph.D. in public policy from Harvard University.

Shihoko Goto
Director, Asia Program; Director for Geoeconomics and Indo-Pacific Enterprise, Wilson Center
Shihoko Goto is the director for geoeconomics and Indo-Pacific enterprise and acting director for the Asia Program at the Wilson Center. Her research focuses on the economics and politics of Japan, Taiwan, and South Korea, as well as US policy in Northeast Asia. A seasoned journalist and analyst, she has reported from Tokyo and Washington for Dow Jones and UPI on ...  Read more.

the global economy, international trade, and Asian markets. A columnist for The Diplomat magazine and contributing editor to The Globalist, she was previously a donor country relations officer for the World Bank and has been awarded fellowships from the East-West Center and the Knight Foundation, among others. She received an M.A. in international political theory from the Graduate School of Political Science, Waseda University, Japan, and a B.A. in Modern History, from Trinity College, University of Oxford, UK.

Kunihiko Shinoda
Professor, Executive Advisor (GRIPS Alliance), National Graduate Institute for Policy Studies (GRIPS)
Mr. Kunihiko Shinoda joined Japan’s Ministry of International Trade and Industry (MITI) in 1988. In MITI, Mr. Shinoda held several leadership positions: Director (APEC&FTA), Trade Policy Bureau, METI (2005-2008); Director, Financial Cooperation Division, Trade and Economic Cooperation Bureau, (2008-2010); ...  Read more.

Director, Asia and Pacific Division, Trade Policy Bureau (2010-2012); and Deputy Director-General for Trade Policy, Trade Policy Bureau (2017-2019). In METI, Mr. Shinoda was also engaged in negotiations on free trade agreements, such as RCEP, and economic cooperation with ASEAN, China and India. He was also posted to Asian countries such as the Embassy of Japan in the Philippines (1996-1999), JODC Bangkok Office (2002-2005), JOGMEC Beijing Office (2012-2014) and Japan-China Economic Association Beijing Office (2014-2017). He was seconded to the GRIPS in 2019 and become a professor in 2022. He has been engaged in research and education on Asian economy and Indo-Pacific cooperation. Mr. Shinoda obtained his B.A. from the University of Tokyo in 1988 and Master of Science in Industrial Administration (MSIA) from Carnegie Mellon University in 1994.

About the Moderator

Jeffrey W. Hornung
Japan Lead, National Security Research Division; Senior Political Scientist, RAND
Dr. Hornung is a Senior Political Scientist and the Japan Lead of the National Security Research Division at the RAND Corporation. He is also an adjunct professor at the Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Service at Georgetown University. He specializes in Japanese security and foreign policies, East Asian security issues, and U.S. foreign and defense policies in the Indo-Pacific ...  Read more.

region, including its alliances. Hornung has written extensively about Japanese security and foreign policy issues and broader Northeast Asia security issues for numerous media, policy, and academic outlets. He received his Ph.D. in political science from The George Washington University. During 2005–2006, Hornung was a visiting scholar at the University of Tokyo where he conducted his doctoral research as a Fulbright Fellow. He also holds an M.A. in international relations with a concentration in Japan Studies from the Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies and a B.A. in political science and international affairs from Marquette University, where he graduated magna cum laude.

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