Dr. Richard Samuels, MIT
March 20, 2015 (Fri) 3:00 – 5:00 p.m.
UNM Continuing Education Conference Center

For the past sixty years, the U.S. government has assumed that Japan’s security policies would reinforce American interests in Asia. The political and military profile of Asia is changing rapidly, however. North Korea’s missile and nuclear programs, China’s rise, and the relative decline of U.S. power have commanded strategic review in Tokyo just as they have in Washington. What is the next step for Japan’s security policy? Will confluence with U.S. interests– and the alliance– survive intact? Will it be transformed? Or will Japan become more autonomous? Professor Samuels will explore how changes in the regional security environment have intersected with changes in domestic Japanese politics to shape Japan’s grand strategic choices.

Dr. Richard Samuels is Ford International Professor of Political Science and Director of the Center for International Studies at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He is also the Founding Director of the MIT Japan Program. In 2005 he was elected a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and in 2011 he received the Order of the Rising Sun, Gold and Silver Star, an Imperial decoration awarded by the Emperor of Japan and the Japanese Prime Minister. In 2013, Cornell University Press published his book about the political and economic effects of Japan’s March 2011 catastrophes: 3.11: Disaster and Change in Japan. Dr. Samuels’ previous book, Securing Japan: Tokyo’s Grand Strategy and the Future of East Asia, was named one of the five finalists for the 2008 Lionel Gelber Prize for the best book in international affairs. In 2014 he was appointed Einstein Visiting Professor at the Free University of Berlin, where he directs a research group on East Asian Security.

Supported by New Mexico Humanities Council and Sandia National Labs