Against a backdrop of rapid, dramatic changes in the security, economic, and technological environments of Northeast Asia, many new issues of relevance to the U.S.–Japan alliance have arisen in recent years. The alliance is the cornerstone of U.S. presence in Asia, bringing together the world's largest and third largest economies. In a series of three conferences on November 6th, November 7th, and December 5th at the RAND Corporation's headquarters campus in Santa Monica, California, U.S. and Japanese experts explored the challenges for the U.S.-Japan alliance associated with China's military modernization drive and increasing foreign policy assertiveness; the threats posed by North Korea's conventional and WMD capabilities as well as the risk of regime collapse; the importance of sustaining and advancing trade liberalization and good governance standards through responsible foreign lending and investment; bilateral U.S.-Japan security issues including basing considerations, ballistic missile defense, and joint defense industrial development; the use of new Track II and Track 1.5 dialogues; and cooperation on national security in outer space.

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