Vanderbilt University Professor Emeritus James Auer gave a speech at the Rihga Royal Hotel in Kita-ku, Osaka, on June 6 to commemorate his receiving the Fuji-Sankei Group’s 31st Seiron Award.
Auer spoke on “The Japan-U.S. Alliance in a Rapidly Changing East Asian Situation” to an audience of some 550 people. He cited the example of joint Japan-U.S. surveillance of Soviet submarines during the Cold War era and pointed out that “if the Maritime Self-Defense Force (MSDF) and the U.S. Navy both enhance their capabilities, they will become a credible deterrent.”
Auer also discussed President Barack Obama’s visit to Hiroshima. He said: “His speech was very appropriate, and I think he moved the hearts of many American people. He indicated that the Japan-U.S. alliance is important for preventing a nuclear war in the world.” Auer further stressed that “a U.S.-led Pacific strategy is necessary” to deal with China’s increasing maritime advances. He pointed to the need for the MSDF and the U.S. Navy to defend the “first island chain” extending from Kyushu to Vietnam via Taiwan.