The inaugural Young Strategists Forum was held in Japan from March 2-6, 2012, in partnership with the Sasakawa Peace Foundation. The Forum brought together seventeen emerging leaders from the United States, Japan, Germany, Belgium, the United Kingdom, Australia, India, Indonesia, and South Korea.
The first segment of the Forum was a half-day seminar taught by Dr. Friedberg. The seminar covered different theoretical perspectives on China’s rise and examined China’s current anti-access and area-denial strategy and the responses of regional powers. Participants then engaged in a guided discussion on long-term competition in the Asia-Pacific.
The second segment of the Forum was a 36-hour grand strategy simulation exercise facilitated by Dr. Daniel Kliman. Participants played the United States, Japan, China, South Korea, India, Indonesia, and Australia. They had to pursue long-term goals and carefully allocate resources while navigating a series of short-term crises starting in 2015 and culminating in 2035. The simulation revealed the challenge of successfully executing a grand strategy over a long period of time.
The third segment of the Forum was a short study tour of the tsunami stricken area near Sendai and a final day of meetings in Tokyo. Participants traveled around Sendai to observe post-tsunami reconstruction and received a briefing at Matsushima Airbase. In Tokyo, participants met with officials from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Ministry of Defense, members of parliament, and business leaders in order to gain a high-level perspective on Japanese strategic thinking.