Connecting People & Ideas to Advance Mutual Interests in U.S.-Asia Relations

On December 13, 2022, the Mansfield Foundation held a public event on Building a Cyber Workforce Through the U.S.-Japan Alliance at the University of Tokyo, Hongō Campus.

Juliane Doscher (Maureen and Mike Mansfield Foundation) and Abigail Bard (U.S. Embassy in Tokyo) opened the event by detailing the important of collaboration between the United States and Japan, outlining the context in which the event takes place in the current geopolitical landscape. The Building a Cyber Workforce Through the U.S.-Japan Alliance event is a culmination of 5 virtual discussions from the Foundation’s working group of the same name consisting of practitioners and scholars who worked to address growing concerns surrounding the severe lack of human capital in the field of cybersecurity, with a particular focus on the U.S.-Japan alliance.

The first panel consisted of moderator Rika Nakazawa (NTT) and panelists Benjamin Bartlett (Miami University, Ohio), Tamara Klajn (New America), Kazuo Noguchi (Hitachi America, Ltd.), Major General (JGSDF, retired), and Tatsuhiro Tanaka (Fujitsu System Integration Laboratories LTD). In their discussion, they outlined why U.S.-Japan cooperation in cybersecurity matters, introducing the basis on which the project was formed. Building the human capital needed to predict, deter, and counter emerging cyber threats is critical to the national security of both nations and to the U.S.-Japan alliance’s ability to foster peace and prosperity in the Indo-Pacific. As partners and global leading powers, it is essential that the United States and Japan work together to make progress in shoring up cyber defenses. This effort is particularly needed to combat deficiencies in human capital and overall cybersecurity expertise.

The second panel was moderated by Joe Kelly (University of Maryland), who was joined by panelists Toshio Nawa (Cyber Defense Institute, Inc), Simone Petrella (CyberVista), and Robert Sheldon (Crowdstrike). The speakers provided an overview of the policy recommendations the Building a Cyber Workforce working group had generated. These recommendations included leveraging existing initiatives and frameworks such as the National Initiative for Cybersecurity Education (NICE) Framework led by the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) to create standardized cybersecurity language between the two countries; encouraging sister city relationships to foster state-to-state and university-to-university collaboration and learning; and more.

Following an extensive Q&A session, President and CEO of the Mansfield Foundation, Frank Jannuzi closed out the event by declaring that interested parties need to inculcate the awareness of cybersecurity more broadly in society, not just those who are charged with remedying or responding to cyberattacks. Cybersecurity matters, and human capital is needed at the many levels of society where cybersecurity is threatened.

The Building a Cyber Workforce Through the U.S.-Japan Alliance policy brief will be released publicly in digital and physical form in Spring of 2023.

Funding for this event was provided by the Maureen and Mike Mansfield Foundation and the U.S. Embassy in Tokyo through an open grant competition award.