Michael Auslin

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Michael Auslin is Director of the Japan Studies Program at the American Enterprise Institute and a member of the Committee on the Present Danger. Prior to joining AEI, he was a faculty member and research fellow at Yale University.

Current research

His research areas are:

  • Economic Policy Studies
  • Foreign and Defense Policy Studies
  • Asia-Pacific

He is an advocate of increased US-Japanese cooperation, [1] which he examined at length in a 2008 report. [2]

The Japanese-US relationship also should be, he believed, also considered as trilateralism with South Korea. [3] Ballistic missile defense against North Korea and possibly China is a key part of such a relationship. While Japan and South Korea have license-built Burke-class destroyers with the AEGIS battle management system, Japan has bought and tested the RIM-161 Standard SM-3 anti-ballistic missile, while the Republic of Korea have not. All three countries do have the MIM-104 Patriot land-based point defense system.

With respect to the Japanese economy and its downturn, which may have worldwide fallout, [4] He has suggested that rather than its quasi-centrally planned economy, laissez-faire principles from medieval Japan might be worth reexamining, especially the tradition of free trade. [5]

While he does not object to the China's deployment of warships to help deal with piracy off Somalia, he points out that this first global power projection means the US needs to start thinking of China in broader strategic relationships. [6] Where the US routinely provides services of world benefit such as escorting merchant vessels, China has not so far been willing to do so.

Previous professional work

At Yale University, he was an associate professor in the Department of History; Senior Research Fellow, MacMillan Center for International and Area Studies, 2006-2007; and Founding Director, Project on Japan-U.S. Relations.

He was Visiting Researcher, Graduate School of Law, Kobe University in 2005.

Honors and Education

He has been named a Young Global Leader by the World Economic Forum, a Marshall Memorial Fellow by the German Marshall Fund, and a Fulbright and Japan Foundation Scholar.

  • Ph.D., University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
  • M.A., Indiana University at Bloomington
  • B.S.F.S., Georgetown University


  1. Michael Auslin (January 21, 2009), "America's Future Is Tied to Asia's", Far Eastern Economic Review
  2. Michael Auslin, Christopher Griffin (December 01, 2008), Securing Freedom: The U.S.-Japanese Alliance in a New Era, American Enterprise Institute
  3. Michael Auslin, Christopher Griffin (March 2008), Time for Trilateralism?, American Enterprise Institute
  4. Michael Auslin (February 17, 2009), "Japan's Downturn Is Bad News for the World", Wall Street Journal
  5. Michael Auslin (June 1, 2009), "Samurai Economic Smarts", Wall Street Journal Asia
  6. Michael Auslin (13 January 2009), "Red Tide: The Chinese Navy sets sail for Somalia.", Weekly Standard (U.K.)