Kamakshi Wason

Kamakshi Wason serves as the Global Chief Operating Officer and Director of Academic Programmes at the Tillotoma Foundation. She also heads the New Delhi Office, Tillotoma Foundation. She is a leading practitioner of Track 2 Diplomacy. Her research interests include Diplomacy, Defence, Gender, Climate Change, Central Asia, South Asia and Indo-Pacific. She is a contributor on international relations and diplomacy in prominent dailies globally. She speaks on diverse issues at various international and national forums. She is also focused on social entrepreneurship and providing a significant voice and diverse opportunities to the youth.

Bonji Ohara

Mr. Bonji Ohara graduated from the National Defense Academy of Japan in 1985 and completed a master’s program at the University of Tsukuba in 1998. He became the leading pilot of the 101st flight division, Maritime Self-Defense Force, in 1998.

He enrolled in the General Course of the National Institute for Defense Studies in 2001. Mr. Ohara was stationed in China between 2003 and 2006 as a Naval Attaché and became a chief of the intelligence section, Maritime Staff Office in Ministry of Defense, in 2006; Executive Officer of the 21st air squadron, MSDF, in 2008; and Commanding Officer of the squadron the following year.

Mr. Ohara joined NIDS as a research fellow in 2010, worked for IHS Jane’s from 2011 as an analyst and business development manager, and for the Tokyo Foundation as a Director of Research before assuming the position of Senior Fellow in the Sasakawa Peace Foundation in June 2017.

Nupur Tewari

Nupur Tewari is actively engaged in exploring the strategic partnership between India and Japan. Her focus on this critical aspect of national security underscores her commitment to promoting bilateral cooperation and strengthening defense ties between the two nations. Through her work, she seeks to highlight the significance of this partnership in safeguarding shared interests and ensuring regional stability.

Interestingly, Tewari-san has a multifaceted professional background. She is known for her work as a motivational speaker, spiritual healer, philanthropist, performance coach, and yoga instructor. She has also been involved in fostering bilateral relations between India and Japan through her consultancy service, Connect India Japan, which aims to bridge cultures, create job opportunities, facilitate internships, support businesses, and provide startup visibility.

Nupur is also producer of The Nupur Tewari Show on YouTube, where stories are brought to life through engaging conversations. With a dedicated series titled “Indian Army: The Shield That Protects India, ” she delves deep into the realm of defense, spotlighting the valor and sacrifices of the armed forces. She has served alongside the Indian Army in Kashmir, gaining firsthand experience in challenging terrain.

The Rising Sun Conclave, an event spearheaded by Tewari-san, features exclusive discussions including a Fireside Chat with Maj. Gen. Gagan Deep Bakshi and Defense Experience with Japan with Lt. Gen. Sanjay Kulkarni. With a focus on strengthening Indo-Japanese ties, defense dialogues take center stage.

Her journey began in a small village in West Bengal, and despite facing adversities, she has worked her way up to become a respected figure in her field. Now based in Tokyo, Japan, she continues to inspire and connect people across the globe.

Yoichiro Sato

Yoichiro Sato is an independent consultant in the areas of public relations, government affairs, and strategic communications. He is also a Senior Consultant at Brunswick Group, where he has advised Japanese or international corporate clients in those areas as a founding member of Brunswick Tokyo Office.

Prior to Brunswick, Yoichiro was a Vice President, Government Affairs, Executive Office at Goldman Sachs Japan, Co. Ltd. where he provided insights on geopolitics and regulatory developments. Before that, he worked at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan and the Office of the Prime Minister of Japan. He holds a Master of Arts in International Affairs from Columbia University and Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from the University of Tokyo.

Dr. Titli Basu

Dr. Titli Basu is an Associate Professor at the School of International Studies (SIS) in Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU), India. Her research interests include geopolitics of the Indo-Pacific, with special focus on East Asia. Earlier she worked as a Fellow at the Institute for Defence Studies and Analyses (IDSA). In 2022, Dr. Basu was a US State Department IVLP Fellow on ‘Enhancing Regional Maritime Governance and Cooperation in the Quad’.

She was also a Visiting Fellow at the National Institute for Defence Studies (Ministry of Defence), Japan in 2017 , and a Japan Foundation Fellow at Institute for Social Science, University of Tokyo in 2010-11. Dr. Basu’s research work has been published in various international peer-reviewed journals, and her commentaries feature regularly in global forums.

Andrew Radcliffe

Andrew has forty years’ experience of the defence and security sectors working in the public and private domains, both nationally and internationally. 

Andrew’s experiences cover a wide spectrum of functional areas in government and business, majoring on: Strategy, Policy, International Relations, Finance, Operations, Purchasing, Business Development, Marketing and Export Controls.   

Andrew is currently a Senior Advisor at Renaissance Strategic Advisors. Prior to that he was an Executive Director of the UK Defence Solutions Centre (UKDSC).

Andrew can combine his substantial knowledge and experience to develop a full understanding of end-to-end effects and provide actionable insights and advice for both industry and government partners. Andrew’s principal clients have been the Defence Growth Partnership companies, the wider UK Defence and Security value chain, government partners and the UK military community. Andrew’s international priorities have been focused on, but not limited to, 5-Eyes, NATO, Indo-Pacific, and MENA, with emphasis on capability alignment, market growth strategies, market entry criteria, business-winning strategies, international collaboration opportunities, and technology sharing. During his time at the UKDSC Andrew led on the creation of a unique market intelligence capability across government and industry and developed a Joint Economic Data Hub for government and industry.

Andrew joined the UKDSC in 2015, initially on secondment from BAE Systems. In August 2018 he became a direct hire at the UKDSC. Whilst at BAE Systems, Andrew also spent four years (2010-2014) as Vice President US/UK Relations based in Rosslyn, Virginia and eighteen months as Director US/UK Relations at Warton, England. Whilst at BAE Systems Andrew also performed the roles of President of the BAE Systems Taiwan office and President of BAE Systems International.

Before joining BAE Systems, Andrew spent thirty years with the UK Ministry of Defence (UK MOD) working on several major programmes, including: F35, Queen Elizabeth aircraft carrier and Typhoon. Andrew also acted as the Head of the Anglo-Italian contracting organisation for the EH101-Merlin ASW helicopter. During his time at the UK MOD, he held three overseas positions: at the British Embassy in Washington DC as Counsellor for Defence Equipment (2005-2009); on assignment to NATO in Munich, Germany (1996-2000); and working at the US Naval Sea Systems Command, Crystal City, Virginia (1990-1993).

Andrew has a BA (Portsmouth) and a Diploma in Purchasing & Supply (London). He has completed the Program for Senior Executives in National and International Security at the John F. Kennedy School of Government. Andrew has also undertaken strategic leadership programmes at the UK National School of Government and Cranfield University. He has been certified in US congressional operations.

Andrew is also a Defence Enterprise Export Programme (DEEP) mentor for Cranfield University students. DEEP is aimed at executives on a fast-track career path with the potential to move into senior management in their organisations. 

Ayano Ito

Formerly an international businesses consultant and a Defense Official, Ms. Ayano Ito is a government relations expert with extensive experiences of facilitating Japanese and international industry and government stakeholders across business sectors. Currently as Director of Military Programs and Government Relations for Pratt & Whitney Japan, Ms. Ito’s expertise includes government relations, policy and regulatory analysis, defense program management and political advocacy.

After years of experience in international business consultation and M&A, she served the Japan Ministry of Defense where her specialities included policies and procurement selections of various aircraft programs at the Ministry’s Internal Bureau and Acquisition, Technology & Logistics Agency. In-depth knowledge in industrial security for highly sensitive and classified programs adds to her unique skillsets. In pursuit of gaining a broader range of experiences in the US private sector, she resigned the Government of Japan and joined Pratt & Whitney in 2017. Since joining Pratt & Whitney, F135 (F-35), F100 (F-15) and PW4062 (KC46A) Programs comprise her portfolio.

Ms. Ito has led the regulatory efforts for F100 Global Transfer Project, realizing one of the first business models in Japan’s defense history which enable Japanese defense suppliers to enter global defense markets. In collaborative efforts with Pratt & Whitney Canada she also serves as a government relations advisor on Japan’s UH-2 Program. From programmatic management to advocacy efforts, Ms. Ito is a committed professional to Japan’s national defense landscape.

Nozomu Yoshitomi

Major General, Japan Ground Self-Defense Force (Ret.)

Professor, College of Risk Management, Nihon University

Major General Yoshitomi retired from Japan Ground Self-Defense Force (GSDF) in 2015 after 32- year military service as a field artillery officer, intelligence analyst, instructor, and researcher. His major assignments were a Chief of Strategy & Concept Division in GSDF Research and Development Command, a Professor of the National Defense Academy of Japan, a Counsellor of the Cabinet Intelligence and Research Office, and a Commander of the 1st Surface-to-Ship Missile Regiment in GSDF.

He graduated from the National Defense Academy in 1983 majoring in  international relations. He received a Master’s Degree in International Security from the Graduate School of Takushoku University in 2006. He also completed Command and General Staff Course and Advanced General Staff Course at the GSDF Staff College.

After retirement from GSDF, he joined into the academic sector as a professor in College of Risk Management, Nihon University. He teaches risk and crisis management, disaster response, and Japan’s defense policy. His research covers wide range of issues including Japan’s defense strategy, GSDF’s defense posture, Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief (HA/DR), and civil-military collaboration.

His recent works in English include “Shore to Shore Amphibious Assault” (U.S. Naval Institute Proceedings, July 2020); “Japan’s Disaster” (Daniel K. Inouye Asia-Pacific Center for Security Studies; Disaster Response Regional Architectures, Assessing Future Possibilities, September 2017); and “Japan’s Capacity Building for Vietnam: Cooperating with the United States for Maritime Security in the South China Sea” (Research Institute for Peace and Security, RIPS Policy Perspectives, No.22, February 2015).

While teaching at university, he works as an Associate of Cheltons Consulting Ltd and BMT.

Misa Sakurabayashi

Born in Tokyo in 1970, Misa Sakurabayashi graduated from Nihon University College of Art, Department of Broadcasting. After working as a freelance announcer, TV program director, and news desk at Nippon Broadcasting System (AM radio), she is now researching and writing about defense and security issues.

Sakurabayashi completed a special course at the National Institute for Defense Studies in 2013. She served as a member of the Ministry of Defense’s Study Group on Defense Production and Technology Infrastructure, also was a member of the Cabinet Office’s Study Group on Multi-Purpose Vessels for Disasters and was a member of the Round-Table Conference on Defense Issues of the Ministry of Defense.

Director of the Japan Security Research Association Corporation. Guest Researcher of the Japan Institute for National Fundamentals. Councilor of the Defense Structure Improvement Foundation.

Author of the following articles and publications:

“The Miracle Ship Soya,”

“Opening the Sea: The Unknown Minesweeping Unit”

“Defense Industry Nobody Told You About” (Namiki Shobo)

” Self-Defense Forces and the Defense Industry” (PHP Institute)

“Japan Self-Defense Forces: The Great East Japan Earthquake” (Sankei Shimbun Publishing)

“Weapons Exports Alone Cannot Protect the Defense Industry” (Namiki Shobo), “Arigato Kongo Maru: Spirit of the Self-Defense Forces” (Sankei Shimbun Publishing)

“Economics of the Self-Defense Forces” (East Press) 

“Spirit of the Self-Defense Forces” (PHP Institute)

“Real Image of the Self-Defense Forces: Questioning the Preparedness of the 240,000 Self-Defense Forces Personnel” (Themis).

In addition, Sakurabayashi participated in the production of radio documentaries. In 2008, “My Dream,” a Nippon Broadcasting System (AM radio) news special that he scripted and composed, won the Grand Prix at the National Association of Commercial Broadcasters in Japan (NAB) Awards and the Grand Prize at the Agency for Cultural Affairs Arts Festival in the radio documentary category.

Dr. Satoru Nagao

Dr. Satoru Nagao is a fellow (non-resident) at Hudson Institute, based in Tokyo, Japan. From December 2017 through November 2020, he was a visiting fellow at Hudson Institute, based in Washington, D.C.

Dr. Nagao’s primary research area is U.S-.Japan-India security cooperation. He was awarded his Ph.D. by Gakushuin University in 2011 for his thesis, “India’s Military Strategy,” the first such research thesis on this topic in Japan. Gakushuin University is a premier institution from which members of the Japanese Imperial Family have also graduated.

Dr. Nagao holds numerous other research positions, including senior research fellow at the Japan Forum for Strategic Studies, specially-appointed research fellow at the Japan Forum on International Relations, research fellow at the Institute for Future Engineering (strategy, defense policy), a lecturer in Gakushuin University, associate at the Society of Security and Diplomatic Policy Studies, research fellow at the Security and Strategy Research Institute for Japan, senior fellow at the Institute of National Security Studies Sri Lanka, and senior research fellow of the Indian Military Review, Visiting Fellow (Indo-Pacific) & Honorary Convenor, Japan of Tillotoma Foundation in India.

Dr. Nagao was a visiting scholar at the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS), in Washington D.C. He worked previously as a research fellow at the Tokyo Foundation and the Ocean Policy Research Foundation in Tokyo, as a post-doctoral fellow at the Research Institute for Oriental Cultures at Gakushuin University, and as a lecturer at Gakushuin University, Aoyama-Gakuin University and Komazawa University. He was also a security analyst at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) and a first lieutenant of the Japan Ground Self Defense Forces (Japanese Army).

Dr. Nagao has authored numerous books and articles on security issues, and he also contributes to the column, “Age of Japan-India ‘Alliance’” at Nikkei Business, the journal of one of Japan’s leading newspapers.