RIETI Special BBL Seminar

Looking Back at the FSX Dispute: Lessons for the Future


In the latter 1980s Japan and the United States were engaged in a prolonged dispute over the development of Air Self-Defense Force's support fighter aircraft (FSX). Dr. James E. Auer, then Special Assistant for Japan in the Office of the Secretary of Defense, played an important role in steering the series of difficult negotiations away from falling into a major crisis. Mr. Hidehiro Konno became involved with the conflict first while serving in the Embassy of Japan in Washington D.C. and then was drawn deeper into the case as Director of the Aircraft and Ordnance Division of the Ministry of International Trade and Industry (MITI). Over these past two decades, the U.S.-Japan security relationship has been strengthened, and the economic relationship has changed from one of trade friction to one of cooperative partnership for tackling various global economic issues. Ahead of selecting the next Fighter eXperimental (FX) this fall, Dr. Auer and Mr. Konno will review the course of events from the respective sides of the Pacific and present their views on the nature of our alliance as well as the broader international relationship.


  • Time and Date: 12:15-14:00, Friday, October 7, 2011
  • Venue: RIETI's seminar room (METI Annex 11th floor, 1121) (1-3-1, Kasumigaseki Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo)
  • Language: Japanese / English (with simultaneous interpretation)
  • Admission: Free
  • Host: Research Institute of Economy, Trade and Industry (RIETI)
  • Contact: RIETI, Ms. MARUTAKE Kimiko (e-mail: conf-111007@rieti.go.jp)
    Tel: 03-3501-8398 / Fax: 03-3501-8416


  • Speaker: James E. AUER (Director of the Center for U.S.-Japan Studies and Cooperation, Vanderbilt Institute for Public Policy Studies)
  • Speaker: KONNO Hidehiro (Member of the Board, Mitsubishi Corporation)
  • Moderator: YOSHIDA Yasuhiko (Director, International Coordination and Public Relations, RIETI)


Profile of Professor James E. AUER

James E. Auer is the Director of the Center for U.S.-Japan Studies and Cooperation at the Vanderbilt Institute for Public Policy Studies. The U.S.-Japan Center hosts a half dozen or more Japanese researchers annually on the Vanderbilt campus (from April 2004 to July 2007 within the Vanderbilt University Office of Federal Relations in Washington, D.C.) and conducts the annual U.S.-Japan (Defense/Dual Use) Technology Forum for American and Japanese businessmen in Nashville, and since 2004 continues to conduct the annual U.S.-Japan Critical Infrastructure Protection (CIP) Forum in Washington, D.C. Dr. Auer teaches U.S.-Japan relations and the history of sea power to Vanderbilt University graduate and undergraduate students and has served as Adjunct Professor of Management at Vanderbilt's Owen Graduate School of Management and Research Professor of the Management of Technology at the Vanderbilt University School of Engineering. He served in the U.S. Navy from 1963 to 1983 in a number of positions, largely in Japan. These included a visiting student at the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force Staff College (equivalent of the U.S. Navy War College) in Tokyo, and commanding officer of a guided missile frigate homeported in Yokosuka. From April 1979 until September 1988, he served as Special Assistant for Japan in the Office of the Secretary of Defense.

Dr. Auer holds an A.B. degree from Marquette University and a Ph.D. from the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy, Tufts University. His thesis, The Postwar Rearmament of Japanese Maritime Forces 1945-1971, was published in English by Praeger Publishers and a Japanese translation was published by Jiji Press under the title Yomigaeru Nippon Kaigun.

In December 2009, Dr. Auer received the Japanese Government's "Order of Rising Sun, Gold Rays with Neck Ribbon" award presented by Consul General of Japan, Nashville, Tennessee on behalf of the Emperor of Japan.

Profile of KONNO Hidehiro

Mr. Hidehiro Konno joined the Ministry of International Trade and Industry (MITI) in 1968 and served in a variety of positions in the economic and trade policy area, including Director-General for Commerce and Distribution Policy (1996-1997), and Director-General of International Trade Policy Bureau (1998-2000). In January 2001, when MITI was reorganized into the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI), he was appointed Vice Minister for International Affairs. While in public service, Mr. Konno represented the Japanese government in various international meetings of GATT/WTO, United Nations, APEC, and other institutions.

From 2003 through 2009, Mr. Konno managed, as Chairman and CEO, Nippon Export and Investment Insurance (NEXI). He also served as President of Berne Union, the International Union of Credit and Investment Insurers in 2008 and 2009.

Mr. Konno has lectured on international trade policy at various academic institutions, including the Graduate School of Asia-Pacific Studies of Waseda University and the Graduate School of International Relations and Pacific Studies of U.C. San Diego.

In 2010, Mr. Konno was appointed to the board of directors at Mitsubishi Corporation.

Mr. Konno holds an M.P.A. from Woodrow Wilson School of Princeton University and a B.A. in international relations from the University of Tokyo.

*Agenda is subject to change.