Masaaki Yatsuzuka

Masaaki Yatsuzuka

Senior Research Fellow, China Division, Regional Studies Department, National Institute for Defense Studies, Japan

Masaaki Yatsuzuka is a senior research fellow at the China Division, Regional Studies Department, National Institute for Defense Studies (NIDS) in the Ministry of Defence of Japan. His main research fields focus on modern history of Chinese politics and the current China’s security policy. He has experience as a research fellow in the Japan Society for Promotion of Science (2011-2013), a researcher at Political Section of Consulate-General of Japan in Hong Kong (2013-2015), an analyst at Intelligence and Analysis Service in Ministry of Foreign Affairs (2015-2016), and a deputy director in International Policy Division, Bureau of Defence Policy, Ministry of Defence of Japan (2018-2019). He received his B.A. in Policy Management and M.A. in Law from Keio University. His recent publications include China Security Report 2021: China’s Military Strategy in the New Era (2020).

Chinese military personnel salute as China's national flag is hoisted during the opening ceremony of the 2022 Asian Games at the Hangzhou Olympic Sports Centre Stadium in Hangzhou in China's eastern Zhejiang province on 23 September 2023. (Philip Fong/AFP)

Japanese academic: Some concerns with China’s military AI advancements

A possible concern on the military use of AI in China, where the party controls the People’s Liberation Army, is that political rationality may take precedence over military rationality. This could heighten the risks of accidental escalation or a lack of assurance of control and safety when using such technology. Japanese academic Masaaki Yatsuzuka delves into the issue.
Japan's Prime Minister Fumio Kishida (centre) attends the UAE-Japan Business Forum in Abu Dhabi on 17 July 2023. (Karim Sahib/AFP)

Asserting Japan's interests in the Middle East

Japanese academic Masaaki Yatsuzuka notes that Japan's Middle East diplomatic initiatives pit it against China, which is also attempting to increase its influence among the Arab nations. How will developments pan out, and what does the future hold for Japan-Middle East relations?
A jet flies by a suspected Chinese spy balloon as it floats off the coast in Surfside Beach, South Carolina, US, 4 February 2023. (Randall Hill/Reuters)

China’s military-civil fusion promotes militarisation of meteorological balloons

Japanese academic Masaaki Yatsuzuka finds China’s explanations and criticism of the US in the aftermath of the balloon incident unpersuasive, more so in light of its military-civilian fusion strategy.
People walk along a street equipped with mist sprayers as they face the very hot desert weather, during the Hajj in Saudi Arabia's holy city of Mecca, on 7 July 2022. (Delil Souleiman/AFP)

Will China become an ‘empire by invitation’ in the Middle East?

China's influence in the Middle East region is growing, not only due to its economic might but also because of its active development of dialogue platforms. In that context, Middle East countries may expect China to play a mediator role in regional security and political issues. Will China rise to the challenge?
A Long March 7Y4 rocket carrying the Tianzhou 3 cargo ship launches from the Wenchang Space Launch Centre in China's southern Hainan province, on a mission to deliver supplies to China's Tiangong space station on 20 September 2021. (STR/AFP)

The complex impact of China’s military-civil fusion in space

With China's accelerated efforts to become a great space power, including opening up its space sector to private firms, Western developed countries worry that China's military-civil fusion (MCF) strategy may see technology developed in the commercial sector being used to boost China's military space power in the future. Are these fears justified? Japanese academic Masaaki Yatsuzuka looks into the issue.
Soldiers of China's People's Liberation Army march during the Victory Day Parade in Red Square in Moscow, Russia, 24 June 2020, marking the 75th anniversary of the victory over Nazi Germany in World War Two. (Sergey Pyatakov via REUTERS)

Japanese academic: Can the PLA succeed in its smart warfare transformation?

Japanese academic Masaaki Yatsuzuka examines the PLA's latest efforts to move towards smart technology and smart warfare, and what this might mean for China and other countries.