Masafumi Iida

Masafumi Iida

Head, China Division, Regional Studies Department, National Institute for Defense Studies (NIDS)

Professor Iida has focused his research primarily on China’s foreign and security policies and, in particular, implications of China’s maritime advancement for the security in the Indo-Pacific region. While working for the NIDS, he completed a term as a visiting scholar with the Center for East Asian Studies at Stanford University in 2011 and with the China Maritime Studies Institute at the U.S. Naval War College in 2014. He holds a BA in Policy Management and a MA in Media and Governance from Keio University, in addition to a MA in East Asian Studies from Stanford University.


Japan Prime Minister Fumio Kishida shakes hands with Philippine President Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos Jr at Malacanang Palace in Manila, Philippines, on 3 November 2023. (Aaron Favila/Reuters)

Japanese academic: Necessary for Japan to support Philippines' security capabilities

Amid rising tensions in the South China Sea between the Philippines and China, Japan is looking to forge closer security relations with the Philippines. An envisaged reciprocal access agreement between the Philippines and Japan would be an important step towards that end and help to achieve maritime stability in East Asia.
Philippines President Ferdinand Marcos Jr (left) and Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida (right) listen to their national anthems at the prime minister's official residence in Tokyo on 9 February 2023. (Yoshikazu Tsuno/AFP)

Closer trilateral US-Japan-Philippines ties to protect security interests against China

Closer Japan-Philippines security cooperation announced during Philippine President Ferdinand Marcos’ visit to Japan this month augurs closer trilateral US-Japan-Philippines cooperation in defending each of their interests against China, says Japanese academic Masafumi Iida.
This file photo taken on 14 October 2018 shows soldiers from the Japan Ground Self-Defense Force taking part in a military review at the Ground Self-Defense Force's Asaka training ground in Asaka, Saitama prefecture. Japan announced on 16 December 2022 its biggest defence overhaul in decades, hiking spending, reshaping its military command and acquiring new missiles to tackle the threat from China. (Kazuhiro Nogi/AFP)

Japanese academic: Why Japan needs to level up its military capabilities

Japan has recently announced updates to its national defence strategy, which shows a shift of focus from building defence capabilities to developing “counterattack capabilities” in enemy territory, citing the rapidly worsening security environment as the key factor for doing so. Japanese academic Masafumi Iida also suggests cooperation with Southeast Asian nations to stabilise regional situations.
President-elect Joe Biden is briefed by expert members of his national security and foreign policy agency review teams at the Queen Theater on 28 December 2020 in Wilmington, Delaware. (Mark Makela/AFP)

Japanese academic: Biden must not underestimate China's maritime ambitions

With US President-elect Joe Biden all but ready to be installed in the White House in January, Japanese academic Masafumi Iida explores how the new administration might shape the US's relations with East Asia, especially in terms of the US's military presence in the Indo-Pacific region. He argues that it is necessary for the US to learn from the failures of the Obama administration in underestimating the prowess and ambitions of China.