It was a cozy but significant occasion. Forty participants including former deputy defense ministers, chiefs of staff of the Self-Defense Forces as well as many generals and admirals gathered Monday night to commemorate the 20th anniversary of the SDF's training program at the Stimson Center in Washington.

The program was launched in 2000 when the SDF started sending visiting fellows to the U.S. capital. Yuki Tatsumi, now co-director of the East Asia Program at the Stimson Center, is the founding director of this unique training program for competent mid-ranking SDF officers. Tatsumi was also with us over the weekend at the Canon Institute for Global Studies (CIGS) when we hosted another 24-hour policy simulation (war game). This time we focused, for a change, on the geoeconomic crisis caused by the U.S.-China trade war in the first half of 2020.

My takeaways from this simulation were scary. Japan was so indecisive that it achieved almost nothing. As the U.S.-China trade war intensified, Washington urged its allies to raise tariffs against China by 30 percent. In response to the U.S.-dominant virtual currency system, China launched a new monetary scheme called digital renminbi.