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Aki Nakai, Ph.D.

Government, Lecturer Department of Goverment

Dr. Aki NakaiDr. Aki Nakai is a Lecturer at the Department of Government, the U.S. Coast Guard Academy, and specializes in international relations, security studies, and East Asia politics. Before coming to the USCGA, he conducted research in the area of the absence of a multilateral alliance in Northeast Asia at Boston University, and Japan’s approach to emerging technologies such as artificial intelligence as a Policy Innovations Fellow at the Program on U.S.-Japan Relations, Harvard University. He is currently working on his book manuscript entitled A Theory of Alliance Restructuring the Cases in East Asia, 1946-2000, which provides a framework to explain why some allies restructure their existing alliance relationsships in the face of change, but some do not? His works were published in the National Interest and the Diplomat.

He has previously taught courses of international relations, international security, causes of war, East Asian international relations, U.S.-China relations, Political and economic development in East Asia, and Japanese foreign relations at Boston University, Harvard University, Bowdoin College, Tufts University, and the U.S. Naval War College.


  • Ph.D., Boston University, Political Science (International Relations, Comparative Politics, and East Asian Politics)
  • MALD, Tufts University, Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy (International Security, and Pacific Asia Studies)
  • BA, Waseda University, Japan, Political Science

Courses Taught

  • Global Challenges
  • Political and Economic Development in East Asia

Selected Publications

  • 2023 “Japan and Emerging Technologies: Why and How is Japan Responding to Artificial Intelligence?” Japan Political Studies Group, Association for Asian Studies, Boston, MA, March 18.
  • 2023 “Why Is There No NATO in Northeast Asia?: The Origin of U.S. Alliances and Its Implications of Future Security Order in the Indo-Pacific,” Department of International Studies, Rhodes College, Memphis, TN, March 8.
  • 2022 “Japan and Emerging Technologies: Why and How is Japan Responding to Artificial Intelligence?” Occasional Paper Series, 22-NA, Program on U.S.-Japan Relations, Harvard University
  • 2022 Discussant, “Deterrence Signaling,” U.S.-Japan-Taiwan Track 2 Dialogue, Foreign Policy Research Institute, Washington, DC, July 14.
  • 2022 “Japan and Artificial Intelligence,” Associates’ Panel: Security Threats and Alliance Cooperation in the Indo-Pacific Region, Program on U.S.-Japan Relations, Harvard University, February 22.
  • 2021 Discussant, “Back to the Water’s Edge? Historicizing Current American Security Policies in the Asia-Pacific,” Edwin O. Reischauer Institute of Japanese Studies, Harvard University, November 16.

Honors & Awards

  • Visiting Scholarship, Institute of Modern History, Academia Sinica (Taipei, Taiwan)
  • Visiting Scholarship, Yuchengco Center, De La Salle University (Manila, Philippines)
  • Young Scholars Research Grant, Japanese Society for Asian Studies, (Kyoto, Japan)
  • Asiatic Research Institute Fellowship for Northeast Asian Studies, Korea University (Seoul, South Korea)

Professional Affiliations

  • American Political Science Association

Contact Information

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