The U.S.-Japan defense relationship is multifaceted, high-stakes, and critical to both nations and the world at large. Threats abound, from North Korean ballistic missile launches and nuclear tests to conflicts over the East China Sea. Japan’s economy, the third-largest in the world, is highly dependent on maritime commerce. And more than 100,000 U.S. Department of Defense (DOD) and military personnel are stationed in Japan to protect U.S. national security and to support Japan’s Self-Defense Forces.
“The U.S.-Japan alliance is the cornerstone of security, peace, and prosperity in Asia,” said Anthony “Tony” LaVecchia, who leads a team of Booz Allen national-security experts. “We do things on a daily basis with the Japanese from a security standpoint, from our ships sailing together and fueling at sea, to conducting other types of maritime operations together. Intelligence underpins all of these activities.”
LaVecchia knows those activities from experience. He served in the region for over three decades, most recently as the highest ranking uniformed DOD intelligence official in Japan, representing the joint forces and the entirety of the DOD intelligence enterprise.
For his contributions and years of continued support to strengthening the relationship between Japan and the United States on National Defense, the government of Japan recently recognized LaVecchia with the Order of the Rising Sun, the third-highest honor bestowed by the Japanese government and a recognition approved by the nation’s emperor.