Dr. Thomas Cynkin

Practice Lead, Japan and Northeast Asia


Dr. Thomas Cynkin, an acknowledged authority on Japan and broader Asian affairs, is a Nonresident Senior Fellow with the Indo-Pacific Security Initiative of the Atlantic Council. He previously headed the Washington Office of Fujitsu Ltd., a $46B/year global information technology corporation, as Chief Corporate Representative, Vice President and General Manager.

Prior to that position, Dr. Cynkin served as a State Department Foreign Service Officer for over 20 years, during which he was assigned as a Japanese-speaking diplomat in Japan for seven years and was the Asian affairs advisor to two Deputy Secretaries of State and two U.S. Ambassadors to the United Nations.

He has also served as a member of the Board of Directors and Executive Committee of the Information Technology Industry Council, a trade association for Fortune 50 tech corporations. He is a member of the Japan Commerce Association of Washington, D.C.

Dr. Cynkin also taught graduate seminars on the Japanese and Chinese economies at George Washington University’s Elliott School of International Affairs, and served as a member of the senior staff of the Bush School of Government and Public Service in Washington DC. He is a commentator for the Tokyo-based daily newspaper, The Japan Times, and has been interviewed in other Japanese periodicals including the Yomiuri Shimbun and Sankei Shimbun.

He received his Ph.D. from the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University. He was a Fellow at Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government and worked at the Institute for Foreign Policy Analysis before entering government service.

Publications and Media

Interview on ROK-China relations
Published: July 2023

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Experts react: Blinken makes the rounds in Beijing. Will there be a US-China thaw?
Published: June 2023

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Don’t call it a Quint, but South Korea does have a future with the Quad
Published: May 2023

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Suga’s national security agenda
Published: October 2020

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A National Security Strategy for New Japanese Prime Minister Suga
Published: September 2020

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INTERVIEW | Thomas Cynkin on What Shinzo Abe’s Successor Should Know About Diplomacy
Published: September 2020

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What did Abe's diplomacy bring?
Published: August 2020

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North Korea blew up the liaison office and its relations with the South
Published: June 2020

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Reports of Kim's death were greatly exaggerated
Published: May 2020

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