^ Thank you! I had to look Patrick Cronin up, but evidently he is a major policy wonk, specializing in defense strategies on the Pacific rim. Here is a white paper he wrote last month about the military and economic challenges faced by the U.S.A.-Japan alliance to keep a rising China in check.
Alex and Maia were probably assigned to his table. (I hope no one will think they are spies if they get Cup of China and NHK next season. )