Japan

Japanese Politics: Exciting for Once

The stage is set for an epic general election in Japan, pitting the longest-serving post-war prime minister, Shinzo Abe, against the first woman to have a decent shot at becoming Japan’s first female premier, T...

1H2017 Review: Japan

For Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, 2017 has been the year that his political credibility came into doubt. A poll conducted by the Mainichi Shimbun newspaper on June 17 and 18 showed that Abe’s approval rat...

Japan Fields a Powerful New Woman Politician

Yuriko Koike has been called the most powerful woman in Japan and a potential successor to Prime Minister Shinzo Abe. For now she is concentrating on affirming her unquestioned position as the most powerful wom...

The Izumo Deployment: Japan’s Hat In the Ring

The maiden deployment of Japan’s largest post-WWII warship, the JS Izumo to a South China Sea cruise at a time when the US and China in particular are contesting for political and military primacy in the region...

Trump Aides Cool Their Jets on Asia

Japan and South Korea breathed easier following the recent visits from the new US Secretary of Defense, James Mattis, his first to East Asia in his new job.  They were pleased by what he had to say, namely t...

Asia: Japan in 2016

A series of earthquakes struck Kumamoto in Japan’s southwest in April, triggering fears of a repeat of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant disaster in 2011. Kumamoto city is located 115 kilometres (72 mil...

Japan’s Female Troika: Potential Prime Ministers

In fewer than two months over the summer, Japan’s famously male-dominated political system elevated three ambitious women into positions that could become stepping-stones to the prime minister’s office.  Alt...

Tension Grows Between Japan and China over Islets

Tokyo has delivered a humiliating public protest to China’s ambassador for the intrusion of a vast “fishing fleet” escorted by a dozen coast guard and other law-enforcement vessels in or near waters of the disp...

Japan Enters South China Sea Dispute

In the coming months, the Permanent Court of Arbitration at The Hague is set to issue its judgment on the case brought by the Philippines that challenges China’s claims in the South China Sea. Beijing appears t...

Obama to go to Hiroshima

For years, even as wartime animosities were transformed into friendship, no US President has ever visited Hiroshima, site of the first atomic bombing (Jimmy Carter visited after he left the presidency).  The...