A New Asian Great Game Gets Underway

Not one but two new Silk Roads are being born from the ashes of the ancient trade routes that were for centuries central to cultural interaction through regions of the Asian continent. In effect, a new Great...

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...

Deaths from Overwork Plague Japan

In the spring of 2015 Matsuri Takahashi, 24, joined the Dentsu advertising agency, one of the Japan’s most prestigious but demanding corporations, as a young recruit. Within a few months she was complaining to friends how exhausted she was.  “I want to die”...

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...

The Aging Dilemma for Asian Populations

Japan, the first country into extensive experience with an aging population as fertility rates decline and life expectancy increases, is far ahead of other Asian countries including Singapore, Thailand, China, ...

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 disputed Senkaku islands, known as the Daioyus to the ...

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...

The consequences of Japan’s shrinking

The population of Japan peaked in 2008 at 128 million. With the fertility rate – births per woman – falling below 1.5 at the beginning of the 1990s and falling as low as 1.29 in 2004, the population is shrinkin...

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).  They were deterred by what might be called the “Truma...

Negative Interest Rates: Insidious Killers

Plagued by a persistent lack of demand for loans in economies that refuse to respond to more conventional stimulus attempts, several of Europe’s central bankers have cut key interest rates below zero for more t...