Japan

Article

US-Japan Relations: Hiroshima to The Hague

Author: Sheila A. Smith
Comparative Connections

Sheila A. Smith, senior fellow for Japan studies, overviews President Obama’s historic visit to Hiroshima in May and his last visit to Asia that reemphasized the regional priorities of his “pivot” to Asia. She, together with Charles McClean of University of California, San Diego, also examine the shared challenges the United States and Japan face such as domestic politics of each country,  the ratification of the Trans-Pacific Partnership, North Korean fifth nuclear test, and continued maritime tensions in Asia even after the ruling of The Hague came out.

See more in China; Japan; Regional Security

Foreign Affairs Article

Japan's New Realism

Author: Michael Auslin

Last September, tens of thousands of opponents of Japanese Prime MinisterShinzo Abe gathered outside the National Diet building in Tokyo, often in torrential rain, holding placards and shouting antiwar slogans. They were there to protest the imminent passage of legislation designed to allow Japan’s military to mobilize overseas for the first time in 70 years—a shift they feared would undermine Japan’s pacifistic constitution and encourage adventurism. 

See more in Japan; Defense and Security

Article

U.S.-Japan-Relations: 2016 Opens with a Bang

Authors: Sheila A. Smith and Charles McClean
Comparative Connections

Sheila A. Smith, senior fellow for Japan studies, analyzes how the United States and Japan together dealt with North Korean fourth nuclear test, China’s increasing military activities in the South China Sea, the long-standing base relocation issue in Okinawa, and the “Trump Shock,” caused by Republican frontrunner Donald Trump’s campaign language toward Japan on trade and on security cooperation.

See more in China; Japan; Regional Security

Article

Japan, China, and the United States in an Uncertain Asia

Author: Sheila A. Smith
ASAN Forum

Sheila A. Smith, senior fellow for Japan studies, identifies three areas of U.S. Asia policy that is particularly important for the next U.S. administration: devising a strategy for managing China’s increasing maritime activism, continued leadership in effective economy governance, and moving beyond the rhetoric of the presidential campaign to reassure allies and partners in Asia of the continued commitment to the peaceful resolution of disputes and confidence building and risk reduction across Asia. 

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Article

Asia’s Great Powers and Regional Stability: A New Trilateral Dynamic Between the United States, China, and Japan

Author: Sheila A. Smith
American Foreign Policy Interests

“For some time,  the  idea  of  a  formal  trilateral discussion between the United States, Japan, and China has been considered but not acted on. Today, however, as the interactions among these three major powers carry such significant implications for the future of the Asia Pacific, the need for such a trilateral seems stronger than ever,” writes Sheila A. Smith, senior fellow for Japan studies.

See more in China; Japan; Regional Security

Article

U.S.-Japan-Relations: Official Cooperation, Domestic Challenges

Authors: Sheila A. Smith and Charles McClean
Comparative Connections

Chinese land reclamation in the South China Sea as well as local opposition to Tokyo’s plans for building a new airfield to replace the U.S. Marines’ Futenma facility are the two main challenges for Washington and Tokyo in the new year, writes Sheila A. Smith, senior fellow for Japan studies.

See more in United States; Japan; Defense Strategy; Regional Security

Primary Sources

Announcement by Foreign Ministers of Japan and South Korea on the Issue of "Comfort Women"

The governments of Japan and South Korea discussed the trafficking of South Korean sex slaves (known as "comfort women") in Japan during World War II. Japan agreed to provide reparations to surviviors which the government of South Korea would distribute; South Korea agreed to review the placement of a memorial statue dedicated to comfort women, which is near the Japanese Embassy in Seoul.

See more in Japan; South Korea; Violence Against Women

Other Report

Managing Japan-South Korea Tensions

Author: Mark E. Manyin

Fifty years after the establishment of official diplomatic relations between Japan and South Korea, continued animosity between the United States’ two Northeast Asian allies remains a problem for Washington, hampering its ability to deal with the challenges posed by North Korea, China, and a host of nontraditional security threats. Mark E. Manyin argues that, for the United States, the costs of nonintervention are rising.

See more in South Korea; Japan; Diplomacy and Statecraft

Other Report

Still Distant Neighbors: South Korea-Japan Relations Fifty Years After Diplomatic Normalization

Author: Cheol Hee Park

Over the past half century, South Korea and Japan have established themselves as firm and reliable allies of the United States, contributing to peace and stability in the Asia-Pacific region. But despite increasing cultural exchange and deepening economic ties between the two countries, Korea-Japan relations have shown deteriorated. Cheol Hee Park explains that, given the deteriorating security situation in East Asia and the emergence of an assertive China, the United States has an interest in repairing Korea-Japan relations.

See more in South Korea; Japan; Diplomacy and Statecraft

Primary Sources

Speech by South Korean President Park on the Seventieth Anniversary of Liberation

South Korean President Park Geun-hye spoke on August 15, 2015, marking the anniversary of Japan's surrender during World World II. President Park discussed the development of the South Korean economy and relations with North Korea and with Japan. Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe gave a speech on the end of World War II the previous day. See CFR.org's timeline, "Last Days of Imperial Japan" for background information.

See more in South Korea; Japan; History and Theory of International Relations; Sovereignty