On August 5, 2014, Japan's Ministry of Defense released its annual white paper. The report discusses territorial disputes, including China's establishment of an air defense identification zone, and President Abe's interpretation of the Constituation, to build up the military for collective self-defense.
Japan's new politics challenge some basic assumptions about U.S.-Japan alliance management. CFR Senior Fellow Sheila A. Smith explores this new era of alternating parties in power and reveals the growing importance of Japan's domestic politics in shaping alliance cooperation.
Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe spoke before the Australian Parliament on July 8, 2014. He discussed Japan's actions in World War II, the Japan-Australia Economic Partnership Agreement and other Pacific partnerships, and Japan's future contributions to global defense operations.
From 1991 to 1992, the Japanese government conducted research about the trafficking of sex slaves (known as "comfort women") in Japan during World War II. The study established the Asian Women's Fund, which worked in Philippines, South Korea, Taiwan, and Indonesia to redress victims. On June 20, 2014, more details were released about information exchanged between Japan and South Korea during the study and about Japanese Chief Cabinet Secretary Yohei Kono's statement which acknowledged the involvement of the Japanese military in establishing "comfort stations."
Imagine the predicament currently facing a growing number of Japanese men in their early 30s. Despite having spent years cramming in high school and attending good colleges, many can't find a full-time job at a good company.
Sheila Smith says Japan's new agreement with North Korea is only a limited effort in response to Pyongyang's attempts to pursue humanitarian diplomacy, and that Tokyo remains committed to trilateral cooperation with Seoul and Washington.
Admiral Dennis Blair spoke at Japan's New Security Policy and Capabilities: Domestic Politics, International Views and Practical Implications, a conference held April 30, 2014, at the Sasakawa Peace Foundation USA (SPFUSA). Admiral Blair was appointed SPFUSA chair on May 1, 2014.
President Obama and Japanese President Abe Shinzo held this press conference on April 24, 2014, and released several fact sheets on U.S.-Japan collaboration in the areas of security, stability and prosperity, technology, and energy. President Obama traveled to Japan, South Korea, Malaysia, and the Phillipines as part of his administration's rebalance to Asia, a policy to strengthen U.S. economic and political relations in the region.
"America, which badly needs stability in East Asia and a solid U.S.-Japan-South Korea alliance in order to face an assertive—but indispensible—China and an unpredictable North Korea, has been disturbed by the worsening tensions between Japan and its two neighbors under Abe's watch. Although Japan may not be the only party to blame in these quarrels, Washington is increasingly irritated by what it sees as Abe's unhelpful flexing of nationalism that has served only to aggravate an already precarious situation in Asia."
"By 2020 Mr Abe wants women to occupy 30% of all "leadership" positions—which would include members of parliament, heads of local government and corporate executives. His most practical step has been to try to shorten waiting lists for child care by allowing more private companies into a previously state-dominated sector."
"[Shinzo Abe] is the first leader in years with any hope of solving the festering issue of US marine bases in Okinawa. He is willing to spend more on defence after years of a self-imposed limit of 1 per cent of output. Those policies, however, come with a price tag: a revisionist nationalism that many in Washington find distasteful."
Based on a visit to Fukushima in December 2013, Laurie Garrett reports that 250,000 tons of radioactive soil is sitting in plastic bags around the nuclear plant, and explains that Japan does not know what to do with it.
Authors: Geoff Dyer, Demetri Sevastopulo, and Simon Mundy
"The U.S. has been particularly frustrated at the deterioration in relations between Tokyo and Seoul, as it believes that relationship is important to help check the rise of China in the region, which is one reason that some high-profile Asia experts in the US have been urging Mr Obama to visit South Korea."
"Through its warming ties with Russia, Japan seeks to exploit the Arctic's potential and to win support in standing up to what it regards as China's assertive policies. Working with Russia is a great opportunity for Japan to strengthen ties with the most important player in the Arctic and gain leverage within the Arctic Council. It will also give Japanese energy and maritime corporations and scientific institutions valuable Arctic access."
Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe spoke at the World Economic Forum on January 22, 2014. In his speech, "Reshaping of the World: Vision from Japan," he discussed his economic policy, often called "Abenomics," and reform of the monetary and fiscal policies regarding markets and trade agreements.
The Council on Foreign Relations' David Rockefeller Studies Program—CFR's "think tank"—is home to more than seventy full-time, adjunct, and visiting scholars and practitioners (called "fellows"). Their expertise covers the world's major regions as well as the critical issues shaping today's global agenda. Download the printable CFR Experts Guide.
The authors argue that it is essential to begin working now to expand and establish rules and norms governing armed drones, thereby creating standards of behavior that other countries will be more likely to follow.
The author examines Pakistan's complex role in U.S. foreign policy and advocates for a two-pronged approach that works to quarantine threats while integrating Pakistan into the broader U.S. agenda in Asia.