Japan

Primary Sources

Details of Exchanges Between Japan and South Korea Regarding the Comfort Women Issue

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."

See more in Japan; South Korea; Human Trafficking; Women

Foreign Affairs Article

Voodoo Abenomics

Author: Richard Katz

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.

See more in Japan; Competitiveness

Primary Sources

Remarks by Incoming SPFUSA Chairman Blair: Operational Impacts of Japan's New Security Policy and Capabilities on the U.S.-Japan Alliance

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.

See more in Japan; United States; Treaties and Agreements; Defense Strategy

Primary Sources

Remarks by President Obama and Japanese President Abe

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.

See more in Japan; Grand Strategy; Trade

Must Read

The Diplomat: U.S.-Japan Relations: Not So Sweet Caroline

Author: Yo-jung Chen

"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."

See more in Japan; Politics and Strategy

Must Read

Economist: Holding Back Half the Nation

"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."

See more in Japan; Development

Op-Ed

Problems Persist at Fukushima

Author: Laurie Garrett
ForeignPolicy.com

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.

See more in Japan; Nuclear Energy

Must Read

Financial Times: Obama Walks Into Crossfire of Asian Tensions

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."

See more in Japan; South Korea; Economic Development; Global Governance

Must Read

The Diplomat: Japan and Russia: Arctic Friends

Author: Stratos Pourzitakis

"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."

See more in Japan; Russia and Central Asia; Energy Policy