While the ISIS executions of two Japanese hostages have reinvigorated a public debate about the country’s postwar pacifism, recent moves by Tokyo to revise its counterterrorism policies should be viewed in the context of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s larger military ambitions, says expert Michael Auslin.
Steven A. Tananbaum Senior Fellow for International Economics Robert Kahn argues that unless Japan begins to undertake structural economic reforms, its growth will be almost entirely dependent on easy money, increasing global economic tensions in 2015.
Sheila Smith examines how domestic pressure in Japan, the release of U.S. citizens detained by North Korea, and a new UN resolution referring North Korean leaders to the International Criminal Court on charges of crimes against humanity could potentially shape Tokyo’s ongoing efforts to learn the fates of Japanese citizens abducted by Pyongyang decades ago.
During a 2+2 meeting in October 2013, Japanese and U.S. defense ministers called for the revision of the 1997 Guidelines for U.S.-Japan Defense Cooperation. On October 8, 2014, they released an interim report on the revisions and a final version is expected by the end of the 2014. This revision is part of the Obama Administration's strategy to rebalance to Asia.
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."
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Campbell evaluates the implications of the Boko Haram insurgency and recommends that the United States support Nigerian efforts to address the drivers of Boko Haram, such as poverty and corruption, and to foster stronger ties with Nigerian civil society.
Koblentz argues that the United States should work with other nuclear-armed states to manage threats to nuclear stability in the near term and establish processes for multilateral arms control efforts over the longer term.
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.
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