Japan

Op-Ed

Reading Pyongyang’s Intentions with Japan

Author: Sheila A. Smith
38 North

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.

See more in Japan; North Korea; Treaties and Agreements

Primary Sources

Interim Report on the Revision of the U.S.-Japan Guidelines for Defense Cooperation

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.

See more in Japan; United States; Defense Strategy

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