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July 1, 2019

Japan
Seoul and Tokyo: No Longer on the Same Side

While many focus on the drama of President Donald J. Trump’s meeting with North Korean Chairman Kim Jong-un, a far more worrisome transformation in Northeast Asian geopolitics is underway. Washington…

South Korean President Moon Jae-in is welcomed by Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe upon his arrival for a welcome and photo session at G20 leaders summit in Osaka, Japan, on June 28, 2019.

May 23, 2019

Japan
Forty-Two and Counting…The Trump-Abe Connection

Yesterday the Washington Post reported that Japanese government officials who tracked the metrics of the Abe-Trump relationship tallied forty-two conversations, in person and on the phone. This is an…

U.S. President Donald Trump greets Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe during a bilateral meeting on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly in New York on September 26, 2018.

May 28, 2019

Japan
During Trump Visit, Abe Aims to Reinforce Ties and Smooth Trade Strains

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe designed an elaborate visit for President Trump, complete with golf, a sumo championship, warship tours, and a meeting with the new emperor and empress. But the pag…

Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe welcomes U.S. President Donald Trump upon his arrival at Mobara Country Club in Chiba prefecture, Japan, on May 26, 2019.

August 20, 2019

United States
Back-to-School Reading Special

Every year CFR.org editor Bob McMahon and I record a summer reading episode of CFR’s “The World Next Week” podcast. We usually do it in June as we entertain visions of leisurely summer days yet to co…

Books

April 9, 2015

Ten Whats With…Sheila A. Smith

Sheila A. Smith is a senior fellow for Japan Studies at the Council on Foreign Relations. She is the author of Intimate Rivals: Japanese Domestic Politics and a Rising China (Columbia University Pres…

Sheila Smith Intimate Rivals

March 1, 2019

North Korea
The Hanoi Setback and Tokyo’s North Korea Problem

The abrupt halt to talks in Hanoi between President Donald J. Trump and North Korean Chairman Kim Jong-un has intensified criticism of the U.S. president’s diplomacy and its U.S. domestic implication…

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe speaks to press in Tokyo about the U.S.-North Korea summit, on February 28.

December 20, 2018

Japan
Japan's Active Defenses

The Abe cabinet announced its new ten-year defense plan this week, promising to spend 27 trillion yen ($240 billion) over the next five years on Japan’s Self-Defense Forces (SDF). Eye-catching in the…

A U.S. Air Force F-16 (left) escorts a Japan Air Self-Defense Force F-35A (right) over the Pacific Ocean on November 6, 2017.

April 16, 2018

Japan
Abe Returns to Mar-a-Lago

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe will return to Florida tomorrow to meet with President Donald J. Trump. Much has changed since Abe’s first visit in February 2017, just a month into the new Trump a…

U.S. President Donald Trump, First Lady Melania Trump, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and his wife Akie Abe pose for a photograph before attending dinner at Mar-a-Lago Club in Palm Beach, Florida, on February 11, 2017.

January 3, 2018

Japan
Nationalism, Japan, and a Changing Asia

Japan’s choices in a changing Asia will define the region’s future and will have tremendous impact on U.S. policy in Asia. Japanese today, like their neighbors on the Korean peninsula and in China, a…

Japanese Ground Self-Defense Force tanks take part in an annual training session with Mount Fuji in the background at Higashifuji training field in Gotemba, Japan August 24, 2017.

October 20, 2017

Japan
Japan's Election Sunday

Japanese will once more go to the polls this Sunday to give Prime Minister Shinzo Abe a thumbs up or a thumbs down on his performance as prime minister. This snap election for the lower house of Japa…

Constitutional Democratic Party of Japan leader Yukio Edano speaks at a campaign rally in Tokyo, Japan on October 19.