May 10, 2007

And now to trilateralism

NANJING, China — How good are China-Japan relations today? So good that the museum here to commemorate the 1937 massacre by Japanese Imperial Army soldiers is closed for renovation. That’s remarkable since this is the 70th anniversary of the massacre and criticism of historical ...

Apr 19, 2007

Nuclear basics for the alliance

HONOLULU — Nuclear strategy has become a core concern in the U.S.-Japan alliance. North Korea is the immediate trigger for Japanese anxiety, but similar uncertainties lie just beneath the surface when Japan contemplates China as well. U.S. assurances are needed — both to Japan ...

Mar 24, 2007

Baseless threats of cold war

HONOLULU — U.S. plans to deploy an antiballistic missile defense system in Europe have raised fears of a new Cold War. Russian responses to the proposal have been fierce: Moscow has warned countries that hosting interceptors would make them targets in the event of ...

Mar 19, 2007

Abe should be looking forward, not back

HONOLULU — What was he thinking? That is the question most Japan-watchers grappled with following Japanese Prime Minister Abe Shinzo’s fumbled questions about the imperial Japanese government’s role in recruiting “comfort women” during World War II. His responses came close to undoing the progress ...

Jan 25, 2007

Abe's aggressive agenda

HONOLULU — There is no mistaking Prime Minister Abe Shinzo’s determination to transform Japan’s foreign and security policies, and reassert itself in the world. Yet while he must seize opportunities as he forges this new role, he must also reassure doubters both at home ...

Jan 14, 2007

Asia's shift in global importance

Chasing the Sun: Rethinking East Asian Policy, by Morton Abramowitz and Stephen Bosworth. New York: A Century Foundation Book, 2006, 165 pp., $15.95 (paper). Slowly but surely, the United States is waking up to the profound changes afoot in the structure of global power. ...

Dec 17, 2006

Economic power struggles in Asia

JAPAN IN A DYNAMIC ASIA: Coping With the New Security Challenges, edited by Yoichiro Sato and Satu Limaye. Lexington Books, 2006, 271 pp., 2006 (paper). Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has said he will pursue a more assertive foreign policy. That won’t be easy, report ...

Nov 12, 2006

Sticking to the invective is less effective

NUCLEAR SHOWDOWN: North Korea Takes on the World, by Gordon C. Chang. Random House, 2006, 327 pp., $25.95 (cloth). Gordon Chang really can pick ’em. In 2001, as the world awakened to China’s incandescent rise, he made a stir with “The Coming Collapse of ...

Oct 16, 2006

Forget about Japan racing to go nuclear

HONOLULU — Take a deep breath and repeat: “Japan is not going to develop nuclear weapons.” Feel better? Yes, North Korea’s nuclear test is a blow to the regional security order. It is a bitter defeat for diplomacy. And yes, Japanese (and Chinese and ...

Sep 30, 2006

Shinzo Abe's twin challenges

HONOLULU — Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has said he wants to make Japan “a country that is trusted and loved” by the entire world. On the face of it, this should not be that difficult a task. After all, in the past 60 years, ...