Apr 3, 2006

Challenges, opportunities for the Japan-U.S. alliance

HONOLULU — As its 55th birthday approaches, the Japan-U.S. alliance faces new challenges and new opportunities. Ironically, new security threats — and new demands for cooperation — provide the best opportunities to revitalize the alliance. The bilateral security relationship is in better shape than ...

Mar 30, 2006

Reshaping U.S.-ROK alliance

HONOLULU — The U.S.-South Korea alliance is at a turning point. South Korea has become a modern, vibrant democracy and a dynamic economy with global reach. Despite the nuclear crisis with North Korea, inter-Korean reconciliation has taken root and South Korea feels confident enough ...

Jan 26, 2006

America missing out in Asia

HONOLULU — The structure of global power is shifting, and Asia is finally emerging as one of the pillars of the international system. We have heard this talk before — over a decade ago the “Asian century” was the story line — but it ...

Dec 31, 2005

Testing times for Japan, China

HONOLULU — Taro Aso’s recent comment in plain words about the “threat” posed by China’s military modernization effort is as remarkable as the supposed threat itself. The readiness of a Japanese Cabinet official, and a foreign minister no less, to publicly acknowledge and criticize ...

Nov 17, 2005

Seoul aims for leading role

PUSAN, South Korea — South Korea, long considered “a shrimp among whales” in Northeast Asia, senses opportunity. Diplomatic developments in the region hold out hope of a transformation of relations among states, and South Korean strategists see their nation as uniquely positioned to lead ...

Oct 26, 2005

A Koizumi promise not worth keeping

HONOLULU — Last week, Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi made his fifth visit to Yasukuni Shrine. There was the predictable response from other Asian nations, but it is clear that those protests fall on deaf ears. If the prime minister’s determination is plain, so too ...

Sep 18, 2005

Japan to go boldly backward for a while

HONOLULU — No one predicted the size of Japanese Prime Minister Koizumi Junichiro’s election victory last weekend. The landslide win has transformed the landscape of Japanese politics. Oddly, the new picture looks a lot like the old Japan: domination by a single party — ...

Sep 8, 2005

'Third World' chaos hits home

HONOLULU — The devastation wrought by Hurricane Katrina in the United States is proving difficult for Americans to comprehend. Casualties currently number in the scores, but the body count is expected to swell in the days and weeks ahead — when the survivors can ...

Jul 23, 2005

Meeting China's 'challenge'

WASHINGTON — In February 1946, George Kennan, then a political officer in the U.S. Embassy in Moscow, sent an 8,000-word telegram to the State Department, warning about Soviet behavior. A little over a year later, a version of that telegram appeared in Foreign Affairs ...

Jun 26, 2005

The beginning of empathy?

HONOLULU — The strains in the Japan-South Korea relationship are far too deep-rooted for any single summit meeting to assuage. Rather, the objective of any summit should be setting the proper tone for bilateral relations. By this yardstick, the meeting Monday between Prime Minister ...