Jan 31, 2010

Stronger alliance is on the way

The relationship of trust between Japan and the United States is in its worst state ever. After U.S. President Barack Obama refused to see Japanese Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama in Copenhagen and listen to his excuse over his mishandling of bilateral ties, the latter ...

Nov 10, 2009

Enough concessions on Taiwan

For those who are concerned that democratic Taiwan should continue to have the freedom to choose its own future, President Barack Obama’s coming visit to Beijing brings back the memory of a regrettable episode during President Bill Clinton’s visit to China in June 1998. ...

Sep 4, 2009

The DPJ's sense of duty

Until the Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ)’s win in Sunday’s election, the Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) had dominated Japanese politics for more than half a century except for short intervals. The impact on the U.S.-Japan alliance is still not clear. It is hard to ...

Jul 29, 2009

Don't waste good intentions

When I read former Vice Foreign Minister Ryohei Murata’s remarks in the newspaper, disclosing a secret agreement on port visits by U.S. ships carrying nuclear weapons, I was excited and hopeful that there would be new developments on this issue. Although I have not ...

Jul 8, 2009

Bolstering Japan-U.S. ties

The Obama administration has shown great good will toward Japan. This was evidenced by Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s testimony at her Senate confirmation hearing, her choice of Japan as the first country she visited after taking office and the fact that Prime Minister ...

May 24, 2009

An offer Pyongyang can't refuse

Past U.S.-North Korea negotiations on nuclear issues can be roughly classified into two types. The first type relates to the Framework Agreement of the Clinton administration. The basic assessment from documents of the period was that a military confrontation might result in nearly 1 ...

Feb 3, 2009

Aso deserves high praise

Allow me to cite from a private conversation held with former Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi around the summer of 2004, following the the Upper House election in July and ahead of the Cabinet reshuffle in September. I had made two requests of Koizumi: Revise ...

Dec 30, 2008

No sign of a 'peace agreement'

More than six months have passed since the presidential election in Taiwan. After a hiatus of eight years, the Kuomintang is in power. This actually represents the restoration of the mainland-lineage forces for the first time in 20 years — if you count the ...

Sep 15, 2008

End the yearlong gridlock

First of all, I would like to express my respect to Prime Minister Yasuo Fukuda for his swift decision to step down. My view on Prime Minister Fukuda since he came into office is that his strongest point lies in his humility. Constantly compared ...

Jun 30, 2008

Taiwan's way with dignity

The inaugural address that Taiwan President Ma Ying-jeou gave was titled “Taiwan’s Renaissance.” It was well-composed, reflecting the president’s views clearly while not evoking excessive alarm or expectations on complex and sensitive issues. These include the future of Taiwan’s democracy, relations with the United ...