| May 23, 2015

The 'Abe Doctrine' transforms security policy

The ink was barely dry on the new Guidelines for Japan-U.S. Defense Cooperation, which were unveiled during Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s visit to Washington last month, when Sen. John McCain, chairman of the U.S. Senate Armed Services Committee, issued a wake-up call to the ...

| May 16, 2015

Are forces of darkness gathering in Japan?

Certainly it’s worse in China, South Korean security recently beat demonstrators and Spain faces a blanket gag rule, but are concerns about the anti-democratic forces of darkness in Japan unduly alarmist? How bad can it be if protestors in Hibiya Park can carry placards ...

| May 9, 2015

Academics fail Abe administration on history

On May 5, in an open letter in support of historians in Japan, an international group of 187 scholars (of which I am one) urged Japan to acknowledge and atone for the forced prostitution that occurred during wartime, stating: “Denying or trivializing” what happened ...

| Apr 25, 2015

Abe primed to shine in Washington's limelight

The bar is set low for Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s April 29 speech at a joint session of the U.S. Congress. Former U.S. Deputy Secretary of State Richard Armitage says everyone will be “looking to see if Mr. Abe can put history behind him.” ...

| Apr 18, 2015

History problems cast a shadow over Abe's Japan

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is dogged by history problems largely because he courts controversy with his revisionist views and efforts to rehabilitate Japan’s wartime past. It’s not only moderates and leftists who worry about this: Liberal Democratic Party Vice-President Masahiko Komura has also urged ...

| Apr 11, 2015

Abe gets negative reviews ahead of U.S. visit

At the end of this month Prime Minister Shinzo Abe will visit Washington, D.C. He can expect the red carpet treatment because he has ticked more boxes on the Pentagon’s wish list than all his postwar predecessors combined. The generals and wonks see him ...

| Apr 4, 2015

America's memory wars and the Vietnam debacle

April 30 marks the 40th anniversary of the fall of Saigon, as Americans remember it — the day that the North Vietnamese army captured the capital of South Vietnam and reunified their country. Wars, as the old adage goes, are fought twice: first on ...

| Mar 28, 2015

China benefits from Washington's bumbling diplomacy

The surge of nations agreeing to participate in China’s new development bank — the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank — marks a stunning success for Beijing, which has overcome U.S. opposition and arm-twisting to lure key American allies. Washington has been at its petulant worst, ...

| Mar 21, 2015

Celebrating 50 years of antipathy, recriminations

On March 1, South Korean President Park Geun-hye renewed her call for Japan to come clean on its colonial and wartime atrocities, including the sexual enslavement of women. Her speech was delivered on the anniversary of the anti-Japanese uprising by Koreans in 1919 and ...