An age of anger imperils the West — and the East

| Nov 12, 2016

An age of anger imperils the West — and the East

Around the Western world we are witnessing an age of anger and fear. This is manifested in the vitriol of U.S. President-elect Donald Trump’s scorched earth presidential campaign and the fear-mongering by the pro-Brexit British. Across the EU, jingoistic messages are also gaining sway, ...

Modi and Abe are at the nuclear altar again

| Nov 5, 2016

Modi and Abe are at the nuclear altar again

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi will visit Japan for a summit with Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on Nov. 11 and 12, and it is expected they will finally seal the deal on an elusive civil nuclear cooperation accord. When Abe visited India last year ...

Could nuclear advocacy be Abe's undoing?

| Oct 29, 2016

Could nuclear advocacy be Abe's undoing?

Voters have elected anti-nuclear governors in Kagoshima and Niigata prefectures in recent months. These elections can be considered referenda on nuclear power because that issue was the main focus of debate in both campaigns. The results have put Prime Minister Shinzo Abe — and ...

Why is Japan refusing to pay UNESCO its dues?

| Oct 22, 2016

Why is Japan refusing to pay UNESCO its dues?

The Japanese government announced that it is withholding its payments owed to UNESCO. This is a $37 million expression of displeasure over the organization’s decision last year to include a Chinese submission on “Documents of Nanjing Massacre” in the Memory of the World Register. ...

Typhoon Trump could pummel Asian region

| Oct 8, 2016

Typhoon Trump could pummel Asian region

Should Asian leaders be worried about Trump? Hell yes. The world managed to survive the disastrous presidency of George W. Bush, but the alarming prospect of a Trump presidency recently prompted 50 senior Republican national security officials, including former aides and Cabinet members, to ...

Asia and the threat of untethered nationalism

| Oct 1, 2016

Asia and the threat of untethered nationalism

George Orwell famously commented that nationalism is one of the “worst enemies of peace,” feeding on grievance and insecurities, appealing to primordial instincts and unifying by invoking past traumas. Indian author Rabindranath Tagore also warned about this “great menace,” arguing that nationalism enables people ...

Troika of female politicians under scrutiny

| Sep 24, 2016

Troika of female politicians under scrutiny

The media has been abuzz about the emergence of three prominent Japanese female politicians: Tokyo Gov. Yuriko Koike, Defense Minister Tomomi Inada and Renho, the head of the Democratic Party. However, the significance of this development is limited. Overall, politics in Japan remains a ...

Memories of 1931 Mukden Incident remain divisive

| Sep 17, 2016

Memories of 1931 Mukden Incident remain divisive

Today marks the 85th anniversary of the 1931 Mukden Incident (also known as the Manchurian Incident), when Japanese troops staged a bombing of their own railway by placing explosives near the train tracks. Even though the explosion did minimal damage and a train managed ...

National trauma and the memory wars of Asia

| Sep 10, 2016

National trauma and the memory wars of Asia

It has been 15 years since 9/11, and America’s nightmare has metastasized beyond anyone’s wildest imagination. It is a bad dream that includes former President George W. Bush’s Iraq War debacle, which plunged the Middle East into its current turmoil. But America’s trauma pales ...