Asia's new normal — now made in China?

| Jul 23, 2016

Asia's new normal — now made in China?

As China’s President Xi Jinping asserts a new normal in Asia — one featuring a more belligerent Chinese presence — he is digging a deep diplomatic hole. The backlash in Asia may have been guarded, but the region’s minnows are getting feistier. For example, ...

China: more hegemon than bogeyman?

| Jul 16, 2016

China: more hegemon than bogeyman?

Jeffrey Wasserstrom’s perceptive new book, “Eight Juxtapositions: China Through Imperfect Analogies,” presents some unlikely comparisons that are designed to challenge perceptions about China. Wasserstrom, a professor of history at the University of California, Irvine, acknowledges flaws in his analogies — which include an exploration ...

What are Shinzo Abe's real three arrows?

| Jul 2, 2016

What are Shinzo Abe's real three arrows?

In his campaign for the upcoming Upper House elections, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is pussyfooting around his plans to revise the Constitution. He is keeping his cards close to his chest because polls have shown that voters oppose constitutional change. Instead, Abe is calling ...

Shinzo Abe's bait-and-switch campaign strategy

| Jun 25, 2016

Shinzo Abe's bait-and-switch campaign strategy

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is doing it again: campaigning on Abenomics while distracting voters’ attention away from his real agenda. When he got elected in 2012, Abe ran on Abenomics and kept his revisionist political and historical agenda under wraps, knowing that it does ...

Abenomics' failure and the curse of 'Japanization'

| Jun 11, 2016

Abenomics' failure and the curse of 'Japanization'

The word “Japanization” refers to Japan’s prolonged stagnation — a malady that was on everyone’s mind at the recent G-7 summit. Prime Minister Shinzo Abe made the right call in postponing the planned tax hike, but the feeble opposition can be forgiven for pouncing ...

Under Abe, Japan gets left behind at G-7 summit

| Jun 4, 2016

Under Abe, Japan gets left behind at G-7 summit

For Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, the best thing about the recent G-7 Ise-Shima summit was that it gave him cover to wriggle out of a planned tax increase. He could pretend postponing the tax increase is a statesman-like concession to boosting global growth, rather ...

Understanding anti-base sentiment in Okinawa

| May 28, 2016

Understanding anti-base sentiment in Okinawa

The recent murder of a 20-year-old Okinawan woman by a civilian employee of the U.S. Kadena Air Base on Okinawa has inflamed local antipathy toward the U.S. military’s presence. Sadly, this horrific crime fits into a larger pattern of sexual violence that has become ...

Japan's cybersecurity upgrade — too little, too late?

| May 21, 2016

Japan's cybersecurity upgrade — too little, too late?

The Internet facilitates rapid data-sharing and increased communication between individuals, firms and government entities. This generates significant risks but, for most of the 2000s, Japan did not take commensurate countermeasures. The complacent attitude toward information technology security has persisted in Japan too long due ...