Jan 12, 2011

Take a new tack on Iran

WASHINGTON — Throughout 2010, the pattern for negotiations over Iran’s nuclear program held to form. With just about every diplomatic effort failing to yield results, international efforts had increasingly given way to discussions about sanctions — and what mix of them would be needed ...

Nov 4, 2010

Why can't Japan be more like South Korea?

Countless commentators both here in Japan and abroad have deplored the insularity of Japanese society. They lament the paucity of Japanese venturing abroad to study, teach or work. Japan’s multinational corporations are regularly criticized for failing to internationalize their corporate management. The implicit tone ...

Jul 22, 2010

Ditching a political vision

The Democratic Party of Japan’s manifesto for the 2009 Lower House election envisaged establishing a National Strategy Bureau directly under the prime minister. The bureau would gather talented people from both the private and public sectors to work out a national vision and decide ...

Jun 19, 2010

U.S. and India must move beyond symbolism

LONDON — The United States held its first ever strategic dialogue with India early June. It covered a whole gamut of issues including high technology trade, science and technology cooperation, civil nuclear cooperation, human resource development and security issues. U.S. President Barack Obama attended ...

May 20, 2010

Immigrants can buoy Japan

It is not possible to spend more than a few minutes with a Japanese diplomat or scholar without hearing the “C,” namely China. Most of them are convinced that the People’s Republic is expanding its global influence while Japan’s is shrinking. The entire world, ...

Apr 14, 2010

For Japan to thrive, the wall must come down

More than 20 years have passed since the Berlin Wall fell, yet Japan remains shut out from the rest of humanity by its own wall. Though it is a shapeless partition that we cannot touch, it nevertheless cuts off the country from the world ...

Oct 27, 2009

Tokyo needs to get over the G8

The financial meltdown of 2008 has accelerated the decay of the Group of Eight. One of the ideas circulating is to discontinue the group and replace it with the G20. Within the G20, there would be a G4 made up of the biggest players ...

Aug 3, 2009

Angst over opposition rule

There is a palpable sense of anxiety in some quarters in Japan at the prospects of a Democratic Party of Japan-led majority emerging from the Aug. 30 Lower House elections. The fear is that the DPJ will wreck the alliance with the United States. ...

Jul 29, 2009

All stimulus roads lead to China

BEIJING — Now that the “green shoots” of recovery have withered, the debate over fiscal stimulus is back with a vengeance. In the United States, those who argue for another stimulus package observe that it was always wishful thinking to believe that a $787 ...

Jun 17, 2009

Incoming ambassador Roos is right for the job

After months of speculation, U.S. President Barack Obama recently nominated John V. Roos to represent the United States in Tokyo. Roos, like several American ambassadors, earned his position as a top Democratic fundraiser during the U.S. presidential campaign. As the head of a major ...