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 ...

May 16, 2009

Hurdles to a Japanese F-22

North Korea’s return to saber-rattling has brought military affairs back to the top of the Japan-U.S. agenda. As many Japanese continue to have — unfounded — doubts about the commitment of the Obama administration to the bilateral alliance, they are pushing for Washington to ...

Mar 5, 2009

Lessons from history for abduction policy

To the delight of the Aso administration, Hillary Clinton not only first made Japan her first foreign visit as U.S. secretary of state, but she met with families of Japanese abducted by North Korea. Unfortunately, by giving the impression that she agrees with Japan, ...

Feb 5, 2009

Why can't Japanese kids get into Harvard?

Makoto Kobayashi, Toshihide Masakawa, Osamu Shimomura and Japan-born U.S. citizen Yoichiro Nambu won the 2008 Nobel Prize for their work in physics and chemistry. At first glance, Japan’s place as a global knowledge center is secure, but these individuals are the exception, rather than ...

Dec 19, 2008

Obama may press Japan

Japan’s ruling establishment hoped that John McCain, surrounded by “friends of Japan,” would win the race to the White House. Conservative commentators fear that President-elect Barack Obama will neglect Japan while paying too much attention to China. These concerns are unfounded. There is no ...

Oct 18, 2008

Japan in a post-U.S. world

Besides the economic damage, the global financial crisis has dangerous strategic implications for Japan. Since 1945, the world has been organized along U.S.-centric lines. By providing security guarantees to its allies, Washington has supplied an international public good to the entire planet. Even countries ...

Oct 1, 2008

Unprepared for the post

The verbal gaffes by transport minister Nariaki Nakayama, which led to his resignation after only five days in the post, show that he lacked qualifications both as a politician and Cabinet minister. Prime Minister Taro Aso admitted that he was responsible for Mr. Nakayama’s ...