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 ...

Jul 30, 2008

Nationalism isn't an issue in Japan

As Japan renews its claim on Takeshima (Dokdo to Koreans) and prepares to mark the Aug. 15 anniversary of the end of the Great East Asia War, we can expect more Asians — and some Americans — to warn against the dangers of rising ...

May 15, 2008

Getting Japan to capitalize on its innovation

BOSTON/TOKYO — As they lament the West’s obsession with China and prepare to host the Group of Eight in July, Japanese fear becoming a minor planet in the Chinese orbit. Trouble is, Japan still sees manufacturing as the key to prosperity, despite the fact ...

Jul 11, 2007

Palestinians' 'Blair option' needs help

LOS ANGELES — The release of an abducted BBC journalist in Gaza is being seen by some as an attempt by Hamas (which denies any part in the kidnapping) to curry favor with Tony Blair, who on stepping down as Britain’s prime minister was ...