Vartan Oskanian

For Vartan Oskanian's latest contributions to The Japan Times, see below:

Oct 9, 2014

The best interests of the Caucasian talk circle

The Caucasus is among the world's most divided and incoherent regions, as the three republics of Armenia, Azerbaijan and Georgia have failed to learn, economically or politically, from similarly linked groups of countries such as the Baltic states. Is it too late for the ...

Dec 8, 2011

Defense official deserves respect

Regarding the Dec. 2 editorial “Abominable remark over Futenma“: Perhaps the comment of the now former Okinawa Defense Bureau chief, Satoshi Tanaka, should be taken with a translation of “screwed over” rather than “raped”. In which case his comment would suggest that the Japanese ...

Oct 18, 2011

Economic trouble in China

The decision of China’s sovereign wealth fund to buy shares of four of the country’s biggest banks is a warning signal. The move to prop up the plummeting value of those institutions is intended to boost confidence; instead, it has highlighted the many unknowns ...

Jun 9, 2011

China-Pakistan strategic ties deepen

After the daring U.S. raid that killed Osama bin Laden in his hideout next to Pakistan’s premier military academy, Islamabad has openly played its China card to caution Washington against pushing it too hard. And China has been more than eager to show itself ...

Apr 4, 2011

Paint Thailand yellow and red, with a caveat to compromise

BANGKOK — After three consecutive years of deadly street protests, Thailand has arrived at the point where it will need to hold new elections, as the current term of its national assembly expires next December. Indeed, Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva has indicated that he ...

Mar 4, 2011

Why worry about China's nuclear warheads?

SINGAPORE — Latest estimates by Western analysts put China’s stockpile at 240 warheads, with 175 in active mode and 65 in reserve or waiting to be dismantled because they are considered too old for use. This is a small arsenal compared with those of ...

Mar 4, 2011

Justifying an intervention in Libya for justice' sake

MELBOURNE — The world has watched in horror as Libya’s Colonel Moammar Gadhafi uses his military to attack protesters opposed to his rule, killing hundreds or possibly thousands of unarmed civilians. Many of his own men have refused to fire on their own people, ...

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 28, 2010

The Caucasus imperative in summit season

YEREVAN, Armenia — Following the Group of 20 meetings in Seoul and the NATO summit in Portugal, the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe will hold its first summit in 10 years in Astana, Kazakhstan’s spanking new capital city. This is only the ...

Nov 16, 2010

Tax reform needs vision

The government and the Democratic Party of Japan have started discussions on tax reform for fiscal 2011 and beyond. Both should learn a lesson from their experience just after the DPJ came to power in September 2009. At that time discussions at the government’s ...