Commentary Topics

| Nov 15, 2014

Japan's 21st-century tsunami stones

by Jeff Kingston

A familiar sight along Tohoku’s Sanriku coastline are the tsunami stones erected by past generations that alert residents to the high-water mark of previous tsunami and the perils of building any closer to the sea. Over time these warnings were ignored, and those who ...

GOP takeover could mean trouble for Japan

Nov 10, 2014

GOP takeover could mean trouble for Japan

by William Pesek

Perhaps no one in Asia is happier than Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and his ruling Liberal Democratic Party to see Republicans take over control of the U.S. Congress. In fact, Japan's plummeting currency and the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade deal put Abe in a tough ...

| Nov 8, 2014

Right-wing witch hunt signals dark days in Japan

by Jeff Kingston

Many Japanese and long-time Japan observers have expressed dismay about the recrudescence of self-righteous nationalism under Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, who has emboldened right-wing extremists now threatening democratic institutions and civil liberties. “The revisionist right in Japan with the active encouragement, if not involvement, ...

An opportunity for Abe and Xi

Nov 6, 2014

An opportunity for Abe and Xi

by Yoon Young-Kwan

One reason for Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and Chinese President Xi Jinping's newfound flexibility toward each other may be domestic political shifts in both countries that have created a more equal balance between conservative, nationalist groups and more internationally oriented business interests.

Chinese Communist Party's great leap backward

Nov 4, 2014

Chinese Communist Party's great leap backward

by Xia Yeliang

Chinese President Xi Jinping's anti-corruption campaign was supposed to signify a shift toward a more transparent system based on the rule of law, but the officials who have been purged so far have been Xi's political adversaries. Xi appears to be pulling China backward ...

Oct 31, 2014

APEC diplomacy could help thaw chilly ties

by Yuriko Koike

Next month's Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit in Beijing looks like a high-risk enterprise, as it is not even clear if Chinese President Xi Jinping and South Korean President Park Geun-hye will agree to meet with Prime Minister Shinzo Abe for discussions aimed at lowering ...