Prime Minister Shinzo Abe tendency to stumble in building allied support whenever he makes an aggressive move appears most conspicious of late with his efforts to have Japan exercise its right to collective self-defense and to reform farm policy.
To resolve conflicting territorial claims in Southeast Asia, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe calls upon governments in the region to return to the spirit and provisions of the 2002 Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the South China Sea.
The growing risk that Washington will be drawn into a confrontation with Beijing over parochial issues in East Asia will go down as soon as Japan takes greater responsibility for its own defense and that of its allies, as Prime Minister Shinzo Abe proposes.
The Abe Cabinet continues to enjoy an approval rating of more than 50 percent, according to a recent survey, because of the knock-on effect of "Abenomics," the dearth of other viable leaders and, like it or not, nationalist sentiment.
Media coverage of the rise and fall of Japanese scientist Haruko Obokata illustrates the problem with the third arrow of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's economic policy — and its otherwise laudable goal of expanding the participation of women in positions of power.
Today only a few art aficionados will recognize the name Kyohei Inukai, a New York society portrait artist who married or loved several American women during a period of rising racial prejudice against the Japanese.
The percentage of Japanese high school graduates entering university is not growing as fast as one would expect. It is well below the average ratio for the 34 members of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development.
The discovery of fraud in the adminstration of the high-stakes TOEFL and TOEIC tests is disturbing, but the larger issue — which has been given short shrift — is that these tests are designed to emphasize written English rather than spoken English.
Even while reconfirming its "pivot to Asia," Washington tries to construct multifaceted bilateral ties with Beijing, raising questions about the ultimate fate of longtime alliances between the U.S. and a number of Asia-Pacific countries.