What has become of the Liberal Democratic Party's "liberalism" since the Abe administration took the nation's helm? A lone survivor of that tradition weighs in on the future of "Abenomics" and Japan itself.
China and Japan are perceiving more and more threats from each other, and their overactive responses are causing strong sense of insecurity for the region. The vicious circle is driving an escalating arms race.
In March 2011 all of Japan was united by the terrible experience of the earthquake, tsunami and nuclear accident. Three years later this unity is increasingly fracturing as a more uneven reality emerges.
The Japanese government has so far failed to give meaningful reassurances about how the reactionary and potentially dangerous state secrets law, rammed through the Japanese Diet in December, will operate.
Prime Minister Shinzo Abe had hoped to herald his economic reform program at Davos last week. Instead, his mention of tensions between China and Japan exposed the lack of multilateral institutions like those created in Western Europe after 1945 to settle Northeast Asian disputes.
To protect the integrity of history teaching, historians and teachers should insist, forcefully, that there are many spaces where patriotism can be cultivated in a modern democratic society but that the history classroom is not one of them.
It's no longer Western powers vying for African land and the continent's wealth as they had until the outbreak of World War I. The power struggle now is among Asian nations, most notably China and Japan.