| 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 ...

| 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, ...

| Oct 11, 2014

China's new strongman Xi has a dream

by Jeff Kingston

President Xi Jinping is China’s most authoritarian leader since Deng Xiaoping, a strongman who has moved aggressively to assert and consolidate power while promoting a cult of personality. Rivals have been dispatched, he has rooted out those in the ruling oligarchy that were planted ...

| Sep 20, 2014

Jokowi's victory brings high hopes and challenges

by Jeff Kingston

In July, Joko Widodo, universally known as Jokowi, won a decisive victory in Indonesia’s presidential elections. Even before assuming office in October, he faces extravagant expectations in a nation that has endured mercurial (Sukarno), repressive (Suharto) and feckless (B.J. Habibie, Abdurrahman Wahid, Megawati Sukarnoputri ...