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Robert D. Eldridge
For Robert D. Eldridge's latest contributions to The Japan Times, see below:
Taiwanese soldiers train at a base in Hsinchu, Taiwan, on Tuesday. The island has decided to extend compulsory military service for young males from four months to one year amid increasing threats from China.
COMMENTARY / Japan
Feb 7, 2024
Taiwan extends military conscription, a system Japan might want to consider
As Japan struggles to fill its military ranks, compulsory national service might be its only solution.
U.S. President Richard Nixon in the Oval Office of the White House in June 1972
COMMENTARY / Japan
Nov 19, 2023
Nixon's 1953 trip to Okinawa and its lasting impact
Nixon’s trip to Okinawa 70 years ago this month planted seeds for his agreeing to its reversion when he became the U.S. president.
Japan Times
COMMENTARY / Japan
Apr 21, 2023
Memorializing those lost in the GSDF helicopter crash
All 10 SDF members on board a helicopter that crashed in the Miyako Island group are believed to have died in the crash.
Japan Times
COMMENTARY / World
Apr 7, 2023
Disasters can be deadly, but the aftermaths can be deadlier
Largely forgotten, more people died in the days, weeks and months after the 2016 Kumamoto earthquakes due to illness and depression than in the quakes themselves.
Japan Times
COMMENTARY / World
Mar 19, 2023
The global community should recognize Taiwan — or else
Diplomatic acceptance by the global community of the self-ruled island of Taiwan may be the only way to deter Chinese aggression.
Japan Times
COMMENTARY / World
Oct 16, 2022
Soviet air incursions and the birth of the ASDF
In light of the impact of military aerial incursions, it would not be an exaggeration to describe the Soviet Union as the father of the ASDF.
Japan Times
COMMENTARY / Japan
Sep 20, 2022
Lessons for the LDP from Okinawa's gubernatorial election
The LDP had better get its house in order if it wants to even begin to reverse the trend of opposition-supported candidates winning office in Okinawa.
Japan Times
COMMENTARY / Japan
Sep 15, 2022
Behind the Japanese government’s purchase of the Senkaku Islands
Tokyo's attempts to not aggravate Beijing further over the Senkakus raises questions over how far it will go to defend its own territory.
Japan Times
COMMENTARY / Japan
Aug 18, 2022
Pacific War hostilities didn’t exactly end on Aug. 15, 1945
The Soviet Union, and thus Russia, permanently damaged Japanu2019s trust with its actions in Sakhalin and the Kuril Islands.
Japan Times
COMMENTARY / Japan
Jan 19, 2022
Fix structural problems now or face SOFA revision later
The bottom line, however, is that without transparency, accountability and trust, the U.S.-Japan alliance will not enjoy the full support of the public.
Japan Times
COMMENTARY
Dec 21, 2021
Not everyone is sold on the new U.S. ambassador to Japan
Emanuel's appointment is worrisome for Japan, which desires the ambassadors sent to Tokyo to have influence and support in their home governments, something he does not seem to enjoy.
Japan Times
COMMENTARY / Japan
Nov 18, 2021
History in the making: Kobe's Japan-Taiwan Exchange Summit
The Kobe Declaration will likely go down in history as an important turning point in Japanese-Taiwanese relations, particularly for its call for a Taiwan Relations Act for Japan.
Japan Times
COMMENTARY / World
Oct 15, 2021
An important issue for Japan’s coming Lower House election: Defending Taiwan
Japanu2019s security, and hence its future, is directly related to Taiwanu2019s security and future existence. A vote for Taiwan is a vote for Japan.
Japan Times
COMMENTARY / Japan
Oct 14, 2021
Some 70 years ago it was taboo to deploy the SDF for disaster relief. Today it's indispensable.
Today, it is almost a given that the SDF will be called upon to assist local communities and prefectures after a disaster. But, 70 years ago, it was basically forbidden.
Japan Times
COMMENTARY / Japan
Aug 12, 2021
Shimoji Island's airport takes on new importance amid China threat
Clearly, circumstances are different today compared to 1971. So the outdated Yara memo preventing Okinawa's Shimoji Airport from being used for military purposes needs to be reconsidered.
Japan Times
COMMENTARY / Japan
Jun 18, 2021
Okinawa reversion agreement stands the test of time
Greater foresight by the two governments was thus necessary then, as is a more proactive approach by them today regarding the bases.
Japan Times
COMMENTARY / Japan
Apr 21, 2021
Okinawa’s wasted COVID-19 year
For political reasons, the economic contribution of the Okinawa bases is heavily downplayed, sometimes by five or 10 times as much, in local government publications and the media.
Japan Times
COMMENTARY / Japan
Apr 12, 2021
The dangerously flawed U.S. Senkakus policy
Earlier this week Kyodo News dropped a bombshell (pun intended) by introducing the contents of declassified U.S. documents that the U.S. government turned down a request in June 1978 for its military based in Japan to use its firing and bombing ranges in the Senkaku Islands.
Japan Times
COMMENTARY / Japan
Mar 8, 2021
Ten years after the quake: Between recovery and remembering
It is often said that u201cgenerals fight the last battle.u201d The same could probably be said for disaster responders. However, each disaster presents new challenges.
Japan Times
COMMENTARY / Japan
Feb 28, 2021
Global education has permanently changed
Japan has made the shift to what was initially seen as u201cemergency remote teachingu201d but has been slower to adapt to the new education environment compared to other countries.

Longform

Hideo Shimoju points to a possible site that his fellow neighbors may relocate to. Such relocations have happened before, but not preemptively.
In disaster-prone Japan, some communities consider major moves