Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's unusual election call was designed to head off Diet questioning that could have put him in serious trouble.
Gregory Clark has been around a long time (born 1936) and has done a lot of things. As a result, he likes to comment on foreign affairs, economic policies and education plus events in China, Russia, Japan and Latin America (he speaks all four languages).
For Gregory Clark's latest contributions to The Japan Times, see below:
A former key Foreign Ministry negotiator sees a window of opportunity in which both sides can be persuaded to pull back, but it will only last a year or so.
Nowadays, Russian, media outlets are more trustworthy than their Western counterparts.
Rather than the evils of global warming, the debate should focus on how to supply the world's energy needs without polluting the atmosphere.
Australia is grappling with immigration policy, and could stand to take a few pointers from Japan.
U.S. top spies should go back to doing their real work instead of inventing fairy tales.
Trade liberalization is a worthy goal. But it should come about through carefully crafted bilateral deals rather than blunderbuss multilateral agreements.
Donald Trump is a creature of instinct, and sometimes instinct can be closer to the truth than the dogmas of our allegedly better educated elites.
The liberal moralistic approach to foreign affairs can be welcome, but there is also an obligation to find the causes of the seemingly immoral behavior of the other side.
Shinzo Abe will likely be disappointed if he expects progress toward a resolution of Japan's territorial dispute with Russia will be made when he meets with Vladimir Putin this week.