For Japan, COVID-19 has taken a 2020 that was meant to be a stable and historic year with the Olympics and has thrown it into disarray.
For Michael Macarthur Bosack's latest contributions to The Japan Times, see below:
If the Abe administration is seeking to make its mark on defense spending, it will have to try again next year.
Understanding Japanese politics, as with many things in Japanese society, is often an exercise of scratching beneath the surface to discover the true meaning.
The Constitution's Article 9 has shaped the SDF in ways that are deeper than most observers, analysts and policymakers realize.
Komeito wields influence in major security policy decisions, especially the one that has most Japan-watchers intrigued: constitutional amendment.
2019 had its share of good, bad and ugly moments, but overall it was a net positive for Japanese security.
As long as the U.S. nuclear umbrella exists, the Japanese government will not have the political impetus to change its policy on nuclear weapons.
The latest resignations are symptomatic of broader Japanese Cabinet politics.
Although he still routinely ranks high among respondents as the top pick for prime minister, the reality is that he still has years before he is ready for the job.
For the first time ever, the Defense Ministery is headed by a prime minister-ready politician.