After four years of alliance management chaos under former U.S. President Donald Trump, the language and consideration used during Joe Biden's Asia trip were a change.
For Robert E. Kelly's latest contributions to The Japan Times, see below:
Questions are being raised as to whether Moon Jae-in will be investigated for abuse of power, much like the presidents who came before him.
The real divide between South Korea's right and left is over foreign policy. Change will be most evident here, and Japan particularly is likely to find a Yoon presidency easier.
The best answer to North Korean nuclear weapons is Southern-led unification of the peninsula – especially for Japan
Elevating economics and trade over politics like Seoul has done with the Ukraine invasion will haunt it — especially with China, which has long used economic leverage as a policy weapon.
Tokyo's recent decision to line up with the West on sanctioning Russia is a serious shift for Japan, and one with the obvious cost of alienating Moscow in the Northern Territories dispute.
With nuclear weapons atop North Korea's missiles, they become a genuinely serious, if not existential, threat to South Korea, Japan and the United States.
Less reported in the press is the fact that an alternative left-wing candidate, Sim Sang-jung, also ran, splitting the South Korean vote.
The Russian invasion sets an alarming precedent, but China is unlikely to follow Putin’s bellicose playbook.
We likely need to adjust to the medium-term reality of North Korea as a nuclear weapons state.