Global understanding does not come cheaply. Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s government has budgeted ¥70 billion — yes, that’s more than $500 million — to help get the word out about Japan and ensure that China and South Korea aren’t the only ones controlling the narrative.

This lavishly funded PR program more than triples the strategic communications budget over last year’s ¥20 billion, essentially an admission that Japan has been losing the international war of words — and thus global support for its positions — during Abe’s tenure. Given that Seoul and Beijing have been playing hardball in getting their sides of the story out, Tokyo is responding in kind.

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