The Indo-Pacific has become marked by substantially increased geopolitical instability. Unfinished political reform, militarization, technological authoritarianism, the politicization of history and great power rivalry are stressing the Indo-Pacific region and dampening Tokyo's attempts to instill a rules-based order there.

Despite earlier hopes, problems are currently taking place in all corners of Asia.

In Northeast Asia, North Korea continues to test missiles and produce nuclear material while feigning diplomacy toward denuclearization. Notwithstanding the de facto moratorium on the testing of long-range missile and nuclear weapons by Pyongyang, the White House's diplomacy on the peninsula has little to show for.