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In his first phone call with Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga, U.S. President Joe Biden reaffirmed Wednesday the United States’ commitment to defend Japan, striking a note of reassurance after the tumultuous Trump era. But for the near future, Biden is expected to be busy putting his own house in order — not least dealing with the fallout from the U.S. Capitol riot of Jan. 6.

It couldn’t happen here, could it? “Should parliamentarians everywhere be fearful that their institutions, and the buildings that house them, could come under direct physical attack as electronically fired protests … take yet a further violent twist?” asks British MP David Howell in a commentary.

One of the conspiracies that fueled the riot, QAnon, is already here. In the latest “Deep Dive” podcast, Bloomberg’s Max Zimmerman takes listeners and host Oscar Boyd on a journey into the deep, dark corners of the internet where Japan’s strain of the QAnon conspiracy theory thrives.

'Deep Dive' podcast, Episode 79: What does QAnon mean for Japan? | THE JAPAN TIMES
‘Deep Dive’ podcast, Episode 79: What does QAnon mean for Japan? | THE JAPAN TIMES

Meanwhile, in the air and sea around Taiwan over the past week, the U.S. and China have delivered strong signals that their security relationship has undergone a dramatic shift since Biden’s last time in the White House as veep — and that the changes are here to stay, reports Jesse Johnson.

Finding the sweet spot in terms of Asia policy will be tough for Biden, writes Brad Glosserman in the Opinion section. The new administration must reach equilibrium on three axes — one of those being a sustainable mix of engagement and competition with China.

As Philip J. Cunningham notes in another commentary, Biden’s new team includes many Obama administration retreads and Hillary Clinton loyalists who know how to play the game — but what if the game has changed? A question is whether these foreign policy elites, who have played along with Washington’s tune, have what it takes to deal with an emboldened China.

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