Opinion: Japan’s Youth Have the Optimism to See Opportunity in Coming Difficulties

The following was originally published in Seiron, Sankei Shimbun:   I have long questioned the wisdom of intellectuals who view the status quo and future of Japan pessimistically. Although we face a number of challenges, Japan is prosperous and stable, and more than anything else, the number of young people who view the future optimistically […]

Targeted Elections: What the U.S. Election Teaches Us about Disinformation Campaigns

A November 8, 2016, a chill went through the democratic world. A combination of disinformation, propaganda, and targeted leaks narrowly elevated Donald Trump to president of the United States. But it immediately became clear that the forces assisting him in his victory were not only powerful, but also intent on taking down the Western liberal […]

Leon Panetta: “The only predictable thing about the Trump administration is that it will be unpredictable”

Sankei Shimbun’s Kazuyuki Sakamoto recently interviewed former secretary of defense Leon Panetta over email to learn his thoughts about the world’s most significant threats to international security, the prospects for the new Trump administration, and more. An abridged transcript of their discussion is below:   Q: What would you say are the most critical potential […]

Killing the Goose that Laid the Golden Egg? The Anti-Conspiracy Bill and the Future of the LDP-Komeito Coalition

The shadow of Trump looms large over 2017’s first session of the Diet, a 150-day ordinary session which kicked off on January 20th just hours before the new president was inaugurated in Washington. The Abe administration’s struggle to come to grips with the unpredictability and instability of Trump and his policies will dominate domestic headlines […]

The Media and its Role in Japan-Korea Relations: The View from Seoul

The two top Japan experts in South Korea’s newspapers are probably Shim Gyu-seon, an editorial consultant for the Dong-A Ilbo, and Seon Woo-jeong who sits on the editorial board at the Chosun Ilbo. They each recently published editorials offering their candid views on Japan-Korea relations. They were both critical in light of the deteriorating relations […]

Sanctions against Russia Aren’t Working – and Gorgonzola Proves It

For Russia, 2014 was the bumpiest year in recent history. Western sanctions, which had followed the annexation of Crimea and support for separatist rebels in eastern Ukraine, along with the fall of oil price, surely meant that the Russian economy was heading for a crash.   If it did, this was precisely what Western sanctions […]

A Japan that Can Say No (to Trump)

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has wasted no time in trying to ingratiate himself to President Donald Trump. He should think long and hard about continuing to do so, because the end result may be that Japan becomes the enabler of a U.S. president who leads the alliance down a destructive path.   It’s understandable that […]

Editorial: Time for Trump to Rise to the Office

President Trump has adopted a strong nationalist stance and intends to prioritize American national interest over all else as he emphasized during his inaugural address when he said, “From this moment on, it’s going to be America first.”   While it is only natural that Trump should seek first to benefit his own country and […]

Introducing the New Column: The Secrets of the Japanese Sword

Pictured: This blade is an utsushi-mono by the master swordsmith Ono Yoshimitsu of an 800-year-old blade called Yamatorige. It is an illustration of the continuity of the traditions of Japanese sword making that continue to this day. Photo: Tom Kishida   Like many other Westerners, my introduction to Japanese swords (and Japanese culture) was through […]