U.S. President-elect Donald Trump gives a thumbs up to the media as he arrives at a costume party at the home of hedge fund billionaire and campaign donor Robert Mercer in Head of the Harbor, New York, U.S., December 3, 2016. REUTERS/Mark Kauzlarich/File Photo

The Opportunity that Trump May Offer Japan—If Japan Can Take It

In the beginning of the marathon race that is the U.S. presidential election, Donald Trump looked like froth on the water. But his radical choice of words and eccentric approach clearly made an impression on voters. The analyses on this election have been many and will continue for years, but I must admit that I, […]

People take pictures with mobile phones of a sculpture of a rooster that local media say bears resemblance to U.S. President-elect Donald Trump, outside a shopping mall in Taiyuan, Shanxi province, China December 30, 2016. REUTERS/Jon Woo

Trump Is Plunging Cross-Strait Relations into Uncertainty – And That’s Exactly the Idea

President-elect Donald Trump sharply broke with past practice in December 2016 by accepting a congratulatory phone call from Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen. He publicly questioned U.S. government support for the policy of “one China” including Taiwan, and he reacted promptly to Chinese criticisms with blunt public complaints about unfair Chinese economic policies and military expansion […]


Eagles, Bedrooms, and Bean Soup: The Abe-Duterte Summit

The Philippines was chosen as Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s first foreign destination this year. This was already the third time in six months that the Prime Minister has met with President Rodrigo Duterte. This time, the closeness between the two leaders was particularly striking and Prime Minister Abe was warmly welcomed by Duterte as the […]

South Korea Japan

How a Statue Can Jeopardize International Diplomacy

On January 6th, the administration temporarily recalled Yasamusa Nagamine, its ambassador to South Korea, in response to the installation of a comfort woman statue in front of the Japanese Consulate General in Busan. This move is calculated to express to the international community Japan’s belief that Korea is not fulfilling its obligations under the agreement […]


Editorial: Korea’s Stance on the Comfort Women Statues Is Self-Defeating

Last week, the Abe administration announced its response to the installation of a “comfort woman” statue in front of the Japanese Consulate General in Busan, Korea by recalling the ambassador to Korea and suspending negotiations on currency swaps.   It was a late, but unavoidable, response. These statues are both in violation of the agreement […]


Japanese Sake and My Life with Koji Mold

On 24th May, 2016, the fourth symposium held by the Japanese Civilization Institute took place at Japan University of Economics in Shibuya, Tokyo. Mr. Katsuhiko Kitamoto, former appraiser of the National Research Institute of Brewing (NRIB) and now research professor of Nihon Pharmaceutical University and professor emeritus at Tokyo University, presented his lecture entitled, “Japanese […]


Editorial: Trump’s Bullying of Toyota Is an Ominous Sign

President-elect Donald Trump has been rallying against American corporations that dare to move their production facilities overseas, and now he’s directing his rants against Toyota and its plans to build a new plant in Mexico.   What distinguishes this kind of tactic from the selective economic policies that he criticizes China for so vehemently?   […]


Lessons from Europe? What Japan Can Learn from European Family Policies

Most developed countries with relatively high fertility rates around replacement level (2.1 children per women), like France or the Nordic countries, have a comprehensive mix of different family policy instruments. The reason why these countries have been experiencing a re-increase in fertility rates over the last decade cannot be attributed to one single family policy […]