The Japanese Government Weighs in with the Supreme Court

The Japanese government has submitted an amicus brief to the U.S. Supreme Court expressing its opinion that the Supreme Court should hear the appeal asking that the statue memorializing Comfort Women be removed. This is an unprecedented step and it appears that the Japanese government determined that the successive establishment of “Comfort Memorials” necessitated that […]

Reopening the Abduction Case Files – Part Five: “Something strange is happening along the Sea of Japan”

This article originally appeared in the Sankei Shimbun morning edition, September 4, 2012.    A suspected case of an abduction carried out by North Korea was confirmed as fact at a summit between the leaders of Japan and North Korea in 2002. Sankei Shimbun had already reported the case 23 years earlier.   On January […]

Golden Opportunity to Enhance Security of the Senkaku Islands/East China Sea

RIMPAC is a U.S. Navy-organized series of biennial exercises with foreign navies in the Pacific area begun in 1971 as an economically efficient way to maximize training opportunities.  Although Japan’s Maritime Self-Defense Force now participates regularly, it was for a number of years prevented from doing owing to charges by some in the Japanese Diet, […]

Reopening the Abduction Case Files – Part Four: “Maybe our child is alive too…”

This article originally appeared in the Sankei Shimbun morning edition, September 3, 2012. All ages and dates are counted from that date.   At a Japan-North Korea summit, then-Supreme Leader Kim Jong-Il admitted to abducting Japanese people and asserted that five abductees were still alive. Of those, the Japanese side had been unsuccessfully tracking the […]

Editorial: Time for the United States and Japan to Cooperate on the Abduction Issue

North Korea chose the moment of the U.S.-Japan summit meeting to launch intermediate-range ballistic missiles into the Sea of Japan, and soon after assassinated Kim Jong-nam, the elder half-brother of Korean Workers’ Party chairman Kim Jong-un. Both instances are grim reminders of the violent and unpredictable nature of the government across the Sea of Japan. […]

Reopening the Abduction Case Files – Part Three: Whose Bones?

This article originally appeared in the Sankei Shimbun morning edition, September 2, 2012. All ages and dates are counted from that date.   In 2004, North Korea handed over what it claimed were the remains of Megumi Yokota. By that time, nearly two years had passed since then-Supreme Leader Kim Jong-Il had admitted that Megumi […]

Reopening the Abduction Case Files – Part Two: How North Korea Used Megumi as a Bargaining Tool

This article originally appeared in the Sankei Shimbun morning edition, September 1, 2012. All ages and dates are counted from that date.   Megumi Yokota, who was abducted by North Korean agents as she was coming home after middle school badminton practice, is representative of North Korea’s abduction victims. If her case is brought to […]

Japan’s Worsening Social Divide: A Looming Political Risk

Around two and a half thousand years ago in Greece, Socrates despaired of young people. “The children now love luxury,” he lamented, “they have bad manners, contempt for authority; they show disrespect for elders and love chatter in the place of exercise.” Given his intellect, you might have expected a little more self-awareness; enough to […]