The Families of the Abducted: An Ultimatum and an Idea

The Association of the Families of Victims Kidnapped by North Korea and the National Association for the Rescue of Japanese Kidnapped by North Korea held a joint meeting in Tokyo on February 19. At the meeting they adopted a new policy for their movement, calling for the government to prioritize the situation of Japanese abductees […]

Reopening the Abduction Case Files – Part One: Why Did North Korea Lie about Megumi’s Death?

This article originally appeared in the Sankei Shimbun morning edition, August 31, 2012. All ages and dates are counted from that date.   “I regret to inform you…”   That was how then-Deputy Foreign Affairs Minister Shigeo Uemura began while speaking to Yokota Megumi’s father, Shigeru (79) and mother, Sakie (76), in a room at […]

New Images Show Attack that Killed Kim Jong-nam Took Only Two Seconds

Main image courtesy of Fuji TV   On the evening of Sunday, February 19, the Fuji TV program “Mr. Sunday” broadcasted images captured on a security camera before and after Kim Jong-nam, the half-brother of Kim Jong-un, the chairman of the Workers’ Party of Korea, was assassinated by two women.   The incident occurred in […]

Seikado Bunko Art Museum Exhibition: Perfect Guide to the Japanese Sword

The Seikado Bunko Art Museum is holding a special exhibition aimed at introducing Japanese swords to beginners by utilizing 30 wonderful blades from their collection of 120 swords that originally belonged to Baron Yanosuke Iwasaki and his son Koyata (the founder of the museum). Yanosuke was the younger brother of the Tosa samurai and founder […]

43 Hours on the Road with Trump and Abe

On the night of February 13, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s government jet returned to Japan from the United States after a whirlwind visit of over 43 hours that started with a bear-hug welcome from President Donald Trump and ended with a visit to the exclusive members-only Mar-a-Largo resort in Palm Beach, Florida. The two leaders […]

Editorial: North Korea’s Missile Launch and its Test for Regional Cooperation

Just as the leaders of Japan and the United States were meeting to reaffirm their alliance, North Korea launched an intermediate-range ballistic missile into the Sea of Japan. Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and President Donald Trump then held an impromptu press conference where they strongly condemned the launch and confirmed that their two countries would […]

How Fake News Can Topple a President

South Korea is now on the eve of a revolution. When the constitutional court hands down its impeachment judgment against President Park Geun-hye at the end of February or early March, and the next presidential election will be held within sixty days of the impeachment decision. What follows will have staggering consequences for peace on […]

Abe and Trump: A Good Start, but a Long Road Ahead

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s summit and golf outing with Donald Trump on February 10 and 11 could not have realistically gone much better. Expectations were admittedly low, but for good reason—Trump’s early relations with U.S. allies have gone poorly, like when he hung up early on the Australian prime minister after berating him about the […]

Building a Relationship with Trump is Abe’s Only Strategic Option

For the past 70 years, the only strand of diplomacy and foreign relations that has really, really mattered for Japanese governments has been the management and preservation of the country’s alliance with the United States. While other relationships—such as those with China, South Korea, partners with ASEAN, and most recently, Russia—have come in and out […]

Speak Loudly and Carry a Big Stick: Trump’s Asia Diplomacy and its Test for Japan

This will be Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s second meeting with President Donald J. Trump. Abe’s strategy is the correct one: he wants to build a familiarity with Trump through regular meetings, strengthening Japan-U.S. ties by engaging in direct diplomacy with the president himself. In the Trump administration, it will be the president who does all […]