Big Majority of Japanese Favor Proposed Long-range Cruise Missiles – Sankei-FNN Poll

  Positive responses to the government’s proposed acquisition of long-range cruise missiles exceeded 68.5%, dwarfing those thought the “acquisition is unnecessary” (28.7%), the latest poll conducted by the Sankei Shimbun and the Fuji News Network (FNN) showed.   However, opinions were divided over what circumstances the long-range cruise missiles should be used in. Of the […]

What is Japan Doing as Its Enemies Provoke Divisions With America?

  As North Korea continues upgrading its intercontinental strike capacity, the United States and South Korea are responding with largescale military drills. But China’s expansionism and Japan’s shrinking population and weakening power are continuing apace while, within America, political divisions are growing steadily worse. This is a challenging security environment for Japan in which no […]

As Sign of Goodwill, President Putin Returns Swords to Japan

The sword presented by Russian President Putin to Prime Minister Abe was displayed at the Dai Token Ichi on November 2017.   During a summit meeting in Vladivostok, Russia, in September 2016, Russian President Vladamir Putin presented Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe with a Japanese sword. Abe also presented Putin with an antique samurai helmet. […]

An Interview with Kazuo Ishiguro: Manga, AI, and Other Sources of Inspiration

Kazuo Ishiguro speaks at the Banquet in the Blue Hall of the Stockholm City Hall on December 10, 2017.   After being awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature 2017, Kazuo Ishiguro—a Japanese-born, British novelist and screenwriter—talked with members of the press in Stockholm, Sweden on December 6, just four days prior to the award ceremony. He […]

Free and Open Indo-Pacific Crucial to Japan’s Continued Economic Success

  Of late, the term “Indo-Pacific” has gained increasing currency, as seen during the recent Asian tour of United States President Donald Trump. India’s importance in the US foreign policy calculus has been increasing progressively, as seen in a major policy speech delivered by US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson. He remarked that “the United […]

Deaths of Abductees’ Family Members Put Pressure on Japanese Government

  Charles Jenkins, former United States military deserter, and the husband of North Korean abductee Hitomi Soga (58 by now), died of a lethal arrhythmia at a Saga hospital in Niigata Prefecture on December 11th. He was 77 years old.       On December 12th, Nobuko Masumoto, the mother of Rumiko Masumoto (64 by […]

Japan’s Cruise Missile Plans Not Against Self-Defense Policy — Onodera

  In a morning press conference held on December 8th, Defense Minister Itsunori Onodera officially announced plans to acquire funding for the procurement of a long-range cruise missile system for fighter aircraft in the 2018 draft budget.   The minister explained the reasoning behind this procurement, saying, “Given that they can be employed from beyond an […]

Will Japan Emerge as Champion of A Free and Open Indo-Pacific?

  Whether one considers Shinzo Abe’s decision to call a snap election in October and Donald Trump’s Asian trip in November successes or not, many Japanese and Americans believe, correctly in my view, that North Korea is the most immediate threat which cannot be ignored. However, China is the more serious medium to long-term concern that will […]