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 […]

There Will Be Nothing Easy about a U.S.-Japan Free Trade Agreement

Now that Donald Trump has followed through on his campaign promise to withdraw the United States from the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), hopes for trade liberalization between the United States and Japan have shifted to a potential bilateral free-trade agreement. Bilateral FTAs are the preferred vehicle for Trump’s new economic team because it is easier for each […]

Maps: What are the Northern Territories?

The Northern Territories (part of an island chain called the Kuril Islands in Russian) are a set of four islands off the northeastern coast of Hokkaido, Japan’s northernmost prefecture. Originally inhabited by the indigenous Ainu, they were later used by Japanese, Russians, and Americans as bases for fishing and whaling. Japanese administration over the four […]

There’s Plenty of Reason to Be Afraid of President Trump

Donald Trump has the potential to represent a complete break with U.S. foreign policy since the end of World War II (and many other things), not least regarding the U.S. relationship with Japan. In abstract, such a break could be useful or even welcome—there are many aspects of the alliance that deserve reevaluation, including the […]