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 […]

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 […]

Koike Challenges Tokyo’s LDP, Creating a New Kind of Opposition Politics

Less than 6 months since her sweeping victory in the Tokyo gubernatorial election, Yuriko Koike has not only cemented her popularity with the capital’s residents with her uncompromising approach to revealing corruption and graft in some of the city’s biggest and most expensive public projects; she has also positioned herself as a powerful figure in […]

Killing the Goose that Laid the Golden Egg? The Anti-Conspiracy Bill and the Future of the LDP-Komeito Coalition

The shadow of Trump looms large over 2017’s first session of the Diet, a 150-day ordinary session which kicked off on January 20th just hours before the new president was inaugurated in Washington. The Abe administration’s struggle to come to grips with the unpredictability and instability of Trump and his policies will dominate domestic headlines […]