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 […]

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 […]

Japan Returns Rescued North Koreans, But Why Can’t It Get Abducted Citizens Back?

  The late Akira Yoshimura authored a short story called “The Captain Wept.” In it, the captain of a drifting fishing vessel writes his will as his crew continue to die one after another.   “Listen to what your father says. Do not become a fisherman, even when you grow older. Please become smart, for […]

Can Terror Tag Pressure North Korea to Release Japanese Abductees?

  Will this be a means for progress on the abduction issue?   On November 20th the United States announced that, once again, it was designating North Korea as a state sponsor of terrorism. It has been nine years since North Korea was last designated as such.     Economic aid to countries designated as sponsors of terrorism is […]

Bumpy Road Ahead for ‘Quad’ Initiative of US, Japan, Australia, India

Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, left, US President Donald Trump and Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull attend a trilateral meeting at ASEAN.      A recent meeting between officials from the United States, Japan, Australia, and India on the sidelines of the 31st ASEAN Summit and has set the news circles aflutter not only in these countries, but […]

Trump’s Foreign Policy: A Free and Open Indo-Pacific

  President Donald Trump has just ended a surprisingly successful five-country first visit to Asia. His marathon 12-day tour began on a positive note with a warm reception by Japan’s government and people. There was much curiosity, but no demonstrations against, surrounding his visit—unlike those which occurred in the ROK and the Philippines. Regardless, there was […]

‘Worst Scenario’ is North Korea Hacking into US Nuclear Command, Says Former Navy Chief

  North Korea is developing not only ballistic missiles and nuclear weapon technologies, but also cyber attack capabilities. How far have so-called North Korean “cyber soldiers” come?   Professor Richard Danzig, the former United States Navy chief and senior fellow of Yale Jackson Institute for Global Affairs, sat down recently with Kazuyuki Sakamoto, a staff […]

To Counter China’s Belt and Road Initiative, Japan, India Can Look to Iran’s Chabahar Port

  India recently sent over its first shipment of wheat to Afghanistan via Chabahar Port in Iran, marking a new beginning as far as economic interconnectivity in the region is concerned. The opening of this new route allows New Delhi access to not only land-locked Afghanistan, but also the energy-rich nations of Central Asia.   The […]