The Choice Facing Kesennuma: To Live With the Sea, or Against It?

The following was originally published as part of the Japan Institute for National Fundamentals‘s “Speaking Out” series. It is republished with their permission.   The fifth ocean memorial service for victims in the Great East Japan Earthquake took place in Kesennuma Bay of Miyagi Prefecture in the spring of last year. Kesennuma suffered severe damage […]

Trump’s Presidency and the Revenge of the Swamp

“Drain the Swamp” is a clarion call repeatedly issued by U.S. president Donald Trump on his campaign trail all the way to the White House. This ambitious slogan aims to eliminate Washington’s existing political interests and puts Trump on an inevitable collision course with the Beltway’s gargantuan state machinery. Given the revolutionary nature of Trump’s […]

Reopening the Abduction Case Files – Part Five: “Something strange is happening along the Sea of Japan”

This article originally appeared in the Sankei Shimbun morning edition, September 4, 2012.    A suspected case of an abduction carried out by North Korea was confirmed as fact at a summit between the leaders of Japan and North Korea in 2002. Sankei Shimbun had already reported the case 23 years earlier.   On January […]

Reopening the Abduction Case Files – Part Four: “Maybe our child is alive too…”

This article originally appeared in the Sankei Shimbun morning edition, September 3, 2012. All ages and dates are counted from that date.   At a Japan-North Korea summit, then-Supreme Leader Kim Jong-Il admitted to abducting Japanese people and asserted that five abductees were still alive. Of those, the Japanese side had been unsuccessfully tracking the […]

Editorial: Time for the United States and Japan to Cooperate on the Abduction Issue

North Korea chose the moment of the U.S.-Japan summit meeting to launch intermediate-range ballistic missiles into the Sea of Japan, and soon after assassinated Kim Jong-nam, the elder half-brother of Korean Workers’ Party chairman Kim Jong-un. Both instances are grim reminders of the violent and unpredictable nature of the government across the Sea of Japan. […]

Reopening the Abduction Case Files – Part Three: Whose Bones?

This article originally appeared in the Sankei Shimbun morning edition, September 2, 2012. All ages and dates are counted from that date.   In 2004, North Korea handed over what it claimed were the remains of Megumi Yokota. By that time, nearly two years had passed since then-Supreme Leader Kim Jong-Il had admitted that Megumi […]

Reopening the Abduction Case Files – Part Two: How North Korea Used Megumi as a Bargaining Tool

This article originally appeared in the Sankei Shimbun morning edition, September 1, 2012. All ages and dates are counted from that date.   Megumi Yokota, who was abducted by North Korean agents as she was coming home after middle school badminton practice, is representative of North Korea’s abduction victims. If her case is brought to […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]