Should Washington Get Tough on China? Here Are Things to Consider

  Tracking the debate over China policy in Washington shows remarkable hardening over the past two years. There are now routine calls for a United States pushback and toughening against expansionist and predatory Chinese practices carried out by an increasingly assertive and challenging Communist party-led dictatorship.   Those arguing for continuing constructive engagement are on […]

How Beijing’s Push for China-Centric Asia Impacts the Indo-Pacific

    The latest China Security Report published by Japan’s National Institute for Defense Studies (NIDS) in February aims to analyze China’s military and security affairs from a mid- to long-term perspective. It assesses the development of China’s foreign and security policy towards the United States and vice versa, and the overall China-US relationship in East Asia. […]

Why China Is Stepping Up Quest for the Senkakus in 2018

  On January 11th, the Japanese government confirmed spotting a submerged Chinese submarine near Japan’s territorial waters as it entered the 24 nautical miles (44 km) contiguous zone east-northeast of Miyako Island—located in Japan’s Okinawa prefecture—around the Senkaku Islands in the East China Sea. Expectedly, temperatures have been soaring high in Tokyo’s political corridors in […]

Which Country’s Interests Does Nikai’s Pro-China Diplomacy Serve?

    As a foreign correspondent for most of the several decades of my journalism career, following trends in the Japan-United States-China trilateral relationship has been instructive in virtually every post.   One of the interesting observations I have made is that whenever the US-China relationship deteriorates, and the Japan-US alliance becomes stronger, one particular […]

Testing the United States: China and the Senkakus

  Despite the brief hiatus in tensions between Japan and China over the Senkakus—islands historically owned and administered by Japan but in recent decades claimed by China—the issue is flaring up again. Two Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) ships, including a submarine, entered the contiguous waters next to the islands and another island group in […]

Nuclear Arsenal for Deterrence: JCPAC Highlights Japan’s Growing Security Challenges

Many expected North Korea to conduct yet another missile test last December 17, the sixth anniversary of Kim Jong Il’s death. Such tests have, rather worryingly, become something of a regular occurrence for Japan, with a North Korean intermediate-range missile passing over Hokkaido in August and September.   Although no such test happened, the United […]

Editorial: Time For A Hardline Approach to Diplomacy With China

  We must prepare to be increasingly vigilant and undertake a hardline approach to diplomacy, commensurate with an abnormally centralized power and the destruction of the international order.   With the close of the 19th Party Congress of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP), the elected party leadership has consolidated the rule of Chinese President Xi […]

Fishermen on Senkaku Islands: Why Do Japanese Have To Withdraw From Japanese Territory?

    September 11 marked the 5th anniversary of the nationalization of the Senkaku Islands (part of Ishigaki City, Okinawa Prefecture) that had previously been privately owned.   Since then, China Coast Guard ships sailing through the waters around the islands have become the norm, and China has boasted that it has broken de facto […]

“We can’t allow China’s expansionism to go on” —Diet Representative Harada

China has been aggressively pursuing territorial expansion in the South China Sea, building military bases and repeatedly entering Japan’s territorial waters around the Senkaku Islands (Ishigaki City, Okinawa). It does so in complete disregard of a June 2008 agreement with Japan for the joint development of gas fields in the area. In fact, China has […]