Behind Xi Jinping ‘Smiling Diplomacy’ Is a Strategy to Stop the Revision of Japan’s Constitution

  On his trip to Da Nang in central Vietnam, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe met with Chinese President Xi Jinping on the evening of November 11th, with both leaders vowing to further improve relations between their countries. The Prime Minister called for China to play a greater role in efforts to exert maximum pressure on North […]

Trump and Trade: Why Asia Has Much to Fear From US Protectionism

  A radical “America First” approach to trade is central to United States President Donald Trump’s foreign policy in Asia.   He speaks frequently of reaching “fair” trade arrangements, which benefit the US. In part, it was because of this and soon after Mr. Trump came to office that he blocked the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade agreement involving Japan—much to […]

Trump Rekindles the Hope of Abductees’ Return

  At a joint press conference on Monday, November 6th, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and United States President Donald Trump described the relationship between the two countries as something beyond an alliance, rather they called it a “bond.”   In part, this was forged during their meeting, just before the leaders faced the press, with the […]

Trump, Abe Promise to Secure Return of Japanese Abductees From North Korea

  Families of Japanese abducted by North Korean agents decades ago met with United States President Donald Trump and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe this Monday afternoon, November 6, at the Akasaka Palace in Moto-Akasaka, conveying their hopes for an eventual rescue of the still missing abductees.     Among them was Sakie Yokota, 81, mother of […]

Studies in Contrast: Abe’s Popular Mandate, Xi Jinping’s Monopoly of Power

  Democracies around the world have commonalities in terms of their approach and consequent connection with the masses or the electorate. Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is the latest case in point, as he secured a decisive and resounding mandate in Japan’s general election. Abe’s Liberal Democratic Party and its second-fiddle coalition partner, Komeito, have secured […]

Trump’s Asian Tour: Role of Japan’s Abe is to Drive a Wedge into US-China Agreement

President Donald Trump salutes during a welcome ceremony at U.S. Pacific Command (PACOM), Friday, Nov. 3, 2017, in Aiea, Hawaii. Trump begins a 5 country trip through Asia traveling to Japan, South Korea, China, Vietnam and the Philippians. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)     In his long speech during the recent 19th National Congress of the […]

After Landslide Victory, Abe Has To Deliver on Dealing with North Korean Crisis

  With the landslide election victory by the mainly-Liberal Democratic Party (LDP)-Komeito coalition, the foundation has been laid for Prime Minister Shinzo Abe to continue his medium- to long-term strategy.   Some analysts have said that the LDP win was due to the divided opposition. However, the bigger reason is probably voters’ judgment that only […]

‘Apologies Are Over’: Pearl Harbor Changes Views on US-Japan Relations

  When Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe visited Pearl Harbor, Daniel Martinez was his official host and guide. Martinez, the chief historian at the World War II Valor in the Pacific National Monument, remembers that Abe was particularly impressed by a plaque at the entrance to the museum.   Completely redone in 2010 under Martinez’ […]