The US and Vietnam: Old Enemies, New Friends?

  America’s eight-year military intervention came to a rather ignominious end as the last United States combat forces withdrew from South Vietnam on March 29, 1973. Having already violated the ceasefire, the North Vietnamese—who had fought nearly 20 years to see their country united—seized the opportunity and launched a massive offensive. The southern capital, Saigon, […]

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 […]

Leaving Europe, UK is Now Bound for Asia

  When British Prime Minister Teresa May visited Japan last August, she and Japanese Defense Minister Itsunori Onodera had an exchange about their countries’ “long history of cooperation in the defense and security sector.”   The Anglo-Japanese Alliance was established in 1902. Given Japan’s lack of ship building expertise at the time, it had many […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]