How Trustworthy are Chinese Statistics? China Inflates GDP Figures by $478 Billion in 2017

The National Bureau of Statistics of China, based on its own independent analysis of the 2017 GDP data—reported as of February 3, 2018, by each of the 31 provincial governments—discovered that the preliminary total Chinese GDP reported on January 18 had been inflated by more than 2,976.9 billion yuan (about 52 trillion JPY, or 478 billion […]

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 […]

History Wars: China Ignores Facts to Weaponize the Past

  Late last year, according to multiple sources, the Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs invited the ambassadors of at least 16 countries to a December 13th ceremony at the Nanjing Massacre Memorial Hall.   “The nation’s chairman is expected to attend,” the invitation read, “so those ambassadors attending the memorial ceremony may afterwards be able […]

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 […]

Editorial: Japan Should Not Ignore China’s Real Intent at Senkaku

  Refusing to hide its ambition to take the Japanese sovereign territory of the Senkaku Islands (Okinawa Prefecture), China was not content with just sending Chinese Coast Guard vessels into the waters off Senkaku, so it also sent Chinese Navy vessels on January 10th to 11th, 2018.       The Japan Self-Defense Forces observed […]

After Trump’s Asia Trip, A Need for Ambitious Regional Strategy

  Douglas H. Paal, Vice President for Studies at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, spoke with the Sankei Shimbun’s Washington correspondent Hiroyuki Kano. As a former White House Asia specialist, Paal emphasized the need for an ambitious regional strategy after President Donald Trump’s Asia trip in November 2017.       How do you […]

Yuan Diplomacy: Panama Cuts Ties with Taiwan in Favor of the Mainland

People celebrate Christmas in Panama   Panama has received munificent rewards from Beijing for its decision to formally cut all diplomatic relations with Taiwan in favor of the Mainland. The joint statement of the People’s Republic of China and the Republic of Panama occurred in Beijing on November 17th and was unusually cryptic, symbolizing the […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]