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Archive for the tag “Tokyo”

Obama Flexing Muscles, Finally

In reality China has made plain that, while it is happy to bully lesser states such as the Philippines, it has little appetite yet for an open confrontation with the United States which can still–but for how much longer?–bring overwhelming naval and air assets to bear in the western Pacific.

Read Here – Commentary

Megacity Mayhem

Due to unprecedented urbanization around the world, future population growth will be overwhelmingly concentrated in lower- and middle-income settings. And this is giving rise to sprawling cities – and slums – some of whom are emerging as geopolitical actors in their own right. Transformations in urban geography are thus precipitating changes in global governance.

Read Here – OpenCanada

Talking Tokyo Or Tokyo Talking?

There is a lot going for India’s relations with Japan if New Delhi can overlook the Dragon in the room and get on with what it needs to do to ensure its economic and diplomatic rise.

Read Here – Indian Express

China And The US-Japan Military Alliance

The emergence of the People’s Republic of China as an increasingly significant military power in the Western Pacific presents major implications for Japan, the U.S.-Japan alliance, and regional security. But a comprehensive assessment of the current and possible future impact of China’s military capabilities and foreign security policies on Tokyo and the alliance, along with a detailed examination of the capacity and willingness of both the United States and Japan to respond to this challenge, is missing from the current debate. Such an analysis is essential for Washington and Tokyo to better evaluate the best approaches for maintaining deterrence credibility and regional stability over the long term.

Read Here – Carnegie Endowment for International Peace

Northeast Asia’s Free Trade Dream

Amid a storm of bluster and posturing in East Asia, there has been scarce analysis on recent attempts at regional integration. Despite this, the rising tensions on the Korean Peninsula have actually served to temporarily move the microscope away from maritime security issues and territorial disputes in favor of punditry over Pyongyang’s nuclear wish list. This has subsequently provided diplomats in region, especially those in Beijing and Tokyo, with the necessary breathing room to soften the tone of their vitriolic exchanges of the past year.

Read Here – The Diplomat

Japan And South Korea: They Should Join Hands

One of the reasons why Tokyo’s relations with Seoul have been downplayed is that both sides, with newly-minted leaders, are playing a delicate political game of “no news is good news” in hopes of burying their vitriolic exchange of diplomatic barbs during previous administrations. The strategic partnership between Japan and South Korea has deteriorated to the point where several U.S. officials were at one point questioning whether trilateral engagement with Seoul and Tokyo was even worth the effort.

Read Here – The Diplomat

Raising the Senkaku stakes?

One question typically receives little attention in connection with the ongoing dispute between Japan and China over the Senkaku Islands. That question is, what’s in it for the parties involved?

To the extent this question is asked, China is accused of pursuing an aggressive if not expansionist military policy abroad while invoking nationalism at home to deflect criticism of its one-party Communist rule. And, of course, reference is made to China’s voracious appetite for the energy resources thought to lie beneath the ocean floor adjacent to the islands.

Read Here – Japan Times

Why Tokyo’s New Government Is More Pragmatic Than Hawkish

Over the past year, as Japan has engaged in ugly territorial tussles with China and South Korea, outside observers have fretted about the country’s shift to the right. That trend seemed to be confirmed by the election of the conservative Shinzo Abe, who returned to office as prime minister last December, having previously served in that role in 2006-7. Given Abe’s hawkish statements on the campaign trail, some concluded that his return to power meant that Japan would suddenly turn the page on the pacifist strategy it has pursued since World War II, charting a more muscular and nationalistic course. The Economist boldly asserted that Abe’s “scarily right-wing” cabinet is full of “radical nationalists,” which “bodes ill for the region.” According to this narrative, Tokyo will look to further contain China and North Korea and take a tougher diplomatic stance with South Korea and Russia.

Read Here – Foreign Affairs

Keynes, Trains and Automobiles

FOR 35 years the steel bolts holding up the ceiling of Sasago Tunnel, on a busy toll road west of Tokyo, were never checked. On December 2nd more than 600 of them had worked themselves so loose that a 130-metre stretch of the roof collapsed, crushing nine motorists.

The disaster played into the hands of Shinzo Abe, who two days later launched his successful campaign to become prime minister partly on a promise of renovating Japan’s rusting infrastructure. As promised, on January 10th Mr Abe approved a massive public-spending bonanza, expected to exceed ¥13 trillion ($150 billion)—more than was spent in emergency measures after the 2011 earthquake, and about 2.6% of GDP.

Read Here – The Economist

Reviving Japan’s Economy With ‘Devil Wives’

After her son was born, Terue Suzuki moved back to her childhood home on weekdays so she could work while her sister cared for the baby, leaving her husband alone in the house they shared. “It was like a weekend marriage,” Suzuki says of the arrangement 14 years ago. “I had a satisfying job and really wanted to go back to it. In Japan, when a woman chooses work instead of staying at home to look after her husband, she’s called a ‘devil wife.’ ”

To spur the country’s moribund economy, Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda aims to boost the proportion of working women aged 25 to 44 to 73 percent by 2020, from 66.5 percent in 2010.Limited day care, peer pressure, and job inflexibility mean Suzuki remains a minority in Japan, where 70 percent of women quit work with the birth of their first child, says Nana Oishi, a professor at Sophia University in Tokyo. In the U.S., about a third of new mothers don’t return to work, according to a 2010 Goldman Sachs (GS) report.

Read Here – Businessweek

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