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Japan

Reassessing Isolationism: Clarifying Japanese Security Policy

Japan is now a global military power and principle actor in an increasingly contentious East Asia. As a perennial top-ten military spender—ninth in the world during 2019—Japan is a far cry from the nominal “Self-Defense Force” granted to them under the 1954 Mutual Defense Assistance Agreement. An ever-expanding array of new military capabilities has prompted the Japanese state and public as well as the international community to reassess the nation’s identity and role in the international community.

Closing the Gap: Improving Early Warning for Climate Security Risks in the Pacific

Pacific Island countries (PICs) are uniquely vulnerable to the effects of climate extremes, variability, and change, including sea-level rise, coastal erosion, El Niño events, extreme weather, and ocean acidification. PIC communities have shown remarkable and long-standing resilience in the face of both physical and social risks. At the same time, many PICs are geographically isolated and remote, heavily aid-dependent, distant from global trade networks, and have limited access to freshwater and natural resources.

Secret Mission: Understanding South Korea-Japan Tensions Through a Popular South Korean Film

It’s a dramatic scene: Japanese police armed with rifles chase two young Korean men down the street in colonial-era Seoul. They finally catch them, killing them execution-style. The men’s crime: making a Korean language dictionary, then considered an illegal act of defiance by the Japanese government, which had banned Koreans from using their native language.

Japan's Global Economic Leadership Beyond the G20

Over the past two years, Japan has emerged as a global leader in forging ahead with multilateral trade agreements, and as such taking on a greater role in ensuring that free, fair, and open markets prevail. At the same time, there are growing expectations for Japan to take on a larger role that goes beyond trade to ensure economic stability worldwide, and act as a global stabilizer amid growing uncertainties.

Myths and Realities of Japan’s Security Policy

Is Japan moving away from pacifism toward militarism in light of changing realities facing East Asia? Can the U.S.-Japan alliance continue to meet the region’s security needs? Should Japan play a greater role for international security if it revises its constitution? Join us for a discussion on these issues as the Wilson Center’s Global Fellow Narushige Michishita attempts to demystify Japan’s security policy.

The Ambiguous U.S.-Japan Trade Deal, Lost in Translation

At first blush, Japan and United States succeeded in paving the way to reach a much-anticipated bilateral trade deal on the sidelines of the latest G7 summit. Both Prime Minister Abe and President Trump could seemingly claim a victory and both countries could look forward to signing a final, win-win agreement by late September.

Sovereignty Experiments: Korean Migrants and the Building of Borders in Northeast Asia, 1860-1945

Sovereignty Experiments tells the story of how authorities in Korea, Russia, China, and Japan―through diplomatic negotiations, border regulations, legal categorization of subjects and aliens, and cultural policies―competed to control Korean migrants as they suddenly moved abroad by the thousands in the late nineteenth century. Alyssa M.

Beware Depending on Central Banks to Offset Trade Tension Costs

U.S. leadership in global trade and ensuring fair and open markets may be in question over the past two years. But when it comes to setting the tone in monetary policy, Washington clearly continues to be the indisputable leader. Amid much anticipation from financial markets, the U.S. Federal Reserve lowered interest rates for the first time in over a decade to stave off economic slowdown.

Behind Asia’s Other Trade War

While the trade war between Washington and Beijing has garnered significant attention, another trade war between two of the world’s largest and most advanced economies is heating up. Japan and South Korea are the world’s third- and twelfth-largest economies, respectively, representing an annual GDP of greater than $6.5 trillion. Yet trade friction between Tokyo and Seoul has intensified as a political standoff, rooted in history and inflamed by domestic politics on both sides, has begun to impact the economies of two critical American allies and global supply chains.

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