Japan

When and Whether National Security Plays a Role in Trade

Arguing the need to preserve national security in justifying taking protectionist action is hardly new. In fact, it can be an effective tool to keep critical industries robust and make sure that otherwise vulnerable sectors remain resilient to hostile bids. What’s more, economic war can be wagered against serious threats that jeopardize national security not through imposing punitive tariffs, but rather by being banned from doing business. The challenge though is to know what tools to use and when, against real threats, rather than imaginary ones. 

The Cost of Inconsistent Trade Policy

How China might retaliate against Washington’s threats to impose tariffs on a slew of Chinese goods in late May as part of a strategy to reduce the trade deficit has yet to play out. But some of the Trump administration’s fiercest critics have welcomed the White House’s move to impose a 25 percent tariff on $50 billion worth of Chinese goods on critical sectors, in addition to imposing investment restrictions.

U.S. National Security Strategy: Implications for the U.S.-Japan Alliance

Tensions continue to rise in East Asia, not least with the continued threat of a nuclear North Korea, coupled with China’s ever-growing military, economic, and political aspirations for regional hegemony. Expectations for Japan to play a critical role to ensure peace and stability have increased as a result, and strong ties between Tokyo and Washington remain critical for the two sides to work closely together.

U.S. Trade, North Korea Policies Bring Asia’s Biggest Economies to Table

North Korea continues to dominate the headlines as all eyes are now on Kim Jong-un’s upcoming meeting with President Donald Trump. But while Pyongyang’s overtures to the outside world have repercussions for peace far beyond East Asia, there is also another significant development in the region that has not garnered as much media attention as what is happening in the Korean Peninsula, but is at least as significant for the region in the longer term. 

Catch-Up: Read the Latest Research and Commentary from the Asia Program

At the Asia Program, our experts and scholars are always producing new research and analysis on a rapidly changing region.  Our most recent pieces look at North Korea, Japan, China, and Taiwan to explore foreign policy, diplomacy, military strategy, and trade.  All of our reports are available for download on our website.  You can also sign up for our mailing lists to be updated about upcoming events, recent publications, and other news. 

Death of a Bromance?

As Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe prepares to visit Washington later this month, it’s clear that his upcoming meeting with President Trump won’t be an easy one, to say the least. At his previous meetings with the U.S. president, issues of potential conflict were averted to concentrate instead on the positive relationship. This time around, though, conflict will be inevitable since there will be a number of must-gets by Abe in order for the talks to be deemed as a success.

Japan’s Strategic Power in International Relations

The so-called lost two decades of Japan’s economic power since the early 1990s have generated the idea that Japan is no longer a significant player. Instead, policymakers and academics alike now focus far more on the rise of China. In Re-rising Japan: Its Strategic Power in International Relations,  Yoichiro Sato and Hidekazu Sakai challenge this idea head-on with evidence that Japan is actually a major power in today’s international relations where the interests and power of the United States and China have increasingly clashed over many issues.

The Future of Global Trade under CPTPP

On his first day in office, President Donald Trump formally withdrew the United States from the Trans-Pacific Partnership agreement that had been championed by his predecessor.  Just over one year later, the leaders of the eleven countries left behind by this decision gathered in Santiago, Chile to commit to a partnership of their own dubbed the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) or TPP 11.

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