Japan

The Storied Past of “Denuclearization”

The word is not unique to the Korean Peninsula, but could achieve new significance because of it

"Da, da" or "nyet, nyet"? Brezhnev, Tanaka, and the Unresolved Russo-Japanese Territorial Dispute

Judging by the frequency of meetings between Prime Minister Abe Shinzo of Japan and the Russian President Vladimir Putin, Russo-Japanese relations are as friendly and robust as they had ever been.

True, the economic indicators continue to disappoint. Bilateral trade has only just begun to recover from the steep post-2013 plunge but remains a very long way off the historic highs of 33 billion USD. Japanese foreign direct investment – about 2 billion dollars – is miserly even by Russia’s investor-unfriendly standards.

Rethinking Peace in Japan

Peace studies isn’t a phrase that gets bandied about much in U.S. media, especially when it comes to remembering the past. For Americans, remembrance of the Second World War in particular is an opportunity to hail the bravery of the greatest generation, and to celebrate the leadership of the United States in bringing about peace and stability in the aftermath of global conflict. 

Demographic Challenges in Asian Pensions

Paying for pensions is vital to the quality of life for future retirees in Asia.  It's also an issue of great political and economic importance to current and future policy makers in the region.  They are currently wrestling with the dual problems of growing population in the poorest of countries while more developed Asia powers face the quickly approaching reality of rapid aging and declining population. 

Testing Friendships in Times of Trouble

From earthquakes to tsunamis, Japan has always been vulnerable to natural disasters. Its latest crisis, though, stems not from being in the midst of the Pacific’s Ring of Fire and the plate tectonics, but from a record-breaking downpour of rain. Over 200 people have died after a torrential downpour west of the country earlier this month. As the government steps up emergency responses to deal with the aftermath of the floods, it’s clear that Japan’s vulnerabilities to natural disasters has only increased.

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. 

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