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The Turnabout of Japan’s Security Policy: Toward “Proactive Pacifism”Kitaoka Shin’ichi

At the end of 2013 the establishment of the National Security Council, the formulation of a National Security Strategy, and other moves shed light on new developments in Japan’s security policy. Kitaoka Shin’ichi, president of the International University of Japan, who played a leading role in the policy-making process for these measures, explains the trajectory of recent developments.

Timeline for March 2014

Japan’s Paralympic athletes bring home six medals from Sochi; Osaka takes the country’s highest skyscraper crown from Tokyo; Japan makes moves on the diplomatic front; and an ICJ ruling halts the country’s whaling program. Here’s an overview of what happened in March 2014.

Japan, Korea Participate in First Summit Since 2012

On March 25, trilateral talks among the leaders of Japan, South Korea and the United States were held in The Hague. Convened at the request of US President Barack Obama, the talks were the first formal meeting between Japanese Prime Minister Abe Shinzō and South Korean President Park Geun-hye since the two took office. Will this prove to be a step toward a more lasting thaw in relations between these neighbors? Here we trace some of the notable recent developments that led to this stage.

First Year of Abenomics Boosts All Economic Indicators

Since returning to office on December 26, 2012, Prime Minister Abe Shinzō has targeted economic recovery through his Abenomics policies. The first year has seen improvements in all areas, but what issues remain?

Timeline for January 2014

Prime Minister Abe Shinzō's busy schedule takes him to Africa, Switzerland, and India; the Tokyo governor race begins to heat up; and scientist Obokata Haruko announces a potentially major discovery in cell biology. Review the events that shaped Japan in January 2014.

State Secrets Protection Law Passes Diet

A state secrets protection law aimed at safeguarding classified information on foreign affairs and security was promulgated on December 6, 2013. The government regards the law and the newly created National Security Council as the two indispensable pillars of Japan’s security and defense strategy. Meanwhile, the government must deal with the challenge of striking a legal balance between national security and citizens’ right to know.

China’s Rise in a Shifting World Economy: Divergence Between the East Asian and Global ViewsShiraishi Takashi

Happy New Year from Nippon.com. We look forward to your readership over the year to come. As we start 2014, I would like to write about some major long-term developments, namely, the ongoing shift in the world economy and the rise of China. First I would ask you to look at the table below, which presents the changing shares of some major countries and groups of countries in the world economy fr…

State Secrets Protection Law Passes Tense Diet

After a fierce tug-of-war in the Diet, a law to protect specially designated state secrets was passed on December 6, 2013. The government and ruling parties, in a hurry to set out rules for protecting classified information pertaining to foreign policy and national security, met with strong backlash from the opposition, who argued that such a law would jeopardize citizens’ right to know. The rulin…

Japan Launches Its Own National Security CouncilHarano Jōji

On November 27, 2013, the Diet passed a bill to establish a National Security Council, which will serve as the command center for Japan’s diplomatic and security policies and national strategy. Modeled after the US National Security Council, it is known as the Japanese NSC. Under the leadership of the Kantei (the prime minister’s office), within which it has been set up, the council will engage in…

The Impact of Koizumi’s Call for Zero Nuclear PowerHarano Jōji

At a press conference held at the Japan National Press Club in Tokyo on November 12, 2013, former Prime Minister Koizumi Jun’ichirō discussed his position on nuclear power. In view of the March 2011 disaster at the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station, Koizumi said, zero nuclear power can be achieved—if only Prime Minister Abe Shinzō makes the decision. Regarding timing, he said, “We should go …

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