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Methinks the Nation Doth Protest . . . How Much?David McMahon

Japan, the popular consensus goes, is a country in which congruence and harmony are valued above all else. For many years I accepted this wisdom at face value and assumed that this tendency lay behind the seeming absence from Japanese society of any sort of large-scale civil disobedience, the strikes and demonstrations that are a periodic occurrence elsewhere in the world. Gradually, though, I fo…

The Illusion of “Rising Nationalism”: Internationalism and Xenophobia in Today’s JapanKarube Tadashi

Both in Japan and overseas, journalists have been expressing concern about the rise of nationalism under Prime Minister Abe Shinzō. A political scientist questions the validity of these worries.

Abe’s Moves Toward Collective Self-Defense

On July 1, 2014, Prime Minister Abe Shinzō’s cabinet adopted a resolution to reinterpret the Constitution to allow Japan to exercise the right to collective self-defense. What does this reinterpretation entail, and what are the security ramifications?

Moves Toward Lowering Japan’s Corporate Taxes

Japan is set to lower its corporate tax rate in fiscal 2015 to improve the competitiveness of its companies and encourage inbound corporate investment. Prime Minister Abe Shinzō proposed new economic and fiscal policy measures, including tax revision, in June; the blueprint is to lower the effective rate, now 35.64% for companies based in Tokyo to under 30%.

A Nascent Democratic Axis for AsiaBrahma Chellaney

Narendra Modi, who recently became prime minister of India, is scheduled to visit Japan later this summer. Geostrategist Brahma Chellaney revisits the Indo-Japanese relationship and finds it thriving on both the economic and security fronts. What is the strategic outlook for these partners moving forward?

Timeline for May 2014

Prime Minister Abe Shinzō completes a six-nation tour of Europe, a manga series spurs debate over Fukushima, and Japan enjoys a day of sporting triumph. Review the major news stories of May 2014.

Japan One Step Closer to Collective Self-Defense?

On May 15, 2014, Prime Minister Abe Shinzō gave a press conference after receiving a report from the Advisory Panel on Reconstruction of the Legal Basis for Security, an advisory body to the prime minister. Regarding the use of the right of collective self-defense, in which the Self-Defense Forces would use arms to counter an attack on an ally, he said the government would study the proposal further with an eye to permitting it in a limited manner.

The Pressures of Change: The Office of Prime Minister in the United Kingdom and JapanTakayasu Kensuke

Although Japan and the United Kingdom both use a parliamentary system, the position of the prime minister differs significantly. As the role of the Japanese prime minister becomes increasingly important, political scientist Takayasu Kensuke looks at the weaknesses of the present system through a comparison with the situation in the United Kingdom.

Nostalgia for the Pragmatic Conservatism of Tanaka KakueiHayano Tōru

Tanaka Kakuei is enjoying a resurgence in popularity, two decades following his death in 1993. The factors behind the revival are analyzed by J.F. Oberlin University Professor Hayano Tōru who covered the Shadow Shogun for 20 years as a political reporter.

The Japan-US Security Partnership: An Overview

In a region home to a China whose military and economic might is on the rise and an unpredictable North Korea, the US alliance with Japan is more significant than ever. President Obama’s visit this month shed light on a Japan-US alliance that has grown tighter and stronger in recent years.

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