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Pew Survey Sheds Light on Regional Sentiment in Asia-Pacific

In September, the Pew Research Center released the finding of its 2015 Global Attitudes Survey exposing a discrepancy in how Japan is viewed by its Asia-Pacific neighbors. While only 12% in China and 25% in South Korea saw Japan favorably, over 70% of other countries in the region had a positive view.

Interpreting Abe’s War Anniversary Statement

On August 14, 2015, Prime Minister Abe issued a statement on the seventieth anniversary of the end of World War II. Three Nippon.com advisory board members who played key roles in drafting the report on which the statement was based discuss its significance, overseas reaction, and likely impact on East Asian relations.

Abe Returned as LDP President in Uncontested Election

Prime Minister Abe Shinzō has won a new three-year term as president of the Liberal Democratic Party. The campaign for the LDP presidency was due to start on September 8, but as no other candidates filed by that date, the election was decided without the vote that had been scheduled for September 20. The LDP has selected a president 41 times over the years since it was formed in 1955, but this i…

Abe’s Growth-First Fiscal PolicyTobias Harris

On June 30, the Council on Economic and Fiscal Policy, the Japanese government’s leading economic advisory council, issued the 2015 version of its Basic Policies for Economic and Fiscal Management and Reform. This is a blueprint for the government’s economic policy agenda for the current fiscal year and the following fiscal year’s budgetary process, which starts in the summer. While drafting the…

Seoul’s Last-Minute Campaign to Derail Japan’s World Heritage BidKimura Kan

The dispute between Japan and South Korea regarding historical perceptions became the source of a major tussle over the bid for inclusion of the “Sites of Japan’s Meiji Industrial Revolution” in the World Heritage List. The sites were added to the list, but meanwhile Seoul won international attention for its position on Japan’s wartime conscription of Korean laborers.

Abe Opens a Door with Carefully Crafted War Anniversary StatementDaniel Sneider

Prime Minister Abe Shinzō’s August 14 statement should be judged, in my view, against two important criteria: whether it shows a genuine effort to reflect upon and draw lessons from Japan’s wartime past; and whether it contributes to the improvement of relations in Northeast Asia and creates opportunities for reconciliation between Japan and China and Korea. The statement advances both of those go…

Hiroshima’s Transformation from Military Center to Symbol of Peace and Tool of DiplomacyShinoda Hideaki

The city of Hiroshima encountered an unspeakable fate as a staging ground for Japan’s war effort and has achieved impressive recovery as an inspirational icon of peace. Hiroshima’s nuclear victimization is more pertinent than ever as Japanese seek to come to terms with their wartime past. The author examines that pertinence in the context of Japan’s postwar pacifism.

Abe Statement Set to Face History?Nippon.com Staff

NHK today reports on the likely content of Prime Minister Abe Shinzō’s August 15 statement to mark the seventieth anniversary of the end of World War II. According to an informed source, the text of the Abe statement will include certain key phrases from previous prime ministers’ statements, including those by Murayama Tomiichi in 1995 and Koizumi Jun’ichirō in 2005. The source states that the cu…

The Abe Government Grapples with Low IT InvestmentTobias Harris

Since returning to power in December 2012, Japanese Prime Minister Abe Shinzō has struggled to advance the so-called “third arrow” of Abenomics, which includes both structural reforms to transform the Japanese economy and an industrial policy that uses state power to foster new industries. Perhaps the tip of that arrow—and a key to its advancement—is information technology policy. In fact, as Abe’…

Asian-Americans and Japan’s History IssuesDavid Leheny

Prime Minister Abe Shinzō’s speech to a joint session of Congress during his recent US visit was well received, not least due to his expressions of remorse for World War II with reference to battles in which US soldiers were killed. Lukewarm statements regarding wartime atrocities in Asia, however, could also go beyond regional politics and affect US-Japan relations. Because so many Asian-Americans are among those engaged in Japanese studies, insufficient concern for Asian sentiments risks alienating potential students and diminishing future US interest in Japan.

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