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Abe Goes to Pearl Harbor: A Trip Prompted by Donald Trump?Teshima Ryūichi

On December 26–27, Prime Minister Abe Shinzō will visit Pearl Harbor, paying his respects at the war memorial with President Barack Obama by his side. Their final summit meeting aims to open a new chapter in a robust bilateral alliance—and making this an urgent task is the appearance in January of the administration of Donald Trump.
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Building Bridges: Japan’s Kakehashi Initiative Toward the FutureSuzanne Basalla

On April 28 in front of a “turn-away” crowd of well-wishers gathering on the South Lawn of the White House, US President Barack Obama and the First Lady Michelle Obama welcomed Prime Minister Abe Shinzō and Japan’s First Lady Abe Akie by warmly declaring the visit a “celebration of the ties of friendship and family that bind our peoples.” A few hours later, the two leaders issued their Joint Visio…
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Abe’s Groundbreaking US VisitNakayama Toshihiro

While many pundits have pronounced Prime Minister Abe’s recent visit to the United States a qualified success, Nakayama Toshihiro argues that it broke new ground—not through the kind of personal rapport prized by previous Japanese prime ministers in their dealings with US presidents but through a shared commitment to the kind of frameworks needed to build a new global partnership.
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Prime Minister Abe’s Trip to the United States: The Official and the UnofficialGlen S. Fukushima

Prime Minister Abe Shinzō’s eight-day trip to the United States from the end of April to early May was, officially speaking, a success. He was welcomed warmly in the four stops he made―in Boston/Harvard University, Washington DC, San Francisco/Stanford University, and Los Angeles―by his American hosts, most of whom viewed him as a reformer on economic issues and an advocate of strong US-Japan secu…
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The Road Not TakenKent Calder

One cold winter day over half a century ago, minutes before John F. Kennedy rose to speak in January 1961, Robert Frost became the first person to read poetry at a US Presidential inauguration. Frost, a four-time Pulitzer Prize winner, has long been one of America’s most beloved poets for his immortal poem: “The Road Not Taken.” Its beginning and ending lines are ones that many Americans, who are …
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The Changing Face of Decentralization MovesHitora Tadashi

With the Liberal Democratic Party’s emphatic victory in the December 2012 lower house election, it looks as though there will be substantial changes to the way that administrative reform to decentralize power in Japan is implemented from here on out. There is a good chance that the discussion will pivot away from talk of expanding the powers of the current prefectures and municipalities, turnin…
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An Uncertain Year Ahead Following the Leadership ElectionsMasuzoe Yōichi

Leadership elections for Japan’s two largest political parties took place in September 2012. While Prime Minister Noda Yoshihiko easily retained control of the governing Democratic Party of Japan, the contest was considerably more eventful for the opposition Liberal Democratic Party. The incumbent president, Tanigaki Sadakazu, withdrew from the competition, leaving a battle between five contenders…
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The Future of Japanese Diplomacy Lies in Seeking to Be a Global PlayerWatanabe Hirotaka

Noda Yoshihiko took office as Japan’s new prime minister on September 2. Later that month he made his diplomatic debut with a trip to New York, where he addressed the United Nations General Assembly and met with US President Barack Obama. From the start, Noda has made it clear that he places a high priority on the Japan-US alliance as an “international public good” and will look for ways to use th…
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