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The PLA’s Rising ProminenceTanaka Naoki

June 4 marked the twenty-fifth anniversary of the 1989 crackdown on the pro-democracy protests at Tiananmen Square. Over the past quarter century, many theories that were offered on the course China would take have disappeared, and the country itself has undergone a vast transformation. I will review some of the theories that were once widely held. One was the idea that economic development would…

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.

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?

Of Culture Shock and “Shokunin” CultureLiao Baming

A few years ago, while enjoying a Sunday stroll around Tokyo with a friend and his colleague—both of whom were in Japan on business—the three of us dropped in on a restaurant in Ueno for a sushi lunch. It was the first time either of my companions had visited Japan and their first experience of such serving methods, so I explained how they should take what caught their eye from the dishes that pas…

Mongolia and Japan: Beyond Power Politics?Oka Hiroki

For a country that barely registered on Japan's radar 25 years ago, Mongolia has been receiving a lot of attention of late, not only as the birthplace of all three reigning sumō grand champions but also as the broker of a potential breakthrough in Japan–North Korea relations. Historian Oka Hiroki puts Mongolia's evolving relationship with Japan and other regional powers in historical perspective.

Twenty-Five Years After Tiananmen: The Flame of Democracy Still Burns in ChinaShida Kenzō

June 4, 2014, marked the twenty-fifth anniversary of the bloody crackdown on pro-democracy protesters occupying Tiananmen Square in Beijing. Fearing the outbreak of another incident, the Communist Party of China and the Chinese government reportedly stepped up their watch on pro-democracy activists and tightened the guard in and around the square. This was in response to the heightening of criti…

Doing Business in China: A Japanese Retailer Puts Down Local Roots

Ito-Yokado, a major Japanese retailer, entered the Chinese market in 1997 and has achieved good results from its policy of putting down local roots. We spoke to the head of Ito-Yokado’s China operations about his experiences and thoughts on doing business in this challenging and fast-developing market.

Maritime Concerns and the Future of Sino-Japanese RelationsKōda Yōji

Amid continued tension over the Senkaku Islands, Chinese vessels passing through waters around the Ryūkyū Islands have become a new focus of concern for Japanese regional security. Kōda Yōji, a retired vice admiral of the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force, looks at the present state of Sino-Japanese relations and considers ways of building trust between the two countries.

Will Rising Tensions in the South China Sea Spill Over into the East China Sea?Ogawa Kazuhisa

Tensions have flared between China and Vietnam over offshore oil exploration activities around the Paracel Islands in the South China Sea. In May 2014 Vietnam lodged a protest against Chinese violations of Vietnam’s resource interests; in response, armed Chinese patrol boats have been ramming into and firing water cannons at Vietnamese ships, triggering violent anti-Chinese riots in Vietnamese cit…

Chinese Investors Not Dazzled by Japan’s Property MarketShida Kenzō

There has been much talk in Japan of a wave of rich Chinese investors buying up luxury condominiums in the Tokyo Bay area, and in response to this supposed demand there has been a mushrooming of Chinese-language real estate investment websites. The apparent aim has been to attract investment from China in the hope of reviving Japan’s real estate market, but so far the response from mainland invest…

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