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Terror Strikes During Abe’s Mideast TripKamal Gaballa

Prime Minister Abe Shinzō’s visit to the Middle East, which this week took him to Egypt, Jordan, Israel, and Palestine, was dramatically interrupted on January 20 by a terrorist incident targeting Japanese nationals. The group calling itself Islamic State, or ISIL (Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant), released a video that afternoon (Japan time) claiming to have taken hostage the journalist Gotō…
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Naruto’s Limits: What Soft Power Can Actually AchieveDavid Leheny

“Soft power” receives much attention in Japan as a means to project national influence on the global stage. But does soft power truly impact other nations in the way that leaders expect it to? Political scientist David Leheny argues that only diffuse forms of soft power at the popular level count in the end.
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Japan’s Post–World War I Foreign Policy: The Quest for a Cooperative ApproachSakurai Ryōju

In the wake of World War I, Japan shifted its foreign policy stance, particularly with regard to China, turning away from imperialism and seeking to act in concert with the other great powers. Historian Sakurai Ryōju explains the events and thinking behind this shift.
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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?
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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.
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The Age of Public Diplomacy: Soft Power Game in East Asia

The third session of the symposium focused on public diplomacy in East Asia, particularly the increasing tension that marks Japan’s relations with China and South Korea as well as each country’s public diplomacy efforts. The session was moderated by Kondō Motohiro, former editor-in-chief of Chūō Kōron.
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The Age of Public Diplomacy: How It’s Done, and How It Could Be Done Better

The second discussion panel focused on the “instruments of public diplomacy.” The panelists spoke about their experiences of public diplomacy from a variety of perspectives. Professor Watanabe Yasushi of Keiō University was moderator.
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The Age of Public Diplomacy: From Enmity to Amity

The first discussion session focused on “The Importance of Public Diplomacy.” The panelists looked at public diplomacy in Japan today through the lens of a comparison with diplomatic policy in postwar Germany. The moderator was Andrew Horvat, invited professor at Jōsai International University.
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China’s Summit Diplomacy and the Geopolitics of the “Indo-Pacific” RegionShiraishi Takashi

October was a busy month for top-level diplomacy in Asia. Bali was the site of the October 7–8 Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit and of the October 8 meeting of leaders from the countries participating in the Trans-Pacific Partnership negotiations. These APEC and TPP meetings were followed by the Association of Southeast Asian Nations summit in Brunei (October 9–10), which was accompanied…
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Japan and South Korea: Time for a RebootHosoya Yuichi

On the night of September 5, 2013, Prime Minister Abe Shinzō and President Park Geun-hye of South Korea chatted briefly just before an official dinner held to welcome delegates to the Group of Twenty summit in St. Petersburg. Since taking office in February, President Park had previously avoided holding formal talks with Abe, who has been back in office since December 2012. The Korean position is …
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