Home > Hot topics
foreign relations
Meeting Japanese Remorse with Chinese AcceptanceMa Licheng

Chinese commentator Ma Licheng considers the various factors that shaped Prime Minister Abe Shinzō’s statement marking the seventieth anniversary of the end of World War II and calls for China to be more open-minded in its response to Abe’s words.
(More)

When Japonism Bewitched EuropeWatanabe Hirotaka

Today art from Japan has worldwide cultural impact and is a familiar part of the global artistic scene. Up through the early modern era, though, Japanese art was a bolt from the blue—something entirely new to viewers overseas, who saw it as something fresh and surprisingly sophisticated. This was the dawn of Japonism.
(More)

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.
(More)

New Training for Safer Seas: The Heads of Asian Coast Guard Agencies Meeting

On September 30 and October 1, the Heads of Asian Coast Guard Agencies Meeting was held in Yokohama to boost regional cooperation in such fields as fighting piracy and undertaking sea rescues. Originally proposed by Japan, the meeting has been held almost every year since 2004. Coast guard heads from Bangladesh, Brunei, India, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, the Maldives, Myanmar, Pakistan, the Philip…
(More)

Yasukuni Shrine: the Basics

Prime Minister Abe Shinzō’s visit to Yasukuni Shrine on December 26, 2013, was the first by a Japanese leader for seven years and drew fierce criticism from China and South Korea. What started as a place to honor those who fell while fighting the Tokugawa shogunate has become a center of controversy in East Asian relations. This article presents the key historical, religious, and political information regarding the shrine.
(More)

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.
(More)

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.
(More)

Japan and the Ukraine CrisisKawatō Akio

The volatile situation in Ukraine has forced itself onto the agenda for US President Barack Obama’s upcoming visit to Japan. Former diplomat Kawatō Akio gives his views on how Japan should respond to Russia’s actions and what it should aim to achieve in the summit meeting.
(More)

Public Diplomacy: Why It Matters and How It WorksKent Calder

Public diplomacy efforts are an increasingly vital part of Japan’s diplomatic outreach, particularly in the light of friction between it and its neighbors over territorial and historical issues. On November 5, 2013, we cohosted “The Popularity of Nations: How and Why Governments Seek Public Approval Abroad,” a symposium to explore public diplomacy questions. Kent Calder, director of the Reischauer Center for East Asian Studies at Johns Hopkins University, gave the keynote address printed below.
(More)

ASEAN’s Positive Record and Ambitious PlansYamakage Susumu

The July 2012 meeting of ASEAN foreign ministers became deadlocked over the South China Sea issue, and for the first time ever a joint communiqué was not issued. Yamakage Susumu, a professor at Aoyama Gakuin University, considers the issues this Southeast Asian group faces and the role Japan should play in the region.
(More)

Video highlights

New series

バナーエリア2
  • From our columnists
  • In the news