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Japan-ASEAN Cooperation: A Central Element of East Asia’s Regional ArchitectureŌba Mie

Japan’s ties with ASEAN over the past 40-plus years have been through various changes and have been affected by the major growth of China’s presence in the region. But Japan continues to be a key partner for the association and its members. Formerly focused on economic affairs, Japan-ASEAN cooperation now extends to the political and security spheres as well.

Japan Voices Concern over Militarization of South China Sea (News)

Manila, Aug. 6 (Jiji Press)—Japanese Foreign Minister Kōno Tarō expressed deep concerns on Sunday over China's island-building and militarization in the South China Sea. Japan will continue to press for the demilitarization of the sea, Kōno said at a meeting with his counterparts from the Association of Southeast Asian Nations in Manila. Kōno expressed hopes that China and ASEAN will draw u…

Japan’s Beauty Salons Becoming Tourist Destinations

The rapid influx of visitors to Japan has opened up new business opportunities with overseas tourists showing a particular interest in Japanese beauty salons. This article looks at what salons are doing to attract a foreign clientele.

Getting Serious About International TourismNagai Tomomi

With the 2020 Olympics approaching, the Abe government has laid out ambitious plans to turn Japan into one of the world’s top tourist destinations. What will it take for this island country to triple tourist arrivals over the next 15 years?

Issues and Expectations for Indonesia’s Incoming PresidentShiraishi Takashi

Joko Widodo, a politician who worked his way up from a common background, is about to take office as president of Indonesia. Shiraishi Takashi considers the significance of Widodo’s election and the prospects for the new president.

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…

For Abe, the Neighbors Remain Hard to ReachSuzuki Yoshikatsu

Prime Minister Abe arrives in Belfast on June 16 to attend the 2013 G8 summit. Photo credit: AP/Aflo Since he took office in late December 2012, Prime Minister Abe Shinzō has been conducting his strategic diplomacy in a manner that seems to show the consistent application of two rules. One is to avoid compromising on issues involving sovereignty or history in handling Japan’s relationships wit…

Abe’s Mandate; China’s Face-off with ASEANShiraishi Takashi

The election on July 21 for the House of Councillors resulted in a major victory for the Liberal Democratic Party and its coalition partner, the New Kōmeitō. The two ruling parties together won 76 of the 121 contested seats, giving them a solid majority in the upper house (they already hold more than two-thirds of the seats in the House of Representatives).(*1) The LDP won in 29 of the 31 single…

TPP Negotiations and Japan

Negotiations are now underway for the Trans-Pacific Partnership, with an eye to concluding the free-trade agreement before the end of 2013. Japan only formally joined the negotiations at the final stage. Attention is focused on how well the country will be able to steer TPP rules in a direction that protects its national interests.

Japan’s Admission to the TPP Talks, Aung San Suu Kyi’s VisitShiraishi Takashi

On April 12 the Japanese and US governments successfully concluded their bilateral consultations concerning Japan’s participation in the Trans-Pacific Partnership negotiations. In addition to confirming the objective set forth in their February 22 joint statement of “achieving a comprehensive, high-standard agreement, as described in the Outlines of the TPP Agreement,” the two governments agreed…

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