Separated by a common enemy

Already under consideration before North Korea's nuclear test last week, the LDP's push to include plans for an indigenous capability to strike North Korea to preempt an attack on Japan has picked up speed over the past week. On May 26th, Prime Minister Taro Aso reminded reporters that since 1955 preemptive self-defense has been considered legal.

More on the Roos appointment

Considering the appointment of John Roos and other Obama donors to ambassadorial posts, David Rothkopf makes a strong argument against the relevance of ambassadorships in the first place...

Party A vs. Party B

Seiji Maehara, the former DPJ president who has been viewed as a possible defector from the DPJ, said in a TV appearance Thursday evening that "even if the DPJ loses the election, it will absolutely not break apart."

The pain of being ordinary

While the White House has not made the announcement official, the Nelson Report said that the Obama administration will be sending John Roos, Silicon Valley lawyer and major Obama fundraiser, to Tokyo as U.S. ambassador...

The DPJ bets on Hatoyama

As became clear in the days before the DPJ's Diet members met Saturday to elect a party leader to replace Ozawa Ichiro, Hatoyama Yukio, one of the founders of the Democratic Party of Japan, has once again been selected to serve as party president...

The DPJ rattles markets

How much longer can the US count on Japan to buy Treasuries?

The LDP's reformists continue to battle family politics

Surprisingly, given the howls of protest from within the LDP that greeted Suga Yoshihide's proposal to include a ban on hereditary candidates in the party's election manifesto, the LDP appears ready to include restrictions on political inheritances in the manifesto...

A perfect storm for security policy change?

The great puzzle in Japanese security policy is why despite the consensus within the LDP in favor of a more robust, independent security and persistent worries about North Korea and China among the public at large Japan has failed to spend more — or the same — on defense and made legal and doctrinal changes that would enable Japan to meet threats originating from its neighbors...


Fresh from his trip to Washington, D.C., Abe Shinzo has thrust himself into the debate over how Japan should respond to North Korea's rocket launch this month...

Benign neglect at work?

After President Barack Obama met with Prime Minister Aso Taro at the White House in February, I suggested that " the administration may be prepared to follow through on an unstated policy of benign neglect: having given Japan its assignments (civilian reconstruction in Afghanistan, progress on realignment, etc.), the administration will now turn its attention elsewhere."


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