Defense -- Crossing the Line

Aircraft Carrier MSDF HyugaAircraft Carrier MSDF HyugaBy Alex Calvo

Should Japan have aircraft carriers?

Aircraft carriers have been for the last few decades almost the exclusive domain of the United States, which has a total of 11, one of them based in Japan. Although a reduced number of countries, like France and Britain, or nearer to Japan, Thailand and India, have some of the smaller variety, Japan’s Maritime Self Defense Force doesn’t have any such ship, and their construction or purchase abroad is not included in current naval plans.


Defense -- The Perfect Storm

Illustration: MissilesBy Tobias Harris

Will the conservatives change the face of Japan’s defense policy?

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 nor has it made legal and doctrinal changes that would enable Japan to meet threats originating from its neighbors.


Eye on Trade -- A Rupee for Your Thoughts

Indian NoteBy Sarah Noorbakhsh

An interview with Dalel Singh, resident director of the India Trade Promotion Organization.


Inside Out: Thailand

ThailandBy Ellen Bee

A regular column concerning business in an emerging market, and its relationship with Japan.


Eye on Trade: More Than Just Pistachios

PistachiosBy Sarah Noorbakhsh

Although under increasing pressure from the US to sanction Iran, Japan has upheld steady ties with the controversial nation.


US Election: The Waiting Game

Flag of the United StatesBy Tobias Harris -- Where does the next American president see Japan’s place in Asia? Every four years, as Americans prepare to elect a president, Japanese elites struggle to divine the ramifications of the US presidential election upon the US-Japan relationship. They parse every word written or spoken by the presidential candidates and their advisers in search of clues for how the incoming administration will approach Japan.


InsideOut: Business in Cambodia

CambodiaBy Gordon Jones -- A regular column concerning business in an emerging market, and its relationship with Japan -- The Kingdom of Cambodia, wedged uneasily between its larger and historically expansionist neighbors, Vietnam and Thailand, has a beauty and smile which belies its dark past. But scars remain and recent decades have been a difficult struggle to promote recovery and reconciliation.


JIN-474 -- Iran-Japan Relations

Like a number of other countries in the international community, over the last few years Japan has found it increasingly difficult to maintain smooth relations with Iran. But what links are there between Japan and Iran? What good will between Tokyo and Tehran to improve their relationship? Read Now

Bridging the Gulf

Sitting ManBy Gordon Jones -- Japan-Arabia commercial relations uncovered -- Most descriptions of Arabia these days command superlatives: The world’s tallest tower; the world’s first 7-star hotel; the world’s three largest man-made islands, shaped as palm trees. The list goes on and makes the eyes boggle, and prospective suppliers salivate. According to the Middle East Economic Digest, the current level of Gulf projects planned or underway is a staggering US$2 trillion.


Can Japan Please Stand Up?

UN LogoBy Willhemina Wahlin and Dr Kaoru Natsuda -- Japan’s bid for a UNSC permanent seat: pipe dream or viability? -- There seems to be one point agreed on by almost everyone when it comes to the United Nations Security Council: It’s a time capsule of the post-World War II global power structure, hardly representative of the 21st Century political landscape, and reform is badly needed. But here the consensus comes to an abrupt halt. The sticking point: everyone seems to want an expansion of the permanent seats available, but no one can seem to agree on how many, and to whom the honor should be bestowed upon—and why. Japan has long been campaigning for permanent membership of one of the most exclusive clubs in the world, but it has an uphill battle ahead if it is to convince its closest neighbors that it deserves one. But the real question is, does anyone really deserve a seat?



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