Japan

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Postscript,
Richard Katz

Abe’s economic revival is hardly going as planned. A consumption tax hike that he introduced in April triggered a recession over the following six months, prompting him to announce the delay of a second planned hike and to vow to dissolve the Japanese parliament.

Snapshot,
J. Berkshire Miller

After months of back-channel diplomacy, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and Chinese leader Xi Jinping finally met this week on the sidelines of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit in Beijing. The Abe-Xi meeting is long overdue and represents the first time the leaders from the world’s second and third biggest economies have talked since Abe took office in December 2012.

Snapshot,
Robert A. Manning

As if the world didn’t have enough problems, North Korea seems to be gearing up to add a few more. According to the New York Times, commercial satellite imagery has confirmed that Pyongyang recently upgraded its main satellite launching facility, which will enable it to test an intercontinental missile.

Snapshot,
Fumio Kishida

Next year marks the 70th anniversary of the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, offering a unique opportunity to forward Japan's vision for a nuclear-free world.

Snapshot,
Ely Ratner and Elizabeth Rosenberg

The United States will have to face the reality that further Russian isolation might be more costly than it is worth. In particular, further U.S.-led sanctions will start to harm U.S. allies and partners in Asia and, therefore, American interests.

Snapshot,
J. Berkshire Miller

Before the year is out, the world could witness Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe shaking hands with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un in Pyongyang.

Snapshot,
Jennifer Lind

To protect its core interests in Asia, the United States should start being honest about the things it doesn't care about. That includes China's harassment of Philippine ships and its decision to fly aircraft over disputed islands.

Essay, JUL/AUG 2014
Richard Katz

Shinzo Abe is trying to restore Japanese consumer confidence by boosting inflation. But confidence must rest on something more substantive: meaningful structural reforms to reverse Japanese companies’ lagging competitiveness. Otherwise, any temporary economic boost will soon give way to disillusion.

Letter From,
Devin Stewart

For the past two decades, Tokyo has been described as stagnant, glacial, and arthritic. But that is only part of the story. Outside the government, a new generation of liberal reformers is bringing about real change.

Review Essay, May/June 2014
Margarita Estévez-Abe

David Pilling's useful book, Bending Adversity, takes a relatively hopeful view of the conservative nationalism advocated by Japanese president Shinzo Abe. But a more thorough accounting of Japan’s recent past and the country's political system would suggest a less sanguine outlook.

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