Yasukuni Again Complicates EA Relationships


It has been announced today that the Prime Minister of Japan Shinzo Abe has sent a ritual offering to the controversial Yasukuni Shrine today. Additionally, several major Japanese politicians, including a cabinet minister, have announced that they intended to visit the shrine this Friday. In the end, 110 lawmakers and their aides did visit the shrine and there they offered prayers to the war dead enshrined in the complex. The cabinet minister who had initially stated that they would attend was … [Read more...]

Japan Ok’s a Potentially Larger Military Role


Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and his cabinet have ruled today that it is possible to interpret Article 9 of the Japanese Constitution in a way that would allow Japan to participate in “collective self-defense.” This alteration in the official reading of this amendment theoretically allows the Japanese Self-Defense Force to engage more proactively and directly in future military conflicts, although there is no current crisis that would justify the use of military force in Japan. Just prior … [Read more...]

Japan Marks Third Anniversary of Tohoku Disaster

Tohoku disaster from 2011

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe marked the third anniversary of the 2011 Tohoku Earthquake and Tsunami with a moment of silence in Tokyo. He joins many others, both national and internationally, who have marked this date as a special for prayer or reflection. On this date three years ago, a powerful earthquake occurred off the coast of northern Japan, causing damage along much of the Pacific-facing prefectures of the main island of Honshu. Even cities as far south as Yohohama, hours away from … [Read more...]

Japan Again in Hot Water over Comfort Women, Nanking

Comfort women Japan

Controversy has again erupted in East Asia with the announcement that the government of the Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe will be reviewing the testimony of several so-called Comfort Women, potentially leading to the revising of the 1993 apology issued by then Chief Cabinet Secretary Yohei Kono. This has already sparked criticism by both South Korean and Chinese authorities, as well as numerous statements from groups representing the surviving women and their families. While the current … [Read more...]

Turkey and Japan Free Trade Talks Includes Nuclear Technology

Turkish Prime Minister Erdogan

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and the Prime Minister of Turkey Recep Erdogan met last week to hammer out a series of free trade policies between the two states. The two world leaders met in Tokyo, after a series of previous meetings held over the course of the last year, to come to an agreement on the exportation of Japanese expertise and technology to aid in the construction of a nuclear power plant in the northern reaches of the Turkish state. Turkey’s project to construct a nuclear … [Read more...]

Japanese PM Shinzo Abe Rocks the Domestic Economy

Shinzo Abe

Readers will remember that in recent weeks the tensions between China and Japan over the uninhabited Senkaku/Daioyu Island chain increased due to China claiming that the airspace over the region fell under Chinese air defense. Japanese protests were joined by the United States and the European Union, however this last week has seen a tangible effect in the Japanese economy of the fallout from this impasse. The current Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, who has been aggressive towards potential … [Read more...]

Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation Summit Convened in Indonesia

Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation Summit

For those hoping that somewhere out there government action is achieving something tangible will be vaguely satisfied this week as the leaders of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation Summit member states meet this week in the famous resort island of Bali in Indonesia. Unfortunately, the delegates were not able to enjoy the pristine beaches and nightclubs, as there were a number of issues complicating the many relationship between the twenty-one nations spanning the Pacific Ocean from Russia in … [Read more...]