Posts

Showing posts from December, 2016

Putin’s Visit to Japan – Not So Friendly “Friendly” Judo Sparring

Image
The mid-December two-day visit of the Russian president, Vladimir Putin, to Japan raised high expectations among many about the prospect of signing a peace treaty that is now 60 years overdue. Among other things, there was also high anticipation for the return of at least two of the four islands that Japan calls Northern Territories, and Russia calls the Kuril Islands, which Japanese consider “stolen” by Stalin at the very end of the WWII. The Japanese prime minister Shinzo Abe, went out of his way to make this visit “special” for his Russian guest, by arranging the first day to be spent in his hometown, Nagato, in the southern prefecture Yamaguchi of the main island Honshu – place, famous for its exquisite sake, hot springs and delicious food. The carefully planned schedule, with a pronounced demonstration of a personal hospitality touch by prime minister Abe, listed “relaxing” time in famous hot springs, and a feast with exotic traditional local food, including exquisite dishes of …

Why Japan's Shinzo Abe Should Rejoice Over Trump's Election Win

Image
Why Japan’s Shinzo Abe Should Rejoice Over Trump’s Election WinCOMMENTARY by 
DECEMBER 5, 2016, 6:30 PM EST
E-mailTweetFacebookLinkedinShare icons






Japan just needs to play its cards well.  Last month, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe became the first head of government to visit the U.S. president-elect in his New York tower. It was a chance to establish a personal rapport, and to gauge more precisely where Donald Trump stands vis-a-vis Japan, China, North Korea, and issues surrounding the Trans-Pacific Partnership. In the months leading to the November election, Trump raised alarm in Japan by alluding that the country should arm itself with nuclear weapons in order to better protect itself against an unpredictable North Korea, and the regional bulling of a

Political Economy of Trump’s Predictably Unpredictable Foreign Policy

Image
In one of the most memorable scenes in Black Mass, Johny Depp portraying the notorious South Boston mobster James “Whitey” Bulger, demonstrates the extent of his personal and unpredictable power and control when in the middle of the dinner, he playfully and innocently asks his associate John Morris for the recipe of the steak he was just served. He then makes Morris and the rest of the company squirm in front of him in fear, until relaxing again and laughing out the tense atmosphere, but not without hinting that this might or might not be the last dramatic switch off his take on the situation. No one knows what he thinks, no one can predict what would be his next act. The fear that comes from the unpredictable behavior enhances his personal power. Not surprisingly, unpredictability is a frequent trait for characters in many fiction works, portraying how a leader establishes control in a zero-gravity environment. In an unstructured, anarchic environment, unpredictability keeps both foe…