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Showing posts with the label Abe

Japan’s Nuclear Moment

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If Japan wanted to develop nuclear weapons, there would be no better moment than now to start. As the North Korean regime grows desperate to get a more generous ransom against its nuclear program, its threats to Tokyo grew multifold. Last week Shinzo Abe, the Japanese Prime Minister, warned that North Korea is preparing to launch missiles with sarin against Tokyo. The U.S. President, Donald Trump, further added to the turmoil by declaring last week that an “armada” of American military vessels is heading to the Korean peninsula, only to be contradicted by his own military, which broke the news that days later the “armada” was sailing nearby Singapore, over 3,000 miles away from the Korean peninsula, and reportedly has been travelling in the opposite direction. So much for the credibility of the American “extended deterrence”, which should guarantee the security umbrella over Japan, a policy in force since 1975. Now, both South Korea and Japan feel cheated and let down, while the U.S. …

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

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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

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

Abe’s Poker Game or Why Japan Will Have Another Election

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In December 2012 the Liberal Democratic Party of Japan (LDP - 自民党) decisively won the Lower House (衆議院) elections for the national Diet (国会), securing 294 out of the 480 seats. Between its MPs, and the 31 MPs of its coalitional partner, the New Komeito Party (公明党), Abe Shinzo’s government commanded a comfortable majority of just over 2/3 of the Lower House. In subsequent elections for the Upper House (参議院) in July 2013 LDP gained 114 seats, and the New Komeito Party – 20. All in all, this is a very strong majority, which can guarantee a comfortable governing of Abe’s cabinet. Why then last week the Prime Minister called snap elections for the Lower House – an act that defies the normal logic of democratic governance?There are two competing, albeit not mutually exclusive explanations.