Selling free trade

Bogged down by an unfavorable political situation in Tokyo, the Kan government has few avenues for policy innovation. In recent weeks, however, it seems that the Kan government has decided to consider joining the Trans-Pacific Strategic Economic Partnership (TPP), a multilateral free trade agreement that currently includes only Chile, New Zealand, Singapore, and Brunei, but …

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The end of the "strategic, reciprocal" relationship?

Since Abe Shinzō succeeded Koizumi Junichirō in 2006, the focus of Japan's China policy has been the promotion of what has been called in official documents as a "strategic, reciprocal relationship" between Japan and China. Acknowledging the importance of the bilateral relationship for peace and stability in East Asia, the two countries agreed to build …

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Kan presses the reset button

Having successfully fended off Ozawa Ichirō's challenge to his leadership of the ruling Democratic Party of Japan — indeed, having defeated Ozawa by an unexpectedly large margin, not only winning the vote among Diet members but also receiving the support of 249 of 300 district-level party chapters and sixty percent of the vote among local …

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