Australia and Japan in the same boat

After being criticized at home (and, supposedly, in Tokyo) for failing to visit Japan on a swing through Asia in March, Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd will be in Tokyo this week for meetings with Prime Minister Fukuda.Andrew Shearer, a fellow at Australia's Lowy Institute for International Policy, has an excellent op-ed in The Australian …

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In Asia’s future, flexibility first

In the week since Prime Minister Abe called for an organization of democracies that would implicitly encircle China, his proposal has been met with deafening silence from the capitals of the countries that would be involved, illustrating just how out of touch with new realities the prime minister's foreign policy thinking is.As I've argued before, …

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Trilateral alliance or limited hedge?

With Australian Prime Minister John Howard set to arrive in Japan today for a four-day visit, Australia and Japan have reportedly agreed to a new security declaration that will likely (I say likely because it hasn't been released to the public yet) enhance bilateral cooperation on a range of defense issues, including intelligence sharing, PKO, …

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