Constitutions east and west

In his Sunday interview on NHK, Prime Minister Abe reiterated the importance of constitution revision as a point of contention in next month's Upper House election.Meanwhile, in Brussels this past weekend the European Union's member states concluded a treaty that wraps up the questions that were intended to be addressed by the nixed constitution. The …

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Idealism, realism, and US China policy

Over at Foreign Policy, China scholar David Lampton and journalist James Mann debate the argument presented in Mann's new book, The China Fantasy: How Our Leaders Explain Away Chinese Repression. (The subtitle really says it all.) (Hat tip: China Digital Times)There is no love lost between Lampton and Mann in this debate, and its implications …

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The problem with foreign policy

George Washington University's Henry Nau has an essay in Policy Review in which he discusses the challenges posed by debating foreign policy (via RealClearPolitics).I am posting largely without comment, but I want to note that Nau's question is something I've thought about for a while. Ideas about foreign policy depend much more on abstraction and …

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The california rolls are safe

After announcing plans to institute a certification system for Japanese restaurants overseas back in November, Japan's Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry, and Fisheries, headed by the beleaguered Matsuoka Toshikatsu (the subject of this superb book -- more on this soon), has decided to abandon these plans after opposition from citizens' groups and after a panel chaired …

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