Wanted: a new Japanese grand strategy

Japan apparently has a new strategic concept to replace the irrelevant Yoshida doctrine. At least that's what Greg Sheridan, foreign editor of The Australian, thinks.To Mr. Sheridan, Japan is back, regardless of the troubles following the downfall of Mr. Abe, because "Japan's new strategic personality will transcend individual politicians." There is a certain truth to …

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The battle over the anti-terror law begins in earnest

Facing a difficult battle over the extension of the anti-terror special measures law, the new Abe-Yosano-Aso-Machimura cabinet has set to work on laying the groundwork for a compromise with the DPJ that will enable the JSDF to continue to participate in the multinational coalition in Afghanistan.Chief Cabinet Secretary Yosano has set to work by calling …

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Missing the point on Japan’s normalization

Using the occasion of Japanese Air Self-Defense Force pilots participating in live-bombing exercises with the US in the Marianas, Norimitsu Onishi of the New York Times has a prominently featured article in today's edition (also on the front page, top of the fold of today's IHT) on Japan's shedding "military restraints."The NYT website also features …

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The trouble with collective self-defense

Yomiuri ran an editorial on reviewing the prohibition on the right of collective self-defense today, arguing that debate "ought to deepen."The occasion for this editorial is the government panel's recommendation that MSDF vessels be permitted to counterattack if, when sailing with US warships, the US vessels come under attack. In this case and the case …

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When in doubt, talk about how to make Japan great again

"Now the vote likely will pivot on scandal and mismanagement of the country's enormous pension system. This is a shame. The election really should be about Mr. Abe's vision for a more activist international role for Japan."So says Michael Auslin, AEI's newest Japan scholar, whom I previously discussed in this post, in which I discussed …

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An indiscretion too far

Under pressure from his own constituents, Defense Minister Kyuma offered his resignation to Prime Minister Abe, who accepted.Asahi reports that he told reporters that his reasoning was based on fears that he would influence the Upper House elections.His tenure as Japan's last JDA director-general and the first defense minister was marked by ill-considered public remarks, …

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How many angels fit on the end of an SM-3?

James Auer, director of Vanderbilt's Center for US-Japan Studies and Cooperation, spoke tonight at Temple University Japan to a large audience composed of US and Japanese diplomats and policymakers, scholars, and others interested in the US-Japan alliance.Auer is one of the elder statesmen of the alliance, having served in Japan while in the US Navy …

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