Dissecting the second Armitage-Nye Report, part 3

This is the third of three posts looking at the contents of the newly released second Armitage-Nye Report (the first two can be found here and here). An article about the report can be read here from the FT, which remains the best international English-language source of Japan-related news. (And the report can be downloaded …

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China challenges the regional security order

Reports have emerged that China successfully tested an anti-satellite missile last week, after two previous failures (BBC; CNN). The implications of this test are obvious but not necessarily ominous.The question is, in light of Japan's recent overtures to improve cooperation with China and with a visit by Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao scheduled for this spring, …

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From 庁 to 省 (From agency to ministry)

Aside from the highly controversial education reform bill, the special session of the Diet now concluding -- it was extended an extra four days -- also passed a bill elevating Japan's Defense Agency from an agency subordinate to the Cabinet to a ministry with full status equivalent to other government ministries.This reform has been in …

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A changing US-Japan alliance?

Meanwhile in the midst of the nuclear weapons flap, two senior US State Department officials were in Tokyo for meetings with Foreign Minister Aso. Nicholas Burns, undersecretary of state for political affairs, and Robert Joseph, undersecretary for arms control and international security, met with Mr. Aso to continue alliance coordination in response to the DPRK's …

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The Yomiuri Shimbun weighs in

Having already written at length on the nuclear debate once today, I still feel the need to comment on the Yomiuri Shimbun's editorial today (in Japanese) -- 「議論すら封じるのはおかしい」 (roughly, "It is laughable to even try to stifle the discussion."The Yomiuri argues, as I have elsewhere, that the debate is less about nuclear weapons and more …

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The nuclear debate "fallout" continues to spread

Quite a bit has happened in the intervening days since Mr. Nikai called for restraint. As I expected, it seems that the "loose lips" of Mr. Aso and Mr. Nakagawa have led to greater outrage from other parties and more calls for prudence from LDP senior officials.First, as this article in the Asahi Shimbun reports, …

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