Japanese Conservative Victory: A Welcome Development for the U.S.

In Japan, the conservative Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) exceeded even the most optimistic predictions by winning a landslide victory in Sunday’s lower house election. LDP Leader Shinzo Abe’s conservative foreign policy views and the Japanese public’s growing concern over China provide an excellent opportunity for Washington to achieve several policy objectives critical to the health […]

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Arnaud Montebourg

Greens Debate Socialists Over Nuclear Power

Despite the change in power in France and German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s open support for former French president Nicolas Sarkozy in the recent French presidential elections, she has been quick to patch up relations with Sarkozy’s successor Francois Hollande and to establish a common position with regard to Greece. The two countries, however, appear to […]

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What Japan’s Tax Debate Is Really About

A major political struggle in Japan is coming to a head this week, one that could empower the current government or ultimately bring it down. The battle is ostensibly about economic policy but is mostly about politics, as the policy in question is largely symbolic. When the government’s survival may hinge on what should be […]

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Boost for the U.S. and the Trans-Pacific Partnership

The G-20 meetings in Mexico over the weekend might actually have accomplished something. Mexico was today invited to join the nine countries, including the U.S., currently negotiating the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), an investment and trade agreement. If nurtured properly, this development has the potential to improve the global trading system. First, caution is required. The […]

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Noda (r)

Expected Power Shortages Force Japan to Retreat From Nuclear Power Ban

After the Fukushima reactor disaster, Japan appeared to be through with nuclear power. This however left the issue of energy shortages unresolved. With the summer looming and power demands expected to spike due to the need for air conditioning. Japan is beating a moderate retreat. The Union of Kansai Governments has grudgingly okayed a “limited” […]

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Don’t Downsize U.S. Forces in Northeast Asia

President Obama’s much-vaunted “Asia Pivot” provides a much-needed emphasis on a region that is critical to U.S. national interests. But the strategy is undercut by shortcomings in how—or whether—it will be implemented. Speak Boldly but Carry an Increasingly Smaller Stick Last November, President Obama resolutely promised that the U.S. “will be strengthening our presence in […]

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