“In recent months, North Korea has been the problem that nobody in the Obama administration wants to deal with. Since the Kim regime defied Washington last April and went ahead with its previous rocket launch attempt, the United States has had no consistent approach for dealing with the reclusive regime. South Korean strategy has not been much better. Guided by the conservative Lee Myung-bak government, Seoul has often rung alarm bells about North Korea’s behavior without a workable plan for changing it. Together, their policies have served only to confirm the adage that ignoring problems makes them worse.”
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Shinzo Abe of Japan’s conservative Liberal Democratic Party is set to be the country’s next prime minister, after leading his party to a landslide election win this past Sunday. Today’s post rounds up post-election commentary in Japan, then highlights South Korean and Chinese expressions of unease at this return of conservatism to Japanese politics. In contrast, Indian commentators are enthusiastic about the reelection of Abe, whom they consider strongly pro-India.
In Japan, commentators warned the LDP to accept its landslide victory with humility and urged leaders to govern Japan pragmatically and responsibly.
- Reflecting on the election, the Asahi Shimbun stated that the “biggest reason for the poor public enthusiasm for this election was probably the lack of a party that could really represent the will of the people after they became disillusioned with the DPJ.” Japan’s failure “to make effective policy responses to the economic and diplomatic challenges confronting the country…prompted many commentators both at home and abroad to talk about ‘Japan’s decline’ as a nation.”
- The LDP has called for revising Article 9 in Japan’s constitution, which renounces war in favor of the right to exercise collective self-defense. The Japan Times cautioned that the LDP’s posture on revising Article 9 would “arouse suspicions about Japan’s true intentions among neighboring countries, thus destroying the international community’s trust in Japan. It could also lead to a fierce arms race and destabilization of relations in East Asia, endangering Japan’s security.”
On Japan’s foreign relations, editorials called for stability and continued support for the U.S.-Japan alliance. (more…)Continue Reading →
There is no doubt about China’s rising stature in the world, but plenty of uncertainty about exactly what kind of global power China will become. Not only do American policymakers have different opinions on China’s rise, even within China there is a range of viewpoints on this question, from the stridently nativist camp to the multilaterally-oriented globalist position.Across this spectrum of thought, multiple voices contend for influence by shaping the discourse behind China’s foreign policy decision making.
Read more on what these voices are saying about China as a global power in our latest Policy Brief.
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