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Moon versus Abe and the contest for America’s ear

A battle is underway between Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and South Korean President Moon Jae-in over their differing approaches to North Korea. They are competing to shape the attitudes of US President Donald Trump, and this contest has been a compelling sideshow at the PyeongChang Winter

Japan: Shinzo Abe faces challenges across the board

As news outlets in Japan summed up the year that was and the year ahead, Yomiuri Shimbun, Japan’s most widely read (and notably pro-government) newspaper featured its top 10 stories for 2017, domestic and international, according to its readers. Domestically, the story was Sota Fujii, a 14-year-

Abe gambles on a stoic Japanese electorate

With his dynastic heritage, five years of assertive nationalism as Prime Minister, and eponymous brand of economics, Shinzo Abe warrants a seat at the top table of global conservative politics. But in his rush to an early election this week the Japanese leader will be counting on a boost from the

Japan’s five years of Abenomics

For many international observers, the Japanese economy is an enigma. On the face of it, the economy has been in bad shape ever since the Japanese stock market began to crash in late 1989, almost 30 years ago. Yet as you wander around Japan, both in Tokyo and across the country, it hardly seems a

Australia needs to show some force

Last week key treaty allies South Korea and Japan joined the US Navy's 7th Fleet for separate joint exercises in the waters west of Japan in a demonstration of force against Pyongyang's latest taunts of nuclear war. However powerful this demonstration may have been, it was still missing one key US

A neo-nationalist crack in Abe’s grand strategy

As we approach the third month of the Trump Administration, experienced observers of world politics continue to be intrigued, curious and at times perhaps perplexed. Indeed, those who like their international politics with a little chaos theory are probably in their element. Prime Minister Shinzo

How far will womenomics go in Japan?

The Abe government has succceeded in its bid to increase the number of women in Japan's labour market but there are plenty more gains still to be had in the pursuit of what has become known as ‘womenomics’. Last year the Japanese female labour participation rate powered past that of the US to

Abe's Trump moves: Proactive pragmatism at its finest

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has accomplished what no other foreign leaders has with US President Donald Trump. Not only has he already met him twice — once before and again just after the inauguration — but Trump appears to genuinely like Abe. Of course, the state of US-Japan relations

Missed opportunities at the Australia-Japan summit

Although it took place at Kirribilli House, just around the corner from where I live, I can unfortunately claim no inside information on last weekend’s Sydney summit between Prime Ministers Malcolm Turnbull and Shinzo Abe. From this nosy neighbour’s reading though, the outcomes on defence and

What to make of Abe's Pearl Harbor visit

In May this year, US President Barack Obama visited Hiroshima, the first serving president to do so. At the end of this month, on 26 and 27 December, Japan’s Prime Minister Abe will visit Pearl Harbor (though whether he is the first serving Japanese prime minister to do so is subject to some

China's foreign policy dilemma

Therefore Chinese foreign policy can be expected to be reactive. This may have serious consequences because of the potentially explosive nature of two of China's most pressing foreign policy challenges: how to decrease tensions with Japan and with Southeast Asian states over diverse territorial

Reluctant realists

In a post on Cogitasia, a leading blog hosted by the US think tank the Center for Strategic and International Studies, Dr Malcolm Cook (Dean of International Studies at Flinders University) and the Institute’s Director of Studies Andrew Shearer highlight how and why the progressive Asia policy

Repeating history

In an opinion piece in The Australian Financial Review, Dr Malcolm Cook, Program Director East Asia, and Andrew Shearer, Director of Studies, look at how domestic economic change in Japan and shared regional concerns can strengthen ties between Australia and Japan and build on what is Australia's

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