CFR Presents

Asia Unbound

CFR experts give their take on the cutting-edge issues emerging in Asia today.

Posts by Category

Showing posts for "Japan"

Friday Asia Update: Five Stories From the Week of August 26, 2016

by Guest Blogger for Elizabeth C. Economy
China-Japan-Korea-trilateral Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe (second from R) meets South Korean Foreign Minister Yun Byung-se (L), Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi (second from L) and Japanese Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida (R) during their meeting at the prime minister’s office in Tokyo, Japan, August 24, 2016. (Kim Kyung-Hoon/Reuters)

Rachel Brown, Sherry Cho, Gabriella Meltzer, and Gabriel Walker look at five stories from Asia this week.

1. North Korean missile test facilitates China-Japan-South Korea talks. Earlier this week, Japanese Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida hosted a two-day meeting with his Chinese and South Korean counterparts. The first since March 2015, the talks were slated to focus on increasing regional cooperation; however, North Korea’s Wednesday test of a submarine-launched missile dominated news coverage of the meeting and elicited wholesale criticism from all three foreign ministers. Read more »

Owning Our Constitution, Our Future

by Guest Blogger for Sheila A. Smith
Japan's Masatoshi Ohno rides a wave during the quarterfinals of the Monster Energy Pro Pipeline surfing competition at Sunset Beach, Hawaii, February 23, 2005 (Lucy Pemoni/REUTERS). Japan's Masatoshi Ohno rides a wave during the quarterfinals of the Monster Energy Pro Pipeline surfing competition at Sunset Beach, Hawaii, February 23, 2005 (Lucy Pemoni/REUTERS).

This blog post is part of a series entitled Will the Japanese Change Their Constitution?, in which leading experts discuss the prospects for revising Japan’s postwar constitution. Ayumi Teraoka is research associate for Japan studies at the Council on Foreign Relations. Read more »

Friday Asia Update: Five Stories From the Week of August 19, 2016

by Guest Blogger for Elizabeth C. Economy
Indonesia-destroys-fishing-boats Four of eight confiscated Vietnamese fishing boats are destroyed in Mempawah Regency, West Kalimantan, Indonesia, February 22, 2016. (Antara Foto/Reuters)

Rachel Brown, Sherry Cho, Lincoln Davidson, Gabriella Meltzer, and Gabriel Walker look at five stories from Asia this week.

1. Indonesia sinks illegal fishing boats. In a move intended to assert sovereignty over resource-rich waters surrounding the Natuna Islands off the Borneo coast, Indonesia sank sixty boats impounded for illegal fishing. Read more »

Constitutional Revision: More Than Yes or No

by Guest Blogger for Sheila A. Smith
A man raises his hands and shouts "banzai" as he and others gather to watch the sunrise over Mount Fuji, which is known locally as "Diamond Fuji", from atop Ryugatake mountain in Fujikawaguchiko town, southwest of Tokyo January 1, 2010 (Yuriko Nakao/REUTERS). A man raises his hands and shouts "banzai" as he and others gather to watch the sunrise over Mount Fuji, which is known locally as "Diamond Fuji", from atop Ryugatake mountain in Fujikawaguchiko town, southwest of Tokyo January 1, 2010 (Yuriko Nakao/REUTERS).

This blog post is part of a series entitled Will the Japanese Change Their Constitution?, in which leading experts discuss the prospects for revising Japan’s postwar constitution. Masatoshi Asaoka is currently a master’s candidate in the Asian studies program of Georgetown University and an intern for Japan studies at the Council on Foreign Relations.
Read more »

The Unbearable Lightness of Our Constitution

by Guest Blogger for Sheila A. Smith
Plato-resized

This blog post is part of a series entitled Will the Japanese Change Their Constitution?, in which leading experts discuss the prospects for revising Japan’s postwar constitution. Keigo Komamura, a Japanese constitutional scholar, is professor of law and vice president of Keio University. He serves on the advisory council for the constitutional revision research project led by Helen Hardacre, Reischauer Institute professor of Japanese religions and society at Harvard University. His most recent publication is an edited volume with Satoshi Machidori, Kenpou kaisei no hikaku seijigaku [Comparative Politics of Constitutional Revision] published by Koubundou Press in 2016. Read more »

A Constitution Like Air

by Guest Blogger for Sheila A. Smith
Members of the protest group Students Emergency Action for Liberal Democracy s (SEALDs) shout slogans during a protest outside parliament in Tokyo, August 21, 2015 (Thomas Peter/REUTERS). Members of the protest group Students Emergency Action for Liberal Democracy s (SEALDs) shout slogans during a protest outside parliament in Tokyo, August 21, 2015 (Thomas Peter/REUTERS).

This blog post is part of a series entitled Will the Japanese Change Their Constitution?, in which leading experts discuss the prospects for revising Japan’s postwar constitution. Karin Koretsune is a graduate student at Japan Women’s University [Nihon Joshi Daigaku] and a member of the Students Emergency Action for Liberal Democracy s (SEALDs).[1] She is the author of Nihon joshidaisei no yononaka wocchi [A Woman College Student’s View of Japan] (2014). Read more »

The Wishes of the Heisei Emperor

by Sheila A. Smith
Japan's Emperor Akihito (2nd R) and Empress Michiko (R) talk with evacuees from the March 11 earthquake and tsunami, at Tokyo Budoh-kan, currently an evacuation shelter, in Tokyo, March 30, 2011 ( Issei Kato/Reuters). Japan's Emperor Akihito (2nd R) and Empress Michiko (R) talk with evacuees from the March 11 earthquake and tsunami, at Tokyo Budoh-kan, currently an evacuation shelter, in Tokyo, March 30, 2011 ( Issei Kato/Reuters).

On Monday, in a ten-minute video, Japan’s emperor spoke directly to his people, asking them to allow him to give up the throne prior to his death. In the closed world of Japan’s imperial family, where the Imperial Household Agency largely manages and represents the family’s affairs, Akihito’s decision to challenge precedent seems striking. Yet he also spoke directly to the Japanese people. Now in his eighty-second year, Emperor Akihito has sat on the throne for twenty-seven years, assuming his position upon the death of his father, Emperor Hirohito, and ushering in a new era in Japan’s history. His reign is called Heisei—roughly translated as an era where peace can be realized—and yet the Heisei years have been full of change—and challenge—for the Japanese people. Read more »

Getting Rid of the Ghosts in Our Constitutional Debate

by Guest Blogger for Sheila A. Smith
Article Nine (to the edge of left) is seen on the replica of an official original copy of the Constitution of Japan, during a photo opportunity at National Archives of Japan in Tokyo on May 21, 2013 (Issei Kato/REUTERS). Article Nine (to the edge of left) is seen on the replica of an official original copy of the Constitution of Japan, during a photo opportunity at National Archives of Japan in Tokyo on May 21, 2013 (Issei Kato/REUTERS).

This blog post is part of a series entitled Will the Japanese Change Their Constitution?, in which leading experts discuss the prospects for revising Japan’s postwar constitution. Shinichi Kitaoka, a leading Japanese diplomatic historian, is currently the president of the Japan International Cooperation Agency. He has led various government advisory panels including the Advisory Panel on Reconstruction of the Legal Basis for Security [PDF], appointed by Prime Minister Abe to consider the legal and policy issues surrounding the right of collective self-defense,  and the Advisory Panel on the History of the Twentieth Century and on Japan’s Role and the World Order in the Twenty-first Century [PDF], a panel convened in advance of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s statement on the seventieth anniversary of the end of World War II.   Read more »

Friday Asia Update: Five Stories From the Week of August 5, 2016

by Guest Blogger for Elizabeth C. Economy
Yurike-election-victory Yuriko Koike (R) and her supporters celebrate her win in the Tokyo governor election in Tokyo, Japan, July 31, 2016. (Kyodo/Reuters)

Rachel Brown, Sherry Cho, Lincoln Davidson, Theresa Lou, Gabriella Meltzer, and Gabriel Walker look at five stories from Asia this week.

1. Tokyo elects first female governor. On Sunday, Yuriko Koike was elected as the first female governor of Tokyo with 2.9 million votes, nearly one million more than her closest competitor. Although she is a member of the Liberal Democratic Party (LDP), she ran as an independent when the LDP endorsed rival candidate Hiroya Masuda instead. Koike has previously been mocked for lack of commitment to a given political party, earning her comparisons to a conveyer belt sushi restaurant or migratory bird. Read more »

A Nobel Peace Prize for Article Nine

by Guest Blogger for Sheila A. Smith
The audience listen as President of the European Commission Jose Manuel Barroso delivers a speech during the 2012 Nobel Peace Prize ceremony at City Hall in Oslo December 10, 2012 (Suzanne Plunkett/REUTERS). The audience listen as President of the European Commission Jose Manuel Barroso delivers a speech during the 2012 Nobel Peace Prize ceremony at City Hall in Oslo December 10, 2012 (Suzanne Plunkett/REUTERS).

This blog post is part of a series entitled Will the Japanese Change Their Constitution?, in which leading experts discuss the prospects for revising Japan’s postwar constitution. The following six essays will present various voices that shape Japan’s debate over its constitution and the prospect of revising it. Contributing their views are: Naomi Takasu, an advocate of protecting the constitution and of nominating Article Nine for the Nobel Peace Prize; Shinichi Kitaoka, a leading Japanese diplomatic historian who served as the vice chairman of the Advisory Panel on Reconstruction of the Legal Basis for Security, a panel convened by the Abe cabinet to consult before it passed a cabinet resolution on the right of collective self defense; Karin Koretsune, a graduate student of Japan Women’s University and a member of the Students Emergency Action for Liberal Democracy (SEALDs); Keigo Komamura, a constitutional law scholar and vice president of Keio University; and Masatoshi Asaoka and Ayumi Teraoka, intern and research associate for Japan studies at the Council on Foreign Relations. Read more »