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Showing posts for "U.S.-Japan Relations"

Ambassador Caroline Kennedy

by Sheila A. Smith
Newly appointed U.S. ambassador to Japan Caroline Kennedy (L) is escorted by protocol chief Nobutake Odano as she arrives at the Imperial Palace by horse-drawn carriage in Tokyo, November 19, 2013 Newly appointed U.S. ambassador to Japan Caroline Kennedy is escorted by protocol chief Nobutake Odano as she arrives at the Imperial Palace by horse-drawn carriage in Tokyo, November 19, 2013 (Issei Kato/Courtesy Reuters).

There are times when pictures speak louder than words. An aura of the past surrounded the procession that bore U.S. ambassador Caroline Kennedy to the Imperial Palace to present her credentials to his majesty, Emperor Akihito. All ambassadors sent to Japan go through this ceremony, but the choice of an antique carriage and entourage replete with an Imperial footman on a white horse could not have suited Ambassador Kennedy better. The daughter of former U.S. president John F. Kennedy, the ambassador is the first woman appointed to lead the U.S. diplomatic mission to Japan. Crowds of Japanese lined the streets outside the palace to wave flags and snap photos. From inside the carriage, she smiled and waved warmly as if this was an everyday occurrence, and at her press conference after meeting the Emperor, she said simply, “I’m honored to represent my country.” Read more »

Rob Sheldon: Advancing U.S.-Japan Collective Cyber Capabilities (Part III: Cooperation)

by Guest Blogger for Adam Segal
Participants from government ministries and agencies take part in the Cyber Defense Exercise with Recurrence (CYDER) in Tokyo on September 25, 2013. (Toru Hanai/Courtesy Reuters) Participants from government ministries and agencies take part in the Cyber Defense Exercise with Recurrence (CYDER) in Tokyo on September 25, 2013. (Toru Hanai/Courtesy Reuters)

Rob Sheldon is a 2013-2014 Mansfield Fellow based in Tokyo. Follow him at @shorttelegrams. Also see Part I and Part II of this series.

As the United States and Japan seek to develop the capacity for collective operations in cyberspace, the overarching theme should be creating practical, functional forces, processes, and institutions. A stated goal of the policy should be to establish capabilities that are robust enough to address high-end threats, yet nimble enough to address normal, low-end, peacetime threats. Read more »

Rob Sheldon: Advancing U.S.-Japan Collective Cyber Capabilities (Part II: Practical Steps)

by Guest Blogger for Adam Segal
Participants from government ministries and agencies take part in the Cyber Defense Exercise with Recurrence (CYDER) in Tokyo on September 25, 2013. (Toru Hanai/Courtesy Reuters) Participants from government ministries and agencies take part in the Cyber Defense Exercise with Recurrence (CYDER) in Tokyo on September 25, 2013. (Toru Hanai/Courtesy Reuters)

Rob Sheldon is a 2013-2014 Mansfield Fellow based in Tokyo. Follow him at @shorttelegrams. Also see Part I and Part III of this series.

Washington and Tokyo are clearly interested in continuing to increase cyber cooperation—potentially in the context of collective defense. Given the nature of the alliance, “collective cyber” should be more than just policy commitment; it should be undergirded by collective capabilities. Unfortunately for planners on both sides, there is little precedent from which to draw on building international-level interoperability in the cyber domain. In September 2011, the United States and Australia formally recognized their need to incorporate cyber in the Australia, New Zeleand, United States (ANZUS) treaty. Read more »

Rob Sheldon: Advancing U.S.-Japan Collective Cyber Capabilities (Part I: Context)

by Guest Blogger for Adam Segal
Participants from government ministries and agencies take part in the Cyber Defense Exercise with Recurrence (CYDER) in Tokyo on September 25, 2013. (Toru Hanai/Courtesy Reuters) Participants from government ministries and agencies take part in the Cyber Defense Exercise with Recurrence (CYDER) in Tokyo on September 25, 2013. (Toru Hanai/Courtesy Reuters)

Rob Sheldon is a 2013-2014 Mansfield Fellow based in Tokyo. Follow him at @shorttelegrams. Also see Part II and Part III of this series.

After several years of incremental improvements, Washington and Tokyo are now more purposefully advancing their alliance into the cyber age. During the October 3, 2013, Security Consultative Committee (“2+2”) meeting in Tokyo, cabinet members from both sides agreed to establish a new Cyber Defense Policy Working Group (CDPWG), intended to promote cyber cooperation between their respective defense establishments and governments. Official statements following the dialogue indicate that each side views this as a central achievement of the meeting and a key forum for future cooperation. Read more »

Abe’s Diplomatic Agenda

by Sheila A. Smith
Visiting Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe inspects the honour guard during the state welcoming ceremony in Putrajaya, outside Kuala Lumpur July 25, 2013 Visiting Japanese prime minister Shinzo Abe inspects the honor guard during the state welcoming ceremony in Putrajaya, outside Kuala Lumpur July 25, 2013 (Bazuki Muhammad/Courtesy Reuters).

Now that the Upper House election is over, and Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s Liberal Democratic Party-led coalition has control over both houses in parliament, many expect Abe to begin addressing the difficult domestic policy issues on his agenda. In an article I published yesterday for the Georgetown Journal of International Affairs, I point out that Abe’s foreign policy choices will also greatly affect Japan’s future, particularly when it comes to how he manages three critical relationships: China, South Korea, and the United States. The first two will require Abe to address issues of deep historical distrust, while the last will test Abe’s ability to move forward long-overdue conversations on Japan-U.S. military cooperation. Read more »

Sean Connell: Lessons from KORUS for Japan and TPP

by Guest Blogger for Sheila A. Smith
U.S. president Barack Obama and South Korean president Lee Myung-bak tour the General Motors Orion assembly plant in Detroit, Michigan—which produces the Sonic sub-compact car, a joint venture with GM Korea—following congressional approval of the U.S.-Korea Free Trade Agreement U.S. president Barack Obama and South Korean president Lee Myung-bak tour the General Motors Orion assembly plant in Detroit, Michigan—which produces the Sonic sub-compact car, a joint venture with GM Korea—following congressional approval of the U.S.-Korea Free Trade Agreement October 14, 2011 (Kevin Lamarque/Courtesy Reuters).

The agreement by the eleven Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) member nations on April 22 to include Japan in their ongoing negotiations was a significant breakthrough, both for advancing the high-standard “21st century” regional trade agreement envisioned in TPP and for Japan’s quest to revitalize its economy. With Japan now formally participating in the negotiating rounds, TPP covers 40 percent of global GDP, increasing its potential to shape the Asia-Pacific regional economic environment and global trade rules. Read more »

Friday Asia Update: Top Five Stories for the Week of July 26, 2013

by Guest Blogger for Elizabeth C. Economy
China's former Chongqing Municipality Communist Party Secretary Bo Xilai looks on during a meeting at the annual session of China's parliament, the National People's Congress, at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, on March 6, 2010. (Jason Lee/Courtesy Reuters) China's former Chongqing Municipality Communist Party Secretary Bo Xilai looks on during a meeting at the annual session of China's parliament, the National People's Congress, at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, on March 6, 2010. (Jason Lee/Courtesy Reuters)

Sharone Tobias and Will Piekos look at the top five stories in Asia this week.

1. Bo Xilai indicted on corruption charges. Former Chinese Politburo member and party boss of Chongqing Bo Xilai was charged with corruption, abuse of power, and accepting bribes on Thursday, according to state media. He was indicted by prosecutors in the eastern city of Jinan, where the trial will be held; a final judgment is expected within the month. One newspaper estimated that Bo was accused of bribery and embezzlement amounting to $4 million, and analysts suggest he might face a prison sentence of fifteen to twenty years. Bo’s wife, Gu Kailai, was given a suspended death sentence last year for the murder of British businessman Neil Heywood. Read more »

Okinawa and Tokyo Today

by Sheila A. Smith
Governor of Okinawa Hirokazu Nakaima (Issei Kato/courtesy Reuters) Governor of Okinawa Hirokazu Nakaima (Issei Kato/courtesy Reuters)

My visit to Okinawa two weeks ago provided the opportunity to think about what has happened there over the past seventeen years, as the U.S. and Japanese governments have struggled to find a replacement facility for the Futenma Marine Air Station. Yet is it also important to recognize that national politics have changed considerably over this time, as have regional security dynamics. Today, the government in Okinawa faces new decisions, with as yet uncertain consequences for the effort to close Futenma. Read more »

Abe Reassures After Election Victory

by Sheila A. Smith
Japan's prime minister Shinzo Abe (L), who is also the leader of the ruling Liberal Democratic Party (LDP), puts a rosette on a name of a candidate, next to the party secretary-general Shigeru Ishiba, at the party headquarters in Tokyo July 21, 2013. Abe's ruling bloc won a decisive victory in an upper house election on Sunday, cementing his grip on power and setting the stage for Japan's first stable government since the charismatic Junichiro Koizumi left office in 2006. (Issei Kato/courtesy Reuters) Japan's prime minister Shinzo Abe (L), who is also the leader of the ruling Liberal Democratic Party (LDP), puts a rosette on a name of a candidate, next to the party secretary-general Shigeru Ishiba, at the party headquarters in Tokyo July 21, 2013. Abe's ruling bloc won a decisive victory in an upper house election on Sunday, cementing his grip on power and setting the stage for Japan's first stable government since the charismatic Junichiro Koizumi left office in 2006. (Issei Kato/courtesy Reuters)

As expected, Japan’s ruling coalition won a majority in Sunday’s Upper House election, earning majority control of both houses of parliament for Prime Minister Shinzo Abe. The standoff between Upper and Lower Houses that began in 2007—what became known as the “twisted Diet”—is over. The question now is what the Abe cabinet will do with this legislative majority, and what priorities he will bring to Japanese governance over the next three years. Read more »

Okinawa, Then and Now

by Sheila A. Smith
Citizen protest signs decorate the fence that borders U.S. Marine base Camp Schwab, where the U.S. and Japanese governments hope to build a new runway. Signs include protests against the Osprey and also ask for protection of the endangered manatee habitat. July 10, 2013 (Sheila Smith) Citizen protest signs decorate the fence that borders U.S. Marine base Camp Schwab, where the U.S. and Japanese governments hope to build a new runway. Signs include protests against the Osprey and also ask for protection of the endangered manatee habitat. July 10, 2013 (Sheila Smith)

For seventeen years, the U.S. and Japanese governments have sought to relocate the U.S. Marines from a heavily congested municipality to a more remote, rural one in northern Okinawa. Futenma Marine Air Station, however, remains open, and the prospects for relocation seem as unfathomable as ever. This past week, I revisited Okinawa, and these are my impressions of what has changed over the many years since I first came here to do research on the base protest movement in the late 1990s. Read more »