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Japan

Japan is a critical treaty ally of the United States. It hosts dozens of U.S. military bases and approximately tens of thousand U.S. military personnel, which help provide security and stability in Asia.

HIGHLIGHTS

Our Research & Offerings on Japan
  • Commentary posted April 30, 2015 by Bruce Klingner Shinzo Abe’s High-Wire U.S. Visit

    History will be made on April 29. For the first time, a leader of Japan will address a joint meeting of Congress. Such recognition of a critical U.S. ally in Asia is long overdue. Japan’s phoenix-like rise from the devastation of war is a testament to the country’s policymakers and citizens. It has blossomed into a vibrant democracy and the world’s third largest economy.…

  • Commentary posted April 30, 2015 by Jim DeMint, Bruce Klingner The High-Wire Washington Visit of Japan's Prime Minister

    History will be made today. For the first time, a leader of Japan will address a joint meeting of the U.S. Congress. Such recognition of a critical U.S. ally in Asia is long overdue. Japan's phoenix-like rise from the devastation of war is a testament to the country's policymakers and citizens. Japan has blossomed into a vibrant democracy and the world's third-largest…

  • Commentary posted April 30, 2015 by Bruce Klingner Here's What the New U.S.-Japan Defense Pact Looks Like

    The United States and Japan announced their new Guidelines for Defense Cooperation on the eve of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s visit to Washington. The agreement institutes sweeping changes to the existing 1997 guidelines, enabling greater synergistic and integrated alliance security operations worldwide. The announcement marks a major accomplishment for the alliance and…

  • Issue Brief posted April 28, 2015 by Dean Cheng America Needs a Comprehensive Strategy for Countering China’s Expanding Perimeter of National Interests

    What do Central Asia, the South China Sea, the Internet, and outer space have in common? All of these are parts of China’s expanding perimeter of national interest. Over the past decade, the People’s Republic of China (PRC) has demonstrated a willingness to use its increasing economic influence to pressure neighboring countries in physical geographic disputes and to…

  • Special Report posted February 10, 2015 by William T. Wilson, Ph.D. Japan Needs Real Economic Reform

    For four decades, Japan’s economic growth was the envy of the world. From 1950 to 1991, Japan averaged annual real gross domestic product (GDP) growth of 6.8 percent, and recorded only a single year of economic contraction, in 1974. By the late 1980s, Japan had turned from postwar ruin into an affluent country with the second-largest economy in the world. Starting in…

  • Commentary posted October 16, 2014 by Riley Walters U.S.-Japan Defense Industry Cyber Cooperation

    While Washington has long considered the defense industry a critical part of the nation’s infrastructure, that has not been the case in Tokyo. Yet as Japan increases its defense exports in partnership with foreign defense industries, it is inevitable that more sensitive information will be shared between Japan and its partners. To counter future cyber threats, it is…

  • Commentary posted October 15, 2014 by Bruce Klingner Abe's Yasukuni Visit Imperils Allied Security Interests

    Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's trip to Yasukuni Shrine is a serious foreign policy mistake that threatens allied security interests in Asia. Although Abe expressed "severe remorse" for Japan's historic actions, he should have realized that the visit was needlessly provocative and would exacerbate already strained relations with the United States and South Korea. Abe's…

  • Special Report posted October 8, 2014 by Walter Lohman, Olivia Enos, John Fleming 2014 Asia Update: What’s at Stake for America

    Introduction Economy Political Security Introduction Often overlooked in the tumult of Washington’s foreign policy debates is the remarkable consistency of U.S. foreign and trade policies over time. This is due to one immutable factor: American national interests. When U.S. policy moves away from our national interest, not only does it cease to…

  • Commentary posted September 11, 2014 by Stephen Moore In Japan's Economic Folly, A Lesson For U.S.

    Japan is flush with national pride this week, thanks to Kei Nishikori, the tennis phenom who knocked off seemingly indestructible Novak Djokovic to reach the U.S. Open finals and become the first Japanese to reach a grand slam final ever. If only Japan's economy could perform half as well. For also this week, Tokyo announced that second-quarter GDP shrank by an…

  • Commentary posted August 28, 2014 by Jim DeMint Tension between Korea-Japan is poison to Asia. U.S. Should Mediate.

    Editor’s Note: This news article was originally published in South Korea’s JoongAng Ilbo Newspaper. The interview was conducted by JoongAng Ilbo Reporter, Jin Park. Boegum Choi, Asan Fellow at The Heritage Foundation, provided the summarized translation. The original article can be accessed here.   "We hope for a positive China-Korea relationship as the result of Korean…

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  • White Paper posted July 17, 2012 by Walter Lohman, John Fleming, Robert Warshaw Key Asian Indicators: A Book of Charts

    America’s Enduring Leadership in Asia America has been engaged in Asia since a few decades after securing its independence. Its early interest is documented in the 1833 Treaty on Amity and Commerce between the U.S. and the Kingdom of Siam Thailand), and later in the market-opening 1854 Treaty of Kanagawa with Japan. The U.S. has, in fact, been a “resident…

  • Special Report posted October 8, 2014 by Walter Lohman, Olivia Enos, John Fleming 2014 Asia Update: What’s at Stake for America

    Introduction Economy Political Security Introduction Often overlooked in the tumult of Washington’s foreign policy debates is the remarkable consistency of U.S. foreign and trade policies over time. This is due to one immutable factor: American national interests. When U.S. policy moves away from our national interest, not only does it cease to…

  • Backgrounder posted June 14, 2011 by Bruce Klingner Top 10 Reasons Why the U.S. Marines on Okinawa Are Essential to Peace and Security in the Pacific

    Abstract: Two factors have driven the debate over the planned U.S. military realignment in Japan: campaign pledges made by the Democratic Party of Japan and complaints from Okinawans about the presence of the U.S. military. These factors have had a particularly strong impact on efforts to preserve the Marine Corps Air Station on Okinawa. However, other critical…

  • Backgrounder posted November 7, 2011 by Jack Spencer Japan’s Nuclear Withdrawal: Bad for Japan, Bad for the U.S., Bad for the World

    This report is available in Japanese. Click here to read. Abstract: Due to the accidents at the Fukushima nuclear plant in March 2011, the Japanese government is re-evaluating its commitment to nuclear energy. Japan’s apprehension about nuclear power is understandable, but closing nuclear plants or rejecting future construction would create substantial—and…

  • Special Report posted August 1, 2013 by Masazumi Ishii, Derek Scissors, Ph.D. What Japan Can Gain from Sound Innovation

    It has been increasingly forgotten over the past 20 years that Japan has a great deal to offer the United States and the world. In security affairs, a vibrant Japan and healthy Japan–U.S. alliance will help stabilize an otherwise volatile East Asia for another generation. In economics, post war Japan was a major force for greater global competition and the increasing…

  • Special Report posted February 10, 2015 by William T. Wilson, Ph.D. Japan Needs Real Economic Reform

    For four decades, Japan’s economic growth was the envy of the world. From 1950 to 1991, Japan averaged annual real gross domestic product (GDP) growth of 6.8 percent, and recorded only a single year of economic contraction, in 1974. By the late 1980s, Japan had turned from postwar ruin into an affluent country with the second-largest economy in the world. Starting in…

  • Backgrounder posted August 7, 2012 by Bruce Klingner, Dean Cheng U.S. Asian Policy: America's Security Commitment to Asia Needs More Forces

    Abstract: Since the 19th century, Asia has been—and will continue to be—a region of vital importance to the United States. And yet, even as the threats to stability in Asia multiply, there has not been a commensurate increase of U.S. capabilities. While the Obama Administration believes its “Asia Pivot” will animate U.S. policy toward Asia, the U.S. military lacks the…

  • Special Report posted May 25, 2011 by James Jay Carafano, Ph.D. The Great Eastern Japan Earthquake: Assessing Disaster Response and Lessons for the U.S.

    Executive Summary The massive earthquake and tsunami that struck Japan in March 2011, and the following release of radiation from the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power station, represent one of the greatest disasters to strike the nation of Japan in recent memory. An initial assessment of the Japanese response in four critical areas suggests important lessons for…

  • Special Report posted March 7, 2012 by Derek Scissors, Ph.D., Kumi Yokoe, Ph.D. Japan's National Budget: Time to Give Up on Keynesianism

    Abstract: Japan’s “lost decade” has turned into two; and Japan is not alone. Staggering amounts of public debt and stagnant economies have become a problem from the EU to the U.S. Despite twenty years of evidence to the contrary, the belief persists that deficit spending stimulates the economy. In Japan’s case, a low return on capital from massive, low-yield government…

  • WebMemo posted September 22, 2010 by Walter Lohman Not the Time to Go Wobbly: Press U.S. Advantage on South China Sea

    A few days ago, the Associated Press quoted Assistant Secretary of State for East Asian and Pacific Affairs Kurt Campbell and White House Asia Adviser Jeffrey Bader telling ambassadors from the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) that the Administration’s toughness regarding China’s claims in the South China Sea is having the desired effect, “clearly [moving…

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  • Special Report posted February 10, 2015 by William T. Wilson, Ph.D. Japan Needs Real Economic Reform

    For four decades, Japan’s economic growth was the envy of the world. From 1950 to 1991, Japan averaged annual real gross domestic product (GDP) growth of 6.8 percent, and recorded only a single year of economic contraction, in 1974. By the late 1980s, Japan had turned from postwar ruin into an affluent country with the second-largest economy in the world. Starting in…

  • Special Report posted October 8, 2014 by Walter Lohman, Olivia Enos, John Fleming 2014 Asia Update: What’s at Stake for America

    Introduction Economy Political Security Introduction Often overlooked in the tumult of Washington’s foreign policy debates is the remarkable consistency of U.S. foreign and trade policies over time. This is due to one immutable factor: American national interests. When U.S. policy moves away from our national interest, not only does it cease to…

  • Issue Brief posted February 19, 2014 by Bruce Klingner Obama Needs to Send Strong Message to Allies During Asia Trip

    President Obama correctly decided—apparently after some deliberation—to include South Korea on the itinerary for his trip to Asia in April, thus avoiding straining relations with a key ally. Seoul and Tokyo are again embroiled in a flare-up of tensions over sensitive historical issues that risk undermining U.S. security interests in Asia. Had Obama traveled only to Japan,…

  • Backgrounder posted December 20, 2013 by Bruce Klingner The U.S. Should Support Japan’s Enhanced Security Role

    The United States has long urged its allies to assume more responsibility for their defense and for common security threats. Specifically, Washington has asked its allies, in Europe and Asia alike, to increase their defense expenditures, accept new missions, and develop new military capabilities. While some allies have tried to meet Washington’s challenge, Japan’s ability…

  • Issue Brief posted December 17, 2013 by Bruce Klingner Time for Japan to Fulfill Commitment on U.S. Marine Base on Okinawa

    Long-overdue progress on relocating a U.S. Marine Corps air station within Okinawa hinges on a forthcoming decision by the island’s governor. Okinawa Governor Hirokazu Nakaima is poised to decide whether to issue a land reclamation permit to enable construction on the Futenma Replacement Facility (FRF). Local opposition has long stymied efforts to implement the now nearly…

  • Special Report posted October 7, 2013 by Walter Lohman, John Fleming, Olivia Enos A New View of Asia: 24 Charts that Show What's at Stake for America

    The Asian Studies Center Introduction Geography Economic Stakes Political Stakes Security Challenges Introduction: A New View of America's "Near West" At The Heritage Foundation’s annual B. C. Lee Lecture this year, the Chairman of the House Committee on Foreign Affairs summed up perfectly America’s destiny as regards Asia: It is America’s “Near…

  • Issue Brief posted October 4, 2013 by Bruce Klingner U.S.–Japan Security Agreement Enhances Allied Goals

    The U.S.–Japan Security Consultative Committee (SCC)—consisting of the U.S. Secretaries of State and Defense and Japanese Ministers of Foreign Affairs and Defense—agreed on several initiatives to upgrade the bilateral alliance. However, much work needs to be done on both sides of the Pacific in order for the agreement to reach fruition. Defense Cuts Undermine Deal The…

  • Issue Brief posted October 4, 2013 by Bruce Klingner U.S.–Japan Security Agreement Enhances Allied Goals

    The U.S.–Japan Security Consultative Committee (SCC)—consisting of the U.S. Secretaries of State and Defense and Japanese Ministers of Foreign Affairs and Defense—agreed on several initiatives to upgrade the bilateral alliance. However, much work needs to be done on both sides of the Pacific in order for the agreement to reach fruition. Defense Cuts Undermine Deal The…

  • Special Report posted August 1, 2013 by Masazumi Ishii, Derek Scissors, Ph.D. What Japan Can Gain from Sound Innovation

    It has been increasingly forgotten over the past 20 years that Japan has a great deal to offer the United States and the world. In security affairs, a vibrant Japan and healthy Japan–U.S. alliance will help stabilize an otherwise volatile East Asia for another generation. In economics, post war Japan was a major force for greater global competition and the increasing…

  • Issue Brief posted July 22, 2013 by Bruce Klingner, Derek Scissors, Ph.D. Japan Should Prioritize Future Policies over Revising the Past

    Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and his ruling Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) scored a landslide victory in upper-house parliamentary elections on Sunday. With the LDP now in control of both houses of the national legislature, the stage is set for Abe to be a transformational Japanese leader. But decades of Japanese policy inertia were caused by deeper endemic factors…

Find more work on Japan
Find more work on Japan