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  • Backgrounder posted January 11, 2016 by Bruce Klingner Japanese Defense Reform Supports Allied Security Objectives

    In September 2015, Japan passed defense reform legislation that enables it to play a more comprehensive role in responding to global security challenges. Japan’s reforms replace archaic restrictions on its forces that precluded Tokyo from assuming a role commensurate with its capabilities, resources, national interests, and international responsibilities. The legislation…

  • Backgrounder posted September 28, 2015 by Bruce Klingner Allies Should Include Japan in Korean Unification Plans

    South Korean President Park Geun-hye has made Korean unification a central tenet of her foreign policy strategy. While concurrently pledging to respond sternly to any North Korean provocation, she has repeatedly tried to engage Pyongyang. Like previous South Korean presidents, Park has sought dialogue with Pyongyang to defuse tensions, deter North Korean attacks, and…

  • Backgrounder posted September 25, 2015 by James Jay Carafano, Ph.D., Luke Coffey, Matthew Rolfes, Daniel Kochis, Dean Cheng, Lisa Curtis, Bruce Klingner Meager Ground Forces, Extensive Global Challenges: A Primer for the U.S. President in 2017

    Whoever occupies the Oval Office in 2017 will face challenges around the world, including a resurgent Russia, an increasingly assertive China, a metastasized Islamic State (ISIS), and an emboldened Iran. Addressing these and other foreign policy challenges in the wake of the Obama Administration’s “leading from behind” approach will require a fundamental change of…

  • Commentary posted August 19, 2015 by Jim DeMint, Bruce Klingner Easing the Strains Between Japan and South Korea

    As world attention has recently been focused elsewhere, longstanding tensions between two critical U.S. allies, Japan and South Korea, have quietly been easing. This is the result of initiatives by the leaders of both countries, as well as the concerted efforts of diplomats. That’s good news for Washington, since together the three nations can better address common…

  • Backgrounder posted June 12, 2015 by Bruce Klingner South Korea Needs THAAD Missile Defense

    The April 2015 interim nuclear agreement with Iran has generated speculation that a similar denuclearization agreement might be possible with North Korea. However, Pyongyang has made emphatically clear that it will never abandon its nuclear arsenal and has declared the Six-Party Talks “null and void.”[1] The U.S. and its allies therefore need to deploy sufficient defenses…

  • 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…

  • 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 serve its…

  • 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…

  • Commentary posted January 29, 2013 by Dean Cheng Asia on the Horizon

    As senators prepare questions for Chuck Hagel, they would do well to clarify his views on Asia, a crucial region for U.S. interests. It boasts the world’s two largest economies after the United States and much of the world’s holdings of U.S. dollars and dollar assets, such as Treasury bonds. Moreover, it is the source of much of the high technology that undergirds…

  • WebMemo posted February 8, 2012 by Bruce Klingner White House Deal with Japan Risks Military Capability in Asia

    On February 8, the United States and Japan jointly announced changes to the existing bilateral accord for realigning U.S. Marines on Okinawa. While both sides affirmed commitment to relocating a Marine air unit on the island, more significantly, the Obama Administration abandoned longstanding U.S. insistence that Japan fulfill pre-conditional commitments prior to…