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  • 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…

  • Commentary posted February 22, 2013 by Kumi Yokoe, Ph.D. Shinzo Abe: Voice of a New Generation

    This Friday, President Obama will welcome recently elected Japanese prime minister Shinzo Abe to the White House. Abe will be the first major foreign dignitary to visit Mr. Obama in his second term — but it will not be his first trip to the Oval Office. In April of 2007, during the first of Abe’s two non-contiguous terms in office, he called on President George W.…

  • Issue Brief posted February 21, 2013 by Bruce Klingner U.S. Should Prioritize Alliance Support with Visiting Japanese PM

    Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe will meet with President Obama on February 22 to affirm the bilateral alliance and align policies responding to recent North Korean and Chinese aggression. Since Abe has been in office for only two months, no tangible summit achievements (“deliverables,” in diplomatic parlance) are expected. But President Obama should use the opportunity…

  • Issue Brief posted February 12, 2013 by Dean Cheng China’s Xi Jinping’s New Hard Line and the U.S.–Japan Alliance

    Two recent speeches by new Chinese leader Xi Jinping have attracted attention, providing the first insights into the views of China’s new leadership. One is focused on China’s internal political situation; the other discusses Chinese foreign policy. In combination, they could indicate the direction of Chinese policy for the next 10 years of Xi Jinping’s tenure as senior…

  • Commentary posted January 7, 2013 by Edwin J. Feulner, Ph.D. Conservative Tide in Asia

    There are no permanent victories in democratic politics and no permanent defeats. Thus, even as conservatives in the United States are working to find better ways to present our ideas in the 2014 and 2016 elections, we should pause a moment to celebrate some successes overseas. The results of last month’s elections in South Korea and Japan show the two nations recognize…

  • Backgrounder posted November 14, 2012 by Bruce Klingner U.S. Should Use Japanese Political Change to Advance the Alliance

    Abstract: On December 16, the Japanese people will once again have an opportunity to reshape their nation’s political landscape. To many, such reform seemed imminent three years ago, when the Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ) swept into power. Yet the DPJ was unable to turn campaign promises into concrete reforms, and as a result, the Japanese public’s desire for political…

  • Backgrounder posted September 24, 2012 by Bruce Klingner Washington Should Urge Greater South Korean–Japanese Military and Diplomatic Cooperation

    Abstract: Greater military and political cooperation between South Korea and Japan would protect South Korean, Japanese, and U.S. national interests in Asia. The growing North Korean and Chinese security threats to the region have motivated South Korea and Japan to cooperate more, but historical animosities and recent diplomatic missteps have constrained bilateral…

  • 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…