Policy Archive

  • Anxious to restore the luster of the Japanese "brand" in the wake of the disasters triggered by the Great East Japan Earthquake, the government has launched a cultural diplomacy offensive that builds on the current popularity of Japanese pop culture. Greater effort will be needed, however, to transmit the deeper, more enduring values of Japanese culture.

    Toward a New Era in Cultural Diplomacy

    Anxious to restore the luster of the Japanese "brand" in the wake of the disasters triggered by the Great East Japan Earthquake, the government has launched a cultural diplomacy offensive that builds on the current popularity of Japanese pop culture. Greater effort will be needed, however, to transmit the deeper, more enduring values of Japanese culture.

    Continue Reading...

  • A lack of responsibility is to blame for the government’s repeated bungling of diplomatic issues and its muddled response to the nuclear crisis in Fukushima. Now the same lack of responsibility threatens to have a dire effect on the international community, warns Kōno Yōhei.

    Politicians Must Secure People’s Safety

    A lack of responsibility is to blame for the government’s repeated bungling of diplomatic issues and its muddled response to the nuclear crisis in Fukushima. Now the same lack of responsibility threatens to have a dire effect on the international community, warns Kōno Yōhei.

    Continue Reading...

  • Kōno Yōhei, who served as Speaker of the House of Representatives longer than anyone in Japan’s constitutional history (2003–09), laments the irresponsible attitude of the country’s political leadership and looks to the past for hints on how to overcome the gridlock currently crippling the Diet.

    Japan’s Politicians Lack Humility

    Kōno Yōhei, who served as Speaker of the House of Representatives longer than anyone in Japan’s constitutional history (2003–09), laments the irresponsible attitude of the country’s political leadership and looks to the past for hints on how to overcome the gridlock currently crippling the Diet.

    Continue Reading...

  • Taniguchi Tomohiko, former Foreign Ministry deputy press secretary, finds the nickname “Teflon Kan” appropriate for Prime Minister Kan Naoto in light of his survival of a no-confidence measure to hold on to power. Although Kan’s political maneuvers may have won him more time, Japan is losing out under his inept leadership.

    “Teflon Kan” Survives, but Will Japan?

    Taniguchi Tomohiko, former Foreign Ministry deputy press secretary, finds the nickname “Teflon Kan” appropriate for Prime Minister Kan Naoto in light of his survival of a no-confidence measure to hold on to power. Although Kan’s political maneuvers may have won him more time, Japan is losing out under his inept leadership.

    Continue Reading...

  • An agreement has been reached to extend the current Diet session and Prime Minister Kan Naoto has reshuffled his cabinet. But as long as he refuses to announce a date for his resignation, the chaos that is paralyzing Japanese politics will only get worse, argues Masuzoe Yōichi.

    A Prime Minister on Life Support

    An agreement has been reached to extend the current Diet session and Prime Minister Kan Naoto has reshuffled his cabinet. But as long as he refuses to announce a date for his resignation, the chaos that is paralyzing Japanese politics will only get worse, argues Masuzoe Yōichi.

    Continue Reading...

  • As Japan emerged from the misery of the immediate postwar period, Arnold Toynbee’s view that civilizations advance only by responding to challenge was widely popular in Japan. Taniguchi Tomohiko, former Foreign Ministry deputy press secretary, argues that today’s Japan faces a “Toynbee moment” that requires nothing short of national transformation.

    Japan’s “Toynbee Moment”

    As Japan emerged from the misery of the immediate postwar period, Arnold Toynbee’s view that civilizations advance only by responding to challenge was widely popular in Japan. Taniguchi Tomohiko, former Foreign Ministry deputy press secretary, argues that today’s Japan faces a “Toynbee moment” that requires nothing short of national transformation.

    Continue Reading...

  • International misgivings about Japan are on the rise following a spate of gaffes by Prime Minister Kan Naoto. Although the prime minister has now announced his intention to stand down, Japanese politics will continue in a state of chaos until he reveals a clear timetable for his resignation, says Masuzoe Yōichi.

    Kan Survives Vote of No-Confidence, but the Chaos Continues

    International misgivings about Japan are on the rise following a spate of gaffes by Prime Minister Kan Naoto. Although the prime minister has now announced his intention to stand down, Japanese politics will continue in a state of chaos until he reveals a clear timetable for his resignation, says Masuzoe Yōichi.

    Continue Reading...

  • The earthquake, tsunami, and nuclear crisis have wrecked Japan’s reputation as a safe exporter and attractive tourist destination. This damage to Japan’s international standing threatens to become a fourth national disaster. Toyoda Masakazu, chairman of the Institute of Energy Economics, Japan, suggests four policies for avoiding the worst.

    Overcoming the Fourth Disaster

    The earthquake, tsunami, and nuclear crisis have wrecked Japan’s reputation as a safe exporter and attractive tourist destination. This damage to Japan’s international standing threatens to become a fourth national disaster. Toyoda Masakazu, chairman of the Institute of Energy Economics, Japan, suggests four policies for avoiding the worst.

    Continue Reading...

  • China specialist Kawashima Shin reviews the ups and downs in Sino-Japanese relations following major earthquakes in China and Japan and calls for a concerted effort to ensure that the Great East Japan Earthquake does not cause a deterioration in the relationship.

    Don’t Let the Disaster Wreck Sino-Japanese Relations

    China specialist Kawashima Shin reviews the ups and downs in Sino-Japanese relations following major earthquakes in China and Japan and calls for a concerted effort to ensure that the Great East Japan Earthquake does not cause a deterioration in the relationship.

    Continue Reading...

  • The world has leaped to Japan’s aid in the wake of the March 11 disaster. Hosoya Yuichi, a specialist in diplomatic history, argues that the support of the United States in particular marks a significant evolution in the Japan-US alliance, and calls on Japan to develop its spirit of international cooperation further as a means of expressing gratitude for the world’s support.

    The Dawning of a New Age of International Cooperation

    The world has leaped to Japan’s aid in the wake of the March 11 disaster. Hosoya Yuichi, a specialist in diplomatic history, argues that the support of the United States in particular marks a significant evolution in the Japan-US alliance, and calls on Japan to develop its spirit of international cooperation further as a means of expressing gratitude for the world’s support.

    Continue Reading...