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  • Author: Scott W. Harold
  • Publication Date: 03-2015
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The Washington Quarterly
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: U.S. foreign policy is beset by numerous simultaneous crises. In Syria, the Assad regime continues to commit massive human rights abuses, while Islamic State jihadis are seizing territory in Syria and neighboring Iraq. Russia has annexed Crimea and is threatening its neighbors from Ukraine to the Baltics. In Nigeria, Boko Haram is killing students while they sleep and abducting hundreds of young girls to sell into slavery, while the Ebola virus is killing thousands in neighboring West African states. And as if this wasn't enough, in Asia, China is on the march in the South China Sea, North Korea may test another nuclear device, and U.S. allies Japan and South Korea continue to feud over history issues. In light of these challenges, U.S. foreign policy analysts may understandably question the fate of President Obama's signature foreign policy initiative, the `pivot' or `rebalance' to the Asia–Pacific.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy
  • Political Geography: Japan, China, America, Asia, South Korea, Syria, Nigeria
  • Author: Jeffrey Reeves
  • Publication Date: 02-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The Washington Quarterly
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: The growing consensus among Chinese analysts, both in China and the West, that elements of China's contemporary foreign policy have been self - defeating is important but limited in two significant ways. First, it focuses on China's most divisive policy stances—such as its expansive territorial claims, disruptive diplomacy in the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), or growing use of unilateral economic sanctions. This focus on controversial policies, while important, ignores less litigious policies which are also now contributing to regional instability. Second, analysts who look at China's foreign policy largely confine their work to China's relations with large or medium powers—such as Japan, India, Vietnam, or the Philippines—or with regional organizations such as ASEAN. This focus ignores China's relations with smaller, developing states—such as Cambodia, Laos, Mongolia, or Myanmar—which are, in many ways, the building blocks of China's periphery security.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy
  • Political Geography: Japan, China, India, Mongolia, Vietnam, Philippines, Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar
  • Author: Mike M. Mochizuki, Samuel Parkinson Porter
  • Publication Date: 02-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The Washington Quarterly
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: In July 2013, Japan's ruling Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) and its coalition partner, the Komeito, scored an impressive victory in the House of Councilors elections. Out of the 121 contested seats, the LDP won 65 and the Komeito 11. With this victory, the LDP-Komeitoruling coalition now controls 135 out of 242 seats (about 55 percent) in the upper house. This win follows the December 2012 triumph in the House of Representatives election, which brought Shinzo Abe and the LDP back to power by taking 294 out of 480 seats.
  • Political Geography: Japan, China
  • Author: Bruno Tertrais
  • Publication Date: 09-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The Washington Quarterly
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: In the past two years, the expression "red line" has become a regular feature of the global policy debate. So much so that it risks becoming a punch line. Red lines have appeared in discussions about the Ukraine crisis, Iran's nuclear program, and Syrian use of chemical weapons. President Obama famously stated in 2012 that "a red line for us is we start seeing a whole bunch of chemical weapons moving around or being utilized."
  • Topic: Nuclear Power
  • Political Geography: Japan, China, Turkey, Ukraine, Argentina
  • Author: Michael J. Green, Zack Cooper
  • Publication Date: 09-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The Washington Quarterly
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: In November 2011, President Barack Obama announced that the United States would rebalance to the Asia-Pacific region. Although this shift had been underway for years, experts across the Pacific generally welcomed Washington's increased attention. From the beginning, however, the U.S. Congress and governments in Asia have questioned whether the rebalance announcement was backed by the necessary resources and implementation strategy. Under the 2012 National Defense Authorization Act, Congress tasked an independent assessment of the rebalance strategy with a particular focus on plans for realigning U.S. forces in the region. In authoring that independent assessment and a recent follow - on report for the Pentagon, we conducted hundreds of interviews and concluded that the general thrust of the strategy was right, but further efforts were needed to articulate and implement the strategy with greater clarity and consistency for the Congress as well as U.S. allies and partners. Two years after that initial review, we have updated our own findings and concluded that implementation of the rebalance is proceeding apace, but some of the foundational conceptual and resource problems remain. With just two years remaining in the Obama administration, it is vital that the United States revitalize the rebalance and keep its focus on Asia.
  • Political Geography: Japan, China, India, Asia
  • Author: Harsh V. Pant
  • Publication Date: 09-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The Washington Quarterly
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: A new government took office in India in May 2014 under the prime ministership of Narendra Modi. One of the first decisions it took was to invite the member states of the South Asian Association of Regional Cooperation (SAARC) for the swearing - in ceremony. The decision was a surprise but widely viewed as a great move, underscoring the resolve of the new government to embed India firmly within the South Asian regional matrix. It also underlined that, even though Modi's priorities will be largely domestic, foreign policy will continue to receive due attention. Modi also immediately set for himself a frenetic pace of international travel for the remainder of 2014, covering countries as diverse as Bhutan, Japan, Brazil, Australia, Nepal, and others in Southeast Asia.
  • Topic: Regional Cooperation, Bilateral Relations
  • Political Geography: United States, Japan, India, Australia, Southeast Asia
  • Author: Nicholas Szechenyi, Michael J. Green
  • Publication Date: 10-2013
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Comparative Connections
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: Prime Minister Abe focused intently on economic policy and led his Liberal Democratic Party to a resounding victory in the July Upper House election, securing full control of the Diet and a period of political stability that bodes well for his policy agenda. Multilateral gatherings in Asia yielded several opportunities for bilateral and trilateral consultations on security issues, and the economic pillar of the alliance also took shape with Japan's entry into the Trans-Pacific Partnership negotiations and discussions on energy cooperation. Comments on sensitive history issues sparked controversy but did not derail bilateral diplomacy. The nomination of Caroline Kennedy as US ambassador to Japan marks a new chapter in the relationship.
  • Topic: Economics, Government
  • Political Geography: Japan
  • Author: James J. Przystup
  • Publication Date: 10-2013
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Comparative Connections
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: Repeated efforts by the Abe government to engage China in high-level dialogue failed to produce a summit meeting. While Tokyo remained firm in its position on the Senkakus, namely that there is no territorial issue that needs to be resolved, Beijing remained equally firm in its position that Japan acknowledge the existence of a dispute as a precondition for talks. In the meantime, Chinese and Japanese patrol ships were in almost daily contact in the Senkaku/Diaoyu Islands region, while issues related to history, Japan's evolving security policy, Okinawa, and the East China Sea continued to roil the relationship. By mid-summer over 90 percent of Japanese and Chinese respondents to a joint public opinion poll held negative views of each other.
  • Political Geography: Russia, Japan, China
  • Author: Jiun Bang, David C. Kang
  • Publication Date: 10-2013
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Comparative Connections
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: South Korea-Japan relations have been frozen for some time and despite the summer heat, no thaw appears likely anytime soon. Although economic interactions continue to deepen between the two countries, and although there is a clear desire – and even a need – to coordinate policies toward North Korea and China, the two countries appear more focused on other issues as their main foreign policy priorities in the short-term. The two recently elected leaders have yet to meet for a summit, a sign that even a symbolic attempt to repair relations is proving difficult. Japanese Prime Minister Abe has grown stronger with a rousing Liberal Democratic Party victory in Upper House elections, yet a number of rhetorical controversies kept attention focused on Abe's foreign policy, particularly toward Korea and China. To date not much has changed and there is little evidence that either Seoul or Tokyo desires improved relations.
  • Topic: Human Rights, War
  • Political Geography: Japan, America, South Korea
  • Author: Ralph A. Cossa, Brad Glosserman
  • Publication Date: 05-2012
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Comparative Connections
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: There was a brief period during the past four months –16 days to be precise – when it looked like a breakthrough was possible in the longstanding nuclear stalemate with North Korea; then Pyongyang reverted to form. Shortly after pledging to freeze all nuclear and missile tests, Pyongyang announced a satellite launch, pulling the rug out from under Washington (and itself) and business as usual (or unusual) returned to the Peninsula. The announcement also cast a shadow over the second Nuclear Security Summit hosted by Seoul while providing additional rationale for Washington's “pivot” toward Asia.
  • Political Geography: Russia, Japan, China, Washington, Taiwan, Beijing, Asia, South Korea, North Korea, Korea, Pyongyang