Japan

  • The Second Trump-Kim Summit: What Will Success Look Like?

    US President Donald J. Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un will hold their second summit in Hanoi, Vietnam, on February 27 and 28.


    The two leaders last met in Singapore on June 12, 2018. Following that meeting—the first engagement between a sitting US president and the leader of North Korea—Trump declared that North Korea was “no longer a nuclear threat.” However, there is little evidence that Kim is preparing to eliminate his nuclear weapons.


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  • Japan Strives to Keep Importing Iranian Oil Despite US Sanctions

    Japan’s energy policy towards Iran has been an area of struggle for independence from the United States for four decades.

    Even when Japan tried to pursue its own energy policy towards Iran, the US has generally had the final say. From Japan’s point of view, however, the US stance towards Japan-Iran energy relations has toughened gradually since the 1979 revolution. 

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  • The United States and Its Allies Need to Understand China's North Korea Policy

    Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping in Beijing on October 26 marked the first time in seven years that a serving Japanese prime minister has traveled to China for official bilateral meetings with his counterparts. Lost in the headlines of this historic summit was the fact that the two leaders discussed North Korea and recommitted their nations to close cooperation on denuclearization and the implementation of United Nations Security Council resolutions aimed at Pyongyang.

    Many experts are cynical about Chinese cooperation on North Korea. They tend to focus on the unique aspects of the China-North Korea relationship, such as shared communist ties and geographical proximity, and view China’s proactive diplomacy with North Korea, starting with the first summit between Xi and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un summit in March, as an attempt to maximize its own interests, which do not coincide with those of the United States and its allies.


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  • Testing North Korea's Nuclear Offer

    North Korean leader Kim Jong-un has agreed to dismantle missile facilities in the presence of international inspectors and take steps toward denuclearization—provided the United States takes “corresponding measures.”

    US President Donald J. Trump called Kim’s pledges “very exciting” on Twitter.

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  • JEEPA - Japan-EU Free Trade Agreement Leaves the US Out in the Cold

    While President Trump is pursuing a protectionist trade agenda – halting negotiations for the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP), pulling out of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), and threatening trade wars against adversaries and allies – Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has been doing just the opposite. As part of Abenomics’ third arrow, the Prime Minister is forging global partnerships between Japan and other leading economies to foster economic growth. Case in point, the Japan-EU Economic Partnership Agreement (JEEPA) signed on July 17, 2018. This edition of the EconoGraphic will review this ambitious bilateral free trade agreement, assess its impact on the US economy, and explore the consequences of the United States’ retreat from its role as the global leader for free trade.

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  • Trump-Kim Summit: It’s What Happens Next that Counts

    US President Donald J. Trump’s historic summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un in Singapore on June 12 is a diplomatic win for the United States, but whether it is a strategic victory will depend on the implementation of the joint agreement signed by the two leaders, according to Michael Morell, an Atlantic Council board member and former acting director of the Central Intelligence Agency.

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  • How Russia Exploits Japan’s Soft Approach

    Russia’s annexation of Crimea in 2014 tested Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s ability to strike a balance between the G7 and Moscow.On one hand, Japan, as a G7 member, is expected to join the international community in its condemnation of Russia’s meddling in Ukraine. On the other, Japan values its relationship with Russia, which it sees as a strategic partner.

    Japan’s balancing act has, however, emboldened Russia. While the fact that Russia capitalizes on rifts within the European Union (EU) and the transatlantic relationship is widely acknowledged, less attention is paid to its wedging strategy in Asia.

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  • Kasperek Quoted in Circa on the G7 Summit and Trump's Tariffs


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  • The G7 Summit in the Age of Trump

    As the world awaits the much-anticipated summit between US President Donald J. Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un in Singapore on June 12, the president must first prepare for another important meeting: the G7.

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  • How to Make Sense of Japan’s Delicate Balance Between Russia and Ukraine

    Showing solidarity with other G7 countries following Russia’s 2014 invasion of Ukraine, Japan imposed sanctions on Russia—albeit reluctantly. The Ukraine crisis occurred amid Japan's efforts to reinvigorate Japan-Russia relations in the hope of solving the long-standing territorial dispute over the Northern territories (the Kuril Islands in Russian). Subsequently, maintaining Japan’s balance between other G7 countries and Russia became one of the main challenges for Prime Minister Shinzo Abe. 

    While Japan felt obliged to support the international community and to impose sanctions, the geopolitical dynamics in the Asia-Pacific region forced it to take a conciliatory approach to Russia. This delicate balance resulted in Japan’s symbolic sanctions and in different narratives promoted at home and in Ukraine.

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