Japan

  • Holly Dagres interviewed in BBC Newsroom: Could Iran-Japan talks lead to a Trump summit?


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  • Barbara Slavin quoted in Think Progress: Japanese PM’s visit to Iran might cool tensions between Tehran and Washington


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  • Japan’s Historic Opportunity to Play Peacemaker Between the US and Iran

    Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe will finally make a trip to Iran on June 12. Since becoming prime minister at the end of 2012, every time Abe attempted to visit Tehran, the idea was eventually withdrawn mainly due to US disapproval, according to rumors. 

    However, Prime Minister Abe has met Iranian President Hassan Rouhani seven times already, not only in New York on the sideline of the UN General Assembly every year since 2013, but also at the sixtieth annual Asia-Africa Conference in Indonesia during 2015. The Tehran visit will be the eighth meeting between Abe and Rouhani. It will be the first visit by a Japanese prime minister since 1978. (However, it will be Abe’s second visit to Iran since he accompanied his father, then Foreign Minister Shintaro Abe, in 1983.)

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  • US-Japan Trade Negotiations: A Narrow Scope is Key to Success

    US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer and Japanese Economic Revitalization Minister Toshimitsu Motegi kicked off long-awaited trade negotiations between the United States and Japan in Washington this week. While both sides have agreed to accelerate the talks, their scope is unclear.


    Japan wants to focus on tariffs on industrial and agricultural goods, referring to the possible outcome as a Trade Agreement on Goods (TAG), but the United States insists on a comprehensive free trade agreement (FTA) negotiation—encompassing goods, services, investment, and anti-currency manipulation.

    Beyond these differences in scope, there are important divergences on substantive matters, not the least of which is Japan’s preference for a free trade framework as opposed to the United States’ managed-trade approach. As a consequence, the talks could make speedy progress if narrowly focused, but could drag on if Washington insists on a comprehensive agenda.


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  • 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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