The Great Debate

As U.S. influence in Asia falters, allies increasingly look to themselves

July 31, 2015
Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force'S new helicopter destroyer DDH183 Izumo is seen before its launching ceremony in Yokohama

Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force’s new helicopter destroyer DDH183 Izumo is seen before its launching ceremony in Yokohama, south of Tokyo August 6, 2013. REUTERS/Toru Hanai

Japan’s pacifism fades, but most Japanese aren’t happy about it

By Peter Van Buren
July 20, 2015
Protesters burn an illustration of Japanese military flag featuring a portrait of Tojo, former general of the Imperial Japanese Army and WW2 Japanese PM, during a demonstration outside the Japanese Consulate in Hong Kong

Protesters burn an illustration of a Japanese military flag featuring a portrait of Hideki Tojo, Japan’s prime minister during World War Two, during a demonstration outside the Japanese Consulate in Hong Kong, July 7, 2015. REUTERS/Bobby Yip

Why China is far from ready to meet the U.S. on a global battlefront

By David Axe
June 22, 2015
Two J-10 fighter jets fly past each other at China International Aviation & Aeropsace Exhibition in China's Zhuhai

Two J-10 fighter jets from the People’s Liberation Army Air Force August 1st AerobaticsTeam during a demonstration at the China International Aviation & Aerospace Exhibition in Zhuhai, November 13, 2012. REUTERS/Bobby Yip

With a $42 billion defense budget, is Japan a hawk in dove’s clothing?

By William Johnson
April 28, 2015
Sailors stand on the deck of the Izumo warship as it departs from the harbour of the Japan United Marine shipyard in Yokohama

Sailors stand on the deck of the Izumo warship as it departs from the harbor of the Japan United Marine shipyard in Yokohama, south of Tokyo. March 25, 2015. REUTERS/Thomas Peter

How far is Japan willing to go to back the United States?

By Peter Van Buren
April 27, 2015
Handout photo shows U.S. Navy and Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force ships steaming in formation during their military manoeuvre exercise known as Keen Sword 15 in the sea south of Japan

U.S. Navy and Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force ships steam in formation during their military manoeuvre exercise known as Keen Sword 15 in the sea south of Japan, in this November 19, 2014 handout provided by the U.S. Navy. REUTERS/Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Chris Cavagnaro/U.S. Navy/Handout

In Japan, some blame the victims for Islamic State hostage crisis

By Peter Van Buren
January 23, 2015
A manager watches a news program, about an Islamic State video purporting to show two Japanese captives, at a Japanese style pub in Tokyo

A manager watches a news program, about an Islamic State video purporting to show two Japanese captives, at a Japanese style pub in Tokyo January 20, 2015. REUTERS/Toru Hanai

from Breakingviews:

Sony email shareholders would like to see

December 17, 2014

By Rob Cox

The author is a Reuters Breakingviews columnist. The opinions expressed are his own. 

With Pearl Harbor attack 73 years in the past, Japan to vote on its future

By Joshua W. Walker
December 8, 2014

RTR4GC89.jpg

Pearl Harbor is a powerful reminder of the importance of Japan. The surprise attack launched 73 years ago, Sunday (or Monday by Tokyo time) by Japanese forces changed the course of history, plunging America into World War Two and, eventually, sealing Japan’s imperial fate. From the ashes of the war these bitter enemies forged an unlikely alliance that has weathered many storms. Today it is more important than ever before.

from Anatole Kaletsky:

Stock markets set to take off as Europe, Asia abandon austerity

By Anatole Kaletsky
November 28, 2014

A pedestrian walks past an electronic board showing Japan's Nikkei average outside a brokerage in Tokyo

The Great Divergence is a term coined by economic historians to explain the sudden acceleration of growth and technology in Europe from the 16th century onward, while other civilizations such as China, India, Japan and Persia remained in their pre-modern state. This phrase has recently acquired a very different meaning, however,  more relevant to global economic and financial conditions today.

from Anatole Kaletsky:

Why political gridlock works for the U.S. economy, but not for Japan or EU

By Anatole Kaletsky
November 7, 2014

U.S. President Obama hosts a luncheon for bi-partisan Congressional leaders in the Old Family Dining Room at the White House in Washington

Is gridlocked government a betrayal of democracy? Or does it allow citizens to get on with their lives and businesses, unencumbered by meddlesome politicians?