The Great Debate

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?

from Compass:

To build a coalition against Islamic State, U.S. must try a little humility

By Nader Mousavizadeh
September 25, 2014

U.S. President Barack Obama chairs the U.N. Security Council summit in New York

When President Barack Obama assumed the presidency of the United Nations Security Council Wednesday, he summoned the full weight of U.S. power to a cause with seeming universal appeal: defeating the barbarism of Islamic State -- or, as Obama calls the militant group, Islamic State in Syria and the Levant (ISIL).

from Nicholas Wapshott:

Nothing pacific about it: Japan pushes back on China

By Nicholas Wapshott
July 15, 2014

Members of Japan's Self-Defence Forces' airborne troops stand at attention during the annual SDF troop review ceremony at Asaka Base in Asaka

China is on the march. Or, to be precise, China has made a strong push, militarily and otherwise, into seas nearby, setting off alarms among its neighbors. Now Japan has pushed back, announcing it will “reinterpret” its pacifist constitution so it can be more militarily aggressive in responding to China’s persistent territorial expansionism.