Seiji Maehara
Japan's Regional Security Environment and Possibilities for Conflict

Japan’s Regional Security Environment and Possibilities for Conflict

The next 5 months could be one of high drama and tension in East Asia geopolitics due to various leadership transitions and elections. In South Korea we have already seen election year sensitivities coming to have real life policy consequences with the last-minute cancellation of the ACSA/GSOMIA military accords between Japan and the ROK. With the presidential...

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Japan's 'Three Principles of Arms Exports' about to enter a new phase

Japan’s ‘Three Principles of Arms Exports’ about to enter a new phase

At today’s meeting of the Japanese Security Council (安全保障会議) the proposal to relax Japan’s ‘Three Principles of Arms Exports’ (武器輸出三原則 – hereafter, the ‘Three Principles’) will be tabled and agreed to. The information will be publicly promulgated by way of a Chief Cabinet Secretary Statement (官房長官談話). That this is finally happening is not much of...

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China, Korea, and Noda

China, Korea, and Noda

The temperature was turned up a little in diplomatic relations between China, Korea and Japan on the election of new Prime Minister Noda Yoshihiko earlier this week, with both Chinese and Korean media and government sources questioning the suitability of Noda’s thoughts on historical issues. The first thing that needs to be said is that...

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What the Chinese think about today's PM election in Japan

What the Chinese think about today’s PM election in Japan

Well what the Beijing News (jp) reports about it anyhow. On Saturday the Beijing News reported on the candidates vying today for the role of the President of the DPJ and thus Prime Minister of Japan. Kaieda Banri, the candidate many see as an Ozawa Ichiro proxy, comes out most favoured. The paper reports him to...

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Constitutional Revision back on the DPJ agenda?

Constitutional Revision back on the DPJ agenda?

  No specific details yet but the DPJ has decided (jp) to reconvene one of their special panels devoted to looking at constitutional issues. This panel has not sat since 2007 and the DPJ party’s position on the constitution has not changed since the publication in 2005 of a “constitutional proposal.” I talk about it...

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Nejibana on Japan's New Foreign Minister

Nejibana on Japan’s New Foreign Minister

Nejibana (of the Twisting Flowers blog) has posted a profile of the Seiji Maehara’s replacement as foreign minister. Takeaki Matsumoto was appointed to the position following Maehara’s resignation over a potential funding scandal caused by the donation of ¥250,000 by a childhood zainichi friend. Zainichi are long-term Korean residents of Japan – they are native...

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Fallout from the North-South Military Talks?

Fallout from the North-South Military Talks?

As expected, the North Koreans walked out on the military talks they begged to have with the South after being told that they would have to apologise for the attack on the Cheonan destroyer and strike against Yeonpyeong. North Korea’s mouthpiece, the Korean Central News Agency, released a scathing tirade against the ‘traitors’ in the south...

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Watch This Space: Russo-Japanese Relations

[This is JSW's first 'Watch This Space,' a type of post that will address emerging and lesser discussed issues that Japan security watchers should be aware of.] Summary: Relations between Japan and Russia are souring over the disputed Southern Kuril Islands, known in Japan as the Northern Territories. Two issues are causing upset at Japan’s...

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The small print (Jan 30 2011)

The small print (Jan 30 2011)

#1: More abductee sightings Following last week’s news that Yaeko Taguchi had been spotted in Pyongyang last year, the brother of Shuichi Ichikawa reports that Ichikawa was spotted with his wife Rumiko Matsumoto in 2006, contradicting claims that they had died in 1979 and 1981 respectively. Ichikawa’s brother has not revealed his source. In related news,...

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News on all fronts for Japan’s territorial disputes (Jan 30 2011)

News on all fronts for Japan’s territorial disputes (Jan 30 2011)

Senkaku Islands and Takeshima Shu Watanabe, a DPJ member of the Upper House – and owner of what has to be one of the worst politician’s site in the modern day, will become the party’s first lawmaker to celebrate ‘Takeshima Day’, a festival designed to emphasize Japan’s claim over the Liancourt Rocks – Takeshima to...

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Japan and the Crisis in Egypt

Japan and the Crisis in Egypt

Egypt is in the midst of a popular uprising and no-one knows what end is in sight. This has led to the Israeli embassy being evacuated from Cairo by helicopter, and countless others trying to determine whether they should or not, and how they will take care of their citizens in the country. Japan is...

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Maehara Gets It

Maehara Gets It

After years of being bogged down by the abduction issue in the Six-Party Talks, Foreign Minister Seiji Maehara seems to understand that it can’t continue. Whereas top Japanese and North Korean diplomats could sit face-to-face with each other to discuss the abductions at the six-party nuclear talks, the multilateral dialogue is for discussing Pyongyang’s nuclear...

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