Jiji Press commentator Yoshikatsu Suzuki discusses the way ahead for Japanese diplomacy in 2012, focusing relevantly enough on the Philippines, which recently offered the US a chance at a new base – an offer the US has turned down, and the Indian Ocean, in whose ports Suzuki sees Japan needing to gain a presence. It makes for an interesting look at some of the contemporary issues affecting Japanese foreign policy.

The year 2012 marks the start of efforts to build a new order in the Asia-Pacific region. The world faces a number of difficult issues and situations whose outcome is in doubt: the Arab Spring, the European crisis, Iran’s nuclear program, and the outlook for North Korea after the death of Kim Jong-il. Now is the time for writing new rules and formulating new frameworks for an era of change. Things are already beginning to stir on the political stage, with changes of government, scheduled or otherwise, likely in a number of countries in the near future.

Read more at Nippon.com.

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A former contributor to World Intelligence (Japan Military Review), James Simpson joined Japan Security Watch in 2011, migrating with his blog Defending Japan. He has a Masters in Security Studies from Aberystwyth University and is currently living in Kawasaki, Japan. His primary interests include the so-called 'normalization' of Japanese security (i.e. militarization), and the political impact of the abduction issue with North Korea.
James Simpson has 254 post(s) on Japan Security Watch