Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe next to a map of the original Trans-Pacific Partnership participating countries. [TOSHIFUMI KITAMURA / AFP / Getty Images]
Negotiators from the 11 remaining TPP countries are holding talks this week on how to ink a deal without Washington, but internal divisions are a key obstacle
Vietnam and Malaysia, in particular, are looking to re-open discussions on certain provisions, complicating Japan’s desire to cement an agreement
As the 11 remaining Trans-Pacific Partnership countries continue talks without Washington this week, certain member states now need convincing to stay on board with the massive trade deal. Continue reading →
U.S. Pacific Command chief Adm. Harry Harris answers questions during a speech at the Sasakawa Peace Foundation in Tokyo on Wednesday. | AP
The head of the U.S. military’s Pacific Command on Wednesday urged Russia and China to step up efforts in reining in North Korea and persuade the reclusive state to halt its nuclear weapons program and related provocations.
“The dangerous behavior by North Korea is not just a threat to the Korean Peninsula,” Adm. Harry Harris said at an event in Tokyo, referring to Pyongyang’s latest test launch of a new ballistic missile on Sunday. Continue reading →
Abe government may reconsider membership in China-led investment bank
TOKYO — Japan could reopen talks on whether to join the China-led Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank, a senior lawmaker signaled Tuesday after meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping to discuss improving bilateral ties.
Toshihiro Nikai, secretary-general of Japan’s ruling Liberal Democratic Party, did not discuss the matter with Xi directly during the pair’s 17-minute talk in Beijing on Tuesday, which was concerned mainly with the possibility of Chinese leaders including Xi visiting Japan and Prime Minister Shinzo Abe visiting China. But Nikai told a news conference afterward that he would discuss the matter thoroughly with Abe when he returns home. Continue reading →
President Donald Trump and China’s Xi JInping in Florida.
Just how the shape of the new global strategic architecture will settle out as the framework for the 21st Century is still open to challenge, but the key dynamic — the initial door to that new world — is now being opened by a deliberately-orchestrated U.S.-North Korea confrontation.
What is emerging beyond this door is an overarching strategic alternative to the People’s Republic of China’s (PRC) démarche of “One Belt, One Road” dominance of the Eurasian and Indo-Pacific geopolitical space, and an alternative, or balance, to the PRC’s reach into Africa and the Americas.
The confrontation between U.S. President Donald Trump and North Korean (DPRK) leader Kim Jong-Un is very much just between those two leaders, with the People’s Republic of China somewhat marginalized. Beijing is now fighting to find a path into this equation. Continue reading →
Departing SFO last week, I peered out my window at a rare site: a gigantic Russian Antonov An-124 cargo jet parked across the runways from airport terminals. I thought it was a one-time event, but I began hearing more about it from TravelSkills readers who have seen one or two of the behemoths over the last two weeks at SFO.
I reached out to airport officials at SFO to inquire about the planes, but only received vague replies: “Yes, we’ve had these Antonov An-124 cargo aircraft making semi-regular appearances over the past week, at times having two here simultaneously. None are here now, but the next one comes in tonight.”
When I asked why they are here, what they are transporting and where they are going, the airport said, “They’re coming from various locations, all for the same Bay Area company. I don’t have details on who…” Continue reading →
The US early Wednesday, April 26, began moving the THAAD missile defense system to central South Korea opposite the border with the North – months ahead of schedule. A South Korean military official said two road-mobile launchers had arrived at the Osan Air Base. One THAAD (Terminal High Altitude Area Defense) unit includes six launchers.
Later Wednesday, all 100 US senators are scheduled to gather at the White House for a briefing by US security and military chiefs on the North Korean crisis, as the buildup to meet North Korean belligerence continues apace.
The Ohio-class guided-missile submarine USS Michigan arrives for a regularly scheduled port visit while conducting routine patrols throughout the Western Pacific in Busan, South Korea, April 24, 2017. Jermaine Ralliford/Courtesy U.S. Navy/Handout via REUTERS
North Korea conducted a big live-fire exercise on Tuesday to mark the foundation of its military as a U.S. submarine docked in South Korea in a show of force amid growing concern over the North’s nuclear and missile programmes.
SEOUL:North Korea conducted a big live-fire exercise on Tuesday to mark the foundation of its military as a U.S. submarine docked in South Korea in a show of force amid growing concern over the North’s nuclear and missile programmes.
The port call by the USS Michigan came as a U.S. aircraft carrier strike group steamed towards Korean waters and as top envoys for North Korea policy from South Korea, Japan and the United States met in Tokyo. Continue reading →
FILE PHOTO: A Japanese Air Self Defense Force F-15 fighter scrambles at the Air Self Defense Force Naha base in Naha, Okinawa prefecture, Japan, in this photo taken by Kyodo April 13, 2015. Kyodo/via REUTERS
Japan worries that China’s probing of its air defences is part of a push to extend its military influence in the East China Sea and western Pacific, where Japan controls an island chain stretching 1,400 km (870 miles) south towards Taiwan.
“Recently we have seen Chinese military aircraft operating further south and that is bringing them closer to the main Okinawa island and other parts of the island chain,” Japan’s top military commander, Admiral Katsutoshi Kawano, told a briefing in Tokyo. Continue reading →
Japan’s first dedicated military communications satellite was launched on 24 January from the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency’s Tanegashima Space Center in the country’s southwest, according to the Ministry of Defense (MoD) in Tokyo. Continue reading →
Prime Minister Shinzo Abe speaking to reporters Wednesday.
TOKYO — In the wake of the stunning U.S. election results, the Japanese government is moving to establish diplomatic relations with incoming President Donald Trump, a complete political outsider with virtually no connections to the Tokyo government establishment.
The process will “start from zero,” according to a senior official at Japan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Prime Minister Shinzo Abe seeks to get the ball rolling when Katsuyuki Kawai, his special adviser, visits the U.S. for five days beginning Monday. Continue reading →
America is unwilling to play global cop — and Beijing is filling the vacuum
There is little expectation in Asia that whoever emerges victorious in next week’s United States presidential election will be willing, or able, to play the world’s policeman as in the past.
The conviction that Washington cannot be counted on to mediate or resolve Asian disputes has grown during the presidencies of George W. Bush and Barack Obama, both of whom were fixated on the Middle East. The performances of Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump during this farcical election campaign have reinforced the view that Washington is of diminishing importance to Asia. Continue reading →
Russian President Vladimir Putin has every reason to be proud of himself. He is a master of high geopolitical games. Moscow’s influence is more widespread than ever, possibly even greater than at the height of the Cold War, when Moscow was the capital of the Soviet Empire and vying with Washington for global dominance.
In the American presidential campaign, for the first time ever, a candidate openly quoted Putin as a model to follow, while in past decades, Russia, in its Soviet incarnation, was just the great enemy against which the United States should prepare to fight. Continue reading →
Now we have somewhat of a timeline until America begins being physically kicked out of Asia.
Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte speaks at the Philippine Economic Forum in Tokyo on Oct. 26.
During the keynote speech at the Philippine Economic Forum held on the second day of Duterte’s three-day visit to Japan, he was emphatic that his country is no longer under the influence of other countries and underscored the importance of the dignity of the Philippine people.
“I want, maybe in the next two years, my country free of the presence of foreign military troops. I want them out, and if I have to revise or abrogate agreements, executive agreements, I will,” Duterte said. Since his inauguration in June, the president has repeatedly said he would no longer tolerate hosting U.S. troops in the Philippines, and he reiterated this statement in Tokyo. Continue reading →
TOKYO — The Philippines’ newly found affection for China has sparked concern in Japan that it would embolden the Asian giant to expand more aggressively in the South China Sea.
Japan has worked with the U.S. and others to pressure China to accept an international arbitration ruling in July that rejected Beijing’s claims in the South China Sea. The ruling involved a case brought by the Philippines, but Manila has downplayed the decision in its favor.