Is the US Scrapping the Pivot?

Below is a guest contribution by Brad Nelson from CWCP. A few days ago political scientist and Eurasia Group president Ian Bremmer made an astute point on Twitter: “Hillary/Donilon/Geither to Kerry/Rice/Lew. Lots, lots less Asia focus in 2nd term Obama team. Let’s hope Xi Jinping doesn’t notice.” I think Bremmer’s assessment is spot on. Practically all of the...

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Japanese Media: Taiwan-Japan Fishing Deal Strategically Significant

Japanese Media: Taiwan-Japan Fishing Deal Strategically Significant

Following on from Michal Thim’s ASW post, which contains the details of the deal, the Japanese media reaction has been illuminating, and it appears to be the number one story alongside North Korean missiles on most Japanese news sites. Something appeared to be stirring in late March when it was reported in the Japanese media...

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More joy for the F-35 in Asia?

More joy for the F-35 in Asia?

The article below is a guest post by Mike Yeo, an aviation enthusiast and Singaporean photographer specializing in photography of aviation subjects. You can check out his portfolio here. We have recruited a number of talented and enthusiastic writers like Mike to revitalize Asia Security Watch over the coming year, so keep an eye out over the...

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Japanese Media Now Openly Talking about Japan-Australia Soryu Deal

Today the Nikkei featured an article (日) that raised once again the possibility of Japan transferring the technology underpinning the prized Soryu submarine to Australia. The article did not offer much additional detail about how the process from here is likely to unfold, although it did frame the technology transfer as part of a supposedly mutual...

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3 Ways the DPRK Has Just Hurt its “Blood Ally.”

Regarding the recent satellite launch/missile test conducted by the DPRK. Apologies for cross posting. First, it gives Japan and the US a useful issue to bash the PRC over the head with in the UNSC, especially if the PRC goes ahead and vetoes any further sanctions. China’s image will deteriorate in Japan further as perceptions...

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RUSI Japan

Nothing of substance right now, although there is much to talk about. M.Taylor Fravel has a great post up that reflects a lot of my own thoughts and apprehensions on issues regarding the current Senkaku conflict.* It seems to be reviving for the third time this year after having been pronounced dead twice. Essential reading also includes...

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Two Large Steps for the Australia-Japan Relationship on the Horizon?

Two very interesting pieces of news have surfaced in the last two days regarding the Australia-Japan relationship. On Wednesday morning (日) in New York, Japan and Australia, on the heels of the recent two-plus-two dialogue in Sydney, agreed to further deepening of the strategic partnership, and explicitly committed themselves to making a breakthrough on the Economic Partnership Agreement...

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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 MSDF leads and China’s PLA(N) follows

In among Japan’s much more proactive approach to Southeast Asia, including stronger commitments of aid and security cooperation to Indonesia, Philippines, and Vietnam, and increased tension over the Senkaku islands due to developments in Japan’s domestic politics, you could be forgiven for thinking that Japan and China have completely burned their bridges in the last...

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The New Japanese Defense Minister and the Japanese Media Response

Much like with the previous two defense ministers, the Japanese media has not let the selection of Professor Morimoto go without comment, albeit for quite different reasons this time around. One narrative was that of the selection potentially leading to improved relations between the Noda administration and the Obama administration. The US Department of Defense...

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Japan’s MSDF to make a Port Call in Manila amid Tensions

When? Next week it would seem. Hot on the heels of a promise to supply a number of JCG vessels to the Philippines, Japan is now also sending three JMSDF naval training ships to Manila for a four-day port call from 28 May to 31 May. The ships are reported to be the JS Kashima (TV-3505),...

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Alliance Diversification Watch: Japan and the Philippines

Is Japan about to enter the South China Sea dispute in a concrete way and provide up to 10 Japanese Coast Guard  Ships to the Philippines? I guess the timing could not be better for the Philippines given the current tensions surrounding the Scarborough Shoal standoff. However the news is not yet official as the...

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