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Peter Ennis
Asia-Pacific
A long-time chronicler and analyst of Japan and US-Japan relations
Interests: Japanese politics, reform efforts, foreign and security policy; American politics, trade policy, energy policy, foreign and security policy; Asia-Pacific security; global security architecture
Recent Activity
Kenneth Pyle is the Henry M. Jackson Professor of History and Asian Studies at the University of Washington and Founding President of The National Bureau of Asian Research. Among many other posts, he has chaired the US-Japan Friendship Commission, and co-chaired the US-Japan Conference on Cultural and Educational Interchange. Prof.... Continue reading
Posted Jul 7, 2014 at Dispatch Japan
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Dennis Blair is Chairman of the Board of the Sasakawa Peace Foundation, USA, which is particularly active in Washington as a think tank focused on US-Japan relations. Prior to retiring from the Navy in 2002, Admiral Blair served as Commander in Chief, U.S. Pacific Command (CINCPAC), overseeing all US forces... Continue reading
Posted Jul 2, 2014 at Dispatch Japan
It was coincidental, but no less poignant, that Mark Lippert was on Capitol Hill this week for Senate consideration of his nomination to be US ambassador to South Korea. Currently serving as chief of staff for Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel, Lippert is one of President Barack Obama’s closest friends. Rightly... Continue reading
Posted Jun 19, 2014 at Dispatch Japan
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Richard Samuels is Ford Professor of political science at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), and director of the university’s Center for International Studies. He has been head of the MIT Political Science Department, Vice-Chair of the Committee on Japan of the National Research Council, and chair of the Japan-US... Continue reading
Posted Jun 5, 2014 at Dispatch Japan
Stanford University’s Shorenstein Asia-Pacific Research Center (APARC) announced today that it would convene a ‘Track II’ dialogue this weekend on wartime history issues that continue to aggravate tensions between Japan, China, and South Korea, with the goal of “offering practical ideas” to facilitate reconciliation in the area. The 3-day gathering,... Continue reading
Posted May 8, 2014 at Dispatch Japan
President Barack Obama was not happy when he left Tokyo 10 days ago, deeply frustrated that Prime Minister Shinzo Abe did not make the difficult concessions necessary to show real progress in the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade negotiations. Less-talked about is the policy package Obama gave Abe for what appears... Continue reading
Posted May 6, 2014 at Dispatch Japan
Kurt Campbell is chairman and chief executive of The Asia Group and on the board of the Center for a New American Security, which he co-founded in 2007. From 2009-13 he served as the assistant US secretary of state for East Asian and Pacific affairs, and is widely credited as... Continue reading
Posted Apr 28, 2014 at Dispatch Japan
Michael Armacost is the Shorenstein Distinguished Fellow at the Shorenstein Asia-Pacific Research Center of Stanford University. During a twenty-four year government career, spent mostly on Asia-related matters, Armacost served as US ambassador to Japan, US ambassador to the Philippines, and undersecretary of state for political affairs. Prior to joining the... Continue reading
Posted Apr 26, 2014 at Dispatch Japan
President Barack Obama’s mission to corral President Park Geun-hye and Prime Minister Shinzo Abe for a photo op in The Hague came off as planned on Tuesday this week. Now comes the hard part. Diplomats from the US, Japan, and Korea do not expect the icy relations between Tokyo and... Continue reading
Posted Mar 27, 2014 at Dispatch Japan
[Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, alone with his own thoughts, in his private residence in Tokyo] I see that Obama will be meeting Xi at the nuclear summit in The Hague next week. No surprise there. I’ll probably get a few minutes as well, as will Park Geun-hye. I still don’t... Continue reading
Posted Mar 19, 2014 at Dispatch Japan
[Ed: This is the second in a series of interviews on US-Japan relations in the wake of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s visit last December to the controversial Yasukuni Shrine.] Weston S. Konishi is the Washington, DC-based Chief Operating Officer of Peace Winds America (PWA), a disaster preparedness organization facilitating greater... Continue reading
Posted Mar 11, 2014 at Dispatch Japan
[Ed: This is the first in a series of interviews analyzing the continuing fallout from Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s December 26, 2013 visit to Yasukuni Shrine.] Brad Glosserman is executive director of the influential Pacific Forum CSIS, based in Honolulu, Hawaii. The Pacific Forum, which is co-chaired by Prof. Joseph... Continue reading
Posted Feb 25, 2014 at Dispatch Japan
In Japan’s diplomatic war of words with China, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has armed his troops with pens that often don’t write straight. Since Abe’s visit to the controversial Yasukuni Shrine late last year, Japanese and Chinese diplomats have battled in the opinion pages of local newspapers in at least... Continue reading
Posted Feb 24, 2014 at Dispatch Japan
Secretary of State John Kerry welcomed Japanese Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida to the State Department on Friday, with the two diplomats reiterating the fundamental importance of the US-Japan security alliance to stability in Northeast Asia. Kerry in particular emphasized the “iron-clad” nature of US security commitments to Japan. The more... Continue reading
Posted Feb 9, 2014 at Dispatch Japan
Isao Iijima, special advisor to Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and one of the more colorful figures in Japanese politics, has cancelled a return visit to Washington scheduled for the first week of February. News of the cancellation came via a letter from Roy Pfautch, a long-time Republican political consultant who... Continue reading
Posted Jan 25, 2014 at Dispatch Japan
Nago City Mayor Susumu Inamine cruised to reelection on Sunday, despite extraordinarily heavy-handed electioneering toward the end of the campaign by the Liberal Democratic Party (LDP), which backed the unsuccessful challenge of Bunshin Suematsu. Inamine’s 56-44 percent win marked a strong rebuke of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, whose government has... Continue reading
Posted Jan 19, 2014 at Dispatch Japan
Three new polls indicate that incumbent Susumu Inamine is likely to win reelection as mayor of Nago City on January 19, in what would amount to a referendum against construction of a new US Marine Corps facility in the Henoko district of the municipality. None of the polls, conducted separately... Continue reading
Posted Jan 15, 2014 at Dispatch Japan
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One of Japan’s top political fixers is trying to boost his profile in Washington, in an apparent effort to counter voices in Tokyo that warned Prime Minister Shinzo Abe against visiting the conflict-ridden Yasukuni Shrine in late December. Isao Iijima, a special advisor to Abe who has had little contact... Continue reading
Posted Jan 13, 2014 at Dispatch Japan
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For well over a month now, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and his top aides have privately been telling anyone and everyone within listening distance that a deal with Okinawa Governor Hirokazu Nakaima over a controversial US Marine base in Japan’s southern-most prefecture was all-but signed, sealed, and delivered. Now it... Continue reading
Posted Dec 24, 2013 at Dispatch Japan
Over the next two months, the battle in Okinawa will greatly intensify over whether and where to build a replacement facility for the US Marine Air Station Futenma. The struggle will culminate with the January 19 election for mayor of Nago, the municipality that is home to the picturesque Henoko... Continue reading
Posted Nov 18, 2013 at Dispatch Japan
William Grimes is chairman of the International Relations Department at Boston University. A graduate of Yale University and Princeton University’s Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs, Grimes has taught at Boston University since 1996. Before becoming department chair in 2010, he helped to found the BU Center for... Continue reading
Posted Jun 25, 2013 at Dispatch Japan
When it comes to Shinzo Abe, the Obama administration continues to walk a fine line, careful to stay clear of the Japanese prime minister’s nationalist agenda while embracing Japan as a critical ally. In the diplomatic and security mine field that is Northeast Asia, it is no easy task. The... Continue reading
Posted Jun 22, 2013 at Dispatch Japan
Just two months after Washington and Tokyo announced a “breakthrough” roadmap for the realignment of US Marine forces on Okinawa, the same disagreements that have blocked progress for almost two decades have returned to the fore. On May 9, Major General James Kessler, commander of the Marine Corps Installations Command,... Continue reading
Posted May 31, 2013 at Dispatch Japan
[Editor’s note: South Korean President Park Geun-hye will be in Washington this week for talks with President Obama and members of his Cabinet. She will also deliver a speech to a joint session of Congress, a sign of continuing strong US support for its long-time ally. Much of the discussion... Continue reading
Posted May 5, 2013 at Dispatch Japan
Mark Lippert, the assistant secretary of defense for Asia and one of President Barack Obama’s closest friends, was close by Chuck Hagel today when the US defense secretary met in Washington with his Japanese counterpart, Defense Minister Itsunori Onodera. In a few days, Lippert will still be at Hagel’s side,... Continue reading
Posted Apr 29, 2013 at Dispatch Japan