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Peter Ennis
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
Analysts are still searching for a pithy way to encapsulate the outcome Nov. 10’s somewhat enigmatic encounter in Beijing between Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and Chinese President Xi Jinping. What exactly did the two leaders agree to? What factors brought them together, and how much will the two countries... Continue reading
Posted 2 days ago at Dispatch Japan
The victory on Sunday of Takeshi Onaga in the race for governor of Okinawa came as no surprise, as opinion polls leading up to election day tagged him as the clear favorite in a field of four that included the unpopular incumbent, Hirokazu Nakaima. But the size of Onaga’s victory... Continue reading
Posted Nov 16, 2014 at Dispatch Japan
To break the deadlock in the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade talks, the United States should consider excluding Japan, and conclude an agreement with only 11 instead of 12 nations, according to trade specialist Scott Miller of the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS). “That would be extraordinarily popular in... Continue reading
Posted Nov 2, 2014 at Dispatch Japan
Bruce Klingner is the senior research fellow for Northeast Asia in The Heritage Foundation's Asian Studies Center. He joined Heritage in 2007, and has become well-known in Washington as a commentator and analyst on regional affairs. He recently helped coordinate a Heritage conference on history disputes in Northeast Asia. Before... Continue reading
Posted Sep 15, 2014 at Dispatch Japan
Below is the second half of a lengthy interview with Michael Green, one of Washington’s best-known specialists on Japan and US-Japan relations. The first half took up recent changes in Japan’s security policy. This second section discusses the domestic political implications of the defense policy changes, as well as history... Continue reading
Posted Sep 12, 2014 at Dispatch Japan
Below is the first half of a lengthy interview with Michael Green, one of Washington’s best-known specialists on Japan and US-Japan relations, discussing recent changes in Japan’s security policy. The second section takes up history issues, and Japan’s troubled relationship with Korea. Dr. Green is senior vice president for Asia... Continue reading
Posted Sep 10, 2014 at Dispatch Japan
COMMENTARY One of the uglier aspects of Japanese politics is played out every day in front of the headquarters of Asahi Shimbun, arguably the country’s top newspaper. Dozens – often hundreds – of right-wing activists coalesce, with loudspeakers galore, to intimidate reporters and staff personnel trying to go about their... Continue reading
Posted Aug 13, 2014 at Dispatch Japan
T.J. Pempel is Jack M. Forcey Professor of Political Science at the University of California-Berkeley, where he served as director of the Institute of East Asian Studies from 2002 until 2006. Before moving to Berkeley, he was at the University of Washington at Seattle, where he was the Boeing Professor... Continue reading
Posted Aug 5, 2014 at Dispatch Japan
Bruce W. Bennett is a senior defense analyst at the RAND Corporation, working mostly within the RAND International Security and Defense Policy Center. He is an expert in Northeast Asian military issues, including changes in the regional security environment, future ROK military force requirements, the Korean military balance, counters to... Continue reading
Posted Jul 30, 2014 at Dispatch Japan
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
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
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