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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
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On July 19, Mitsubishi Materials Corp. took the landmark step of issuing a formal apology to American ex-Prisoners of War (POWs) forced to work under “inhumane” conditions in copper mines run by the company’s predecessor – Mitsubishi Mining – during World War II. The apology was a first by a... Continue reading
Posted Aug 9, 2015 at Dispatch Japan
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Prime Minister Shinzo Abe continues to struggle with widespread public opposition to his push to overhaul Japan’s pacifist, “self-defense only” security policy. But that is not Abe’s only headache on defense issues. Okinawa governor Takeshi Onaga is escalating his fierce resistance to a US-Japan plan to build a new US... Continue reading
Posted Jul 14, 2015 at Dispatch Japan
The May 17 demonstration in Okinawa in opposition to the Henoko project brought out 35,000 people, which was the largest gathering of opponents since Governor Takeshi Onaga defeated incumbent Hirokazu Nakaima last November. There have been larger demonstrations in recent years, with 90,000 having gathered in 2010 to protest the... Continue reading
Posted May 22, 2015 at Dispatch Japan
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On Tuesday, May 5, 187 Japan scholars mostly from English-speaking countries came together in an Open Letter to warn against what they see as a worrisome trend of intolerance in Japan toward journalists and scholars who express disagreement with the Abe government’s view of history issues, particularly “comfort women.” Since... Continue reading
Posted May 15, 2015 at Dispatch Japan
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Joseph S. Nye Jr. is University Distinguished Service Professor and former Dean of Harvard's Kennedy School of Government. He has served as Assistant Secretary of Defense for International Security Affairs, Chair of the National Intelligence Council, and Deputy Under-Secretary of State for Security Assistance, Science and Technology. His latest book,... Continue reading
Posted May 5, 2015 at Dispatch Japan
Prime Minister Shinzo Abe of Japan will speak to a... Continue reading
Posted Apr 20, 2015 at Dispatch Japan
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Japan’s prime minister Shinzo Abe will arrive in Washington two weeks from now, with the highlight of his visit to be an address to a joint meeting of the US Congress. The key issues on the agenda include an upgrade of the US-Japan security relationship, and the ongoing efforts to... Continue reading
Posted Apr 13, 2015 at Dispatch Japan
The United States and Japan will release new bilateral defense guidelines in late April, according to Japanese officials who briefed reporters on the plan. The timing is politically awkward, as new and revised legislation to authorize new roles and missions for Japan’s Self-Defense Forces envisioned in the new guidelines will... Continue reading
Posted Apr 7, 2015 at Dispatch Japan
Japan is continuing to formulate a new legal framework that will govern the country’s security policy. Last summer, the Cabinet led by Prime Minister Shinzo Abe issued a new interpretation of the country’s famed “peace clause” enshrined in Article 9 of the Constitution, which bars the country from maintaining armed... Continue reading
Posted Apr 1, 2015 at Dispatch Japan
Japan’s ruling coalition parties – the dominant Liberal Democrats (LDP) and junior partner Komeito – have hammered out a framework for legislation to implement the Abe Cabinet’s decision last year to reinterpret the nation’s pacifist Constitution. The new interpretation and emerging legal framework broaden the range of roles and missions... Continue reading
Posted Mar 24, 2015 at Dispatch Japan
The deadline of sunset Thursday (local time) set by the Islamic State for a ‘prisoner exchange’ with Jordan came and went with an anguishing silence, leaving the fate of two hostages held by the extremist group shrouded in mystery. Frustrated and angry Jordanian and Japanese government officials were left to... Continue reading
Posted Jan 30, 2015 at Dispatch Japan
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Emperor Akihito raised many an eyebrow in Japan and abroad recently when he used his New Year message to urge Japan’s citizens to learn from history in this, the 70th anniversary of the end of World War II. He specifically referred to the Manchurian Incident of 1931 as the start... Continue reading
Posted Jan 27, 2015 at Dispatch Japan
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Emperor Akihito raised many an eyebrow in Japan and abroad recently when he used his New Year message to urge Japan’s citizens to learn from history in this, the 70th anniversary of the end of World War II. He specifically referred to the Manchurian Incident of 1931 as the start... Continue reading
Posted Jan 23, 2015 at Dispatch Japan
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On December 14, Japan’s ruling Liberal Democrat (LDP) / Komeito coalition easily won a snap election called by Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, retaining its impressive two-thirds majority in the national Diet. But low voter turnout, continued voter doubts about the government’s economic program, and polls showing sagging popularity of the... Continue reading
Posted Jan 4, 2015 at Dispatch Japan
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On December 14, Japan’s ruling Liberal Democrat (LDP) / Komeito coalition easily won a snap election called by Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, retaining its impressive two-thirds majority in the national Diet. But low voter turnout, continued voter doubts about the government’s economic program, and polls showing sagging popularity of the... Continue reading
Posted Dec 21, 2014 at Dispatch Japan
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On December 14, Japan’s ruling Liberal Democrat (LDP) / Komeito coalition easily won a snap election called by Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, retaining its impressive two-thirds majority in the national Diet. But low voter turnout, continued voter doubts about the government’s economic program, and polls showing sagging popularity of the... Continue reading
Posted Dec 20, 2014 at Dispatch Japan
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On December 14, Japan’s ruling Liberal Democrat (LDP) / Komeito coalition easily won a snap election called by Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, retaining its impressive two-thirds majority in the national Diet. But low voter turnout, continued voter doubts about the government’s economic program, and polls showing sagging popularity of the... Continue reading
Posted Dec 19, 2014 at Dispatch Japan
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On December 14, Japan’s ruling Liberal Democrat (LDP) / Komeito coalition easily won a snap election called by Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, retaining its impressive two-thirds majority in the national Diet. But low voter turnout, continued voter doubts about the government’s economic program, and polls showing sagging popularity of the... Continue reading
Posted Dec 18, 2014 at Dispatch Japan
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Not even Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s sharpest critics can easily dismiss the results of his astute political decision to dissolve the Diet and hold a snap Lower House election on December 14. It is no small accomplishment to retain the top position in a coalition government with a two-thirds parliamentary... Continue reading
Posted Dec 16, 2014 at Dispatch Japan
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AN INTERVIEW SERIES On November 10, Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and China’s President Xi Jinping met in Beijing for 30 minutes or so on the outskirts of the APEC regional economic summit, then underway in China’s capital city. The two leaders had not met since each came to power... Continue reading
Posted Dec 13, 2014 at Dispatch Japan
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AN INTERVIEW SERIES On November 10, Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and China’s President Xi Jinping met in Beijing for 30 minutes or so on the outskirts of the APEC regional economic summit, then underway in China’s capital city. The two leaders had not met since each had come to... Continue reading
Posted Dec 10, 2014 at Dispatch Japan
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On November 10, Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and China’s President Xi Jinping met in Beijing for 30 minutes or so on the outskirts of the APEC regional economic summit, then underway in China’s capital city. The two leaders had not met since each had come to power almost two... Continue reading
Posted Dec 7, 2014 at Dispatch Japan
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On November 10, Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and China’s President Xi Jinping met in Beijing for 30 minutes or so on the outskirts of the APEC regional economic summit, then underway in China’s capital city. The two leaders had not met since each had come to power almost two... Continue reading
Posted Dec 4, 2014 at Dispatch Japan
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AN INTERVIEW SERIES On November 10, Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and China’s President Xi Jinping met in Beijing for 30 minutes or so on the outskirts of the APEC regional economic summit, then underway in China’s capital city. The two leaders had not met since each had come to... Continue reading
Posted Dec 3, 2014 at Dispatch Japan
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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 Nov 22, 2014 at Dispatch Japan