Shenzo Abe Does D.C.

Last October a delegation of the U.S. imperial elite slithered into Japan, led by Richard Armitage, former Undersecrtary of State and Joseph Nye, Dean Emeritus of the Kennedy School of Empire – er, Government- at Dear Old Harvard. They came armed with a diatribe which they had co-authored for the Center For Strategic and International … Continue reading “Shenzo Abe Does D.C.”

US Goading Japan into Confrontation With China

"………..Their defeat Doth by their own insinuation grow. ‘Tis dangerous when the baser nature comes Between the pass and fell incensèd points Of mighty opposites." ~ Hamlet on the deaths of Rosencrantz and Guildenstern. At the height of the 2012 election campaign in late October, a U.S. delegation tiptoed into Japan and then China with … Continue reading “US Goading Japan into Confrontation With China”

Four More Years: The Asia Pivot

In March 1990, Time magazine ran an article titled “Ripples in The American Lake.” It was not about small waves in that body of water just north of Fort Lewis, Washington. It was talking about the Pacific Ocean — the largest body of water on the planet, embracing over half of humanity and the three … Continue reading “Four More Years: The Asia Pivot”

Osprey Outrage on Okinawa

Peace and tranquility never really seem to last long in Okinawa. Looking over the dark blue Pacific on a cloudy morning, an Okinawan fisherman will hear a steady drone emanating from the dark mass of cumulus cloud.  Then it appears, dropping out of the grey hue. It gets larger and louder. It’s a U.S. Air … Continue reading “Osprey Outrage on Okinawa”

Strengthening Alliances in East Asia Is the Wrong Way to Go

Risking an explosion of public anger in Okinawa, the U.S. Marine Corps is sending crash-prone MV-22 Osprey aircraft, which take off and land like a helicopter but fly like an airplane, to the islands. The white-hot opposition to the aircraft on the islands goes much deeper than just the possibility of a few civilians being … Continue reading “Strengthening Alliances in East Asia Is the Wrong Way to Go”

Did FDR Provoke Pearl Harbor?

On Dec. 8, 1941, Franklin Roosevelt took the rostrum before a joint session of Congress to ask for a declaration of war on Japan. A day earlier, at dawn, carrier-based Japanese aircraft had launched a sneak attack devastating the U.S. battle fleet at Pearl Harbor. Said ex-President Herbert Hoover, Republican statesman of the day, “We … Continue reading “Did FDR Provoke Pearl Harbor?”

Japan’s Culture of Peace: Reflections on Constitutional Antimilitarism

Japanese professional baseball teams have kicked off their spring exhibition games. In February I attended a match between the Yomiuri Giants and Hiroshima Carp in southern Miyazaki Prefecture. For a sport so central to the collective identities of both Americans and the Japanese, the game I attended reminded me of how different our two cultures … Continue reading “Japan’s Culture of Peace: Reflections on Constitutional Antimilitarism”

Obama Out of Okinawa

In a momentous about-face, Japan has revamped her defense strategy to address Chinese threats to Japan’s southern islands rather than Russian threats to Japan’s northernmost islands. The change comes as tensions between North and South Korea have caused Prime Minister Naoto Kan to patch strained relations between Japan and South Korea and to align Japanese … Continue reading “Obama Out of Okinawa”

US-Japan Airbase Spat May Have Regional Ripples

A protest of more than 90,000 Okinawans Sunday over the proposed relocation of a U.S. Marine Corps airbase in the southern Japanese prefecture has fueled speculation in Washington that the U.S.-Japanese alliance may be facing a serious test with the election of the Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ), and that such strains might have serious … Continue reading “US-Japan Airbase Spat May Have Regional Ripples”