Will the Tokyo Olympics Increase Japan’s Soft Power?

July 15, 2021

Sport is often a great source of soft power, or the ability to shape the preferences of others by appeal instead of coercion or monetary incentives. The Olympic Games are a powerful tool for this type of attraction. Awarded to Germany before the Nazis came to power, the 1936 Berlin Olympics helped...

Japan’s Art of Forgetfulness

April 14, 2021

What choices are available to a nation that, in its quest for modernization, foolishly built a nuclear reactor in a seismically active tsunami zone? The Royal Society reported in 2015 that the disastrous fate of Fukushima in 2011 resulted from a “cascade of engineering and regulatory...

Can Japan Maintain Its Economic Fortunes?

June 24, 2019

Japan is set up for a stint in the international spotlight, hosting the G20 summit at the end of June and the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. It will be a busy few years for Japan, which hosts the G20 summit on June 28-29 followed by the Tokyo Olympics in 2020. The international attention sparks questions...

Are Japan and Russia Ready to Resolve the Kuril Islands Dispute?

January 14, 2019

Russia and Japan have disparate views on the Kuril Islands that can only be overcome through significant concessions. Last year, the 70-year-long territorial dispute between Russia and Japan over the Kuril Islands again rose to prominence. On September 12, at an economic development conference...

The Tokyo Gas Attack Was Japan’s 9/11

July 11, 2018

On that fatal March morning in 1995, Aum Shinrikyō tried to mount an attack that would cause so much indiscriminate carnage that it would actually bring down the government. The execution by hanging in Tokyo on July 6 of the "doomsday cult" leader Shoko Asahara and six of his followers has...

The World This Week: Shinzo Abe’s Sun Rises in Japan

October 29, 2017

With Xi Jinping and Shinzo Abe on the ascendant, tensions are bound to rise in East Asia despite Japan’s aging population and tottering economy. This week, US Senator Bob Corker turned on the man he endorsed not too long ago. The senator called US President Donald Trump “utterly...

Japan’s Media: A Narrow Window on the World

December 21, 2016

Media in Japan focuses heavily on domestic affairs, affecting the country's global outlook. Our world is becoming increasingly interconnected in a multitude of ways, and advances in information and communication technologies have made the gathering and dissemination of information at a global...

The World This Week: Vietnam, Japan, the Asia Pivot and the Obama Doctrine

May 29, 2016

Obama visits Asia to heal past wounds, push for trade, deepen security ties, promote American interests and contain China in a masterly display of diplomacy. The late Harold Macmillan, heir to a publishing business, a British prime minister and chancellor of the University of Oxford, was once...

The World This Week: Earthquakes Devastate Ecuador and Japan

April 17, 2016

Two devastating earthquakes cause much suffering and highlight the need to prepare better for future natural disasters. Few could have imagined in the 16th century that we would have satellites in space, open-heart surgeries and infinite information in the palms of our hands. Yet every now and...

Cult Attraction: Aum Shinrikyo’s Power of Persuasion

June 16, 2015

A former Aum Shinrikyo member reveals how difficult it is to distance oneself from the group once you decide to leave. Nagaoka’s son, who has asked for his name to be withheld to protect the privacy of his family, first joined Aum Shinrikyo in the fall of 1987 when he was still a college...

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