Sun Cheng

Professor, School of Politics and Public Management, China University of Political Science and Law; Director, East Asian Centre for International Studies

Sun Cheng is a professor at the School of Politics and Public Management and director of the East Asian Centre for International Studies at the China University of Political Science and Law. His main area of research is on Japanese politics and diplomacy. He obtained his PhD in history from Nankai University and has previously been a senior visiting scholar at institutes in Japan such as the Foundation for Advanced Information Research, the University of Tokyo, and the International Research Center for Japan Studies of the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology. He is also the author of books such as Research on Japan’s National Strategy (2020), An Outline of Sino-Japanese Culture Exchange in the Modern Period (1840-1990) (2017) and Japan and East Asia: A Time of Change (2005).

A Japan Ground Self-Defense Force Northern Army Type-90 tank participates in a live tank firing competition at the Hokkaido Great Maneuvering Ground in Eniwa, Hokkaido prefecture on 7 December 2021. (Behrouz Mehri/AFP)

Japan's increased funding for US forces in Japan: A true alliance in the making?

Japan recently agreed to increase its five-year budget for hosting US troops in Japan to 1.05 trillion yen, but this is not the usual "sympathy budget" the Japanese set aside for this purpose. This time round, it has made sure that a greater proportion of the funding will go towards enhancing its Self-Defence Forces and overall Japan-US security cooperation.
Japan's Ground Self-Defense Forces (JGSDF) soldiers wearing protective face masks arrive for a live fire exercise at JGSDF's training grounds in the East Fuji Maneuver Area in Gotemba, Japan, on 22 May 2021. A key part of US President Joe Bidens foreign policy has been turning to allies for support in addressing the security risks posed by the likes of China and North Korea, placing a greater emphasis on the Indo-Pacific region. (Akio Kon/Bloomberg)

What removing the defence budget cap means for Japan’s role in the Indo-Pacific

​Since 1976, Japan’s defence budget has traditionally been capped at 1% of its GDP. However, in a recent interview, Japanese Defence Minister Nobuo Kishi said that this self-imposed limit would effectively be removed.