Japan

Mima Ito and Jun Mizutani of Japan celebrate winning their match against Xu Xin and Liu Shiwen of China, Tokyo Olympics, 26 July 2021. (Thomas Peter/Reuters)

Japan-bashing by Chinese netizens: A lack of sportsmanship during the Olympics?

A week into the Tokyo Olympics and the Chinese internet is already a minefield of anti-Japan sentiments. Displeasure ranges from Japan’s win over China in the table-tennis mixed doubles to perceived slights against China. By playing the nationalism card, Chinese netizens are not doing China any favours in the run-up to next year’s Beijing Winter Olympics.
Members of the Japanese Armed Forces walk past the Ariake Urban Sports Park in Tokyo, Japan, 18 July 2021 (Kim Kyung-Hoon/Reuters)

Japanese academic: Will Japan send troops to 'protect' Taiwan?

Japanese academic Shin Kawashima analyses Japanese Deputy Prime Minister Taro Aso's recent comments where he made reference to a possible "Survival Threatening Situation" in Taiwan. How ready is Japan to step in?
A man wearing a protective face mask, amid the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic, makes his way at a local shopping street in Tokyo, Japan, 5 May 2021. (Kim Kyung-Hoon/Reuters)

Why Japan is investigating Confucius Institutes in Japanese universities

Last month, following a question by a Diet member, Japan's education minister announced a fact-finding investigation into the presence of Confucius Institutes in Japanese educational institutions. What influence do these Confucius Institutes have in Japan and should they be allowed to continue being in operation?
A Chinese paramilitary police stands guard while a light show is seen from the Bund in Shanghai on 30 June 2021, on the eve of the 100th anniversary of the Chinese Communist Party. (Hector Retamal/AFP)

When doing business in China, beware of patriotic netizens

Han Yong Hong takes stock of the bruised feelings and sensitivities that have been stirred up in a sideshow to the CCP’s recent 100th anniversary. Whether it is a “lone wolf” attack in Hong Kong, Didi’s fate or Sony’s misstep, nationalist netizens are quick to “correct” wrongdoings that hurt China or its feelings. All this just makes one feel a greater need to walk on eggshells. Looks like doing business in China just got trickier for foreign and domestic companies alike.
Workers set Chinese national flags on a shopping street ,ahead of a rehearsal for the celebrations to mark the 100th founding anniversary of the Communist Party of China, in Beijing, China, 26 June 2021. (Tingshu Wang/Reuters)

China's new-found confidence to hit back at the West

China has often been criticised by the West over various issues, from human rights to the South China Sea to the origins of the coronavirus. However, recent developments have given China confidence and grounds to hit back at the West as well as Japan. Most recently, China accused the West of its poor human rights records in treating indigenous people and their history, the UK's right of rule over Islas Malvinas (Falkland Islands), and Japan’s decision to discharge nuclear wastewater into the sea. Zaobao correspondent Yu Zeyuan explains China’s fresh confidence.
A UH-1J helicopter flies during a live fire exercise at Japan's Ground Self-Defense Forces (JGSDF) training grounds in the East Fuji Manuever Area in Gotemba on 22 May 2021. (Akio Kon/AFP)

Japan’s weapons transfers to Southeast Asia: Opportunities and challenges

Research fellow Victor Teo says that Japan’s re-emergence as a weapon exporter is fuelled by desires to increase Japanese capabilities, counteract China’s rise, hedge against possible future strategic abandonment by the US, fund next-generation weapon research, and foster Japan’s global leadership and influence in Southeast Asia. Using its overseas development assistance to the region, it is promoting the transfer of weapon systems, naval vessels and surveillance planes, particularly to Southeast Asian claimant states in the South China Sea. What are the implications of these actions?
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.
People at a subway station in Shanghai, China, 11 May 2021. (Aly Song/Reuters)

Shanghai can learn from Tokyo’s train service excellence

Shanghai and Tokyo both have train systems, but there is a big difference between them in terms of scale, convenience, and commuter behaviour. Researcher Chen Hongbin observes that Shanghai has much to learn from Tokyo, and by extension other cities.
People walk along Qianmen street in Beijing on 19 May 2021. (Noel Celis/AFP)

Americans should not oversimplify China into a few sensitive issues

US academic Wu Guo says that not only is the American media's reporting biased against China, college students often only have access to resources that present only one version of China. He feels it is important for Americans to realise that their understanding of China is often limited to a few sensitive issues. He suggests that with their feet anchored in two worlds, overseas Chinese or Asian academics can play a part in presenting a more balanced view of China.