Japan

Visitors walk down Nanjing Road in Shanghai, China, on 2 October 2022. (Qilai Shen/Bloomberg)

Japanese academic: China's superficial 'moderate' diplomacy will not work with developed countries

China has tried to create a stable diplomatic environment ahead of the 20th Party Congress, not least with Foreign Minister Wang Yi's talks with various leaders at the sidelines of the recent UNGA in New York. While it has tried to deflect attention by highlighting divisions in the West while rebuilding bridges in light of economic considerations, it will be a tall order to convince the international community that it practises 'moderate' diplomacy.
Tanks take part in a live-fire military exercise in Pingtung county, southern Taiwan, on 7 September 2022. (Sam Yeh/AFP)

Japanese academic: What Japan will do in a Taiwan emergency

How will Japan respond in a Taiwan emergency? Japanese academic Rira Momma examines the imperatives in the event that China attempts to change the current international order with military power.
Japan's Prime Minister Fumio Kishida (centre) attends the opening ceremony of an extraordinary session of the Diet, the country's parliament, at the National Diet building in Tokyo on 3 August 2022. (Kazuhiro Nogi/AFP)

The delicate balance of Japan-China relations and Japan-Taiwan relations

As the situation in the Taiwan Strait develops, Japan needs to navigate relations with mainland China and Taiwan, while also keeping in mind the role of the US as well as its own interests. Japanese academic Sahashi Ryo examines Japan's options and how it will acquit itself. He notes that Japan is now firmly in an age where the Japan-China and Japan-US relationships must always be considered together.
(Left to right) Tunisia's President Kais Saied, Japan's Foreign Minister Yoshimasa Hayashi, and United Nations' Deputy Secretary-General Amina J. Mohamed applaud during a press conference after the closing session of the eighth Tokyo International Conference on African Development (TICAD) in Tunisia's capital Tunis on 28 August 2022. (Fethi Belaid/AFP)

TICAD8: Can Japan exert its influence in Africa amid great power politics?

Japanese academic Mitsugi Endo gives his assessment of the recent Eighth Tokyo International Conference on African Development (TICAD8) in Tunisia. While it was announced that Japan's public and private sectors combined would make investments in Africa amounting to US$30 billion over the next three years, the impact of great power politics in Africa, including by players such as China and Russia, may have an impact on Japan's future engagement with the continent.
People walk down a street in the entertainment area of Shimbashi in Tokyo on 5 September 2022. (Richard A. Brooks/AFP)

In search of better relations with Japan? China’s inscrutable Japan policy

Japanese academic Shin Kawashima wonders if a recent Japan-China press conference signals China's willingness to engage Japan amid heightened tensions after Chinese missiles landed in Japan’s exclusive economic zone. Even if this is so and the Kishida administration is keen to emphasise relations with China, it will not be an easy task to answer China's call.
A vintage doll is pictured near a damaged kindergarten following recent Russian shelling in the city of Slovyansk, Ukraine, as Russia's attack in Ukraine continues, on 2 September 2022 (Ammar Awad/Reuters)

In the China-US-Russia confrontation, it is military power that counts in the end

The Russia-Ukraine war has turned into a stage for the US and Russian militaries to flex their muscles, and so too in the case of the Taiwan Strait for the People’s Liberation Army and the US military. Against this backdrop, says political commentator Jin Jian Guo, the arms race in East Asia is quickening its pace, with Japan seeking to revise its constitution, Taiwan aiming to raise military spending next year, and North Korea holding firm to its nuclear programme. How will these developments affect geopolitics and security in the region?
People walk along a street equipped with mist sprayers as they face the very hot desert weather, during the Hajj in Saudi Arabia's holy city of Mecca, on 7 July 2022. (Delil Souleiman/AFP)

Will China become an ‘empire by invitation’ in the Middle East?

China's influence in the Middle East region is growing, not only due to its economic might but also because of its active development of dialogue platforms. In that context, Middle East countries may expect China to play a mediator role in regional security and political issues. Will China rise to the challenge?
A Malay family on the banks of the Kallang River, 1900s. They were mainly farmers.

[Photo story] When tropical Singapore was ‘too potent to be conquered’

Historical photo collector Hsu Chung-mao gives a glimpse into how he started collecting old photographs, and why collecting historical photos of Singapore is a passion for him. One of his most prized finds is a photo album that used to belong to a Japanese soldier posted to Singapore and Southeast Asia. He shares some of these photographs here.
Air Force soldiers prepare to load US-made Harpoon AGM-84 anti-ship missiles in front of an F-16V fighter jet during a drill at Hualien Air Force Base in Taiwan on 17 August 2022. (Sam Yeh/AFP)

Three big changes in China-US competition after Pelosi’s Taiwan visit

In the wake of US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s controversial visit to Taiwan and the mainland’s retaliatory actions in the Taiwan Strait, researcher Wei Da believes that China-US rivalry has transformed in three ways: political confrontation is becoming more ideological and acute; military confrontation is becoming more symbolic; and further decoupling of major economic and trade initiatives may reach a critical point.