A Japanese boy stretching with a ball during a clinic arranged by J2 football club Matsumoto Yamaga with the Matsumoto City Kiri Kindergarten in Japan, in November 2018. (SPH Media)

Can Japan overcome its declining birth rate?

Japanese academic Hisakazu Kato observes that Japan's low birth rate has been an issue for decades seemingly with no solution, and despite efforts by the Japanese government to address the problem, its policies have come under criticism for not being what the people need.
Passengers wait for trains at Hongqiao Railway Station in Shanghai on 29 September 2023. (Rebecca Bailey/AFP)

Will China's economy 'collapse' again?

Despite speculations about the decline of China’s economy, Chinese academic Han Heyuan says that history has shown that such contrarian sentiments have been proven wrong time and again, for example in the case of the US, Japan and even China during the turn of the century.
Japan Prime Minister Fumio Kishida shakes hands with Philippine President Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos Jr at Malacanang Palace in Manila, Philippines, on 3 November 2023. (Aaron Favila/Reuters)

Japanese academic: Necessary for Japan to support Philippines' security capabilities

Amid rising tensions in the South China Sea between the Philippines and China, Japan is looking to forge closer security relations with the Philippines. An envisaged reciprocal access agreement between the Philippines and Japan would be an important step towards that end and help to achieve maritime stability in East Asia.
Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida shakes hands with Philippine President Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos Jr after their joint statement at Malacanang Palace in Manila, Philippines, on 3 November 2023. (Aaron Favila/Reuters)

First island chain strategy: Japan-Philippines security relationship deepens

While Japanese PM Kishida’s recent visit to Manila points to the upward momentum of the Japan-Philippines Strategic Partnership, it will also be a litmus test of Japan’s strategic goals in the rest of Southeast Asia.
China's President Xi Jinping arrives to attend the Leaders Retreat during the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Summit in San Francisco, California, US, on 17 November 2023. (Loren Elliott/Reuters)

Japanese academic: US-China competition rules take shape while Japan-China ties still ambiguous

Based on the bilateral meetings in San Francisco, Japanese researcher Shin Kawashima observes that US-China ties are now at a stage where discussions and exchanges are possible and the norms of competition are gradually developing; nevertheless, he believes that this may not yet be the case with Japan and China.
Japan's Foreign Minister Yoko Kamikawa delivers a speech at a reception commemorating the 45th anniversary of signing and enactment of Japan-China Treaty of Peace and Friendship in Tokyo on 23 October 2023. (Kazuhiro Nogi/AFP)

Different threat perceptions in Japan and China: 45th anniversary of treaty of peace and friendship

This year marks the 45th anniversary of the Japan-China Treaty of Peace and Friendship. However, it seems that few people — especially in Japan — even know about this treaty that dates back to 1978. Results from a recent opinion poll conducted by Genron NPO also show that the Japanese and Chinese have different threat perceptions, though it is commonly agreed that military tensions are rising. Japanese academic Shin Kawashima shares his view on the issue.
The crested ibis is hailed as the “oriental gem”. (iStock)

Crested ibis diplomacy: How a nearly extinct bird brought China and Japan together

This year marks 20 years since the native-born Japanese crested ibis was declared extinct in Japan. Commentator Chen Hongbin looks at a dance item inspired by the crested ibis and examines a chapter of diplomacy between China and Japan, and how it brought them together in a common effort to preserve the rare bird.
Wang Xizhi, known as the Sage of Calligraphy (书圣). (Weibo)

A pilgrimage of the heart: Paying homage to Jin dynasty calligrapher Wang Xizhi

Cultural historian Cheng Pei-kai takes us back to his trip to Shengzhou, Zhejiang, where he visited the gravesite of Jin dynasty calligrapher Wang Xizhi, the Sage of Calligraphy. In the depths of the lush forest with mountains peeking through, what does it mean to travel the distance to pay respects to an ancestor and honour their virtues?
Visitors on Nanjing East Road in Shanghai, China, on 30 September 2023. (Qilai Shen/Bloomberg)

[Big read] Why China will not be the next Japan

Recent economic indicators have signalled that China’s economy is bottoming out, but many still believe that more needs to be done as the effect of government policies are still falling short of expectations. Lianhe Zaobao correspondent Chen Jing speaks with analysts and academics to find out what China needs to do to avoid economic stagnation or even a collapse.