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  • Naoto Kan’s Remarks strain Relations with South Korea

    Kan’s statement about sending the SDF to the Korean peninsula to rescue Japanese citizens and people of Japanese origin in the event of an emergency has raised the spectre of a possible revival of Japanese militarism.

    December 20, 2010

    China threat propels a new defence thinking in Japan

    Japan’s adoption of a new defence Guidelines to secure its southern “outlaying islands” closer to China suggests major shift in Japan’s Cold War security policy.

    December 20, 2010

    Why Japan’s economy is ailing?

    Japan needs to structurally transform domestic demand by focusing on its service sector – medical services, education, environment, and health.

    November 22, 2010

    Can Prime Minister Singh push through a Nuclear Deal with Japan?

    The DPJ has relaxed its earlier rigid position and is no longer demanding that India join the NPT as a pre-condition for the nuclear pact.

    October 21, 2010

    As Dragon flexes muscle, the Rising Sun goes defensive

    China’s rise has become a matter of concern throughout Asia and led to changes in the strategic postures of its neighbours. Japan has begun to rethink its own defence strategy and security policy in response to China’s military modernization.

    September 09, 2010

    Chinese and American Muscle-flexing in South-China Sea: Implications for India

    India has to calibrate its relationship with China, the US, and countries of East Asia with great circumspection in the wake of the resurfacing of tensions in the South China Sea.

    August 19, 2010

    Tumultuous Phase ahead in Japanese Politics as DPJ loses Polls in Upper House

    In a strong rebuke to the Kan government, voters deprived the DPJ and its tiny ally of a majority less than a year after the party swept to power.

    July 16, 2010

    DPJ likely to struggle to retain control over the Upper House

    That the Futenma issue is still a sore subject for the ruling DPJ-led government is reflected in the fact that it has decided not to field a candidate in Okinawa in the upcoming election.

    July 02, 2010

    Kovid Kumar asked: How much Japan’s national interest affects the Indian Ocean?

    Rajaram Panda replies: Peace and tranquillity at sea is of utmost importance for Japan as it is a maritime nation. Maritime security, therefore, is intrinsically connected with Japan’s economic lifeline. Any disruption in the maritime traffic will drastically affect Japan’s economy. Being a resource deficient country, no other country in the East Asian region is more dependent than Japan on maritime transport for sourcing critical raw materials and exporting manufactured goods. In particular, the Strait of Malacca is the main passage between the Indian Ocean and the South China Sea and therefore a vital lifeline for Japan’s international trade. As much as 33 per cent of international trade and 50 per cent of the world’s oil pass through the Strait of Malacca and the Strait of Hormuz. Also 90 per cent of Japan’s oil requirements come from the Persian Gulf. Because of Constitutional limitations, Japan’s naval role to tackle issues of piracy and maritime terrorism and securing the SLOC is limited. Japan, therefore, sees India as a strategic asset for naval cooperation. Multilateral naval exercises are also important for Japan. Seen from this perspective, Indian Ocean in Japan’s national interests is hugely important.

    Japan's Nuclear Policy at Crossroads

    The emerging changes in the security calculus within the Korean Peninsula are forcing Japan to revisit its existing position on the nuclear issue. The changing security environment has triggered several debates within Japan on the nuclearisation of the island nation. Although, at present, domestic opinion within Japan is opposed to exercising the nuclear option, there has been a break in the hitherto established taboo to have an open debate on the country's nuclear policy.

    May 2010