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The other end of the spectrum: The outlook for the younger generation (for EURObiZ Japan / Japan Today)


http://eurobiz.jp/2016/01/the-other-end-of-the-spectrum/
http://www.japantoday.com/category/opinions/view/the-outlook-for-the-younger-generation/

Text by Elliot Silverberg and Yusuke Omura

By 2055, an estimated two out of every five Japanese will be aged 65 or older. Prime Minister Shinzo Abe talks of wanting to reverse the trend of the ageing society and improving conditions for young adults. Yet the government remains lukewarm to the needs of high school and college graduates who would like to go out on their own but finding they are unable to do so.  Read the rest of this entry

AIIB membership overview


Copyright © 2015 Elliot Silverberg. All rights reserved.

‘Uncle Sam, are you friend or foe?’: China


According to Tsuneo Watanabe (2014) of the Tokyo Foundation, U.S. foreign policy vis-à-vis China has quietly shifted from cooperative engagement to risk hedging, the brainchild of longtime director of the Office of Net Assessment in the Department of Defense (DoD) Andrew W. Marshall. Indeed, risk hedging is openly embraced by the Obama administration, with notable acolytes of Marshall including former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and former Assistant Secretary of State for East Asian and Pacific Affairs Kurt M. Campbell. Such a hedging policy applied to China, explains Watanabe (2014), quoting the DoD’s 2006 Quadrennial Defense Review, would involve “a balanced approach, one that seeks cooperation but also creates prudent hedges against the possibility that cooperative approaches by themselves may fail to preclude future conflict.” (para. 14) Although Watanabe (2014) admits the DoD’s next Quadrennial Defense Review, published in 2010, says the U.S. should avoid thinking of China as a potential adversary requiring containment, he notes that the same report explicitly advocates a more aggressive counteraction of Chinese military expansion. Read the rest of this entry

The Real “Humanist Dilemma” in the Asia-Pacific: Striking a Balance between Political Realism and Liberal Idealism


In Asia’s Cauldron: The South China Sea and the End of a Stable Pacific, Robert D. Kaplan (2014) makes the claim that conflicting territorial claims in the South China Sea, between a rising China and its increasingly guarded neighbors, will spell the end of the post-World War II stability in the Asia-Pacific. Referencing John J. Mearsheimer’s belief in the “stopping power of water,” Kaplan (2014) suggests that the particular geography of the Asia-Pacific “will foster the growth of navies, which, while … not as worrisome as the growth of armies in continental Europe at the beginning of the last century,” may provoke “‘routinized’ close encounters between warships of different nations at sea, creating an embryonic risk of armed conflict.” (p. 7, 11) Kaplan (2014) further adds that this risk will only intensify as Asia’s collective energy consumption soars; as countries grapple over increasingly scarce energy resources, he says, their conflicting claims over the resource-rich littoral states of the South China Sea must gain in precedence, leading to a heightened state of military preparedness in the region. Read the rest of this entry

How the U.S. Should NOT Resolve the Ukrainian Crisis!


Perhaps in a mockery of former President George W. Bush’s now-infamous assessment of what he saw in Vladimir V. Putin’s eyes, Senator and then-presidential hopeful John McCain had this to say in a 2007 speech before the Republican Jewish Coalition: “I looked into Mr. Putin’s eyes and I saw three things––a K and a G and a B.” Read the rest of this entry

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