China takes the lead in new climate change paradigm

A photovoltaic power station in Heng Feng county of China’s Jiangxi province in August 2015. The cost of solar power has fallen dramatically in China to be almost price-competitive with coal thanks to rapid technological advances. (Photo: AAP).

Author: Frank Jotzo, ANU

What happens in China is central to the global effort to limit the extent of future climate change. China is already the largest emitter of greenhouse gases by far, even as it continues its process of urbanisation and economic modernisation. Under a traditional model of energy-intensive economic growth fed by fossil fuels, this would thwart the world’s chances of keeping climate change at levels considered relatively safe. Read more…

Changing Japan’s corporate culture

Japan's highest mountain, Mount Fuji is seen behind the skyline of the Shinjuku area of Tokyo on 6 December 2014. (Photo: AAP)

Author: Peter Drysdale, East Asia Forum

It wasn’t long ago that US governments and corporations had Japan in the dock for competing via ‘unfair business practices’ to take over world markets. Japanese corporate conglomerates (the keiretsu financial groups) were responsible, so the accusation ran, for a whole range of problems in the United States–Japan relationship: from ‘closed’ Japanese markets for manufactured goods that artificially held imports of manufactured goods down to the bilateral trade deficit between the two countries. Read more…

Will Japan’s corporate governance reform work?

Staff at a contact centre of Daiwa Securities Co. in Tokyo receive customer inquiries on 4 November 2015. (Photo: AAP)

Author: Bruce Greenwald, Columbia University

As part of Abenomics’ third arrow of structural reform, Japan recently adopted a new corporate governance code. The new code focuses on making Japanese corporations more transparent, more responsive to shareholders — including minority shareholders — and subject to more effective oversight by boards of directors, especially outside directors. Read more…

A roadmap for a haze-free ASEAN

Local residents travel by boat along the Kahayan river in Palangkaraya, in Central Kalimantan, on 29 October, 2015 as residents enjoy clearer skies after many days of choking haze. Rain and favourable winds have brought clear skies to vast areas of Southeast Asia on 29 October stricken for weeks by hazardous smoke from Indonesian fires, with officials expressing hope that the crisis could end soon. (Photo: AAP)

Author: Raman Letchumanan, RSIS

The smoke haze crisis that battered a major part of the southern ASEAN region in mid-2015 is showing signs of abating. Along with the disappearing haze, it is crucial that the resolve demonstrated by all parties — especially governments — to solve the issue doesn’t vanish as well. Read more…

The case for Japan’s new security strategy

US General Robert B. Neller, Commandant of the United States Marine Corps, and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe pose for photographers prior to a meeting at Abe's official residence in Tokyo, 25 November 2015. (Photo AAP)

Author: Yoji Koda, National Security Secretariat, Japan

On 27 April 2015 the Japanese and US governments approved the revised Guidelines for Japan–US Defense Cooperation. Subsequently, on 19 September 2015, the Japanese Diet passed a package of security legislation aimed at enhancing Japan’s role in maintaining international security. Read more…

How will the AEC affect ASEAN urbanisation?

Ships and shipping containers in Jurong port in Singapore (Photo AAP)

Author: Bharat Dahiya, Chulalongkorn University

As the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) takes steps toward implementing the ASEAN Economic Community (AEC) by the end of 2015, they should be cognisant that the paths towards economic integration and sustainable urbanisation are closely intertwined. Southeast Asian cities will play a critical role in the unfolding of the AEC. Read more…

What does the China–Japan–South Korea Trilateral Summit mean for East Asia?

South Korean President Park Geun Hye clasps hands with Chinese Premier Li Keqiang and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe before their trilateral summit at the presidential Blue House in Seoul on 1 November 2015. (Photo: AAP)

Author: Sarah Teo, RSIS

On 1 November 2015, Chinese Prime Minister Li Keqiang, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and South Korean President Park Geun-hye convened in Seoul, South Korea for the Sixth Trilateral Summit. The meeting was the first after political and historical disputes led to a three-year hiatus, of what was supposed to be an annual summit. Read more…