Mr Abe in Washington

Secretary of State John Kerry stands next to Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and Abe's wife Akie Abe for a photograph in front of Kerry's residence in Boston, 26 April 2015. Abe has arrived in the US for a week-long visit. (Photo: AAP).

Author: Peter Drysdale, East Asia Forum

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s week-long visit to the United States this week and his speech on Wednesday to a joint session of the US Congress represent an unusual opportunity for Japan’s diplomacy. Abe is the first Japanese prime minister to address a joint meeting of Congress. Read more…

Japanese war apologies lost in translation

Japanese Emperor Akihito and Empress Michiko offer a flower wreath at a memorial for the US military as they offer prayers for war victims at Peleliu island in Palau on 9 April 2015. 15 August 2015 marks the 70th anniversary of the end of the Pacific War. (Photo: AAP).

Author: Tessa Morris-Suzuki, ANU

15 August 2015 marks the 70th anniversary of the end of the Pacific War. It should be a solemn moment for reflection on a terrible episode that took many millions of lives, inflicted untold suffering and had consequences that still profoundly shape our world. Read more…

The rights of the right as Abe strives for collective self-defence

What role for Japan’s Self-Defense Forces? Prime Minister Shinzo Abe with ground SDF chiefs at the force’s Asaka training ground in Tokyo. (Photo: AAP).

Author: Ben Ascione, ANU

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and his Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) are negotiating with their coalition partner, Komeito, to introduce legislation recognising a limited exercise of collective self-defence. There is rising anxiety about how this endeavour is perceived by Japan’s neighbours and what effect this will have on regional stability, given the Abe cabinet’s right-wing revisionist views of Japan’s history. Read more…

Lessons of Tambora ignored, 200 years on

A giant cloud of ash and steam rises from the Sangeang Api volcano in Indonesia. The volcanic arc to the north of Australia poses the greatest risk to humanity. (Photo: AAP)

Author: Anthony Reid, ANU

Today Australia will commemorate the centenary of the Gallipoli landing, which for many Australians symbolises one of the greatest man-made catastrophes. But there’s another anniversary this April that gives cause for reflection: the bicentenary of the eruption on 10 April 1815 of Tambora Mountain in southeastern Indonesia. Read more…

China leading by example in South–South relations

A pedestrian walks past an advertisement for The Export-Import Bank of China in Shanghai, China, 4 November 2014. (Photo: AAP)

Author: Daniel Poon, UNCTAD

China’s revival of ‘South–South’ economic relations raises the opportunity of re-balancing global power. This could have profound implications for economic progress, including poverty reduction and structural change, in the developing world. Read more…

How Indonesia reformed its risky financial sector

Indonesia's Central Bank had warned that the risk of losses due to the currency exchange rate of private and state-owned companies' foreign debts are still high and continue to haunt throughout 2015. (Photo: AAP)

Author: Anwar Nasution, University of Indonesia

Reforms of the financial sector in Indonesia since 1997 have mitigated the key risk factors that caused the economic crisis of 1997. The first of these was structural weaknesses in the financial sector, particularly the banking system. The second was heavy borrowing by both the banking system and the corporate sector from foreign sources. Read more…

Breaking the deadlock on the Korean peninsula

Shin Han-yong, vice president of a group of South Korean firms with factories at the Kaesong Industrial Complex in North Korea, speaks to reporters after returning from the park, 20 April 2015. (Photo: AAP).

Author: Sangsoo Lee, ISDP

With the Six Party Talks — the main multilateral mechanism to negotiate North Korea’s denuclearisation — moribund since December 2008, the North Korean nuclear issue appears increasingly intractable. North Korea has proceeded with its nuclear program and enshrined its nuclear status in its constitution. Read more…