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  • 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

    Obama's Policy towards East Asia

    President Barack Obama's foreign policy orientation towards East Asia seems to be characterised by continuity rather than change, and is not so very different from that of his predecessors. With Japan and South Korea, Obama is trying to revitalise bilateral alliances. With China, he continues on his predecessor's policy of greater engagement, though he has offered some concessions during his visit to Beijing in November 2009. However, North Korea remains a real and huge challenge for Obama to test his engagement in East Asia.

    May 2010

    The Strategic Relevance of Okinawa

    Notwithstanding popular criticism and opposition, the US-Japan security alliance and the presence of USFJ remain vital to Japanese foreign and security policies.

    June 10, 2010

    Foreign Policy and Domestic Challenges before Kan Naoto

    Getting the economy back on track would be Kan’s top most priority. Kan views ties with the US as the core of Japan’s foreign policy, though he also greatly values the relationship with China.

    June 09, 2010

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