Japanese Politics – Japon Online http://japononline.net/ Sat, 15 Jan 2022 15:09:47 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=5.8 https://japononline.net/wp-content/uploads/2021/05/default1-150x150.png Japanese Politics – Japon Online http://japononline.net/ 32 32 Volcano erupts in the Pacific, islanders scramble to escape tsunami https://japononline.net/volcano-erupts-in-the-pacific-islanders-scramble-to-escape-tsunami/ Sat, 15 Jan 2022 12:33:45 +0000 https://japononline.net/volcano-erupts-in-the-pacific-islanders-scramble-to-escape-tsunami/ WELLINGTON, New Zealand (AP) — An undersea volcano dramatically erupted near the peaceful nation of Tonga on Saturday, sending large tsunami waves crashing onto shore and people rushing to higher ground. There were no immediate reports of injuries or extent of damage, as communications with the small nation remained problematic. Video posted to social media […]]]>

WELLINGTON, New Zealand (AP) — An undersea volcano dramatically erupted near the peaceful nation of Tonga on Saturday, sending large tsunami waves crashing onto shore and people rushing to higher ground.

There were no immediate reports of injuries or extent of damage, as communications with the small nation remained problematic. Video posted to social media showed large waves washing up in coastal areas, swirling around homes and buildings.

The New Zealand military said it was monitoring the situation and remained on standby, ready to help if asked.

Satellite images showed a huge eruption, a plume of ash, steam and gas rising like a mushroom above the blue waters of the Pacific.

The Tonga Meteorological Service said a tsunami warning was in effect for the entire archipelago, and data from the Pacific Tsunami Warning Center showed waves of 80 centimeters (2.6 feet) had been detected.

Residents of American Samoa were alerted to the tsunami warning by local broadcasters as well as church bells ringing across the territory. An outdoor siren warning system was out of service. Those who lived along the shore quickly moved to higher ground.

As night fell, no damage was reported and the Hawaii-based tsunami center canceled the alert.

Authorities in the neighboring island nations of Fiji and Samoa have also issued warnings, telling people to avoid the shore due to strong currents and dangerous waves. The Japan Meteorological Agency said there could be some slight water swelling along Japan’s coasts, but it shouldn’t cause any damage.

The Islands Business news site reported that a convoy of police and military evacuated King Tupou VI of Tonga from his palace near the shore. He was one of many residents heading for the higher ground.

The explosion of the Hunga Tonga Hunga Ha’apai volcano was the latest in a series of spectacular eruptions.

A Twitter user identified as Dr Faka’iloatonga Taumoefolau posted a video showing waves crashing on the shore.

“Can literally hear the eruption of the volcano, the sounds are quite violent,” he wrote, adding in a later post, “It’s raining ash and tiny pebbles, darkness covers the sky.”

Earlier, the Matangi Tonga news site reported that scientists observed massive explosions, thunder and lightning near the volcano after it erupted early Friday. Satellite images showed a plume 5 kilometers (3 miles) wide rising into the air about 20 kilometers (12 miles).

More than 2,300 kilometers (1,400 miles) away in New Zealand, authorities warned of storm surges from the eruption.

The National Emergency Management Agency said parts of New Zealand could expect “unusual strong currents and unpredictable surges on shore following a large volcanic eruption”.

The volcano is located about 64 kilometers (40 miles) north of the capital, Nuku’alofa. In late 2014 and early 2015, a series of eruptions in the area created a new small island and disrupted international air travel to the Pacific archipelago for several days.

Tonga is home to approximately 105,000 people.

___

Associated Press writers Mari Yamaguchi in Tokyo and Fili Sagapolutele in Pago Pago, American Samoa contributed to this report.

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The Journalist Review – Is the government of this Japanese drama more corrupt than ours? | Drama https://japononline.net/the-journalist-review-is-the-government-of-this-japanese-drama-more-corrupt-than-ours-drama/ Thu, 13 Jan 2022 22:17:00 +0000 https://japononline.net/the-journalist-review-is-the-government-of-this-japanese-drama-more-corrupt-than-ours-drama/ FForeign dramas can be like a little vacation, allowing you to dream of living in a country where the weather, people, or simply interiors are an invigorating contrast to what you’re used to. Still, it’s hard not to look for the ways things are the same everywhere you go. Good news! Netflix’s new Japanese drama […]]]>

FForeign dramas can be like a little vacation, allowing you to dream of living in a country where the weather, people, or simply interiors are an invigorating contrast to what you’re used to. Still, it’s hard not to look for the ways things are the same everywhere you go.

Good news! Netflix’s new Japanese drama The Journalist is about a corrupt government that embezzles public money. I immediately feel at home.

Land around a school has been sold at a low price in a deal involving the Prime Minister and his wife, while another politician is under investigation for his involvement in a startup which has received excessive government subsidies. The first of these scandals is taken up by our titular hero, Anna Matsuda (Ryôko Yonekura), a maverick journalist famous for beating up government spokespersons at televised press conferences.

The most jaded, news-saturated types may say that Matsuda’s interrogations are just wordy showboating — the kind of heavily editorialized harangue that appeals to people who agree with the point, but doesn’t advance the story. At least she’s trying to bring down the bad guys – and that made her a star. “She is incredible !” says a young, media-savvy fan, devouring Matsuda’s latest clip via smartphone at a coffee table.

The reporter is to some extent a fearless, truth-telling reporting fantasy. If that was all it was, it would be a downright dud. The first episode features childlike visions of news journalism – seemingly a noble discipline quite distinct from the fake news spread online – and government malfeasance. The latter manifests itself when junior officials are ordered by their senior colleagues to open incriminating documents on their computers, delete all references to the Prime Minister and press save. Intense close-ups of computer screens show us text being typed.

The political analysis is equally basic, with the idea of ​​capitalism as the root cause of the characters’ various miseries constantly hovering in the series’ peripheral vision, but never identified. Rather than being self-serving corporations whose interests coincide with the people they are supposed to hold accountable, media organizations continually struggle with interference from invisible government “top officials”. Likewise, the police repeatedly drop official wrongdoing investigations – another reason you don’t need to be familiar with Japanese politics to appreciate it.

But then the second episode brings tragedy and it becomes clear that The Journalist isn’t trying to be a complex drama about power dynamics. It’s an open-hearted melodrama about good, ordinary people, whose health and happiness should matter, crushed by injustice. Once the corruption scandal progresses to a life lost, rather than just embezzled money, the focus is on the men in suits whose career aspirations have, over time, hardened them to the moral consequences of their work.

Slowly, The Journalist breaks down its characters into those who can deal with the suppression of their own humanity and those who cannot. As the series continues and Matsuda fuels the controversy, the apology arcs deepen as the professional granite facades finally crack. “I’m so sorry” is the most common line of dialogue, and if you can ignore the sad, shameless piano in the background, it gets more emotional every time you hear it.

It’s a wish-fulfillment, based on the question that nags the most when we read about corruption and cover-up: how can the people who did this sleep at night? We’d love to see them unable to do so – and The Journalist indulges that desire. But it does so effectively, setting up simple stories about the emotional fallout of institutional cruelty to remind us of what’s at stake. Shinobu Terajima delivers a controlled, dignified performance as a widow whose disconcerting vulnerability gives way to determination, while there’s a harrowing subplot about an ambiguous bromance between fellow politicians, one of whom deeply regrets how their bond didn’t hold when his friend’s idealism cost him dearly.

Finally saying the thing that hasn’t been said in a long time — whether it’s “I love you” or “I did this and I apologize” — is at the heart of all The Journalist drama awards. Ultimately, he returns that responsibility to us. In its later episodes, it’s made explicit that Japan is a country that has slipped into a swamp of dishonesty because the apathy of its citizens has allowed it to do so. If you want something better, the program says, you – as an individual – have to speak up. As naive and sentimental as The Journalist is, he’s not wrong.

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Japan will not seek amendment to immigration law before summer election https://japononline.net/japan-will-not-seek-amendment-to-immigration-law-before-summer-election/ Mon, 10 Jan 2022 01:52:06 +0000 https://japononline.net/japan-will-not-seek-amendment-to-immigration-law-before-summer-election/ Prime Minister Fumio Kishida’s government is unlikely to bring forward a bill amending the rules on how to accommodate non-Japanese under threat of deportation to a session of parliament starting later this month out of fear of a public reaction ahead of the upper house elections this summer, government sources said on Sunday. The administration […]]]>

Prime Minister Fumio Kishida’s government is unlikely to bring forward a bill amending the rules on how to accommodate non-Japanese under threat of deportation to a session of parliament starting later this month out of fear of a public reaction ahead of the upper house elections this summer, government sources said on Sunday.

The administration of Kishida’s predecessor, Yoshihide Suga, withdrew a bill to revise the immigration law last May after the improper treatment of a detainee at an immigration center in Nagoya led to activists to demand an investigation and opposition parties to call for the bill to be dropped.

The ruling Liberal Democratic Party and Komeito coalition has sought, among other changes, to limit the number of times people can apply for refugee status and have deportation procedures suspended.

The coalition government aimed to change the rule as some detainees have apparently repeatedly sought asylum to avoid deportation, resulting in their prolonged detention.

Opposition parties and activists argued that the proposed revision of the law would violate the principle of non-refoulement – failing to return asylum seekers to a country where they would likely be threatened with persecution – and dash hopes people in desperate need of refugee status.

They stepped up pressure on ruling parties, demanding that the government shed light on a high-profile case involving Ratnayake Liyanage Wishma Sandamali, 33, a Sri Lankan national detained at the Nagoya Regional Bureau of Immigration Services and who has died. in March after complaining of poor health from mid-January.

Under the bill, the government planned to create mechanisms to release foreign nationals threatened with deportation and held in immigration centers.

Japan only accepts about 1% of the refugee applications it receives.

Some members of the LDP’s upper house have expressed concerns about controversial bills being debated in parliament ahead of the chamber elections, a top party lawmaker said.

If the regular session of parliament to be called this month is not extended, the election for the House of Councilors will take place in July.

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Video games involving politicians have gone viral in Brazil https://japononline.net/video-games-involving-politicians-have-gone-viral-in-brazil/ Sat, 08 Jan 2022 00:00:00 +0000 https://japononline.net/video-games-involving-politicians-have-gone-viral-in-brazil/ WFELIPE ROSA HEN, a soft-spoken 11 year old boy from São Paulo, got bored playing “Minecraft”, a video game, he downloaded a new game, “Kandidatos”, which went viral when it was released in 2020 . -hand fights between Brazilian politicians, including “Bolsonaryo”, who looks like Jair Bolsonaro, the right-wing president, and “Lulo”, a carbon copy […]]]>


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Security role of Japan and Taiwan at the center of two-plus-two talks with the United States | World news https://japononline.net/security-role-of-japan-and-taiwan-at-the-center-of-two-plus-two-talks-with-the-united-states-world-news/ Thu, 06 Jan 2022 10:52:00 +0000 https://japononline.net/security-role-of-japan-and-taiwan-at-the-center-of-two-plus-two-talks-with-the-united-states-world-news/ By Ju-min Park and David Brunnstrom TOKYO / WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The question of Japan’s security role at a time of growing tension over Taiwan is expected to feature prominently at a meeting between Japan’s foreign and defense ministers on Friday and the United States. The so-called two plus two talks will take place a […]]]>

By Ju-min Park and David Brunnstrom

TOKYO / WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The question of Japan’s security role at a time of growing tension over Taiwan is expected to feature prominently at a meeting between Japan’s foreign and defense ministers on Friday and the United States.

The so-called two plus two talks will take place a day after Japan signed a defense cooperation pact with Australia, and as concerns about China’s increased military and economic power loom in the air. ‘horizon.

Tension over democratically ruled Taiwan has increased over the past two years as China intensifies military and diplomatic pressure to assert sovereignty over the island it claims as its “sacred” territory.

“Ministers are expected to talk about security cooperation in the region,” a Japanese foreign ministry official told reporters ahead of the talks.

Political cartoons about world leaders

This would “certainly” include the cooperation the two countries are pursuing with Australia and other partners.

Japan maintains a “one-China” policy and aims to balance its relations with neighboring China and longtime military ally, the United States.

China is Japan’s top export destination, accounting for $ 141 billion in exports in 2020, according to IMF trade data.

Yet Japan’s relations with Taiwan have flourished in recent years on a largely non-governmental basis, and there has been growing debate among politicians and security experts about whether to get involved if China were to undertake a military action against the island.

Former Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe https://www.reuters.com/world/asia-pacific/former-pm-abe-says-japan-us-could-not-stand-by-if-china-attacked- taiwan- On 2021-12-01 said last month that Japan and the United States could not stand idly by if China attacked Taiwan, in comments that drew criticism from Beijing.

The Japanese and US armed forces have drawn up a draft plan for a joint emergency operation in Taiwan, Kyodo news agency reported https://www.reuters.com/world/china/japan-us- draw-up-plan-of-operation-joint-any-emergency-taiwan-kyodo-2021-12-23.

Friday’s two plus two talks could see the allies agree to formalize their work on the plan, Kyodo said.

The Japanese Foreign Ministry official declined to comment.

In October, the Japanese government posted a more assertive line https://www.reuters.com/world/asia-pacific/biden-promised-us-commitment-defending-senkaku-islands-japan-pm-kishida-2021- 10-05 on China’s position vis-à-vis Taiwan, suggesting it would consider options and prepare for “various scenarios”.

However, experts said they did not expect a significant change in Japan’s stance vis-à-vis Taiwan anytime soon.

“The two plus two could be an opportunity to talk widely about what Japan might be ready to do, but it would never be publicly acknowledged if it did,” said Jeffrey Hornung, a Japanese political expert. to the Rand Corporation, noting that the two sides might want to maintain a so-called strategic ambiguity.

Daniel Russel, a former senior US diplomat for East Asia now with the Asia Society, said Japan has a lot to weigh when it comes to engaging in an emergency in Taiwan.

“On the one hand, deterring Chinese aggression and defending against relentless incursions into Japanese-controlled waters is a high priority, as is standing by the side of the United States and showing support for Taiwan’s democracy,” did he declare.

“Compensating factors include pacifist domestic politics and legal constraints (and) immense economic interests in China.”

(Reporting by Ju-min Park, David Brunnstrom; Editing by David Dolan and Robert Birsel)

Copyright 2022 Thomson Reuters.


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In the deeply divided United States, Americans are wondering how to commemorate January 6. https://japononline.net/in-the-deeply-divided-united-states-americans-are-wondering-how-to-commemorate-january-6/ Tue, 04 Jan 2022 12:00:00 +0000 https://japononline.net/in-the-deeply-divided-united-states-americans-are-wondering-how-to-commemorate-january-6/ Insurgents loyal to President Donald Trump gather at the U.S. Capitol in Washington on January 6, 2021.José Luis Magana / The Associated Press No American has debated the meaning or virtue of the 1941 attack on Pearl Harbor a year later. No New Yorker or Washingtonian has looked for the positive points of the carnage […]]]>

Insurgents loyal to President Donald Trump gather at the U.S. Capitol in Washington on January 6, 2021.José Luis Magana / The Associated Press

No American has debated the meaning or virtue of the 1941 attack on Pearl Harbor a year later. No New Yorker or Washingtonian has looked for the positive points of the carnage of September 11, 2001, a year after the terrorist attacks on these two cities.

And yet, as the first anniversary of the siege on Capitol Hill approaches, Americans are furiously debating the content and significance of the violent insurgency that followed Donald Trump’s “fight-like hell” speech, which ‘he spoke as congressional lawmakers convene. to count the Electoral College votes that sent Joe Biden to the White House.

The Battle of Capitol Hill is on itself again, this time in public discourse – and Americans, perhaps even more divided today than they were on January 6, 2021, approach the anguished anniversary with trepidation. .

“Some Americans see January 6 as something to be remembered but not celebrated,” said Steven Danver, Washington State University historian and editor of the tri-volume. Revolts, Protests, Demonstrations, and Rebellions in American History encyclopedia. “But others see it as a rallying cry.”

The fight for the Jan. 6 legacy reflects deep political divisions reflected in Americans’ conflicting views on Mr. Trump, the 2020 election outcome, and the mask and vaccine mandates.

Only just over a quarter of Republicans see the Jan.6 episode as an attack on the government, according to a Quinnipiac University poll taken in the fall, when more than nine in ten Democrats see it that way. A Washington Post / University of Maryland poll released on Sunday found that 92% of Democrats believe Mr. Trump deserves “a lot” or “a good deal” of blame for the Capitol incident, while only 27% of Republicans think he deserves the blame. this way. .

US policy is cracked and could crumble. Canada must prepare

“Slow motion insurgency:” How the Republicans seize electoral power

Either way, the Capitol Hill insurgency will be an inflection point in U.S. history

In this feverish environment, where Americans clash with Americans on every issue of the day, planning for Thursday’s anniversary continues at a brisk pace, with concern. Some lawmakers – including GOP Senator Susan Collins of Maine, who voted to impeach Mr. Trump and was almost censored by his state party committee for doing so – said the passions surrounding the event were so large that they prefer no commemoration.

On Capitol Hill, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said in a New Years Eve letter to her colleagues that she was planning “a celebration of reflection, remembrance and re-engagement, in a spirit of ‘unity, patriotism and prayer’ to commemorate the anniversary of the riot, which began on the Capitol’s eastern and western fronts and spilled over into the building itself, including his office.

Planned events include a forum for lawmakers to remember their own experiences that day. Ms. Pelosi also invited a panel of historians, including Jon Meacham and Doris Kearns Goodwin, to place the event in a historical perspective.

Ms Goodwin said in an email to The Globe and Mail that she would tell lawmakers they need to learn as much as possible about the insurgency. “We know the end of America’s past stories – that the Civil War ended with the Union restored and emancipation assured. [and] that the Allies defeated fascism in World War II, ”she said. “Part of the anxiety we feel today is exacerbated by the realization that we don’t know how our story will end. But with that worry may come hope – for it is still up to us to write the remaining chapters of our story, which must begin by establishing and preserving a full account of what happened on January 6.

The two candidates of the major parties in the 2020 elections foresee contrasting events. Mr. Biden is expected to deliver an important speech in Washington, and Mr. Trump has scheduled a press conference upon his retirement in Mar-a-Lago, Florida.

The very act of commemorating historical events often says as much about when those episodes are assessed as it concerns the events themselves.

The civil rights march across the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma, Alabama, for example, was an extremely controversial event when it happened in March 1965. When its 50th anniversary was celebrated in 2015, the protest was celebrated as a signature moment in American history and was re-enacted by, among others, a black Democratic President, Barack Obama; a former Republican President, George W. Bush; and a former activist who was severely beaten on the bridge, Representative John Lewis of Georgia.

A year after supporters of Donald Trump stormed the United States Capitol and closed Congress, Americans are still awaiting judgment on the unprecedented challenge to the country’s democracy.SAUL LOEB / AFP / Getty Images

Scholars, too, use birthdays as opportunities to take a fresh look at past events, often subjecting them to revisionist interpretations that overturn the original narratives.

“Historians tend to analyze anniversaries of major, dramatic events that changed the lives of millions of people,” wrote Tyler Stovall, the late historian and dean of the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences five years ago. the University of California at Santa Clara. in the American Historical Association News Magazine. “Wars, battles, declarations of national independence and great cultural monuments concern us. We seldom care how happy these events have made people; rather, we tend to see them as particularly vivid examples of our main concern, change over time. “

The Jan. 6 point of view will ultimately be shaped as much by the future of U.S. politics as it is by the congressional inquiry currently underway on Capitol Hill, where Democrats are pushing the inquiry forward, most Republicans are resisting, and Mr. Trump is fighting against the demands. for documents that could provide new details about the day’s events.

If, for example, there is a repeat insurgency – perhaps even Thursday – will January 6, 2021 be seen as the opening of a multi-act tragedy, rather than a one-act drama? If American politics strikes a new balance in the years to come, will the current angst among progressives about the future of democracy be seen as exaggerated and archaic, as the views from Henry Clay to his early 19th-century rival, Andrew Jackson, can we now think of?

“We are in the midst of a revolution, hitherto bloodless, but rapidly tending towards a total change in the purely republican character of the government, and the concentration of all power in the hands of one man”, Clay, who ran twice against Jackson for president, declared in 1833, the fourth year of Jackson’s presidency. Today Jackson is vilified for his views on slavery and his campaigns against Indigenous peoples, but for at least two generations after WWII his presidency was seen as a triumphant prelude to the New Deal and a democracy. larger and more participatory American.

Over time, will the memory of January 6 lose its force and only take its place alongside other American uprisings?

They are so numerous that in 1863, the historian Orville Victor published a book entitled History of American Conspiracy: A Record of Treason, Insurrection, Rebellion, & c., In the United States of America, 1760-1860. The preface states: “The Federation which made us one people did not achieve its ends without occasional insurgencies against consolidated authority.

Before the first anniversary of Pearl Harbor, the main controversy surrounding the Japanese attack was how politicians used the event – universally condemned in the United States – to their advantage. Six months after the United States entered World War II, Senator Harry Schwartz of Wyoming went to the room and attacked “the whisperers who instill class, racial and religious hatred” and “the followers of the camp, blinded by private ambitions and secret hatreds, intent on collecting personal benefits.

On the occasion of the 20th anniversary, President John F. Kennedy, whose ship PT was run over by a Japanese destroyer during combat in the Pacific the month Schwartz delivered his remarks, devoted only two sentences at Pearl Harbor in his December 7, 1961 address to an AFL. -CIO Convention in Florida.

“We face entirely different challenges on this Pearl Harbor day,” he said. “In many ways the challenges are more serious and, in a sense, long-term, because I think none of us had any doubts at the time that the United States would survive and the prevail, and that our strength would increase. “

Then he spoke about job losses, education and the trade balance.

Today, less than 1% of Americans were at least 10 years old when the country went to war. They are likely to be the last to have clear first-hand memories of this time. And so the cover of Sammy Kaye’s song Remember Pearl Harbor, recorded 10 days after the Japanese attack, has lost most of its literal if not metaphorical meaning.

Perhaps the most suitable analogous to the outburst of January 6 is the insurrection of November 5, 1605 led by Guy Fawkes. It was the most famous in a series of conspiracies instigated by Catholics protesting against the monopolization of power by Protestants in England. The rebels planned to assassinate King James I and blow up the House of Lords. Today the rebellion – later marked by the doggerel, dating from 1742, which begins with “Remember, remember, November 5” – is studied by historians and commemorated by schoolchildren at a celebration festive involving bonfires, effigies and candy.

“The Capitol Riot was a failed attempt to bribe your democratic institutions, and that’s how we look at Guy Fawkes today,” said Lawrence Goldman, an Oxford historian. “Its historical significance is basically lost in ignorance now, and all you Americans have to do is wait 400 years before the same thing that happened on November 5 happens again on January 6. . “

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US on sidelines as China and other Asia-Pacific countries launch trade pact https://japononline.net/us-on-sidelines-as-china-and-other-asia-pacific-countries-launch-trade-pact/ Sun, 02 Jan 2022 13:54:38 +0000 https://japononline.net/us-on-sidelines-as-china-and-other-asia-pacific-countries-launch-trade-pact/ The new Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership, or RCEP, will eventually eliminate more than 90% of tariffs on trade between its 15 member countries, which economists say will be a boon to trade in the region. It will also give China a bigger role in establishing trade rules in the Asia-Pacific region at the expense of […]]]>

The new Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership, or RCEP, will eventually eliminate more than 90% of tariffs on trade between its 15 member countries, which economists say will be a boon to trade in the region.

It will also give China a bigger role in establishing trade rules in the Asia-Pacific region at the expense of the United States, some analysts say.

“This will be a grouping of countries that will work together and try to develop new rules and standards,” said Wendy Cutler, vice president of the Asia Society Policy Institute and former head of US commerce.[The U.S. is] go the other way. “

China had been excluded from an earlier trade deal, the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement on Trans-Pacific Partnership, which the United States had led to counter China’s influence in the region.

The United States withdrew from the Trans-Pacific Partnership in 2017 under former President Donald Trump, who said the deal was hurting American workers. Many lawmakers have also opposed the pact, and the Biden administration has said it has no plans to join it.

Henry Gao, Asian trade expert and associate professor of law at Singapore Management University, said the new RCEP “could be a wake-up call for the United States to rethink its strategy and return to Asia-Pacific.”

He said RCEP would benefit China by making its parts and components more attractive to factories that make up supply chains in Southeast Asia, and by boosting trade with Japan and South Korea.

RCEP was launched in 2012 by the Association of Southeast Asian Nations to strengthen ties with China and other countries in Asia. Ms Cutler, who was working with the U.S. Trade Representative’s office at the time, said the United States had not been invited to participate and would not have joined anyway because the agreement was considered too weak, lacking in labor standards and environmental requirements.

When RCEP members unveiled the completion of their deal in November 2020, then President-elect Biden said the United States should “set the rules of the road instead of leaving China and d ‘others dictate the results as they are the only game in town.

A senior official in the Biden administration said the White House recognizes the need for the United States to engage the Asia-Pacific region economically and discussions on how to do so are underway.

The other RCEP member countries are Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, New Zealand, Philippines, Singapore, South Korea, Thailand and Vietnam.

So far, 10 of the 15 member countries have officially ratified the deal and the rest are expected to do so in the coming months.

With RCEP members representing 30% of the world’s population and gross domestic product, the partnership becomes the largest regional trade agreement in the world, surpassing the United States-Mexico-Canada agreement and the European Customs Union.

The agreement aims to eliminate almost all tariffs on imports between countries within 20 years and establish common standards on intellectual property rights and electronic commerce.

Some business analysts have said the RCEP does not address issues where China may be vulnerable, including labor and environmental standards and its support for state-owned enterprises.

In a November 8 letter, 13 GOP Senators led by Mike Crapo (R., Idaho), the top Republican on the Senate Finance Committee, urged Biden to get involved in crafting new rules trade in the Asia-Pacific region, declaring the absence of the United States “encourages potential partners to move forward without us and ensures that China will hold the reins of the world economy.”

As an early indication, they pointed to the launch of RCEP, calling it “an agreement in line with China’s interests, including weak rules on intellectual property rights, and none on state-owned enterprises.”

Liu Pengyu, spokesperson for the Chinese Embassy in Washington, said China was “committed to building an open world economy, rather than forming an exclusive and closed ‘clique.’

The launch of RCEP comes at a time when China seeks a greater role in shaping trade rules in the Asia-Pacific region, while the United States remains largely absent.

In recent months, Beijing has asked to join the CPTPP and the Digital Economy Partnership Agreement, an ambitious new pact between Chile, New Zealand and Singapore that aims to establish common standards in areas such as electronic commerce and artificial intelligence. Some experts see DEPA as a model for a future agreement for the whole region.

Highlighting China’s progress in opening up its economy in a speech on November 5, Chinese President Xi Jinping said China was among the first nations to ratify RCEP nationally. He also pledged to actively work to join the CPTPP and DEPA.

As the first free trade agreement between China, Japan and South Korea, RCEP is expected to help significantly boost trade between countries.

Customs duties will be removed on 86% of industrial products exported from Japan to China, compared to 8% currently. This includes the elimination of levies on 87% of auto parts exports worth nearly $ 45 billion a year, according to the Japanese government.

Some 92% of Japanese industrial products will be exported to South Korea duty-free, compared to 19% currently.

The Brookings Institution estimates that RCEP could add $ 209 billion a year to global revenues and $ 500 billion to global trade by 2030.

The most notable feature of RCEP, according to trade experts, is the flexibility of rules of origin. It only requires 40% of the content of a product from the RCEP block to qualify for duty-free treatment, compared to 50% to 60% of floors for the USMCA.

“This offers many opportunities to create and strengthen intra-Asian supply chains,” said Jeffrey Schott, senior researcher at the Peterson Institute for International Economics.

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Negima !? The Creator’s Fight Against Censorship Policy, Explained https://japononline.net/negima-the-creators-fight-against-censorship-policy-explained/ Thu, 30 Dec 2021 00:00:00 +0000 https://japononline.net/negima-the-creators-fight-against-censorship-policy-explained/ Negima !? Creator Ken Akamatsu decided to take action and change Japanese censorship laws by running for office. Japan’s censorship laws have become a more frequent topic of discussion among anime fans in recent months. Between the companies hitting YouTubers and even trying to protect basic copyright models, the world of cartoon censorship laws has […]]]>

Negima !? Creator Ken Akamatsu decided to take action and change Japanese censorship laws by running for office.

Japan’s censorship laws have become a more frequent topic of discussion among anime fans in recent months. Between the companies hitting YouTubers and even trying to protect basic copyright models, the world of cartoon censorship laws has become more mainstream and scrutinized in recent times. One artist, in particular, has decided that the time for talk is over and the time for action is now. This artist is Ken Akamatsu, creator of Negima !? Magister Negi Magi and I love Hina.

Akamatsu has announced his intention to run for the Japanese House of Representatives with the “free speech” platform. Specifically, he wants to change censorship laws regarding what artists can and cannot represent in their works. The announcement, which was made public on December 16, 2021, received overwhelmingly positive feedback from fans and supporters. Akamatsu intends to run for a position in the upper house of the House of Representatives, the House of Councilors. Despite the overwhelmingly positive reaction, some fans are concerned because of the party he has decided to run under.


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The Liberal Democratic Party, LDP for short, is one of the largest political parties in Japan and holds the majority of seats with an almost perfect record since 1955. There have only been two years when they have not. the majority, namely 1993 and 1994. It is a predominantly conservative party associated with Japanese nationalist ideology. These ideologies are not the official platform of the party, which is seen more as a “catch-all” party than a party that argues that theirs is the best for the country.


Akamatsu has also been criticized for pushing for more artistic freedom rather than pushing for stricter laws on the overburdened animation and manga industries. Those who know his works doubt his reasons for showing up as he has a habit of attracting minors into compromising positions and situations. Others fully support his platform and the push for more lenient censorship laws. If it is true that Japanese laws are among the strictest in the world, then the question becomes what are the limits of artistic expression when it comes to portraying minors?

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Another question is whether his fervor extends to that of the animation industry and whether he plans to push for more regulation of overworked and poorly paid employees. Will he push for legislation that not only increases the wages of animators and artists and demands tougher laws on how many hours a company can work its employees, or will it just focus on censorship of these industries and will it attempt to weaken the laws already established in place? Since his announcement was only published recently, only time will tell what he intends to do and should be elected to this position.

Akamatsu is already well known for trying to fight piracy by creating sites that allow readers to enjoy manga for free. In 2008, he launched J-Comi, which came under intense scrutiny by the media and the Japanese government in 2011 for licensing a series called Oku-sama wa Shogakusei (My wife is an elementary school student) to add to the digital library, according to Anime News Network. Since then he has partnered with Kodansha and Shueisha to add more titles to his site.


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No sign of easing tensions on India-China border https://japononline.net/no-sign-of-easing-tensions-on-india-china-border/ Tue, 28 Dec 2021 01:49:25 +0000 https://japononline.net/no-sign-of-easing-tensions-on-india-china-border/ ~~ ~ As the year draws to a close, tensions between India and China show no sign of abating. The two sides were caught fighting over a series of issues. On the one hand, the border issue has divided the two sides for a long time and shows no signs of slowing down. Although this […]]]>

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Innovators in Japan develop new technologies to fight coronavirus

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As the year draws to a close, tensions between India and China show no sign of abating. The two sides were caught fighting over a series of issues.

On the one hand, the border issue has divided the two sides for a long time and shows no signs of slowing down. Although this year Chinese forces have withdrawn from some of the friction points along the mountainous border, they have yet to disengage in many other places.

At the same time, India is unlikely to boycott the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics. Indian has only one athlete qualified for the Games at the moment, and his participation is only symbolic.

Second, economically there are other challenges as well. China still has a favorable trade balance vis-à-vis India, and it looks like this will continue. In response to the Chinese incursions, the Indian government retaliated by banning a series of Chinese apps. These, however, are unlikely to cause much heartburn in China on the economic front.

Worryingly, during the first half of 2021, India’s trade deficit with China increased 56.12% to $ 28.10 billion. This indicates that despite the tensions in relations between the two countries, it has not left a hole in the Indo-Chinese trade equation.

On the other hand, China has yet to grant market access to Indian companies in areas where they are strong, such as pharmaceuticals.

Third, political relations between China and India are unlikely to improve in the near future. This year, China has built entire villages on Indian territory. “India has neither accepted such illegal occupation of our territory, nor unwarranted Chinese claims,” ​​India’s Foreign Ministry said in a statement, adding: “[India’s] The government has always expressed its strong protest against such activities through diplomatic means, and will continue to do so in the future.

A satellite image of the Galwan Valley in Ladakh, India on June 9, 2020. Planet Labs Inc / Handout via REUTERS

Nevertheless, China continues to put pressure on the Indian border.

Fourth, in India’s immediate neighborhood, the China factor continues to reign supreme. China’s support for Pakistan continues, as in past years.

In Sri Lanka, a port project that had been awarded to an Indo-Japanese joint bid (the Colombo East Container Terminal) ー was abandoned by Sri Lanka, which turned around and awarded it to a consortium Chinese.

Areas of cooperation

That said, China and India managed to work together at the COP-26 summit in Glasgow earlier this year. Specifically, they joined together to oppose a pledge to “phase out” coal when negotiating the final deal.

Another area where they collaborate is at the level of foreign ministers, where India, Russia and China meet regularly. They also cooperate on regional security in entities like the Shanghai Cooperation Organization.

India and China have an interest in the stability of countries like Afghanistan, as both countries are threatened by Islamic extremism, so cooperation is important. Beijing is particularly concerned about the stability of its troubled Xinjiang region.

Takeaways for Japan

The paradoxical relationship between the two countries still offers advantages for neighbors like Japan, which have territorial disputes with China.

In view of the tensions prevailing on the Sino-Indian front, China seems unlikely to give in on the territory. At the same time, it also demonstrates that while countries like Japan think China will be worried about economic relations affected by territorial issues, they unfortunately can be wrong. While China enjoys a favorable trade balance vis-à-vis India, it has not stopped Beijing’s military aggression with regard to border tensions.

Japanese Coast Guard patrols to protect Japanese fishermen from Chinese Coast Guard intimidation in the waters surrounding the Senkaku Islands, Ishigaki, Okinawa Prefecture

The appointment of Yoshimasa Hayashi as Japan’s new foreign minister, however, could indicate that the Kishida administration might be tempted to be more lenient towards China. Hayashi was the head of the Union of Parliamentarians for Japan-China Friendship until after his appointment.

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You have to be careful because past examples suggest that China is more likely to see this as a sign of weakness. Characteristics of the Chinese strategy include a two-pronged approach, continuing talks while adopting aggressive behavior at the same time.

Friday, December 24, Japan had decided not to send ministers to the Beijing Games. The Japanese delegation will be led by Seiko Hashimoto, President of Tokyo 2020, with President of the Japanese Olympic Committee Yasuhiro Yamashita and President of the Japanese Paralympic Committee Kazuyuki Mori. However, the fact that Tokyo has not indicated whether or not it supports a diplomatic boycott of the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics could nonetheless be seen as a sign of procrastination on Beijing’s part.

The way to go

China under President Xi Jinping has displayed an aggressive stance both in its immediate neighborhood and beyond.

Obviously, Beijing is not going to ameliorate in the immediate future and therefore New Delhi must be on the lookout in 2022 when it comes to Sino-Indian relations.

Recently, Indian Foreign Minister Dr S Jaishankar, in a virtual interaction, referred to the Sino-Indian relationship, saying, “As we have made clear, the state of the relationship, in ultimately, will reflect the state of the border. You cannot have a tight, high friction border and have good relationships in all other parts of life. It does not work like that.

New Delhi will need to think about a wider range of options to deal with the Chinese threat. It must be more assertive economically, where it clearly has more leverage than it still has to deploy vis-à-vis China.

At the same time, New Delhi will need to accelerate its military modernization, as Beijing appears to be rapidly widening the gap with India on the defense front. The Quad, comprising the United States, Japan and Australia, besides India, is a mechanism that will help India to control the rise of China.

No wonder it seems like a rocky road for Indo-Chinese relations.

Author: Dr Rupakjyoti Borah

Dr Rupakjyoti Borah is Principal Investigator at the Japan Forum for Strategic Studies, Tokyo. The opinions expressed are purely personal. Twitter @rupakj



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Japan, US could move to virtual meeting of foreign and defense leaders https://japononline.net/japan-us-could-move-to-virtual-meeting-of-foreign-and-defense-leaders/ Sat, 25 Dec 2021 02:10:59 +0000 https://japononline.net/japan-us-could-move-to-virtual-meeting-of-foreign-and-defense-leaders/ Japan and the United States are considering changing their scheduled in-person meeting of their foreign and defense chiefs in January to a virtual format due to the spread of the omicron variant of the coronavirus, people familiar with the matter said. . Arrangements had been made for Japanese Foreign Minister Yoshimasa Hayashi and Defense Minister […]]]>

Japan and the United States are considering changing their scheduled in-person meeting of their foreign and defense chiefs in January to a virtual format due to the spread of the omicron variant of the coronavirus, people familiar with the matter said. .

Arrangements had been made for Japanese Foreign Minister Yoshimasa Hayashi and Defense Minister Nobuo Kishi to travel to Washington for “two plus two” talks with their American counterparts, Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Secretary at Defense Lloyd Austin, Jan. 7.

A rapid rise in omicron cases in the United States has led both sides to consider holding a virtual meeting instead on Jan. 7 or 8, the sources said on Friday.

The first two plus two meeting under the administration of Prime Minister Fumio Kishida, who took office in October, aims to demonstrate the strength of the bilateral alliance in the face of China’s growing military power. The Heads of Foreign Affairs and Defense are expected to deepen cooperation in the fields of space and cyberspace.

Hayashi and Blinken were expected to sign an agreement on host nation support for U.S. forces stationed in Japan covering the five years from April, but the two sides will consider other options, the sources said.

One option is for former White House chief of staff Rahm Emanuel, who was confirmed by the Senate last week as the next US Ambassador to Japan, to sign him once he arrives in Japan.

After bilateral negotiations, Japan agreed to pay 1.05 trillion yen ($ 9.2 billion) over a five-year period.

With the cancellation of his trip to the United States being considered, Hayashi is unlikely to attend a UN review conference on the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty ahead of the two plus two meeting, said. the sources.

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