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Tag Archives: Shinzo Abe
Japan’s Shinzo Abe, US President Donald Trump and Russia’s Vladimir Putin have a great deal in common, particularly their aversion to being exposed to a free press.
When Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe earlier this month stood alongside Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull near The Gap––once Sydney’s favourite suicide spot––they presented themselves as brothers-in-arms for multilateral free trade. How quickly things can change.
Japan, in my nearly forty years of observing and reporting on that country, has never been so delicately and dangerously poised. Australians, who have long relied on it as an economic powerhouse and ‘common interest’ partner, need to be … Continue reading
Defying public protests and opinion polls that show most Japanese oppose the move, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s Liberal Democratic Party and Shin-Komeito ruling coalition are pressing ahead with legislation to nullify the nation’s constitutional ban on overseas military action. The … Continue reading
We must not let our children, grandchildren, and even further generations to come, who have nothing to do with that war, be predestined to apologize. This comes from the statement issued during the week by Japan’s Prime Minister, Shinzo Abe, … Continue reading
Virulent, fanatical nationalism is not the answer. It’s not the answer in Russia, where an opponent of Putin’s war on Ukraine was murdered on the streets of Moscow in broad daylight. It’s not the answer in China where the ruling … Continue reading
If the main aim of building ships in Australia for the Royal Australian Navy were to keep locals in work, then the South Australian-based Australian Submarine Corporation (ASC) would be a pretty good model. It spent around $400 million on … Continue reading
In diplomacy, sometimes a nod is as good as a wink. You can argue later over the question of who nodded first (if at all). The leaders of Japan and China are maneuvering towards their first face-to-face meeting after two … Continue reading
Abe, the radical Nominally conservative, Abe’s political career has been devoted to an extraordinarily radical agenda, nothing less than revision of all three of the country’s basic charters: the Constitution (1946), the Fundamental Law of Education (1947) and Ampo (the … Continue reading
These posts (published over 4 days) are extracts from an article by Gavan McCormack, entitled ‘Partnership 135 Degrees East’ which will be published in Arena.org.au. Our best friend The current Japanese and Australian governments came into being in December … Continue reading
You might be interested in this repost from 16 July. John Menadue Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe sought to draw Australia into his enmity towards China and he did so in the Australian parliament. Unfortunately Tony Abbott allowed himself and … Continue reading
The Japanese have coined a new word, kopipe, from the English phrase ‘copy and paste’. It featured, for instance, in recent reporting of the discredited stem-cell researcher caught out copying images and data from one research paper to another. But … Continue reading
Japan both treasures and abhors its status as the only nation to have suffered a nuclear attack. The bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki are perceived, because of their unique and extraordinary destructiveness, as moral markers: warnings to the world and … Continue reading
Today, Australian Prime Minister Abbott and Japanese Prime Minister Abe meet in Canberra, and Prime Minister Abe presents an address to the Australian parliament. This is a historic occasion, and will be remembered as a pivotal point in Australia-Japan relations. … Continue reading
Next Tuesday Prime Minister Abe will visit Australia. I expect the Free Trade Agreement with Japan or its new name the Economic Partnership Agreement with Japan will feature prominently. I repost below what I said on March 29 about the … Continue reading
In 1993 the Japanese government issued an apology to comfort women who had suffered sexual abuse by the Japanese military during WWII. This apology was called the ‘Kono Declaration’. Kono was the chief cabinet secretary. Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe … Continue reading
Tony Abbott is shortly to visit Japan. He should be aware of the serious ultra-nationalist trend in Japan. That ultra-nationalism in the past has brought tragedy to the Japanese people and our region. The chief exponent of this ultra-nationalism in … Continue reading
Yasukuni–Japan’s Patriotic Lightning Rod The Shinto shrine known as Yasukuni sprawls over ten hectares in the centre of Tokyo near the northern edge of the Imperial Palace grounds. Here are enshrined 2.47 million ‘deities’––the spirits of Japanese military personnel and … Continue reading
Three words for Shinzo Abe––and for history. Three words: ‘…including Senkaku islands’ (was Obama’s omission of the definite article ‘the’, one wonders, part of a subconscious hesitation?). Thus a US president for the first time explicitly committed his country to … Continue reading
Tony Abbott has just completed his visit to Japan. The media has been full of stories about the improvement particularly in agricultural exports from Australia to Japan. It should all be taken with a grain of salt. There have been … Continue reading
Dolphin-culling and free trade agreements represent opposite sides of the coin of the relationship between Australia and Japan. Both are currently in the news, with Sea Shepherd activists hounding the fishermen of Taiji (where the documentary ‘The Cove’ was filmed) … Continue reading
A prominent Japanese historian once likened the psychology of wartime Japan to a ‘madhouse’ in which the public became capable of believing anything. Another who lived through those years noted how formalism––keeping up appearances long after a cause has ceased … Continue reading
Samuel Johnson in 1775 said that ‘patriotism is the last refuge of the scoundrel’. That brings to mind the “patriotic” politics that both PM Abbott and the PM of Japan, Shinzo Abe, are playing. In this Tony Abbott will find … Continue reading
After two decades mired in largely self-made problems (post-bubble depreciation; political instability; aging population; nuclear meltdown), Japan is suddenly feeling much better about itself. Anyone observing events could not fail to register the shift in the national mood. Are we … Continue reading