‘China in mind’: Japan mulls beefing up military as Ukraine war rings alarm

Weeks after he became Japan’s prime minister last year, Fumio Kishida pulled on a dark green bomber jacket, the hinomaru flag emblazoned on his sleeve, and climbed into a tank. Official photos show him displaying an awkward smile for his audience at Camp Asaka – the men and women of the the country’s Self-Defence Forces – an indication, perhaps, that postwar Japanese leaders and military hardware have not always been easy bedfellows. The image belied Kishida’s political grounding in a dovish wing of his Liberal Democratic party (LDP) and his…

Japanese premier warns of Ukraine-style invasion by ‘autocratic powers’

Boris Johnson and Japanese prime minister Fumio Kishida have warned that the invasion of Ukraine could be replicated in east Asia if democratic powers do not stand up to autocratic ones. “Ukraine may be east Asia tomorrow,” Kishida said on Thursday during a visit to London, as he called for Indo-Pacific leaders to recognise that the invasion of Ukraine was not just a European problem. Asked about the implications for Taiwan, he said: “We must collaborate with our allies and like-minded countries, and never tolerate a unilateral attempt to change…

Genshin Impact, Smash Hit From China, Beats Japan at Its Own Game

genshin impact smash hit from china beats japan at its own game

TOKYO — Genshin Impact, one of the world’s hottest mobile video games, has all the characteristics of a Japanese invention: giant robots; human-size swords; characters with huge eyes and spiky, rainbow-colored hair; and a puzzling fixation on women in maid outfits. There’s just one catch: It’s Chinese. Released in late 2020, the game is the first bona fide international smash hit for China’s video game industry. In its first year on the market, it raked in $2 billion, a record for mobile games, according to Sensor Tower, a firm that…

Navy Recovers Stealthy Jet From Deep in the South China Sea

The Navy has recovered a stealthy F-35 warplane that fell into the South China Sea after it crashed while trying to land on a Navy aircraft carrier, the service announced on Thursday. The Navy’s Japan-based Seventh Fleet said a remote-operated vehicle attached lines to the plane, which was then lifted 12,400 feet to the surface of the ocean and winched aboard the deck of a civilian vessel called the Picasso that the Navy contracted to assist in the operation. “This deliberate approach resulted in the correct capabilities conducting recovery operations…

Russian aggression towards Ukraine could jeopardise Indo-Pacific stability, says US after Quad meeting

The stability of the Indo-Pacific will also be in danger if Russia is allowed to threaten Ukraine with impunity, the US secretary of state has warned during a visit to Australia. Antony Blinken said on Friday there were “very troubling signs of Russian escalation”, adding: “We’re in a window when an invasion could begin at any time – and to be clear, that includes during the Olympics.” He said the US would continue to draw down its embassy in Kyiv and reiterated calls for any American citizens who remain in…

Shintaro Ishihara, Outspoken Nationalist Governor of Tokyo, Dies at 89

shintaro ishihara outspoken nationalist governor of tokyo dies at 89 scaled

Shintaro Ishihara, a Japanese author turned firebrand nationalist politician who served as the governor of Tokyo and famously stoked diplomatic tensions with China over disputed islands, died on Tuesday in Tokyo. He was 89. His death was confirmed by his sons, who told reporters in Tokyo that Mr. Ishihara had suffered a relapse of pancreatic cancer in October. “He led an era,” said one of his sons, Yoshizumi Ishihara. A contentious figure in the otherwise wan world of Japanese politics, Mr. Ishihara was governor of Tokyo for 13 years beginning…

Japan PM will not attend Beijing Winter Olympics opening ceremony

Japan’s prime minister, Fumio Kishida, has said he will not attend the opening ceremony of the Winter Olympics in Beijing, but it is not clear if the country will join a US-led diplomatic boycott of the Games over human rights abuses. Speaking in parliament on Thursday, Kishida said: “I have no plans at this point to attend” and did not clarify if Japan would send any officials to the event, amid reports that it was unlikely to snub the hosts altogether. Kishida has said only that he will make a…

What AUKUS Means for U.S.-China Great Power Competition

what aukus means for u s china great power competition

This is a hallmark of great power competition: Competitive initiatives like AUKUS provide visible ways to counter or balance or complicate China’s military activities but don’t necessarily help allies meet defined objectives. More often, competition becomes an end in itself — an open-ended imperative that assumes everything an opponent dislikes must be good policy. Another common feature of competitive policies is that officials tend to overlook their costs. For one thing, AUKUS carries significant diplomatic costs at a time when the United States is in desperate need of credibility with…

Wonking Out: This Might Be China’s ‘Babaru’ Moment

wonking out this might be chinas babaru moment

OK, who ordered that? You’d think that between Covid-19, climate change and U.S. democracy under siege, we would already have enough crises on our plate. A potential Chinese financial meltdown is the last thing we need. Yet here we are. The story of the moment is Evergrande, a huge, heavily indebted real estate company that appears on the edge of default. The echoes of the global financial crisis 13 years ago are obvious. The conventional wisdom is that Evergrande isn’t another Lehman Brothers, that any fallout from its woes, and…

China Pledges to Stop Building Coal Plants Abroad: Explained

china pledges to stop building coal plants abroad

Xi Jinping, China’s top leader, said on Tuesday that his country would stop building coal-burning power plants overseas, a major shift by the world’s second-biggest economy to move away from its support of the fossil fuel. China “will not build new coal-fired power projects abroad,” he told the United Nations General Assembly on Tuesday. The news comes amid a broad international effort to reduce coal use and to keep global temperatures from rising at their current pace, which scientists have warned could be disastrous. The announcement by China, which is…

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