Japan and NATO have been referred to as natural partners sharing fundamental values, and they are being drawn closer together by what they can offer each other in terms of legitimacy and enhanced capabilities. In this paper originally prepared for the "Euro-Atlantic Meets Asia-Pacific" conference in Vancouver, organized by NATO Defense College and Simon Fraser University in May 2014, Senior Fellow Tsuneo Watanabe outlines the mutual benefits of a closer security partnership for regional stability.
Although Prime Minister Abe’s decision to postpone the planned hike in the consumption tax was popular with voters, resulting in a commanding majority for his coalition government in the December 2014 lower house election, it could spell trouble further down the road for the nation’s public finances. Prescriptions for fiscal consolidation are quite simple, but politics, argues Senior Fellow Sota Kato, will likely get in the way of any serious attempts to restore fiscal health.
The Fukushima nuclear accident turned Japan’s energy policy on its head, throwing into relief problem areas that had escaped scrutiny before the disaster. Electricity system reform is indispensable to rebuilding Japan’s energy policy and ensuring the success of Abenomics. This article by Research Fellow Hikaru Hiranuma was uploaded in September 2014 on the website of the Center for Asian Studies, Institut Français des Relations Internationales (Ifri), as part of its Asie.Visions series of electronic publications. It is reprinted here with Ifri's permission.
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