Home > Articles > 2013

2013

While environment-related news from China usually focuses on the country’s polluted air and water, great strides are also being made in the use of renewable energy sources. Kunio Takami, who heads a Japanese nonprofit that has been involved in reforestation activities in China for over two decades, reports on the surprising advances being made to power China’s industry with wind and solar energy.

read more

Prickly relations between Tokyo and Beijing are nothing new, but the current squabble over the Senkaku Islands makes the previous two decades look like a honeymoon. Katsuyuki Yakushiji discusses the underlying structural changes that have turned the tiny Senkakus into a powder keg.

read more

Japan, India, and South Korea make natural dialogue partners, given the relative size of their economies, common values like democracy and a market economy, and the shared importance of the maritime domain, noted participants of a Tokyo Foundation Forum on “The Indo-Pacific Security Environment and Prospects for Japan-India-South Korea Trilateral Cooperation,” held on November 29.

read more

In November 2012, Junko Tashiro traveled to Ghana under an Acumen Global Fellowship to launch Copa Connect, a social venture aimed at integrating smallholding rice farmers into the value chain. In her third report from the field, Tashiro explains the venture she helped launch and its sustained impact.

read more

Japanese agriculture is in a dire state, and misguided agricultural policies are partly to blame, states Senior Fellow Yutaka Harada. He sees promise, though, in that some sectors have demonstrated potential for growth even under such circumstances. Japan’s participation in the TPP should benefit many farming households, inasmuch as their income is reliant on a healthy economy as a whole.

read more

The fate of the Democratic and Republican Parties in the 2014 and 2016 US elections will be determined largely by how the economy performs over the next few years and whether the kinks in Obamacare can be worked out. Another major factor, notes Paul Saunders, will be whether Republicans can stop their infighting and appeal to a broader popular base. Only the passage of time will reveal how these factors will shape election outcomes and to whose benefit.

read more

Prime Minister Abe’s “three arrows” are helping lift the Japanese economy from decades of paralyzing deflation. In recently announcing that he would go ahead with a scheduled consumption tax hike in April 2014, the prime minister also outlined a ¥5 trillion package of measures designed to mitigate the negative impact of higher taxes. While lauding the unpopular decision to raise the consumption tax from the viewpoint of fiscal consolidation and enhancement of social security, Senior Fellow Shigeki Morinobu believes the fiscal stimulus package represents a waste of fiscal resources that could jeopardize the Abe administration’s target of “halving the annual deficit by fiscal 2015. The following article is reprinted with permission from Chuo Online.

read more

Myanmar has become a new frontier for cooperation among Japan, the United States, and Europe under President Thein Sein’s initiative for democratization and market reform. Senior Fellow Tsuneo Watanabe notes that Myanmar’s trajectory will have an impact on the future regional order, testing whether Chinese aspirations for national rejuvenation can coexist with the interests of neighboring countries and the larger international community. The Japanese government has demonstrated new thinking, recently collaborating with a domestic NGO to facilitate the process of ethnic reconciliation in the country.

read more

In November 2012, Junko Tashiro traveled to Ghana under an Acumen Global Fellowship to help launch a social venture aimed at empowering smallholding rice farmers. In her second report, Tashiro describes the nearly overwhelming challenges she faced on her arrival and the life-changing experiences by which she learned to surmount them.

read more

Last August civic leaders and public officials from Kisumu County, one of the semi-autonomous entities established under Kenya’s new democratic constitution, gathered to learn what they can do to build a government that works for the people. Mari Suzuki, the Tokyo Foundation’s director for leadership development, offers a first-hand report on this seminal conference, organized by former Sylff fellow Otieno Aluoka with the support of the Foundation’s recently overhauled Sylff Leadership Initiatives program.

read more

next 1 2 3 4 6