Major Akinori Hosomi vanished on a cool evening in April 2019 while flying one of the world’s most modern and deadliest aircraft — the F-35A Joint Strike Fighter.
When the 41 year-old pilot took off from Misawa Air Base in northern Japan on the night of April 19, there was little sign of trouble. An experienced pilot with sixty hours on the F-35A, the multirole jet he was flying was state-of-the-art and the mission profile was to be another routine night-training exercise. Yet his plane fell into the Pacific Ocean without so much as a distress call on the part of the pilot.
The European Union and Japan have finalized a trade agreement that would create the world’s largest open economic zone when it comes into effect in 2019.
The deal cuts tariffs, harmonizes product regulations and liberalizes public procurement for a market of 600 million people.
The EU and Japan account for 28 percent of the world’s economic output.
In a joint statement, European Commission president Jean-Claude Juncker and Japanese prime minister Shinzō Abe said the deal demonstrates their commitment “to keeping the world economy working on the basis of free, open and fair markets with clear and transparent rules.” Read more “Europe and Japan Finalize Trade Deal”
European and Japanese leaders have announced a landmark trade agreement on the eve of the G20 summit in Hamburg, Germany, where America’s president, Donald Trump, is expected to press his case for protectionism.
The treaty has yet to be finalized. A summit in Brussels was hastily arranged to “send a strong signal,” as the EU’s trade commissioner, Cecilia Malmström, put it earlier this week.
Strategic thinkers have proposed closer cooperation between Japan and NATO for more than a decade. The circumstances are now such that this could become a reality.
Japan has surprised many by weakening its post-World War II pacifist posture, increasing defense spending and investing in fifth-generation warplane technology. These reforms are an invitation to NATO to engage more seriously.
Part of the work is being done for it. Japan’s security pivot brings the island nation in closer alignment with the United States. This, in turn, brings Japan closer to NATO.
Japan’s reinterpretation of its constitutional self-defense clause could be a stepping stone to collective self-defense. It has already taken part in multinational military exercises and contributes to peace and stability missions around the world. Its security doctrine is well in line with NATO’s. Both sides are committed to upholding democracy and the rule of law and advancing the cause of international security.
Areas of cooperation could include counterterrorism, cybersecurity and peacekeeping. Both sides would benefit from an open exchange of experiences, ideas and technologies in these regards.
Japan also holds a wealth of experience when it comes to responding to and managing human crises, like natural disasters. NATO’s civil response capacities, in turn, can serve as an example for Japan’s Self-Defense Forces and the two can be mutually reinforcing. Read more “Time Looks Ripe for Japan-NATO Cooperation”
Geopolitics is about trends. Individual events add up to patterns; patterns melt into inertia; inertia gains social gravity; inevitably, maps are redrawn, regimes fall and through the litany of news reports we wonder how it all came about.
So while it is beyond cliché to do a yearly review, for geopolitics, it’s also extremely useful. What were the trends in 2015 and where might they go in 2016 and beyond? Let’s get super. Read more “2015 in Geopolitical Review”
Negotiators from Japan, the United States and ten other Pacific nations reached an agreement for a comprehensive trade pact on Monday that would be the signature achievement of President Barack Obama’s economic “pivot” to Asia.
Ironically, the final vote was accompanied by a fist fight but it’s official: Japan may go to war again. The third largest economy on Earth entering the geopolitical sphere as a military power is absolutely huge. For Beijing, it’s a disaster. For DC, it’s the geopolitical coup of the decade. And for Japan, it’s increasingly necessary.