• Japan's Abe is looking to expand the foreign population.

    Japan has been Quietly Opening the Door to Increased Immigration

    With the foreign population in Japan expected to grow in the future, policymakers have an interest in promoting a more positive view of immigration. Current public opinion toward immigration in Japan, like in much of the rest of the world, is generally negative. But recent public opinion data shows that individuals who are more likely to come in contact with foreigners or who self-assess as being of high English speaking proficiency are more supportive of increases in immigration.

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  • Is sharing submarine technology the right policy for Japan?

    Sharing Submarine Technology to Strengthen Japan's Domestic Production Capacity

    In July 2014, the Abe government adopted the ‘Three Principles on Transfer of Defense Equipment and Technology’, which approved Japanese weapons exports as long as certain conditions are met.

    Based on this new, less restrictive policy on weapons exports Japan has concluded two major deals. The first is to supply surface-to-air missile parts to the US and the second to conduct joint research on air-to-air missiles with the United Kingdom. The proposed Australian submarine deal would eclipse both of these in terms of scale and significance.

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  • Abe's Commission on the 21st Century is packed with talent.

    Japan PM Abe's Commission on a Framework for the 21st Century Set a High Bar

    On 25 February, Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe convened the first meeting of a new special advisory council, the Commission on a Framework for the 21st Century. The rather ambiguously and grandiosely named council is to meet with him over the coming months, presenting the results of their deliberations on five topics.

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  • Abe expands Japan's foreign policy focus to the Middle East.

    Shinzo Abe Raising Japan's Profile by Engaging the Middle East

    After his victory in the December 2014 elections, Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has pledged to turn Japan into ‘one of the greatest powers in the world’ by implementing the new foreign policy approach of ‘proactive pacifism’. Abe is seeking to foster Japanese international engagement, which will increasingly reach beyond the regional boundaries of the Asia-Pacific.

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  • Privatization proceeds could fund Japanese research efforts.

    The Case for Funding R&D in Japan Through Asset Sales

    The debate on fiscal reform in Japan has been heating up. The working assumption so far has been that tax hikes will be sufficient to solve the fiscal problem. Fortunately the fiscal debate has now gone beyond this innocent simplicity and spending control is finally on the agenda. So is privatisation, with the government promising it will ‘implement public service reforms which aim for more efficient administrative work and privatisation’. But how much can privatisation actually contribute to fiscal reform?

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  • Progress has been made in Japan regarding women in the workforce.

    Are Cultural Changes Necessary for Shinzo Abe's 'womenomics' to Succeed?

    Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has pledged to enable more women to participate in the Japanese workforce. But his policy has largely amounted to rhetoric and there has been no discussion of the impact of these policies for male employment. In order to realistically increase opportunities for women, the current system of male-focused employment needs to be reconfigured. And Abe shows no willingness to address this.

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  • Abenomics is in full swing in Japan.

    Can Japan's LDP depend on Komeito's Cooperation?

    Shinzo Abe’s second term as prime minister of Japan, unlike his first, was a modest success through till 2014. But he will have to bring real and tangible outcomes for Japan and the Japanese economy if it is to succeed the third time round.

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