Japan

US, Japan conclude massive war games targeting China

By Ben McGrath, 10 November 2018

The Keen Sword exercises have placed additional pressure on China while further militarizing the western Pacific.

Japanese PM visits China in bid to improve relations

By Peter Symonds, 1 November 2018

Abe’s efforts to end bitter exchanges with China come after both countries have been hit by the Trump administration’s trade war measures.

Japanese space agency lands two rovers on surface of asteroid

By Bryan Dyne, 26 September 2018

Although an asteroid was first landed on in 2001, the Japanese Hayabusa2 mission is the first to successfully deploy rovers on the surface of one.

Financial Times expresses concerns over Sri Lanka taking Chinese loans

By Naveen Dewage, 24 September 2018

The US, with the backing of India and Japan, is increasingly putting pressure on Sri Lanka not to deviate from its efforts to undermine and encircle China.

Japanese prime minister seeks improved relations with Russia

By Ben McGrath, 17 September 2018

Japan is coming under increased pressure as a result of Washington’s protectionist measures, which are compounding instability throughout the Asia Pacific region.

Japan and China improve relations in face of US trade war measures

By Ben McGrath, 10 September 2018

The apparent thaw in what has been a frigid, and at times hostile, relationship underscores the destabilizing impact of Trump’s aggressive America First drive.

Many Japanese schools fail to meet earthquake-resistant standards

By Gary Alvernia, 7 September 2018

Schools in earthquake-prone Japan, which have endured decades of spending cuts, will receive no new funds for safety from Tokyo.

US and Japan increase efforts to undercut Chinese influence in Sri Lanka

By Rohantha De Silva, 3 September 2018

The US, Japan and India are continuing to publicly voice their concerns over Colombo’s relations with Beijing.

Japan: Tens of thousands on Okinawa denounce US base relocation plan

By Ben McGrath, 21 August 2018

Given that Okinawa is a major staging pointing for US military action in Asia, opposition to the base is intimately bound up with the struggle against militarism.

Darling in the FranXX: Japanese anime series about fighting for the survival of humanity

By Matthew MacEgan, 20 August 2018

This 2017 Japanese anime series tells the story a group of teenaged pilots who rebel against authoritarianism and seek to create a world in which humans can live happily.

Former Japanese defense minister announces challenge to Abe

By Ben McGrath, 14 August 2018

Ishiba is challenging current Prime Minister Shinzo Abe in a move designed to push him even further to the right.

Japan passes phony “work-style reform” bills

By Kurt Brown, 27 July 2018

The so-called reform bills will result in further attacks on workers, rather than improving their conditions.

Extreme weather in Japan has deadly impact on the elderly

By Gary Alvernia, 25 July 2018

The elderly are consistently the most affected victims of heat waves, floods, and other disasters, pointing to the social neglect of the aged by the Japanese government.

EU and Japan sign trade deal

By Nick Beams, 19 July 2018

The deal was five years in the making but the impetus to have it finalised was increased by the US trade war measures that have targeted both parties.

Floods and landslides in Japan leave more than 100 dead

By Ben McGrath, 10 July 2018

Natural disasters in Japan are increasing as a result of climate change, but nothing is being done to address this crisis.

Japan’s ruling party calls for a doubling of military expenditure

By Kurt Brown, 9 June 2018

Tokyo’s agenda increases the danger of war and the suppression of democratic rights at home.

Japanese and Russian leaders meet to discuss economic and security concerns

By Gary Alvernia, 1 June 2018

The summit between Abe and Putin highlighted the cracks emerging between Tokyo and Washington.

Japan maneuvering to prevent being left out on North Korean negotiations

By Ben McGrath, 17 May 2018

Japan is trying to justify ongoing military pressure on North Korea, and ultimately China, in the event of an agreement between Pyongyang and Washington.

Japan, China and South Korea hold talks on North Korea and trade

By Ben McGrath, 11 May 2018

While North Korea dominated the summit, concerns over US protectionist measures may result in improved relations between the three Asian neighbors.

Japanese PM weakened by Trump summit

By Peter Symonds, 21 April 2018

Abe’s failure to secure any significant concessions from Trump is a significant political blow as he seeks to cling to office.

Trump and Abe meet amid war and domestic crisis

By Peter Symonds, 18 April 2018

The two longstanding military allies—the US and Japan—are united in their determination to contain and confront China, but are increasingly at odds over the means for doing so.

Japan activates first Marine brigade since World War II

By Peter Symonds, 10 April 2018

The new Marine brigade is not simply defensive in character but could be used during a Japanese war of aggression far from its shores.

Russia-Japan dispute over Kurils reflects mounting tensions in North East Asia

By Gary Alvernia, 5 April 2018

Russia is placing warplanes in the Kuril Islands in response to the Japanese government’s remilitarisation and US threats of war against North Korea.

Tokyo wary of dialogue with North Korea

By Ben McGrath, 2 April 2018

An agreement between the US and North Korea, while highly unlikely, would undermine Japan’s pretext for remilitarization to prosecute its imperialist interests.

Scandal surrounding Japanese prime minister deepens

By Ben McGrath, 26 March 2018

The affair highlights the intimate connections between the government and far-right extremist groups like Nippon Kaigi.

Japan’s ruling party pushing to end constraints on military

By Ben McGrath, 14 February 2018

While the constitution has not prevented Japan from building a military, Prime Minister Abe is working to remove all legal barriers to the aggressive pursuit of Japanese interests.

US vice president foreshadows “toughest” sanctions on North Korea

By Peter Symonds, 8 February 2018

Pence’s aggressive remarks cut across any attempt by the South Korean president to use the Winter Olympics to create an opening for negotiations with North Korea.

Asia-Pacific trade bloc reshaped, without the US

By Mike Head, 25 January 2018

The “TPP 11” announcement points to the increasing isolation of the US, and the escalating tensions between the rival capitalist powers.

With Indo-Pacific tensions rising, Japan and Australia strengthen military ties

By Mike Head, 19 January 2018

Turnbull’s visit to Tokyo constitutes another warning that all the major powers in the region are preparing for war.

Japan’s working poor

By Kurt Brown, 18 January 2018

There has been a huge increase in the proportion of the workforce engaged in poorly paid, part-time work.

False alarm of incoming missile in Japan

By Peter Symonds, 17 January 2018

The false alert, coming days after a similar incident in Hawaii, highlights the advanced preparations by the US and its allies for war with North Korea.

Tensions between South Korea and Japan reemerge over “comfort women”

By Ben McGrath, 3 January 2018

The ruling Democratic Party of Korea and its predecessors have long used anti-Japanese sentiment to distract the public from their anti-working class policies.

Japan’s cabinet approves draft budget that boosts the military

By Ben McGrath, 23 December 2017

Tokyo’s buildup of weaponry further aligns it with the US in preparation for war with North Korea and China.

Gruesome murder case in Japan reflects social alienation and despair

By Gary Alvernia, 12 December 2017

The media has been quick to sensationalise every detail of the murders, while completely ignoring any broader examination of their social causes.

Trump’s Asia tour leaves region on brink of trade war and military conflict

By James Cogan, 15 November 2017

President Trump’s bellicose rhetoric, on both North Korea and trade, cannot obscure the fact that his trip marks a new nadir in the strategic position of US imperialism.

US, Japan, Australia, India “Quadrilateral” alliance takes shape against China

By James Cogan, 14 November 2017

Trump’s continual references to the economic woes of the US speak to the real motivations for an anti-China coalition.

Trump encourages Japanese militarism against North Korea and China

By James Cogan, 7 November 2017

Trump displayed complete indifference to anti-war sentiment in Japan, as he strutted alongside right-wing nationalist prime minister Shinzo Abe.

Trump in Asia: On the eve of war

By James Cogan, 6 November 2017

Trump personifies the decay of American imperialism and the calculation of its strategists that it can arrest its decline by military means.

Ruling LDP maintains two-thirds majority in Japanese election

By Ben McGrath, 23 October 2017

While the media is declaring Abe’s victory a mandate for his policies, the low turnout points to widespread alienation from the political establishment.

Japan’s Stalinists seek to head off anti-war movement ahead of election

By Ben McGrath, 21 October 2017

By blaming Pyongyang for the current crisis, the JCP is effectively lining up behind Japan’s ruling elite and the US in their confrontation with North Korea and China.

Japan’s new Party of Hope releases right-wing populist election platform

By Ben McGrath, 9 October 2017

The new party backs remilitarization along with constitutional changes to remove any restraints on military action in order to advance the interests of Japanese imperialism.

Japan’s Democrats found new party to posture as opponents of remilitarization

By Ben McGrath, 6 October 2017

The CDP is a regrouping of many of the same Democrats who imposed austerity measures and aligned with the US war drive against China while in office from 2009 to 2012.

Japan’s main opposition party dissolves itself ahead of general election

By Ben McGrath, 30 September 2017

The dissolution of the Democratic Party is the end product of the party's continuous shift to the right over two decades.

Japanese prime minister calls snap election

By Ben McGrath, 27 September 2017

Abe has called the poll to whip up a climate of fear and panic over North Korea so as to intensify his push for Japan’s remilitarization.

Japanese PM backs US “military option” against North Korea

By Peter Symonds, 20 September 2017

Abe’s conclusion that “dialogue will not work with North Korea” amounts to a menacing threat to deal with Pyongyang either through regime change or war.

India and Japan strengthen their anti-China “strategic partnership”

By Wasantha Rupasinghe and Keith Jones, 18 September 2017

The cementing of the Indo-Japanese alliance will further encourage US imperialism in its reckless, incendiary offensive against China

Amid high tensions, North Korea fires intermediate-range missile over Japan

By Peter Symonds, 29 August 2017

US and South Korean military commanders reportedly agreed to an early, tough response, including “military measures,” to demonstrate “the alliance’s strong will.”

Japan increases beef tariff, hitting US exporters

By Gary Alvernia, 8 August 2017

The tariff hike on beef was announced in the lead-up to what are expected to be fraught trade negotiations between the US and Japan later this year.

Japan’s defense minister resigns in wake of scandal

By Ben McGrath, 29 July 2017

Inada’s resignation is an attempt to reverse the drastically falling support for the Abe government.

Indian-US-Japanese naval exercises in Indian Ocean target China

By Wasantha Rupasinghe, 18 July 2017

India’s hosting of the Malabar exercises is part of its integration into the US military-strategic offensive against China.

EU and Japan sign largest-ever Free Trade Agreement

By Gary Alvernia, 12 July 2017

Despite being hyped as a victory over protectionism, the FTA signals the growth of competing trade blocs and the rising danger of conflict and war.

Japan using North Korea as pretext to acquire offensive weapons

By Ben McGrath, 8 July 2017

The Abe government is brushing aside Article 9 of the constitution that “renounces war” and declares that military forces will “never be maintained.”

Japan’s ruling party trounced in Tokyo regional election

By Ben McGrath, 7 July 2017

The election is regarded as a barometer of national political sentiment, showing falling support for the Abe government.

Japanese PM plans to submit constitutional revisions this year

By Ben McGrath, 5 July 2017

Prime Minister Abe’s plan has upset some within his party who feel the changes do not go far enough in removing restrictions on the military.

China, Japan take tentative steps to revive relations

By Kurt Brown, 14 June 2017

China’s top foreign policy official held three days of talks with senior Japanese officials, including Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.

Japanese government pushes “anti-conspiracy” laws through lower house

By Gary Alvernia, 30 May 2017

Defying public opposition, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is pushing ahead with the bill that defines 277 types of crimes to which criminal conspiracy can apply.

Japanese government exploits Korean crisis to whip up war scares

By Gary Alvernia, 20 May 2017

Post-war Japanese governments have attempted for decades to find ways around the limitations on military force in the constitution.

Japanese PM plans to remove constitutional shackles on the military by 2020

By Peter Symonds, 8 May 2017

Abe is seeking to modify Article 9 of Japan’s constitution, which nominally renounces war as a means of settling international disputes and vows never to maintain military forces.

Japan’s ruling party calls for military to have offensive weapons

By Peter Symonds, 1 April 2017

Using the North Korean “threat” as a pretext, the LDP defence policy committee proposed the armed forces acquire a “counter-attack” capability.

Scandal exposes Japanese government’s ultra-right ties

By Peter Symonds, 27 March 2017

The affair has drawn in other political figures close to Prime Minister Abe, providing a glimpse of the network of extreme nationalist organisations connected to his government.

Japanese imperialism rearms

By Peter Symonds, 24 March 2017

The acquisition of offensive weapons for the first time since the end of World War II would be another major step toward Japan’s rearmament.

US secretary of state ramps up pressure on China over North Korea

By Mike Head, 17 March 2017

Rex Tillerson’s trip highlights the Trump administration’s focus on using North Korean missile and nuclear programs as a pretext for targeting China.

Japan expands military operations in Asia

By Peter Symonds, 15 March 2017

While operating under the umbrella of its strategic alliance with the US, Tokyo is rearming militarily to pursue its own imperialist ambitions.

US sends drones, assassination squad to South Korea

By Peter Symonds, 14 March 2017

The military build-up by the Trump administration takes place as the White House considers launching strikes on North Korean nuclear and military sites.

Trump’s lavish welcome for Japan’s prime minister

By Peter Symonds, 11 February 2017

Despite Trump’s gushing praise for Abe, a question mark remains over the US-Japan alliance and the threat of punitive US trade measures continues.

US defence secretary backs Japan, threatens war against China over disputed islets

By Peter Symonds, 6 February 2017

Mattis’s remarks were precisely what Tokyo wanted to hear: a US commitment to wage war against China in the event of a conflict over the Senkakus.

Japan and Australia strengthen ties ahead of Trump’s inauguration

By Peter Symonds, 17 January 2017

In pursuing aggressive “America First” trade measures, Trump threatens the economic interests not only of China but also of close allies such as Australia and Japan.

Japanese PM visits Pearl Harbor

By Peter Symonds, 28 December 2016

The ceremony was not about peace and goodwill, but was rather in preparation for new wars amid escalating tensions in the Asia Pacific with China.

Putin-Abe talks in Japan fail to resolve territorial dispute

By Peter Symonds, 20 December 2016

In the wake of Trump’s election and the prospect of better relations with the US, the Russian president no longer felt the need to make concessions to Japan.

India moves to enhance strategic ties with Japan and Israel

By Deepal Jayasekera, 28 November 2016

The Modi government is forging closer strategic ties with Japan and Israel to aggressively pursue the great power ambitions of India’s elite against China and Pakistan.

Japanese quakes highlight danger of new catastrophe

By Mike Head, 26 November 2016

The tremors point to the lack of remedial, planning and precautionary measures taken by successive Japanese governments since the Fukushima disaster in 2011.

Japanese prime minister meets President-elect Trump

By Nick Beams, 18 November 2016

There is a sense in Japanese ruling circles that the election of Donald Trump as US president is a political earthquake that has shattered the foundations of the post-war order.

Trump victory triggers uncertainty in Tokyo

By Mike Head, 14 November 2016

The initial conciliatory remarks between Trump and Abe cannot hide the heightened tensions between the two imperialist powers.

Japan scrambles fighter to intercept Chinese military aircraft

By Peter Symonds, 26 September 2016

While the Chinese planes were outside Japanese air space, the incident highlights the sharp tensions in North East Asia amid the ongoing US military build-up in the region.

Japan to conduct South China Sea patrols with US

By Peter Symonds, 19 September 2016

Japan has no claims in the South China Sea but, like the US, is exploiting the territorial disputes to further its own interests in South East Asia.

US-South Korean war games inflame Asian tensions

By Peter Symonds, 23 August 2016

While nominally aimed against North Korea, the exercises consolidate Washington’s military alliance with Seoul as it makes preparations for conflict with China.

Japan plans missile deployment in East China Sea

By Ben McGrath, 19 August 2016

Tokyo intends to design and construct its longest-range missile to cover the disputed Senkaku/Diaoyu Islands, further risking clashes with Beijing.

Japan prepares to expand military role abroad

By Ben McGrath, 17 August 2016

So-called humanitarian missions, as in South Sudan, are being exploited to further Tokyo’s remilitarization agenda.

Japanese emperor cautiously resists constitutional change

By Ben McGrath and Peter Symonds, 10 August 2016

Emperor Akihito suggested he be allowed to abdicate and indirectly implied opposition to remilitarization and constitutional revision.

Japan’s new cabinet line-up to promote remilitarisation

By Peter Symonds, 6 August 2016

The new defence minister Tomami Inada, a protégé of Abe, is well known for her extreme right-wing nationalist views and defence of Japan’s past war crimes.

Manufacturing slows in Europe and Japan

By our reporter, 2 August 2016

The continued slump in the real economy is in marked contrast to the ongoing and ultimately unsustainable speculative frenzy on international share markets.

Knife attack in Japan leaves 19 disabled people dead

By Peter Symonds, 27 July 2016

No serious attempt has been made in the Japanese or international media to probe any of the underlying social and political causes of the killing spree.

Japan exploits violence in South Sudan to dispatch military

By Ben McGrath, 16 July 2016

While portrayed as a rescue mission, the deployment of additional Japanese troops to Africa marks an expansion of Japan’s role on the continent.

Right-wing ruling coalition wins Japan’s upper house election

By Ben McGrath, 13 July 2016

The LDP’s victory gives Prime Minister Shinzo Abe the necessary numbers to revise the Japanese constitution in line with his push for re-militarization.

Uncertainty in Japan following Brexit vote

By Ben McGrath, 4 July 2016

Japanese vice foreign minister Sugiyama held high-level talks in Washington, London and Brussels, stressing the need for political, economic and security coordination.

Opposition grows to US military bases on Okinawa

By Ben McGrath, 20 June 2016

While local politicians attempt to keep the protests limited in scale and scope, the widespread anger is bound up with opposition to Japanese remilitarization.

Abe sets date for Japan’s upper house election

By Ben McGrath, 18 June 2016

The Abe government’s push for remilitarization is driving political tensions in Japan.

US-China tensions rise amid major naval exercises

By Peter Symonds, 16 June 2016

The Malabar war games involving the US, Japanese and Indian navies are “complex, high-end, war-fighting exercises” aimed against China.

Korean survivors concerned about Obama’s visit to Hiroshima

By Ben McGrath, 31 May 2016

Victims of the bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki fear they will continue to be ignored following the US president’s trip.

Obama in Hiroshima

By Bill Van Auken, 28 May 2016

The visit to Hiroshima displayed in full the hypocrisy for which the Nobel Prize-winning president is so well known, but in this case magnified through the lens of one of history’s greatest war crimes.

The decision to drop the atomic bomb on Hiroshima and Nagasaki

By Joseph Kishore, 27 May 2016

President Barack Obama visits Hiroshima today, but will make no apology for the US dropping of the atomic bomb on the city. The WSWS is republishing an essay that first appeared on the 60th anniversary of that horrible crime.

Obama and the bombing of Hiroshima

By Andre Damon, 13 May 2016

The American president will travel to Hiroshima not to apologize for past crimes, but to prepare new ones.

Earthquakes in Japan kill 42 people, injure 1,000

By Peter Symonds, 18 April 2016

The response of the Japanese government has been a military one—despatching some 20,000 troops as part of rescue and relief operations.

CSIS report argues for strong US-Japan-Australia alliance against China

By Peter Symonds, 9 April 2016

The Washington think tank’s proposed “federated defence” is nothing but a system of military alliances to prepare for war with China—akin to the alliances that preceded the previous two world wars.

Japan’s security laws: Another milestone in the drive to world war

By Peter Symonds, 29 March 2016

The implementation of the military legislation is a major step in the revival of Japanese militarism, encouraged by Washington as part of its war preparations against China.

Japanese economy continues to show signs of faltering

By Ben McGrath, 29 March 2016

A negative interest rate introduced in January by the Bank of Japan has done nothing to promote economic growth.

Central banks confront unintended consequences

By Nick Beams, 15 March 2016

Markets are awaiting decisions by the Bank of Japan and the US Fed on monetary policies as concerns grow over negative interest rates.

Five years after Japan’s nuclear disaster, TEPCO executives charged

By Ben McGrath, 10 March 2016

As it seeks to reopen the country’s nuclear plants, the government is opposing even the limited charges of negligence in connection with the Fukushima nuclear catastrophe.

Economic problems mount in Japan and China

By Nick Beams, 17 February 2016

The latest statistics from the world’s second and third largest economies underscore the worsening world downturn.

Japanese PM pushes to remove constitutional constraints on military

By Ben McGrath, 15 February 2016

Far from backtracking from last year’s unconstitutional military laws, Abe is pressing forward with long-held plans for wholesale constitutional revision.