In July 2016, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe announced a JPY 28 trillion stimulus package, which includes spending on infrastructure, reconstruction of disaster zones, wage increases for child and elder care workers, and direct cash payments to low-income households.
South Korea is feeling the heat, not only from the heat waves of summer but also from the heated debates surrounding President Park Geun-hye’s July 8 announcement of the decision to deploy THAAD. The nation has been polarized between those saying “nay” and “aye.”
Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen planned to seek closer economic relations with the countries of Southeast Asia, so as to reduce Taiwan’s dependence on trade and other commercial relations with China. However, questions soon arose concerning how promising Tsai’s plan might be.
Zhang Dejiang, a ranking politburo member of the Chinese Communist Party, visited Hong Kong in May 2016. The highlight of his trip turned out to be gatherings with selected pro-democracy politicians from the island who espouse a more moderate position.
A significant cut in oil supplies to North Korea will not invite its collapse unlike what conventional views hold. Instead it will coerce the regime to come out of isolation and give up nuclear weapons in order to keep the regime alive.
China has toughened its stance on Pyongyang’s nuclear program. I look to China for leadership in addressing the problem of potential nuclear proliferation. It can provide this first of all by getting North Korea to dismantle its nuclear weapons program.
Japan has common interests with China in stopping nuclear proliferation in Northeast Asia. The H-bomb test may then end up as a common rallying point that can bring Japan, China, and South Korea together facing a common threat.
The results of South Korea’s legislative elections on April 13 took many by surprise, as the ruling party was roundly defeated by two opposition parties. President Park’s government will be greatly challenged by the legislature on both domestic and foreign policy fronts.