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No.44 ,Diplomacy  Mar 08, 2018

The range of a free and open Indo-Pacific strategy

Tanaka Akihiko, President, National Graduate Institute for Policy Studies (GRIPS)

The Indo-Pacific strategy is a regional concept that emerged from the history of the long-term development of the global economy, and has never been a simple geopolitical concept for countering China. Japan is expected to conduct strong multilateral diplomacy in the wide region composed of the Indian and the Pacific Oceans.   Japanese diplomacy in 2018 is facing the major challenges of the imminent issue of North Korea and the long-term systemic issue of maintaining a liberal world order. The difficult issue of how to stop North Korea’s nuclear weapons and missiles development and make it move toward denuclearization while maintaining Northeast Asian peace is the most pressing issue for Japan’s diplomacy now. In addition, Japanese diplomacy is facing another major challenge of striving to steer the future world order in a more sound and liberal direction at a time when the US Trump ... ... [Read more]

No.44 ,Economy
Mar 08, 2018

Declining Birthrate and Aging Population in Asia
― Educational Support to Low-Income Households Improves Quality of Labor Force and Productivity

< Keypoints > Birthrates and average life expectancy in Asia now on a par with developed countries Estimates suggest that consumption tax needs to rise by 8% or more in Thailand Policies providing subsidy on child-rearing such as child allowances is not recommended. Policies providing subsidy on children’s educational cost, which can sustain the long-term development, should be the priority in developing countries. Population aging has become a global concern. With a rapidly increasing proportion of old people in the population, governments are forced to increase expenditure on social security, thus causing pressure on public finances. The shrinking of working-age population indicates less labor force and fewer taxpayers to share the fiscal burden.  Add to that the low birthrate,  which has been lower than the replacement rate required to maintain the size of the population as it is now in developed countries, further increases ... ... [Read more]

No.44 ,Politics
Mar 07, 2018

Politicians Need to Present Hard-hitting Reforms
―We have had enough of unjustifiable, policy-free elections

Sasaki Takeshi, Former President of the University of Tokyo

At the beginning of the extraordinary session of the Diet at the end of September, Prime Minister Abe Shinzo decided on a dissolution of the lower house, saying that it was a “dissolution to break through national difficulties”; giving as his reasons a change in the use of tax income, and the worsening North Korea situation. Mainly due to the Moritomo/Kake Gakuen issue, Abe’s support rate has been in the doldrums since last spring, and in July the LDP suffered a heavy loss in the Tokyo Assembly elections. So, from the perspective of the opposition, this dissolution was a surprise attack. The previous dissolution in 2014 was also a surprise attack, and the opposition lost heavily, being unable to react effectively. But this time was different. Interestingly, the opposition fought back with their own surprise attack. The Tokyo governor Koike Yuriko set up a ... ... [Read more]