New Players, Ideas, and Arrangements: The Quest to Counter-balance China

by Philip Vincent Alegre/ March 16, 2018/ Originally Posted at APPFI

In November of last year, the world witnessed the US put forward new rhetoric in its foreign policy toward Asia. US President Donald Trump, towards the end of his 12-day five nation Asia tour, departed from usual US language and started referring to an “Indo-Pacific” region instead of “Asia Pacific”, a move which did not go unnoticed by analysts and observers in the region. Continue reading “New Players, Ideas, and Arrangements: The Quest to Counter-balance China”


US, Japan, Australia tell PHL: Use court victory in sea dispute

By Ian Nicolas P. Cigaral / Aug 8, 2017 / bworldonline

China claims most parts of the strategic waterway, where trillion dollars’ worth of ship-borne goods pass through annually. It has also installed defense facilities on its man-made islands there. Continue reading “US, Japan, Australia tell PHL: Use court victory in sea dispute”

Water Wars: A Mixed Week for Alliance Management

By Chris Mirasola / February 3, 2017 / Lawfareblog

James Mattis traveled to Japan and South Korea this week, his first overseas visits as Secretary of Defense. A Trump administration official said the trip was intended “for all of the people who were concerned during the campaign that then-candidate, now-president, Trump was skeptical of our alliances and was somehow going to retreat from our traditional leadership role in the region.” The North Korean nuclear threat was a focal point for Mattis’ consultations in Seoul and Tokyo.   Continue reading “Water Wars: A Mixed Week for Alliance Management”

Japan’s Master Plan to Defend Itself from China

by Kyle Mizokami / October 23, 2016 /

For decades, Tokyo’s plans to defend the homeland were frozen in amber. During the Cold War it was assumed, that in the event of war the Soviet Union would invade the northern one-third of the country. A powerful tank corps to contest a Soviet landing, a strong air force to beat back city-destroying bombers and a strong destroyer force to keep open the sea-lanes would be all that was needed to hold out until the Americans arrived. Continue reading “Japan’s Master Plan to Defend Itself from China”

Perry in Japan, War in the Pacific, and the Rise of China

The United States has spooked a rising Pacific power before.

Last week saw the 163rd anniversary of an event that changed the course of Asia-Pacific history. On July 14, 1853, Commodore Matthew C. Perry, with a squadron of four U.S. warships, landed at Kurihama, Japan to deliver a letter from President Millard Fillmore to the Shogunate. Japan was a country literally frozen in time, cut off from the rest of the world for over two centuries by its self-imposed policy of isolation calledSakoku. Perry’s letter demanded, under the implied threat of force, the opening of Japanese ports to trade and supply with the United States, establishment of a consulate, and other concessions. Continue reading “Perry in Japan, War in the Pacific, and the Rise of China”