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Is Abe securing or threatening Japan’s peace and democracy?

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Authors: Sebastian Maslow, Kobe University and Christian Wirth, Griffith University Despite his involvement in a series of political scandals, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe remains unscathed. And with a firm grip on power, his Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) has shifted its focus away from economic reform towards conservatives’ long-cherished goal of constitutional revision to allow […]

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Dynastic demolition in Singapore?

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Author: Michael D. Barr, Flinders University An extraordinary dispute within Singapore’s ruling family broke into the open on 14 June. Lee Wei Ling and Lee Hsien Yang — the two younger children of the late Lee Kuan Yew — posted a message on Facebook accusing their elder brother, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong, of subverting […]

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Scandals are starting to stick to the Abe administration

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Author: Aurelia George Mulgan, UNSW Canberra School scandals are wiping some of the shine off the Abe administration. This time, the school is Kake Gakuen, a veterinary medicine school being constructed in a national special strategic zone (NSSZ) in Ehime Prefecture. Having weathered the Moritomo Gakuen scandal earlier this year with barely a blip in […]

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Scandals starting to stick to the Abe administration

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Author: Aurelia George Mulgan, UNSW Canberra School scandals are wiping some of the shine off the Abe administration. This time, the school is Kake Gakuen, a veterinary medicine school being constructed in a national special strategic zone (NSSZ) in Ehime Prefecture. Having weathered the Moritomo Gakuen scandal earlier this year with barely a blip in […]

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Cambodia–Vietnam ties turn 50

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Author: Vannarith Chheang, ISEAS-Yusof Ishak Institute This year marks 50 years of diplomatic relations between Cambodia and Vietnam. Both countries have organised a series of events to commemorate their time-honoured traditional friendship that is bound by strategic convergence, common vision and shared interests. Over the past fifty years, the relationship ebbed and flowed with changing […]

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A better way to fund higher education in Japan

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Authors: Shiro Armstrong and Bruce Chapman, ANU Access to university education and affordability of tuition are important to any advanced economy. Japan is not alone in facing major challenges on both fronts. In some countries like the United States, urgent reform is needed as the lack of access to and affordability of higher education increases […]

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THAAD is no easy withdrawal for Moon

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Author: Kai He, Griffith University Since South Korea decided to deploy the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) missile defence system in 2016, Sino–South Korean relations have been strained. Beijing has levied unofficial economic sanctions and diplomatic pressures on Seoul with the hope that it will withdraw THAAD. China strongly believes that the deployment of […]

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Koike’s challenge to Japan’s political status quo

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Author: Corey Wallace, Free University of Berlin Japan’s self-styled governance reformers have attempted to knit themselves into Japan’s political fabric in different ways over the last 15 years. But up to now, the various waves of reformers have failed to translate the popularity of their agenda into national political influence. ‘Koizumi’s children’, named after former […]

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ASEAN, the region’s strategic convenor

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Author: Editors, East Asia Forum Outside observers who seek to find fault with ASEAN will quickly find what they are looking for. ASEAN makes it too easy — citing the number of meetings held as a metric of success, for example. More serious criticism comes from human rights advocates who point to the body’s feeble […]

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ASEAN’s strategic diplomacy underpins regional stability

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Author: Kishore Mahbubani, NUS Try imagining a world where the Middle East is at peace. The thought seems almost inconceivable. Imagine a world where Israel and Palestine, two nations splintered from one piece of territory, live harmoniously. Impossible? This is what Malaysia and Singapore accomplished. After an acrimonious divorce in 1965, they live together in […]

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