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  • Author: Paul Nadeau
  • Publication Date: 02-2021
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: East-West Center
  • Abstract: Japan will welcome the Biden administration with relief in the wake of what was perceived as Trump’s bombast, threats, and unpredictability – but it will be mixed with apprehension (fair or not) that Biden’s presidency will follow the Obama administration’s perceived weakness, or even accommodation, toward China. It’s a crude simplification, but Japan’s ruling Liberal Democratic Party’s relationship with U.S. political parties is roughly that they share preferences but not perceptions with Democrats, and share perceptions but not preferences with Republicans. In practical terms, this means that Japanese decision makers favor alliances and multilateral approaches over unilateralism and brinksmanship, but are more suspicious of China’s intentions and behavior than they believe Democrats to be. Put more indelicately, the LDP prefers working with Republicans rather than Democrats. This is combined with a traditional perception that Democrats undervalue Japan as a partner. Taken as a whole, this means that the incoming administration may have to do more to convince Japan that its priorities are being taken seriously – but will find in Japan an essential partner for advancing U.S. goals in the Indo-Pacific.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Politics, Bilateral Relations, Domestic politics
  • Political Geography: Japan, Asia, North America, United States of America
  • Author: Salman Ahmed, Allison Gelman, Tarik Abdel-Monem, Wendy Cutler, Rozlyn Engel, David Gordon, Jennifer Harris, Douglas Lute, Jill O'Donnell, Daniel M. Price, David Rosenbaum, Christopher Smart, Jake Sullivan, Ashley J. Tellis, Eric Thompson, Janell C. Walther, Tom Wyler
  • Publication Date: 05-2020
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Carnegie Endowment for International Peace
  • Abstract: U.S. foreign policy has not come up often in the 2020 presidential campaign. But when it has, candidates on both sides of the aisle frequently have stressed that U.S. foreign policy should not only keep the American people safe but also deliver more tangible economic benefits for the country’s middle class. The debate among the presidential contenders is not if that should happen but how to make it happen. All too often, this debate takes place within relatively small circles within Washington, DC, without the benefit of input from state and local officials, small business owners, community leaders, local labor representatives, and others on the front lines of addressing the challenges facing middle-class households. That is why the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace convened a bipartisan task force in late 2017 to lift up such voices and inject them into the ongoing debate. The task force partnered with university researchers to study the perceived and measurable economic effects of U.S. foreign policy on three politically and economically different states in the nation’s heartland—Colorado, Nebraska, and Ohio. The first two reports on Ohio and Colorado were published in December 2018 and November 2019, respectively. This third report on Nebraska has been prepared in partnership with a team of researchers at the University of Nebraska–Lincoln (UNL). To gauge perceptions of how Nebraska’s middle class is faring and the ways in which U.S. foreign policy might fit in, the Carnegie and UNL research teams reviewed household surveys and conducted individual interviews and focus groups, between July and August 2019, with over 130 Nebraskans in Columbus, Scottsbluff/Gering, Kearney, Lincoln, North Platte, and Omaha.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Climate Change, Politics, Immigration, Economy, Domestic politics, Class, Trade
  • Political Geography: North America, United States of America
  • Author: Yoichiro Sato
  • Publication Date: 09-2020
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: East-West Center
  • Abstract: Japanese Defense Minister Taro Kono on June 15 announced the cancellation of the planned procurement of two Aegis Ashore systems from the United States. The cancellation, which reportedly was discussed and decided only by Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga in advance, left a gap in the country’s missile defense against the growing missile threats from its neighbors. The Aegis Ashore decision prompted the government to revise the National Security Strategy (NSS) within 2020. As the NSS is the basis for the National Defense Program Outline (NDPO), the latter is also being revised. Kono in the Lower House Committee on Security on July 8 testified that policy considerations by the government would include possession of “enemy base strike capabilities.” The ruling Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) subsequently formed a project team (PT) on missile defense, chaired by former Defense Minister Itsunori Onodera. The PT discussions produced by the end of July a set of recommendations inclusive of a more vaguely phrased “consideration of the ability to head off missiles in enemy territory,” which became the LDP recommendation to the government.
  • Topic: Defense Policy, National Security, Domestic politics
  • Political Geography: Japan, Asia, United States of America
  • Author: Andrzej Dąbrowski
  • Publication Date: 11-2018
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: The Polish Institute of International Affairs
  • Abstract: The Democratic Party won a majority in the House of Representatives in the U.S. “midterm” elections, although the Republican Party retained its majority in the Senate. The Republicans’ defeat will weaken President Donald Trump, who will have to seek common ground with the Democrats, for example, on the budget. The Democrats will try to undermine Trump administration policy using the powers of Congressional oversight and by obstructing legislation sent to the House by the Republican majority in the Senate.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Government, Politics, Elections, Domestic politics, Donald Trump
  • Political Geography: North America, United States of America