January 28, 2016 - In This Issue:
New York Times editorial calls Sasakawa USA report 'new thinking' on Okinawa

A New York Times editorial from January 22 references a report by Sasakawa USA Chairman Admiral Dennis Blair and Sasakawa Fellow James Kendall, as "new thinking that could potentially reduce the friction and pry the [Okinawa] plan out of its political vise."

The editorial references difficulties that have been faced in Okinawa and the current process of relocating facilities and forces stationed in Okinawa to new bases being built on Hawaii and Guam. "U.S. Bases in Okinawa: What Must Be Done, and Quickly" recommends speeding up construction efforts that will allow for this relocation, and in doing so preserve the U.S.-Japan Alliance that has been strained by an increasingly caustic political situation.

Read the full editorial here or the Okinawa report here. The report also was featured in a roll-out event earlier this month. A summary of that event can be found here.

On February 9, Sasakawa USA and the East-West Center of Washington, D.C., will co-host an event to release the " Japan Matters for America" booklet --- --      a publication that quantifies the impact of the U.S.-Japan Alliance through economic and social data.

This interactive resource provides credible and nonpartisan information, graphics, analysis, and news at the national, state, and local levels. The event is free and open to the public and lunch will be served, but seating is limited.


Op-ed: The North Korean Nuclear Test and the U.S.-Japan Alliance: The United States, South Korea, and Japan should take coordinated action that includes increasing financial sanctions on North Korea and reassessing the extended deterrence strategy to address its latest nuclear test, Sasakawa USA Chairman and CEO Admiral Dennis Blair and Security Fellow General Masayuki Hironaka write in an op-ed published earlier this week in The Diplomat.
Read the full analysis here

Sasakawa USA blog: North Korea nuclear test could help unite East Asia: The North Korea nuclear test on January 6 may have the unintended effect of helping draw together two neighboring countries -----  Japan and South Korea -----  that already are showing signs of uniting to face a common threat, according to four Sasakawa USA fellows who specialize in East Asian security relations. Read the full article here  
In the News: Japan's Economy Minister Akira Amari set to answer graft claims

Prior to Japanese Economy Minister Akira Amari's resignation this week following a graft scandal, Sasakawa USA's Tobias Harris was already providing analysis of the potential fallout. In a January 21 article in the Australian Financial Review, Harris said the scandal could impact Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's bid to ratify the pending Trans-Pacific Partnership.   
Stories from our news partners at Nippon.com: 

Japanese Business Prospects in China's Changing Environmental Industry:
Some predict that action plans being implemented by Beijing to control air, water, and soil pollution will generate financing needs in excess of 6 trillion yuan. There are those who claim China and Japan can build a win-win relationship in this field. Read the story here.

The Polarization of the Japanese Media and the Need for Middle Ground: 
Japanese newspapers are said to have become polarized in their coverage of controversial issues like the recent national security legislation. How does their current approach compare with their stance in 1960, when renewal of the Japan-US security treaty split the nation? Read the story here.

As Iran Prepares to Reengage, Japan is Waiting: The restoration of economic relations with Iran, home to the fourth-largest volume of petroleum deposits and reportedly the largest volume of natural gas reserves on the planet, would be enormously important to Japan, which could acquire a reliable petroleum supplier and thereby help ensure its own energy security. Read the story here.

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