Japan Awakens

Japan’s Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga attends a news conference in Tokyo, Japan, June 17, 2021. (Issei Kato/Reuters)
We should welcome a more assertive Asian ally.


hina is in a tough neighborhood, bordering Afghanistan, Bhutan, India, Kazakhstan, North Korea, Kyrgyzstan, Laos, Mongolia, Myanmar, Nepal, Pakistan, Russia, Tajikistan, and Vietnam. But for both historical and current reasons, one of the countries that looms largest in its political thinking is a neighbor that doesn’t quite border it: Japan.

Japan, one of the few successful examples of U.S.-imposed “nation building,” has followed an official policy of semi-pacifism since the end of World War II. Given the atrocities committed by Japan during that war and before, the world, and particularly Japan’s near neighbors, were thankful for a quiet and friendly Japan.

But …

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