Op-Ed Articles

The LDP’s Looming Crisis

Tokyo Review – 1/24/2023
“With Abe gone and the faction without a leader, the LDP’s conservative-nationalists face a decisive – and tumultuous – two years leading up to the 2024 presidential election. The choices they make during these transition years will write their fate and change the power dynamics within the country’s ruling party.”

Asia After Trump: Competitive Coexistence in the Biden Era

Northeastern University Political Review – 1/25/2021
“The diverse interests among Asia-Pacific states makes any like-minded coalition a challenge to establish. But with political constraints on US capacity to tackle issues alone, Washington must build a network that can collaborate on many issues. And because China, North Korea, and Russia will contest US interests beyond the Biden years, it is more realistic to pursue coexistence while shoring up defense against acts of coercion and aggression. Biden must harness his foreign policy expertise to bring in a broader range of states and force those who violate international norms to pay.”

Universal Basic Income Is Not Sound Policy (Yet)

Northeastern University Political Review – 1/6/2021
“While UBI is certainly a good idea, there is reason to be skeptical. Besides logistical issues, national divisions would make any attempt to overhaul social welfare a back-breaking task. Furthermore, confusion over UBI’s specifics and implementation makes it a hard sell for policymakers. It is therefore important to untangle the strands of UBI proposed over the years.”

A New START for Arms Control

Northeastern University Political Review – 10/30/2020
“While the Cold War-era bilateral arms control regime is out of date, that does not warrant a withdrawal from New START. The US should extend the only remaining agreement between the two largest nuclear states to prevent an unchecked arms race. The extension of New START should, as the name suggests, serve as a new start to update the arms control framework.”

Seeking an Answer to Overconcentration in Tokyo

Northeastern University Political Review – 10/12/2020
“As COVID-19 ravaged the world, Japan’s economy shrank more than at any time since data tracking began in 1980. New Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga will undoubtedly make the recovery his top priority. But Suga should also properly address overconcentration in Tokyo, a serious problem that prolonged the pandemic. To produce tangible results, Suga should prioritize regional revitalization and take drastic measures that his conservative party typically resists.”

Denuclearizing the Korean Peninsula is Still a Distant Dream

Northeastern University Political Review – 10/6/2020
“Without policy reform, Pyongyang can continue to build its arsenal unchecked. The US should strive for the cessation of nuclear and missile-related activities and remain strategically consistent regardless of who has power.”

Saying Goodbye to Prime Minister Shinzo Abe

Northeastern University Political Review – 8/31/2020 | The National Interest9/9/2020
“Abe was destined for political stardom, coming from a political family—his maternal grandfather, Nobusuke Kishi, was prime minister in the 1950s and his father, Shintaro Abe, was foreign minister in the 1980s. The most recent and influential member of that dynasty leaves behind a heap of unfinished business and a mixed legacy.”

Can the “Okinawa Problem” Ever Be Resolved?

Northeastern University Political Review – 8/12/2020
“Okinawa hosts more than 70 percent of US military installations in Japan, something they have demanded be redressed. Because their demands fall on deaf ears, Okinawans fiercely resist Japan–US solutions. The SMA talks present an opportunity to address this problem; negotiations could segue into a more consistent, frequent dialogue among all stakeholders to create a concrete mid- to long-term plan.”

Can China and Japan End Their Game of Chicken in the East China Sea?

Northeastern University Political Review – 7/1/2020 | Podcast (Spotify or Apple Podcast) – 9/11/2020
“While the East China Sea (Senkaku) issue has become an afterthought during the pandemic, it would be ideal to discuss a resolution now. With China facing increasing scrutiny for “mishandling” the outbreak, it may be more willing to concede to Japan in order to prevent further damage to its reputation. Additionally, China is eager to strengthen cooperation with Japan to revive its economy; continued provocation would threaten this goal.”

Trump-Kim Summit Before the 2020 Election? Don’t Bet On It.

The National Interest – 5/13/2020
“During this year’s annual New Year’s speech, Kim Jong-un declared that if the United States continued its hostile policy toward North Korea, “there will never be the denuclearization of the Korean peninsula.” It’s a point Kim has stressed through the years—unless the U.S. concedes first, nothing will change. Since there are no indications of that happening, the remainder of this year will see little action between the two countries.”

Japan Should Have a Serious Debate on Revising Its Constitution—But Not Now

The Diplomat – 5/7/2020
“Since the party’s inception in 1955, the LDP has been dead set on revising the constitution and adding certain elements to it. A major hurdle has been the need to obtain a two-thirds majority in the Diet and pass a national referendum. Today, the LDP does not hold a super-majority in the upper house, making revision a difficult affair. Even still, Abe has continued to pursue this goal. On May 3 this year, the prime minister spoke at an online forum hosted by a pro- amendment group and said there is ‘no wavering in my resolve to amend the constitution.’ Specifically, he spoke of the need to pass the LDP’s 2018 reform proposal, which most notably would add an emergency powers clause to give more power to the government in times of crisis and revise Article 9 — the war-renouncing clause. This speech could not have come at a worse time.”

Will Anything Really Change If Kim Jong-Un Dies?

The National Interest – 4/28/2020
“As crazy as it sounds, Kim Jong-un brings stability and relative predictability to North Korea. Would his sudden death ensue in a smooth transition and continuation of the status quo, or a power struggle between elites that may destroy the regime altogether? Considering the Kim family’s importance to the nation’s identity, the first scenario seems far more likely. After all, the legitimacy of authority comes from being a member of the family.”

Japan and South Korea Should Use the Coronavirus to Patch up Their Differences

The Diplomat – 4/15/2020 | The National Interest – 4/13/2020
“Clearly, the coronavirus pandemic has worked to aggravate existing tensions between these two allies of the United States. However, there seems to be little to gain from prolonged conflict. Both countries have much to gain from better relations and have more in common than they think. With that in mind, South Korea and Japan should use this pandemic to begin improving relations for their own interests, and ultimately, the security of the entire Asia-Pacific.”

Japan Needs Strong Leadership to Stop the Coronavirus at Home

The National Interest – 4/15/2020
“The year 2020 was supposed to be special. With the 2020 Olympic Games coming to Tokyo, citizens all around the country were in a festive mood. That all changed when coronavirus forced the games to be postponed for a year. Since then, the number of cases have increased at a steady pace, to the point where Japan has declared a state of emergency. It has been a week since that declaration, with no sign of improvement in the situation. Clearly, the current response is inadequate. Unless a concerted effort is made by the government and its citizens, there will be no end to this pandemic.”

How America Should Use the Coronavirus Crisis to Restart North Korea Talks

The National Interest – 4/6/2020
“Each day, coronavirus runs rampant throughout the world. As of this writing, there have been over 1,041,126 coronavirus cases globally, while the death toll has exceeded 55,132. The United States alone accounts for approximately 24 percent of the world’s cases. No one is immune to the crisis, not even North Korea. Several reports claim that nearly 10,000 are in quarantine, while 180 North Korean soldiers have died. Despite these reports, North Korea vehemently denies any outbreak. In fact, as if to show their defiance in times of international crisis, Pyongyang continues to launch missiles.”

Why North Korea’s Missile Launches Are ‘Business as Usual’

The National Interest – 3/26/2020
“Kim Jong-un’s message is this: business as usual. With or without coronavirus, 2020 was going to be the year North Korea ramped up its efforts to build its defense program. Launches are a means to check the capability of their weapons. It also helps defend the narrative that Kim Jong-un will not back down and that the country will continue to fight hostile forces.”

The Special One? Why Abe Could Defy the Odds and Run for a Fourth Term

Northeastern University Political Review – 3/20/2020
“The idea of a “rule-breaking” fourth term for the incumbent leader of the Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) has been floating around for some time. Under party rules, the leader ‘may only serve up to three consecutive terms (nine years).’ Prime Minister Shinzo Abe will reach that limit in September 2021, fueling rumors as to who will succeed him. While Abe himself admitted that a fourth term would be unlikely, several factors may push him toward launching another re-election campaign.”

Is Enough Enough?—Farmers’ Dilemma Heading Into 2020

Northeastern University Political Review – 11/4/2019
“The negative impact on global markets and the entire US economy is well documented. Without the trade war, the world economy’s growth would have been closer to 3.5 percent, rather than the current estimate of 2.6 percent. It seems necessary, however, to focus on the sector of the economy that has been hit the hardest, agriculture, and the choices those in the industry face heading into 2020.”

Re-Examining Japan’s North Korea Strategy—What Can Be Done?

Northeastern University Political Review – 10/24/2019
“Japan is falling behind in the North Korea talks, a product of its hawkish policy toward North Korea and its lack of bargaining power. Japan faces tough times without the necessary access to senior officials or policy options available to countries such as the US and China.”

Into the Reiwa Era — Japan’s Unique Position in the World

Northeastern University Political Review – 8/5/2019
“Japan can pursue a smart diplomatic strategy that would make the most of the current dilemma and cement its status as an international leader in the new Reiwa era.”

Ending the Okinawa Conflict: A Challenge for Democracy

Northeastern University Political Review – 3/20/2019
“While it does not seem reasonable to push American bases out of Okinawa immediately, this referendum provides ample reason to weigh the options available and evaluate what each would entail.”

Challenges to Democracy: Rewriting Japan’s Article 9

Northeastern University Political Review – 10/31/2018
“In the recent in-party election held on September 20th, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe secured a historic third term as the Prime Minister of Japan, defeating former Defense Minister Shigeru Ishiba by an overwhelming margin. Guaranteed executive control of the central government for the next three years, Abe has begun to set his political agenda for this term. Perhaps most noteworthy has been his reaffirmed desire to revise Article 9 of Japan’s Constitution, a task much easier said than done.”

The Thorn in Japan’s Side: Okinawa & The Relocation of the Futenma Base

Northeastern University Political Review – 9/30/2018
“The status of the pending relocation of this American military establishment depends entirely on the results of Okinawa’s gubernatorial election taking place on September 30th.”

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