japan

(U.S. Pacific Command/Creative Commons)

After World War II, Japan adopted a constitution that formally renounced war or maintaining military forces.

Now Prime Minister Shinzo Abe wants to change that. Bolstered by his party’s big win in recent elections, Abe wants to purge the pacifist clause in Japan’s constitution. The move could lead the country into future wars and is reopening a debate in Japan on the country’s role in the world. 

On this edition of Global Journalist, we look at Japan’s post-World War II pacifism and what a change of course would mean for relations with its Asian neighbors and the U.S.


AP Photo

Sixty-four years ago, a ceasefire brought a halt to the Korean War and left Korea divided.

But in recent weeks the frozen conflict on the Korean peninsula threatened to re-erupt over the North’s nuclear weapons program. President Trump threatened North Korea with “fire and fury” and the North’s Kim Jong Il countered with a plan to launch an “enveloping fire” of missiles towards the U.S. territory of Guam.

The showdown has tested the credibility of both leaders and raised anew the prospect of nuclear war in East Asia. On this edition of Global Journalist: a look at how such a war might come about and how a more stable peace could be achieved.


Kristofor Husted / Harvest Public Media/KBIA

President Trump made campaign promises to pull the U.S. out of big international trade deals and focus instead on one-on-one agreements with other countries. But that has farmers worried they will lose some of the $135 billion in goods they sold overseas last year.

Two years ago, Missouri rancher Mike John expected the U.S. beef industry to grow by providing steaks and hamburgers from the Midwest to hungry eaters in Japan. He was planning on the Trans Pacific Partnership, or TPP, a massive trade deal among 12 countries, including the U.S. and Japan. It took eight years of negotiations to get each nation involved to agree to lower tariffs. Some economists expected the pact to add $3 billion dollars to the U.S. agriculture industry. Trump, however, called the TPP a disaster and pulled the U.S. out.

AP Photo

A key pillar of President Barack Obama's foreign policy has been the attempted "pivot to Asia."

The idea was that under President Bush, the U.S. expended enormous resources fighting wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. That focus was a detriment to American relationships with the surging economies of the Asia-Pacific region - an area expected to account for half of the world economy by the middle of this century.

Obama’s goal was to put new heft to the political, economic and military relations in places like China, Indonesia and Thailand – and avoid getting pulled into more conflicts in the Middle East or problems in Europe. As Obama prepares to leave office, this edition of Global Journalist examines whether this policy has succeeded – or amounted to little more than talk. 


The Yomiuri Shimbun via AP Images

In March 2011, an earthquake and tsunami devastated the eastern coast of Japan. Thousands of people were killed, and scores more were displaced as a result of the natural disaster. The earthquake and resulting tsunami caused the meltdown of a nuclear power station located in Fukushima Prefecture. Radioactive material leaked into the Pacific Ocean, and the area surrounding the plant became irradiated. This led to the development of an exclusion zone around the plant, and the evacuation of cities near the stricken nuclear site.

Columbia commemorates 25th anniversary with Japanese city

Oct 29, 2013
Elizabeth Tontz / KBIA

Columbia shares connections with many international cities, including its sister city of Hakusan City in Japan.

City officials welcomed delegates this week from Columbia’s sister city Hakusan City in Japan. The visit commemorated the 25th anniversary of the relationship between the two cities. City Councilwoman Barbara Hoppe and Chairman Fukuda Hiroshi each gave a speech renewing the commitment between the two cities and exchanged gifts from each locality.

Japan's decision to ease restrictions on U.S. beef imports will provide a boost to the American meat industry, but tight supplies may limit how much exports can grow this year.

Beef producers hope to restore Japanese sales to where they were before the first case of mad cow disease was found in the United States in 2003.

Democratic Senator Claire McCaskill commended Japan’s decision to ease restrictions on U.S. beef imports, saying it will be a boost for Missouri's economy.

AP Photo/Kyodo News

There’s a new twist to an epic territorial dispute between Japan and China.

 

Sunday will mark the one-year anniversary of the massive earthquake and tsunami that hit coastal Japan.