May 23, 2023
Over the weekend, Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida hosted the annual G7 summit in Hiroshima. Nuclear proliferation, Russia’s war on Ukraine, and the rise of China dominated conversation between the leaders of the world’s most advanced democratic economies. Kishida hosting the summit is significant: Japan is reinventing its role on the global stage, what TIME Magazine recently called “Japan’s Choice.” The country must choose between maintaining its decades-old pacifist foreign policy or pursuing a more assertive role. This week, the Eurasia Group Foundation’s Mark Hannah sits down with Japan security experts Yuki Tatsumi and Professor Tom Le to unpack the importance of the US-Japan relationship and discuss why, despite Tokyo and Washington’s desire for a more assertive Japan, cultural and demographic factors complicate the buildup of Japan’s military.
Yuki Tatsumi is Senior Fellow, Co-Director of the East Asia Program, and Director of the Japan Program at the Stimson Center in Washington, DC
Tom Le is Associate Professor of Politics at Pomona College in Claremont, California. He is the author of Japan's Aging Peace: Pacifism and Militarism in the Twenty-First Century.