Sunday, December 4, 2016

Three reports about Japan

1. Japan’s Payout Most Among U.S. Allies. Yomiuri Shimbun, November 16, 2016. 
        The Japanese overnment plans to ask U.S. President-elect Donald Trump to reconsider the comments he made during his campaign demanding that U.S. allies, including Japan, spend more to host U.S. forces, according to sources. Tokyo believes Japan already bears a large share of the costs. In addition to its host nation support, Japan has been sharing other expenses, including those for relocating U.S. forces. Its financial contribution comes to about ¥760 billion a year, the highest among U.S. allies, according to the Defense Ministry’s internal calculations.
According to the report [not published], Estimated Amount of Host Nation Support for Stationing U.S. Forces (in billions of US dollars)

Japan
6.88
South Korea
0.91
Germany
1.7
Italy
0.4
Britain
0.26
Spain
0.14
Saudi Arabia
0.06
   
1b. New webpage created on Japanese PM website to explain GSDF’s new dutiesYomiuri, November 19, 2016         
Defense Minister Tomomi Inada issued an order on Nov. 18 assigning the new duties of “rushing to the rescue” and “joint defense of camps” to the Ground Self-Defense Force (GSDF) troops to be sent to South Sudan for UN peacekeeping operations (PKO). In light of the uncertain security situation in South Sudan, the people are still concerned about these new duties. Therefore, the government created on the same day a special webpage on the new GSDF duties on the Kantei (Prime Minister’s Official Residence) website for the purpose of dispelling such concerns.
The new webpage uses videos, photos, and graphics to explain the significance of the SDF mission in South Sudan and details of the new duties. In answer to concerns about increased risks faced by SDF members, the webpage says that the new duties “will only be performed within the scope of the SDF’s capability while ensuring safety.” 
2. Japanese Back Global Engagement Despite Concern About Domestic Economy: Roughly half see U.S. as a threat, majority see U.S. in decline by Bruce Stokes, Director, Global Economic Attitudes, PewResearch Center, 10/31/16, 24 pgs. 
 A telephone survey conducted April 26 to May 29, 2016 of 1,000 respondents in Japan found that a majority (58%) believe that it is a good thing for Japan to be economically involved with the world. 59% of the Japanese public also support aiding other countries in dealing with their own problems. Looking outward is juxtaposed against the 62% who say Japan should limit its military role in the Asia-Pacific region, and the merely 30% who believe economic conditions in their country are good (down 7% from last year).
 Views of longtime ally the United States and regional rival China remain consistent: 72% of Japanese have a favorable view of the United States, while 86% express an unfavorable opinion of China. However, this optimism does not translate into faith in US hegemony. About 61% say the U.S. plays a less important and powerful role as a world leader today compared with 10 years ago. The survey also found that only 9% of Japanese polled have confidence in Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump in world affairs; an overwhelming 82% expressed no confidence.
 Japanese are divided on the state of their country: 47% are satisfied and 45% are dissatisfied. Yet contentment with the country’s direction today is at its highest since 2002. Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe draws generally positive reviews; 52% approve of his handling of the economy, and 74% give a positive grade to Abe’s handling of relations with the United States
2b. Report     Data
2c. See also: Commentary: Japanese among most outward looking by Bruce Stokes, PewResearch, Nikkei Asian Review, November 2, 2016
Japan remains one of the world’s worst-performing nations in tackling climate change, think tank Germanwatch said Wednesday. Japan was deemed the second-worst performer of 57 countries and Taiwan, this year’s Climate Change Performance Index report showed. The report said Tokyo’s efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions center on reactivating nuclear energy as more or less the only alternative to fossil fuels, “instead of sufficiently promoting renewable energy.”
The performance of the world’s two largest emitters, USA (43) and China (48), is still rated "poor" in the CCPI. The United States lost some ground in almost every Index category and as a result dropped several places. The election results in the USA might pose risks to the speed of the ongoing transition. The election of Donald Trump as president has however not yet had any influence on the policy evaluation presented in CCPI 2017. Despite China being rated “poor”, positive developments are seen thanks to shrinking consumption of coal globally, which resulted in China stopping the construction of 30 coal fired power plants the last year.
About Climate Change Performance Index: https://germanwatch.org/en/CCPI

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