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My Lowy Post on Obama’s Asia Trip – Watch Every Interest Group Instrumentalize it for its Own Purposes

PHOTO: Barack Obama waves as he walks down the stairs from Air Force One at Fiumicino Airport on March 28, 2014 in Rome, Italy.

So Obama is off to Asia this week for a quick trip that is inevitably being over-hyped by every Asia analyst on the planet as some major turning point in the US relationship with Asia. It’s not: below is re-printed my original, ‘watch-elites-manipulate-the-Obama-trip’ comment for the Lowy Institute. The spin will be over-the-top as every Asia pundit races for media exposure. Presidential trips are a great opportunity for the analyst community to posture and hyperventilate about how Obama ‘must’ do this, ‘has’ to do that.

Yawn.


My Diplomat Essay for April: Unintended Consequences of US Alliances in Asia


3 Hypotheses for Korea’s ‘Japanobia’

 

This, I hope, is my last piece on Japan-Korea relations for awhile. I think everyone is getting burned out by this topic. And I am sick of the hate-mail. But at least Obama got Abe and Park into the same room last week. Park look pretty furious, but at least the meeting was progress.

 


Japanese Right Wing Group Suspected of Vandalizing Anne Frank Books

Anne Frank Vandalized Japan


By Larry Lawrence

This just in from the What in the Holy Hell Were You Effin’ Thinking Department. Fingers are pointing at elements of Japan’s right wing for responsibility in vandalizing The Diary of a Young Girl and other books related to Anne Frank.

Yes, you read that right and yes, this is Sweet Pickles & Corn, not The Onion.


On “2.5 Oyajis” with YouTube’s Japan Vlogging King, Gimmeaflakeman

If you are interested in traveling and teaching in either Korea or Japan, your search will ultimately lead you to Gimmeaflakeman.  Victor is possibly the most recognizable figure in J-vlogging, so it was a pleasant surprise and honor to be asked to be part of his show “2.5 Oyajis”.

Along with Hikosaemon, also of Japan, the two lead a periodic show where they interview characters who live abroad as they do. They share stories and insights and provide for an entertaining but highly informational show. It was great to chew the cud for an hour with them covering topics such as South Korea’s relationship with Japan, my North Korean heritage, and North Korea in general.


My Expanded Lowy Post on Moral Hazard in US Alliances: Explaining Japan-Korea (and Greece-Turkey?)

domhSo this post is a bleg to those of you who know more about alliances than me. I am considering writing up this for an article, so I thought I would ‘crowd-source’ early comments on this. I also wonder if someone elsewhere has already suggested this idea in the vast alliance literature, so please let me know.


Strays

Cats: The internet is full of them. So, in a vain attempt to pull more traffic to Monkeyboy Goes, I’ve finally stooped to this….

DSCN5792

Through the course of my monkeying around in Asia, I have come across many a stray cat and dog. Whenever I see one I can’t help but whip the camera out.

DSC_1046

For those with a keen eye, you’ll notice that some of the furry creatures captured here are far from stray…. Whatever, I needed a title.


My December Newsweek Japan Essay: Japan as a Unique Bulwark to Chinese Hegemony in Asia

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I recently joined Newsweek Japan in a more official capacity as a regular contributor. I am pleased to do so, as I increasingly think that Japan is the primary bulwark to Chinese hegemony in Asia. So more and more, my research interest is drifting toward the Sino-Japanese competition as weightier than the inter-Korean competition.


My December Diplomat Essay: US Alliance with Japan Sparks a Korean Grand Strategy Debate


hmmm...

I've been wanting to blog for some quite some time, but I just can't do it... I feel like I'm being watched... you know?? (I'm talking to you Stalker out there!)

Anyway, we are back in Japan, actually, we've been in Japan for a week now, I miss Korea A LOT, and more than the land itself, I miss all the friends we made there :(

I guess I'll blog more about the last couple of weeks later since its almost 3am and I don't think my roommates will like my typing lol.

Meanwhile...here are some pics!

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