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Japan’s New Defense Posture. The Cabinet of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe approved on July 1 a reinterpretation of the Japanese Constitution, extending the scope of the right to self-defense to include the defense of an ally under attack.

Japan’s New Defense Posture

Past governments have maintained that Japan possessed the right to collective self-defense under international law, more specifically under Article 51 of the Charter of the United Nations, but that Article 9 of its pacific Constitution prevented the country from exercising this right because doing so would go beyond the minimum necessary for national defense. Assuming that the set of bills related to Japan’s defense policy to be submitted to the Diet next year is approved, the new government interpretation enables Japan to use the Self-Defense Forces if “the country’s existence is threatened, and there are clear dangers that the people’s right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness would be overturned” due to an armed attack on Japan or “countries with close ties.” Vietnam’s precarious strategic balancing act. Author: Huong Le Thu, ISEAS Since overcoming years of isolation in the late 1990s, Vietnam has pursued an ‘omnidirectional’ foreign policy.

Vietnam’s precarious strategic balancing act

In 2001, Vietnam began establishing a network of flexibly defined partnerships: these include ‘comprehensive’ (enhanced bilateral diplomatic and economic relations), ‘strategic’ and ‘cooperative strategic’ (the highest level of cooperation based on long-term relations). In 2013, an exceptionally fruitful year for Vietnamese diplomacy, Hanoi established six new partnerships, including one with the US.

Even though it was only a comprehensive partnership — one rung down from ‘strategic’ — it was significant for Vietnam–US relations. The Vietnam–US partnership indicated an ongoing commitment to existing cooperation in trade, education and development. The political and diplomatic hard-yards still to be done on collective self-defence. Author: Ryo Sahashi, Stanford University On 1 July, the Japanese cabinet, led by Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, made an historic change to post-war security policy, expanding the scope for interpretation of the Constitution’s Article 9.

The political and diplomatic hard-yards still to be done on collective self-defence

Japan may now hold the right to collective self-defence — the use of military force to defend a foreign country that is in a close relationship with Japan when it comes under armed attack. China Won’t Be a Different Kind of Global Power. The Diplomat is blessed to have a wealth of excellent regular contributors.

China Won’t Be a Different Kind of Global Power

Even among this distinguished group, however, Chen Dingding is particularly notable. Week in and week out he writes insightful, thought-provoking articles that challenge the conventional wisdom on some of today’s most important issues. Last week was no exception as Dingding took to Flashpoints to challenge David Shambaugh’s new article in The National Interest challenging the notion that China is a global power. Much as he did in his latest book, Shambaugh claims instead that Beijing is at most a partial power and there is good reason to think it will never ascend to the ranks of great powers.

Summit to reshape Asian security with new concept. Full coverage: 4th CICA Summit in Shanghai Full coverage: China’s Leaders SHANGHAI, May 21 (Xinhua) -- Chinese President Xi Jinping proposed on Wednesday a new concept of Asian security which analysts said bears significant implications for regional stability and the rebalancing of global security.

Summit to reshape Asian security with new concept

Chinese President Xi Jinping (C) speaks during the fourth summit of the Conference on Interaction and Confidence Building Measures in Asia (CICA), in Shanghai, east China, May 21, 2014. EU in Asia: Between a Pivot and a Look East. One of the most remarked upon developments of the 2013 Shangri-La Dialogue – a Singapore-based meeting for Asia-Pacific leaders organized by the London-based IISS think tank – was presence of Catherine Ashton.

EU in Asia: Between a Pivot and a Look East

Amid much announcement and noise, Catherine Ashton had flown to Singapore to represent the EU, and not just one of its member states. This was a first for the EU, eager as it is to contribute to the coming Asian security architecture. The high representative delivered a noted speech, calling on her Asian audience to consider the EU a long-term security partner and expanding on the European’s so-called “comprehensive approach.”

This year, the EU was not present at Shangri-La. This absence is not accidental: it sends a clear though implicit signal to both European and Asian audiences that, in times of crisis, the EU is prioritizing other foreign policy issues closer to home than East Asia’s spiraling security dilemma. Making Asean Community relevant. ASK most ordinary citizens of Asean what the 10-member regional grouping means to them and the questioner will likely draw blank looks or at best vacuous notions.

Making Asean Community relevant

How many even know that there is an Asean anthem known as the “Asean Way”? This regional anthem replaces another known as the Asean Hymn, which is likely not known to many either. Enjeux de sécurité en Asie-Pacifique : sept tendances lourdes. Note de veille, 2 juin 2014 Le Center for a New American Security (CNAS) est un think-tank basé à Washington, spécialisé dans les questions de défense et de sécurité.

Enjeux de sécurité en Asie-Pacifique : sept tendances lourdes

Il s’affiche comme indépendant et non partisan. Inauguré en 2007, le CNAS compte parmi ses fondateurs Kurt M. Campbell, diplomate et universitaire, qui fut entre juin 2009 et février 2013 secrétaire d’État adjoint chargé de l’Asie de l’Est et du Pacifique dans l’administration Obama. Nous présentons ici une synthèse d’une note publiée par le CNAS en février 2014 et qui recense sept tendances lourdes (megatrends) qui redéfinissent actuellement l’environnement de sécurité de la région Asie-Pacifique. 1) La montée en puissance de la Chine Plus de 30 ans après l’ouverture et la mise en œuvre des réformes, l’influence politique et la puissance militaire de la Chine ont été considérablement accrues. 2) Le rééquilibrage et l’évolution du leadership des États-Unis 3) Les potentialités conflictuelles issues des rivalités étatiques.

Cyber crime fighting. As personal, commercial, and government activities continue to migrate to the digital realm, so do criminals.

Cyber crime fighting

Large-scale cyber attacks are becoming more frequent and more costly for businesses in the United States. Attackers are better funded, more sophisticated, and better organized than in the past, often representing criminal networks or states. Dozens of US banks have suffered cyber attacks over the last year at the hands of foreign attackers. Cyber crooks stole 3.6 million social security numbers and nearly 400,000 credit card numbers and tax data from South Carolina Department of Revenue computers, saddling the state with $20 million in cleanup costs so far.1 Better security is not going to come cheap.

China hosts major Asia security conference - China - Success in forming cooperation could shape region's future growth China will host a major regional summit in Shanghai on Tuesday and Wednesday as part of an effort to facilitate Asia-wide security discussions.

China hosts major Asia security conference - China -

The country is not alone in its aspirations for more effective regional security. China’s new wave of assertiveness in the South China Sea. Since 1 May, China has deployed the Haiyang Shiyou 981 floating oil rig off the central coast of Vietnam for an exploratory mission. Vietnam has been infuriated as the rig has been parked well within Vietnam’s lawful Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ), just 120 nm from its maritime baseline. It has also caused widespread concerns across the region. ASEAN must be neutral in South China Sea row: PM Lee. NAY PYI TAW, Myanmar: The Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) must play a constructive role in managing problems in the South China Sea, said Singapore's Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong on Sunday. And that also means not taking sides with the countries making various territorial and maritime claims. Speaking at the 24th ASEAN Summit in Myanmar, Mr Lee echoed the sentiments of foreign ministers that ASEAN should have a common position on the issue.

He said incidents, like collisions between Vietnamese and Chinese vessels in the South China Sea within the past week, could easily spiral out of control and trigger unintended consequences. He also stressed the urgency of coming up with an early conclusion to a South China Sea Code of Conduct and urged leaders to give strong political support to the process. Vietnamese leader urges ASEAN to strengthen solidarity over the East Sea issue - Politics & Laws.

Vietnamese leader urges ASEAN to strengthen solidarity over the East Sea issue Nay Pyi Taw (VNS) — Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung called for ASEAN countries to strengthen solidarity and strongly reaffirm the principles stated in the Six-Point Declaration on the East Sea at the 24th ASEAN Summit on May 11. The PM said the association should request China to abide by international law, particularly the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS), respecting coastal state sovereignty over the continental shelf and the 200-nautical-mile economic exclusive zone. China should fully and strictly implement the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the East Sea and work with ASEAN to build a Code of Conduct in the East Sea, he stressed. The Chinese armed ships aggressively fired strong water cannons and rammed into Vietnamese civil ships, damaging the vessels and injuring many crewmen, he noted.

ASEAN must be neutral in South China Sea row: PM Lee. Why Did China Set Up an Oil Rig Within Vietnamese Waters? The who, what, where, when and how of China’s HD-981 oil rig foray into Vietnamese waters have been addressed comprehensively, both by commentators here at The Diplomat and elsewhere. The enduring question, as with many of China’s provocative actions in the Asia-Pacific, remains why? The opacity of China’s internal decision-making processes makes it rather difficult to conclusively answer that question, but a good amount of evidence suggests that the oil rig crisis with Vietnam was manufactured to test the mettle of ASEAN states and the United States.

South China Sea Clash: Asia’s Dangerous Game. It is time for East Asia to step up cooperation to check expansionist tendencies. By Sreeram Chaulia for The Diplomat May 10, 2014 Facebook1.2k Twitter157.

Water security

Water: Asia’s Next Challenge (2009) Indian Ocean could get choppy without regional security cooperation. Author: Peter van der Hoest, GRIPS The Indian Ocean Region (IOR) is home to 75 per cent of the world’s oil, iron and tin reserves. India, Japan and China have all contributed to what they consider their national interest to keep these maritime trade routes open. All three nations have emphasised the strategic imperative of keeping sea-lanes secure in their various high-level strategic policy documents. The Chinese and Japanese openly state that the main task of their anti-piracy efforts is to look after their own merchant vessels.

Securing the Region’s Water Future (2009) Nouriel Roubini says that if the global order blows up, the detonation will occur in Asia. China eyes "milestone" summit for security cooperation in Asia. CICA website. Conference on Interaction and Confidence Building Measures in Asia (CICA) is a multi-national forum for enhancing cooperation towards promoting peace, security and stability in Asia. It is a forum based on the recognition that there is close link between peace, security and stability in and in the rest of the world. The Member States, while affirming their commitment to the UN Charter, believe that peace and security in Asia can be achieved through dialogue and cooperation leading to a common indivisible area of security in where all states co-exist peacefully and their peoples live in peace, freedom and prosperity. The evolution of Sino–American competition in Myanmar.

Author: Adam P. MacDonald, Halifax For decades, China has been Myanmar’s principal international partner. S. Korean president asks China to deter DPRK's nuclear test. SEOUL, April 25 (Xinhua) -- South Korean President Park Geun-hye asked China Friday to exercise its leadership in deterring the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) from seeking a fresh nuclear test. Chinese Troops Stage Exercise Near N.Korean Border. The 39th Army, a major Chinese military unit that would be deployed to the Korean Peninsula in a war, carried out an emergency mobilization drill near the North Korean border recently, the official CCTV reported on Saturday. The drill comes amid signs that the North is preparing for a fourth nuclear test, and pundits speculated that it was a warning to the North and other neighboring countries to tread carefully. A Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman last Thursday said, "China will never allow a war or chaos to occur on its doorstep.

" The 39th Army under the Shenyang Military Region mobilized tanks and attack helicopters, according to CCTV. In December last year, around the time when former North Korean eminence grise Jang Song-taek was executed, the 39th Army deployed some 3,000 soldiers in cold-weather exercises around Mt. Baekdu, which marks the border with North Korea. China, rivals sign pact to ease maritime tensions. April 24, 2014 12:15 am BEIJING: China, the United States, Japan and more than a dozen other Asia-Pacific countries have signed a naval agreement aimed at ensuring miscommunication between ships at sea does not escalate into conflict.


Is Abe bypassing democracy to push his defence agenda? India and Pakistan: The Opportunity Cost of Conflict. India’s Look East policy in need of a relook. India, China discuss implementation of border pacts. Mongolian foreign policy: a small state with big aspirations. Geostrategic definitions. Shaping Tomorrow. China claims.