Japan-DPRK Secret Talks

The Japan Times reports today that title="Japan, North hold secret talks in China" href="http://www.japantimes.co.jp/text/nn20120110a5.html" >Japan and North Korea were in talks yesterday (Monday 9th) and today with renewed hopes that the post-Kim Jong-il regime would be interested in helping to resolve the abduction issue. Don’t hold your breath for any progress on the issue. The abduction issue is a pet interest of mine, and those in need of a primer might be interested in my old blog posts on the issue: Mysterious Circumstances title="Mysterious Circumstances Part One @ Abduction Politics" href="http://ishingen.wordpress.com/2007/01/31/mysterious-circumstances-part-1/" >Part One / title="Mysterious Circumstances Part Two @ Abduction Politics" href="http://ishingen.wordpress.com/2007/02/03/mysterious-circumstances-part-2/" >Two ; or title="Abduction Issue @ Abduction Politics" href="http://ishingen.wordpress.com/tag/abduction-issue/" >perhaps the entire collection of abduction issue-related posts.

Harsh V Pant on Japan-India Ties

Pant, of Kings College London, writes about title="About time for India and Japan to grow bolder" href="http://www.japantimes.co.jp/text/eo20120110a1.html" >the opportunities and threats to the Japan-India relationship, one that has been burgeoning in recent years. It makes for a very interesting primer on the relations to date.

Best: Koizumi, Worst: Hatoyama

Ampontan looks at title="Rankings first to worst" href="http://ampontan.wordpress.com/2012/01/09/rankings-worst-to-first/" >two opinion polls discussing the best and worst prime ministers since Yoshiro Mori – Koizumi scored the top place in a small Nikoniko News survey for his leadership and results, meanwhile Hatoyama was propping up the bottom of a Sankei Shimbun poll for being wishy-washy and an ignorant waffler.

Seeking Energy Security in the Middle-East

title="Japan begins Middle East visit seeking oil assistance " href="http://www.tokyotimes.co.jp/2012/japan-begins-middle-east-visit-seeking-oil-assistance/" >Foreign Minister Gemba is touring the Middle East trying to drum up oil supplies, according to The Tokyo Times. As the Japanese public’s stance against nuclear energy hardens, Japan is left with a greater reliance on geo-thermal energy and fossil fuels.

Finally… Songun – North Korean Top Gun

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A former contributor to World Intelligence (Japan Military Review), James Simpson joined Japan Security Watch in 2011, migrating with his blog Defending Japan. He has a Masters in Security Studies from Aberystwyth University and is currently living in Kawasaki, Japan. His primary interests include the so-called 'normalization' of Japanese security (i.e. militarization), and the political impact of the abduction issue with North Korea.
James Simpson has 147 post(s) on New Pacific Institute