Japan discusses regional defense in rare visit to Taiwan
A group of Japanese lawmakers including two former defense ministers met with Taiwan's president Thursday in a rare high-level visit to discuss regional security. The delegation, led by lawmaker and former Defense Minister Shigeru Ishiba, said it wanted to reach an agreement with Taiwan on defense issues and prepare for any potential conflict in the region, while also seeking to prevent conflict from breaking out. Ishiba noted that Japan is also working closely with the U.S. to prevent conflict in the Indo-Pacific, saying the defense allies “had no choice” but to prepare.news.yahoo.com
Yoshihide Suga poised to win party vote for Japan PM
Japan's Liberal Democratic Party's leadership election candidate and Japan's Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga attends a debate ahead of the LDP's leadership election, in Tokyo Saturday, Sept. 12, 2020. The party plans a vote on Sept. 14 to choose Shinzo Abe's replacement as party chief. (Charly Triballeau/Pool Photo via AP)TOKYO – Yoshihide Suga is poised to win Japan's ruling party leadership vote on Monday, virtually guaranteeing him parliamentary election as the country's next prime minister. The expected victory in the party vote by Suga, currently the chief Cabinet secretary, all but guarantees his election in a parliamentary vote because of the majority held by the Liberal Democrats' ruling coalition. The voting by nearly 400 ruling party lawmakers begins later Monday, with results expected within hours.
Japan's Abe seeks preemptive strike capacity in policy shift
He said the new government will compile a revised defense policy by the end of the year. The ability to carry out preemptive strikes would be a significant shift in the defense policy Japan has followed since the end of World War II. Since taking power in 2012, Abe has expanded Japan’s defense budget and capabilities and has sought to expand its role in international peacekeeping and in the Japan-U.S. security alliance. In 2015, he adopted a new interpretation of the constitution's war-renouncing Article 9 to include the United States in its self defense in a concept of so-called collective self defense. A revision of the defense policy allowing such weapons, however, could be a challenge.
Who's next? Abe's party maneuvers to pick Japan's next PM
Executives of Abes ruling Liberal Democratic Party met Tuesday and decided that the Sept. 14 vote for party leader and with it almost assuredly prime minister will be limited to lawmakers and not broader members of the party. ___FUMIO KISHIDA: Abe's foreign minister from 2012-2017, the 63-year-old Kishida had once been considered the party's preferred choice to become the next prime minister. ___SHIGERU ISHIBA: A former defense minister seen as Abes archrival within the party, the 63-year-old Ishiba is the publics favorite for the next prime minister in media surveys. Ishiba's vocal criticism of Abe, however, has hurt his popularity among ruling party lawmakers. In addition to defense minister, Ishiba has also held top ministry posts in agriculture and local revitalization.