Japan’s delicate dance for influence in the Asia-Pacific
Japan was already heading towards economic difficulties before the COVID-19 pandemic shut down the world’s economy. How will Japan’s economy fare in the post-COVID period? And will it affect the country’s geostrategic and geo-economic ambitions? In this week’s episode, Meia discusses these questions with Robert Ward and Yuka Koshino.
Robert explains that Japan will likely experience a severe economic shock in the post-COVID period. This will likely have negative implications for the re-election prospects of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, but Robert asserts that Japan will seek to maintain its position as a counterbalance to China in the Asia-Pacific region.
Yuka highlights the various defence concerns facing Japan, including an increasingly assertive China and a hostile regime in North Korea. She explains how Japan remains committed to the US alliance and engaged with regional and extra-regional partners.
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Date of recording: 16 June 2020
Sounds Strategic is recorded and produced at the IISS in London.
Theme music: ‘Safety in Numbers’ by We Were Promised Jetpacks