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The Camp David summit
The Camp David summit | Quick Take | GZERO Media

The Camp David summit

Ian Bremmer's Quick Take: Hi everybody. Ian Bremmer here and a Quick Take on the Camp David Principles, the historic meeting taking place in Camp David today between President Biden, the Japanese Prime Minister Kishida, and South Korean President Yoon. It's historic. It's a big deal. It's worth talking about. And frankly, I consider this to be the most significant successful piece of diplomacy of the Biden administration to date. It is roughly equivalent in my mind to the Abraham Accords of the Trump administration. In that case, this was leading to direct diplomatic engagement, opening relations between Israel, America's top ally in the region and the UAE, Bahrain and Morocco, other American allies in the region. With the Saudis, not signing, but certainly getting closer. It's important in part because it stabilized a region that matters to the United States. It also allows for better strategic coordination long-term, and it is broadly speaking, supported by both sides.

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Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida.


Viewpoint: How Abe still casts a shadow over Kishida in Japan

Former Japanese PM Shinzo Abe was tragically gunned down one year ago. Yet he still casts a long shadow on Japanese politics and the agenda of current PM Fumio Kishida.

Last year, Kishida’s public approval ratings nosedived mainly because of controversies related to Abe, like the ruling Liberal Democratic Party’s ties to the Unification Church (or “Moonies”). Those ties go back decades to former PM Nobusuke Kishi, Abe’s grandfather. Since then, Kishida has regained his political footing. But when it comes to Japan’s national security, foreign affairs, and economic policies, Kishida still walks in Abe’s shadow. Or does he?

To get an idea of how this is all playing out, especially as Kishida mulls calling snap elections later this year, we sat down for a chat with David Boling, Eurasia Group’s lead Japan analyst.

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Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida speaks during a news conference at the prime minister's office in Tokyo


Japan snap election speculation grows

In Tokyo, rumors are swirling that Prime Minister Fumio Kishida will dissolve Japan’s House of Representatives and trigger a snap election before the parliamentary session ends on June 21. Just the possibility has legislators on Tokyo’s Capitol Hill, Nagata-cho, “on high alert and reading into Kishida’s every word,” according to Eurasia Group’s lead Japan analyst, David Boling.
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A G-7 sign, decorated with flowers, stands at the Hiroshima Peace Memorial in Japan.

Michael Kappeler/dpa via Reuters Connect

G-7 leaders gather to chart next moves on Russia, China, other issues

The leaders of the industrialized nations that make up the G-7 will hold their annual meeting on May 19-21 in Hiroshima, Japan, a location of special significance at a time of intensifying great power competition. In the closing chapter of World War II, the US detonated an atomic bomb over the Japanese city, killing more than 100,000 civilians.

This year’s G-7 summit takes place as Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and an increasingly assertive China test the resilience of the postwar order and make it more difficult to address transnational challenges such as climate change. We asked Eurasia Group experts Ali Wyne, Lívia Pereira, and David Boling what to expect.

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South Korea's President and Japan's Prime Minister on Stage in Tokyo


Japan-South Korean diplomatic ice melting fast

On Sunday, Fumio Kishida will become the first Japanese PM to visit South Korea in five years. Kishida’s trip comes less than two months after South Korean President Yoon Suk Yeol went to Tokyo. The two neighbors are trying to end decades of tensions over Japan’s occupation of the Korean Peninsula (1910-1945) … with weeks of shuttle diplomacy.

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Handout photo dated January 14, 2020 shows an MQ-9 Reaper flies over the Nevada Test and Training Range.

William Rio Rosado via Abaca Press via Reuters Connect

What We’re Watching: Drone drama, DeSantis vs. Ukraine, Japan hearts South Korea, Pakistan-Khan standoff

Drone drama over the Black Sea

In what is so far the closest thing to a direct clash between the US and Russia over Ukraine, a Russian jet on Tuesday crashed into an American drone over the Black Sea, sending the unmanned craft hurtling into the water.

Moscow disputes the claim, saying its jets didn't hit the drone. The US accused the pilots of two Russian Su-27s of being “unprofessional” and “environmentally unsafe” for harassing and “dumping fuel” on the $32 million MQ-9 Reaper drone.

But scholars point out that the US didn’t call the act “unlawful.” Russia was evidently within its rights to disrupt a drone in international territory that was almost certainly gathering intel for Moscow’s adversaries in Kyiv. Still, the incident shows the dangers of US and Russian military hardware operating in such close proximity, even if they aren’t in direct conflict.

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A mock 10 baht banknote bearing an illustration of a yellow duck instead of the Thai king or his predecessor is pictured in Bangkok on Nov. 25, 2020.

Kyodo via Reuters Connect

Hard Numbers: Thai royal canard, Biden’s deficit plan, Japan’s gender pay gap, golden Odin, Greek walkout

2: Prepare to read the next sentence twice. A man in Thailand is facing two years in jail for selling calendars of … rubber ducks. The squeaky fowl has long been a symbol of the country’s pro-democracy movement, and since these birds were dressed in royal regalia, authorities say they insulted the monarchy. The country’s defamation laws have been used to convict 200 people since 2020.

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Luisa Vieira

Will Japan grow its population before it's too late?

What if a hypothetical government, overtaxed by an aging, shrinking population, decided to ask its seniors to make the ultimate national sacrifice to voluntarily die?

That’s the premise of "Plan 75," a 2022 indie film that predicts a grim dystopian and not-too-distant future for a fictional Japan, where the elderly are offered compensation to submit to euthanasia and avoid being a burden to society when they turn 75.

Sure, it’s just a movie, but nowhere is more at risk of a demographic implosion than Japan. With a median age of 49, it’s the world's oldest country, and 28% of people are 65+. The nation of 125 million — whose annual births dropped below 800,000 for the first time in 2022, eight years earlier than forecasted — is expected to lose almost one-third of its population by 2060.

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