GZERO Media logo
{{ subpage.title }}

UNHCR chief: Why the world’s biggest nations have done so little to help refugees

The three largest economies in the word, the United States, China and Japan take a tiny fraction of the refugees compared to that of far poorer countries. Ian Bremmer asks UN High Commissioner for Refugees Filippo Grandi why that's the case and how to change it. "The backlog of asylum claims in the US is astronomical," Grandi tells Bremmer. "It's by far the biggest in the world" Their conversation was part of an episode of GZERO World.

Watch the episode: UNHCR chief: How the pandemic has upended the lives of refugees

Japan’s UN Ambassador on China: “We cannot completely decouple”

GZERO Media caught up with Japan's Permanent Representative to the UN Kimihiro Ishikane during the 2020 UN General Assembly. In an interview with Eurasia Group Vice Chairman Gerald Butts, Ishikane talked about pandemic response, and how it has impacted the broader picture of US-China relations. Regarding a global fissure potentially caused by the world's two biggest economies, Ishikane said: "China is not like the former Soviet Union. Our system is completely intertwined, and I don't think we can completely decouple our economy and neither is that desirable." He also discussed the legacy of Shinzo Abe, Japan's longest-serving prime minister, who stepped down recently due to health complications.

What We're Watching: Japan's new leader, Moria refugees in limbo, Lebanon's blown deadline

Who's Japan's new PM? The world's third largest economy has a new prime minister after the Japanese parliament voted to elect Yoshihide Suga to the top job just weeks after Shinzo Abe, Japan's longest serving prime minister, resigned because of health problems. Suga, a former cardboard factory worker and close political confidant of Abe for almost a decade, was elected to head the governing Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) with 70 percent of the parliamentary vote. There's widespread consensus among political observers that Suga, known as a pragmatist, will seek to continue Abe's political agenda and legacy, with one commentator dubbing him an "Abe substitute." Suga's cabinet also includes many former Abe loyalists, suggesting a continuation of his policies. Japan now faces twin economic and health crises, while experts say a second wave of infection has already hit the country. One key decision for Suga is whether to move forward with the Olympic games, which Tokyo is still slated to host next summer despite uncertainty about the pandemic.

Read Now Show less

The US COVID response under Trump was not "merely mediocre"

An op-ed in the New York Times says that the US coronavirus response under President Trump was mediocre, but not catastrophic, when compared to the response of other countries. But the "peer country" examples selected by columnist Ross Douthat don't paint an accurate picture. Ian Bremmer and Eurasia Group analyst Scott Rosenstein take issue with Douthat's argument in this edition of The Red Pen (where we keep op-eds honest).

Today, we're taking our red pen to a recent piece from New York Times columnist Ross Douthat. The title is provocative, "How Many Lives Would a More Normal President Have Saved?" It sounds like Douthat is about to go big on the failure of President Trump's response to the pandemic. But no, that's just the headline. In reality, what he's saying is it isn't a catastrophe and may end up just being, meh, especially when you compare the US to peer nations. Not so fast, Ross. Let's break down the argument and get out the red pen.

Read Now Show less

US election seen from Japan: Will US lead again?

Junko Tanaka is a former Washington bureau chief for NHK, Japan's national broadcaster. Our conversation has been edited for length and clarity.

Carlos Santamaria: What are two or three issues that people in Japan are concerned about regarding the US election?

JT: First and foremost, we're keen to find out the implications of the election for US foreign policy and trade policy. The US election is normally determined by domestic issues, but there is a stark contrast between Trump and Biden on their world views. We're interested to see how the foreign policy debate unfolds on issues such as relations with China, with Russia, or with traditional allies like Japan and NATO countries. We're also watching how trade issues or global issues may or may not be debated.

For us, Trump represents a protectionist view, whereas Biden has more of an internationalist view. And all this can greatly impact not only US-Japan relations, but international affairs as a whole.

Read Now Show less

Latest