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The complicated US-Japan relationship
The complicated US-Japan relationship | GZERO World with Ian Bremmer

The complicated US-Japan relationship

The US-Japan alliance is complex. But among other priorities, to rein in China, both countries need each other.

If you know anything about Rahm Emanuel, it's that speaking diplomatically may not be his forte. And yet, his current post demands it. The former White House chief of staff (called, in his day, a "pitbull") and the polarizing mayor of Chicago now serves as the US ambassador to Japan, one of the US' closest allies. Ian Bremmer was in Tokyo for an exclusive interview with Emanuel. And though the ambassador did his best to remain "diplomatic," there were flashes of the "pitbull" as well.

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Podcast: Unpacking the complicated US-Japan relationship with Ambassador Rahm Emanuel


Ian Bremmer is in Tokyo, Japan, to check in on America’s “pivot to Asia.” How’s that going? Given that neither Ukraine nor Israel is located in the Asia Pacific, it is not so great!

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Ian Explains: How is America's "Pivot to Asia" playing out?
Ian Explains: How is America's "Pivot to Asia" playing out? | GZERO World with Ian Bremmer

Ian Explains: How is America's "Pivot to Asia" playing out?

Why can't the US seem to focus on the Asia-Pacific region instead of the Middle East?

In November 2011, President Barack Obama laid out his vision for America’s expanded role in the Asia-Pacific region, which soon became known as the "pivot to Asia.” American foreign policy, Obama announced, would be shifting its focus away from costly wars in the Middle East and towards strengthening partnerships in the Asia-Pacific to curb a rising China. In short, America’s 21st-century foreign policy would be pointed firmly to the East.

Fast-forward to 2023, and America’s “Pivot to Asia” is a little more complicated. The Israel-Hamas conflict, which could quite easily spiral into a larger regional war with the US and Iran, is only the latest example. And though not in the Middle East, the war in Ukraine remains one of the biggest and most expensive US foreign policy priorities. This is not, in short, the 21st-century foreign policy vision that President Obama had in mind.

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Former U.S. President Donald Trump at a rally in Conroe, Texas.

Reuters

What We're Watching: Trump's tax returns set to go public, Japan stuns markets, Biden braces for migrant surge, India raises China alarm

Trump's tax returns set to be released

The House Ways and Means Committee voted yesterday to release Donald Trump's tax returns from 2015-2020 — a move the former president’s team has characterized as a politically motivated attack by Democrats in the House, who are set to lose their majority when the new Congress is sworn in on Jan. 3. It may be days before all the filings go public, but committee members revealed late Tuesday that the IRS failed to audit Trump during his first two years as president. A report issued late Tuesday also highlighted some information from the filings, including that Trump had positive taxable income in 2018 — for the first time in more than 10 years — and paid nearly $1 million in federal income taxes that year. But as of 2020? Trump had reverted to reporting negative income … and paid no federal income tax as a result. Democrats on the committee explained that they carefully followed the law with this vote, invoking a century-old statute, but some Republicans say this could lead to increased use of exposing private tax info for political means.

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Reflecting on Shinzo Abe and how his legacy will impact Japan's future
Reflecting on Shinzo Abe and How His Legacy Will Impact Japan's Future | GZERO World

Reflecting on Shinzo Abe and how his legacy will impact Japan's future

Japan was rattled by the shocking assassination of former Prime Minister Shinzo. Ian Bremmer speaks to longtime Abe adviser Tomohiko Taniguchi about Abe's foreign policy legacy.

In a GZERO World interview, they discuss whether current PM Fumio Kishida can pick up where his old boss left off, and how Abe's untimely death might ultimately change Japan. Is the time right to now realize Abe's unfulfilled dream of amending Japan's postwar pacifist constitution?

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Assassinated! Japan’s grief & how Shinzo Abe’s goals will shape Asia
Assassinated! Japan’s Grief & How Shinzo Abe’s Goals Will Shape Asia | GZERO World with Ian Bremmer

Assassinated! Japan’s grief & how Shinzo Abe’s goals will shape Asia

How will the shocking assassination of Shinzo Abe, Japan's former and longest-serving prime minister, reshape the country and the broader region?

And will it lead to realizing Abe's unfulfilled dream of amending Japan's postwar pacifist constitution?

On GZERO World, Ian Bremmer speaks to longtime Abe adviser Tomohiko Taniguchi, who shares how he felt when he found out his close friend had died.

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How did Shinzo Abe change Japan, and the world?
How Did Shinzo Abe Change Japan, and the World? | Former Adviser Tomohiko Taniguchi | GZERO World

How did Shinzo Abe change Japan, and the world?

The late Shinzo Abe, Japan's former PM, often doesn't get enough credit for bolstering the morale of young Japanese, explains Tomohiko Taniguchi, Abe's former adviser and close friend, who spoke with Ian Bremmer on GZERO World.

On foreign policy, he is considered the architect of the Quad dialogue with the US, India, and Australia, though he failed to realize his dream of reforming Japan's constitution.

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Japan's assertive foreign and economic policy reflect Abe's legacy
Japan To Become More Assertive On Global Stage After PM Abe's Death | World In :60 | GZERO Media

Japan's assertive foreign and economic policy reflect Abe's legacy

Ian Bremmer shares his insights on global politics this week on World In :60.

With Japanese people mourning former PM Shinzo Abe, how will his death further influence Japan's politics?

Well, we've already seen a fairly easy majority win by Abe's own Liberal Democratic Party. He had been stumping for them when he was assassinated. His two legacies are things that the Japanese are moving on. One, Abenomics, the three arrows of fiscal policy and monetary policy and growth really underpin the new style of capitalism that Prime Minister Kishida's been talking about. I think that they will more assertively align towards those, even though the BOJ at this point, The Bank of Japan doesn't have a lot of flexibility given the indebtedness levels. But also the Quad, the CPTPP, the desire of the Japanese, the prime minister to go to NATO for the summit a couple weeks ago. I mean, all of these were really kicked off by Abe wanting a more assertive foreign policy, normalizing their defense capabilities. You might even see a move now towards reforming the constitution on the defense side, something Abe wanted to do but didn't have the votes for. Now the LDP does. I expect to see Japan increasingly assertive on the global stage like you've seen Germany under Olaf Scholz.

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