The Wall Street Journal

Global Tensions Spur a Sea Change in Japan

Ravenel B. Curry III Distinguished Fellow in Strategy and Statesmanship
fumio kishida
Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida speaks to media reporters on November 18, 2022, in Bangkok, Thailand. (The Asahi Shimbun via Getty Images)


Riots in China, deepening war in Ukraine, continuing upheavals in Iran: It’s been a dramatic week in world affairs. But the quiet revolutions sometimes matter more. Japan is one of the stablest countries on earth, and there are no crowds in the streets as bureaucrats shuffle papers and write reports.

Nevertheless, what is in those reports will have a massive impact on world politics—and could well determine the outcome of the US-China competition.

Germany’s Zeitenwende, or historical turning point—the abandonment of appeasement as the basis of Russia policy and a shift toward greater military spending—has received more attention. But as I learned on a recent visit to Tokyo, the shifts taking place in Japan go further and rest on a wider consensus than anything happening in Berlin.

Read the full article in the Wall Street Journal.