George Soros Visits Yasukuni Shrine



We needed to see it for ourselves. Today, George Soros, a few others, and I visited Yasukuni Shrine — both the war memorial and the adjacent museum. The museum seemed to me to be a spectacularly done exercise in historical denial about the matters that led up to World War II — and to Japan’s conduct during that war. What is presented is a heavily loaded version of history that casts Japan as a hapless victim. More on Yasukuni and…

George Soros in Japan



George Soros met me in Japan last night, and we had a fascinating dinner with Tadashi Yamamoto, President of the Japan Center for International Exchange. The dinner discussion was off the record, but one of the interesting things that I can write is that Soros, Yamamoto, and others like former Prime Minister of Japan Yoshiro Mori and Mort Halperin have been allies in getting strong public sector/private sector support in Japan and the United States for the Global Fund to…

Putting Hurt on the Corn?



This post is just a fun one — nothing serious. I am over in Japan right now, up at a really, really early hour from jet lag and had a humorous exchange I want to share. A Time Magazine friend of mine suggested we meet up for drinks and catch up. Just fyi, he wrote this great piece on a barbecue he went to at Mark Foley’s. . . My colleague at the New America Foundation Sameer Lalwani tried to…

Mark Warner May Say NO to Presidential Run



This is a bit of a disappointment as Warner would have given any Senate-based challenger for the Democratic presidential nomination a real fight. In Tokyo, some folks are already asking what this means for Hillary and John McCain. More later. — Steve Clemons

Open Thread: Off to Tokyo



I’m off to Tokyo for a few days of meetings. I will have much to report. George Soros will be there with me — and I will be blogging about some of the meetings we have planned about the evolving debate on competing variants of nationalism and what this means for the health of Japanese internationalism. Play nice. — Steve Clemons

Fareed Zakaria: “Iraq is Now a Civil War”



Fareed Zakaria captures clearly the consequences that have been wrought from America’s misguided adventure. Zakaria writes: Iraq is now in a civil war. Thirty thousand Iraqis have died there in the past three years, more than in many other conflicts widely recognized as civil wars. The number of internal refugees, mostly Sunni victims of ethnic cleansing, has exploded over the past few months, and now exceeds a quarter of a million people. (The Iraqi government says 240,000, but this doesn’t…

Al Franken Tomorrow; Japan Wednesday



Just a quick TWN alert. I will be talking about North Korea and Northeast Asian security issues on Air America’s Al Franken Show tomorrow (Tuesday) at 1 p.m. On Wednesday morning, I’m flying to Chicago for a brief meeting and then to Tokyo — arriving Thursday afternoon in Japan and staying until the following Tuesday. I’ll be doing a lot of blogging, writing, commentary, and scandalmongering on Japan’s new Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, North Korea’s nukes, and China’s disbelief that…

Did Secret Wolfowitz Meeting Violate Federal Advisory Committee Act?



The Federal Advisory Committee Act was enacted to formalize disclosure requirements and make transparent those who advise on federal government policy. Vice President Cheney was in a substantial tug-of-war with the Legislative Branch and the Supreme Court for a while about not submitting to FACA and disclosing participants in an important advisory session he convened on national energy policy. But his refusal to submit did not make FACA disappear. It seems to me that the secret advisory meeting called by…