An invitation from RUSI Japan to participate in a roundtable in Tokyo in late May gave the author a great opportunity both to present a view of European security to Japanese experts, and to re-immerse briefly in local perspectives on the risks facing their region.
In his statement at the White House in 2015, Chinese President Xi Jinping made a commitment not to militarise the artificial islands China built in the South China Sea. Observers wondered how China defined the term ‘militarisation’. And it is this lack of clarity helping to fuel speculation over Beijing’s strategic ambitions.
The co-ordinated attack on a Pakistani naval base, the latest assault on a military facility, raises deep questions about the security of the country's nuclear weapons and the endurance of Pakistan's relationship with China and the United States.
The complexities of responding to a disaster in a highly developed and technologically sophisticated country like Japan are testing humanitarian response strategies. Much of what has happened and continues to unfold is the realisation of multiple worst-case scenarios.
Recent political posturing about the fate of the Kuril Islands is the latest development in a serious redressing of the balance of power between Moscow and Tokyo. Should the animosity continue, it is the latter which stands to lose the most.
China testing its latest stealth jet during Robert Gates' visit is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to cooling Sino-US relations. This presents an opportunity for the UK and the EU to engage in a strategic defence discussion with China.