China’s recent vituperative reaction to the Japanese seizure of a trawler reflects a new and troubling assertiveness that places at risk the benign and conciliatory image it has assiduously cultivated in recent years.
The US and South Korean show-of-arms against North Korea have generated accusations from China of escalating tension in the region. Is this is a legitimate security response, or a sign of China's new-found assertiveness?
Yukio Hatoyama is Japan's fourth prime minister to resign in as many years. His departure underlines the exasperation with Japan's leadership at home and abroad, and calls into question the future of the country's defence posture.
As the South Korean government formally accuses Pyongyang of sinking it's warship in March, it is also resisting popular demands for retaliation. Instead Seoul will bolster efforts to exact international penalties on North Korea.