Weekly Insights and Analysis

Memo to Prime Minister Aso: Build Trilateralism

October 1, 2008

By Brad Glosserman, Scott Snyder

Japan’s new prime minister, Aso Taro, takes office facing many difficult if not intractable problems, not least of which is securing a ruling coalition for his Liberal Democratic Party (LDP). Beyond politics, the situation is equally bleak, given Japan’s moribund economy, global financial volatility, and a pervasive gloom that has descended over the country. But, based on elite surveys and interviews we conducted in Japan and South Korea during the past year, we believe the new government could make a bold initiative that would pay important dividends both domestically and internationally. The whole commentary can be found here.

Brad Glosserman ( is executive director of the Pacific Forum CSIS. Scott Snyder ( is a senior associate at the Pacific Forum CSIS and The Asia Foundation. This article draws on surveys and interviews they conducted in Japan and South Korea; their conclusions are expanded in the forthcoming “Confidence and Confusion: National Identity and Alliance Management in Northeast Asia”.

Related locations: Japan, Korea


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In Asia is a weekly in-depth, in-country resource for readers who want to stay abreast of significant events and issues shaping Asia\’s development, hosted by The Asia Foundation. Drawing on the first-hand insight of over 70 renowned experts in over 20 countries, In Asia delivers concentrated analysis on issues affecting each region of Asia, as well as Foundation-produced reports and polls.

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