Busan’s controversial Comfort Women statue.
A small bronze statue in Busan has kicked off a surprisingly big argument.
The opportunity for emerging political figures to make their mark is considerable.
Here are five political leaders from around the world who are emerging as significant talents and possible contenders for influence in 2017 and beyond.
US Department of the Interior via Wikimedia Commons
The idea of an American Muslim registry has gained traction in some circles, but the historical precedents are shaky at best.
Japan is already in the midst of one delicate constitutional debate – and now it's been confronted with another.
Two of East Asia's biggest powers are still technically at war and deadlocked over contested territories. Now one of them wants to be friends.
Barack Obama and Shinzō Abe at the Hiroshima Peace Memorial.
Speaking at the Hiroshima Peace Memorial, Barack Obama sounded a hopeful note – but both the US and Japan still fall short.
As the tension in the East China Sea continues to mount, Japan's militaristic conservatives are putting their country on an aggressive footing.
Heading in the opposite direction?
Sino-Japanese rivalry might well come to dominate this year's G7 and G20.
The Japanese bid to build Australia’s new fleet of submarines was unsuccessful.
The decision on who would build Australia’s next generation of submarines carried just as much anticipation in Japan as it did in Australia.
Defence Minister Marise Payne is still to announce who will build Australia’s next generation of submarines.
The defence white paper is silent on where Australia's new fleet of 12 submarines will be acquired.
Famously apathetic for decades, Japan's youth are up in arms over the government's efforts to make the country's constitution less pacifist.
Tony Abbott, Malcolm Turnbull’s predecessor as prime minister, enjoyed a close relationship with his Japanese counterpart, Shinzo Abe.
Australia looks set to continue to confront its core foreign policy dilemma: balancing relations between its largest trading partner, China, and its key security partners, the US and Japan.
So strong is public opposition to his miltarist policies that Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, having ignored the popular will, faces questions about democratic representation.
AAP Image/Newzulu/Munesuke Yamamoto
Shinzo Abe’s government (now in its second term) has consistently been vocal about Japan's national defence.
Through reinterpreting the constitution and bidding to build Australia’s submarines, Shinzo Abe is leading Japan towards a more assertive strategic posture.
If construction of its submarines in Australia proceeds, it will be Japan’s first postwar export of a major combat weapons system.
What is it about northeast Asia? Why is it that a part of the world that is a byword for unparalleled economic development and astounding social transformation can’t come to terms with its past and develop…
Japan’s neighbours will interpret whatever Shinzo Abe says about his nation’s wartime aggression in the light of his government’s shift to more hawkish policies.
In the West, it is often forgotten that 1945 marks the end of not only the second world war but also of a much longer period of political and social upheaval in Asia.
Tomiko Matsumoto, an 83-year-old A-bomb survivor, at the Atomic Bomb Dome in Hiroshima.
The dogged commitment to peace that set in after the atomic bombings of Japan is in danger of disappearing for good.
Japan and the US are taking no chances.
Japan has spent decades proudly staying out of military matters, but China's maritime belligerence has changed all that.
Powerful waves of nationalist sentiment have endured since the second world war and continue to pose difficulties for the leaders of Japan and China.
The fog of the second world war and the murkiness of the post-war settlement laid the contours of Asia's complex and uncertain strategic landscape.
The Genbaku Dome at the Hiroshima Peace Memorial has long been the focus of remembrance and now also serves as a site for reconciliation between former enemies.
Saleem H. Ali
The horrific murder of Japanese nationals by Islamic State (IS) terrorists in early February has sparked a pensive debate about whether the pacifist Japanese constitution is an anachronism. Article 9 of…