Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe with Thailand's Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra on January 17 during his first foreign trip (photo:dpa)

Japan focusses on the US and Southeast Asia as strategic partners

Japan’s new foreign policy concentrates on developing closer ties with Southeast Asian countries and the United States as politicians and businessmen begin to disengage with China following the dispute over the Senkaku Islands. The new government’s first foreign visits underline this regional strategic cooperation and the common ground with the US on political and defence issues.

JAPAN’S new Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is tackling foreign policy very differently than he did during his first tenure in 2006-07.

Then, there were high hopes of a thaw in relations with China, and Mr Abe made improving political and economic links with Beijing a government priority.

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Dr. Stefan Lippert
Japanese companies have been late to the Chinese market, compared with their American and European peers, and have always been reluctant to take risks. They have been afraid of political risks, social unrest, and loss of intellectual property
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