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NO. 10 -- March 14, 1997

 

Feature Article

SINO-RUSSIAN 'STRATEGIC' TIES: THREAT OR OPPORTUNITY FOR JAPAN?

An Interview With Gilbert Rozman Of Princeton University

The demise of the Cold War system may have ended the nuclear standoff between the United States and the former Soviet Union, but developments in Russia as well as between that country and its biggest neighbor, the People's Republic of China, still have important implications for Northeast Asian security. Gilbert Rozman, a Princeton University expert on Sino-Russian relations, recently discussed with JEI Senior Political Analyst Barbara Wanner the significance of the recent strategic accord between Moscow and Beijing. He also examined current trends in Russian and Chinese relations with Japan and the United States and what these developments may mean for regional stability and economic development.

Gilbert Rozman currently is the director of Princeton University's Council on Regional Studies as well as the head of the International Studies Program there. He has written and lectured extensively on Sino-Russian relations, Northeast Asian economic development and U.S.-Japan relations in the Asian arena. Among the many books he has written and edited in the past 20 years are Japan's Response To The Gorbachev Era, 1985-1991: A Rising Superpower Views A Declining One (Princeton, New Jersey: Princeton University Press, 1992) and Dismantling Communism: Common Causes And Regional Variation (Baltimore, Maryland: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1992).

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Weekly Review

New Asian Economic Grouping Debuts by Douglas Ostrom

What did six high-ranking financial officials from Asian Pacific economic powerhouses who met March 4 in Tokyo hope to accomplish, beyond agreeing to meet again a year from now in Singapore? That question lingered after a meeting of the deputy finance ministers of Japan, the United States, the People's Republic of China, Hong Kong, Singapore and Australia. Japanese analysts clearly saw parallels to the twice-yearly confabs of the central bankers and the finance ministers of the Group of Seven industrial nations. They dubbed the latest grouping the G-6. American officials and the U.S. press used the formal name, the Six Market Group, to describe the new forum.

 

Prospects For Japanese Role In Antimissile System May Be Dimming by Barbara Wanner

The window of opportunity for Japanese participation in a U.S.-proposed advanced antimissile system may be closing, judging from recent statements by both Japanese and American defense policymakers. A February 15 article in The New York Times quoted an unnamed senior U.S. official as saying that Tokyo had all but decided not to take part in the so-called Theater Missile Defense project due to budgetary strictures and concerns of possibly antagonizing the People's Republic of China. While using more neutral language, Japan Defense Agency director general Fumio Kyuma in February 28 remarks to lower house Budget Committee members suggested that The New York Times story was fairly on target.

 

Byte By Byte, Global Free Trade In High Technology Inches Closer by Christopher B. Johnstone

The world moved a step closer to free trade in information technology products March 1 when 39 countries and territories submitted formal commitments to phase out tariffs by the beginning of the next century on computer hardware, telecommunications equipment, semiconductors and other cutting-edge products. The eleventh-hour negotiations marked the successful conclusion of the first stage in finalizing the Information Technology Agreement, an arrangement that received broad endorsement from the major producers of high technology goods at last December's World Trade Organization ministerial meeting in Singapore.

 

Japanese PC Market Cools A Bit But Still Is Hot by Jon Choy

Japan's personal computer industry caught its breath in 1996 after the previous year's meteoric rise in sales -- if a 33 to 39 percent jump in sales can be considered relief. According to data from different market research companies and industry associations, the tidal wave of sales that washed through the domestic personal computer market in the mid-1990s has begun to ebb. Analysts agree, however, that new developments likely will keep the market in flux. American PC makers, which were riding high, have slipped lately, as deep-pocketed Japanese electronics producers have responded to the challenge.

 

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