FROM Nicholas Szechenyi
A Japanese prime minister to Visit Pearl Harbor for first time This is the 75th anniversary of Japan’s attack on Pearl Harbor, which brought the US into World War II. Later this month, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe will become the first leader of his country to visit there. Just this past May, Barack Obama was the first US President to visit Hiroshima, the city destroyed by an American nuclear weapon. Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and President Barack Obama shake hands at the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park on May 27, 2016 Official White House Photo We hear more about the significance of this visit from Jennifer Lind, Professor of Government at Dartmouth College, and Nicholas Szechenyi, Deputy Director on Japan at the Center for Strategic and International Studies.
The Big One Hits Japan The death toll from today's massive 8.9 earthquake and subsequent tsunami in Japan has already reached into the hundreds and is expected to rise. Thousands have been evacuated around a nuclear power plant. We learn about possible problems with nuclear power plants and other angles on the most severe earthquake in 100 years.
The President's Trip to Asia: Substance and Symbols President Obama has left for a week in Asia as American influence has been on the decline, while China's influence is increasing. So "the overarching theme" of the President's trip will be that the US is a Pacific nation engaged with Asia "in a very comprehensive way." That's what the National Security Council's been telling reporters.
The President's Trip to Asia: Substance and Symbols As the US continues to struggle out of recession, Asia currently is regarded as the most economically dynamic place in the world. In high-profile visits to four countries in eight days, President Obama will express what the State Department calls "strategic reassurance." We hear what that means to allies, including Japan and South Korea, and to China, which the President describes as both a competitor and a "vital partner," one whose influence is increasing. We also hear about conflicts with different countries and broader issues of human rights, global warming, Iran and Afghanistan.
A New Era in Japanese Politics? Japan's Liberal Democrats have governed the country almost continuously since democracy was established after World War II. Now the new Democratic Party has won in a landslide, based partly on doing away with American-style pro-market reforms. During the recent election campaign, the likely new Prime Minister railed against American-style capitalism as "void of morals or moderation." Now he says he "did not present an anti-American way of thinking over all." Nicholas Szechenyi is Assistant Director on Japan at the Center for Strategic and International Studies.
Secretary Rice in Japan to Discuss Response to North Korea North Korea's atomic test has raised the possibility of a nuclear arms race in Asia. In Tokyo today, on the first stop of a hastily planned trip to the region, Secretary of State Rice said the US will use the " full range " of its military might if necessary to defend Japan.
Is the threat from Russia missing from the Russia meddling probe? There's much being made about the Trump administration's possible ties with Russia. But the bottom line is Russia's effort to influence American democracy. Do the President and his aides care enough to take action before voters go back to the polls?
Will the Senate write a healthcare bill in secret? While Democrats and Republicans argue White House relations with Russia, another question is being decided behind closed doors: who gets help buying health insurance and who doesn't? We hear how the pros and cons are being shrouded in secrecy.
Human Rights in the era of Donald Trump President Trump’s UN Ambassador, Nikki Haley, said today the US might pull out of the United Nations’ Human Rights Council. Serious violators of human rights are members of the Council itself–and a US resignation could make things worse. Later on today’s show, now that he’s into his second term, comedian turned US Senator Al Franken is telling jokes again.