US Sanctions Slow Huawei’s Rise, Ke Long Says
Chinese tech giant Huawei posted considerably slower revenue growth in 2020, due largely to stiffer US sanctions. Interviewed on NHK World, Senior Fellow Ke Long noted that with pressure from Washington increasing under the Joe Biden administration, Huawei may have to shift its focus to selling low- and middle-end products to developing markets.
China’s recent surge in patent filings, he added, is not a sign that the country has surpassed the United States as a global tech leader. The source of US innovation is diversity, he said, something that China is not embracing.
“Huawei Growth Slows as US Sanctions Take Toll,” NHK World
Latest Suga Scandal Likely Not “Fatal,” Sota Kato Tells Straits Times
Although a “wine-and-dine” scandal involving Yoshihide Suga’s eldest son has led to the resignation of the prime minister’s public relations secretary, the controversy is unlikely to prove fatal for the administration, Research Director Sota Kato told the Straits Times.
“Issues with the bureaucracy have been occurring one after another since the previous Abe administration,” Kato noted, “and people have become accustomed to this.”
Suga’s style of ignoring crises until “the public anger heightens,” though, does not instill confidence, as revealed by recent opinion polls showing him ranked fifth in the public’s choice for their next leader.
“As Public Loses Confidence in Suga, New Scandal Claims Biggest Scalp,” Straits Times
“Divine Winds” Needed for Suga to Stay in Power, Sota Kato Says
In a Straits Times article about Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga’s plummeting popularity, Research Director Sota Kato noted that the chances of “him still being prime minister at the end of 2021 is quite bleak.”
“Divine winds” (kamikaze) will be needed to blow on two fronts, Kato commented. “First . . . the economy makes a V-shaped recovery” thanks to COVID-19 vaccines, and “Second, the Olympics can be successfully held, causing a feel-good effect.”
“The public came to see Mr. Suga as a prime minister who is unable to take the initiative,” Kato added. “He needs to be more accountable, and to pray for the divine winds to blow.”
“Will Suga Still Be Japan’s PM at End of the Year?” Straits Times
China Must Work with New US Administration or Face Domestic Instability, Ke Tells NHK World
In an interview with NHK World, Senior Fellow Ke Long cautions that China will face serious economic problems if it does not make major concessions and work closely with the incoming Joe Biden administration in Washington.
“If there is further decoupling of the US and Chinese economies, we could see supply chains being reorganized and moved out of China,” Ke said.
“If multinationals leave the country, this will not only hinder the ability of Chinese companies to catch up technologically but also result in the loss of jobs, potentially leading to social instability.”
“New US Leadership Faces Unpredictable China,” NHK World
Controversy Points to Suga’s Aim to End Outdated Practices, Sota Kato Tells Straits Times
Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga’s rejection of six candidates for the Japan Science Council has triggered charges that the new administration is curtailing academic freedom. All six were critical of government policy when Suga was the chief cabinet minister.
But the move could signal Suga’s resolve to undo outdated practices, Research Director Sota Kato told the Straits Times. The prime minister’s “awareness for reforms is quite strong,” Kato said. “He has the know-how and personal connections to eliminate resistance from businesses or other groups with vested interests.”
“Controversy hits Suga, just 2½ weeks into tenure as PM,” Straits Times
Research Director Kobayashi Featured on NHK World Broadcast, “COVID-19: Battling the Resurgence”
Research Director Keiichiro Kobayashi was a featured panelist on NHK World’s “Global Agenda” episode on “COVID-19: Battling the Resurgence.”
The online broadcast, also featuring Ilona Kickbusch of the Graduate Institute Geneva, Ralph Baric of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and Gabriel Leung of the University of Hong Kong, focuses on how we can stay healthy and still save the economy as a second wave approaches in the midst of a recession.
“COVID-19: Battling the Resurgence,” Global Agenda, NHK World
Japanese Companies Caught in Rift between US and China, Ke Long tells Economist
Japanese companies with operations in China are in a “wait and see” mode, Senior Fellow Ke Long told The Economist, as the pandemic and the prospect of further US sanctions against Chinese companies are making them think about supply-chain stability, not just efficiency.
“Rebalancing Act,” The Economist
Foreign Policy Will Be a Challenge for PM, Comments Sota Kato
In quoting Research Director Sota Kato, Turkey’s Anadolu Agency notes that new Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga will face a challenge in working with other countries.
“Suga has no foreign policy experience,” Kato said, “so there is no knowing how effective he will be in international relations. It is hard to imagine Suga establishing the kind of personal rapport that Abe was able to build with other world leaders, notably [US President] Donald Trump.”
“Challenging Year Awaits Japan’s New Prime Minister Suga,” Anadolu Agency
Suga Is “Very Capable,” Kato Tells CBS News
In an article posted on CBSNews.com, Research Director Sota Kato characterizes Yoshihide Suga, Japan’s new prime minister, as “hardworking, very smart, very capable,” whose rise to the top was accomplished without money, connections, or an iconic political surname.
While Suga is regarded as a shrewd, detail-oriented backroom operator, “whether he can build personal relationships” with other world leaders, Kato notes, remains “a question mark.”
“Who Is Japan’s ‘Quiet’ New Leader, and How Will He Work with Donald Trump or Joe Biden?” CBS News
Suga Likely Next Prime Minister, Says Sota Kato
Commenting on the LDP presidential election slated for mid-September, Research Director Sota Kato told the Straits Times that Suga is the runaway favorite, noting that the only remaining questions is whether Kishida and Ishiba can attract enough votes so they can stage another run, “perhaps next year.”
“LDP election a three-horse race, with Suga the runaway favourite,” Straits Times