An Australian think tank called Japan the new “leader of liberal order in Asia” as it is ranked as the No. 3 power in the region being China and the United States, according to a new index power in the region. The release of the Lowy Institute Asia Power Index 2019 comes as Japan is stepping into a more powerful position and its Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is welcoming US President Donald Trump on a 4 day state visit.
These three powers are greatly influencing the region but the key question is just how much experience and leadership Japan can bring to the table. Japan has been a great power but the question is just how much it can lead in a fair manner with populism and nationalism rising throughout the region. The Australian survey ranked 25 countries and territories in terms of their capacity to influence regional events, evaluating state power through 126 indicators across eight thematic measures of military, economic, and cultural influences to name a few.
This article was sourced from the Japan Times, Jesse Johnson, 29 May, 2019 (we used our internal sources as well).
Japan, despite having limited resources achieved a rank of 4 in the top four areas of influence measures. In geopolitical terms, Japan has increased its military spending but there are others who are spending faster. Note that Japan spent about $42 billion on military and this number has increased by 50% since PM Abe took power. Japan has spent more on its Air Force and Navy, to project power. And it has built some sophisticated destroyers that can be turned into aircraft carriers, tools that Japan will need in the next decade and beyond to meet the challenge from China.