27 May 2016

Each week on the Policy File we round-up some essential weekend policy reading from around the web. This week we look at the G7 Summit and Obama’s upcoming trip to Hiroshima, the Australian federal election, and energy policies in the Asia-Pacific. 

The G7 Summit takes place this week in Japan and is expected to be a major opportunity to present Japan under Prime Minister Shinzo Abe as a key member of the international community. Kiichi Fujiwara at The Japan Times takes a look at what international issues will be discussed, with Tim Worstall at Forbes saying while the summit is important, it is being overshadowed by the US-Japanese disagreement over currency values.

During his visit to Japan, President Obama plans to visit Hiroshima, where an American B-29 bomber dropped the world’s first deployed atomic bomb. The visit will be the first time a sitting American President has visited the city since the end of World War II. On Policy Forum, Stephen R Nagy takes a look at the many messages of Obama’s visit and says it has significant political ramifications both domestically and internationally.

On The National Interest, Dennis Blair and Hiroko Maeda take a look at the US-Japan strategy for China, while on New Mandala, Nicholas Borroz and Jack Myint look at why Washington needs to strengthen its economic ties with Southeast Asia.

The Australian federal election is now in full swing, with education, health and the economy all crowding the agenda. On Policy Forum, Rory Medcalf looks at the missing link in Australia’s national security strategy, while on Quadrant, former Australian Prime Minister, Tony Abbott takes a look back at his leadership and says, “I was right about national security.”

On The Strait Times, Euan Graham examines Australia-Singapore ties, while on the ABC, Jo Lauder tackles privacy issues and says whistleblower Edward Snowden wants Australians to care more about protecting their privacy, describing it as “the right to individuality”.

Another Australian election issue fueling debate this month is foreign aid, with more cuts announced in the recently released federal budget. Michael Sheldrick at the Huffington Post, says cuts to foreign aid are also cuts to the economy, while Camilla Burkot at DevPolicy Blog takes a closer look at Australian aid to Papua New Guinea.

Ron Duncan analyses the long-term impact of aid and economic growth in Pacific Island economies, while on The Diplomat, Mohammad Samim looks at Afghanistan’s ‘addiction’ to foreign aid. On NPR, Jasmine Garsd asks whether the US should reconsider its stand on foreign aid for abortion clinics in Latin America.

Energy policy has become a key issue for the Asia-Pacific region, with climate change forcing leaders to ramp up their efforts to reduce emissions and find alternative energy sources. On Policy Forum, Sara Itagaki looks at how Fukushima changed Japan’s energy use, while at Science Direct, Xiaoli Zhao assesses the effectiveness of China’s wind power policy.

Don’t forget you can debate key public policy issues by joining the Asia and the Pacific Policy Society’s LinkedIn group – a closed group exclusive to Society members.  Be part of the conversation – we’ll see you there.

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Hayward, K. (2016). The Policy File - Policy Forum. [online] Policy Forum. Available at: http://www.policyforum.net/27may16/