Browse our analysis section for news and articles on topics such as China's Belt and Road Initiative (OBOR), the Competing Visions of Japan, India, and other regional powers, and the stakes for U.S. policy.
The Blue Dot Network (BDN)—an effort by the United States, Japan, and Australia to promote high-quality global infrastructure—holds promise and should be encouraged, but many unanswered questions about its implementation will need to be addressed for the initiative to achieve its desired impact.
Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has crafted a China policy that mixes caution with engagement, for example, expanding the U.S.-Japan security alliance while also jointly funding Belt and Road projects, Nikkei reports.
New legislation will allow Japan to support the construction of liquefied natural gas terminals across Asia, positioning Tokyo to take advantage of a rapidly growing LNG market, Nikkei reports.
Indonesia is seeking further Japanese investment in the Natuna Islands following tensions with Beijing over a standoff between Chinese and Indonesian vessels in neighboring waters, Nikkei reports.
Alternative infrastructure investment initiatives led by Japan, India, and Australia indicate that China’s Belt and Road Initiative is likely to face increased pressure in 2020, Nikkei reports.
President of Uzbekistan Shavkat Mirziyoyev is looking to carry out projects with Japan worth over $6 billion to establish closer bilateral relations in areas such as power generation and agriculture, Nikkei reports.
In order to accomplish a nationwide 5G rollout by the first half of 2020, Malaysia is looking to Chinese and Japanese telecommunications companies to supply the needed technology and expertise. Proposals are currently dominated by Huawei, and Malaysian officials have affirmed the country's willingness to work with the controversial Chinese firm, Nikkei reports.
According to Fitch Solutions, Tokyo-backed projects in Southeast Asia have topped $367 billion, outspending China and making Japan the top provider of infrastructure and development aid in the region, Nikkei reports.
Indonesia is in talks with Japan and the U.S. to establish a sovereign wealth fund for infrastructure and other development projects. The fund will help cover the estimated $33 billion needed to develop the country's new capital in East Kalimantan, Nikkei reports.
The China-Pakistan Economic Corridor is of significant concern to India, which views the corridor as a violation of its sovereignty, according to India’s Minister of External Affairs Subrahmanyam Jaishankar. However, in an interview with Nikkei, Jaishankar did not criticize the broader Belt and Road Initiative, stating that each country has the right to its own policies.
As the U.S. ban on sales to Huawei forces the company to turn to other suppliers, Huawei is increasingly looking to Japan for procurement and R&D collaboration, Nikkei reports.
The Japan Bank for International Cooperation is backing Sri Lanka's first issuance of bonds in the Japanese market amid concerns about rising debt levels in the South Asian country.
U.S. Exim Bank and Japan's state-backed Nippon Export and Investment Insurance have signed a deal enabling them to jointly mitigate export risks faced by Japanese-led energy and other infrastructure projects that have U.S. participation, Nikkei reports.
While Chinese carriers are expected to lauch the world's largest 5G network, on Thursday, Sony, NTT and Intel announced that they will form a partnership to work on 6G mobile network technology, to be announced around 2030. The three new partners want to establish an organization in the U.S. by next spring, reports Nikkei.
During a recent trip to Tokyo, Pakistan's President, Arif-ur-Rehman Alvi, expressed hope that both Japan and China will continue to invest in the country's infrastructure to help spur economic development, Nikkei reports.
The provincial government of Sindh, Pakistan is looking to Japan for funding for the Karachi Circular Railway, previously funded through the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor, Nikkei reports.
On October 17, the CSIS Japan Chair hosted the governor of the Japan Bank for International Cooperation, Tadashi Maeda, to discuss the role of infrastructure development in maintaining a free and open Pacific region and responding to China's Belt and Road Initiative.
In a recent poll of 50 major Japanese companies, 80 percent reported that they are using Huawei, despite international concern about security risks. This statistic does not take into account the many companies which declined to respond, Nikkei reports.
The timetable for an $83 billion project to build an ultrafast magnetic-levitation rail line between Tokyo and Nagoya has been delayed due to environmental concerns, Nikkei reports.
Leaders from Japan and Africa on Friday agreed on the need for infrastructure development that accounts for a country's ability to pay off debt, a veiled reference to China's Belt and Road Initiative, Nikkei reports.
Japan is encouraging its companies to work with African startups in a push to boost its national profile on the continent and compete with Chinese investment under its Belt and Road infrastructure initiative, Nikkei reports.
Japan has pledged to invest $2.84 billion in Africa's infrastructure to encourage transparency, in what some have interpreted as a response to corruption allegations linked to China's Belt and Road Initiative.
On June 28-29, government leaders representing 85 percent of the global economy convened for the fourteenth G20 Summit in Osaka, Japan. In the wake of the meeting, the CSIS Simon Chair in Political Economy hosted experts including Japan's ambassador to the G20, Koji Tomita, to discuss major outcomes, including China's endorsement of the G20 Principles for Quality Infrastructure Investment.
Japan will announce a new plan for Mynamar's Dawei special economic zone that focuses on building a port that will export to India. The proposal comes as China is building and financing Kyaukphyu port, increasing its economic influence in the country, reports Nikkei.
On the sidelines of the Group of 20 Summit in Osaka, Prime Minister Narendra Modi held a trilateral meeting with U.S. President Donald Trump and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe to discuss areas for cooperation on connectivity and infrastructure in the Indo-Pacific, Nikkei reports.
It is critical that public-sector officials responsible for infrastructure development—both at the local and national levels—commit to transparent practices to secure sustainable financing mechanisms.
Government-backed lenders in Japan, the U.S., and Australia plan to issue a statement on their joint infrastructure efforts, including possible joint-financing for an liquefied natural gas terminal in Papua New Guinea. The three countries agreed in November to collaborate on infrastructure projects in the Indo-Pacific as an alternative to China's Belt and Road initiative, according to the Nikkei Asian Review.
The U.S.-China trade war has spurred ASEAN members to complete the negotiation of the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP). The Asian leaders will also look to find areas of cooperation in digital infrastructure, reports Nikkei Asian Review.
Newly seated World Bank President David Malpass says the multilateral organization is working hard to ensure Beijing improves transparency in lending to countries involved in its Belt and Road Initiative, Nikkei reports.
Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte visited Japan last month, his third visit in less than three years. In Tokyo, Duterte collected close to $6 billion in bilateral investment deals, including infrastructure, reports the Nikkei Asian Review.
South Korea, the U.S. and Japan lead the rollout of 5G networks, but industry leaders say that applications designed to use the next-generation technology are years away, reports the Nikkei Asian Review.
Japan's MUFG Bank will set up a $924.4 million fund - the largest-ever such fund by a Japanese bank - to invest in infrastructure projects overseas by the end of 2019. The fund will target renewable energy and transportation projects, reports the Nikkei Asian Review.
Rakuten, Japan's newest wireless carrier has chosen NEC Corp., a domestic supplier, to build out its 5G network as carriers in Japan and elsewhere shun equipment made by China's Huawei Technologies, reports the Nikkei Asian Review.
At this week's Group of 20 meeting in Japan, finance ministers and central bankers are expected to sign sustainable infrastructure investment guidelines to help prevent developing economies from taking on dangerous amounts of debt, reports the Nikkei Asian Review.
Cambodia and other nations across Southeast Asia are emerging as vital staging grounds for a new form of power struggle between China and its rivals. The growth of Beijing's vast Belt and Road Initiative since 2013 has galvanized the U.S. and its allies -- including Japan, India and Australia -- and prompted them to draw up infrastructure and security programs of their own, writes Gwen Robinson for the Nikkei Asian Review
The biggest commercial bank in Japan is one of the latest Asian lenders to consider a ban on funding for new coal-fired power stations. Asian banks are recognizing the global threat from climate change and pulling back financing for the world's most carbon-intensive energy source, Nikkei reports.
As this year's host of the Group of 20 countries, Tokyo is taking the opportunity to push a novel idea: quality infrastructure investment, or QII, reports the Nikkei Asian Review.
ASEAN members plus China, Japan and South Korea agreed to create a framework insuring private funding for infrastructure projects of up to $1.5 billion under a new program to be called the Infrastructure Investors Partnership, reports Nikkei.
If China's push to build a massive, continent-spanning economic zone is to yield true benefits for all involved, Beijing must shift its policy course and embrace internationally accepted norms for the BRI, reports the Nikkei Asian Review.
Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and Italian PM Giuseppe Conte agreed to uphold Japan's four conditions for high-quality infrastructure during a bilateral summit in Rome. Italy recently signed on to China's Belt and Road Initiative, sparking concerns the country would fall prey to "debt-trap diplomacy," reports Nikkei.
Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe will visit Slovakia later this month, where he plans to offer Eastern European leaders Japanese-financed infrastructure investments. Abe is expected to raise concerns about China's so-called debt-trap diplomacy, presenting Japan's approach as an alternative to the Belt and Road Initiative, reports Nikkei.
China's foreign minister Wang Yi pressed the Japanese government to reverse a ban on Huawei from competing for Japan's 5G procurement contracts. This development comes as the Chinese government steps in to defend Huawei against a campaign by the United States pushing allies to exclude the company's equipment from their 5G networks out of national security concerns, reports Nikkei.
Major Japanese companies across industrial sectors are signing partnerships with Japanese telecommunication firms to develop products and services that make use of the super-charged national 5G network, set to open in 2020. The Japanese government is encouraging these partnerships, claiming that 5G will be the "basic infrastructure" of the 21st century, reports Nikkei.
Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte will visit Japan in late May to discuss infrastructure projects the Japanese government is supporting in the Philippines, including the country's first-ever subway line in Manila. Duterte has also recently confirmed through a spokesman that he will attend April's international Belt and Road conference in Beijing, reports the Nikkei Asian Review.
Japan plans to propose new guidelines on development assistance, tentatively titled the "G-20 principles on quality infrastructure investment,” when it hosts the Group of 20 summit in June. The proposal, which will frame anti-corruption and fiscal sustainability as key principles of infrastructure investment, is seen as an attempt to check China’s Belt and Road Initiative, reports Nikkei.
The Philippines held a groundbreaking ceremony for the country's first subway line under President Rodrigo Duterte's infrastructure push. The Japanese government is giving full backing to the project. The design and construction work will be implemented by a four-member consortium of Japanese contractors, reports the Nikkei Asian Review.
The U.S. should not conditionalize its infrastructure diplomacy to exclude or de-prioritize countries that participate in China’s Belt and Road. Extending support on an open basis will offer the broadest menu of options to governments and ensure that connectivity integrates, rather than divides, the Indo-Pacific.
Taking effect Friday, The economic partnership agreement between Japan and the European Union incorporates wide-ranging regulations on data transfer and intellectual property protection. The trade deal could help establish precedent for the digital field, Nikkei reports.