The Asia-Pacific Journal: Japan Focus Newsletter
Newsletter No. 42 2011  
October 17, 2011  
New Articles Posted
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In This Issue


Our home page has two new features. One is a guide to the more than 100 articles we have published on the 3.11 earthquake, tsunami and nuclear power meltdown which is transforming Japan and reshaping issues of nuclear power globally. Articles are arranged topically and will shortly be supplemented by a guide to other sources. Coming this week: a guide to online and print sources on 3.11 including blogs and websites. Secondly, the list of articles now indicates all articles available in Japanese translation or original, as well as other languages. Please draw the attention of colleagues and friends to our comprehensive coverage of 3.11.

Many of our most important articles appear in What's hot and they bring a diversity of sources and reports from Ground Zero in Tohoku and Tokyo. "What's hot" presents breaking stories and provides information beyond the headlines, to cast them in broader perspective. What's hot is regularly updated, at times on a daily basis, and we invite you to consult it and contribute to it.

We encourage those who wish continuing coverage of the earthquake and aftermath to follow Fukushima on Twitter!/FukushimaEng and the English and Japanese coverage on the Peace Philosophy Facebook page: 


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Miyagi Yasuhiro interviews Nago City Mayor Inamine Susumu, "Unacceptable and Unendurable:" Local Okinawa Mayor Says NO to US Marine Base Plan


The Futenma Marine Corps Base in Okinawa's Ginowan, often described as the most dangerous in the world, is situated in the midst of a densely populated area and has been the site of multiple accidents and clashes between the US military and Okinawans. The Japan-US agreement to have Henoko Village in Okinawa prefecture's Nago City as the site to transfer the Futenma Marine Corps Base when it is returned to Okinawa, dates back to the Special Action Committee on Okinawa (SACO) Agreement of 1996. Yet the issue of building a new base has been contested for fifteen years. Okinawa agreed to the transfer in 1999, albeit subject to several conditions, but a Japan-US agreement that was reached in 2005 to build the base on an enlarged scale ignored Okinawan conditions.1 The Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ) government in 2010, after reconsidering the Japan-US agreements, agreed on the same site. But popular will against relocating the Futenma base within Okinawa is so strong that the possibility of Okinawan acceptance of the Japan-US Agreement is virtually zero. I asked the Mayor of Nago City, site of the controversial planned base, for his honest opinion.

Inamine Susumu is Mayor of Nago City. After working at Nago City Office for thirty-eight years, including school superintendent from 2003 to 2007, he was elected Mayor on January 24, 2010 on a platform that included opposition to the plan to build a new Marine base in Henoko.

Miyagi Yasuhiro is former Nago City Assembly member (1998-2006). He was instrumental in the 1997 Nago citizens' plebiscite that resulted in the majority voting against the new base plan.

Recommended Citation: Miyagi Yasuhiro interviews Nago Mayor Inamine Susumu, '"Unacceptable and Unendurable:" Local Okinawa Mayor Says NO to US Marine Base Plan,' The Asia-Pacific Journal Vol 9, Issue 42 No 2, October 17, 2011.



 Read more . . .
Hase Michiko, "We want genpatsu in Tokyo!" - The new sarcastic edge of Japan's anti-nuclear demos

"We want genpatsu [nuclear power plant] in Tokyo!"
"Japanese nuclear power plants are so safe that we could even build one in Tokyo Bay."
"Radiation can't get to you if you're smiling. It only gets to people who are worried."
"Fukushima has become famous without doing anything. It beat Hiroshima and Nagasaki."
"It's safe to drink plutonium."
"Radiation is good for your health."
            These are some of the quotes on the signs carried by some 110 demonstrators in Tokyo on September 25, 2011. [1]  The colorfully clad marchers chanted them cheerfully,  insisting that "genpatsu are absolutely necessary for Japan's economic growth" and that building one in Tokyo, the largest consumer of electricity, would be most efficient.

 Read more . . .
Robert Jacobs, The Atomic Bomb and Hiroshima on the Silver Screen: Two New Documentaries

Two valuable new documentaries on atomic weapons and their human legacy offer new light on the inner world of atomic testing and weapons manufacture and the impact of the bomb on atomic test areas in the United States, on Bikini, and Hiroshima.

They are M.T. Sylvia's "Atomic Mom" and Kathy Sloane's "Witness to Hiroshima."

Robert Jacobs is an associate professor at the Hiroshima Peace Institute at Hiroshima City University. He is the author of The Dragon's Tail: Americans Face the Atomic Age  and the editor of Filling the Hole in the Nuclear Future: Art and Popular Culture Respond to the Bomb.

Recommended citation: Robert Jacobs, 'The Atomic Bomb and Hiroshima on the Silver Screen: Two New Documentaries,' The Asia-Pacific Journal Vol 9, Issue 42 No 3, October 17, 2011.

Read more . . .
Miyamoto Teru translated and introduced by Roger K. Thomas, A Tale of Tomatoes

Miyamoto Teru (b. 1947), whose large and devoted readership is characterized by its social and geographical diversity, is admired for his uncommon ability to weave absorbing narratives out of the warp and woof of ordinary life, his working-class characters from the Kansai region evincing a universal appeal.  Miyamoto's world is one neither of the traditional aesthetics that once mesmerized large audiences nor of the otaku culture that now holds such fascination for the young (and not-so-young)-nor does one encounter in his works the surprising flights of fancy typical of Murakami Haruki-but for those very reasons his fiction reflects with fidelity the reality experienced by the great majority of Japanese.  "A Tale of Tomatoes" (Tomato no hanashi) first appeared in the literary journal Bungakukai in 1981, and the present translation is taken from the recently published collection Phantom Lights.  It shares with Miyamoto's other short stories an evocative recounting of an incident from the narrating character's past-in this case an incident that closely parallels one of the author's own experiences.  A part of every reader's psyche remains buried under the asphalt along with that urgent letter.

Miyamoto Teru is one of Japan's most popular writers. A winner of the Akutagawa Prize for "Firefly River" (Hotarugawa), his work has been translated into multiple languages. His Kinshu: Autumn Brocade, was also translated by Roger K. Thomas.
Roger K. Thomas is a Professor of East Asian languages and cultures and director of the program in East Asian Studies at Illinois State University.

Recommended citation: Miyamoto Teru and Roger K. Thomas, 'A Tale of Tomatoes,' The Asia-Pacific Journal Vol 9, Issue 42 No 1, October 17, 2011.

Read more . . .