The Asia-Pacific Journal: Japan Focus Newsletter
Newsletter No. 52. 2011  

December 26, 2011  
New Articles Posted
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In This Issue
Greetings in the Dragon Year!

Support for our campaign is deeply appreciated. This is the home stretch for our annual fundraising appeal to allow us to continue to make Asia-Pacific Journal available to all at no charge. We've  reached $8,400 toward our target of $10,000 which will allow us to continue to expand post-3.11 coverage of Japan and the Asia-Pacific and to operate for the coming year. Thanks to readers, authors and associates who have already responded to our appeal. We hope you will join them. We ask that you consider a donation of $25, $50, $100. We'd dearly like to wrap this up this week. Is it possible? To contribute, click on the above hot link, or  
go to our home page.

We continue to prioritize writing on the Fukushima nuclear meltdown disaster, in important instances providing both English and Japanese texts that enable us to communicate better with people on the ground in Japan. This includes translation of important Japanese texts, this week Nishioka Nobukatsu's "Toward a Peaceful Society Without Nuclear Energy: Understanding the Power Structures Behind the 3.11 Fukushima Nuclear Disaster," in John Junkerman's fine translation. We also provide Koide Hiroyuki's interview with Le Monde, translated by Paul Jobin. In addition, find articles on writer Hayashi Kyoko's linking of an hibakusha perspective on the bomb and the dangers of nuclear power. And Barry Sautman and Yan Hairong's assessment of Human Rights Watch analysis of Chinese mining in Africa.

Library subscriptions, permitting unlimited duplication of Focus articles, are available at $40/year to institutions. If you use Focus in courses, please contact us about an institutional subscription at our website. You can also support the Journal by buying books through our Amazon account by clicking on a book cover on our home page or in an article. A small payment for any book ordered (not just those listed here) when placing your order is credited to the Journal.

Our home page has two new features. One is a regularly updated guide to the more than 100 articles we have published on the 3.11 earthquake, tsunami and nuclear power meltdown which is transforming Japanese politics and society, and is reshaping issues of nuclear power and energy policy in that nation and globally. Articles are arranged topically. In addition, we have added a guide to some of the most important, and liveliest, 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 and widely read 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" offers 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. Find it at the top of the homepage.

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


More than 5,000 people now subscribe to Focus including 1,800 who follow us  through Twitter or Facebook, and their numbers are growing steadily. Please consider joining them by clicking at the appropriate link on our home page:    


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We invite authors, publishers and directors to bring their books, films and events on East Asia and the Pacific to the attention of our readers. See the home page for information about presenting relevant books and films at our site and for examples of authors, publishers and filmmakers who are presenting their work at the Journal. 

Thanks to readers who subscribe or become sustainers of the Journal, and who order books and other items through Amazon via our website. A small portion of the sales of books and any other products purchased when accessing the Amazon site through one of the book logos on our home page go to the Journal at no cost to you.   
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To access our full archive with more than 2,000 articles, and to view the most widely read articles through their titles or via our index, go here. 
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We have begun our fundraising appeal to allow us to continue to make Asia-Pacific Journal available to all at no charge. $10,000 will allow us to continue to expand post-3.11 coverage of Japan and the Asia-Pacific and to operate for the coming year.  We invite supporters, authors and readers who find the journal useful to join our sustainers by making a small contribution to support technical upgrades, defray technical, mailing and maintenance fees, and help us to expand outreach. As we have expanded our output since the 3.11 earthquake and tsunami, our costs have risen sharply. Recommended support level: $25 ($10 for students and residents of developing countries); $40 for institutions including libraries, research centers, government offices. If you experience difficulty in subscribing, write to us with the error message at 

Nishioka Nobuyuki, Nuclear Energy: Nationalize the Fukushima Daiichi Atomic Plant


At midnight on April 22, 2011, the Japanese government designated the zone within a 20-kilometer radius of the Fukushima nuclear power plant a controlled area under the Basic Law for Disaster Countermeasures. As a result, all entry into the zone was prohibited without special government permission. Some 78,000 people were separated from their homes, without knowing when they might return.

The government set the maximum exposure limit for children in Fukushima Prefecture at 20 millisieverts. The results of an analysis showing that the No. 1 reactor suffered a core meltdown the day after the earthquake were not released until more than two months had passed. Core meltdowns occurred in the No. 2 and 3 reactors as well. For a long stretch of time, data from the SPEEDI (System for the Prediction of Environmental Emergency Dose Information) network was not made public. Looking at this pattern, one gets the sense that the government had written off the people of Fukushima as if it were inevitable for some to die from radiation-caused diseases.

In Okinawa as well, we learned from the WikiLeaks site that the government was already telling the US at the end of 2009 that it had reverted to the plan to move Futenma airbase to Henoko. Turning a deaf ear to the consensus of the Okinawa people, from the governor on down, against relocating the base within the prefecture, the Japanese government's pledge to "carefully explain" matters amounts to telling Okinawa to renounce its demands for a reduction in the burden of US military bases on the island.

This important article examines the power structures of the Japanese state as revealed in its handling of two contentious issues: the 3.11 disasters and the question of construction of a new Okinawa base in the face of strong local opposition.

Nishioka Nobuyuki, born in Osaka in 1955, worked at Osaka City Office until 2001 before moving to Okinawa. He is an instructor at Okinawa International University.

John Junkerman is an American documentary filmmaker and Asia-Pacific Journal associate living in Tokyo. His film, "Japan's Peace Constitution" (2005), won the Kinema Jumpo and Japan PEN Club best documentary awards. It is available in North America from Icarus Films.

Recommended citation: Nishioka Nobuyuki, 'Toward a Peaceful Society Without Nuclear Energy: Understanding the Power Structures Behind the 3.11 Fukushima Nuclear Disaster,' The Asia-Pacific Journal Vol 9, Issue 52 No 2, December 26, 2011.


 Read more . . .
Koide Hiroaki, Nuclear Irresponsibility: Koide Hiroaki Interviewed by Le Monde

Last summer, the Asia-Pacific Journal highlighted the views of Hiroaki Koide, one of the leading critics of nuclear power from within Japan's scientific establishment and an important voice on Japan's current nuclear crisis. Koide, with four decades of experience as a nuclear engineer, is an Assistant Professor at Kyoto University's Research Reactor Institute. He has long been mired in that low academic rank because of his shift from support of nuclear power early in his career, to consistent criticism. Since the March 11 disasters, he has been especially prolific, publishing a series of books including Genpatsu no Uso (Nuclear lies), Shiritakunai keredo, Shitteokanebanaranai Genpatsu no Shinjitsu (What we don't want to know, what we must learn: Nuclear truths), and Kodomo-tachi ni tsutaetai: Genpatsu ga yurusarenai riyu (I want to tell the children: The reasons why nuclear power is unforgivable).
This is a full translation by Paul Jobin of the interview that Koide gave recently to Philippe Pons, the permanent correspondent of Le Monde in Japan.

What's Hot December 21, 2011.

 Read more . . .
Barry Sautman and Yan Hairong, Gilded Outside, Shoddy Within:The Human Rights Watch report on Chinese copper mining in Zambia

A November 2011 Human Rights Watch (HRW) report on labor abuses in mining firms in Zambia parented by state-owned enterprise (SOE) China Non-ferrous Metal Mining Co. (CNMC) has been a media sensation.

CNMC subsidiaries operate two copper mines and two copper processing plants in Zambia:Non-Ferrous Company Africa (NFCA), CNMC-Luanshya Copper Mines (CLM), Chambishi Copper Smelter (CCS), and Sino Metals Leach Zambia (Sino Metals). In 2010 CNMC's two mines accounted for 4.5% of the copper concentrate produced by foreign companies in Zambia and 4.2% of Zambia's total. Myriad news outlets and blogs have reported HRW's conclusions about CNMC: that the Chinese firms are 'bad employers' compared to the five Western-based major foreign investors in Zambia's copper mining industry; that they have the worst record on the safety of workers, pay, hours and union rights. Despite HRW's focus on one industry in one country, the report provokes inferences that accord with the larger, highly-skewed Western discourse of 'China-in-Africa.' Indeed, HRW asserts (p.1) that its report 'begin[s] to paint a picture of China's broader role in Africa.'
HRW investigations are widely assumed to be empirically accurate, methodologically sophisticated and politically neutral. We challenge these assumptions with respect to the HRW report on CNMC in Zambia, which draws empirically problematic conclusions and uses a dubious methodology.
Throughout the world, and notably throughout Africa and Asia, mining is dangerous and often low paid work with long working hours, particularly for irregular workers. These are serious problems to be addressed by workers and governments in all countries and internationally. The issue reviewed here, however, is the assessment of Chinese mines in comparison with other foreign-owned mines in Zambia.

Barry Sautman teaches in Hong Kong University of Science and Technology. He is the author of All that Glitters is not Gold: Tibet as a Pseudo-State, Maryland Series in Contemporary Asian Studies (Baltimore: University of Maryland School of Law no. 197), co-author with Yan Hairong, East Mountain Tiger, West Mountain Tiger: China, Africa, the West and "Colonialism", Maryland Series in Contemporary Asian Studies.

Yan Hairong teaches in Hong Kong Polytechnic University. She is the author of New Masters, New Servants: Migration, Development and Women Workers in China (Duke University Press, 2008).

Recommended citation: Barry Sautman and Yan Hairong, 'Gilded Outside, Shoddy Within:The Human Rights Watch report on Chinese copper mining in Zambia,'
The Asia-Pacific Journal Vol 9, Issue 52 No 1, December 26, 2011.

 Read more . . .
Justin Aukema, A Problem for all Humanity:  Nagasaki Writer Hayashi Kyoko Probes the Dangers of Nuclear Energy

Recent works have found renowned author and A-bomb survivor Hayashi Kyoko expanding her criticism of nuclear weapons to include nuclear power. This article looks at her criticisms of the nuclear disasters at Tokaimura in 1999 and Fukushima (ongoing), and her emphasis on the dangers of radiation as one which affects all humanity.

Justin Aukema is a graduate student at Sophia University in Tokyo. His current research is focused on the Japan air raids, as well as anti-war authors and films in Japan.  Previous work has included a study of the Smithsonian - Enola Gay Controversy titled The Smithsonian - Enola Gay Controversy:  Including Wisconsin Perspectives on the Atomic Bombings. He can be reached at

Recommended citation: Justin Aukema, 'A Problem for all Humanity:  Nagasaki Writer Hayashi Kyoko Probes the Dangers of Nuclear Energy,' The Asia-Pacific Journal Vol 9, Issue 52 No 3, December 26, 2011.

Read more . . .