The Asia-Pacific Journal: Japan Focus Newsletter
Newsletter No. 5. 2012   

January 30, 2012   
New Articles Posted
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In This Issue

 Stephen Roach, Mark Selden,     


In the coming weeks we plan to offer an expanded What's Hot section with brief and timely articles on our signature themes, including reprints and commentaries.

Thank you to the many who supported our campaign. We're pleased to report that your response to our
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We take a certain pride in our coverage of events in Fukushima and Tohoku over the last year and urge you to have a look at what we've done. Your support allows us to continue to expand post-3.11 coverage of Japan and the Asia-Pacific in the coming year as Japan continues to face the gravest challenges since its defeat in war nearly seven decades ago. Of course, it remains possible to contribute if you've not already done so. Click on the above hot link, or go to our   
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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:


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Stephen S. Roach and Mark Selden, China's Connectivity Revolution


Stephen S. Roach, presently a member of the Yale faculty and Non-Executive Chairman of Morgan Stanley Asia, is among the most astute analysts of East Asian finance and development. In the present essay on "China's Connectivity Revolution," however, he embraces every element of the internet utopianism that has surfaced in recent years, here drawing on the soaring figures on internet, Twitter and Facebook use in China and globally. In these figures, he and others conclude, can be found the race of countless millions to the new middle class and, of equal importance, a global communications revolution ushering in political revolution.
Roach rightly draws attention to the rapid growth of internet penetration in both urban and rural China with usage tripling by 2011 to 485 million users in just five years. As with all Chinese numbers, the figures are humongous, although in this instance market penetration rates are only 36% compared with high end countries like Japan and Korea as well as the United States with close to 80% penetration. In addition, 270 million Chinese are participating in social networks. Levels of market penetration will surely continue to skyrocket in coming years. In Shenzhen a year ago, for example, I was struck by the near universal use of cell phones by migrant workers earning minimum wages.
The question, however, is the significance of the phenomenon: in terms of consumption patterns, class formation, social and political communication. It is here that caution is warranted.

January 29, 2012.


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