The Asia-Pacific Journal: Japan Focus Newsletter
Newsletter No. 23. 2013    

June 10, 2013    
New Articles Posted
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Asia Pacific Journal NEW Free Downloadable Course Readers!!!


The Asia Pacific Journal: Japan Focus announces the release of our second set of volume-length e-book compilations of essays on selected topics with explanatory introductions by scholars. The volume editors have chosen articles from the archive that lend themselves particularly well to classroom use and work well as a set.All volumes have been peer-reviewed, in addition to the initial review process before each article was originally posted, and we have permission from all verified copyright holders.

Students like the fact that the articles areavailable 24-7, are storable on-line, searchable, and cost nothing to them. The readers can also be highlighted, annotated, printed, and include convenient bookmarks to navigate to the beginning of each article.


New Course Readers:

** The Japanese Empire: Colonial Lives and Postcolonial Struggle edited by Kirsten Ziomek

** Japan's "Abandoned People" in the Wake of Fukushima edited by Brian Earl

** Public Opinion on Nuclear Power in Japan after the Fukushima Disaster edited by Brian Earl

** The Politics of Memory in Japan and East Asia edited by Sven Saaler & Justin Aukema


They join the 2012 publications:

  1. War and Visual Culture edited by Hong Kal and Jooyeon Rhee.
  2. Environmental History edited by Eiko Maruko Siniawer.
  3. War in Japanese Popular Culture edited by Matthew Penney.
  4. Women and Japan's Political Economy edited by Valerie Barske.  

The topics of other volumes currently in preparation include:  

** Japan and the American-led Wars in Afghanistan and Iraq.

** Ethnic Minorities and Japan.

** Globalization and Japanese Popular Culture: Mixing It Up.

** Japanese Intellectual Currents of the Twentieth Century.

** Putting Okinawa at the Center.


To Download a Volume: The volumes are downloadable from the Asia-Pacific Journal website as searchable PDFs. From the home page, please click on the button marked Course Readers at the top and center of the page, or go directly to the course reader page. Interested viewers may download a copy of any reader by clicking on the appropriate link at the course readers home page and entering their email address. In addition, viewers may directly download the table of contents of each course reader for a preview of the volume.


The Editorial Board for this project consists of Mark Caprio; Rikkyo University; Lonny Carlile, University of Hawai'i, Parks Coble, University of Nebraska; Sabine Früstück, UC-Santa Barbara; A. Tom Grunfeld, Empire State College; Laura Hein, Northwestern University; James Huffman, Wittenberg University; Jeffrey Kingston, Temple University-Japan; Susan Long, John Carroll University; Laura Miller, University of Missouri, St. Louis; Mark Ravinia, Emory University; Mark Selden, APJ-Japan Focus; Stephen Vlastos, University of Iowa.


If you are interested in creating a volume yourself, wish to participate as a reviewer and editor, have suggestions for new topics, or want to discuss another aspect of this project, please contact Laura Hein at


Although the course readers are free, we welcome donations to support the Journal and this initiative; please note the red button Sustaining APJ on the left side of the APJ home page.




All recent articles  are now available on Kindle, as are several recent articles. If you experience any difficulty in accessing them, please let us know at



Our home page has a category Featured Articles. This will take you to the most widely read articles of recent times and over our decade of publication. Check it out to discover some of the most important work that has appeared in the journal..

What have been the most widely read articles at APJ? To find out, click on "Top Ten Articles" at the top of the home page, for the top articles of the last month, last year, last five years and last decade.

Our home page has a number of important features. There is a powerful search engine that permits search by author, title, and keyword, found in top left of the home page. For most purposes, author's surname or a keyword entered in Title is most useful. Another 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.  Second, the list of articles now indicates all those available in Japanese translation or original, as well as other languages.

Many thanks to all who contributed to our annual fund-raiser. APJ will continue to be available free to all in 2013. If you missed the opportunity to join our sustainers, you can still do so by going to the red sustainer button on our home page to contribute via Paypal or credit card. Or, if you prefer, we can accept checks on US banks: write to us at  Thank you for your support. 

More than 6,000 people now subscribe to APJ, either through our Newsletter or the more than 2,700 who follow us  through Twitter or Facebook, whose numbers are growing steadily. Please consider joining them by clicking at the appropriate link on our home page.       


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.

Contact Japan Focus by email at

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. 
Subscription information
The Asia-Pacific Journal is freely available to all. We invite those who wish to support our work by allowing us to make technical upgrades, defray technical, mailing and maintenance fees, and to enable us to expand our output since the 3.11 earthquake and tsunami. 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 
Sawada Shoji, Scientists and Research on the Effects of Radiation Exposure: From Hiroshima to Fukushima

In March 2011 disaster struck the TEPCO Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant. This incident compelled me to re-examine exactly how Japan became a nuclear energy giant, despite having suffered the consequences of nuclear weapons three times - the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, and the Bikini Atoll hydrogen bomb test. I took a look back at the 1950s when nuclear power generation was first adopted and examined some of the records of the time. In this important article, physicist Sawada Shoji rigorously examines issues of internal and external radiation consequences of the atomic bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki and the 3.11 meltdown.


Professor Emeritus Sawada Shoji is a physicist at Nagoya University. He was born in 1931. At 13 he experienced the atomic bombing in Hiroshima. In 1999 he co-authored The Truth about Radiation Damage from the Hiroshima and Nagasaki Blasts (Kyodo Kenkyu Hiroshima Nagasaki Genbaku Higai No Jisso), published by Shin-Nihon Publishing.


Recommended Citation: Sawada Shoji, "Scientists and Research on the Effects of Radiation Exposure: From Hiroshima to Fukushima," The Asia-Pacific Journal, Vol. 11, Issue 23, No. 2. June 10, 2013.



Jon Mitchell, "Deny, deny until all the veterans die" - Pentagon investigation into Agent Orange on Okinawa




In April 2011, U.S. veterans spoke out for the first time about sicknesses related to Agent Orange exposure on Okinawa during the Vietnam War era. Since then, dozens of retired service members have alleged that toxic herbicides were stored and sprayed on the island - as well as buried in large volumes on Futenma Air Station and, what is now, a popular tourist area in Chatan Town. Japanese former base workers have corroborated veterans' accounts and photographs seem to show barrels of these herbicides on Okinawa. U.S. military documents cite the presence of Agent Orange there during the 1960s and '70s.


Suggestions that these poisonous substances were widely used on their island have worried Okinawa residents. Stories about the usage of Agent Orange have repeatedly made the front page of Okinawa Times and Ryukyu Shimpo as well as becoming the basis of four TV documentaries - including the award-winning Defoliated Islandavailable in English as well as Japanese and other languages. .



Jon Mitchell is a Welsh-born journalist based in Yokohama and an Asia-Pacific Journal associate. He has written extensively about Okinawa during the Vietnam War and the history of the island's human rights movement.


Reccommended citation: Jon Mitchell, "'Deny, deny until all the veterans die' - Pentagon investigation into Agent Orange on Okinawa," The Asia-Pacific Journal, Vol. 11, Issue 23, No. 1. June 10, 2013.



Read more . . . 

Andrew DeWit, Abenomics Needs a Reboot Rather than Nuclear Restarts


A June 2 article in Bloomberg by the deservedly respected University of California at San Diego Professor of Japanese Business, Ulrike Schaede, makes the argument that Abenomics requires nuclear restarts in order to work.1 Professor Schaede presents an overview of Japan's present circumstances on energy, and concludes that "Japan has only one viable course of action: It cannot afford not to turn its nuclear-power plants back on." In the present article, I suggest that Japan cannot restart its nuclear capacity in the time-frame suggested by Professor Schaede. And drawing on recent research by Japanese and American experts, I shall argue that Japan's best bet is in accelerating its efficiency and conservation programmes.

Andrew DeWit is Professor in the School of Policy Studies at Rikkyo University and an Asia-Pacific Journal coordinator. With Iida Tetsunari and Kaneko Masaru, he is coauthor of "Fukushima and the Political Economy of Power Policy in Japan," in Jeff Kingston (ed.) Natural Disaster and Nuclear Crisis in Japan.



Recommended citation: Andrew DeWit, "Abenomics Needs a Reboot Rather than Nuclear Restarts," The Asia-Pacific Journal, Vol. 11, Issue 23, No. 3. June 10, 2013.

John Mathews and Mei-Chih Hu, Renewable Energy vs. Nuclear Power: Taiwan's energy future in light of Chinese, German and Japanese experience since 3.11


This article reviews the current debate in Taiwan over the future of nuclear power in the country's energy mix. Rather than debate a pro- or anti-nuclear stance, the authors develop the argument that Taiwan has more to gain in promoting renewable energy industries than in sticking with the nuclear option, both in terms of energy security and of building export platforms for tomorrow. Taiwan is justifiably proud of its achievement in building three 'pillar industries' in semiconductors, flat panel displays and PCs. Now it should be getting ready to add a fourth pillar industry, of comparable success  -  concentrated solar power (CSP) plants, solar PV, wind power, and wider renewable energy sources industry - utilizing all the institutional and entrepreneurial strategies perfected in Taiwan's earlier development.   



John Mathews Macquarie Graduate School of Management, Macquarie University  Sydney  NSW 2109 Australia.

Mei-Chih Hu, Institute of Technology Management, National TsingHua University, Hsinchu, Taiwan. 

Recommended citation:John Mathews and Mei-Chih Hu, "Renewable Energy vs. Nuclear Power:Taiwan's energy future in light of Chinese, German and Japanese experience since 3.11," The Asia-Pacific Journal, Vol. 11, Issue 23, No. 4. June 10, 2013.


Thierry Ribault,
UN Special Rapporteur Anand Grover on Fukushima: A Stunning Report Brushed Aside by the Japanese Government


On May 27, Anand Grover, Special Rapporteur to the United Nations Human Rights Council, released a report on his November 2012 mission to Fukushima. The UN Council did their job - to protect - or at least clearly expressed their intention to do so. This article outlines the main conclusions of Grover's sharply critical report

. Posted June 10, 2013.     



Thierry Ribault is co-author with Nadine Ribault of : Les Sanctuaires de l'abîme - Chronique du désastre de Fukushima - published by Les Éditions de l'Encyclopédie des Nuisances, Paris, 2012. He is also co-editor, with Christine Lévy of: Catastrophy and Humanism - An overview after the march 11 disaster 震災とヒューマニズム     3・11の破局をめぐって published by Akashi Shoten, Tokyo, 2013.


 A French version of this article was published on the RUE89 website.