|The Asia-Pacific Journal: Japan Focus Newsletter|
Newsletter No. 27. 2013
July 8, 2013
Is Abenomics a slick public relations campaign to deceive the electorate paving the way for Constitutional revision? Perhaps so, but as Andrew DeWit shows, behind the scenes, throughout Japan's localities, and even within the bureaucracy, there are surprising green stirrings and the emergence of a new energy policy that looks behind the headlines of nuclear restarts. Two related articles place the Marines in the spotlight. Leevin Camacho and Daniel Broudy limn recent developments in US plans to further expand the US Marine template in Guam and throughout the Marianas, and resistance to it. Sato Manabu provides an Okinawan perspective on developments in the wake of the Japan-China conflict over the Senkakus/Diayu . . . placing the US at center stage.
Check out the most widely read articles at APJ . . . in the last month, last year, last five years and all time: at Top Ten Articles on our home page.
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 are available 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:
- War and Visual Culture edited by Hong Kal and Jooyeon Rhee.
- Environmental History edited by Eiko Maruko Siniawer.
- War in Japanese Popular Culture edited by Matthew Penney.
- 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.
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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.
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Andrew DeWit, Green Shoot: Abenomics and the 3rd Arrow
This article describes the impressive, resilience-targeted greening of Japan, evident in nationwide deployments of renewable energy, radical efficiency, and other core aspects of sustainability. These developments are already underway, and include public- and private-sector actors as well as community groups. The greening also has promising stamina due to being increasingly deeply inscribed in the fiscal, regulatory and other mechanisms of a rapidly emergent industrial policy.
But first, let us have a brief look at the background of the current public debate. On June 5, Japanese PM Abe Shinzo let loose his third arrow of reform, part of a triad that includes 1) the radical expansion of the money supply, 2) aggressive fiscal policy, and 3) structural reform (largely understood as deregulation). Abe's first two arrows were roundly applauded by the ranks of global banks and in the pages of the Financial Times as well as the Japanese press. The euphoria over "Abenomics" indeed lifted Japan's Nikkei 225 stock index 41% between mid-November of 2012 and late May of this year. But the third arrow's release saw the Nikkei drop 3.8%. This shot was roundly denounced by most domestic and overseas observers as a "misfire," and "same old, same old" of minimalist tax and regulatory tinkering in so-called "special economic zones."
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, "Green Shoot: Abenomics and the 3rd Arrow," The Asia-Pacific Journal, Vol 11, Issue 27, No. 3, July 8, 2013.
Leevin Camacho and Daniel Broudy
, 'Sweetening' the Pentagon's Deal in the Marianas: From Guam to Pagan
One of the most tested and effective means of maintaining order in society is controlling the meanings of keywords and concepts. In his book, Living in the Number One Country: Reflections of a Critic on American Empire, Herbert Schiller observes that 'definitional control' serves "to bulwark, or at least minimize, threats to the prevailing order."
In the context of contemporary Guam, control over concepts of patriotism toward the United States have hardly needed any coercion from the top of the political order as gratitude toward the U.S. military for ending the brutal wartime Japanese occupation of Guam, decades ago, has largely remained fixed in the memory of the indigenous Chamorro people.
Nevertheless, these long-lived and largely uncontested concepts of gratitude are presently undergoing a reassessment in Guam generally and expressly among indigenous people. The present public battle over control of indigenous land rights has created another battle over the very words that might best represent the intentions of those in the U.S. military who seek to assert claims over sacred indigenous land.
The memory of (Ret.) General David Bice characterizing political leaders of Guam as targets for enticement in 2010 also remains fresh in the minds of people struggling to protect land, particularly sacred land, from what is widely felt to be unwarranted military expansion. The military's push to maintain control took the form of an email [full text] from Bice to concerned military organizations stating that the local community and its leaders must be divided in order for the Navy to get its way in securing sacred spaces for a new military firing range complex. In striking a tone of concern tempered by calm reassurance, Bice observed that "[g]roups opposing Marine relocation [from Okinawa] are successfully seizing on Pagat as a means to gain legitimacy with public [sic]-need to take the issue off the table to isolate them. We can get all of the land eventually, including a [surface danger zone] over Pagat; we need to be patient and build trust with the community first."
Leevin Camacho is a practicing attorney in Guam and active member of WeAreGuahan-a collective of concerned individuals engaged in the preservation of native Chamorro culture, environment and resources. His research and work are focused on social and domestic issues.
Daniel Broudy is Professor of Rhetoric and Applied Linguistics at Okinawa Christian University. He has taught in the United States, Korea, and Japan. His research includes the critical analysis of media discourse, signs, and symbols. He is co-author of Rhetorical Rape: The Verbal Violations of the Punditocracy (2010), serves as a managing editor for Synaesthesia communications journal, and writes about current discourse practices that shape the public mind.
Recommended Citation: Leevin Camacho and Daniel Broudy, "'Sweetening' the Pentagon's Deal in the Marianas: From Guam to Pagan," Vol. 11, Issue 27, No. 1, July 8, 2013.
Read More. . .
Sato Manabu, The Marines Will Not Defend the Senkakus
The June 7-8 meeting between U.S. President Obama and Chinese President Xi must have disappointed Prime Minister Abe, who is intent on using the Senkaku issue to induce the United States to create a new cold war regime against China, as well as many politicians who champion a hard-line anti-Chinese stance.
The two leaders discussed at great length North Korea and cyber issues/cybersecurity and also economic issues and military-to-military relationships. Over dinner on the first night, the talk focused on North Korea, but the Senkaku issue was also brought up. In the discussion, the United States did not change its previous stance that, although the Senkaku Islands are covered by the U.S.-Japan Security Treaty, the U.S. does not take a position on the sovereignty issue, calling for a solution through dialogue. The Japanese media reported that "Japanese and U.S. diplomatic sources" later revealed that Obama had warned China not to engage in threatening actions. However, the very fact that the United States invited the Chinese leader to the United States to hold a two-day summit is evidence that the U.S. is not contemplating a "new cold war" or "war over the Senkaku Islands."
Sato Manabu is a professor of politics at Okinawa International University. This article is a translation of his column "Kaiheitai Senkaku boei no gokai," published in the Okinawan newspaper Ryukyu Shimpo on June 24, 2013.
Michiko Hase is involved in Women for Genuine Security and has contributed translations to Japan Focus, including, most recently, Statement of Opposition by The Japan Scientists' Association (published on May 6, 2013).
Recommended Citation: Sato Manabu, "The Marines Will Not Defend the Senkakus," The Asia-Pacific Journal, Vol 11, Issue 28, No. 2, July 8, 2013.