The Asia-Pacific Journal: Japan Focus Newsletter
Newsletter No. 43. 2013    

August 26, 2013    
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Twice a year we invite our readers to help us to continue to publish The Asia-Pacific Journal. The first responses have been gratifying and we look forward to hearing from more of you who value our work. This is the final notice for this mini-campaign. Thank you. 


The Journal is and will continue to be provided free to readers. But if you value the work of our authors and would like to assure continued publication, we hope that you will subscribe at the rate of $25 or $50 ($10 for students and residents of low income countries). You can contribute via Paypal or credit card at our home page on the upper left side.  


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:

  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 

After a long summer replete with tensions and incidents in both the South China and East China Seas, the new year failed to bring renewed hopes for a peaceful resolution to the myriad territorial conflicts casting a shadow on the Asia-Pacific Region. Rather the contrary, renewed incidents, naval rearmament, claims and counterclaims, not always veiled threats to resort to force, and decentralized boycott campaigns and cyberspace clashes. One novelty was the decision by the Philippines to try a new tack in its clash with China, resorting to a tool not previously employed by any of the claimants, namely a request for arbitration under UNCLOS (the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea). Although this gambit was rejected by China, and the fate of the case is uncertain at the time of writing, we will examine the legal positions of Manila and Beijing in the context of their wider dispute, and the far-reaching implications of the case. 


The request had to take into account China's decision to opt out of UNCLOS arbitration on certain issues pertaining to their conflict, above all the exact delimitation of maritime borders. Although the Philippines' arbitration request did not thus refer to maritime boundaries per se, it is still not  completely clear whether the International Tribunal of the Law of the Sea (ITLOS) will accept the case. An arbitration tribunal, made up of five judges, has been convened, but has not yet ruled on whether it has jurisdiction. Of particular interest in light of the ongoing China-Japan territorial conflict over Diaoyutai/Senkakus is the fact that ITLOS is headed by a Japanese judge. Although not a party to the South China Sea dispute, Tokyo has provided a measure of support on maritime issues to Manila and Hanoi in recent years. Some see the case as a test of whether international law and tribunals such as ITLOS can contribute to peaceful resolution of outstanding territorial disputes in Asia in a time of profound transformation. It is particularly relevant in view of the disparity in size and military potential between the Philippines and China, although the former is supported by other powers.  


Alex Calvo is a Professor of International Relations and International Law, European University in Barcelona, where he also serves as head of the IR Department and postgraduate research director.     


Recommended citation: Alex Calvo, "MANILA, BEIJING, AND UNCLOS: A TEST CASE," The Asia-Pacific Journal, Volume 11, Issue 34, No. 1, August 26, 2013.   

Pedro Iacobelli, The Limits of Sovereignty and Post-War Okinawan Migrants in Bolivia

This paper examines the legal implications for Okinawan migrants of Article 3 of the San Francisco Peace Treaty (hereafter SFPT), signed between Japan and most of the Allied Powers in 1951. Particularly, it analyses the case of post-war Okinawan migrants in Bolivia, showing how the legal conditions in the Ryukyu Islands were extended to the Andean country. The Japanese defeat in the Asia-Pacific War (August 1945) was followed by the occupation of the country by the United States. The peace treaty, signed six years later, originated during the early years of the Cold War and was fraught with geopolitical implications. The SFPT allowed the U.S. military to retain control of Okinawa prefecture without formally severing it from Japan. In other words, the treaty-makers allocated de jure sovereignty over Okinawa to Japan while the U.S. enjoyed de facto sovereignty. This distinction gave rise to a legal conundrum concerning the future of the islands and the legal situation of the Okinawan people onshore and abroad. Building on Japanese and English primary sources I examine the reaction of American and Japanese jurists to Article 3 and the approach of both governments toward offshore Okinawan migrants.


Pedro Iacobelli is a PhD candidate at the Australian National University and Adjunct Professor at the Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile. His doctoral dissertation deals with the postwar Japanese and Okinawan emigration programs to Bolivia. 


Recommended citation: Pedro Iacobelli, "The Limits of Sovereignty and Post-War Okinawan Migrants in Bolivia," The Asia-Pacific Journal, Vol 11, Issue 34, No. 2, August 26, 2013.