The Asia-Pacific Journal: Japan Focus Newsletter
Newsletter No. 40. 2013    

October 7, 2013    
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The Asia-Pacific Journal now has Non-Profit Organization status. Your contribution to the Journal is tax deductible. Our thanks to those who have taken notice of this new opportunity.


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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.


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 earlier 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 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.


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




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..

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. 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.  
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. 
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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 


Peter Dale Scott, The Pseudo-War on Terror: How the US Has Protected Some of Its Enemies   



Since 9/11, above all, constitutional American government has been overshadowed by a series of emergency measures to fight terrorism. The latter have mushroomed in size and budget, while traditional government has been shrunk. As a result we have today what the journalist Dana Priest has called  
two governments: the one its citizens were familiar with, operated more or less in the open: the other a parallel top secret government whose parts had mushroomed in less than a decade into a gigantic, sprawling universe of its own, visible to only a carefully vetted cadre - and its entirety...visible only to God.  
More and more, it is becoming common to say that America, like Turkey before it, now has what Marc Ambinder and John Tirman have called a deep state behind the public one. And this parallel government is guided in surveillance matters by its own Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court, known as the FISA court, which according to the New York Times "has quietly become almost a parallel Supreme Court." Thanks largely to Edward Snowden, it is now clear that the FISA Court has permitted this deep state to expand surveillance beyond the tiny number of known and suspected Islamic terrorists, to any incipient protest movement that might challenge the policies of the American war machine.

It is time to consider the extent to which American secret agencies have developed a symbiotic relationship with the forces they are supposed to be fighting - and have even on occasion intervened to let al-Qaeda terrorists proceed with their plots. For indeed it is certain that on various occasions U.S. agencies have intervened, letting al-Qaeda terrorists proceed with their plots. This alarming statement will be dismissed by some as "conspiracy theory." Yet I will show that this claim does not arise from theory, but from facts, about incidents that are true even though they have been systematically suppressed or under-reported in the American mainstream media.

Peter Dale Scott, a former Canadian diplomat and English Professor at the University of California, Berkeley, is the author of Drugs Oil and War, The Road to 9/11, and The War Conspiracy: JFK, 9/11, and the Deep Politics of War. His most recent book is American War Machine: Deep Politics, the CIA Global Drug Connection and the Road to Afghanistan. His website, which contains a wealth of his writings, is here.

Recommended citation: Peter Dale Scott, "The Pseudo-War on Terror: How The US Has Protected Some of Its Enemies," The Asia-Pacific Journal, Vol. 11, Issue 40, No. 2, October 7, 2013.  


D.H. Garrett, A View from the Ninth Floor

Once upon a time I was a minor diplomat. My office was in the political section of the U.S. Embassy in Tokyo. To get to my office, depending on who was protesting us, sometimes having to scurry around an unsmiling phalanx or two of tall Japanese policemen with long wooden batons, I would show my badge to the Japanese guards at the outer gate, then cross the courtyard and go up the stone stairs and through the front outer glass doors of the stark wall of concrete and glass that is our embassy. Then I would show my badge and my face to the marine guard behind the bulletproof glass, at which point the door would buzz open and I would be able to go in through the glass inner doors into the Embassy's sanctum itself. Already as I write this I am fearful I am giving away secrets, but if you must know, after entering the elevators are to the left. Just before getting to the elevators are the official portraits of the President, the Vice President and the Secretary of State. When it was the pictures of Bush, Cheney and Rice with their crazed grins, I used to cringe internally and pray silently for protection from their vampirism. When the pictures changed to Obama, Biden, and Clinton, at first I felt a great moral relief, until that is it became clear that the previous policies were to continue essentially unabated or in some regards, even worsen.

Once you pass the pictures of the "leaders of the free world" you can enter the bank of elevators and climb to the 9th floor. If each floor were a circle of hell from Dante's Inferno, then you would start at the circle of Limbo, and rise past Lust, Gluttony, Greed, Anger, Heresy, Violence, and Fraud, and finally arrive at the 9th Circle of Hell: Treachery. On the other hand, if this were Dante's Purgatorio, the 9th level would be the Earthly Paradise. I leave it to the reader to decide which is more appropriate.

My office was the 2nd door to the left, the smallest office in the section. Half of it was actually taken over by one of the structural columns of the building. In sharing my small office with that very large pillar I liked to think that tasked as I was with the issues of Human Rights, Trafficking in Persons, and International Organizations that I, too, was an important pillar of the Embassy. Sometimes, I would put my arm around the pillar and look out the half of the window that it wasn't covering and say, "Pillar, the U.S. is a mighty country, what can we do today that will be of help to someone who is suffering?" The fact of the matter though, was that it was the preservation of the security alliance that trumped everything else. Half of the political section was devoted to supporting, consoling, explaining, expanding, and putting out the occasional fire caused by the security arrangement.

Recommended Citation: D.H. Garrett, "A View from the Ninth Floor," The Asia-Pacific Journal, Vol. 11, Issue 40, No. 2, October 7, 2013.


Susan Brewer, Selling Empire: American Propaganda and War in the Philippines

At the turn of the twentieth century, Americans and Filipinos fought bitterly for control of the Philippine Islands. The United States viewed the Pacific islands as a stepping-stone to the markets and natural resources of Asia. The Philippines, which had belonged to Spain for three hundred years, wanted independence, not another imperial ruler. For the Americans, the acquisition of a colony thousands of miles from its shores required a break with their anti-imperial traditions. To justify such a break, the administration of William McKinley proclaimed that its policies benefited both Americans and Filipinos by advancing freedom, Christian benevolence, and prosperity. Most of the Congress, the press, and the public rallied to the flag, embracing the war as a patriotic adventure and civilizing mission. Dissent, however, flourished among a minority called anti-imperialists. Setting precedents for all wartime presidents who would follow, McKinley enhanced the power of the chief executive to build a public consensus in support of an expansionist foreign policy.

This article explores McKinley's use of wartime propaganda extolling national progress and unity to aid his successful navigation of the transition of the United States to great power status.

Susan A. Brewer is a professor of history at the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point. She is the author of Why America Fights: Patriotism and War Propaganda from the Philippines to Iraq and To Win the Peace: British Propaganda in the United States during World War II.


Recommended citation: Susan Brewer, "Selling Empire: American Propaganda and War in the Philippines," The Asia-Pacific Journal, Vol. 11, Issue 40, No. 1, October 7, 2013.