The Asia-Pacific Journal: Japan Focus Newsletter
Newsletter No. 45. 2013    

November 11, 2013    
New Articles Posted
Quick Links
In This Issue
Quick Links
Quick Links

What will it take to keep the Asia-Pacific Journal free and vibrant?


We begin our annual fund-raising campaign today with greater strength than at any previous time. In our first two weeks we received $1,900 toward our short-term $10,000 goal. 12,000 regular readers now receive our work via the Newsletter or Facebook and Twitter, and we are investigating making content available through other electronic channels. More than 100,000 articles are accessed monthly by readers in 180 countries. We have created a major archive on Japan's 3.11 triple disaster, the flawed responses, and the creative search for new green energy approaches beyond nuclear power. And our work on US-Japan-Okinawa relations, on territorial conflicts in the Asia-Pacific, and on war and historical memory is now supplemented by a wide range of contributions in the realm of culture . . . film, music, anime, manga and the like in Asia-Pacific perspective. We are reaching out to schools and teachers through our course readers, with ten more to be published shortly. And, for the first time we have NPO status, meaning that U.S. contributions are tax deductible. If you wish to support our campaign in the form of a subscription ($25 or $50; $10 for students and developing countries) please go to the red Sustainer Button on our home page and use Paypal or a credit card. 

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.  


Coming soon . . . ten new readers. 


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. 
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 

Steven K. Vogel, What Ever Happened to Japanese Electronics?: A World Economy Perspective



 Japan has not only suffered from dismal macroeconomic performance over the past two decades, but it has lost its edge in areas of its greatest competitive strength, such as electronics, especially information and communications technology (ICT) hardware.Japanese electronics firms have declined by many standard measures of industrial performance, such as market share, exports, and profits. Japan's postwar economic miracle did not quietly fizzle out, but rather exploded in grandiose fashion in the early 1990s.  


Japan's descent from industrial dominance arrived later, evolved more slowly, and varied considerably by sector - and yet the turn of fortunes was equally stunning. Japanese manufacturers' global market share dropped from 76 to 3 percent from 1987 to 2004 in DRAM chips; from 95 to 20 percent from 1997 to 2006 in DVD players; from 100 to 5 percent from 1995 to 2005 in liquid crystal display panels; from 100 to 20 percent from 2003 to 2007 in car navigation systems; from 45 to 21 percent from 2004 to 2007 in solar energy panels; and from 90 to 48 percent from 2000 to 2008 in lithium ion batteries. One government report estimates that Japanese electronics companies produced 70 percent of an iPod in 2005 but only 20 percent of an iPad in 2010.3 Japan's share of OECD ICT goods exports dropped from 16.8 percent in 1999 to 10.4 percent in 2011.


So what went wrong? 


Steven K. Vogel is Professor of Political Science at the University of California, Berkeley. He specializes in the political economy of the advanced industrialized nations, especially Japan. He is the author of Japan Remodeled: How Government and Industry Are Reforming Japanese Capitalism (Cornell, 2006) and co-editor (with Naazneen Barma) of The Political Economy Reader: Markets as Institutions (Routledge, 2007).  


 Recommended citation: Steven K. Vogel, "What Ever Happened to Japanese Electronics?: A World Economy Perspective," The Asia-Pacific Journal, Vol. 11, Issue 45, No. 2, November 11, 2013. 


 Richard Tanter, The US Military Presence in Australia: Asymmetrical Alliance Cooperation and its Alternatives
Through the ANZUS alliance, Australia, like Japan and South Korea, has been a key part of the United States "hub-and-spokes" Asia-Pacific alliance structure for more than sixty years, dating back to the earliest years of the Cold War and the conclusion of post-war peace with Japan. An historical chameleon, the shape of the alliance has continually shifted - from its original purpose for the Menzies government as a US guarantee against post-war Japanese remilitarisation, to an imagined southern bastion of the Free World in the global division of the Cold War, on to a niche commitment in the Global War On Terror, to its current role in the imaginings of a faux containment revenant against rising China.

As one hinge in the Obama administration's Pacific pivot, Australia is now more deeply embedded strategically and militarily into US global military planning, especially in Asia, than ever before. As in Japan and Korea, this involves Australia governments identifying Australian national interests with those of its American ally,  the integration of Australian military forces organizationally and technologically with  US forces, and a rapid and extensive expansion of an American military presence in Australia itself. This alliance pattern of asymmetrical cooperation, especially in the context of US policy towards  China, raises the urgent question of what alternative policy an Australian government concerned to maintain an autonomous path towards securing both its genuine national interests and the global human interest should be following.

Richard Tanter is a Senior Research Associate at the Nautilus Institute and teaches in the School of Political and Social Sciences at the University of Melbourne. A Japan Focus associate, he has written widely on Japanese, Indonesian and global security policy, including 'With Eyes Wide Shut: Japan, Heisei Militarization and the Bush Doctrine' in Melvin Gurtov and Peter Van Ness (eds.), Confronting the Bush Doctrine: Critical Views from the Asia-Pacific, (New York: Routledge, 2005). His most recent book, co-edited with Gerry Van Klinken and Desmond Ball, is Masters of Terror: Indonesia's Military and Violence in East Timor in 1999 [second edition]. His website can be found here, and he may be reached by email here. 
Recommended citation: Richard Tanter, "The US Military Presence in Australia: Asymmetrical Alliance Cooperation and its Alternatives," The Asia-Pacific Journal, Vol. 11, Issue 45, No. 1, November 11, 2013.