The Asia-Pacific Journal: Japan Focus Newsletter
Newsletter No. 51. 2013    

December 23, 2013    
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What will it take to keep the Asia-Pacific Journal free and vibrant?


Our annual fund-raising campaign is now in its final week, with nearly $9,000 raised with your generous support. Our short-term goal is $10,000, our long-term goal, to place the journal on a firm foundation: $50,000.

We have received a challenge grant, to match gifts of $50 or more up to $1,000. We hope that you will take advantage of this opportunity to maximize your tax-deductible gift.

If we succeed, the journal will remain available at no charge to readers. 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. Last month, readers in 205 countries accessed more than 120,000 articles. 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. For the first time, The Asia-Pacific Journal is a 501 (C) (3) non-profit organization recognized by the Internal Revenue Service. Contributions are tax deductible. If you wish to support our campaign in the form of a subscription (we recommend $25 or $50; $10 for students and developing countries and hope that those in a position to provide more will do so) please go to the red Sustainer Button on our home page and use Paypal or a credit card. 
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.

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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 
Leevin T. Camacho, Poison In Our Waters: A Brief Overview of the Proposed Militarization of Guam and the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands 

The U.S. has long viewed the island of Guam, an unincorporated U.S. territory that already hosts two of the Department of Defense's (DOD) most "valuable" bases in the world, an indispensable part of its "Pacific Century." Prior to talk of the "Pacific Pivot," the Governments of Japan and the United States agreed to reduce the number of Marines on Okinawa in response to intense local pressure. 
Defense Department planning for Guam is closely bound up with changing plans for basing in Okinawa. In 2006, the governments of Japan and the US formalized a "roadmap" to move 8,600 Marines from Okinawa to Guam. The plan was contingent, however, on closing the dangerous Futenma Base and expanding an existing base at Henoko, an approach fiercely resisted by Okinawan people and politicians. 
The Guam realignment is an example of how the number of Marines and dependents moving from Okinawa can be cut down by three-fourths, while the overall price tag increases. DOD will continue to shape-shift into bird, frog, or shark - whatever it takes to secure defense appropriations.

Leevin Camacho is a practicing attorney in Guam and active member of WeAreGuċhan-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. He is a contributor to Under Occupation: Resistance and Struggle in a Militarised Asia-Pacific.  


Sakaguchi Shojiro and Hase Michiko,
Japan's Designated Secrets Protection Law Would Foreclose Criticisms of the Government
Translated and Introduced by Hase Michiko
On December 6, 2013, Japan's Diet (national assembly) passed a controversial Designated Secrets Protection bill, having rushed it through both chambers in barely a month. Both the Liberal Democratic Party [LDP]-led administration that proposed the bill and the LDP-dominated Diet brazenly disregarded many voices of opposition, expressed in the public comments collected by the government, public opinion polls showing twice as many respondents opposing the bill as those in favor, daily demonstrations in front of the Diet building, and statements by an array of professional organizations. The law, promulgated gives the government potentially unchecked power to designate government information as special secrets, and to punish leakers much more harshly than now. 
Critics of the law fear that it will further restrict citizens' already limited access to government information and intimidate public officials, journalists, and citizens, thereby severely eroding the people's constitutionally guaranteed right to know. Although the bill has been passed, critics believe there is much work to be done: continuing to expose and criticize what is in the law and the process through which it was passed, attempting to prevent it from taking effect and, if that is not possible, monitoring and challenging its implementation so as to curb unbridled government power.
Sakaguchi Shojiro is Professor of Law at Hitotsubashi University and Director of Law School, Hitotsubashi University. Area of specialization: public law (Constitution). Research interests include: freedom of expression; and constitutionalism and democracy. 
Hase Michiko is involved in Women for Genuine Security and worked on the Japanese subtitles for the award-winning documentary Living Along the Fenceline (2011), which tells the untold stories of seven women and communities that live alongside U.S. bases. A review of the film appeared in Japan Focus.