The Asia-Pacific Journal: Japan Focus Newsletter
Newsletter No. 35. 2014    

September 1, 2014    
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In This Issue
With the Japanese government moving aggressively to break Okinawan resistance to a new US military base at Henoko, the Okinawan movement faces its sternest test. Jon Mitchell surveys the long history of the resistance in the face of Japanese and American power. Torrential rains leading to landslides that have taken the lives of seventy people in Hiroshima place the city at the forefront of global climate crisis. Andrew DeWit traces the responses of government and people and suggests the importance of international cooperation as a key to the extraordinary events that are becoming the new norm in many regions. Japan's household registration (koseki) system is a key to defining citizenship rights. In a detailed overview of the historical origins and legal principles of the system, Karl Jakob Krogness posits a Jus Koseki as a vehicle for understanding distinctive features of Japanese society.

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Jon Mitchell      
Nuchi Du Takara, Okinawan Resistance and the Battle for Henoko Bay
As protests over the new US military base in Henoko Bay (Okinawa) reach a critical point, the  conflict over base expansion between locals and a juggernaut of Japanese and American power receives an in depth analysis. The Okinawan expression, "Life is precious", frames the resistance to base expansion as a peace movement directed at both the Japanese government's discrimination against Okinawans and the failure of American and Japanese governments to consider Okinawan views in imposing a new base on the island with its overwhelming base presence. 


Recommended citation: Jon Mitchell, "Nuchi Du Takara, Okinawan Resistance and the Battle for Henoko Bay," The Asia-Pacific Journal, Vol. 11, Issue 35, No. 3, September 1, 2014. 


Andrew DeWit
Hiroshima's Disaster, Climate Crisis, and the Future of the Resilient City

In 2014, Hiroshima carries a new message to the world. Twelve days since extreme rain caused landslides in Hiroshima that claimed over seventy victims, the case is made to take this disaster as a wake-up call to the  threat that global warming presents to human settlements. Discussion illuminates the nature of the disaster and new approaches to high-level counter-disaster planning. In the face of a global climate crisis here calculated in terms of an increase of heat in the global environment comparable to over two million bombs of the type dropped on Hiroshima in 1945, the Hiroshima experience is located against approaches elsewhere. The need for governments to overcome political gridlock to seriously address this threat through multiple paths including international collaboration is highlighted.


Recommended citation: Andrew DeWit, "Hiroshima's Disaster, Climate Crisis, and the Future of the Resilient City", The Asia-Pacific Journal, Vol. 12, Issue 35, No. 2, September 1, 2014.

Karl Jakob Krogness      

Jus koseki: Household registration and Japanese citizenship   


This article provides an introduction to the legal theory that underlies Japan's household registration system (Koseki) and the distinctive face of citizenship associated with it.

The koseki register as the official ledger of citizens and interrogates Japanese legal citizenship: to what extent is citizenship actually based on the Japanese Nationality Law's principle of jus sanguinis (the principle whereby a child's citizenship follows that of the parent(s), as opposed to jus soli, where citizenship follows place of birth) when the koseki register historically and structurally is not centered on bloodlines? An alternative principle termed jus koseki,  not only influences Japanese citizenship bestowal, but also shapes Japanese society  generally at the level of the state, family and individual.   
Recommended citation: Karl Jakob Krogness, "Jus koseki: Household registration and Japanese citizenship," The Asia-Pacific Journal, Vol. 11, Issue 35, No. 1, September 1, 2014.