The Asia-Pacific Journal: Japan Focus Newsletter
Newsletter No. 44. 2014       

November 3, 2014

New Articles

Protests in Hong Kong continue after over a month of confrontation between authorities and groups calling for open elections. Intertwined in this conflict are three interpretations of local identity representing three different potential futures for the former British colony, argues sociologist Ho-fung Hung. He draws this from an analysis of three intellectual figures, Jiang Shigong, Chan Koonchung and Chin Wan, whose views vary from seeing Hong Kong as part of a revitalized Chinese empire, defending the heterogeneity of a city within China, and defending it against non-institutional homogenizing forces from the mainland. Hung reinterprets the current confrontation in light of the emergence of new forces and movements in Hong Kong over the preceding decades.

Alongside its enormous "black" energy system, China is building a renewable energy system that is now the largest and fastest-growing in the world. John A. Mathews and Hao Tan document the startling transformation of the electric power system. They argue that China's increasing reliance on renewable energy is driven by a concern to enhance energy security as a product of manufacturing rather than of extractive activities.

Since 9/11 and the two ensuing wars, it has become increasingly obvious that the American state is in internal conflict between two governments: one ruling through the persuasive power of openness, egalitarianism and democratic ideals, and another through violence towards expansionism and imperialism. Peter Dale Scott dubs the latter the "deep state." Linking important events such as the Kennedy assassination, Watergate, the Iran Contra and 9/11 with political and economic forces driving increased military action overseas, he argues that in the struggle between these two modes of governance since the Reagan administration the deep state has won.

A key voice in Japan's proletarian literature movement of the 1920s and 30s, Kuroshima Denji (1898-1943) is best known for his anti-war writings. These include a number of short stories depicting Japan's participation in the 1918-1922 Siberian Intervention, as well as Militarized Streets (Busō seru shigai, 1930), a novel set during Japan's 1928 military intervention in China. Literature scholar Michael Bourdaghs translates  and introduces a short story depicting a tragic incident that befalls an impoverished farming family, "The Two-Sen Copper Coin."
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