The Asia-Pacific Journal: Japan Focus Newsletter
Newsletter No. 47. 2014       

November 24, 2014

New Articles

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Three and a half years have passed since the disasters of March 11, 2011, and at least 140,000 refugees remain in limbo due to nuclear fallout. Even as many areas continue to be heavily contaminated, authorities continue to press for the return of the displaced to their homes. CÚcile Asanuma-Brice looks at these these policies and their effects, pointing to the abandonment of public responsibility. Amid a national drive to restart Japan's  nuclear plants and disputes over medical effects of the Fukushima radiation, she calls for transparency and humanity as the only solution for the beleaguered region.

In the face of the myriad of unresolved problems in the aftermath of Fukushima, the Abe government is not alone in shamelessly promoting nuclear technology throughout the world. Adam Broinowski analyzes how and why the Australian government has concluded a uranium trade deal with India that is in breach of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty by tracing the development of a nuclear nexus between India, Australia, Japan and the United States.

Indonesia is increasingly representing itself as a Pacific 'nesia' (Greek for islands), seemingly to neutralize West Papua's claim to political Melanesianhood. Camellia Webb-Gannon and Jim Elmslie examine how Indonesia is insinuating itself into Melanesian politics and attempting to undercut Melanesian support for West Papuan self-determination. The implications for Melanesia's regional political bloc, the Melanesian Spearhead Group (MSG) and for West Papuan politics, they argue, are the primacy of regional realpolitik posing a threat to the cultural and historical ties between the two regions.

As reported in depth in the Journal, the recrudescence of self-righteous nationalism under Abe Shinzo has emboldened right-wing extremists now threatening democratic institutions, civil liberties and Japan's relations with its neighbors. Jeff Kingston reports on some of the context alongside Abe's rise as authorities turn a blind eye to the growing violent presence of the extreme right in Japan.
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