The Asia-Pacific Journal: Japan Focus Newsletter
Newsletter No. 3. 2015        

January 19, 2015

New Articles

A month following the election of Okinawa's new governor Onaga Takeshi proclaiming opposition to a new base at Henoko, the anti-base movement faces perhaps its gravest challenge. C. Douglas Lummis reports on the intensifying police violence against protesters at Camp Schwab and efforts to ferry in new protesters from Naha. Meanwhile, the Japanese and international media have remained silent about the deepening crisis.
As coverage of the Interview incident dwindles in western media, it is important not to forget that behind the parody and rhetoric lie mutual threats of nuclear destruction. Peter Hayes examines how the nuclear threat is woven into inter-state relations throughout northeast Asian region, arguing for the creation of a nuclear weapons-free zone with the eventual aim of abolishing the nuclear threat and bringing peace in Northeast Asia. He traces the history of mutual threats and ongoing attempts at quelling them, etching the core provisions of an agreement.

With the approaching seventieth anniversary of the end of the Second World War, Ran Zwigenberg examines the "entangled histories" of the commemorations of Hiroshima and the Holocaust through the activities of the Hiroshima-Auschwitz Committee, an organization that strove precisely to link these two catastrophes in the 1960s. Following the global media spectacle of the Eichmann trial, the little-known Hiroshima-Auschwitz Peace March illustrates the emergence of a shared discourse of commemoration and narratives of victimization, as in Japan reminders of the Holocaust stirred up memories of their own atrocities.

Following the controversy over the Asahi's retraction of their reporting on 'comfort women', Yomiuri Shinbun "apologized" for using the term "sex slave" to refer to them in their English-language edition.  Michael Penn argues that this "astonishing" declaration not only illustrates the newspaper's submission to the views of the current Abe government but is an attempt to impose those views on its past editing, as the offending articles in their databases were amended with the apologetic text.

Last April, the Nobel Peace Prize Committee selected for contention Japanese citizens working to conserve Article 9, Japan's long-standing constitutional prohibition against waging war.  Alexis Dudden presents the case for renomination in anticipation of the selection of the 2015 prize candidates on February 1, inviting readers to support the nomination at a time when the Abe administration moves to abolish Article 9.


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