The Asia-Pacific Journal: Japan Focus Newsletter
Newsletter No. 17. 2015        

April 27, 2015

New Articles

Seventy years after the war's end, Japanese society remains stuck in a paradox between the intense determination to resolve North Korea's "abduction" of Japanese nationals and the equally apparent determination to downplay the "abduction" elements of Japan's state sponsored system of wartime sexual slavery. Alexis Dudden presents the work of Uesugi Satoshi, who shows that the historical legal definition of abduction encompasses the two crimes.

The recently announced results of the Japanese government's school textbook screening show clearly the Abe administration's success in imposing its views of such controversial issues as the concealment of the role of the Japanese military in the 'comfort women' system and the Nanjing Massacre. While each revision itself may be small, as analyzed by Tawara Yoshifumi, together they constitute a sea change in the neo-nationalist domination of history in school textbooks.

During the Indochina War, the United States dropped a massive amount of bombs on Cambodia and Laos. Examining new estimates of the tonnage, Ben Kiernan and Taylor Owen reflect on the human toll and call for greater transparency to preserve the historical record of these atrocities.

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