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Japanese Studies Overseas: A Target for More Strategic SupportKawashima Shin

The field of Japanese studies in other countries is currently undergoing a major transformation in various respects. I would like to offer a quick overview of the concerns this raises based on what I have heard from researchers and academics working in this field. First of all, the focus of interest is rapidly shifting away from topics like literature and economic affairs to “soft culture” topi…
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Tackling China’s Diabetes ProblemIizuka Yōko

China now has the largest diabetic population in the world. In October 2011 a Japanese medical team began a project in Shanghai to apply Japanese-style treatment to this growing problem. Iizuka Yōko, born in China to a Chinese father and Japanese mother, was involved in proposing and planning the project, and she participated in it as a physician.
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The Rise of Ramen: How “Chinese Noodles” Became a Japanese Favorite

Originally from China, ramen has become one of Japan’s most popular dishes over the past few decades, sparking intense competition among the nation’s ramen shops. This article looks at the history behind Japan’s infatuation with ramen.
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Issues and Expectations for Indonesia’s Incoming PresidentShiraishi Takashi

Joko Widodo, a politician who worked his way up from a common background, is about to take office as president of Indonesia. Shiraishi Takashi considers the significance of Widodo’s election and the prospects for the new president.
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Popularizing Japan’s “Mother and Child Health Handbook” Overseas

The Mother-Child Health Handbook, introduced in Japan in the mid-1960s, contributed to improvements in child health and a rapid drop in the country’s infant mortality rate. Now an effort is being made to promote this same system overseas, particularly in Asia and Africa. Nippon.com interviewed one of the leaders of this movement, Fukuda Kiyoko (wife of former Prime Minister Fukuda Yasuo), to learn more about the handbook and its benefits.
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Yasukuni Shrine: the Basics

Prime Minister Abe Shinzō’s visit to Yasukuni Shrine on December 26, 2013, was the first by a Japanese leader for seven years and drew fierce criticism from China and South Korea. What started as a place to honor those who fell while fighting the Tokugawa shogunate has become a center of controversy in East Asian relations. This article presents the key historical, religious, and political information regarding the shrine.
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Chinese Tourists in Japan: Return of the Big Spenders

As tension over the Senkaku Islands cools, Chinese tourists have been returning to Japan in large numbers, with over 1 million visiting the country in the first half of 2014. Chinese not only outnumber visitors from other countries but also outspend them, laying out large sums on trips and at stores. They are eager to buy made-in-Japan products, which have a reputation for high quality. And with their open wallets, they are becoming increasingly important customers for businesses in Japan.
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A Forgotten Tale of World War I: Life for German POWs in Japanese CampsSeto Takehiko

At the outset of World War I Japan waged a short, successful campaign against German forces in China, taking thousands of prisoners of war, who went on to spend more than five years in camps in Japan. Documents and photos from the period reveal the surprisingly livable conditions of these World War I camps.
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Responding to History: Considering Japan’s Options for Next Year’s War AnniversaryKawashima Shin

This year is the centennial of the outbreak of World War I, and we have put together a special series of articles to mark the occasion. The 1914–18 war was a milestone for Japan along its way to becoming a truly first-class power in East Asia. But some of the events of this period cast a long shadow on relations between Japan and China, notably the Twenty-One Demands that Japan pressed on the Ch…
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Japan’s Post–World War I Foreign Policy: The Quest for a Cooperative ApproachSakurai Ryōju

In the wake of World War I, Japan shifted its foreign policy stance, particularly with regard to China, turning away from imperialism and seeking to act in concert with the other great powers. Historian Sakurai Ryōju explains the events and thinking behind this shift.
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