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The Birth and Evolution of the Internet in JapanMurai Jun

A leading figure of computer science, often called the father of Japan’s Internet, elucidates the development and spread of the Internet in Japan and discusses what the future might hold.
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Abe Opens a Door with Carefully Crafted War Anniversary StatementDaniel Sneider

Prime Minister Abe Shinzō’s August 14 statement should be judged, in my view, against two important criteria: whether it shows a genuine effort to reflect upon and draw lessons from Japan’s wartime past; and whether it contributes to the improvement of relations in Northeast Asia and creates opportunities for reconciliation between Japan and China and Korea. The statement advances both of those go…
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The Abe Statement: A Balancing Act That Leaves Work to Be DoneAndrew Gordon

The statement issued by the government of Prime Minister Abe Shinzō on the seventieth anniversary of the end of World War II in Asia is far longer than those by Prime Minister Murayama Tomiichi in 1995 and Prime Minister Koizumi Jun’ichirō 10 years later. And despite Abe’s stated desire to focus on the future, the statement overwhelmingly dwells on the past. These two facts reflect how challenging…
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Masuzoe Yōichi: Tokyo’s Next Governor

On February 9, 2014, Tokyo voters trudged to the polls through deep snow. There they elected Masuzoe Yōichi, a former member of the House of Councillors who served several terms as minister of health, labor, and welfare, to be the metropolis’s next governor. Backed by the Liberal Democratic Party and New Kōmeitō, Masuzoe handily beat his main opponents in the contest: Hosokawa Morihiro, a former …
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Is Japan Drifting Toward Isolation?Sven Saaler

Almost a decade ago, Newsweek International featured a story titled “A Very Lonely Japan,” and the cover of the magazine provocatively proclaimed that the issue would explain “Why Japan Has No Friends.” Although somewhat over-generalizing, the article did have a point regarding Japan’s growing diplomatic isolation as a result of Prime Minister Koizumi Jun’ichirō’s controversial visits to Yasukun…
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A Tradition Ironed Out over the Years: The Cast-iron Creations of Okamaya

The family firm Okamaya in Iwate Prefecture has been handcrafting cast-iron kettles for over 350 years. We interviewed the firm’s head, Koizumi Nizaemon, to learn more about its history and the traditions of Nanbu cast iron.
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