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Okinawan Identity and the Struggle for Self-DeterminationShimabukuro Jun

Since Onaga Takeshi’s successful campaign for governorship of Okinawa last fall, “Okinawan identity” has emerged as a rallying cry for unified opposition to plans for a replacement facility for US Marine Corps Air Station Futenma inside Okinawa Prefecture. Okinawan political scientist and activist Shimabukuro Jun explores the meaning of Okinawan identity in a historical context, focusing on the postwar experience of “structural discrimination.”

The Opposition Stance on Security Policy

Nagashima Akihisa, an expert on security issues from the Democratic Party of Japan, explains that while the top opposition party cannot go along with the security legislation proposed by the Abe administration, it does not totally reject the idea of exercising the right of collective self-defense.

Being Both Bambi and GodzillaGiulio Pugliese

In 2009, the international relations scholar John Mearsheimer famously quipped that in the dangerous world of international politics, “it is better for states to be Godzilla than Bambi.” According to him, China’s continued military rise and its quest for regional hegemony constitute a natural insurance policy for maximizing its security and defending its interests. Fast-forward to late 2012, wh…

Japan Should Consider Joining China’s New Development BankŌba Mie

Though it decided not to become a founding member of the Chinese-led Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank, Japan, as a responsible major country, should consider joining the new institution to foster its operation as a regional development institution.

The Need for a Flexible Japanese Approach to the Asian Infrastructure Investment BankTsuiki Saori

The Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank, promoted by China, has garnered much interest around the world as a symbol of increasing Chinese influence. Whether Japan ultimately joins the bank or not, its experience in working with the long-established Asian Development Bank ensures it will continue to play a major role in boosting development in the region.

Hong Kong and Beijing: Demands for Democracy vs. State SecurityKawashima Shin

The “Umbrella Movement” in Hong Kong was a hot media topic in 2014. Also called the “Umbrella Revolution” and “Occupy Central,” this was a popular movement by Hong Kong people seeking to have their voices reflected more directly in the government of the Special Administrative Region. More specifically, people were protesting the move by Beijing to restrict the field of candidates in the election…

Japan-China Relations in 2015: The Balancing Act ContinuesKawashima Shin

This year, which marks the seventieth anniversary of the end of World War II, will be a time of challenge for the Japan-China relationship. The period from now through this summer will present a number of touchstones for the improvement of bilateral ties. Needless to say, historical issues continue to be a sticking point. But since last November’s bilateral summit between Prime Minister Abe S…

Seventy Years Since World War II: Historical Perceptions and Present RealitiesWatanabe Tsuneo

It seems to me that Western media coverage of historical perceptions in East Asia is misleading. While Japan’s acts of violence against the global order in the past should certainly be criticized, attention should also be directed at the aggressive challenges to the international order in our own time. This year marks the seventieth anniversary of the end of World War II, bringing a greater foc…

Looking Ahead to the 2015 Round of Historical AnniversariesKawashima Shin

Years that end in 5 have been the occasion of many key events in Japan’s modern history. Just to cite a few prominent examples, the Treaty of Shimonoseki was signed in 1895, ending the Sino-Japanese War of 1894–95. Ten years later, in 1905, the Russo-Japanese war ended with the signing of the Treaty of Portsmouth. World War II ended with Japan’s defeat in 1945. In 1955, the Liberal Democratic Pa…

Japan and South Korea: Time to Build a New RelationshipKimura Kan

In addition to being the seventieth anniversary of the end of World War II, 2015 marks the fiftieth anniversary of the normalization of ties between Japan and South Korea. The half century since 1965 has brought major changes in international relations, and the old bilateral framework is no longer functioning properly. Korea specialist Kimura Kan offers an overview of the problems and some ideas for mending the relationship.

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