Kjeld Duits, Tuesday, June 19, 2007 Posted: 11:20 PM JST
(by Jean Miyake Downey) - Every year on June 20, the world honors the courage, resilience and strength of refugees. On this sixth anniversary of the United Nations-designated World Refugee Day, thousands of organizations in hundreds of countries will come together to focus global attention not only on the plight of refugees and the causes of their exile, but also on their determination and will to survive and on the contributions they make to their host communities.
Kjeld Duits, Tuesday, June 19, 2007 Posted: 01:26 PM JST
The demise of the LDP has been predicted for almost as long as the party has ruled Japan (about half a century...). So anybody who predicts a loss for the LDP during the upcoming House of Councilors election will most certainly be faithfully ignored.
Yet, even Ichiro Ozawa, president of the Democratic Party of Japan (Minshuto), the country's main opposition party, is starting to become uncharacteristically optimistic about his party winning a majority of the seats. This week he publicly stated a higher goal for the July elections. "I had stated my goal was 50 seats or more," Ozawa said at a meeting with officials of the Japanese Trade Union Confederation, "but now I want to secure 55 seats or more to obtain an absolute majority."
Kjeld Duits, Monday, June 18, 2007 Posted: 07:33 PM JST
Something extremely interesting is happening with Chongryon, the pro-Pyongyang General Association of Korean Residents in Japan. Today, the Tokyo District Court ordered Chongryon to repay 62.7 billion yen as demanded to a governmental debt-collection body, and allowed seizure of the premises of the Chongryon headquarters in lieu of payment. Chongryon's Tokyo headquarters has functioned as the de facto North Korean "embassy" in Japan.
Kjeld Duits, Monday, June 18, 2007 Posted: 06:51 PM JST
With important national elections just around the corner, and WWII Prime Minister Tojo's granddaughter ready to campaign, it is a good time to think about resurgent nationalism in Japan. Here is a list of some sites about Japanese nationalism:
Bite the Dog
Japan Focus article by David McNeill about several cases with enormous implications for freedom of the press in Japan. (ENG)
Article by Mayumi Itoh on the site of the Japan Policy Research Institute, about the role of the Hinomaru and Kimigayo Legislation. (ENG)
Japan's New Nationalism
Foreign Affairs article by Eugene A. Matthews, a former Senior Fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations, and President of Nintai, an international educational firm. (ENG)
Japan's Thought Police
Excellent article by Steve Clemons in the Washington Post about the rise of Japanese right power. (ENG)
Japanese Nationalism Links
List of links to outright right organizations as well as rightist organizations in Japan. (ENG)
JIIA Commentary Archive
An August 2006 article in the Sankei Shimbun by Yoshihisa Komori lead to the suspension of Commentary, published by the Japan Institute of International Affairs. This site archives the JIIA articles. (ENG JPN)
Media Intimidation in Japan
A paper by Tokyo based journalist David McNeill about his close encounter with hard Japanese nationalism. (ENG)
Find more sites related to Japan at Japan Links. Special section for nationalism in Japan.
Kjeld Duits, Friday, June 15, 2007 Posted: 02:21 PM JST
On May 23, the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology published the results of a survey of the working conditions of schoolteachers at public elementary, lower secondary, and upper secondary schools. Long vacations, easy work, right? Well..., the results were quite surprising, with lots of schoolteachers working 11 hours a day or more. Many even work 8 hours or more during school vacations.
Kjeld Duits, Friday, June 15, 2007 Posted: 02:11 PM JST
On May 29, the Statistics Bureau of the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications published the results (preliminary report) of its Labour Force Survey. According to the findings, the (seasonally adjusted) unemployment rate for April was 3.8 percent, down by 0.2 percentage points from the previous month, falling below 4.0 percent for the first time in nine years and one month since March 1998.
Kjeld Duits, Monday, June 11, 2007 Posted: 02:15 PM JST
(by Jean Miyake Downey) - A special preview of the powerful documentary Invisible Children, showing the horrific plight of children kidnapped for use as child soldiers, wil be held in Tokyo on June 29. The event is organized by The People for Social Change (PSC), a diverse Tokyo-based volunteer social activist group, in collaboration with the UN Refugee Agency Refugee Film Festival.
Kjeld Duits, Tuesday, June 5, 2007 Posted: 09:16 PM JST
(by Jean Miyake Downey) - This week, NHK will air a program about dual citizenship, called "Naze ikenai? Niju Kokuseki" ("Dual Citizenship. Why not?"). It is a timely topic given the tremendous increase of the rate of international marriages in Japan. One of the people to be interviewed for the program is historian Bruce Batten, Vice President of J.F. Oberlin University. The program will be taped on June 8. NHK usually airs this program on the day of taping, or the following day.
Kjeld Duits, Tuesday, June 5, 2007 Posted: 03:58 PM JST
(by Nobuko Saigusa) - Kochi Prefecture in western Japan is the prefecture with the largest forest area in Japan. Forests here account for 84 percent of land area. It is therefore no surprise that this prefecture maintains a unique and assertive forest conservation program that is now being studied as a model by prefectures all over Japan.
The now legendary Sir Ernest Mason Satow (1843-1929) was a member of the British legation in Tokyo for twenty-one years. This classic book is based on the author's detailed diary, personal encounters, and keen memory. In it, Satow records the history of the critical years of social and political upheaval that accompanied Japan's first encounters with the West around the time of the Meiji Restoration. Fascinating.
Stone Bridge Press