· May, 2007

Stories about Japan from May, 2007

Japan: Who's the real nationalist?

Graham Webster at Transpacific Triangle, picking up on earlier entries by Ampontan and Observing Japan, asks the question: “Who's the Bigger Nationalist: Abe or Koizumi?” The verdict: “People like Abe who favor constitutional revision are ‘practical nationalists,’ whereas people like Koizumi who pay tribute to late 19th century nationalist traditions...

Japan: The King of Foreign Otaku in Japan

  15 May 2007

Last week, TV Tokyo aired a compeition between foreign otaku. In the end, Chang from Hong Kong was crowned champion. James in Japan Probe put together video clips with comments on the programme.

Japan: A Report from the Henoko Protest

  14 May 2007

Jeff at his Okinawa Blog reports on his experience “Living Dangerously on Okinawa's Coral Sea”, protesting environmental surveys for a new base at Henoko Bay. Jeff writes: ” It's a landmark day […] It is to be the first day in which the Self-Defense Force — the Japanese army —...

Japan: Skepticism about Government plans to switch to Linux

  14 May 2007

Andreas at Chosaq expresses skepticism about reports that the Japanese government is planning to move ahead with plans to promote the open source operating system Linux in government agencies from July. A story originally published in Nikkei Shimbun “says a consortium of major IT firms including IBM (IBM), NEC (NIPNY)...

Japan: Japanese 30-somethings not happy

  14 May 2007

shigeto2004 refers to and gives an analysis on the result of an online survey conducted by Japanese newspaper Yomiuri on workers in their 30s. This entry is followed by an active thread of responses. [Ja]

Japan's Pacifist Constitution, 60 Years Later

  13 May 2007

Early last week on May 3rd, amid widespread debate and discussion on the topic, Japan celebrated the 60th anniversary of its constitution. The anniversary comes at a time when Japanese citizens and their government are re-evaluating the role of their current constitution and debating its uniquely pacifist nature. With Japan...

Japan: Forced Confessions

  12 May 2007

Debito comments on a New York Times article describing the case of 13 men and women “acquitted this year in a local district court, which found that their confessions had been entirely fabricated“. Debito notes that “The Japanese authorities have long relied on confessions to take suspects to court, instead...

Korea: Living as descendants of Japanese collaborators in Korea

  11 May 2007

On the second of this month, the Korean government decided to take over land belonging to the families of nine Korean collaborators of the Japanese during the Japanese colonization period (1910-1945). Their land, 255,000 sq.m, which is estimated at 3.6 billion won (4 million US dollars), will be taken from...

Civil movements in Japan and Korea

  11 May 2007

kenzo , an architect actively involved in an anti-gentrification movement in the Shimokitazawa area of Tokyo, talks about his recent experience of receiving a group of enthusiastic urban planning students from Korea. He describes the crosscultural conversation he had with the students on the topic of the differences between civil...

Japan: Summary of Tojo Yasukuni Debate

  11 May 2007

Ampontan summarized a segment of a South Korean TV program that appeared on August 13, 2006 with Japanese subtitles. The show featured Tojo Yuko, granddaughter of former Prime Minister Tojo Hideki (who served during much of World War Two and was later hanged for war crimes), speaking to a Taiwanese...

Japan: Lithographs of Tokyo in Ruins

  10 May 2007

Pink Tentacle has posted an incredible series of pictures of a post-apocalyptic Tokyo, “where familiar streets lie deserted, the buildings are crumbling and weeds grow from the broken pavement”. The pictures are lithographs by artist Motoda Hisaharu, originally posted at his webpage.

Japan: Self-Defense Forces to be Deployed to Henoko, Local Blogger Issues a Plea

  10 May 2007

On the evening of May 9, Japanese broadcaster Nippon TV broke the news that the Japanese government is planning to send the Self-Defense Forces (SDF) to put down protests in Henoko Bay, Okinawa. Local protesters have responded in shock to this move. One local blogger describes the move as an attempt to legitimize the role of the SDF as a national military.