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Chris Burgess

Chris Burgess teaches Japanese and Australian Studies at Tsuda College, Tokyo. He has published widely on multiculturalism, globalization, migration and identity in contemporary Japan. He is also an avid football fan (YNWA) and futsal player.

For Chris Burgess's latest contributions to The Japan Times, see below:

Media grasp for words to sum up post-3/11 grit

| Jun 21, 2011

Media grasp for words to sum up post-3/11 grit

The disaster was “divine retribution (tembatsu),” proclaimed Tokyo Gov. Shintaro Ishihara just days after the Tohoku earthquake. “The Japanese have become a selfish (gayoku) people. We need to use the tsunami to wash away this egoism.” There is not a little irony in a ...

Students choose failure over uncertainty

| Apr 19, 2011

Students choose failure over uncertainty

“Could you please fail me?” As a university lecturer, it is by no means unusual to have seniors drop by to check if they have sufficient credits to graduate. However, I was flabbergasted by this recent visitor who wanted not reassurance – she was ...

Appeals to culture, tradition ignore the historical facts

| Aug 17, 2010

Appeals to culture, tradition ignore the historical facts

In the upcoming Australian general election, there is one issue that the major parties unanimously agree on: opposition to Japanese whaling. Voters are overwhelmingly antagonistic to whaling and Australian politicians have demonstrated an increasing willingness to listen to public opinion. In May, then Prime ...

Higher education: opening up or closing in?

| Mar 23, 2010

Higher education: opening up or closing in?

First in a two-part series In his opening address to the Diet in January 2008, then Prime Minister Yasuo Fukuda announced a proposal to increase the number of foreign students studying in Japan to 300,000 by 2020. The plan, presented under the heading “an ...

Immigration showing signs of <em>ninjo</em>

| Oct 27, 2009

Immigration showing signs of ninjo

Last month, I was asked to take part in a public panel discussion on the recently released Harrison Ford blockbuster “Crossing Over.” In the film, Ford plays an L.A. Immigration and Customs officer with a conscience, increasingly disturbed by the human consequences of his ...

Soft power is key to Japan reshaping its identity abroad

| Sep 2, 2008

Soft power is key to Japan reshaping its identity abroad

In February this year, a Japanese university student scribbled her name and that of her college on the walls of Florence’s Duomo. The following month, the university received complaints from Japanese travelers embarrassed to find Japanese graffiti on a World Heritage Site. In June, ...

The lowest form of flattery?

| Mar 11, 2008

The lowest form of flattery?

In order to avoid the entry of terrorists into Japan, it has been decided to impose fingerprinting and photography at immigration.’ So begins the Foreign Ministry video explaining the November changes to the Immigration Control and Refugee Recognition Act. Two months later, Foreign Minister ...