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Jeff Kingston

Jeff Kingston lives in Tokyo, teaches history at Temple University Japan and has been contributing to The Japan Times since 1988. “Contemporary Japan” (Wiley-Blackwell, 2012) is his most recent book.

For Jeff Kingston's latest contributions to The Japan Times, see below:

| Mar 28, 2015

China benefits from Washington's bumbling diplomacy

The surge of nations agreeing to participate in China’s new development bank — the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank — marks a stunning success for Beijing, which has overcome U.S. opposition and arm-twisting to lure key American allies. Washington has been at its petulant worst, ...

| Mar 21, 2015

Celebrating 50 years of antipathy, recriminations

On March 1, South Korean President Park Geun-hye renewed her call for Japan to come clean on its colonial and wartime atrocities, including the sexual enslavement of women. Her speech was delivered on the anniversary of the anti-Japanese uprising by Koreans in 1919 and ...

| Mar 14, 2015

Indonesian preview for pending Abe statement?

Next month Prime Minister Shinzo Abe will attend the 60th commemoration of the 1955 Bandung Conference of Asian and African leaders in Jakarta. His main reason for doing so is to meet with Chinese President Xi Jinping and hopefully snag a better photo opportunity ...

| Mar 7, 2015

Centennial lessons for Abe from the '21 Demands'

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and fellow revisionists prefer to think that Japan’s 20th century imperialist aggression has been misunderstood. But on this score they are isolated not only from the international community, but also within Japan. In January and February, Emperor Akihito and Prince ...

| Feb 28, 2015

China inadvertently promotes Islamic extremism

March 1, 2014, was China’s 9/11. That was the day Islamic Uighur terrorists slashed their way into the collective consciousness of the country’s ethnic Han majority. That fateful day, a group of eight militants launched an attack at the main railway station in Kunming, ...

| Feb 21, 2015

Militant monks rabble-rousing in Myanmar

With the people of Myanmar heading to the polls later this year, there are troubling signs that some extremists are intent on stirring up trouble. Last month, one such extremist held a rally in Yangon. Ashin Wirathu gave a vitriolic speech that attacked U.N. ...

| Feb 14, 2015

Japan's public diplomacy is expensive and errant

Global understanding does not come cheaply. Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s government has budgeted ¥70 billion — yes, that’s more than $500 million — to help get the word out about Japan and ensure that China and South Korea aren’t the only ones controlling the ...

| Feb 7, 2015

Abe acts quickly to exploit Japan's 'nightmare'

On adjacent televisions at my gym, I watched breaking news on the beheading of journalist Kenji Goto by the Islamic State group next to a “One Piece” anime segment in which fresh-faced youth defended their boat from marauding pirates. The kids routed them in ...

Diplomatic blundering on hostages and history

| Jan 31, 2015

Diplomatic blundering on hostages and history

Japan’s latest hostage crisis has exposed shortcomings in Japan’s public diplomacy and raises questions about the advice Prime Minister Shinzo Abe received in publicly announcing $200 million in humanitarian aid to help those displaced by conflict with the Islamic State group. Understandably, the prime ...

| Jan 24, 2015

Can the DPJ reinvigorate Japanese democracy?

Columbia University’s Gerald Curtis recently wrote, “It is a sad commentary on Japan’s politics that after nearly 70 years of democracy a competitive party system has all but disintegrated.” The Democratic Party of Japan is a culprit in this disintegration and slim hopes for ...