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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:

Troika of female politicians under scrutiny

| Sep 24, 2016

Troika of female politicians under scrutiny

The media has been abuzz about the emergence of three prominent Japanese female politicians: Tokyo Gov. Yuriko Koike, Defense Minister Tomomi Inada and Renho, the head of the Democratic Party. However, the significance of this development is limited. Overall, politics in Japan remains a ...

Memories of 1931 Mukden Incident remain divisive

| Sep 17, 2016

Memories of 1931 Mukden Incident remain divisive

Today marks the 85th anniversary of the 1931 Mukden Incident (also known as the Manchurian Incident), when Japanese troops staged a bombing of their own railway by placing explosives near the train tracks. Even though the explosion did minimal damage and a train managed ...

National trauma and the memory wars of Asia

| Sep 10, 2016

National trauma and the memory wars of Asia

It has been 15 years since 9/11, and America’s nightmare has metastasized beyond anyone’s wildest imagination. It is a bad dream that includes former President George W. Bush’s Iraq War debacle, which plunged the Middle East into its current turmoil. But America’s trauma pales ...

Complicating Taiwan's love affair with Japan

| Sep 3, 2016

Complicating Taiwan's love affair with Japan

This month, the Ama (grandma) Museum will open in Taipei. It will be a venue dedicated to Taiwan’s wartime “comfort women” who provided sexual services under duress at Japanese military brothels. The opening of such a museum is surprising because Taiwanese tend to have ...

| Aug 27, 2016

Bears encroach on blurred human boundaries

It is puzzling that the black bears have become aggressive recently, given their previous inclination to retreat when confronted by humans. My theory is that winters are shorter and that means shorter hibernations and more active time spent consuming dwindling supplies of food. They ...

| Aug 13, 2016

A new Taiwan dreams of transitional justice

The newly elected Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) government of President Tsai Ing-wen has hit the ground running in a flurry of initiatives that highlight how powerfully the past resonates in contemporary Taiwan. Only in office since late May, she has positioned Taiwan on the ...

Is Japan ready for the LGBTQ revolution?

| Jul 30, 2016

Is Japan ready for the LGBTQ revolution?

This past spring, at a restaurant in Tokyo’s upscale Omotesando neighborhood, I encountered something new in Tokyo: a prominent sign written in English on the door of the communal WC declaring it “gender-free.” In recent years, there have been a number of encouraging signs ...

Asia's new normal — now made in China?

| Jul 23, 2016

Asia's new normal — now made in China?

As China’s President Xi Jinping asserts a new normal in Asia — one featuring a more belligerent Chinese presence — he is digging a deep diplomatic hole. The backlash in Asia may have been guarded, but the region’s minnows are getting feistier. For example, ...