Done right, moral education could be a good thing

| Dec 5, 2015

Done right, moral education could be a good thing

The Cabinet of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is enacting another one of the conservatives’ long-standing policy desires by reintroducing moral education in secondary schools from 2018. This has sparked a liberal backlash because moral education is associated with wartime Japan’s nationalist hysteria and thought-control ...

Asia mostly backsliding on democratic values

| Nov 28, 2015

Asia mostly backsliding on democratic values

In Japan, lawyers are fortunately not arrested by the state for doing their job, as they are in China. Nor are academics faced with indictment for challenging mainstream history narratives, as in South Korea. We tend to expect the worst when it comes to ...

South Korea's new state textbook 'corrects' history

| Nov 7, 2015

South Korea's new state textbook 'corrects' history

South Korea recently announced plans for a revisionist textbook that will whitewash that country’s history and has the academic community outraged over political meddling. At least the move gives South Korean President Park Geun-hye something in common with Prime Minister Shinzo Abe. Park has ...

| Oct 31, 2015

'Japan Lobby' takes the gloves off in PR battle

The Sankei Shimbun advocates a more aggressive diplomatic stance on history issues and this dovetails with the mission of Japan Conference, a reactionary organization that includes numerous lawmakers. From their perspective, Japan has been too reticent and polite on the world stage and the ...

Assessing Japan's rightward shift at the top

| Oct 24, 2015

Assessing Japan's rightward shift at the top

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is Japan’s most ideological postwar prime minister, pushing right-wing policies on numerous fronts that trample on postwar norms and values. He has been able to do so because he has the Diet in his back pocket, but how did this ...