Abe government targets the liberal arts

| Sep 26, 2015

Abe government targets the liberal arts

Over the past several weeks I have received many emails from all over the world asking me if reports about government plans to pull the plug on humanities and social sciences departments at Japanese national universities are accurate or just a bad joke. At ...

Student protesters want a revitalized democracy

| Sep 12, 2015

Student protesters want a revitalized democracy

The large and loud crowds that regularly gather outside the Diet on Friday evenings are the result of student activists trying to do something constructive to block Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s security legislation. The core activists in Students Emergency Action for Liberal Democracy (SEALDs) ...

Students oppose Abe's assault on the Constitution

| Sep 5, 2015

Students oppose Abe's assault on the Constitution

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe continues to say he will try to gain the public’s understanding on the government’s controversial security legislation, but there are few signs that he is winning anyone over. The massive demonstration held in front of the Diet on Aug. 30 ...

Trump's 'yellow peril' jibes break with GOP script

| Aug 29, 2015

Trump's 'yellow peril' jibes break with GOP script

In his recent Rolling Stone essay, Matt Taibbi immortalizes the race for the Republican Party presidential nomination, as a freaky spectacle that is “like watching 17 platypuses try to mount the queen of England. You can’t tear your eyes away from it.” Currently, the ...

Abe's revisionism and Japan's divided war memories

| Aug 22, 2015

Abe's revisionism and Japan's divided war memories

The Abe statement, approved by the Cabinet on Aug. 14, has elevated a myopic and exonerating revisionist narrative of history to Japan’s official policy. The vague and ambiguous references to past misdeeds, the inadequate recognition of Japanese aggression and the horrors inflicted, the minimalist ...

Abe statement was vague in all the wrong places

| Aug 15, 2015

Abe statement was vague in all the wrong places

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe made a hash of his long-anticipated statement on Friday commemorating the 70th anniversary of the end of World War II. He was vague where he needed to be forthright — on colonialism, aggression and the “comfort women” system — and ...

Abe's security laws nothing like same-sex marriage

| Aug 8, 2015

Abe's security laws nothing like same-sex marriage

In every intensely fought political battle there are moments of incongruous absurdity, but in the current tumult facing embattled Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, it doesn’t get more ludicrous or desperate than the parallel drawn between the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision affirming same-sex marriage and ...

Atomic bomb survivors nominated for Nobel prize

| Aug 1, 2015

Atomic bomb survivors nominated for Nobel prize

In this 70th year anniversary of the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, the Swiss-based International Peace Bureau (IPB) nominated Hidankyo (Japan Confederation of A- and H-Bomb Sufferers Organizations) for the 2015 Nobel Peace Prize. This is Hidankyo’s third such nomination by the IPB, ...