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 ...

Japan's public diplomacy of churlish cluelessness

| Oct 17, 2015

Japan's public diplomacy of churlish cluelessness

Enough is enough. How dare UNESCO inscribe primary sources and a wartime video about the Nanking mayhem into global memory? I fully support the Japanese government’s threats to withdraw funding from UNESCO to protest its recent decision to include a dossier submitted by China, ...

Universities fending off attacks on the liberal arts

| Oct 3, 2015

Universities fending off attacks on the liberal arts

As discussed last week, in June the education ministry sent a directive to all 86 national universities in Japan, apparently calling on them to abolish or reorganize their humanities and social sciences departments. I use the word “apparently” because the wording of the letter ...

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 ...