| Jan 18, 2014

Lexicon for today's Japan: Reading between the lies

Plowing through the news, one is often struck by the proliferation of acronyms, jargon, new names and terms. It can be a baffling experience, so I thought I would provide some explanations, keywords, synonyms, associative notions and interpretations to aid comprehension — even at ...

| Dec 28, 2013

Incredible India and the New Delhi Dissensus

On a recent visit to New Delhi, I met an activist promoting the rights of dalits (untouchables), who quipped, playing off a current national-branding campaign: “India is indeed incredible . . . but only in paradox.” Earlier this month, people power ousted the establishment ...

| Dec 7, 2013

Pearl Harbor: The Day of Infamy that won't go away

Dec. 8 (Japan time) is the 72nd anniversary of Pearl Harbor, the infamous attack launched by Imperial Japanese forces against the United States that continues to reverberate in the popular imagination. Certainly, the 2,402 deaths made this raid unforgettable. So too the sunken and ...

| Nov 30, 2013

Imagining post-nuclear Japan

Former Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi has sent shock waves through the political establishment by calling for the end of nuclear power generation in Japan. “There is nothing more costly than nuclear power,” Koizumi was quoted as saying during an interview with Tokyo Shimbun — ...

| Nov 16, 2013

Nationalism, Tibetans and Uighurs in today's China

Nationalism arouses solidarity and generates identity politics that threaten ethnic and religious minorities. Defining the “we” also defines the “they” — and the latter is inexorably marginalized. Identity politics carry with them a high risk of sectarian or communal violence. State abuses of authority, ...