At the end of World War II, Russia seized four of the Kuril Islands north of Hokkaido. Russia expelled the Islands’ Japanese residents, and they are still disputed. Russia and Japan never reached an agreement, and never signed a treaty ending the war.
In 1993, Japanese Chief Cabinet Secretary Yohei Kono made the most full-throated admission and apology acknowledging that Japan had coerced women across Asia into being sex slaves—euphemistically referred to as “Comfort Women”—for the Japanese military during the Pacific War. More recently, however, conservative politicians such as Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and Osaka Mayor Hirofumi Yoshimura have engaged in a campaign that is less about carving out a path toward reconciliation than to overwrite memories of an unsavory past.
Astrid Walmer interviews three artists and the curator of the 2018 São Paulo Art Biennial. Featured are Curator Gabriel Perez Barriento of Spain, Claudia Fontes of Argentina, Katrín Sigurdardóttir of Iceland, and Nicole Vlado of the United States.
The Abe administration has called for the end of the whaling ban imposed by the International Whaling Commission in 1986. Instead, the government has proposed its “Way Forward” initiative, hoping to gain the support of other pro-whaling nations. A meeting taking place in Brazil this week will be discussing this topic with member states.
Yoshimoto Kogyo and Dentsu are collaborating with the United Nations on a joint mission to raise awareness of the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals in Japan.
The UN Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination (CERD) advised the government of Japan to take a more active stance towards the Comfort Women matter. The UN report was published on August 30, and it called for a “lasting solution” based on “a victim-centered approach.”
Japan has launched three military ships into the South China Sea, a move which could potentially stoke tensions with its giant Asian neighbor.
When is the news media not the news media? It’s when its adherence to a political ideology comes before its responsibility to inform the public about the realities of current affairs. It’s when it becomes more comfortable lying to keep a friendly regime in power than serving as a watchdog for the public interest. In that sense, Fox News has never qualified as a news organization.
This week Japan will be extending its support for the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestinian Refugees (UNRWA)—an act which goes against the foreign policy of the Trump administration.
On May 4, US Marine Corps Commandant General Robert B. Neller’s words spoken at a press conference the day before became front-page news in Okinawa.