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Henoko and Ferguson

The various dramas occurring today near Henoko beach, Okinawa, and the city of Ferguson, Missouri, undoubtedly have many points of difference, but it is worth reflecting briefly on some issues that unite these two cases.

Gaza “Die-In” Staged in Tokyo’s Yoyogi Park

A group of Japanese and foreign activists and concerned citizens staged a “die-in” in Tokyo’s Yoyogi Park today to bring attention to the plight of the Palestinian people in the Gaza Strip. This event is the latest in a series of related protests that have occurred in the Japanese capital since Israel launched “Operation Protective Edge,” a military campaign that took the lives of almost 2,000 Palestinians and injured more than 10,000 people, mostly civilians.

Remains of Japanese POWs in Siberia

Almost seventy years after the guns fell silent, the Second World War remains very much present in the media, with frequent reminders of the human cost of the conflict. In the case of Japan this includes the fate of the soldiers and civilians captured in the closing days of the war, when the Soviet Union declared war and quickly overran Manchuria.

Is the DPJ Brand Worth Saving?

There are many reasons for the hapless condition that the Japanese political opposition has fallen into, but one of the biggest factors surrounds the state and ambitions of the largest remaining opposition party, the Democratic Party of Japan. The question, put simply, is whether or not the DPJ should focus on trying rebuild itself into a party that may one day govern the nation again, or if it has fallen so low in public esteem that its lawmakers would better advised to jump ship and to start afresh with a new political party.

Raid on the Diet Press Hall

Freelance journalists raid the Diet kisha club building in order to properly report the massive protests against the Abe government’s unilateral dismissal of the Japanese Constitution.

1982 Falklands War: Seven Lessons for Japan

June 14 marked the anniversary of the end of the 1982 Falklands conflict. At that time Japan was serving a two-year period as a non-permanent member of the UN Security Council and was thus involved to a limited degree on the diplomatic side of the conflict. This was still the time of the Cold War, rapid Japanese economic growth, and an era where some of the territorial disputes currently making headlines in Asia were still dormant.

Japan and the Century Since World War I

Almost seventy years after the guns fell silent, the Pacific War still haunts Japan in many ways. While the country’s reconstruction took place successfully, and Tokyo found a place in the Pax Americana underpinning economic growth in the Pacific for decades, historical disputes often make headlines and act as an obstacle to deeper relationships with countries such as South Korea.

Godzilla’s New Stomping Grounds

Looking hardly a day over 60 million, Godzilla turned sixty this year; brought back to life as Hollywood resuscitated the slumbering giant monster and turned what had been and still is a Japanese icon into an American smash hit of global proportions.