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Tag Archives: United States

A Reality Check on Islam in Japan

The US debate about Muslims and terrorism has become so extreme that it seems almost any claim, no matter how farfetched and at variance with the facts, can gain wide traction so long as it corresponds with popular prejudices. One recurring meme that illustrates this tendency is the notion that terrorism does not exist in Japan, and the reason is that the Japanese have adopted strict measures to keep Muslims out of the country. These notions promoted mainly by US conservatives are simply wrong on so many levels that it almost seems pointless to address such ignorant and lazy-minded arguments.

Trump, Cruz, and Shinzo Abe’s Constitutionalism

Leading Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump has been making waves with radical policy notions from the day he announced his run for his party’s nomination. He took this to a whole new level on August 16 when he released a five-page report entitled, “Immigration Reform That Will Make America Great Again.” Briefly noted within a subsection called—ironically enough—“Defend The Laws And Constitution Of The United States,” Trump called for “ending birthright citizenship.”

Under Surveillance in Tokyo

The first sign that something was amiss occurred at Tokyo Disneyland. Hassan was at a ride with his three young boys when he noticed a man who seemed out of place. The man was a tall, clean-cut Japanese man, perhaps in his mid-30s, who was all alone at a location where everyone else had children. Why was an adult man hanging out at a children’s ride? Hassan thought it was strange, but he says that it was from that day forward that his life took a change for worse.

Japan’s Anti-Nuclear Movement at High Tide

On the day before the planned restart of the Sendai Nuclear Power Plant in Kagoshima Prefecture, the Shingetsu News Agency is re-releasing the 22-minute documentary it made during the summer of 2012. Looking back from today’s perspective, we can now perceive that the anti-nuclear movement was at its high tide at that period.

The Japan that Can’t Say No to War

At the 93rd anniversary event of the Japan Communist Party, Chairman Kazuo Shii offered his view on how the so-called “Legislation for Peace and Security” will make future Japanese governments even less able to resist US government demands that they participate in foreign wars.

The Phantom Menace

Once again today Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has declared it. As the House of Councillors begins its deliberations on the Legislation for Peace and Security, the people are told that the passage of these bills is necessary and must be done now—in this Diet session. There is no alternative. Japan’s national security is now under threat like no other time in the postwar period.

Burying the Lessons of the Iraq War

There is probably no better method of predicting what people and institutions might do in the future than to have an accurate understanding of their behavior in the past. So much of what is popularly taken as surprising and “unpredictable” might easily have been foreseen by a better knowledge of the contexts, experiences, and the previous actions of the players involved in the construction of an event. When powerholders attempt to suppress the records of official behavior, it is therefore not simply the concern of a handful of cloistered intellectuals, but a matter that can be expected to have real-world impact on future policymaking and the fate of ordinary citizens.

Abe’s Coup in Seven Simple Steps

In case anyone is wondering how Prime Minister Shinzo Abe pulled off his coup against the postwar Japanese Constitution in just two-and-a-half years in power—and thus fulfilling his lifelong dream of restoring Japan as a nation with pride—here’s the process in seven simple steps.

Zengakuren Protests against the Security Bills

On July 1, a protest was held near the Diet Building that was jointly organized by the All-Japan League of Student Self-Government (Zengakuren) and the National Coordinating Center of Labor Unions, two organizations of the radical labor movement in Japan.