Ezra Vogel was an erudite doyen of contemporary Chinese and Japanese studies. He straddled the multi-disciplines of sociology, anthropology, linguistics, history, political science and international relations. Few scholars can match Vogel’s intellectual breadth and boldness, and profound understanding of two major civilizations — Chinese and Japanese — given the perchance of narrow academic specialization today.Read More
Who’s the Real Threat to Japan? The recent agreement on the planned national security legislation between the ruling Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) and its coalition partner, Komeito, is hardly a cause for celebration. While the latter convinced the former to include a “break” mechanism that would require Diet’s approval before allowing SDF dispatch, it hardly…Read More
Is Kazakhstan’s Nazarbayev the Lee Kwan Yew of Central Asia? When Singapore was expelled from Malaysia in 1965, the prospects for the newly-orphaned country were not positive. Weak, lacking resources, deeply divided along racial fault lines and surrounded by hostile neighbors, during his 25-year rule Lee Kwan Yew was nonetheless able to transform the small…Read More
Looking back on Afghanistan’s future In a year that was marked by conflict and instability around the globe, the 2014 December 28th declaration of the formal end of the US-led war in Afghanistan should have been greeted as welcome news. But in a country that has endured 36 years of continual civil war, the withdrawal…Read More
In Japan, where the unspoken social rules are predominant in workplaces as well as in society, foreigners generally find it difficult to thrive. On the other hand, the Japanese student’s development of his or her individuality needs to be encouraged and fostered also. The Japanese government and the national universities have realized that, and Japan is presently in the phase of a major transformation in its education sector.
With states drawing up unilaterally declared defense identification zones that can extended for hundreds of miles beyond territorial airspace, alongside growing fears that these zones will harden into claims of full sovereignty, a once benign security practice has rapidly evolved into a source of conflict over East Asia’s contested skies.
This essay seeks to add land relations with a particular emphasis on the consequences of Japan’s post-1945 land reform program to the more recent discussion on ‘human security’ (or non-traditional security concerns) in East Asia.
Any attempt to revise Article 9 would not only derange Japan’s security situation, but more importantly, would dislodge practices of commemoration for the past 60 years as merely tokenistic. That would seriously fracture the very core of Japan’s state identity.