Discuss Japan > Archives > Discussions
LinkedInTumblrDeliciousYahoo Bookmarks

Archives : Discussions

No.12

PANEL DISCUSSION: Solution to Japan-China Senkaku Problem, Future of Bilateral Relations

Photo : Miyamato Yuji(L), Takahara Akio(C), Akiyama Masahiro(R)

Three experts on Japan-China relations, who have held talks with Chinese intellectuals on various occasions, discussed on Oct. 3 the background to bilateral relations that have soured in the face of the Senkaku Islands issue and ways of resolving the problem. The three agreed that Japan and China still have a long way to go before they can settle the Senkaku issue and now need to work out an agreement to avoid a military clash. They also said that while reasonable and cool-headed attitudes are indispensable... [Read more]

No.11
No.11 ,Politics ,Discussions  May 31, 2012

WHO IS GROUP 1984?

It was the spring of 1974 when I read the article by Group 1984 for the first time. I was on the Tokaido Shinkansen (bullet train), on my way back to Tokyo from Kansai. The article was titled “Criticism of the Japanese Communist Party’s Platform for the United Democratic Government,” and had been handed to me by Mr. Yamazaki Masakazu, Professor Emeritus at Osaka University. He said that I would find it interesting. I looked to see who the author was. It was co-written by Group 1984. I immediately understood that the group was named after the novel Nineteen Eighty-Four written by George Orwell. This novel is about a dystopian, highly controlled society set in the near future. At the time of its publication, it was also seen as a criticism of socialism as well as of a technostress society. I thought that the ... ... [Read more]

No.10
No.10 ,Politics ,Discussions  Mar 31, 2012

TIME FOR JAPAN TO SHOW THE WORLD HOW TO OVERCOME CHALLENGES: PRIME MINISTER NODA, BE PREPARED TO ALWAYS STAY ON THE BATTLEFIELD.

Photo : Nakasone Yasuhiro

Rapid repair and strengthening of ties with the United States needed I recently enjoyed a visit from Prime Minister Noda Yoshihiko, giving me the opportunity to speak with him. The prime minister has famously described himself as a loach, setting an image for himself that is in sharp contrast with that of former prime ministers Hatoyama Yukio and Kan Naoto. Noda seems keen to get off to a good start with a modest and cautious approach to dealing with the twisted Diet. During the course of our conversation, I told him that I supported this approach and said that his administration could have staying power if Noda handles government effectively. I’m worried that Japanese politics is at risk of... [Read more]

No.9
No.9 ,Discussions  Dec 04, 2011

HOPE FOR JAPAN OR U.S. CONSPIRACY?

Hosaka Masayoshi: I personally have not yet made up my mind whether to support the TPP. If I’m not mistaken, Nakano-san is basically against it and Okamoto-san is for it. Nakano Takeshi: So far, I have turned down offers to directly debate with people who support the TPP because arguments tend to get emotional and unproductive. But I don’t insist that my arguments are perfectly correct. Without trying to flatter you both, I thought that we could hold a meaningful discussion. The national government has already declared that Japan will participate in the TPP negotiations, but I don’t think we should, for two reasons. First, the advantages asserted by the government are unfounded, while the anticipated disadvantages are numerous. Second, things have proceeded before arguments have matured. Okamoto Yukio: I believe Japan should at least take part in TPP negotiations since things are decided ... ... [Read more]

No.8
No.8 ,Discussions  Nov 28, 2011

DYNAMISM OF INTERNATIONAL DIVISION OF LABOR OF THE 21ST CENTURY BROUGHT ABOUT BY REGIONALISM

Photo : Kimura Fukunari

I feel a bit disappointed each time I am asked that simple but important question, “Is trade liberalization actually a good thing?” Theories on international trade, my area of expertise, are here for explaining the need for trade liberalization. Such a question makes me wonder what we have been doing. There are two ways to approach theories on international trade: one is from the economics standpoint where government is well-distanced from the real world economy and is capable of always implementing optimal political measures; and the other is from the political economics standpoint where political measures are formed through interactions mainly involving the economy. Following... [Read more]

No.7
No.7 ,Discussions  Sep 28, 2011

NEW PRIME MINISTER NODA’S ESSAY: MY PLANS FOR GOVERNMENT – NOW IS THE TIME FOR ACHIEVING A “MIDDLE WAY” IN POLITICS

Photo : Noda Yoshihiko

Eliminate clever schemes and rebuild Japan with the power of harmony The Great East Japan Earthquake struck Japan on March 11. This unprecedented disaster took from us a great many precious lives and irreplaceable hometowns. The Cabinet Office estimates the damage at 16.9 trillion yen; 1.8 times greater than that of the Great Hanshin-Awaji Earthquake. This disaster inflicted deep wounds in everyone’s heart, which cannot be expressed in numerical data, and left depleted hope not only in the devastated areas but all of Japan. The damage caused by the nuclear power plant accident continues. Indeed, Japan faces a historic national crisis. For the five months... [Read more]

No.6
No.6 ,Discussions  Jul 31, 2011

CHANGING THE STRUCTURE OF OUR NATION WITH EYES TOWARD HUMAN SECURITY

Photo : Funabashi Yoichi

The earthquake’s position in history Humans often see natural disasters of their time as a “divide” or “crossroads” in history. And history at times changes because we take such a view. Examples are the Ansei Edo earthquake and the arrival of the American fleet (1853, ’54) and the Great Kanto Earthquake and termination of the Anglo-Japanese Alliance (decided in 1921, terminated in 1923). The recent Great East Japan Earthquake will likely become another crossroads in history. It should cause a major change in the Japanese people’s sense of history. I think Japan is currently in a state where the fear of falling into a bottomless pit mixes with an almost desperate hope for recovery. Each citizen has fed off this... [Read more]

No.5
No.5 ,Discussions  Feb 05, 2011

DESIGN BEYOND FORM: THE ART OF YOSHIOKA TOKUJIN

KŌNO MICHIKAZU I understand this office is a converted rice warehouse that you had moved here from Shimane Prefecture back when you first opened your own design studio in 2000, and furthermore that you were personally responsible for everything from the architectural and interior design to the hiring and supervising of contractors. YOSHIOKA TOKUJIN I wanted to do something completely new but within my resources, which were limited. Since many of my clients are from overseas, I wanted to build a studio that would appeal to them and to present something uniquely Japanese to the world. My idea was to incorporate both Japanese tradition and futuristic elements. So I decided to create contemporary architecture out of a 150-year-old structure. Traditional Japanese houses typically use local materials, like timber and clay. I wanted to use the local materials of contemporary Tokyo,... [Read more]

No.4
No.4 ,Discussions  Jan 31, 2011

REVIVING THE SPIRIT OF THE XINHAI REVOLUTION

Speaking to a Chinese diplomat at a symposium on Japan-China relations about six months ago, I remarked on the fact that 2011 was the centennial of the Xinhai Revolution that toppled the Qing dynasty. “Yes, that’s right,” he replied. “But I don’t suppose that has much to do with Japan.” Astonished, I spoke of the many Japanese who had cooperated and participated in the revolution, in some cases at the cost of their lives. I mentioned Kita Ikki, who traveled to China and ate, slept, and fought alongside Song Jiaoren, founder of the Kuomintang (Nationalist Party), as well as such figures as Miyazaki Tōten, Inukai Tsuyoshi, Tōyama Mitsuru, the brothers Yamada Yoshimasa and Junzaburō, and Umeya Shōkichi. Now it was the diplomat’s turn to be astonished. “I had no idea,” he confessed. Pulling out a memo pad, he asked me to write down the ... ... [Read more]

No.3
No.3 ,Discussions  Oct 04, 2010

FROM THE CODEX TO THE KINDLE: RISING TO THE CHALLENGES OF DIGITAL PUBLISHING

KŌNO MICHIKAZU People have taken to describing this year as the beginning of a new era of digital publishing. Amazon released its Kindle DX digital reader last fall, and when the Apple iPad went on sale in Japan at the end of May this year, I was one of many who rushed out to buy one. The launch of so many high-profile devices one after another like this makes it feel as though the digital age really is upon us at last. Recent developments have sent shock waves through the publishing world, and people are worried that publishing companies and bookstores may have outlived their usefulness. Some have even compared the upheaval caused by the arrival of these latest products from the United States to the coming of Commodore Perry’s “black ships” to open up Japan in the 1850s. There has been talk about ... ... [Read more]

3 / 41234
PAGE TOP