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Archives : No.16

Oct–Nov 2013

No.16 ,Culture  Oct 11, 2013

Special Interview : Suzuki Toshio, Producer and Chairman, Studio Ghibli – Miyazaki Hayao and Takahata Isao Serving as the driver for two geniuses

Producer and Chairman of Studio Ghibli

Miyazaki Hayao’s The Wind Rises is now playing, and Takahata Isao’s The Tale of The Princess Kaguya (Kaguyahime no Monogatari) is due out this fall. Wanting to know how Suzuki Toshio, the Representative Director of Studio Ghibli and the producer of these two works, handled these two geniuses named Miyazaki and Takahata, Suzuki’s longtime acquaintance, Shibuya Yoichi, the President of Rockin’ On, interviewed him for over ten hours. While you should read his latest book, Kaze ni Fukarete if you want the entire interview, we share part of it here. ... [Read more]

Accidental Explosion or Maturity? The Future of China’s Expanding Military Power — Capability and Intentions Analyzed by Former Senior Leaders of the Japan Self-Defense Forces

Koda Yoji Former Commander in Chief, Self-Defense Fleet (Vice Admiral) of the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force

Numerical analysis reveals the formidable raw power of the Chinese military: Koda Yoji: Fear and anxiety about China’s People’s Liberation Army has been spreading in Japan as China has rapidly expanded its military spending in recent years, but its real capability is relatively unknown. I am afraid this story is taking on a life of its own. Today I would like to discuss matters related to China’s military power by calmly analyzing it, because if we overestimate or underestimate its power we won’t be able to deal with it properly as a nation. Yamaguchi Noboru: First, let’s begin by confirming China’s defense budget. According to the Chinese government, China’s defense spending reached $90.2 billion in 2011, an eighteen-fold increase over the past twenty years. China has been regularly doubling its defense budget every five years. This reflects the growth of China’s GDP. Incidentally... [Read more]

No.16 ,Society
Oct 07, 2013

The English Essays of Minakata Kumagusu – Centering on his Contributions to “Nature”

TAMURA Yoshiya, Academic Trustee of Minakata Kumagusu Archives

Minakata Kumagusu (1867–1941) left Japan for the United States in 1886, at the age of nineteen. After living in Michigan and Florida for four years (including a short stay in Cuba), he moved to London in 1892, when he was twenty-five. He remained in the English capital for eight years until September 1900, when he ended his fifteen years abroad, mostly for financial reasons. Minakata’s life overseas appears to have been of a diffuse nature, a feature ultimately characterizing his whole life. His main aims changed several times. Initially he entered a school of finance and accounting in San Francisco, in January 1887. In August that year, however, he left and headed east. After a day’s stay in Lincoln, Nebraska, to visit the University of Nebraska, he... [Read more]

No.16 ,Society
Oct 07, 2013

Minakata Kumagusu and the British Museum

According to Minakata Fumie (1911–2000), the daughter of Minakata Kumagusu (1867–1941), her father continued to share his memories of the British Museum late into his life. “When I first entered the Library, I found it to be the very place I had always dreamed of going,” [1] Minakata had said. It was on April 10, 1895 that Minakata applied for readership at the British Library, one the world’s largest libraries, then located inside the British Museum in central London [2]. Minakata had been introduced by Charles Hercules Read (1857–1929), Keeper of the Department of British and Mediaeval Antiquities and Ethnography, to the Museum’s Augustus Wollaston Franks (1826–97), Read’s predecessor as Keeper, on September 22, 1893 as a young, learned Japanese... [Read more]

No.16 ,Economy
Oct 04, 2013

A Compass for the Japanese Economy — Readjusting the Economy by Focusing on Technological Innovation

John Maynard Keynes once wrote, “We are suffering, not from the rheumatics of old age, but from the growing-pains of over-rapid changes, from the painfulness of readjustment between one economic period and another.” Most Japanese industries and companies are being forced to engage in a tough struggle as industrial organizations undergo huge changes worldwide. Organizational rigidity due to the aging of corporate employees is certainly one factor behind this trend. However, its direct cause is the pain associated with excessively rapid changes in finance and foreign exchange which have arisen from economic globalization in complex ways. An essential question here for Japan concerns what it means to readjust to another kind of economy. To answer this question in my own... [Read more]

No.16 ,Economy
Oct 04, 2013

How Management Can Make the Most of Diverse Human Resources – Increasing Women’s Participation Will Change Corporate Management and the Japanese Economy

How to take advantage of women’s abilities is an important issue for both the Japanese economy in general and corporations in particular. This feature story will examine why it is important to utilize women’s power, what kind of positive effects the full employment of women will bring about economically, and how the employment of women should be promoted.... [Read more]

No.16 ,Politics
Oct 04, 2013

Thinking About the Abe Cabinet in the Next Three Years

The ruling parties in the coalition, the Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) and New Komeito, comprised the second largest force in the House of Councillors until the Upper House election this summer, in which they won more than half the seats. The parties consequently took a stable majority in both the Upper and Lower Houses, resolving a condition that had been dubbed a “twisted” Diet. Prime Minister Abe Shinzo probably could not have asked for a better election result. Thinking generally about this, there will be no election in Japan in the next three years. Chances are that a stable period, which is rare in the kaleidoscopic world of Japanese politics, will arrive. What will the Abe administration aim for in this quiet period ahead? Many observers take the view that he might... [Read more]

No.16 ,Politics
Oct 01, 2013

The Prime Minister’s Challenges During His Three Golden Years

As expected, the Liberal Democratic Party won a landslide victory in the House of Councillors election in July, putting an end to the “twisted Diet.” Since the ruling parties have an overwhelming majority in the House of Representatives, unless there is an extraordinary reason, there will be no national elections until the next House of Councillors election, planned to be held in the summer of 2016. So the ruling Liberal Democratic Party can enjoy three golden years. If Prime Minister Abe Shinzo is re-elected in the LDP’s next presidential election in 2015, he will also be able to enjoy three golden years as prime minister. That said, the LDP government headed by Prime Minister Abe is not without its weaknesses. Let me point out five challenges the administration... [Read more]