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No.20
No.20 ,Culture ,Discussions  Apr 11, 2014

The First Three-Way Conversation Coinciding with the Thirtieth Anniversary of Studio Ghibli
Miya-san, why don’t you make another movie?

Miyazaki Hayao (left), Suzuki Toshio (center) and Takahata Isao Photo by Nicolas Guérin

The release of The Wind Rises, The Tale of Princess Kaguya, and then, Miyazaki Hayao’s announcement of his retirement: 2013 was truly the year of Ghibli. Read about their works and this country in an in-depth conversation that lasted for three hours by two master directors and a famous producer. ... [Read more]

No.19
No.19 ,Politics ,Discussions  Mar 25, 2014

A direct proposition to the “long-term” Abe administration
Crisis leadership: Nankai Trough, sub-Tokyo earthquake…
Voicing the limits to the Self-Defense Forces out loud

ORIKI Ryoichi Former Chief of Staff, Joint Staff

  They cannot do what they did after the Great East Japan Earthquake for all earthquakes. State risks require preparations on the part of autonomies and citizens. ORIKI Ryoichi Former Chief of Staff, Joint Staff Funabashi Yoichi has interviewed a number of people for this magazine (Bungeishunju) on the topic of the Fukushima Nuclear Power Plant accident and crisis leadership – writer Hando Kazutoshi (June 2013), former Chief of Fukushima No.2 Nuclear Power Plant Masuda Takahiro (August 2013), and Charles Casto of the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (October 2013). On this occasion, he meets former Joint Staff’s Chief of Staff Oriki Ryoichi, who was head of the army, naval and air forces at the time as the leader of the Self-Defense Forces’ uniformed personnel, to discuss the role of the Self-Defense Forces (SDF) in this incident and leadership as its former commander. FUNABASHI Yoichi ... ... [Read more]

No.17
No.17 ,Culture ,Discussions  Dec 01, 2013

Hosoda Mamoru + Azuma Hiroki — Animation for Parents

Azuma (left) and Hosoda. PHOTO: COURTESY OF GENRON CO., LTD.

In 2012, director Hosoda Mamoru scored a big hit with a movie called Wolf Children. Unlike conventional animated movies, it was full of messages aimed at families raising young children. On September 25, while the movie was in theaters, Hosoda’s first child (a son) was born, thrusting the director right into the heart of child raising himself. He met up twice with the Japan Journal’s Editor-in-Chief, who himself has a daughter in elementary school, for an in-depth discussion regarding the hidden messages in Wolf Children and the isolating effects of becoming a father.... [Read more]

No.16
No.16 ,Diplomacy ,Discussions  Oct 08, 2013

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.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]

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