No.42 | Discuss Japan-Japan Foreign Policy Forum

Archives : No.42

Nov 2017-Jan 2018

No.42
No.42 ,Diplomacy ,Discussions  Jan 18, 2018

Dialogue: Abe Commences Double Postwar Settlement at Russo-Japanese Summit Talks
Putin Says That National Borders Can Move

Key Points of the Joint Press Conference held on December 16, 2016 The two leaders agreed to commence negotiations for a special system for carrying out joint economic activities on the four Russian-held Northern Islands. The two leaders expressed their shared willingness to conclude a peace treaty and recognized joint economic activities as a step toward its conclusion. Abe expressed the view that the road to the conclusion of a peace treaty covering the Northern Territories issue remains long and difficult. Why the Islands Were Not Discussed Yamauchi: I think many media reported that as usual, no progress was observed on the Northern Territories issue immediately after Russian President Vladimir Putin had talks with Japanese Prime Minister Abe Shinzo. Sato: To state my conclusion first, I think that the latest Russo-Japanese summit produced significant results for both countries. Yamauchi: I agree with you completely. ... ... [Read more]

No.42 ,Diplomacy
Jan 11, 2018

A New Step Forward to “Regions for Japan-Russia Cooperation” — results and challenges from the Japan-Russia summit.

Perhaps because hopes for negotiations between Japan and Russia were so high, there was great disappointment at the results. But when we study the talks in detail, there is evidence for a new stage in the Japan-Russia relationship. So, what is the outlook for these negotiations? It was 15 December 2016. As snow fell on the Yamaguchi Prefecture town of Nagato, a summit was taking place between Prime Minister Abe and President Putin. The event had an unusual start when Putin arrived later than planned, but it was effectively the first official visit to Japan in a year for the Russian president. So, did this “Nagato Summit” succeed, or did it fail? Most of the media reporting on the summit were critical, concluding that a lack of new progress on the territorial negotiations showed failure. To evaluate the summit fairly however, we must understand ... ... [Read more]

No.42 ,Science
Dec 26, 2017

RIKEN: The 100th Anniversary of a Major Research Organization of Japan
― The Day the 113th Element Was Born

December 1, 2016. On this day, a press conference took place in a Fukuoka city hotel that deserves to go down in the history of science in Japan. The day before, at the Institute of Physical and Chemical Research (known as RIKEN) in Wako, Saitama Prefecture, the acceptance of an official name for a new chemical element artificially created in Japan was announced. Its name was nihonium, its symbol Nh, and its atomic number 113. The periodic table is an organizational system for the elements, and is to science what the alphabet is to the English language. But until recently, the elements that fill the table were all officially discovered in the countries of Europe and North America, and none in Japan. In fact, in 1908 a Japanese had discovered the forty-third element and proposed the name nipponium for it. The fourth president of ... ... [Read more]

No.42 ,Economy
Dec 20, 2017

EV Revolution to Bring Drastic Change to Auto Industry

Toyota’s EV concept car (TOYOTA Concept-i) Executive Vice President Didier Leroy of Toyota Motor said, “We have no doubt that EVs will be one of the key solutions in the near future. That is why we have created a new company with Mazda and Denso to develop EV architecture with a view to mass production” at the 2017 Tokyo Motor Show. PHOTO: COURTESY OF TOYOTA MOTOR   Electric vehicles (EVs) without engines appear to be gaining momentum as a driving force behind a drastic turning point in the 100-year history of internal combustion engine vehicles, and are beginning to cause a major paradigm shift in business for auto manufacturers around the world. This new trend in automobile technology has been given further momentum by significant developments in government policies, social values and the technological environment that were seen during the course of 2017. In ... ... [Read more]

No.42 ,Culture
Dec 19, 2017

The “Johnny’s” Entertainers Omnipresent on Japanese TV: Postwar Media and the Postwar Family

Introduction What do Japanese people think of when they hear the name Johnnies? Perhaps pop groups such as SMAP or Arashi that belong to the Johnny & Associates talent agency? Or perhaps the title of specific TV programs or movies? If they are not that interested, perhaps they will be reminded of the words “beautiful young boys” or “scandal”? On the other hand, if they are well-informed about the topic perhaps jargon terms such as “oriki,” “doutan,” or “shinmechu” are second nature? In this way the word “Johnnies” (the casual name given to groups managed by Johnny & Associates) is likely to evoke all sorts of images. But one thing is sure: almost no Japanese person would reply that they hadn’t heard the name. If a person lives within Japanese society and they watch television even just a little, whether they like it or ... ... [Read more]

No.42 ,Society
Dec 08, 2017

What Impresses Foreign Tourists When They Come to Japan?
― Explaining Japanese society and culture to foreign tourists

As an tour guide-interpreter, Hagimura Masayo sometimes spends as long as two weeks traveling around the whole of Japan with foreign visitors, so no-one has more first-hand knowledge of exactly what interests, attracts and impresses tourists. In this article, she taps her rich professional experience to discuss some tourism resources of which Japanese people might not be aware. Introduction When the Japanese government launched its Visit Japan campaign back in 2003, the number of foreign tourists visiting Japan each year was only 5.24 million. Ten years later the figure had reached 10 million, and over time it gradually increased. From January to October 2016, more than 20 million people visited Japan. (The exact figure was a record 20,113,000 people, compared to 16,316,000 for the same period in 2015). As this happens, the amount of work we tour guide-interpreters are asked to do is growing. ... ... [Read more]

No.42 ,Society
Nov 30, 2017

Inbound Tourism and Japanese People
― Issues related to the increase in tourists visiting Japan from abroad

The influx of foreign tourists into Japan reminds one sociologist of American soldiers stationed in Japan immediately after the Second World War. What does he think of the current tourism boom? In this essay, Professor Miyajima’s essay covers several perspectives that are critical to thinking about this issue. Early Memories of the Post-War Period Perhaps it is just a fancy of mine, but for someone who spent their childhood and youth in post-war Yokohama, the current influx of foreign tourists to Japan reminds me of the officers and soldiers of the American occupation. Looking back, it seems like a storm that blew fiercely, then passed; seven or eight years during which there were several American bases and barracks in the city. Of course, Okinawa has been experiencing the same thing continually since the war, but elsewhere there has never before, or after, been so ... ... [Read more]

No.42 ,Culture
Nov 22, 2017

A Collection of Modern French Paintings on a Return Visit to Europe
— Masterpieces from the Bridgestone Museum of Art Ishibashi Foundation —

It is well known that there are outstanding works of fine art in Japan, this island nation in the Far East, but only a few experts know that there are actually several collections of Western art in addition to Japanese art. Nevertheless, several Japanese art museums with collections of magnificent works of modern French paintings have recently started to show the paintings in Europe — no doubt as a reminder of their existence. The Masterpieces from the Bridgestone Museum of Art exhibition held at the Musée de l’Orangerie in Paris this year (April 5 to August 21, 2017) attracted a lot of attention. The exhibition introduced the most important works in the collection of mainly modern Western art acquired by Ishibashi Shojiro (1889–1976), the founder of the Bridgestone Corporation. It must be said that the choice of the Musée de l’Orangerie, famous for its ... ... [Read more]