Is that a prediction or a threat?

For the second time in the past week, the Japanese media has noted concern that the comfort women resolution will worsen US-Japan relations.Last week, Kato Ryozo, Japan's ambassador to the US, warned, "This resolution, which is not grounded in objectivity, is not good for US-Japan relations."Now Mainichi reports that in New York on Monday, on …

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Constitutions east and west

In his Sunday interview on NHK, Prime Minister Abe reiterated the importance of constitution revision as a point of contention in next month's Upper House election.Meanwhile, in Brussels this past weekend the European Union's member states concluded a treaty that wraps up the questions that were intended to be addressed by the nixed constitution. The …

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Elections as beauty contests

With two weeks left in the "non-campaign" season, before candidates officially file, which marks the official campaign season during which candidates can actually ask for votes, I thought it would be worthwhile to share a passage from Gerald Curtis's Election Campaigning Japanese Style. For those not familiar with the book, in 1966-1967 Curtis lived and …

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Constructing modern Japan

Every social scientist must struggle with the question of human agency. Are human societies the product of grand social forces or are they the product of the decisions of individuals — Carlyle's heroes?The question is particularly important for Japan, which was pushed on to a drastically different path in the late nineteenth century when confronted …

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