Tag Archives: Japan

“Japanese PM Shinzo Abe has visited the US naval base at Pearl…



“Japanese PM Shinzo Abe has visited the US naval base at Pearl Harbor, where he offered ‘sincere and everlasting condolences’ to the victims of Japan’s attack on the base 75 years ago. ‘We must never repeat the horrors of war again, this is the solemn vow the people of Japan have taken,’ he said.”

For more, see “Japan PM Shinzo Abe Makes Landmark Visit to Pearl Harbor,” BBC News (27 Dec 2016)

Image: AFP

“The Japanese have acknowledged that their emperor is not a god…



“The Japanese have acknowledged that their emperor is not a god and he has been stripped of all political power, but the nation still views its monarch as so central to the sense of identity that he is not permitted to resign. Now, Emperor Akihito is suggesting that his people let him retire.He is 82 years old. He has had cancer. He has had surgery. So, in a uniquely Japanese moment on Monday, he went on television to hint at his desire for Parliament to change the law so he can give the job to his son.”

For more, see Jonathan Soble, “At 82, Emperor Akihito of Japan of Japan Wants to Retire, Will Japan Let Him?The New York Times (7 August 2016)

“For the first time in nearly two centuries, the emperor of…



“For the first time in nearly two centuries, the emperor of Japan has said that he will abdicate the throne before he dies. According to NHK, the public broadcaster in Japan, Emperor Akihito, 82, who in 1989 succeeded his father, the wartime emperor Hirohito, told close aides that he intended to pass the throne to his son, Crown Prince Naruhito, 56, before dying. No modern emperor has done so: The last emperor to abdicate was Emperor Kokaku, in 1817.“

For more, see Motoko Rich, “Emperor Akihito, in First for Japan since 1817, Plans to Abdicate,The New York Times (13 July 2016)

Image: Shizuo Kambayashi / Agence France-Presse; Getty Images        

“Memorial Day weekend is normally party time on Gate Street, a…



“Memorial Day weekend is normally party time on Gate Street, a seedy strip of bars and clubs outside a giant United States Air Force base here. During this year’s holiday, though, Gate Street was all but deserted, its customers — young Americans from the military installations that blanket much of this southern Japanese island — barred by their superiors from partying in public.

The reason: a recent murder that has angered Okinawans and damaged relations between Tokyo and Washington.”

For more, see Jonathan Soble, “Okinawa Murder Case Heightens Outcry Over U.S. Military’s Presence,” The New York Times (4 June 2016)

Image: Adam Dean / New York Times

“Barack Obama called on the world to choose a future where…



Barack Obama called on the world to choose a future where Hiroshima was considered ‘the start of our own moral awakening’, as he became the first sitting US president to visit the Japanese city, 71 years after its bombing ushered in the nuclear age he vowed to bring to an end.”

For more, see Justin McCurry, “Barack Obama Says Memory of Hiroshima ‘Must Never Fade’,” The Guardian (27 May 2016)

Image: Carolyn Kaster / AP

“Eleven United States presidents have been elected since…



“Eleven United States presidents have been elected since President Harry S. Truman decided to drop an atomic weapon on Hiroshima, and none has set foot in that traumatized city in the 71 years since, at least not while in office. President Obama intends to end that streak with his visit on Friday, a decision that speaks volumes not only about his presidency but also about the increasingly worrisome struggle among powers great and small in East Asia.”

For more, see Gardiner Harris, “In Obama’s Visit to Hiroshima, a Complex Calculus of Asian Politics,” The New York Times (25 May 2016)

Image: Doug Mills / The New York Times

“In the early 20th century, the official history holds, Japan…



“In the early 20th century, the official history holds, Japan forcibly took innocent girls from Korea and elsewhere to its military-run brothels. There, they were held as sex slaves and defiled by dozens of soldiers a day in the most hateful legacy of Japan’s 35-year colonial rule, which ended with its defeat in World War II.

As she researched her book, combing through a rich archive in South Korea and Japan and interviewing surviving comfort women, Ms. Park, 58, said she came to realize that such a sanitized, uniform image of Korean comfort women did not fully explain who they were and only deepened this most emotional of the many disputes between South Korea and Japan.

In trying to give what she calls a more comprehensive view of the women’s lives, she made claims that some found refreshing but many considered outrageous and, in some cases, traitorous.“

For more, see Choe Sang-hun, “Disputing Korean Narrative on ‘Comfort Women’, A Professor Draws Fierce Backlash,” New York Times (18 Dec 2015)

Image: Jean Chung / New York Times