Category Archives: japan

Original Historic documentation for Asia politics

The first ones are from the UCLA Center for East Asian Studies:
Cambodia

The Constitution of the Kingdom of Cambodia, 1993

Premodern China

Zhou Dynasty (Shu Jing: Classic of Documents or Classic of History)

The Analects Attributed to Confucius [Kongfuzi], 551-479 BCE

The Tao Teh King [Daodejing], Or The Tao And Its Characteristics

Faxian (Fa-hsien) on Buddhist Kingdoms, ca. 400

Han Fei Zi (ca. 230 bce)

Ban Zhao [Pan Chao, ca. 45-116]

China

The Present Conditions of Religion in China, 2000

Annual Report on Military Power of People’s Republic of China, 2000

President Jiang Zemin Outlines Chinese Values, 1999

Tiananmen Square, 1989: The Declassified History : Documents

Constitution of the People’s Republic of China, 1982

Joint Communique of the United States and the People’s Republic of China, 1982

Joint Communique on the Establishment of Diplomatic Relations, 1979

Joint Communique of the United States and the People’s Republic of China, 1972

Foreword to the Second Edition of The Quotations of Chairman Mao — Lin Biao, 1966

Mao Zedong, “China Will Take a Giant Stride Forward”, 1964

Mao Zedong, “Order to the Chinese People’s Volunteers”, 1950

Conversations betwen the Soviet Union’s Joseph Stalin and China’s Mao Zedong, 1950

Conversations betwen the Soviet Union’s Joseph Stalin and China’s Mao Zedong, 1949

Mao Zedong, “The Chinese people have stood up!”, 1949

The Boxer Protocol, 1901

Selected Documents: Boxer Rebellion (China Relief Expedition)

The First “Open Door Note”, 1899

Treaty of Shimonoseki, 1895

Shimonoseki Armistice, armistice ending Sino-Japanese War, 1895

Treaty of Nanjing (Nanking), 1842

Lin Zexu (LinTse-hsu) writing to Britain’s Queen Victoria to Protest the Opium Trade, 1839

Hong Kong

Joint Declaration of the Government of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland and the Government of the People’s Republic of China on the Question of Hong Kong, 1997

Constitution of Hong Kong, 1990

Extracts from the Lockhart Report on the New Territory, 8 October, 1898, from Great Britain

Statement of His Excellency Governor Sir John Pope Hennessy, KCMG, on the Census Returns and the Progress of the Colony, 1881

Hong Kong Governor Bonham to British Minister Lord Grey, 1849

Cap. Charles Elliot, Chief Superintendent of Trade, to Hong Kong Residents (February 2, 1841)

Indonesia

The Constitution of the Republic of Indonesia, 1945

Indonesian President Sukarno Opens the Bandung Conference of Non-Aligned States, April 18 1955

Japan

Japan-U.S. Joint Declaration on Security, 1996

Japanese PM Murayama Expresses Regret Over World War II Actions,1994 and 1995

Japan – Allied Powers Peace Treaty, 1951

The Constitution of Japan, 1946

Japanese World War II Surrender, 1945

Prime Minister TOJO Hideki: On the Sacred War, May 27, 1942

Japanese Note to the United States, December 7, 1941

Treaty of Shimonoseki, 1895

Shimonoseki Armistice, armistice ending Sino-Japanese War, 1895

Meiji-era Japanese Constitution, 1889

Korea

Agreement on Reconciliation, Nonagression, and Exchanges and Cooperation between South and North Korea, 1992

Constitution of the Republic of Korea, 1948

Treaty of Annexation, 1910

Laos

The Constitution of the Lao People’s Democratic Republic, 1994

Mongolia

Constitution of Mongolia, 1992

Nepal

Constitution of the Kingdom of Nepal, 1990

Philippines

U.S. Senator Albert J. Beveridge speaks on the Philippine Question, U.S. Senate, Washington, D.C.,1900

Rudyard Kipling’s “The White Man’s Burden,” 1899

Taiwan

Constitution of the Republic of China, 1947

Treaty of Shimonoseki, 1895

Shimonoseki Armistice, armistice ending Sino-Japanese War, 1895

U.S.-Asia

Taiwan Relations Act, 1979

The Tonkin Gulf Resolution, 1964

U.S. Senator Albert J. Beveridge speaks on the Philippine Question, U.S. Senate, Washington, D.C.,1900

Rudyard Kipling’s “The White Man’s Burden,” 1899

U.S.-China

Resolution on US Citizens/Residents of Chinese Ancestry Detained in China, June 25, 2001

President Bush on China after Spy Plane Incident: Different Values, Common Interests, April 12, 2001

George Bush: Religious Persecution “Unworthy” of China’s Past, Future, May 3, 2001

U.S. State Department Cautions U.S. Citizens Regarding Travel to China, 2001

U.S. Ambassador Prueher’s Letter to Chinese Foreign Minister Tang, 2001 (plane collision incident)

Annual Report on Military Power of People’s Republic of China, 2000

Senate Permanent Normal Trade Relations Vote, September 20, 2000

Taiwan Relations Act, 1979

Allied Forces Invade China to Relieve Foreign Legations During Boxer Rebellion: Allied Proclamation to the Inhabitants of Tianjin (Tientsin), 1900

U.S.-Japan

Japan-U.S. Joint Declaration on Security, 1996

Japan – Allied Powers Peace Treaty, 1951

Japanese World War II Surrender, 1945

Japanese Note to the United States, December 7, 1941

Message From the United States President to the Emperor of Japan December 6, 1941

United States Note to Japan November 26, 1941

Vietnam

The Constitution of Vietnam, 1992

Declaration of Independence, Democratic Republic of Vietnam, 1945

DESCLASSIFED DOCUMENTS US

Nixon-Zhou Enlai 1972 US governemt desclassifed documents

North Korea and the United States: Declassified Documents from the Bush I and Clinton Administrations

Cold War declassifed US documents (Vietnam, Korea, China, Cambodia)

From The World and Japan Database Project

Titles Languages Date
Imperial Rescript, December 8, 1941 Japanese English Dec 8 1941
The Cairo Declaration Japanese English Nov 27 1943
Yalta Agreements Japanese English Feb 11 1945
CHARTER OF THE UNITED NATIONS Japanese English Jun 26 1945
The Potsdam Declaration Japanese English Jul 26 1945
Imperial Rescript, August 14, 1945 Japanese English Aug 14 1945
First Instrument of Surrender of Japanese and Japanese-Controlled Armed Forces Japanese English Sep 2 1945
North Atlantic Treaty (NATO Treaty) Japanese English Apr 4 1949
Treaty of Friendship, Alliance and Mutual Assistance between the USSR and the People’s Republic of China Japanese English Feb 14 1950
Mutual Defense Treaty Between the United States and the Republic of the Philippines Japanese English Aug 30 1951
Security Treaty Between Australia, New Zealand, and the United States (ANZUS) Japanese English Sep 1 1951
SanFrancisco Peace Treaty with Japan Japanese English Sep 8 1951
Security Treaty Between the United States and Japan (old$B!K(J Japanese English Sep 8 1951
Exchanged Notes between Prime Minister Yoshida and Secretary of State Acheson Japanese English Sep 8 1951
Administrative Agreement between the United States and Japan Japanese English Feb 28 1952
Administrative Agreement between the United States and Japan, Office of the Special Representative of the President of the United States Japanese English Feb 28 1952
Treaty of Peace Between Japan and the Republic of China Japanese English Apr 28 1952
Mutual Defense Treaty between the United States and the Republic of Korea Japanese English Oct 1 1953
Southeast Asia Collective Defense Treaty$B!J(JManila Pact$B!K(J Japanese English Sep 8 1954
Mutual Defense Treaty between the United States and the Republic of China Japanese English Dec 2 1954
Warsaw Security Pact Japanese English May 14 1955
Joint Declaration by Soviet Union and Japan Japanese English Oct 19 1956
Security Treaty between the United States and Japan (new) Japanese English Jan 19 1960
Exchanged Notes, Regarding the Implementation of Article VI of Security Treaty between the United States and Japan Japanese English Jan 19 1960
Exchanged Notes, Regarding Exchanged Notes between Prime Minister Yoshida and Secretary of State Acheson Japanese English Jan 19 1960
Exchanged Notes, Regerding Mutual Defense Assistance Agreement between the United States and Japan Japanese English Jan 19 1960
Agreement under Article VI of Security Treaty between the United States and Japan,Regarding Facilities and Areas and the Status of United States Armed Forces in Japan Japanese English Jan 19 1960
Exchanged Notes, Regarding Article XII 6 (d) of the Agreement Regarding Facilities and Areas and the Status of United States Armed Forces in Japan Japanese English Jan 19 1960
Treaty of Friendship, Co-operation and Mutual Assistance Between the USSR and North Korea Japanese English Jul 6 1961
Treaty of Friendship, Co-operation and Mutual Assistance Between the People’s Republic of China and the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea Japanese English Jul 11 1961
Memorandum between Takasaki and Liao, Regarding Japan-China Trade Japanese English Nov 9 1962
Treaty Banning Nuclear Weapon Tests in the Atmosphere, in Outer Space and Under Water Japanese English Aug 5 1963
Treaty on Basic Relations between Japan and the Republic of Korea Japanese English Jun 22 1965
Agreement between Japan and the United States Concerning Nanpo Shoto and Other Islands Japanese English Apr 5 1968
Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons Japanese English Jul 1 1968
Joint Statement of Japanese Prime Minister Eisaku Sato and U.S. President Richard Nixon Japanese English Nov 21 1969
Treaty between the Federal Republic of Germany and the USSR Japanese English Aug 12 1970
Agreement between Japan and the United States Concerning the Ryukyu Islands and the Daito Islands Japanese English Jun 17 1971
Joint Communique Between the People’s Republic of China and the United States Japanese English Feb 27 1972
Treaty Between the United States and the USSR on the Limitation of Anti-Balistic Missile Systems Japanese English May 26 1972
Interim Agreement Between the United States and the USSR on Certain Measures with Respect to the Limitation of Strategic Offensive Arms Japanese English May 26 1972
Protocol to the Interim Agreement between the United States and the USSR on Certain Measures With Respect to the Limitation of Strategic Offensive Arms Japanese English May 26 1972
Basic Principles of Relations Between the United States and the USSR Japanese English May 29 1972
Joint Communique of South-North Korea (Official Translation) Japanese English Jul 4 1972
Joint Communique of Japan and the People’s Republic of China Japanese English Sep 29 1972
Declaration of ASEAN Concord, A Common Bond Exisiting Among the Member States of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations Japanese English Feb 24 1976
Treaty of Amity and Cooperation in Southeast Asia (original) Japanese English Feb 24 1976
National Defense Program Outline of Japan (old) Japanese English Oct 29 1976
Treaty of Peace and Friendship between Japan and the People’s Republic of China Japanese English Aug 12 1978
Treaty of Friendship and Cooperation between the Socialist Republic of Viet Nam and the USSR Japanese English Nov 3 1978
Guideline for Japan-U.S. Defense Cooperation Japanese English Nov 27 1978
Joint Communique on the Establishment of Diplomatic Relations Between the United States and the People’s Republic of China Japanese English Dec 15 1978
United States-China Joint Communique on United States Arms Sales to Taiwan Japanese English Aug 17 1982
Plaza Accord Japanese English Sep 22 1985
Joint Declaration between Japan and EC Japanese English Jul 18 1991
Agreement between South-North Korea,Regarding Conciliation,Nonaggression,and Cooperation Japanese English Dec 13 1991
The Rio Declaration on Environment and Development Preamble Japanese English Jun 14 1992
Japan’s Official Development Assistance Charter (old) Japanese English Jun 30 1992
Tokyo Declaration on Japan-Russia Relations Japanese English Oct 13 1993
The Statement of Prime Minister Murayama on the Fiftieth Anniversary of the End of World War II Japanese English Oct 13 1993
Japan-U.S. Joint Declaration on Security, Alliance for the 21st Century Japanese English Apr 17 1996
Treaty of Amity and Cooperation in Southeast Asia (as amended on 15 December 1987 and on 25 July 1998) Japanese English July 25 1998
Japan’s Official Development Assistance Charter (New) Japanese English Aug 29 2003

Fom Kimsoft on Korea:

The Korean War Web Resources – Mount Holyoke College

TAIWAN TREATIES (an other asian) like

Nuclear files

Khmer rouge trial documents

Asia politics documentaries (links fixed)

Streaming videos and documentaries can be very interesting and also very useful as teaching material (p.e. UOC), here I post some suggestions:

NORTH KOREA
A Day in the Life of North Korea
North Korean Nuclear Documentary
Welcome to North Korea
Children of the Secret State
Undercover in the secret state

Intelligence Challenges and North Korea: What Do We Really Know A…
Undercover In North Korea
Amarás al líder sobre todas las cosas 1/6
Historic short ones:
Kim Jong Il The Great Diplomat
Always Working Together For The People 3
Mass Gymnastic and Artistic Performance “Arirang”
Kim Jong Il The Great Warrior

CONFLICTS
Territorio Coreano, Dokdo (spanish 1)
Territorio Coreano, Dokdo (spanish) part.2
what’s the east sea vs Sea of Japan – A Globally Established Name Part1
CCTV “documentary”: Uyghur, Xinjiang, China vs
Genocide of Chinese communist party in East Turkistan.
Xinjiang – Securing China’s Second Shore 3-D GIS Geovisual
Tibet: Inferno under Dalai Lama & aristoric rule
Tibet 1959

NHK Special “The Impact of India” – Part 3 (Diplomacy, Domestic Pol…

JAPAN
A Conversation with Tsuyoshi Hasegawa (Japan surrender in the 2ww)
Democracy Without Competition in Japan: Opposition in a One-Party …
Godzilla and Postwar Japan
American influence on Japanese culture, Japanese soldiers prep for …
General MacArthur, General Alexander, “The Gathering Offensive” [A…
The Last Bomb” [AX2454]

Live-body Test Lab 731: Forgotten Holocaust in Asia (1 of 5)
Documentary: Hirohito and War Responsibility (Part 1 of 5)

Historic short ones:
Hirohito and Higashikuni Speeches Before the Diet
In the Name of the Emperor 天皇の名のもとにー南京大虐殺の真実
MOT 1947\: *DIET OF JAPAN\: MS National Diet building Tokyo
MOT 1939\: JAPAN PRIME MINISTER\: WS National Diet building (A…
WWII Propaganda – Popeye – USA VS JAPAN
Japan Surrenders 1945
Japan, Films of Hiroshima, 1946/08/05 (1946)

CHINA
Tiananmen Massacre April-June 1989
Tank Man

Chasing the Flame: The Lasting Legacy of the Olympic Games
China and the US: Geostrategic Partners, Competitors or Adversarie…
Bloody history of communism 03 (China) by Harun Yahya .com
Testimony of History-The Rape of Nanking 歴史の検証ー南京大虐殺30万の証明
Engineering An Empire : China
Rape of Nanking Nanjing Massacre Part I Atrocities in Asia vs THE RAPE OF NANKING” IS JUST A PROPAGANDA
Inside Red China – 1957
50th Anniversary of the People’s Republic of China [Part 1]
April 25 – event leading to persecution of Falun Gong part 1
BBC: Mao’s Bloody Revolution Revealed (Part One)
Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution: Part 3 (Sweet Jane)
Breaking With Old Ideas
Witness – The Long March – Part 1
Declassified: How China sent first man into space (Part 1/5)
SHANGHAI le dessous des cartes.avi
Le dessous des cartes – 2004.02.04 – LA CHINE (2 sur 2) – Un
Taiwan und China and ohters in Mit offenen Karten (in german)

Very short historic ones:
Chou En-Lai at the Bandung Conference

TAIWAN
Green vs Blue … Taiwan part 1
Green vs Blue … Taiwan part 2
Leader in Taiwan 60’~70′ Sun Yun Suan
The Taiwan Question, Historic Mismanagement Part 1 (of 21)

CAMBODIA
The Killing Fields

PHILLIPINES
This is the Philippines, history of the Philippines & true glory [AX5250…
Manila Free of Japanese Domination, 1945/03/22 (1945)

BURMA
Burma Report – May 30th Incident PART 1of3
Burma Report – May 30th Incident PART 2of3
Burma‘s Secret War
John_Pilger – Burma – Land of Fear

The Cross Border
From Birthday Towards 88 Ayay Daw-Bon
Myanmar Pro-Democracy Leader DawAungSanSuuKyi61stHappyBirth..
Rangoon demonstrations, August 2007

VIETNAM
The American War: The U.S. in Vietnam
Vietnam War – The Real Story
Tai Lieu Chien Tranh A Chau (Vietnam 35 Years War)
Dien Bien Phu
Ho Chi Minh: Vietnamese Independence (Britannica.com)
Asia Weekly August 10 2007 (setmanal)
Mahatma Gandhi : Film : MAHATMA – Life of Gandhi (1893-1914, Par…

Video interviews or conferences:

Elizabeth Economy – China’s Environmental Challenge
Conversations with History: Power Intervention & Stability in Asia, Na…
Conversations with History: U.S. Policy in Central Asia, Franklin Pierc…
Conversations with History: Korean Ambassador Sung-Joo Han
Conversations with History: China, the U.S. and World Order, with Ru…
Conversations with History: Lord Patten of Barnes
Conversations with History: John Pomfret
Economic Growth In India and China
Untying the Knot: Making Peace in the Taiwan Strait
China‘s Longue Durée & Mongol Occupation
Sino–U.S. Relations and China‘s Foreign Policy

Some other interesting for IR.

Conversations with History: Money and Power, with Niall Ferguson
Conversations with History: Activism, Anarchism, and Power, with No…: Chomsky
Conversations with History: Stephen M. Walt
Conversations with History: Through the Realist Lens, with John Mear…
Conversations with History: International Institutions, Robert O. Keoh…
U.S. Foreign Policy – Secret Wars of the CIA

And some funny ones:

Ali G – International Relations
A One Minute Guide to International Relations
The Long March Part 1

Please add any other suggestions as a comment.

Russia to claim the North Pole

We have seen it on the news:

and in Russia Today

or the BBC or the humorist Craig Ferguson on CBS and even the catalan TV3 did a great report about it.

Since it’s fundation Russia has been looking for a warm water port mainly for strategic but also for comercial reasons, but they couldn’t get it (not on the mediterranean, nor the Black Sea, nor the Pacific -Japan Sea-). So if the Russian empire couldn’t reach the warm water… now the warm water is reaching Russian ports.

From the rosurces point of view, the North Pole is melting down and it’s sea bed is rich (they even say 25% of worlds oil) so Russia is already claiming it.

From the comercial point of view it is interesting to note that the fastest route from Japan to UK is going to be through the North Pole (10 days shorter), so creating a new and ever faster Silk Road? And also underscoring the strategic comercial situation of Singapur or the Malacca Strait? Only a bit… probably.

Heroes of politicians

ASAHI SHIMBUN
EDITORIAL
07/30/2007

It is interesting to consider which historical figures politicians look up to as their idols.

It can say a lot about their personalities and views of life. It is a well-known fact that Prime Minister Shinzo Abe reveres his grandfather, Nobusuke Kishi.
For several years before World War II, Kishi served as a top official for the government of Manchukuo, the puppet state in China founded and administered by Imperial Japan.

Kishi was minister of commerce and industry when Japan went to war. After the war, he was arrested and imprisoned as a suspected Class-A war criminal. But as luck would have it, he was not prosecuted and was released in 1948. He eventually vaulted to the nation’s highest political post with the support of the anti-communist movement. In 1960, Kishi, as prime minister, presided over the signing of the revised Japan-U.S. Security Treaty.

While he was in prison, Kishi frequently wrote to his family.

“In order to rebuild Japan in a really beautiful shape, the true meaning of the new Constitution must be properly understood and actualized correctly,” said a letter he wrote soon after the postwar Constitution was put into force in 1947. “It is totally impossible to realize a true Japan only with superficial and shallow armchair theories about rights and obligations that are not backed by noble sentiments.”

His words reflected his ambivalent feelings toward the Constitution, which was formulated and adopted under the control of the General Headquarters of the Allied Forces, and foreshadowed his involvement in the political campaign to revise the Constitution in later years. The origin of Abe’s political agenda to make Japan “a beautiful country” could have a connection with Kishi’s rhetoric.

But what kind of vision does Abe have in mind in pursuing his reform agenda? Kishi’s vision of a “true Japan” seemed to be centered on racial pride. Is Abe drawn to his grandfather because of this vision? Or does Abe identify Kishi’s struggle to achieve revisions to the Japan-U.S. Security Treaty despite a surge of public opposition with his own efforts to push through reforms? Either way, Abe still needs time to understand Kishi’s political craftiness which earned his grandfather the sobriquet of “the hobgoblin of the Showa” Era (1926-1989).

Ichiro Ozawa, leader of the main opposition Minshuto (Democratic Party of Japan), looks up to Takashi Hara, a prime minister in the early 20th century and, like Ozawa, a native of Iwate Prefecture. Hara formed Japan’s first party-based Cabinet and battled factions made up of the old guard. He was assassinated at Tokyo Station in 1921.

“If this person had not been assassinated, Taisho Democracy (a movement that sprang up in the Taisho Era, 1912-1926) would not have ended up being a ‘fragile flower,’ and the rise of the military and bureaucracy could have been prevented,” Ozawa writes in one of his books.

Ozawa says he is staking his political life on reforming the political system by ending bureaucratic control on policymaking through a smooth transfer of power. Ozawa probably bases his blueprint for reform on Hara’s political vision.

Hara, however, also engaged in pork-barrel politics. In fact, he is regarded as the founder of this tradition in Japan. It also forms part of the background to his assassination. It is, of course, a coincidence that Ozawa’s political mentor, former Prime Minister Kakuei Tanaka, was known for pork-barrel politics driven by heavy spending on public works projects.

Akihiro Ota, who heads New Komeito, the coalition partner of the ruling Liberal Democratic Party, respects Mohandas K. Gandhi, the leader of India’s independence movement, while the political hero of Mizuho Fukushima, head of the Social Democratic Party, is Nelson Mandela, the first democratically elected president of South Africa. Tamisuke Watanuki, who leads Kokumin Shinto (People’s New Party), looks up to Yukichi Fukuzawa, the 19th-century educator who founded Keio University, Watanuki’s alma mater.

Interestingly, all these people respected by Japanese political leaders were reformers who had to fight bitterly for their respective causes. But the hero of Kazuo Shii, the leader of the Japanese Communist Party, is his father, who was an elementary school teacher.

Una campaña electoral anticuada


Noticia original en BBC

Japan’s old-fashioned campaigning

By Chris Hogg
BBC News, Tokyo

This Japanese politician’s office in Second Life is closed temporarily

Now the campaign for the upper house election in Japan has started, tough rules on how politicians can canvas for votes have come into force.

Surprisingly, in a country with some of the fastest broadband speeds and a wide internet penetration, it is now illegal for candidates to create new websites or update existing web pages between now and election day, 29 July.

So instead, the loudspeaker vans are out on the streets again. The candidates sit inside, waving regally wearing white gloves, smiling and politely asking for votes.

Prof Phil Deans, who works at Temple University in Tokyo, describes it as “almost a throwback to the 1950s”.

“Cars with speakers on the roof, the use of posters, leafleting, and the almost complete absence of electronic media to communicate political messages, is one of the most startling things about the way elections are conducted here,” he says.

Kan Suzuki wants to change all that. He is a lawmaker who wants to modernise the way elections are fought here.

He has built an office in Second Life, the virtual world where you can work, play and interact with others.

Here, he says, he can get his message out to people who do not normally listen to politicians.

But now that the campaign has started, he has had to close the office temporarily.

“Basically, the election law was drawn up in the 1950s,” he says.

He is also critical of another old-fashioned rule, limiting the number of posters and leaflets that a candidate can give out.

“In my constituency, I can only distribute enough for 3% of voters to get a leaflet from my party. So 97% of voters can’t. How can I reach them?”

Little support

Usually Japan allows its politicians to use the internet to communicate with voters.

But as soon as an election campaign starts – the time when you might well think you would really want to communicate with them – the use of electronic media for campaigning is banned.

Instead it is on the traditional media where politicians hold court – for instance, on ponderous political TV discussion shows that sometimes look like they have not changed in 20 years.

Prof Yasunori Sone, a political analyst from Keio University in Tokyo, says Japanese election law is very strict.

“There are many rules and prohibitions. But many parties want a strict law to contain other parties’ political activities,” he says.

“Some of us are trying to get the law changed. But the number of supporters for a change in the law is very small.”

One group you would think would be keen to see the internet used in campaigning is young voters.

In Japan, 95% of people in their 20s surf the web, but only a third of them bother to vote.
Some, though, do not seem keen on politicians using the web to try to win their support.

“I believe that internet resources are not very official,” says Kentaro Shimano, a student at Temple University in Tokyo.

“YouTube is more casual; you watch music videos or funny videos on it, but if the government or any politicians are on the web it doesn’t feel right.”

Haruka Konishi agrees.

“Japanese politics is something really serious,” she says. “Young people shouldn’t be involved, I guess because they’re not serious enough or they don’t have the education.”

There cannot be many places in the world where students feel their views should not count. Perhaps it is really a reflection of the reality – that they do not.

Here in Japan, it is seen as important to treat politicians with respect.

But such is the deference paid to them, it is hard for anyone to challenge them to try new ways to make the political system better.

Reading reviews on "Japan Rising"

Kenneth Pyle published last march the book Japan Rising, that has been very welcome for a wide range of the achademy. In Asia Times we can read a good review written by Sreeram Chaulia:

Pyle deduces six persistent traits of Japan’s national style from its history. First is its attentiveness to maximizing power as a condition of survival in the world. Japan always allies itself with the dominant ascendant power, be it Britain, Germany or the US. Second, Japan is a pragmatic state with no great universal ideals or utopian visions. The conservative upper crust of Japanese leaders invariably rejects doctrinal approaches. Third, and most important, is Japan’s propensity to adapt to international conditions to offset its vulnerability. Its rulers always read the global “trend of the times” (jisei), not to change it but to move alongside it to their own national advantage.

Fourth, modern Japan always pursues regional autonomy or hegemony through differing means. Policies such as diversifying energy suppliers and limiting foreign direct investment are designed to shield the economy from foreign dependence. Fifth, Japan best exemplifies the logic of swiftly copying the successful practices of the great powers such as China in pre-modern times and the West thereafter.

The Japanese lack “barriers of cultural and religious self-absorption that impede learning from other civilizations” (…) What this implies is that Japan can never be a true hegemon that can spread its values and institutions to other states or multilateral organizations. It looks destined to remain a cautious adaptive power that receives more from the international system but gives less

The Economist also reviewed it and highlighted that:

By virtually any measure—trade, tourism, foreign students, immigration, cultural interchange—Japan is the least globalised of all the rich, industrialised democracies.

And Michael Green in Foreign Affairs also reviews it:

Pyle’s rich history offers an important corrective for those who believe that the future of Asian security can be assured through a bipolar U.S.-Chinese concert of power. Although increasingly aligned with the United States because of growing uncertainty about its external environment, Japan is an independent variable, and the Japanese elite will come to its own conclusions about how to safeguard Japan’s interests. A positive U.S.-Chinese relationship is in Japan’s national interest, but excessive U.S. accommodation of Chinese power at Japan’s expense will lead to increased hedging by Tokyo and a less predictable Asian security environment. (…) Despite Singaporean elder statesman Lee Kuan Yew’s famous warning to Washington that encouraging Japan to play a larger security role is like giving a former alcoholic a rum bonbon, Singapore is now at the forefront of efforts to expand Japan’s political and security role in Southeast Asia; Indonesia, Vietnam, and Thailand have followed suit. None of these nations — including Japan — is interested in “containing” China’s rise, but all are engaged in a curious mix of balancing and bandwagoning, and Tokyo is beginning to take advantage of that game.

Joseph Nye also cites Pyle’s work in his last article in Project Syndicate, and it concludes:

Japan has become more willing to use its power, and more aware of changes in the external balance of power. It is rising, but how? As one Japanese liberal commented to me, “this is our third response to globalization. What can we contribute this time?”

After reading all these reviews I bought the book and I recived it today… I can’t hardly wait to start reading it. I promise to make my own review afterwards.

Sakhalin Island’s oil and gas resources

Sakhalin Island’s oil and gas resources are being developed by international consortia. Sakhalin I’s oil production neared its maximum capacity of at 250,000 bbl/d in February 2007, and Sakhalin II produces oil for six months of the year at a rate of roughly 80,000 bbl/d. Other areas around Sakhalin Island are still in early stages of development.

General Background

Sakhalin Island, a former penal colony located off the east coast of Russia and to the north of Japan, holds vast hydrocarbon resources. Oil reserves in the area are estimated at almost 12 billion barrels, and natural gas reserves at approximately 90 trillion cubic feet. International consortia of energy companies have entered into production sharing agreements (PSAs) to develop the resources. Even though all of the consortia have extensive export plans (including to the United States) via LNG terminals and export pipelines to the mainland, there has been little progress except on the first two parts of Sakhalin Island: Sakhalin 1 and Sakhalin 2, which lie to the southeast of Okha (see map to the left, and for more detailed maps click on the project websites for Sakhalin 1 and Sakhalin II below)