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Article ID 4889

Sophia University Institute of Comparative Culture in cooperation with The Asia-Pacific Journal: Japan Focus, presents a Tokyo workshop on


July 1st, 2017, 12:00-18:00 (with dinner afterwards nearby)

Bldg. 10, rooms 301 and 407

Sophia University Yotsuya Campus

No Prior registration necessary

** Dinner to follow: RSVP required: **


12:00-12:15 Opening Remarks (David Slater and Mark Selden)

Bldg. 10, room 301


12:15-13:45 Time Slot #1

1-1. The Attack on Critical Journalism and the False News Debate: Japan, the US and the Asia Pacific. (Organizer and Moderator: David McNeill)

Last month's report by David Kaye, the UN’s special rapporteur for freedom of expression, prodding Japan to address concerns about the independence of its media, is just the latest warning sign that Japanese journalism faces important threats. Japan has steadily fallen in several press-freedom rankings since 2011. The relative decline of print and broadcast media and the rise of the Internet, meanwhile, has shifted the ground from under traditional journalism and strengthened the hold of partisan voices - on the left and right.

David MCNEILL (Journalist)
Kaori HAYASHI (University of Tokyo)
Tatsuro HANADA, (Institute for Journalism, Waseda University)
Michael PENN (Journalist)
Sawa YASUOMI (Kyodo News)

1-2. “History Wars” and Ongoing Debates on Activism, Scholarship and the Media. (Organizers: Sven Saaler and Tomomi Yamaguchi)

The right wing has been attacking the accepted historical narrative on “comfort women,” Nanking Massacre and others related to Japan’s war responsibility. Right-wing media and intellectuals have begun to use the term “history wars” to refer to this development. This panel discusses the recent development of historical revisionism in Japan, as well as outside of Japan by the Japanese government and residents abroad.

Sven SAALER (Sophia University): “Recent Developments in Historical Revisionism in Japan”
Tomomi YAMAGUCHI (Montana State University): “Historical Revisionism on the “Comfort Women” Issue in the U.S.”
Collin RUSNEAC (Sophia University): “History Activism in Japan: Fieldwork Observations”
Mikine DEZAKI (Sophia University): “Shusenjo: The Main Battleground of Japan's History War”
Torsten WEBER (German Institute for Japanese Studies): “History Wars and the Legacy of Japanese imperialism in the Sapio”

14:00-15:30 Time Slot #2

2-1. Popular Movements in the Contemporary Asia-Pacific. (Organizers: David Slater and Oguma Eiji)

This panel will center on research on the post 3.11 protests. The triple disaster has generated a number of distinct but related movements, repertoire styles, alliances and communication strategies. Some are new, and others have links to past movement. The goal of the panel will to understand these commonalities and shifts in order to understand the political and cultural significance of these social movements.

Eiji OGUMA (Keio University): “Protesters in 2010s: Who, How, and in What Social Background”
Love KINDSTRAND (University of Chicago): “Vox populi and its vanguards: dispensations and disjunctures of legitimate protest in postdisaster Japan”
Toshinari YOKOO (Keio University): “The Effect of Social Movement Using SNS in Policy Innovation Process on Shibuya City's ‘Same-Sex Partnership Ordinance’”
David H. SLATER (Sophia University): “De-Stigmatization of Protest and the Reclamation of the Political Middle Ground”

2-2. Japan’s Ongoing Constitutional Crisis. (Organizers: Lawrence Repeta and Chris Winkler)

Seven decades have passed since Japan’s democratic Constitution took effect. Nationalist politicians opposed its democratic ideals from the very beginning, but have not mustered the strength to change the constitutional text. This panel will discuss LDP proposals for change. It will also discuss how the LDP has achieved some of its goals through Cabinet orders and national legislation without change to the Constitution itself.

Chris WINKLER (Hokkaido University): “Revising the Constitution, but How?
Tomomi YAMAGUCHI (Montana State University): “The LDP Plan to Change the ‘Basic Unit of Society’ from the Individual to the Family”
Lawrence REPETA (Attorney) “The Conspiracy Law and the Constitution”

15:45-17:45 Time slot #3

Final plenary: Contemporary Crises in the Asia-Pacific: What ways forward. (Moderator: Mark Selden. Workshop Participants)


Dinner to follow: RSVP required:

Institute of Comparative Culture (ICC)
Sophia University 7-1 Kioicho, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo 102-8554, JAPAN
+81-3-3238-4082 / +81-3-3238-4081 (fax) / Email