Gavan McCormack is emeritus professor of Australian National University, editor of the Asia-Pacific journal Japan Focus and author of many works on modern Japan and East Asia, which are commonly translated and published also in Japanese, Chinese, and Korean.
Japan – failed peace state?
A little over 75 years ago, a Japan-designed Asia-Pacific community collapsed, leaving not only Japan itself but much of the region in chaos, millions dead, cities in ruins. Continue reading »
Abe Shinzo – The ambiguous legacy of an assassinated Japanese Prime Minister
When former Japanese Prime Minister Abe Shinzo was shot and killed in front of an election rally in Nara on 8 July, two days before an Upper House election, shock waves spread quickly around the world. Continue reading »
Global agendas 2022 – NATO and RIMPAC
War – its preparation, rehearsal, prosecution, and remediation – is increasingly the concern of 21st century states and peoples. Attention in 2022 focussed on the savage fighting in the Black Sea and Ukraine, but preparations, plans and rehearsals on a hitherto unprecedented scale for conflict were underway around the world, notably in the form of Continue reading »
Japan’s peaceful foreign policy is under siege from right-wing militarism
Seventy-five years ago, Japan adopted a constitution that ruled out ever using war as a tool of state policy. The country’s conservative leaders now want to ditch that commitment as they embrace the dangerous role of a militarised US client state. Continue reading »
Militarism outguns democracy in Okinawa politics
The construction of a US military base in the prefecture, driven by the national government, ignores strong opposition to the project among locals. Continue reading »
Japan’s reluctance to cut emissions rivals Australia
Japan will rival Australia for the ‘fossil prize’ at COP26 as it pushes a revival of its nuclear industry in the name of climate change policy. Continue reading »
Summer games in Tokyo – the Paralympics
The current Paralympic Games are being carried out in the context of the dual crises facing Japan. Continue reading »
To Be or Not to Be? Revisiting the question of Tokyo’s Olympics
Three months ago (19 February), I wrote of the “Troubled Games of the XXXll Olympiad” in the context of the dual crises facing Japan: continuing, unresolved radiation emanating from the 2011 Fukushima quake/tsunami/meltdown on the one hand and the COVID 19 public health crisis on the other. The Games was supposed to represent their resolution, Continue reading »
Tokyo 2020: The Troubled Games of the XXXll Olympiad
On 25 March, the Olympic Torch Relay is to set out from Fukushima with its “sacred flame” on a national circuit, visiting all 47 prefectures and arriving at Tokyo’s Games venue for the opening ceremony on 23 July. But will this scenario really play out? Continue reading »
Japan’s kow-towing to US is leading to ecological destruction on a majestic reef.
Japan, in consultation with the US, is trying to build a huge military facility for the US Marine Corps by reclaiming a large part of the wondrous, biodiverse Oura Bay. It is akin to Australia offering part of the Great Barrier Reef to the Pentagon to establish a military facility. Continue reading »
Australia-Japan and the Morrison/Suga Agenda. Do we share the values of Yoshihide Suga?
Most members of the Suga (and Abe) governments of 2012-2020 belong to rightist, cult type historical revisionist organizations committed to restoring the emperor’s role to its pre-war centrality. Continue reading »
Japan, Australia, and the Rejigging of Asia-Pacific Alliances
The frame of relationships that exist in East Asia today was set around 70-years ago. It needs review. Continue reading »
Japan’s New Leader, Suga Yoshihide, Will Maintain the Old Regime (Jacobin Sep 27, 2020)
Suga Yoshihide, longtime aide to Abe Shinzo, has now replaced him as Japan’s prime minister. Suga will preserve the main features of Abe’s long stint in power: creeping militarism, subordination to the US, and a high-handed approach to political opposition. Continue reading »