Tessa Morris-Suzuki is Professor Emerita of Japanese History at the Australian National University. Her research focuses on modern Japanese and East Asian history, particularly issues of historical reconciliation, minorities and grassroots movements.
TESSA MORRIS-SUZUKI. Our Leaders Fiddle While Australia Burns
As homes and communities go up in flames, Australian politics descends into new depths of silly-season absurdity. Enough is enough. It is time for Australia’s leaders to face up to the nation’s greatest security threat. Continue reading »
TESSA MORRIS-SUZUKI. Australia, the US, the Yellow Peril, and the Baby-Strangling Chinese: A Cautionary Tale.
As the Morrison government moves ever closer to the Trump administration’s approach to our region and the world, it is time to look more closely at the ‘expertise’ that underlies Trump’s China policy. It draws on some very curious sources. Continue reading »
TESSA MORRIS-SUZUKI. Manus Island – Mr. Turnbull, Just Say ‘Yes’
The nightmare scenario that everyone has predicted for months is now unfolding. Desperate and frightened refugees are digging in the ground for tainted water. Hundreds of men who are dependent on psychotropic medication because of neglect and mistreatment now have less than a month’s supply of medication left. But there is a small window of Continue reading »
TESSA MORRIS-SUZUKI. Australian Roulette: The Games our Government Plays with Asylum Seekers’ Lives
As the former refugee detention centre on Manus Island is closed down, asylum seekers there are being encouraged by the Australian government to “volunteer” for removal to Nauru. This confronts them with a pressing and terrible dilemma. Should they stay without support in the dangerous environment of Manus, or put themselves back into de facto Continue reading »
TESSA MORRIS-SUZUKI. Anti-PC gone mad.
The moment you condemn something or someone for being “Politically Correct”, you have transformed yourself from being a billionaire businessman, a media pundit, or the bloke down the street, and have instantly become a champion of the oppressed silent majority against the murky and invisible forces of darkness that are supposedly imposing Political Correctness on Continue reading »
TESSA MORRIS-SUZUKI. The ‘information war’ hits Sydney.
This action by a small number of Japanese in Australia harms the Japanese community itself and demeans the work of those in Japan and elsewhere who have fought so long and hard for historical truth and justice. Continue reading »
TESSA MORRIS-SUZUKI. Trump: it’s time to go back to basics.
The election of billionaire and reality TV host Donald Trump to the most powerful political position in the world has created global shockwaves. As countless commentators have already observed, Trump’s election is a stunning reminder of the depth of social division in the United States. For millions of Americans, particularly in the rust-belt states Continue reading »
Obama and the absence of apology in Hiroshima
‘As President of the United States of America, I express my profound apologies for the sufferings inflicted on the people of Hiroshima and Nagasaki by the atomic bombings.’ These, of course, are the words that we are not going to hear Barack Obama speak in Hiroshima on 27 May, when he becomes the first sitting US Continue reading »
Tessa Morris-Suzuki. The ever-shifting sands of Japanese apologies
On 16 February, Australian Foreign Minister Julie Bishop and Japanese Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida signed a ‘Strategy for Co-operation in the Pacific’, in which both countries emphasised their shared values of ‘democracy, human rights and the rule of law’ As they were doing so, Japanese Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Shinsuke Sugiyama was in Geneva addressing a Continue reading »
Tessa Morris-Suzuki. Tony Abbott, What have you done for peace?
On 23 February, Prime Minister Tony Abbott in a major national security speech, chided Muslim leaders for showing insufficiently sincere commitment to peace. “I’ve often heard western leaders describe Islam as a ‘religion of peace’. I wish more Muslim leaders would say that more often, and mean it”, he said. Abbott also called on immigrants Continue reading »
Tessa Morris-Suzuki. The CIA and the Japanese media: a cautionary tale.
When Japan surrendered at the end of the Pacific War, the occupation authorities pledged to democratise the country. They carried out many reforms and introduced a new peace constitution, guaranteeing human rights and freedom of expression. The reforms had a profound and lasting effect, but there was also a less democratic side to US-Japan relations Continue reading »
Tessa Morris-Suzuki Rare Earth, politics and human rights.
On 5 July 2014, the ABC’s PM program ran a report which revealed that “a leading Asian human rights activist has urged the Federal Government to investigate a Queensland-based resources company and a prominent Australian geologist over mining deals with North Korea that he believes may breach United Nations sanctions”. (http://www.abc.net.au/pm/content/2014/s4061381.htm) The report looked at Continue reading »
Tessa Morris-Suzuki. Another Australia-Japan Relationship is Possible.
Today, Australian Prime Minister Abbott and Japanese Prime Minister Abe meet in Canberra, and Prime Minister Abe presents an address to the Australian parliament. This is a historic occasion, and will be remembered as a pivotal point in Australia-Japan relations. In their discussions, the two leaders are highlighting the crucial economic and security ties that Continue reading »
The Darkening Shadow of Hate Speech in Japan. Guest blogger,Tessa Morris-Suzuki
Japan’s new Prime Minister, Abe Shinzō, has proclaimed Japan a regional model of “democracy, the rule of law, and respect for human rights”. Indeed, Japan has proud traditions of free debate and grassroots human rights movements. But ironically – and largely ignored by the outside world – the rights of minorities and the work of Continue reading »