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Robert D. Eldridge

Eldridge was born in New Jersey, U.S.A., in 1968, and graduated from the Department of International Relations, Lynchburg College, Virginia. He earned his doctorate from Kobe University Graduate School of Law in 1999. From 2001-2009, he was a tenured associate professor at Osaka University’s Graduate School, and from 2009-2015, served as the deputy assistant chief of staff, G-7 (Government and External Relations), Marine Corps Installations Pacific in Okinawa. During this time, he was one of the proposers of Operation Tomodachi at the time of the March 2011 Great East Japan Earthquake and Tsunami. He is the author of numerous works including The Origins of the Bilateral Okinawa Problem (2003) and The Origins of U.S. Policy in the East China Sea Islands Dispute (2014).

Universities Prevent Learning

 If I were to state, “universities prevent learning,” the reader might think I am crazy. Universities, as well as colleges, technical schools, and other institutions of higher education are supposed to be the very ones imparting this instruction and providing the place to learn.

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Unanswered Questions

On February 22, Ms. Ganaha Masako, who presides over the Ryūkyū Shimpō-Okinawa Taimsu o Tadasu Kenmin-Kokumin no Kai (Prefecture and National Movement to Correct the Ryūkyū Shimpō and Okinawa Times), sent letters to the editors of both of these newspapers requesting them to answer a series of questions about their reporting, with a deadline of February 28. The deadline passed with no answers to the questions, and hence no accountability of their reporting.

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The Ultimate Irony: Banning a Book that Criticizes Banning Books

 As some readers may know, I published a book called “On Okinawa” last month. The Sekai Nippō kindly did a review of it in the February 14 edition of the newspaper. In fact it was the first review to formally appear. Prior to that, many people wrote about it on social media sites, Internet websites, and blogs, all of which I am grateful for.

 

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Viewpoint Okinawan Protest Movement Gone Morally Bankrupt

Robert D. Eldridge, Ph.D.President, The Eldridge Thinktank

 Common features of movements are the tendency for them to fracture due to ideological fissures, personality clashes among leaders and their followers, factional strife and power struggles, lack of funding or support, or some sort of moral bankruptcy or loss of credibility.

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Hodo Station/Terebi Asahi Reaches a New Low

Robert D. Eldridge, Ph.D.

 Public scrutiny toward the media is the highest it has ever been in Japan. Disappointment and dissatisfaction reached an all-time low following the Asahi Shimbun’s revelations about its intentionally misrepresenting the comfort women issue using false testimonies in its stories for more than two decades.

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Foreign Academic Okinawa Watchers: Activism over Scholarship

Robert D. Eldridge, Ph.D.

In my previous commentary, I discussed the biases of Okinawan academics and their close, unhealthy relationship with the local media. In this installment, I would like to introduce the problem of foreign academics, including their close connections with the above Okinawan academics, and their activism which comes at the expense of their obligations to impartial scholarship and their status as residents or visitors to Japan.

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Okinawa’s Academics, Failing to Check the Media

Robert D. Eldridge, Ph.D.

Until now, over the course of several essays, we have examined the media in Okinawa in great detail, such as the structural problems in Okinawa that make the local media so powerful (“The Media Situation in Okinawa”), the abuse of that power and the dangers to democracy (“What the Hyakuta Incident Taught Us”), and the need to improve the situation (“Reforming the Media”).

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