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Defending the Senkakus

 U.S. Secretary of Defense James N. Mattis visited Japan on February 3 and 4 via South Korea where he met with Prime Minister Abe Shinzo and Minister of Defense Inada Tomomi. Inada and Mattis subsequently held talks the next day at the Defense Ministry, where they also gave a press conference following their session together.


Getting Serious about the Senkakus

 Attention has grown in recent days with regard to the Senkakus in light of the hundreds of Chinese fishing and coast guard vessels entering the contiguous zone surrounding Japanese waters around the islands. However, it is not a new problem. It is only a new stage of the problem, or better said, a new chapter in the book that could be called “The Senkakus Saga.” And like pages in a manuscript, the plot continues to thicken.


The Upper House Elections and Future of Okinawa

 When examining election results and providing analysis on a particular election, there are often a number of factors to weigh—voter turnout, party support, international and domestic politics, local sentiment, and the candidates’ popularity, etc.


The Reversion of Okinawa: Faster Than Replacing Futenma


 Forty-four years ago, the United States returned administrative rights over Okinawa, and the prefecture became a part of Japan again in fact as well as in name.



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.


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.


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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