[Monday Morning Reading will be a recurring feature here at JSW to fill the gap between our new News Flash posts - bringing you current affairs articles - and our regular blog posts. These posts will be filled with long articles from across the internet related to Japanese politics and security.]

Okinawa, New Year 2012: Tokyo’s Year End Surprise Attack
Gavan McCormack, Sakurai Kunitoshi, Urashima Etsuko [Japan Focus]

Okinawa has continued to be a thorn in US-Japan relations throughout 2011, culminating in sneaky tactics to subvert environmentalist sit-ins designed to stop the delivery of a report on the environmental impact of the construction of a base at Henoko, the very same report that the Okinawa Defense Bureau chief was sacked for alluding to it being an act of rape.

In this article on Japan Focus, Gavan McCormack presents two accounts of these events: “one by Okinawa’s leading environmentalist, specialist in environmental assessment law and till 2010 president of Okinawa University, the other by the long-time chronicler of the Okinawan resistance movement and Nago city resident. Both are core members of that movement. ”


Comparative Connections Vol 13, No. 3

Comparative Connections is the CSIS‘s triannual review of Asia-Pacific bilateral relations, great for catching up, and with insight into recent events from some of the key scholars in the field. Their new issue came out last week.


Japan: Before and After March 11
Àngels Pelegrín Solé [ISN]

An overview of the socio-economic effects of the March 11th earthquake, concluding “The Great Earthquake and subsequent Tsunami of March 11, 2011, put an end to the incipient economic recovery the country was experiencing.” Sobering reading.


How Japan deals with rising US-Iran tensions
Tiago Alexandre Fernandes Maurício [JFPO]

With the US and Iran at loggerheads over the Straits of Hormuz, Japan has to consider its energy security, plan for the worst and all the while uphold its commitment to the United States. No mean task.

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A former contributor to World Intelligence (Japan Military Review), James Simpson joined Japan Security Watch in 2011, migrating with his blog Defending Japan. He has a Masters in Security Studies from Aberystwyth University and is currently living in Kawasaki, Japan. His primary interests include the so-called 'normalization' of Japanese security (i.e. militarization), and the political impact of the abduction issue with North Korea.
James Simpson has 254 post(s) on Japan Security Watch