Poems that Decode Japan’s Intellectual DNA: The Ambassador’s choice
Diplomats are perhaps thought of as having a limited interest in areas outside those that concern international relations, domestic political developments in the country where they have been stationed, bilateral issues relating to their home countries and protocol.
However, sometimes language barriers, the economic and political importance of the country in question, its peculiar social norms and strong traditions based on a long and multi-layered history, make it preferable to spend time and efforts on deeper studies.
As for myself I have had the pleasure to be posted at the Swedish embassy in Tokyo four times after first spending three years in Kyoto, doing research on Japanese history.
This, I feel, has made it easier to understand certain perspectives of the modern political developments, but has also strengthened an urge to always look at aspects which may not always seem necessary or logical. One such aspect is Japanese poetry.
Policies to Please Political Partners: The Development of Japan’s Intelligence Policy in the 21st Century
“Japan should move promptly to adopt the security protections required to make its inclusion in Five Eyes a realistic possibility.” Armitage and Nye (2018: 9) Introduction In 2018, Japan was […]
Pacifist Identity, Civics Textbooks, and the Opposition to Japan’s Security Legislation
Summary: This article looks at how Japanese national identity is constructed in Japanese junior high school civics textbooks and how that narrative relates to recent Japanese security policy. The article […]
Japan’s Opaque Energy Policy toward Russia: Is Abe Being Trumped by Putin?
EXECUTIVE SUMMARY Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, with his self-proclaimed deep trust in President Vladimir Putin, has made striking a historic deal on improving Japan-Russia relations a priority. The Abe administration’s […]
If Not North Korea, Who Will Be Japan’s Chief Antagonist?
The last year has seen sharp turns in the relationships between North Korea and its neighbors. After tough rhetoric back and forth between the United States and North Korea, we […]
Bashô: Blommornas, fåglarnas och månens poet
Matsuo Bashô (1644–1694), oftast känd som bara Bashô, är utan jämförelse den mest citerade och kända japanska poeten någonsin och har fått status som något av en nationalskald. Alla skolbarn […]
Amending Japan’s Pacifist Constitution
Summary Japan’s 1947 constitution has lasted longer without amendment than any other constitution in the world. It has been called the “pacifist constitution” because of Article 9’s renunciation of war. […]