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Japan is a leader in life science, and is one of the countries in the world where reproductive medicine is actively practised. This chapter first analyses the overall regulatory framework for research using human germ cells and embryos (germline). Then, it discusses the specific regulations affecting research on human germline genome modification, while considering the clinical research of an egg mitochondrial DNA modifying technique, called AUGMENT. Regarding research involving human germline genome modification, the Japanese regulatory framework is characterized by gaps and inconsistencies. Moreover, it discusses some of the reasons why Japan lacks a key law governing the medical use of human germline, although the Act on Regulation of Human Cloning Techniques is put into force. It points out that a majority of Japanese is not affiliated with religion, and ‘Morals’ is a vague concept in Japanese. Finally, it discusses a possible regulatory reform, considering four provisions relevant to human rights in the Constitution of Japan.
Moving beyond Ming territory and the Chinggisid world, Chapter 10 looks at how the early Ming court invoked the story of the Mongol empire in its relations with the kingdoms of Koryŏ, Japan, and the Great Việt (Đại Việt or most of the northern part of today’s Vietnam), which today are commonly lumped together as East Asia. The chapter reviews these three kingdoms’ markedly different experiences of the Mongol empire. It argues that the early Ming court tried, with uneven success, to exploit divergent memory of the Mongol empire to pursue pressing contemporary issues of diplomatic recognition, border populations, and coastal security. It also considers how the early Ming court gathered information on events in of Koryŏ, Japan, and the Great Việt, and how, on the basis of such intelligence, it tailored its Chinggisid narrative for different audiences.
Although several studies in Western countries show that higher socioeconomic status is associated with higher diet quality, no study has observed this association in Japan. In the current study, we examined the association between diet quality and the combinations of age, sex, and household income, and also compared the dietary intake between diet quality levels according to household income.
National Health and Nutrition Survey, Japan in 2014.
2785 men and 3215 women.
Higher Japanese Food Guide Spinning Top scores (better diet quality) were observed in older women, especially those with higher household income, whereas lower scores were observed in younger men with lower household income. Those having low quality diet, especially in low income households, had higher odds of not meeting the recommended amounts of the Japanese dietary guidelines, than those having high quality diet.
Diet quality in Japanese adults differed by age and sex as well as by household income level. A different approach to diet quality improvement is needed according to population characteristics including not only age and sex but also social economic status.
This article examines the thought and career of Nabeyama Sadachika (1901–79) from communist militant in 1920s Japan to his conversion to the emperor system in the 1930s and, finally, to his role in shaping the postwar anti-communist movement. Using Nabeyama's recently released private papers, the article shows how he brokered his anti-communist expertise to a range of postwar actors and institutions—the police, the Self-Defense Forces, business circles, politicians—as well as to foreign states, especially the Republic of China (Taiwan). These networks indicate that important sections of Japan's postwar establishment rallied behind anti-communism in the face of reforms that threatened their power at home and their vision for Japan in the world order after 1945. As a transwar history, this article adds to our understanding of Japan's transition from the age of empire to that of liberal democracy by qualifying narratives about the “progressive” nature of postwar Japanese politics. It argues that the vitality of anti-communism is symptomatic of the durability of particular political traditions, and reveals that, despite the significant reforms that Japan underwent after 1945, the Right was able to claim a space in the country's political culture that has been neglected by historians.
Why do Japan–South Korea relations remain tense despite repeated efforts to overcome the past? Elite narratives in Japan and South Korea reify the bilateral relationship as a difficult problem. For the Japanese policy elites, the difficulty is due to South Korean unwillingness to embrace a future-oriented relationship; whereas for the South Korean policy elites, the source of the problem is the unwillingness of the Japanese to sincerely address past wrong-doing. The result is a self-fulfilling prophecy of an intractable mutual misapprehension, suggesting that the difficult relationship is here to stay. I analyse pronouncements by both the Japanese and South Korean policy elites appearing in official documents and media reports for clues into the manner in which the bilateral relationship is reified into a difficulty purportedly due to the recalcitrance of the neighbour. The narratives consistently show that both the Japanese and South Korean policy elites consider the onus of improvement lies with the troublesome/insincere neighbour. In short, the bilateral relationship is a clash of realities, with the logical conclusion being that the difficult relationship will persist for the foreseeable future.
During the Fascist ventennio, prominent Italian writers and journalists, such as Mario Appelius, Raffaele Calzini, Arnaldo Cipolla, Arnaldo Fraccaroli, Roberto Suster and Cesco Tommaselli, reported from China, Japan and Korea for Il Popolo d'Italia, Corriere della Sera and La Stampa. Their travel narratives were crucial for the creation and diffusion in Italy of the dominant representation of China and Korea as remote, decadent and exotic societies; and of Japan as a progressive society resonant with Fascist Italy. The narrativisation of these countries in Italian travelogues from the Fascist ventennio was part of a widespread discursive practice by Italian intellectuals willing to subscribe to, and actively disseminate, the guiding principles of Fascism. When emphasising China's and Korea's irreconcilable difference from, and Japan's affinity with, Fascist Italy, these intellectuals extolled the Italian race and culture, justified Italy's position in geopolitical dynamics, and propagandised the exceptionality of the Fascist ideology.
This chapter discusses the precarious status of Germany’s formal colonial empire and its tenuous hold in its spheres of interest in the Ottoman Empire, Japan, and Venezuela by 1905. It also explores how tensions during the Second Venezuela crisis, the Russo-Japanese War, and the Tangier crisis solidified British perceptions of German menace in need of containment. Germany’s formal colonies were a bitter disappointment in need of major reforms, while neglect and disengagement defined German relations with Japan. Meanwhile German investment in the Anatolian and Baghdad railroads in the Ottoman Empire generated new points of friction with Britain and Russia. A British-led Anglo-German intervention in Venezuela was perceived in the United States as a German provocation. Similarly, the Russo-Japanese War and Tangier crisis generated much British hostility toward Germany fueled by overblown fears of its navy that worked to bring about an Entente with France and agreement with Russia. Once again, a vast gulf separated the reality of Germany’s meagre capacities and its fragile finances from exaggerated images of menace often drawn from German naval propaganda.
Besides the United States, the other major site of German overseas engagement in the 1870s and 1880s was Japan. This chapter analyzes the imperial bridgehead created by German scholars sent to Japan as the country opened to the West and as the Meiji government sought to reform its administration, economy, law, military, schools and universities in the 1880s. Prominent among them was Karl Rathgen, who had studied under Schmoller in Strasbourg and came to Japan in 1882. Rathgen would spend the next eight years of his life in Japan, working to build the University of Tokyo, reform Japan’s legal code, and modernize its administration and economy. While in East Asia, Rathgen travelled widely and became witness to the fierce competition for weapons sales and industrial export markets in Japan and China between European and American competitors. He also became acutely aware of the precarious position of the German interests in Asia. As German policy shifted toward China in the 1890s and as Japan became more self-reliant, German-Japanese relations cooled. The First Sino-Japanese War in 1895 led to a rupture in relations and the construction of a Japanese “Yellow Peril.”
Akira Kurosawa spent fifty years, from 1943 to 1993, making films that attempt to look at life and its complexity ‘straight on’, in an unflinching, uncompromising way. However, none of his films forces us to stare into the potential for humans to create hell on earth quite as formidably as one of his final masterpieces, Ran (1985). This chapter focuses on Kurosawa’s troubled humanism, alongside his didacticism. It is no accident that three such Kurosawa films are his adaptations of Shakespeare tragedies: Throne of Blood, The Bad Sleep Well (1960) and Ran, adaptations of Macbeth, Hamlet and King Lear, respectively. Kurosawa uses Ran to express his belief in the compelling need for individuals to transcend the unending cycles of violence that plague this world, rather than embrace the dubious otherworldly salvation provided by supernatural powers, such as Amida Buddha, who appears as a helpless symbol in Ran. The film is a majestic pageant full of symbols and abstractions – including many elements of the Buddhist Noh theatre – which ironically signify unity and harmony in a collapsing world where icons have lost their power to cohere. Ran, in all its beauty and horror, tells us that we have the power to face the inevitable hells on earth and choose not to perpetuate them.
This study addresses the question of why so many of the world's legislators are lawyers or law graduates. Drawing from previous studies on lawyer-legislators and electoral systems, it develops the argument that ‘first-pass-the-post’ single-member district electoral systems presume a principal-agent logic of representation and are therefore conducive to political parties selecting representatives with either occupational experience or educational training in the field of law. By contrast, proportional representation (PR) elections presume a microcosm model of representation incentivizing parties to select candidates representing diverse demographic and occupational backgrounds. This conjecture is tested by examining legislator backgrounds in three large parliaments with mixed electoral systems: Germany, Japan, and South Korea. As expected, single-member plurality elections are linked to a greater share of lawyers and law graduates in parliaments compared to those elected via PR even after controlling for several alternative explanations.
The U.S. regulatory response to the import of potentially contaminated food from Japan following the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power facility meltdown has not been closely examined. The incident caused global concern about the safety of foods imported from Japan. U.S. scientists and policymakers conducted an initial evaluation of the potential health risks, analyzed information and data from foreign governments and international organizations, adopted an import alert, and conducted extensive monitoring. They did not detect radionuclides in, adopt a ban on, or advise consumers to alter their consumption of foods from Japan. Using a modified Global Simulation Model, National Marine Fisheries Service monthly seafood import data and United Nations trade data, we performed a comprehensive retrospective benefit-cost analysis of U.S. actions on U.S.-Japan trade in fish and seafood. We estimate that U.S. regulatory policy preserved approximately $150 million in annual consumer surplus from the continued import of Japanese fish and seafood (at a cost of less than $1 million for import sampling), while finding no additional exposure to harmful radionuclides. The lesson of our analysis is that investment in regulatory infrastructure has tangible economic benefits, and that retrospective benefit-cost analysis can be a useful framework for evaluating catastrophe risk-related policy strategies.
What effect do natural disasters have on political participation? Some argue that natural disasters decrease political participation because of the way they reduce individual and group resources. Others argue that they stimulate political participation by creating new social norms. Previous studies have been limited both by their focus on a specific disaster type and a lack of regional variation. This article advances the literature by assessing the effect of the 2011 triple disaster in Japan on political participation at both the individual and district level. Drawing on multiple sources of data, I use a difference-in-differences identification strategy to show that the 2011 triple disaster in Japan resulted in a 6 percent increase in participation in political groups in regions heavily affected by the disaster, and a 2.5 percent increase in voter turnout in districts in prefectures that were significantly affected by the disaster. The results also show that the effect at the individual level is largely confined to individuals with large social networks, suggesting that the effect of natural disasters on political participation is a combination of their direct and indirect impact on variables that operate through different subpopulations. Directions for future studies are suggested.
New Orleans was central to the career of Lafcadio Hearn, the city where the young writer grew adept at explaining one culture to another – in this case, the downtown Creole culture of New Orleans to North American audiences – a skill that would serve him well when he moved to Japan. For Hearn, New Orleans signified the opposite of the mainstream US cultural values of materialism, commerce, progress, and efficiency – ideals he associated with the father who abandoned him. Instead, the city embodied the feminine, the exotic, the sensual, and a tropical lassitude that, for Hearn, became the opposite of modernity and in turn the essence of beauty.
Fish harbour many types of nutrients that are beneficial for preventing cognitive decline. Therefore, habitual fish intake might contribute to a lower risk of incident dementia. However, few prospective cohort studies have investigated fish consumption in relation to incident dementia, and their findings have been inconsistent. To investigate the association between fish consumption and the risk of incident dementia, we collected data on the consumption of fish and other foods using an FFQ in a baseline survey of individuals aged ≥65 years living in Ohsaki City, Japan. After 5·7 years of follow-up, the incidence of dementia was 1118 (8·5 %) among 13 102 participants. We then used a multivariate-adjusted Cox model to estimate hazard ratios (HR) and 95 % CI. Compared with subjects with the lowest fish intake (Q1), the multivariate HR were 0·90 (95 % CI 0·74, 1·11) for Q2, 0·85 (95 % CI 0·73, 0·99) for Q3 and 0·84 (95 % CI 0·71, 0·997) for Q4 (Ptrend = 0·029). Such associations were also observed even after excluding participants who were diagnosed with dementia in the first 2 years of follow-up and those who had poorer cognitive function at baseline. In conclusion, an association was observed between higher fish consumption and a lower risk of incident dementia among healthy elderly people without disability. These findings suggest that habitual fish intake may be beneficial for the prevention of dementia.