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This Chapter provides an overview of the Japanese legal system governing marine environmental conservation and Japan’s approach towards the management, conservation and sustainable use of marine living resources, including whales. Commercial whaling is part of the broader international environmental law debate: ensuring environmental protection while facilitating sustainable use of the natural resources of the sea. Discussions on promoting sustainable whaling at the global level are needed. The answer may be, against popular opinion in some countries, to allow limited but internationally monitored, whaling in specific locations, while stopping whaling altogether in other locations. Such approach could be adjusted based on independent and politically uncompromised scientific evidence. As scientific knowledge advances and whale stock management theories become more complex, scientific advice may not necessarily produce clear-cut answers. In situations of scientific uncertainty, the precautionary principle can allow rational decisions – provided the principle is not misinterpreted and transformed into a principle of inaction.
This chapter considers the question of Ishiguro and Japan by discussing the author’s engagement with Japanese history in An Artist of the Floating World. Ishiguro says that he is not interested in documenting detailed history in his novels: rather, history is little more than a general background against which characters’ psychological dramas are staged. Set in Japan immediately after the end of the Pacific War, Ishiguro’s second novel is intended to be no exception. However, in view of the way that the novel thematizes such a sensitive issue as artists’ war responsibility, it is important to know about the historical reality and to understand how Ishiguro adapts and fictionalizes it. The chapter focuses on the way artists’ war responsibility was debated in post-war Japan and places Masuji Ono, the narrator Ishiguro created, in that historical context. In the process, Ishiguro’s particular concerns are thrown into relief. This kind of historical reading is necessary not least because problems of the period depicted by the novel haunt the Japanese even now.
The international economic order is undergoing significant change. Most recently, key countries have been seeking to increase their level of economic security, including through increased industrial subsidies. Regulating subsidies is controversial, but undisciplined subsidy payments could be harmful for the healthy functioning of markets and balanced development among nations. In this regard, the GATT-WTO has regulated subsidies, but it has not been fully functional in recent years, and reform efforts do not appear to be bearing fruit soon. Therefore, in parallel with WTO reform efforts, reliance on other approaches, such as discipline through free trade agreements (FTAs), should be considered. Disciplining subsidies through FTAs is inherently difficult, given the cross-border nature of subsidies on the one hand and the geographical limitations of the FTA’s scope of application on the other. In recent years, however, such disciplines in FTAs have begun to appear, starting with EU FTAs. Thus, this article explores the possibilities and limitations of the discipline of subsidies through FTAs, using Japan’s FTAs as a case study, to approach the path to international control of subsidies. Accordingly, this article first reviews the range of related issues and developments, including characteristics of subsidies, the rationale for subsidy discipline in trade agreements, recent challenges to multilateral subsidy discipline, the current status of subsidy discipline through FTAs, and the background of subsidy discipline in EU FTAs. The article then identifies the WTO-plus elements that are distinct to subsidy disciplines in EU FTAs and discusses their implications. Through these, it highlights the perspectives needed when considering subsidy discipline through FTAs, examines Japan’s FTAs in light of these perspectives, and presents the findings and implications thereof. Considerations are given to Japan’s FTA/trade policy as a background for its subsidy discipline through FTAs, the current status and characteristics of subsidy disciplines in Japan’s FTAs, the Agreement Between the European Union and Japan for an Economic Partnership’s (JPN-EU) subsidy-related provisions as drastic change, the effects on the Asia-Pacific region, and future prospects.
The Cambridge Companion to Kazuo Ishiguro offers an accessible introduction to key aspects of the novelist's remarkable body of work. The volume addresses Ishiguro's engagement with fundamental questions of humanity and personal responsibility, with aesthetic value and political valency, with the vicissitudes of memory and historical documentation, and with questions of family, home, and homelessness. Focused through the personal experiences of some of the most memorable characters in contemporary fiction, Ishiguro's writing speaks to the major communitarian questions of our time – questions of nationalism and colonialism, race and ethnicity, migration, war, and cultural memory and social justice. The chapters attend to Ishiguro's highly readable novels while also ranging across his other creative output. Gathering together established and emerging scholars from the UK, Europe, the USA, and East Asia, the volume offers a survey of key works and themes while also moving critical discussion forward in new and challenging ways.
To describe the trend of cumulative incidence of coronavirus disease 19 (COVID-19) and undiagnosed cases over the pandemic through the emergence of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) variants among healthcare workers in Tokyo, we analysed data of repeated serological surveys and in-house COVID-19 registry among the staff of National Center for Global Health and Medicine. Participants were asked to donate venous blood and complete a survey questionnaire about COVID-19 diagnosis and vaccine. Positive serology was defined as being positive on Roche or Abbott assay against SARS-CoV-2 nucleocapsid protein, and cumulative infection was defined as either being seropositive or having a history of COVID-19. Cumulative infection has increased from 2.0% in June 2021 (pre-Delta) to 5.3% in December 2021 (post-Delta). After the emergence of the Omicron, it has increased substantially during 2022 (16.9% in June and 39.0% in December). As of December 2022, 30% of those who were infected in the past were not aware of their infection. Results indicate that SARS-CoV-2 infection has rapidly expanded during the Omicron-variant epidemic among healthcare workers in Tokyo and that a sizable number of infections were undiagnosed.
This study provides an accessible overview of the range of reading spaces in modern Japan, and the evolution thereof from a historical perspective. After setting the scene in a short introduction, it examines the development of Kanda-Jinbōchō, the area of Tokyo that has remained for a century the location in Japan most bound up with books and print culture. It then considers the transformation of public reading spaces, explaining how socio-economic factors and changing notions of space informed reading practices from the early modern era to the present. This led, in turn, to changes in bookstores, libraries, and other venues. Finally, it briefly considers the nature and impact of virtual reading spaces, such as the representation of reading and reading spaces in popular culture, and new modes of reading mediated by the digital realm as well as the multifaceted relationship between these and older forms of reading practice.
Japan has long strived to acquire a more influential voice in trade negotiations but failed because of the lack of decisiveness rooted in the resistance from those who have vested interests. However, a series of domestic reforms undertaken since the 1990s have made it possible for Japan to play a leadership role in the new rulemaking of international trade. After the Trump administration withdrew the United States from the Trans-Pacific Partnership, Japan took the initiative to conclude a new agreement called the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership. How have domestic factors pushed Japan to step up as a new leader in the rulemaking of international trade? How have the economic rise of China and the relative decline of US hegemonic power impacted Japanese domestic politics and economics? What implications do Japan's new roles have for the security and prosperity of the Asia-Pacific region? By exploring empirical evidence drawn from five new books, we argue that the commitment to domestic economic reforms has enabled Japan to play a leadership role in the rulemaking of the international economic order.
Drawing on 1,384 notifications, this chapter demonstrates increased nominal support concentrated among few members that has declined as a percentage of world agricultural value of production, with a shift toward relatively more support by developing country members. Trade-distorting Art. 6 support, subject to limit or exempt, has declined even nominally, while rising in China and India. There is a substantial shift toward green box support that accounts in recent years for nearly 80% of all support, with China accounting for over 40% of these expenditures. Given the exemptions and unused space for support subject to limits, the Agreement has not required members to lower their distortionary support. It has, however, provided guidance to policy evolution and a basis for benchmarking members’ support decisions. The trends and levels of Art. 6 and green box support reflect both members’ policy changes and continuing differences in their chosen support measures.
The aim of this cross-sectional study was to examine the relative validity of food and nutrient intakes and overall diet quality scores derived using a newly developed dietary assessment questionnaire (food combination questionnaire, FCQ). Dietary data were collected from 222 Japanese adults (111 for each sex) aged 30–76 years using the online FCQ and then the 4-non-consective-day weighed dietary record (DR). The median of Spearman correlation coefficients for sixteen food groups was 0⋅32 among women and 0⋅38 among men. The median of Pearson correlation coefficients for forty-six nutrients was 0⋅34 among women and 0⋅31 among men. The Pearson correlation coefficient between the total scores of Healthy Eating Index-2015 (HEI-2015) derived from the DR and FCQ was 0⋅37 among women and 0⋅39 among men. The corresponding value for the Nutrient-Rich Food Index 9.3 (NRF9.3) total scores was 0⋅39 among women and 0⋅46 among men. Bland–Altman plots for these diet quality scores showed poor agreement at the individual level, although mean difference was small for the HEI-2015 (but not NRF9.3). Similar results were obtained using the paper version of FCQ, which was answered after conducting the DR, except for somewhat high Pearson correlation coefficients for the total scores of HEI-2015 (0⋅50 among both women and men) and NRF9.3 (0⋅37 among women and 0⋅53 among men). In conclusion, this analysis may lend support to the possible use of the FCQ as a rapid dietary assessment tool in large-scale epidemiologic studies in Japan, but further refinement of this tool should be pursued.
The Japanese public has been assumed to possess a deeply ingrained aversion toward the acquisition of nuclear weapons. We employ a survey experiment to ascertain whether this aversion is unconditional or may erode in the face of hypothetical deterioration in Japan's security situation, and in particular a hypothetical withdrawal of the US security-nuclear umbrella, increased North Korean nuclear weapons testing activities, and movement by South Korea toward the attainment of a nuclear arsenal. We find that the Japanese nuclear aversion may come under stress in the face of such developments. Additionally, we find that the elasticity of Japanese attitudes with respect to the nuclear option in the face of external security deterioration may be associated with an important individual-level demographic characteristic, namely, gender.
The issue of end-of-life decision-making has become increasingly important in the super-ageing society that is Japan. Until now, however, there are little regulation and no legislation on end-of-life medical issues, such as forgoing life-sustaining treatment (LST) or advance directives. In 2007, the Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare developed the first guideline on the decision-making process for terminal medical treatments. This guideline includes two key elements: (1) respecting patient self-determination and (2) broadening decision-making on the course of care to involve the healthcare team. However, it leaves many terms undefined and the position of liability is vague, leading to much uncertainty in healthcare practice. Revisions to the guideline in 2018 have emphasised advance care planning, but the completion rate for advance directives has, however, remained low, and this may be explained by practical and sociocultural factors. In light of this situation, we argue that we need further research and discussion to seek the best end-of-life decision-making framework that is most suitable for Japanese culture.
The association between high sugar-sweetened beverages (SSB) intake during pregnancy and offspring overweight/obesity has been reported only from Western countries. The objective of this study was to examine the association between SSB intake before and during pregnancy and offspring overweight/obesity among Japanese women.
Japanese prospective birth cohort study.
We analysed mother–offspring pairs who participated in the Tohoku Medical Megabank Project Birth and Three-Generation Cohort Study from 2013 to 2017. SSB intake during pregnancy was evaluated using the FFQ and classified into three groups: none (0 g/d), medium (<195 g/d) and high (>195 g/d). Overweight or obesity at 1 year of age in offspring was defined as having a BMI Z-score greater than 2 sd, calculated based on the BMI reference data for Japanese children. Multiple logistic regression analyses were performed to examine the associations between SSB intake before and during pregnancy and offspring overweight/obesity, after adjusting for covariates.
Japanese mother–offspring pairs (n 7114).
The overweight/obesity rate of the offspring was 8·8 %. Pregnant women with a high intake of SSB in early to mid-pregnancy had a higher risk of overweight/obesity in their offspring compared with those who did not; the OR was 1·52 (95 % CI (1·09, 2·12)).
High SSB intake in early to mid-pregnancy was associated with an increased risk of offspring overweight/obesity at 1 year of age.
Politicians' voice pitch is known to affect voters' evaluation of the candidates in the US. But to what extent is this true outside of the American context? To address this question, we conducted an original survey experiment in Japan. Our findings are threefold. First, in contrast to previous studies, voters in Japan do not systematically prefer lower-pitched over higher-pitched female politicians. Second, our findings suggest heterogeneity in the effect of voice pitch by voters' gender – while Japanese women are indifferent as to female candidates' pitch levels, men are more likely to prefer female candidates who speak at lower pitch. Third, preliminary analyses reveal limited evidence that female candidates' political experience conditions the effect of voice pitch over voters' willingness to vote for that candidate. Our findings suggest that lowering pitch is likely to increase female candidates' electoral prospects by attracting male voters without backlash from female voters.
While participating in the discourse of world religions, Japanese biographers published accounts of Muhammad’s life in many genres of academic and popular books during the Meiji and Taisho eras (1868–1926). This article unravels how these biographical accounts played a crucial role in facilitating a geographical imaginary of Asia/the East which incorporated both Japan and West Asia. Situated in a radically different context from the Victorian biographers who inspired them, Japanese biographers constantly compared Muhammad to historical figures familiar to them, most notably Buddha and Nichiren, and reinterpreted the life of Muhammad, relying exclusively on European-language sources. In particular, in contrast to another strand of pan-Asianism that stressed peacefulness as an inherent quality of the East, the biographers identified Muhammad’s perceived militancy and the miracles he performed as signs of the values shared by Japan and Islamic civilization. Using the person of Muhammad as a concrete piece of evidence, Japanese biographers reimagined an Eastern civilizational space that could stretch from Tokyo to Mecca.
This chapter examines the records of Armstrongs and Vickers in selling armaments in Asia over a century. As part of their foreign policy strategies, the firms built diplomatic relationships with states in the region– independent of the British Government– using their own agent-diplomats and reaped impressive rewards for their labors. At the start of the Armstrongs pioneered many gun and warship deals with China (aided by Sir Robert Hart) and Japan. Armstrongs created lasting relationships with key Chinese and Japanese government officials, hosting numerous delegations, and many of the firms’ management received state decorations for their services. The relationship between Armstrongs and China spanned more than six decades and survived several changes of regime. After Vickers moved into warship production just before the turn of the century, they also began to secure lucrative contracts in the region, sometimes competing with Armstrongs and sometimes allying with her. Business was interrupted by the Great War. Weapons ordered by Siam before the war were delivered afterwards. In the interwar period armament sales did not match their previous levels, though Vickers-Armstrongs vigorously pursued Chinese sales.
Maternal prenatal psychological distress, including depression and anxiety, may affect offspring’s motor/cognitive development. However, research findings have been inconsistent. We used a dataset from the Japan Environment and Children’s Study to evaluate associations between maternal six-item Kessler Psychological Distress Scale (K6) scores and motor/cognitive development among offspring at two years of age. Their offspring’s motor/cognitive development was assessed using the Kyoto Scale of Psychological Development 2001. Records for 1859 male and 1817 female offspring were analyzed. The maternal K6 was administered twice during pregnancy: at a median of 14.6 weeks (M-T1) and 27.3 weeks (M-T2) of gestation. Multiple regression analysis was performed with the group with K6 scores ≤4 at both M-T1 and M-T2 as a reference. In the group with K6 scores ≥5 at both M-T1 and M-T2, male offspring had significantly lower developmental quotients (DQ) in the posture-motor area (partial regression coefficient [B]: −3.68, 95% confidence interval [CI]: −5.92 to −1.44) and language-social area (B: −1.93; 95%CI: −3.73 to −0.12), while female offspring had a lower DQ for the language-social area (B: −1.95; 95%CI: −3.73 to −0.17). In those with K6 scores ≥5 only at M-T1 or M-T2, male and female offspring did not differ significantly in DQ for any area. Continuous maternal psychological distress from the first to the second half of pregnancy was associated with lower motor and verbal cognitive development in male offspring and lower verbal cognitive development in female offspring at 2 years compared with the group without persistent maternal prenatal psychological distress.
Observers have long debated how societies should invest resources to safeguard citizens and property, especially in the face of increasing shocks and crises. This article explores how social infrastructure – the spaces and places that help build and maintain social ties and trust, allowing societies to coordinate behavior – plays an important role in our communities, especially in mitigating and recovering from shocks. An analysis of quantitative data on more than 550 neighborhoods across the three Japanese prefectures most affected by the tsunami of 11 March 2011 shows that, controlling for relevant factors, community centers, libraries, parks, and other social infrastructure measurably and cheaply reduced mortality rates among the most vulnerable population. Investing in social infrastructure projects would, based on this data, save more lives during a natural hazard than putting the same money into standard, gray infrastructure such as seawalls. Decision makers at national, regional, and local levels should expand spending on facilities such as libraries, community centers, social businesses, and public parks to increase resilience to multiple types of shocks and to further enhance the quality of life for residents.
This paper explains how the possession of linguistic and cultural capital, real and imagined, works to “make” people Japanese and reify the boundary of Japanese identity. Drawing on case studies of celebrities with multiple heritage and ethnographic data, this paper shows how discursive associations with possessing cultural capital (re)create boundaries of Japanese identity, incorporating potential out-group members and excluding ostensible in-group members. The paper argues that the possession of native-level cultural capital will become an important way of differentiating “Japanese” from Others henceforth. These discursive processes apply old hegemonic ideologies in novel ways, allowing for the perpetuation of extant identity discourses and cultural institutions to be reproduced with new faces. It also argues that cultural capital is a more practical way of categorizing Japanese people from Others than identity constructions such as race and ethnicity. In doing so, it also demonstrates how Japanese people possess multiple understandings of Japanese authenticity, which both facilitates and hinders the absorption of potential Others into the collective.
We build on the model of Chapter 3 to explain how sedentism could have developed in response to better climate conditions involving higher means and lower variances for temperature and rainfall. Sedentism is defined to mean a willingness of human populations to stay at the same site for multiple generations despite occasional periods of low productivity in relation to other sites. We identify three causal channels leading to sedentism. First, there is a short-run channel where climate improvement leads agents to remain at sites when weather there is temporarily bad, because when conditions are harsh, they are less harsh than they were under the previous climate regime. Second, there is a long-run channel where better climate leads to higher regional population. This causes some people to remain at sites where weather is temporarily bad because sites with good weather are now more heavily occupied than before. Finally, there is a very-long-run channel where higher regional population leads to the use of previously latent resources and technological innovation. These mechanisms help to explain the rise of large sedentary communities in southwest Asia during the Epi-Paleolithic and in Japan during the early Holocene.
This article has two objectives. One is to explain the rise of female political representation in local assemblies in Tokyo's 23 Special Wards. The other is to examine how political women in Japan have or have not changed since the publication of Susan Pharr's Political Women in Japan in 1981. When Tokyo first saw the emergence of a new type of local assembly women in the 1990s, they consisted of well-educated suburban housewives who led the Seikatsusha Nettowaku movement. In the past 15 years, however, Tokyo has witnessed a decline in ‘housewife politicians’ and a further diversification in the types of political women. This article pays special attention to a new type of political women called Mama Giin (literally, mommy politicians). Mama Giin are professional working mothers, who have become local assembly women to address deficiencies in childcare services. Their numbers increased as socio-economic changes and party realignment reshaped supply and demand for female candidates in Tokyo. Most of them accept the gendered responsibilities for childcare very much like Pharr's New Women did in the 1970s. The younger cohorts of highly educated women enjoy greater job options and life choices unavailable to the New Women of their mothers' generation. However, they do not necessarily challenge Japan's patriarchy. This article examines the biographies of female local politicians in Tokyo's 23 Special Ward assemblies to understand the rise of Mama Giin.