AMPO’s Carefree 50th: Mili-moe, Mili-tainment, and an Important Friendship
At noon on Wednesday, August 4, 2010, the Public Relations Office of the United States Forces Japan (USFJ) released the first of four volumes of a manga, Watashitachi no dōmei – Eizokuteki pātonāshippu/Our Alliance – A Lasting Partnership.1 The manga series was intended to mark and celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Treaty of Mutual Cooperation and Security between the United States and Japan (better known as AMPO) that had been signed between the United States and Japan in Washington, D.C. on January 19, 1960. Despite its express purpose to burnish the reputation of USFJ and appease critics of the alliance, the launch of this entirely new public relations effort was unfortunately timed. Delayed by several months, it was released two days prior to the 65th anniversary of the dropping of “Little Boy” on August 6, 1945. It also came shortly after the failure to create a new base to replace Futenma Marine Corps Air Station.2 “In this politically and militarily charged environment,” explained Major Neil Fisher, the director of the Public Relations Office and a member of the U.S.—>http://japanfocus.org/-Sabine-Fruhstuck/3442
Week of November 7, 2010
• Liu Xia and Dai Qing propose a list of people to attend the ceremony in Oslo awarding the Nobel Peace Prize to Liu Xiaobo, the imprisoned Chinese writer and democracy activist. [via Probe International]
Much is at stake in the November 28 Okinawa gubernatorial election. Here the two candidates debate the question of closing the Futenma Air Station, whether it should be replaced by a new high tech base at Henoko in Oura Bay, or simply closed. The issue has brought the US-Japan alliance to a point of crisis leading to the fall of one Prime Minister and a serious challenge to a second. [via Peace Philosophy Centre]
• The Japanese government’s video of the Senkaku Incident
Did the Chinese fishing boat deliberately ram the Japan Coast Guard ship?
It’s your call. [via YouTube]
• Read the French court’s verdict in the libel suit by the Sasakawa Foundation against Science Po researcher Karoline Postel-Vinay.