Session 6: Room 11-419

Individual Papers on Asian Politics and History

Chair: Linda Grove, Sophia University


1) Miwa Hirono, University of Nottingham

“International Contribution” or Competition in Disguise? A Comparative Study of Chinese and Japanese Peacekeeping Operations


China and Japan are emerging actors in peacekeeping operations (PKO). Since both states began to participate in United Nations PKO in the early 1990s, their involvement in such operations has steadily increased and broadened. When they participated in the United Nations Transitional Authority in Cambodia (UNTAC) in 1992, their participation was similar in scale and scope. However, China and Japan have developed their respective PKO policies and operations since 1992 differently, despite the fact that both governments relate their PKO activity directly to aspiration to higher international status, reflected in the Chinese discourse of “responsible state” and the Japanese discourse of “international contribution”. This paper provides a two-tiered analysis about the differences in the peacekeeping policy and the peacekeeping operations of the two countries. Firstly, at the international level, it examines how their policies and operations have developed in relation to the evolution of international peacekeeping principles, and identifies the major differences between the two countries. Secondly, at the bilateral Sino-Japanese relations level, the paper investigates how the perceptions of government officials, intellectuals and the media of both countries have developed in relation to the PKO policies and operations of each other. This paper concludes by discussing the implications of the differences in peacekeeping policy and operations with respect to their aspiration to higher international status, and with respect to Sino-Japan relations.


2) Kenji Kaneko, Ritsumeikan Asia Pacific University

The Concepts of Marginality in Wartime Japan


This research explores the marginal situation among colonial subjects in wartime Japan. As a result of Japan’s territorial expansion in Asia, numerous colonial subjects arrived in the Japanese archipelago from its new territories such as Hokkaido, Okinawa, Taiwan, the Korean Peninsula, and other areas. It is argued that more than 2 million including their descendents lived in Japan as “Japanese” until the end of the World War II.


The focus of the research is on social relations between the Japanese and those “new” Japanese. By analysing the social status of the “new” Japanese, the boundaries between them and the Japanese are examined. Further, the position of the Koreans as the largest minority group as a case study is discussed. After the Kantō earthquake in 1923, allegedly, 6,661 Koreans were killed in the name of the patriotic act by the Japanese citizens and officers (Yamada 1987, 174-195). A typological table of the “foreign” Japanese will be built to examine their marginal situation of them. The author finds that despite the assimilation policy, those new Japanese were institutionally marginalized. The research is grounded on a review of the existing literature in English and Japanese.


3) Ji-Young Kim, University of Delaware

Symbolic Politics, History Problems, and the Japan-South Korea Security Relationship


Japan and South Korea, the two neighboring liberal democratic states in East Asia, share common threats (China and North Korea) and a common important ally (US). Moreover, their cultures and economies have been closely interconnected. Thus, it would seem very natural for Japan and South Korea to cooperate in the security area. However, the security cooperation between the two countries has remained at a very low level since the normalization of relationship in 1965. The main purpose of the paper is to shed light on the reason behind this phenomenon. After examining the debates among different schools of International Relations (IR) theories for this seeming peculiarity, I argue that the rise of emotional distrust over history issues has been the main cause for the low level of Japan-South Korea security cooperation. While my argument is not original, this argument has been poorly backed by empirical evidence. Rather than simply attribute the phenomena to this psycho-historical factor, as many previous scholars have done, however, I aim to elucidate the substance behind the emotional distrust and the process of how emotion affects the policymaking of the Japan and South Korea. This can be accomplished by adopting a theoretical approach of symbolic politics that suggests domestic political processes—mass-led and elite-led—through which emotional distrust produces hostile policies toward the other group. Acknowledging these factors would be the first step toward a better future for countries whose present relationship has been constantly affected by their past memories and history including Japan and Korea.


4) Aleksandra Majstorac Kobiljski, City University of New York/Doshisha University

From Beirut to Kyoto: Transfer of Education Models in the 19th Century


This paper investigates the dynamics of inter-Asian transfer of institution models in education through the examples of what are today the American University of Beirut and Doshisha University in Kyoto. When Niijima Jo opened Doshisha English School in Kyoto in 1875, he based it in part on the model of a Christian missionary college developed in Beirut with the opening of the American University of Beirut in 1866. How did the model of a Protestant college with a secular curriculum devised in Beirut in the 1860s travel to Kyoto in the 1870s?

In the 19th century, the Ottoman and Japanese Empires gave high priority to the education system overhaul as part of reforms aimed at centralizing the state, developing the economy and, otherwise, reinvent themselves as modern polities. Although Japan has often served as a model of modernization to other Asian states, in this case, it was on the receiving end of the educational innovations. Hence, the encounter between Japan and the Ottoman Empire was a two-way avenue and not a one-way street. A look at the dynamics of the encounter on these inter-Asian avenues of exchange shows how much they borrowed from each other and innovated together as opposed to borrowing from or adopting European and US models.

The paper maps the flow of ideas between Beirut and Kyoto, suspending conventional geo-political divisions that separate the Middle East from Asia. The approach results in an organic map of the intellectual currents; where the Middle East stops and Asia begins in no longer clear and hitherto invisible inter-Asian connections surfaces.

5) José Vergara, University of Kyoto, and Maria Titeyeva, University of Kyoto

Geographical Education in a Contested Territory: “Geography Textbook of Karafuto”


One of the most important sectors of the publishing industry in every country of the world is that of textbook publishing. It relates to education as well as to the social and cultural development of the country, it is at the heart of every nation consciousness. For the case on Japan there are several traits that create interest on the books published during the Meiji, Taisho, and the beginnings of the Showa period. The textbooks reveal several historiographical problems that require our attention nowadays. The first one relates to the geographical problem of Karafuto/Sakhalin being an island or a peninsula which took at least 100 years to be solved. Individual efforts such as of Ivan Moskvitin, Martin Gerrits de Vries, Jean-Francois de La Perouse, Ivan Crusenstern and Mamiya Rinzo to transform terra ignotus, from the geographical imagination to terra cognitus, the known land. It is the part of a continuous process of territorialisation that existed in Japan and Russia but also responded to the political expansion of the state. For this reason, of great importance is the geographical knowledge and its influence on the political and intellectual world. A second problem is the question of how this territory emerged in the Japanese and Russian world view during the 19th century and how it was depicted on “geography textbook of Karafuto” published in 1906. Finally, we address the problem of how publishing reveals a context of creating knowledge and its distribution which responds to geopolitical reasons. All these issues are seen through the lens of the textbook of Karafuto appearing just a year after the victory of Japanese forces against those of Imperial Russia.


6) Helena Meyer-Knapp, The Evergreen State College

Heritage or History? School Studies Tours at World War II Sites in Japan, Korea and the United States


This research, into school shugaku ryokō— “study tours” of key national sites, illuminates the transmission from generation to generation of cultural values and information about history and war in the U.S, in Japan and in South Korea. It describes the impact of World War II-oriented tours on the political socialization and the development of historical consciousness of adolescents in all three countries. Results reveal the shared and the divergent outcomes of this education into students’ deliberations about war, peace and national identity. One way to understand what happens when school-age students are taken on tours of the battle and memorial sites, is to recognize that each nation has equally strong commitments to pass on, not the historical facts of those years, but rather the nation’s heritage—what is owed to the ancestors for the sacrifices they made and the gifts they left for the benefit of future generations.

      The research is interdisciplinary, addressing ethics, international relations, pedagogy and history. Rather than studying textbooks, or media analysis of political behavior i.e. visits to Yasukuni shrine, these data are derived from a combination of field observations at the battle sites, museums and memorials, and surveys of approx 250 college age and late high school age students in each country, who describe their learning in the field. Field studies make a particularly engaging and memorable teaching/learning situation.

      The presentation will include evidence relating to student behavior and to the mission claimed by each site, as well as survey responses.