The Garret Tree
Saturday, April 16, 2005
  Newslink: Japan: The Empire Rises Again

In Saturday's Toronto Globe and Mail (April 16, 2005), Asia correspondent Geoffrey York has major focus piece on the rise of nationalism in Japan. The story concentrates on how the nationalists and even the mainstream are working to marginalize the post-war pacifist tradition in the country.

Unfortunately, unlike an earlier series on Japan, this story is behind the Globe and Mail's pay wall. I get the dead tree edition on my front porch.

One of the people Geoffrey York interviewed was a pacificist professor of law, Okudaira Yasuhiro, 75, a professor emeritus at Tokyo University, who is one of the leaders of the movement to protect Article 9 in the post-war constitution that forbids the use of force in international disputes.

York writes of Okudaira

An encounter that helped shape his life occurred in 1942, when he was a young boy in northern Japan. He met a group of U.S. prisoners of war who had been put to work on military trucks....

"It was the first time I spoke to a foreigner....The war was designed to separate people. But here, in the middle of the war, as a child, I had this feeling of solidarity and mutual understanding. It still says in my mind."

For some reason, probably because most of the rest of the series is about business rather than human beings, The Globe and Mail's Report on Japan (published in March) is available to the web visitor.

Here is the link to the premium page if you want to buy it.

And on another note: As a web producer, it's clear to me that The Globe and Mail doesn't get it. They appear to be trying to copy the Wall Street Journal in offering premium content, but in fact they are driving away visitors, since it appears a lot of their business content is available. Other newspapers, mainly in the United States, do offer complete access to their dead tree edition subscribers (how else can they read the complete paper if those subscribers are out of town?.)

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I write in a renovated garret in my house in a part of Toronto, Canada, called "The Pocket." The blog is named for a tree can be seen outside the window of my garret.

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Name: Robin Rowland
Location: Toronto, Canada

I'm a Toronto-based writer, photographer, web producer, television producer, journalist and teacher. I'm author of five books, the latest A River Kwai Story: The Sonkrai Tribunal. The Garret tree is my blog on the writing life including my progress on my next book (which will be announced here some time in the coming months) My second blog, the Wampo, Nieke and Sonkrai follows the slow progress of my freelanced model railway based on my research on the Burma Thailand Railway (which is why it isn't updated that often) The Creative Guide to Research, based on my book published in 2000 is basically an archive of news, information and hints for both the online and the shoe-leather" researcher. (Google has taken over everything but there are still good hints there)

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