South Korean and Japanese Diplomatic Crisis over Comfort Women Statue

Andrew Fletcher
Vol. 39 Production Editor

In January 2017, Japan recalled its ambassador to South Korea. This latest setback in the tense relationship between Japan and South Korea centers on a dispute over a statue located in front of the Japanese consulate in Busan. The statue depicts a ‘comfort woman,’ a reference to the thousands of women, many Korean, who were forced into sexual slavery by the Japanese Imperial government to be used by the Japanese military during World War II. This historical issue has created enormous tension between Japan and South Korea. In 2015, South Korea and Japan signed an agreement that was intended to put the issue to rest. When a civic group in Busan erected a ‘comfort women’ statue next to the Japanese consulate in Busan, the Japanese government claimed that South Korea had broken its agreement and violated the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations. Continue reading

China’s Military Drills Over Okinawa

Virginia Koeppl
Vol. 37 Associate Editor
Vol. 38 Article Editor

On December 26, 2015, China sent three armed vessels, one of them designed to carry four cannons, into Japan’s territorial waters surrounding the Senkaku Islands in the southern part of the East China Sea.[1] This is the first time that the People’s Republic of China has sent armed vessels into waters claimed by Japan.[2] Continue reading

Japan, the SDF and Collective Security: Japan’s De Facto Amendment of its Constitution

Angela Ni, Vol. 37 Associate Editor

Since the end of World War II, Japan has been locked in an internal ideological struggle between normalization of its military capabilities and holding true to its Constitutional promises of refraining from the threat or use of force. In the past, post-War pacifism and geopolitical pressures from other East Asian countries, China in particular, have usually forestalled efforts by the ruling Liberal Democratic Party (“LDP”) to expand Japan’s military endeavors through Constitutional revisions of its Article 9, which expressly prohibits war and denounces the maintenance of land, sea, and air forces for the purpose of waging war.[1] However, regional security concerns stemming from China and North Korea, in addition to recent political efforts from Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, have pushed this long-standing issue to the forefront as Japan’s Parliament, the Diet, voted in favor of new security bills which will expand the Japan Self-Defense Force’s (“SDF”) defensive capacities as well as its role in international peace keeping.[2] Continue reading

Liberalizing Electricity Markets and Divided Competition Authority: A Comparative look at Japanese and British Competition Laws

Alexandra Plutshack, Vol. 36 Associate Editor

Electricity systems have traditionally always been operated as publically owned monopolies. Over the last few decades several nations have begun liberalizing reforms of the electricity market, opening up markets for both generation and retail. However, given the nature and history of the industry, there is concern that current competition laws may not be capable of breaking up the natural “monopolistic inertia” electric companies enjoy. Continue reading