JIIA Commentary Suspension

JIIA Commentary Archive

JIIA Commentary Suspension

On August 18, 2006 the entire collection of JIIA Commentary articles were removed from the JIIA website. This page is a recreation of the first four commentary articles. This is here for research and archival purposes. Additionally, there are links to the articles in the Sankei Shimbun that led to the suspension of JIIA Commentary in 2006.

As of April 11, 2007 JIIA Commentary was relaunched as AJISS Commentary (http://www.jiia.or.jp/en_commentary/index.php).

JIIA Commentary Archive

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My thoughts 

The facts are an article published in the Sankei Shimbun by Yoshihisa Komori (see above) led Amb. Satoh of JIIA to decide to suspend the JIIA Commentary (see above). This is controversial, in part because JIIA describes itself as an independant academic institute. According to their website: 

The JAPAN INSTITUTE OF INTERNATIONAL AFFAIRS is Japan's foremost center for producing and disseminating ideas on international relations. As an academically independent institution affiliated with the Japanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Institute is a source of authoritative interpretations of Japanese foreign policy.

Apparently, this description is not found on JIIA's website in Japanese.

Although Komori's libertarian arguments (later layed out on the NBR forum) are valid to some degree, the response by Ambassador Satoh was extreme, and unacceptable. His caving into pressure from Komori and by extension, conservative elements of Japanese society, don't look good for open debate in Japan and thus his action was far worse than any controversial statements made. He should have invited Komori to respond, in the Commentary, and open the floor to frank debate.

The relaunch of this journal is a positive sign, and the partnering with several other organizations is an action open for interpretation. The future legitimacy of this publication and JIIA as a whole depends on how this round is handled. 

Daniel Sturgeon

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