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 Description
- JIIA Commentary Abstracts
- JIIA Commentary #1
- JIIA Commentary #2
- JIIA Commentary #3
- JIIA Commentary #4
- Steven Clemons, "Japan's Right-Wingers Out of Control," The Washington Note, August 20, 2006.
- "JIIA Tamamoto Komori controversy," Gen Kanai weblog, August 22, 2006.
- Smith/Glosserman article (Sheila A Smith and Brad Glosserman, "Open debate under threat in Japan," Asia Times, August 26, 2006).
- Steve Clemons, "The Rise of Japan's Thought Police," The Washington Post, August 27, 2006.
- Mindy Kotler, "Sharing American Values with Japan," Asia Policy Point, August 28, 2006.
- A useful essay on the "left" and the "right" by Jun Okumura
- "The Struggle for the Japanese Soul: Komori Yoshihisa, Sankei Shimbun, and the JIIA Controversy" by David McNeill in Japan Focus, September 5, 2006. (Also on OhMyNews).
- "Yasukuni Criticism sparks free-speech feud," Asahi Shimbun (English), September 9, 2006.
- Roger Pulvers, "Self-censorship conjures ominous echoes of the past," The Japan Times, September 17, 2006 (as found at UCLA's AsiaMedia page).
- Mr. Komori's Response to Amb. Cortazzi's "Nanking Denier" Allegation (Japanese)
- "Setting the Record Straight": Mr. Komori's Commentary on the Washington
Post Letter-to-the-Editor Refusal (English)
- Editorial Essay by Amb. Hugh Cortazzi in The Japan Times, October 26, 2006.
- Extensive debate also took place on the NBR Japan-U.S. Discussion Forum
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.
If you would like to contact JIIA directly:
Kasumigaseki Building 11th Floor
Tel: (03) 3503-7261
+81-3-3503-7261 (from outside Japan)
Fax: (03) 3503-7292
+81-3-3503-7292 (from outside Japan)