Events and Activities
„Womenomics”, one of the policies by Prime Minister Abe Shinzo introduced in 2014 to reinvigorate Japan’s economy has come as a surprise not only to his government and politicians but also to the Japanese society. Gender and gender issues have long been a seemingly untouchable topic in Japan’s political discourse.
This talk presents the main characteristics of this concept, its aims and goals. It looks at the motivations and expectations on the side of policy-makers, of employers and of those most concerned: women and their families.
Picture: CC BY 2.0 | flickr/Steven-L-Johnson
In Japan, local mayors and city councils decide on whether a nuclear facility shall be constructed in their community or not. Therefore, policy analysis on the nation state level alone cannot explain why some nuclear facilities were built, while the construction was stopped (or prevented) elsewhere. This research project analyzes and compares the cases of two local communities: the town of Maki, now a part of Niigata city, where the construction of a nuclear power plant was prevented by a citizen referendum; and Rokkasho, a small town in Aomori prefecture, which hosts one of the largest nuclear centers comprised of several nuclear facilities.
In the analysis, resource mobilization theory, the framing approach and the theory of political opportunity structure are combined in the triangular model of social movement analysis (Hasegawa Koichi 2011). Expert interviews, mostly with former activists in Maki and Aomori, complement the data gathered by literature analysis.
Picture: CC BY-SA 3.0 | wikimedia/Nife
The documentary film “Slow Way Home” explores this divergence, examining how American families have largely given up on keeping streets and public spaces safe enough for children, while Japanese communities have mobilized to keep their streets safe and walkable, not only for children but for everyone in society. Following a screening of the film, Prof. Schoppa will offer remarks on the forces that keep parents and local residents in Japan civically engaged in working to preserve the safety of streets for local school children, when similar dynamics do not seem to operate in the United States.
With the Northern Expedition (1926-28), the Nationalist Party (GMD) emerged in China as the leading force for reunification of the country. The foreign powers had thus to face a new government in Nanjing that claimed back for China the sovereign rights it had lost with the ‘unequal treaties’ in the late Qing period. To Japan, in particular, the establishment of the Nationalist regime posed a threat to its ‘special interests’ in Northeast China.
Historians have studied extensively the political process that in 1931 led to the Japanese invasion of Manchuria, taking into account both domestic conditions and the wider international context. Public opinion in Japan, however, has remained rather on the sidelines of research.
Picture: CC BY-SA 3.0 ｜ Source
Demographischer Wandel als kommunalpolitische Herausforderung – Lösungsstrategien japanischer und deutscher Gemeinden
Der durch niedrige Geburtenraten, einen steigenden Anteil älterer, vor allem auch pflegebedürftiger Personen und einen Rückgang der Bevölkerung gekennzeichnete demographische Wandel trifft die Gemeinden in besonderem Maße. Hier wird auch die Komplexität der Herausforderung deutlich.
Unsere Konferenz wird diese demographische Herausforderung am Beispiel japanischer und deutscher Gemeinden erörtern sowie konkrete Lösungsstrategien auf nationaler wie auf lokaler Ebene vorstellen und diskutieren.
Seoul’s Namsan under Japanese Influence – Japanese Ritual Life and Assimilation Policy in Korea, 1890-1945
Namsan is a small mountain in central Seoul. It was used for propaganda both by the Japanese who settled there in the 1890s and by Koreans until the democratization of South Korea in the 1980s. However, as Namsan nowadays has become a famous leisure attraction for tourists as well as locals, the fact that it has a troubled and politically charged history is mostly forgotten.
This talk outlines the changes on Namsan around the period of Japanese rule. During that time, Shintō shrines and Buddhist temples were continuously built on and around Namsan, turning it into the center of Japanese ritual life. At the same time, by removing traditional Korean ritual sites, Koreans were estranged from their own spiritual traditions. From 1925, when the Japanese Government and the Government-General of Chōsen decided to build Chōsen Jingū on Namsan, the issue of Koreans visiting Namsan and taking part in Japanese ritual life became even more politicized. As a result, Namsan was slowly turned into a space of assimilation of Koreans into Japanese – a development that reached its pinnacle when Koreans were forced to pray at shrines during the wartime years.
Living Diversity: A Comparative View on Identity, Gender and Sexual Orientation in Contemporary Japan and Germany
Homogeneity is a myth. Diversity, on the other hand, has become a buzzword in Japan and elsewhere. It can be understood as both a chance for society to become more open and tolerant, or as a risk to grow heterogeneity and inequalities.
This panel discussion will reflect what diversity means for a society and how this is connected to the reality of everyday life. By focusing on issues of identity, gender and sexual orientation in Japan, Germany and beyond, we bring together two activists and a scholar who address multiple dimensions of diversity.
Culture at work. On the interplay of cultural change and job satisfaction in a Japanese multinational company
Job satisfaction in Japan has become a widely-debated issue, especially since research findings indicated that it ranks among the lowest in the world (e.g. Hipp and Givan Kolins 2015).
Moreover, surveys suggest that compared to other aspects of life, such as family or education, Japanese are least satisfied with their working lives (Holthus et al. 2015).
At the same time, global megatrends and market forces are reshaping Japanese workplaces, for example in the form of international mergers and acquisitions, which lead to direct confrontations of different cultures and elicit inevitable changes to the existing work culture. So far, however, the implications of such changes for organizational cultures and employee satisfaction have rarely been addressed in qualitative research. My study aims to provide a deeper understanding of the interrelations between job satisfaction, globalization and culture and asks to what extent job satisfaction interacts with and depends on culture.