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Fall 2017

Shunji Fueki '21, Japanese Territorial Disputes and Their Causes 

Japan has been engaging with territorial disputes with its all neighboring countries, China, Korea, and Russia over Dokdo/Takeshima islands, Diayou/Senkaku Islands, and the Southern Kuril Islands/Northern Territories respectively.  Through the comparison of economic, political, judicial, and historical factors surrounding these three disputes, this paper argues that Japan features the territorial disputes mainly for its national pride, which has its root in the memories of Japanese war-time imperialism and the loss of WWII.  This sense of pride makes Japan difficult to make any compromise with its neighboring countries since it will be a shame for Japan to admit its war-time aggression or its defeat in WWII. This paper further goes on to claim that Japanese national pride is reinforced in the reciprocal relationship between the Japanese government and its citizens; the government instills patriotic perspectives into the minds of Japanese people through textbooks on history and civil society, while the citizens vote for politicians who place themselves in hawkish attitudes towards other East Asian countries. 

Samikchhya Bhusal '19, Land Use and Road Infrastructure Policy in India: The Role of Spatial Data on Decision-Making

Daily trips in urban India are expected to more than double from 2007-2031. According to India’s Ministry of Urban Development (MoUD), private vehicle ownership in Indian cities is expected to increase by three folds between 1994 and 2021. As elsewhere, India made increased efforts towards sustainable urban mobility in the last decade. While the link between land use and sustainable mobility is acknowledged, urban development decisions have yet not used this link for decision making. This paper will trace the trajectories of two types of road infrastructure projects namely Bus Rapid Transit (BRT)s and Flyovers to discuss the connection between land use, road infrastructure, and transportation demand. It argues that there are several inconsistencies in policy commitments, data generation, and planning that affect sustainable urban mobility. The paper will also argue that selective use of data has been used as a strategy in transportation planning. It is in this context that new data technologies are making it possible to generate data from unconventional sources. The work of Hyderabad Urban Lab discusses the use of nascent technologies, ethnographic research and their ability to breach boundaries of expert knowledge domains where the hope for sustainable mobility options lies.

Kazuna Nakaya '21, History Textbook Reform in Japan Under the Allied Occupation

Because Japan had been defeated in the Pacific War, all aspects of Japan’s society were reformed by the occupation forces to democratize Japan. One of the major reforms dealt with education, especially history textbooks. This paper will begin by discussing history textbooks, which contained ultra-nationalistic ideas, used before and during the war. This paper will then critically analyze history textbook reform under the allied occupation. First of all, the Japanese government and the occupation forces tried to remove nationalistic ideas from wartime textbooks by blacking out lines and pages which contained those ideas. However, blacking out passages of textbooks was neither practical nor recommended because wartime textbooks contained ultra-nationalistic ideas. The occupation forces created new history textbooks which deleted nationalistic content and critically examined Japanese history. Later, the occupation forces introduced a textbook screening system. Around 1950, the occupation forces completely passed responsibility for education reform to the Japanese government; however, a modified version of the textbook screening process still remains in Japan.

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