JPRI Japan/Pacific Rim Media Report: November 2, 2010

In This Week’s Report

1.  COP10 Nagoya Meeting Yields Agreement on Genetic Resources
2.  Japan leads UN Resolution to Eliminate Nuclear Weapons
3.  Vietnam and Japan to Cooperate in Nuclear Energy and Rare Earth Minerals Exploration
4.  Japan and India conclude Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement
5.  Growing Rift between DPJ National Leadership and DPJ Okinawa Chapter over Futenma
6.  Young Japanese Men Seeking New Sustainable Lifestyles
7.  Japan Accused of Media Spin in China Rare Earth Oxides Controversy


1. COP10 Nagoya Meeting Yields Agreement on Genetic Resources

Asahi Shimbun (“COP10 / Nagoya meet OKs historic genetic deal,” 01 November 2010) reported that “delegates to the 10th meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity (COP10)” in Nagoya, Japan, reached an agreement on October 30th regarding “international rules for sharing benefits from genetic resources used in food, pharmaceuticals and other products.”  In addition to this Nagoya Protocol, which still requires ratification by at least 50 nations before taking effect, the meeting produced the Aichi Target articulating “objectives for biodiversity protection through 2020."
external link http://www.asahi.com/english/TKY201010310184.html

2. Japan leads UN Resolution to Eliminate Nuclear Weapons

Japan Times (“The 17th resolution to ban nukes passed,” 28 October 2010) reported that a “Japan-led resolution calling for the elimination of nuclear weapons was adopted… for the 17th straight year at a disarmament committee of the U.N. General Assembly.”  Toward this end, the resolution advocated full implementation of the action plan produced in the NPT Review Conference of May 2010. Voting trends revealed reasons for optimism as well as concern. While a “record 90 countries, including the United States, cosponsored the resolution, up from 87 last year,” the total number of favorable votes dropped to 154 (from 170 last year) as Brazil, China, India, Mexico, Pakistan, South Africa, and six other countries abstained. North Korea was the only country to vote against the resolution.
external link http://search.japantimes.co.jp/cgi-bin/nn20101028b3.html

3. Vietnam and Japan to Cooperate in Nuclear Energy and Rare Earth Mineral Exploration

The BBC (“Rare earths supply deal between Japan and Vietnam,” 31 October 2010) reported that “Vietnam has agreed to help supply Japan with rare earths, as Tokyo tries to reduce its dependence on China” and that “the two countries have also agreed on greater nuclear cooperation, with Hanoi virtually awarding Japan contracts to build two reactors in Vietnam.” This strategic partnership reflects concerns among leaders in Japan, the United States, and other industrial powers to diversify sources of “the so-called rare earths used around the world to make goods such as mobile phones, computers, lasers, televisions and cars.” The article notes that China currently produces about 97 percent of the worldwide supply of these essential ores.
external link http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-pacific-11661330

4. Japan and India conclude Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement

Xinhua News (Jonathan Day, “Japan and India head for broad economic alliance, nuclear pact,” 26 October 2010) reported on the conclusion of the Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA), which represents a “strategic global partnership between Japan and India that will see a wide range of tariffs on products ranging from car components and electronic goods to bonsai plants and food products abolished.” Projected civilian nuclear cooperation may prove politically problematic. The article quotes Shimura Tetsuyo of the Asian Exchange Foundation who notes that such “cooperation with India will be a major boost to Japan’s economy as demand in India for nuclear power generation technology and materials is high, but India hasn't signed the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty and has a less than stellar nuclear history.”
external link http://news.xinhuanet.com/english2010/indepth/2010-10/26/c_13575992.htm

5. Growing Rift between DPJ National Leadership and DPJ Okinawa Chapter over Futenma

Yomiuri Shimbun (“DPJ divided over Okinawa poll / Local chapter insists on candidate who will review Futenma agreement,” 25 October 2010) reported on a “growing rift” between the Democratic Party of Japan’s national leadership and its Okinawa chapter concerning the Futenma base relocation controversy and the upcoming (Nov. 28th) Okinawa gubernatorial election. The local chapter is insisting on a candidate who will review and possibly push to revise the Japan-U.S. Agreement “to relocate Futenma Air Station in Ginowan to the Henoko district of Nago in the prefecture.” In contrast, a DPJ leader is quoted as arguing that “we cannot support a candidate who opposes the government's policy” and that “we may have to do without a party-backed candidate” in the election.
external link http://www.yomiuri.co.jp/dy/national/T101024002099.htm

6. Young Japanese Men Seeking New Sustainable Lifestyles

Washington Post (Chico Harlen, “Japan’s Young Men Seek New Path,” 24 October 2010) reported that Japanese men, age 20 to 34, are “staging the most curious of rebellions” against the ethos of their salariman predecessors – seeking a more balanced life by “working less, having less sex, and caring more about what they wear.” Dubbed “herbivores” (gentle and cautious), this new generation is often lampooned in the Japanese media for lacking ambition and luxuriating in “pre-wedding spa treatment,” “Dessert-tasting clubs,” and so forth. On the other hand, some laud these activities as part of a wider social movement in Japan seeking more sustainable life styles.
external link http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/10/24/AR2010102403342.html?sid=ST2010102403343

7. Japan Accused of Media Spin in China Rare Earth Oxides Controversy

Asia Times of Hong Kong (Peter Lee, “Japan Spins Anti-China Merry-Go-Round,” 29 October 1020) argued that Japan has taken advantage of the recent territorial dispute over Senkaku/Diaoyu islands by loudly linking the dispute to “Beijing’s alleged embargo on exports of rare earth oxides.” According to the article, this “represents another effort by Seiji Maehara, Japan’s neo-conservative foreign minister, to reposition China as freedom’s existential antagonist in Asia – and Japan as America's indispensable ally.” Maehara is criticized as belonging to “a cross-party grouping of younger politicians… impatient with the post World War II narrative of war guilt and the limits of Japan’s ‘peace constitution’ [who] support Japan’s re-emergence as a military power, and concentrate on treating China as the dangerous economic and military competitor.”
external link http://www.atimes.com/atimes/China/LJ29Ad02.html


The JPRI Japan-Pacific Rim Media Report is compiled and edited in cooperation with the
Master of Arts in Asia Pacific Studies (MAPS) Program at the University of San Francisco.

Editor: Chiho Sawada

Editorial Associates: Kristine Anthony, Joshua Del Pino, Nicholas Mucks, Eric Santiago, Jonathan Schmitt


Downloaded from www.jpri.org