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Historical denial and right-wing politics in contemporary Japan

Wednesday 19 February 2020, 4.00PM

Speaker(s): Dr Rin Ushiyama (University of Cambridge)

Like many other parts of the world, Japan has experienced the dominance of right-wing politics in recent years, especially under the incumbent Abe Government (2012-present).

This talk, based on a work-in-progress, explores the social, political, and cultural contexts for the successful re-emergence of the nationalist right in Japan over the past quarter-century. In particular, this talk focuses on the rise of public discourses that deny or downplay the occurrence of atrocities committed by Japan before and during World War Two.

This talk highlights the roles that cooperative networks of politicians, political parties, public intellectuals, corporate leaders, and the religious lobby have played in the public denial of historical atrocities.

Moreover, critiquing the binary dichotomy between domestic nationalist movements and transnational cosmopolitan movements, this talk highlights the growing importance of transnational nationalist movements that seek to disseminate pro-Japanese, revisionist historical narratives that justify Japanese Imperialism to English-speaking audiences. 

Location: Wentworth College W/222

Admission: Free