Public lecture video by Institute of Contemporary Asian Studies (ICAS). This lecture was held on November 20, 2015. Speaker was Koichi Nakano, Professor of Political Science at the Faculty of Liberal Arts, Sophia University.
In recent years Japan has undergone seismic shifts in its political landscape as the Liberal Democratic Party has returned to power in the aftermath of the 2011 Tohoku disasters, with a more conservative, nationalist, and revisionist orientation at the impetus of Prime Minister Abe’s government. Spurning the concerns of the anti-nuclear sentiment that was provoked by the Fukushima nuclear crisis, and returning to power after a brief period out of office while the Democratic Party of Japan presided over the disaster recovery, PM Abe pushed for fundamental changes in Japan’s security policy, “reinterpreting” the constitution to allow for a different military posture. This has given rise to political protests across the political spectrum, drawing in activists from the “old-school” pacifist movements as well the new civic activism that 3.11 has given birth to. Where is the Abe government headed now? What are the prospects for the civil society opposition to the security policy change?