The Newsletter

International Law?

2006 marks the 60th anniversary of what, in its time, was declared ‘the biggest trial in recorded history’. The International Military Tribunal for the Far East – which tried Japanese military and civilian leaders for war crimes, crimes against humanity, and ‘crimes against peace’ – surpassed the Nuremberg trial in duration (two and a half years), in the number of accused (28), in the number of presiding judges (11), and in the length of its judgment (over 1,200 pages). But compared to Nuremberg, which is widely seen as a watershed moment in international law, Tokyo remains obscure.

The Art of Seduction

The changing art of seduction: ritual courtship, performing prostitutes, erotic entertainment.

Cultures of confinement

A global history of the prison

The Asia-Pacific War Sixty Years On

Nations in the looking-glass: the war in changing retrospect, 1945-2005

China’s new pride / Publishing in Asian Studies

During 2003 and 2004 the talk of the town in Beijing’s political, media and diplomatic circles was the ‘peaceful rise of China’ to superpower status. China’s leadership, led by president Hu Jintao, had presented a new vision: China’s rise would be different from those of Germany and Japan, whose arrival on the world stage triggered two world wars. Riding the wave of globalization, China would rise through long-term economic growth, trade and investment, regional cooperation and integration, all guided by deft and peaceful diplomacy.

Maritime piracy

Maritime piracy has become a focal point of media attention. Together with governments and military experts, the media tends to link maritime piracy with international terrorism as an ongoing threat in the post-Cold War era. In particular the Strait of Malacca, the strategic sea-lane linking the oil fields of the Middle East and the production economies of East Asia and beyond, is portrayed as a future battlefield.

Indigenous peoples’ movements

Diplomats from around the world are currently discussing final revisions to the UN Draft Declaration for the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, to be presented at the forthcoming meeting of the General Assembly. It remains doubtful whether agreement will be achieved on outstanding issues – from definitions of key concepts like ‘indigenous people’ to the granting of particular rights ...

East Asian geopolitics revisited

Asia accounts for more than half of the world’s population. China is the only Asian nation with a permanent seat on the Security Council. Japan, a member of the G8 and a major contributor to the UN, the IMF and the World Bank, is completely under-represented in their leadership. Asian nations are virtually excluded from the ranks of those thought to underwrite global order and stability. The setting of ‘global standards’ seems to be the preserve of non-Asian powers.

Internet in China

China’s first email, according to legend, was sent by professor QIAN Tianbai and was entitled ‘Crossing the Great Wall to join the world’. Since that first email was sent on 20 September 1987, China has been using the internet to join the world in remarkable ways, making the Great Wall not just crossable, but rather meaningless.


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