The Shingetsu Electronic Journal of Japanese-Islamic Relations


The Shingetsu Electronic Journal of Japanese-Islamic Relations has released its third volume. Research Papers

An Asahi Shinbun Analogy: The British Mandate in Iraq and the State of Manchukuo By Michael Penn

Abstract: This paper examines a fascinating Asahi Shinbun editorial published in September 1932 in which an 'Iraq analogy' appeared for the first time in Japanese political thought. The editors were reacting to the news that the British mandate over Iraq had been terminated and that the League of Nations had agreed to admit the country into its organization as a full member in spite of the restrictive terms of the Anglo-Iraqi Treaty of 1930. Since Japan was then in a series of disputes with the Western-dominated League of Nations over a number of similar matters, the Asahi used this opportunity to point out what they felt were inconsistencies in the judgments of the League and the West more generally. In the course of doing so, the editors also inadvertently revealed a great deal about their own attitudes toward the British domination of Iraqi political life, and a host of related matters.

Michael Penn is the Executive Director of the Shingetsu Institute for the Study of Japanese-Islamic Relations.

The Rishtan-Japan Center and the Noriko School in Uzbekistan By Chiyuki Terao

Abstract: This paper introduces the volunteer activities of a band of Japanese and Uzbek private citizens to establish a Japanese language and culture school in the city of Rishtan, Uzbekistan. The author, who is herself the secretary-general of the Rishtan-Japan Center, describes how the idea for the creation of the school came about, and the pioneering roles of Shigekatsu and Noriko Osaki from Japan and the Nazirov brothers in Uzbekistan in guiding the project to its current success. A historical overview of the entire project is provided. Beyond that, the author also provides a unique and charming perspective on some of the broader issues facing Japanese-Uzbek cultural relations.

Chiyuki Terao is the Secretary-General of the Rishtan-Japan Center.

TranslationJapan's Position in Near Eastern Countries: Our Plan for Economic Development in the Near East (1926)By Fumihito Hasegawa

Abstract: This is a translation of a Japanese-language article published in a journal called Kokusai Chishiki (International Knowledge) in August 1926. The author participated in the Near East Trade Conference in Istanbul in April of that year, and this essay reflected his own reaction to that event, and the thoughts that it inspired. The significance of the article derives from the fact that it is one of only a handful of accounts we have from the 1920s that discusses the role and the potential expansion of Japanese participation in what was then referred to as the 'Near East.' The author lays out the political landscape of the European rivalries in the region, and discusses the impediments lying before Japan as it contemplates a substantial economic advance in the region. Much of what he encouraged actually reached fruition in the following decade and a half. According to Hasegawa, the main factor arguing for Japanese trade expansion into the Near East at that time was the perceived problem of overpopulation on the Japanese home islands

.Fumihito Hasegawa was an author in prewar Japan. In 1938, he also published a book in Japanese entitled, Issues Surrounding a Tense Far East on the Verge of Catastrophe.

InterviewCemil Aydin Interview: Imperial Japan's Islamic Policies and Anti-WesternismAbstract: In this interview, Cemil Aydin is questioned in regard to his understandings of the role and meanings of prewar Japanese Pan-Asianism as it related to Japanese-Islamic relations. This wide-ranging interview addresses issues related to the origins of Japanese studies of the Islamic world, the political thought of Pan-Asianism and Pan-Islamism, and even current debates about anti-Westernism and the Islamic world today. The interview is followed by a discussion in which Aydin addresses the reactions that he received from three scholars about the content of the original interview.Cemil Aydin is Assistant Professor at the University of North Carolina, Charlotte.