Question 1: The key determinants of democratic change in Asia include political culture, oligarchic power, historical and colonial legacies, ethnic and regional rivalries. Other determinants are social economic development and economic performance, state and society, international influences, leadership, and the role of the military (Borthwick 365-8). I view that it is suitable to make such generalization across East Asia and South East Asia. These societies not only share a political culture but they also have a similar paternalistic orientation that the governing authorities and their societies share (Borthwick 365-6).
Question 2: McCormack views the 2011 nuclear meltdown in Japan as a natural catastrophe and triple event that was self-inflicted. He also observes that Japan’s government has a flawed view of the event. It labels it as the Greatest East Japan Earthquake as the state seeks to focus on the tsunami and the earthquake instead of looking into the meltdown. Japan also focuses on the policies for crisis management, reconstruction, and economic revival while neglecting the nuclear crisis. I think that the 2011 disaster is a natural disaster and not a manmade one since it was an outcome of natural events: Japan’s quake and tsunami. The challenges that the country faces is to remove its primary national policy that has lasted more than 50 years. Then, it can make a change from its nuclear programs and promotion to create a renewable energy system that surpasses uranium and carbon (McCormack 1-2).
Question 3: According to Dudden, the Japanese policy has shifted to that of inherent territory where it seeks to take control of the remains of its vast mid-20th-century empire. Leaders in Japan are committed to national planning to reorient the country as a maritime state. With its more than 6,800 islands, shoals, reefs, and rocks, Japan enjoys diverse cartographic points more than any other nation in the globe. In addition, it seeks to delineate the country’ new shape for this century. Such policy has led to an increase in territorial disputes with all its global neighbors and taken the form of sovereignty contests. The main issue in these territorial disputes includes the struggle by global neighbors over tiny islands, which Japan, China, Taiwan, South Korea, North Korea, and Russia claim sovereignty. Other issues include diplomatic standoffs, widespread protests, natural resources claims, and USS-Japan Security Agreement. The use of international ocean laws that define the space of every respective nation can settle the issues, allowing for a flexible approach to the disputes (Dudden 149-53).
Question 4: Moss examines the role history plays in East Asia’s territorial disputes by exploring the intricate and long background of the most intractable disputes in the region. He reviews the old laws and treaties that present many issues today and the way their interpretations in international courts affect disputes. The review of some of these Islands offers not only fluctuating fortunes but also contradictory narratives (Moss 1). When I review Moss’ tentative conclusions about East Asia’s territorial disputes, I determine that he offers a compelling and summative case about the selected islands. The conclusions explain the role of history on the countries’ claims in the islands, justifications for such cases, and right to possession. Some of the conclusions also determine why the claims are weak, the reason, and the factors that undermine such cases (Moss 2-7).
Question 5: In 2015, Lankov predicted that in the long term, North Korea’s nuclear regime would fall given the incurable and innate economic inefficiency that has created the incapacity to reduce the increasing income gap with neighboring nations. The irreversible, verifiable, and complete denuclearization will remain unattainable provided Kim’s family controls the government. The country will continue to hold into its modest nuclear arsenal. He also viewed that neither economic pressure, military pressure nor diplomatic concessions will impact North Korea’s autocratic regime. The succession of Kim Jong Un will not trigger a chain of reactions, which will lead to the fall in subsequent years. Lankov argued that the Koreans believe that their country’s unification will be a key, cathartic event ushering a new period of unprecedented prosperity, harmony, and happiness. Four years have passed, and Kim’s family administration has survived such prediction and other challenges. North Korea remains under autocratic leadership (Lankov 234-50).
Question 6: In the 1990s, Nye viewed that the rise of Japanese soft power was an outcome of the success in the country’s manufacturing sector (Nye 169). Japan was extremely prosperous in accepting foreign technology. Given the events that have occurred in the past 29 years, Nye’s view is confirmed. With the decline of the Soviet Power, Japan experienced a rise in its power. Unlike the United States that relies on war to strengthen its power, Japan relies on the product, purchasing power, currency, economic growth, factors of technology, and education. These elements determine global power today and have allowed Japan to rise to soft power. Japan has advanced with its approaches in trading and commerce since the end of WWII than it has done with its military and war strategy (Nye 153-6).
Question 7: According to Mackerras, PRC manages ethnic issues by recognizing its 55 ethnic minorities and their classification in terms of religion, culture, language, and economic life. PRC has successfully managed the cultural diversity of its ethnic groups ensuring that they feel happy to be integrated into the Chinese state. Moreover, the current policy allows ethnic minorities to exercise autonomy in their areas while at the same time prohibiting separatism. PRC also tries to increase the representation of ethnic minorities in positions of power, higher education enrollment, and population control problems. The ethnic minorities that pose the most difficulty are the Uyghurs and Tibetans. These two groups have a strong religious influence on cultures. Buddhism represents Tibetans while the Uyghurs lack a comparable figure for representation. Disturbances, conflict, and protests arise since the Tibetans feel that they are marginalized and their culture is not appreciated. China can better balance the interests of the ethnic minorities and majority by allocating the aspects of the economy, culture, and religion relative to their population (Mackerras 111-24).
Question 8: Hendry views that hierarchy has played a major role in Japanese society in the past and today. He considers that it is an essential social classification principle in Japanese society. The hierarchical ranking creates order in every aspect of the people’s lives from groups, people, and institutions to culture. Unlike outsiders, the Japanese view themselves as equal despite the widespread differences. Hendry also observes that, in modern Japan, hierarchical dissimilarities impact the interactions among citizens in their daily lives. It determines how people behave, speak, and customs. When looking at the various hierarchical dyads and wrapping, I discover that hierarchy impacts the intricate web of Japanese social relations, and Japan applies it as a tool to create the country’s needed harmony. Despite being misunderstood by many, it plays an interceding role to ascertain a harmonious society and the citizen’s predisposition to behave selfishly (Hendry 91-111).
Question 9: According to Kim’s analysis, South Korea is not a multicultural or multiethnic society. Since colonial times, Koreans have used technologies and media such as radio in their terms regardless of restrictions and control. Koreans constructed their radio culture even before the start of the formal radio broadcasting. Given the present rapid demographic shifts, in the coming years, South Korea should create policies that encourage multiculturalism and diversity. Such policies will allow the country to adapt to the new national identity not founded on ethnicity (Kim 140-53).
Question 10: Prescott discusses some of the myths about East Asia. People believe that all East Asians are alike and smart. East Asian are incapable of innovation but steal and copy western innovations and technologies. People also assume that East Asians consume mainly sour and sweet pork and sushi, which is not the case. Japanese women are regarded as wild geese while Chinese women are labeled tiger mothers due to their dedication to the success of their children. East Asian women are also considered subservient and geisha. People believe that East Asians practice martial arts. Globalization has played a significant role in promoting such myths throughout the world by making them accessible quickly across cultural and national boundaries. It has allowed the dissemination of these myths transmitting them across the world through mass media outlets. Virtual communities, educational exchanges, increased travel, and migration also spread such myths across the globe (Prescott 112-6).
Borthwick, Mark. Pacific Century: the Emergence of Modern Pacific Asia. 4th Ed., Westview Press, 2014.
Dudden, Alexis. “Thinking about Japan’s Territorial Disputes.” Sungkyun Journal of East Asian Studies, vol. 17, no. 2, Oct. 2017, pp. 149–162., Doi; 10.21866/esjeas.2017.17.2.002.
Hendry, Joy. Understanding Japanese Society. RoutledgeCurzon, Taylor & Francis Group, 2007.
Lanʹkov, Andrei Nikolaevich. The Real North Korea: Life and Politics in the Failed Stalinist Utopia. Oxford University Press, 2015.
McCormack, Gavan. “Fukushima: An Assessment of the Quake, Tsunami and Nuclear Meltdown.” In-Depth Critical Analysis of the Forces Shaping the Asia-Pacific and the World, 25 Mar. 2013, pp. 1–2.
Moss, Trefor. “History Wars: A Long View of Asia’s Territorial Disputes.” The Diplomat, The Diplomat, 15 Sept. 2013, thediplomat.com/2013/09/history-wars-a-long-view-of-asias-territorial-disputes/.
Nye, Joseph S. “Soft Power.” Foreign Policy, no. 80, 1990, pp. 153–171., https://www.jstor.org/stable/pdf/1148580.pdf.
Prescott, Anne. East Asia in the World: an Introduction. Routledge, Taylor & Francis Group, 2015.
Kim, Jina E. New Media and New Technology in Colonial Korea: Radio. Routledge, Taylor & Francis Group, 2015.
Mackerras, Colin. Ethnic Minorities. Routledge, 2011.