Japan’s Political Discouse in the Wake of March 11

THE AFTERMATH OF THE MARCH 11 EARTHQUAKE. PHOTO: J808ARMADA. FLICKR.With its epicenter located 129km east of Sendai and 373km north-east of Tokyo, the 9.0 magnitude earthquake of March 11 was among the largest recorded in modern history. It caused not only great damage on its own, but also laid the groundwork for a tsunami that hurled itself towards the north-eastern coast of Japan’s main island Honshu, striking land with a maximum runup height of 29.6 m.The protective walls of the villages and cities along the coastline were not high enough and the waves surmounted them with ease. Houses and people were washed away and fortunate were those who made it to the mountains in time. With over 15 700 casualties, 4,647 missing, 5,314 injured and 130.927 displaced and with an estimated total economic loss of 309 billion us dollars, it was a natural disaster beyond imagining.

Interview with Tariq Ali

TARIQ ALI. PHOTO: SEASURFACE. FLICKR.

Last year Tariq Ali released “The Obama Syndrome – Surrender at home, War abroad”, where he looks into the changes made since Obama came into office. He argues that not much has happend since George W Bush left the White house. In September Tariq Ali came to visit the Association of Foreign Affairs in Lund to give a talk. Before the lecture Utrikesperspektiv.se’s writer, Ahmet Nuri Mutlu, met him for an interview.

Tariq Ali is one of the editors of New Left Review. He has been writing articles, essays, fiction, plays, films, and been politically active for over 40 years.

What do you claim about the policies of Obama in The Obama Syndrome?

The Indignant Greeks

The current financial situation in Europe is precarious, to say the least. Austerity measures pursued by different European governments have not been well received by the
young, which Greece is a good example of. Rather, the insecurity caused by high unemployment rates and reduction of wages has created a new wave of public discontent, aimed at government policies.

In Spain, discontented young people formed the Indignados movement, also known as the “Real Democracy Now” movement. The Spanish Indignados have been protesting against the harsh budget cuts implemented by the government and the general public insecurity stemming from the financial and economic crisis, while at the same time demanding a new, more direct and more transparent type of democracy. A democracy based on people assembling. The Indignados movement quickly caught on, with young people camping out in the squares of all the major cities for days, as a peaceful protest. 

Occupation Movement Grows Bigger


OCCUPY WALL STREET CAMP ON OCTOBER 29.PHOTO: DAVID SHANKBONE. WIKIMEDIA COMMONS

More than two months have passed since activists started demonstrating against social and economic inequalities in Zucotti Park, Wall Street, New York.

Now the so called Occupy Wall Street movement has grown and become known globally. Critics say that the movement must have a concrete agenda in order to be taken seriously. Yet the occupiers do not show any signs of leaving their tents.