Henoko, The LDP State, and the Future of Democracy in Okinawa

This article discusses sexual assault. In January, Nago City re-elected Mayor Toguchi Taketoyo instead of his opponent Kishimoto Yohei by roughly 15 percent. The central issue of this race was the relocation of the US Marine Corps Air Station (MCAS) Futenma from a crowded city center to the coastal Henoko district of Nago. This immensely […]

Japan’s Failing Immigration System

This article discusses violence, suicide, and self-harm. On March 6, 2021, Wishma Sandamali, a Sri Lankan national who entered Japan on a student visa, died in custody at an Aichi Prefecture immigration detention facility. In August 2020, authorities arrested and detained her for overstaying her visa after seeking help from police officials regarding a domestic […]

Troubled Waters at Fukushima Daiichi

Since the 2011 triple disaster decimated Japan’s northeast Tohoku region, the area surrounding Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant has seen the construction of hundreds of massive temporary water storage tanks.  These vessels contain highly contaminated water used to cool melted uranium fuel rods in the sites’s three reactors. In the days following the tsunami, each […]

The Complexities of Queer, Caribbean Identities, and the Dangers of West-Centric LGBTQ+ Advocacy

Introduction As of 2020, nine Caribbean countries criminalize same-sex relations. Beyond legal discrimination, queer Caribbean people face increased threats of violence, abuse, and oppression. In 2006, Time magazine went as far as insinuating that the Caribbean region is “the most homophobic place on Earth.”  But despite this environment, queer Caribbean communities have continued to resist […]

America’s gun problem is spilling Blood across the Border

Iron and blood. That’s what the decade-long firearm conflict between the US and Mexico boils down to.  Every thirty-one minutes, Mexican criminal groups use American-made guns to carry out criminal activities. The country’s homicide rate in 2020 hit an all-time high of 36,579 cases, or 29 deaths per 100,000 people. It would not be a […]

Musical Artists Against the Brazilian Military Dictatorship: Caetano Veloso, Gilberto Gil, and Chico Buarque

The Brazilian military dictatorship—a politically tumultuous period lasting from 1964 to 1985—is mostly known for the government’s numerous crimes and many artists’s countless peaceful protests. The oppressive government lacked democracy, suppressed basic human rights, pervasively censored arts and literature, and persecuted those who opposed the dictatorship, including musical artists.  Singers, such as Caetano Veloso, Gilberto […]

Public Health and Pandemics, the wake-up call for cooperation?

Are We Ready for Future Pandemics? In a speech on the eve of the Paris Agreement in 2015, then-US President Barack Obama recognized the need for a better international cooperation structure for possible pandemic control and prevention. He warned that there may be a time “in which we have an airborne disease that is deadly, […]

Palestine and the 2021 Crisis

Last May was not the first time that Israel laid siege to the Gaza Strip. In the fifteen years of the blockade, this was Israel’s fourth intensive bombardment campaign since 2008. After its failed incursion into Lebanon in 2006, periodically “mowing the grass” in Gaza maintains Israel’s strategic “deterrence capacity.” But for what seemed like […]

Climate Change in the Pacific Islands: Why the World Needs to Pay Attention

Until recently, climate change has always been a future problem. With most countries addressing climate change at a painfully slow pace, coupled with “gravely insufficient” policies, the recent uptick in support and concern worldwide is positive.  In 2020, 52 percent of US citizens listed global climate change as their top priority, compared to 30 percent […]

What is Happening in Israel

On May 10, 2021, in the final days of Ramadan, Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) stormed the sacred Al-Aqsa Mosque with tear gas and stun grenades.  The Al-Aqsa Mosque is the third holiest site in Islam, but is part of a larger complex called the Temple Mount, which is the holiest site in Judaism. Though Israel […]