Okinawa Narratives: Delineating rhetoric, policy and agency

Mason, Ra (2019) Okinawa Narratives: Delineating rhetoric, policy and agency. Japanese Studies, 39 (2). pp. 191-212. ISSN 1037-1397

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Abstract

By focusing on the divergence between mainstream framings of Okinawa, actual policies directed towards the Ryukyu Islands and the sociopolitical reality on these outlying islands, this article reexamines the often misrepresented role of Okinawan agency. In so doing, it focuses on the various narratives of Okinawa and the key terms that have articulated them in the post-reversion era. It thereby adds explanatory power to extant structuralist and critical literatures, which have tended to suffer from monolithic descriptions of structural power and polemic approaches to American and Japanese governance of the Islands. Specifically, by analyzing a series of illustrative issue areas such as sexual and economic exploitation, environmental protection, and military security, the article uses an adapted form of critical discourse analysis (CDA) to trace how framings and policy have shifted since reversion to Japanese rule. This focuses on primarily on Prime Ministerial statements from the National Diet and other, mostly Japanese language-based, materials relating to Okinawa’s governance. These are contrasted with short case studies highlighting the disconnect between rhetoric and reality. Ultimately, the evidence points to a decoupling of mainstream narratives from the on-the-ground reality. The article thereby provides a nuanced understanding and expression of Okinawa's complex interests and agency.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: okinawa-policy,agency,governance,narratives,political rhetoric
Faculty \ School: Faculty of Arts and Humanities > School of Politics, Philosophy, Language and Communication Studies
University of East Anglia > Faculty of Arts and Humanities > Research Groups > Political, Social and International Studies
Depositing User: LivePure Connector
Date Deposited: 02 Nov 2018 11:30
Last Modified: 13 Sep 2019 00:34
URI: https://ueaeprints.uea.ac.uk/id/eprint/68739
DOI: 10.1080/10371397.2019.1619448

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