Democracy and Human Rights Program
Fragmentation in Liberalism and Japan’s Role
DateFebruary 9, 2023
BibliographyDiscuss Japan -Japan Foreign Policy Forum-
AuthorMaiko ICHIHARA
Summary On February 9, 2023, Discuss Japan published an article by Dr. Maiko Ichihara, GGR researcher and professor of the Graduate School of Law at Hitotsubashi University. This article is a translated version of the professor’s Japanese essay that was published in the December Issue of SEKAI, a political magazine issued by Iwanami Shoten. In this article, Professor Ichihara argues that while there have been various attempts to suppress human rights in Asia, the opposition that these attempts have been met with proves how individualism and the pursuit of dignity are universal values. Mobilization of civilians to counter governmental suppression has become easier due to the spread of the internet; however, the spread of social media has generated fragmentation within people on the other hand. Such divisions in society are prevalent in Japan as well, and the professor indicates that this situation has been exacerbated by China’s discursive war. In the end, the professor clarifies how we should define democracy and introduces ways in which we can protect people’s lives, liberty, and dignity, such as the Sunnylands Initiative.