Events

Democracy and Human Rights Program
Democracy and Human Rights Program
Democracy and Human Rights Program
Democracy and Human Rights Program
Democracy and Human Rights Program
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Publications

Democracy and Human Rights Program

I am a Yangon Citizen Living in Tokyo: Interview with Journalist Yuki Kitazumi

AuthorJeong Minhee
DateJune 28, 2024

Abstract*This article was written based on the interview conducted on March 11, 2024.

Democracy and Human Rights Program

Analyzing Chinese State Media’s Presence on Spanish-speaking YouTube

AuthorHANNIG NUÑEZ Sascha
DateFebruary 16, 2024

AbstractOn February 16, 2024, Freedom House published an article authored by Sascha Hannig Nuñez, a doctoral student in the Graduate School of Law, entitled "Analyzing Chinese State Media’s Presence on Spanish-speaking YouTube." In this paper, Ms. Hannig examines the presence, reach, narratives, and strategies of the Chinese Media Group's (CMG) Spanish-language programs on YouTube, using methodologies including content analysis, based on over 14,000 online videos published since 2016, amid the global expansion of Chinese state media. Through a comparative study of videos released by China Global Television Network (CGTN), Xinhua enespañol, and Hola China, she concludes that their reach and influence are limited. She also notes various strategies such as narrowing down themes, targeting specific audiences, and amplifying narratives of other governments. However, she points out a common emphasis on producing a large amount of content to attract viewers' interest, increase followers, and subtly assert political perspectives.

Democracy and Human Rights Program

Testimony for Resilience: Perspectives of a Karenni Youth on Oppression, Humanitarian Aid, and Diaspora Activism

AuthorHnin Htet Htet Aung
DateJune 24, 2024

Abstract* This paper was written based on an interview conducted on March 14, 2024.

Democracy and Human Rights Program

Generational Resistance for Democracy: Three Generations’ Resistance Against the Military Junta in Myanmar

AuthorHnin Htet Htet Aung
DateJune 19, 2024

Abstract*The paper was written based on an interview conducted on March 11, 2024.

Democracy and Human Rights Program

Beyond Borders: The Noto Peninsula Earthquake and the Hongkonger Community’s Response

AuthorAnna Tanaka
DateJune 17, 2024

AbstractThe Noto Peninsula Earthquake in Ishikawa Prefecture not only raised sympathy from Hongkongers residing in Japan but also served as a significant test for their longstanding tradition of engaging in charity campaigns. In response to the disaster, the Japan Hongkongers Association promptly initiated a donation campaign to support the affected communities. To maximize outreach and impact, the association promoted the campaign both locally and internationally, employing various strategies, including effective use of social media. Along with the online campaign, some Hongkongers volunteered directly in the affected areas, providing physical and emotional support. The incident has not only heightened awareness and preparedness for future emergencies among the Hongkonger community in Japan but has also tightened their local and global bonds with the Japanese community. These efforts demonstrate solidarity and resilience among the Hongkong diaspora with a deepened sense of community, which will resonate well in the future.

Democracy and Human Rights Program

“Hong Kong as an Ambiguous ‘Border'” [in Japanese]

AuthorMaiko Ichihara
DateFebruary 15, 2024

AbstractOn February 15, 2024, an article authored by Professor Maiko Ichihara of the Graduate School of Law, "Hong Kong as an Ambiguous 'Border'" was published in the Shinano Mainichi Shimbun. In this article, Professor Ichihara discusses the legal and political challenges facing Hong Kong due to its unique status, using the example of the extradition of pro-democracy activists. She mentions that even after the handover of Hong Kong, Hong Kong residents, who enjoy easy access to the outside world, have been resisting the increased repression by the Hong Kong government under the influence of the Chinese Communist Party, with the 2019 anti-government protests being a symbolic example. She also points out that to suppress the growing anti-government voices, the Chinese Communist Party has expanded the spread of disinformation overseas. Furthermore, Professor Ichihara expresses concern about the Hong Kong government's preparation to enact a new national security law, highlighting the Chinese Communist Party's efforts to expand its influence overseas through Hong Kong's ambiguous border.

Democracy and Human Rights Program

China’s YouTube Propaganda in Latin America

AuthorHANNIG NUÑEZ Sascha
DateFebruary 13, 2024

AbstractOn February 13, 2024, Sascha Hannig Nuñez, a doctoral student in the Graduate School of Law, authored an article, "China’s YouTube Propaganda in Latin America," published in The Diplomat. In this article, Ms. Hannig stated that Chinese state media share common objectives and aim to shape public opinion along Beijing's perspective under the guidance of President Xi Jinping. She pointed out that Spanish-language channels operated by the China Media Group, including China Global Television Network (CGTN), Xinhua enespañol, and Hola China, adopt different strategies, limiting their influence on viewers. However, she noted that videos on specific topics attract more attention; for example, those addressing cultural issues or regional crises tend to receive higher viewer engagement.

Democracy and Human Rights Program

“Influence Operations” are Threat to Democratic States [in Japanese]

AuthorMaiko Ichihara
DateJanuary 21, 2024

AbstractOn January 21, 2024, an article of Professor Maiko Ichihara of the Graduate School of Law, "'Influence Operations' are Threat to Democratic States," was published in the Yomiuri Shimbun. In this article, Professor Ichihara explains that the term "influence operations" may seem irrelevant to daily life, but it is a serious threat. For example, she mentions how China has been trying to influence Japan by spreading disinformation about Japan through various methods, such as calling the treated water from the Fukushima nuclear power plant "nuclear-contaminated water" and imposing a total embargo on Japanese seafood. She also points out that influence operations are also directed at elections, which are the foundation of democracy, and that Russia's intervention in the U.S. presidential election and China's intervention in Taiwan's presidential election are also carried out using disinformation. In response to the growing threat of influence operations, we must first understand the harmful effects of the attention economy, reduce the influence of disinformation through reliable traditional media, and ensure that the general public is aware of the need to protect democracy from being undermined and to protect democracy supported by true freedom. Professor Ichihara emphasizes that these measures are extremely effective in countering influence operations by authoritarian states.

Democracy and Human Rights Program

The Dangers of TikTok, a Pending Debate in Latin America [in Spanish]

AuthorHANNIG NUÑEZ Sascha
DateFebruary 14, 2024

AbstractOn February 14, 2024, La Tercera published an article authored by Ms. Sascha Hannig Nuñez, a doctoral student in the Graduate School of Law, entitled “The Dangers of TikTok, a Pending Debate in Latin America.” In this article, Ms. Hannig discusses that while India, the United States, New Zealand, and dozens of other countries have restricted the use of TikTok in their countries, TikTok has become very popular in Latin America. The problems it could pose to Latin American societies in the future and the measures that will be required to combat them are analyzed in this article. She first cites three main reasons for the worldwide restrictions on TikTok usage: the Chinese Communist Party's establishment of legal frameworks to utilize TikTok as a defense mechanism; doubts about whether the company adequately manages the content promoted or restricted on TikTok; and concerns regarding the number of underage users on TikTok. In conclusion, Ms. Hannig notes that discussions about regulating TikTok in Latin America are currently limited. However, she emphasizes the need for comprehensive discussions that take into account data protection and the geopolitical shifts each country faces.

Democracy and Human Rights Program

An Analysis of Counter-Narratives to Disinformation about the COVID Vaccine

AuthorRei Kamikawa, Sosei Oi, Tomoya Maeda
DateMay 28, 2024

AbstractThere are growing concerns that one of the contributing factors to the spread of vaccine hesitancy is the dissemination of misinformation on the internet, where unsubstantiated information exchanges take place among individuals often referred to as “naturalists" on social media platforms. To explore potential solutions to the concerns, this paper analyzes the personas targeted by the entities that disseminate disinformation. Subsequently, it examines effective countermeasures for disseminating counter-narratives against disinformation and highlights the concerns and societal considerations in implementing these strategies.

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Researchers

Full-time Researchers

  • NameICHIHARA Maiko
  • Position and AffiliationProfessor, Graduate School of Law / School of International and Public Policy; Assistant Vice President for International Affairs, Hitotsubashi University
  • Research areasInternational relations, Japanese foreign policy, human rights and democracy diplomacy, democracy support, influence operations

Assistants

  • Name JEONG Minhee
  • Position and Affiliation Doctoral student, Graduate School of Law
  • Research areas International relations, refugee and asylum policy, resettlement
HANNIG Nunez Sascha
  • Name HANNIG NUÑEZ Sascha
  • Position and Affiliation Doctoral student, Graduate School of Law
  • Research areas International relations, influence operations, democratic studies, technology and society
  • Name HOSSAIN Billal
  • Position and Affiliation Doctoral student, Graduate School of Law
  • Research areas International relations, green innovation
  • Name RAKWONG Prakrit
  • Position and Affiliation Doctoral student, Graduate School of Law
  • Research areas International politics, International relations theory, Thai politics
  • NameAUNG Hnin Htet Htet
  • Position and AffiliationMaster’s student, School of International and Public Policy
  • Research areasPolitical situation in Myanmar, collective action, international relations, social movements
  • Name KUMASAKA Kenta
  • Position and Affiliation Master’s Student, School of International and Public Policy
  • Research areas International relations, policy process, decision-making
  • Name NAKAJIMA Takahiro
  • Position and Affiliation Master’s student, Graduate School of Law
  • Research areas International relations, international norms, LGBT rights
  • Name Sulastri
  • Position and AffiliationMaster’s student, School of International and Public Policy
  • Research areasInternational relations, political regime, democratic development, good governance
  • Name YAN Feng
  • Position and Affiliation Master’s student, Graduate School of Law
  • Research areas International relations, East Asian studies, media studies
  • Name WATANABE Eru
  • Position and Affiliation Master’s student, School of International and Public Policy
  • Research areasInternational relations, ODA policy, rule of law assistance