Democracy and Human Rights Program

China’s YouTube Propaganda in Latin America

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," which was published in The Diplomat. In this article, 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 (CCTV), adopt different strategies, and their influence on viewers is limited. 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

“TikTok’s Impact on Security and the Current State of TikTok Regulations: Cases of the United States and Europe” [in Japanese]

AuthorSascha Hannig Nuñez and Maiko Ichihara
DateFebruary 1, 2024

AbstractOn February 1, 2024, Ms. Sascha Hannig Nuñez, a doctoral student in the Graduate School of Law, and Professor Maiko Ichihara of the Graduate School of Law co-authored an article, “TikTok's Impact on Security and the Current State of TikTok Regulations: Cases of the United States and Europe,” which was published in the Journal of Law and Information System. In this paper, Ms. Hannig and Professor Ichihara first discussed the role of media and social media platforms in shaping the narrative orchestrated by the Chinese government. They then examined the concerns raised by TikTok from four perspectives: national security concerns, input biases in algorithms and AI, dissemination of misinformation particularly among youth, and democratic considerations. Subsequently, they analyzed the regulations imposed on TikTok in Europe and the United States and concluded by providing recommendations for future actions to be taken in Japan. They emphasized the importance of measures that protect national security and children's rights while eliminating arbitrariness. They highlighted the necessity of conducting analyses of social media platforms, considering the influence of Chinese domestic laws, and implementing legal frameworks to protect privacy rights.

Democracy and Human Rights Program

Being Connected from Myanmar: “We Are Still Here”

DateApril 30, 2024

Abstract*This paper was written based on an interview conducted on March 8, 2024.

Democracy and Human Rights Program

Challenges in Measures against Digital Influence Operations: Why can’t the EU/US deal with the methods used by China, Russia, and Iran?

AuthorKazuki Ichida
DateApril 15, 2024

AbstractThe digital influence operation measures being undertaken in the EU and the US focus on dealing with disinformation, which in turn includes dealing with foreign interference and major social media platforms. However, the main aim of the CRI (China, Russia, and Iran) operation is to widen the polarization and distrust that already exist within their counterparts, and the use of disinformation and major social media platforms is only one of the ways to do so. The effectiveness of EU and US measures is limited in scope because the CRI can use other options to circumvent them. Since the attacker's goal is to divide the target country and spread distrust, it is essential for the defender to have an overarching understanding of the domestic situation in order to conduct research and to cope with the influence operation. However, surveys and research often involve case studies, and the overall picture is rarely examined, so effective findings are scarce. Current countermeasures, which are symptomatic treatments lacking a holistic picture, tend to fall into alarmism that issues indiscriminate warnings, and as a result, may deepen polarization and distrust. It is important to prioritize the understanding and sharing of the big picture in countermeasures against digital influence operations.

Democracy and Human Rights Program

Reflections of a Myanmar Activist: Navigating Struggles and Fostering Resilience in Japan for the Homeland

AuthorHnin Htet Htet Aung
DateApril 12, 2024

Abstract*The paper was written based on an interview conducted on March 1, 2024.

Democracy and Human Rights Program

Hong Kong Activism from the Perspective of Journalism and Cultural Ideas

DateMarch 28, 2024

Abstract*This paper was written based on an interview conducted on February 27, 2024.

Democracy and Human Rights Program

Freedom of Party Formation through the Constitutions of Thailand

AuthorParin Jaruthavee
DateMarch 22, 2024

AbstractThe freedom of party formation is fundamental to democratic values but is often overlooked in Thailand. Contrary to its intended purpose of safeguarding rights and freedoms, the Thai constitution inadvertently impedes these very principles. By imposing stringent requirements for party formation and facilitating easier dissolution, the constitution not only imposes burdens on political parties but also restricts the freedom to establish them. Such constraints significantly undermine Thai citizens’ political participation and representation. Furthermore, the ease of party dissolution manipulates Thailand’s political context, and is often used as a strategic chess piece in the broader political game. This dynamic further complicates the political landscape in Thailand and highlights the need for constitutional reform to truly reflect the voice of the people.

Democracy and Human Rights Program

Visualizing Record China Discourse through Exponential Family Embeddings

AuthorWu Tung-Wen
DateMarch 21, 2024

AbstractThis paper employs exponential family embeddings, a Bayesian machine learning method, to analyze the discourse in articles published by Record China. Specifically, it estimates the meaning of words in Record China articles by using exponential family embeddings. As a result of the estimation, this paper quantitatively reveals China's argument that Chinese democracy is superior and the discourse that the U.S. is a threat. If the amount of data is expanded in the future, it will be possible to visualize changes in Record China's discourse and differences between this discourse and that of the Japanese media in general. (The content of this article is solely the opinion of the author and has nothing to do with dip Corporation, to which the author belongs.)

Democracy and Human Rights Program

Motherhood in Activism: A Dialogue with a Myanmar Activist Living in Japan

AuthorHnin Htet Htet Aung
DateMarch 13, 2024

Abstract* This paper was written based on an interview conducted on February 22, 2024.

Democracy and Human Rights Program

Japan and South Korea should also support Refugees in Asia [in Japanese]

AuthorICHIHARA Maiko
DateAugust 6, 2023

AbstractOn August 6, 2023, The Shinano Mainichi Shimbun published an article authored by Professor Maiko Ichihara of the Graduate School of Law, titled " Japan and South Korea should also support Refugees in Asia." The article outlines the stance that Japan and South Korea should take in response to the large number of refugees in Asia, comparable to or even exceeding that in Ukraine. Professor Ichihara first explains the number of refugees equal to or surpassing that of Ukraine in Afghanistan and Syria, and subsequently analyzes why these occurrences remain underreported. The professor highlights the difference in clarity between the situation of sovereignty violation depicted in the Ukrainian invasion, and the seemingly sovereignty-unrelated emergence of refugees stemming from internal political situations in the other two countries. Furthermore, the article argues that the distinction between good and evil is sharply delineated in the context of Ukraine, whereas in other cases, the challenge lies in framing actions within a good-versus-evil paradigm. Lastly, Professor Ichihara emphasizes the imperative for collaboration and support in terms of objective and reputable humanitarian aid within Asia, urging the governments of Japan and South Korea to contribute to refugee assistance efforts.