Sannenzaka Correspondence

Editors’ Diary 06/09/2023 Japan’s Controversial Contexts

In my undergraduate days, I developed a hobby of savoring texts where the renowned public law scholar Carl Schmitt ventured beyond his field of expertise into contemporary topics and personal interests. Schmitt clearly possessed a sense of modernity and innovation, even beyond his primary domain.

While Schmitt’s work has long been popular in Japanese faculties of law and letters, given his highly controversial nature, I have approached these tendencies in Japan cautiously. This caution stems from my prior engagement with the history of Romanticism, a topic I won’t delve into here.

Schmitt’s work has been avidly read in Ibero-America, with prominent research institutions like the University of Chicago in the United States being an exception. This applies to other German disciplines as well. From my perspective as a news reporter with practical experience and a practitioner of contemporary armed conflict analysis, I’ve been revisiting Schmitt’s texts and several studies on his works (with which I often disagree), hoping to uncover something valuable.

I’ve been conducting investigation on how the Japanese sovereign government engages with foreign global companies including big tech in the territory of telecommunications, where the controversial concept of the “total state,” as debated by German scholars and journalists during a particular era, intersects. Schmitt’s famous text, in which he expressed interest in the entirely new medium of broadcasting and used it as an example to describe the Bild of the nation-state, lies at the core of our critical discussion.

These discussions appear to have been inherited by Japan’s jurisprudence world. As a news reporter and a practitioner studying armed conflicts and international humanitarian law at an international institution, I may not have an in-depth understanding of Japan’s local legal landscape, but I believe my work has garnered attention in such circles for these reasons.

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