Self-presentation

The People’s Plan Study Group (PPSG) & the People’s Plan Japonesia (PPJ) (Japan) “Democracy, Dialogue and People’s Alternatives”

, by PPSG

Self-presentation of the taken from “Japonesia Review” website, April 8, 2006 and from PPSG’s website as well.

PPSG

The People’s Plan Study Group (PPSG), set up in 1998 as a network of social movement activists and action-committed intellectuals, aims to search for alternative social, economic, and cultural systems controlled by the people that will eventually take over global capitalism with all its destructive cosequences.

PPSG believes it is crucial to identify potentialities of the people to bring about changes. Learning from, and linking itself with, the praxis and thinking developed by like-minded people in parts of the world, particularly Asia, PPSG gropes for people’s alternatives on the basis of critical evaluation of the past movements for social transformation, always asking ourselves who we are who do this.

PPSG intends to go beyond borders of gender, generation, nation, and culture while respecting differences in positions and approaches.

Co-Presidents

Aoyama Kaoru, Ogura Toshimaru, Muto Ichiyo

Board members

Akiyama Naoe, Amano Yasukazu, Ohta Masakuni, Ohashi Seiko, Kaji Etsuko,
Kanai Yoshiko, Kaneko Fumio, Kawamoto Takashi, Kinoshita Chigaya, Saito Junichi,
Saito Hideharu, Shiokawa Yoshinobu, Sirakawa Masumi, Tanaka Toshiyuki,
Chimura Kazushi, Tsuruta Masahide, Tono Haruhi, Nakamura Hisashi, Hanazaki Kohei,
Hirota Shizure, Furuta Mutsumi, C. Douglas Lummis

Office address:

Sunrise Shinjuku 3F, 2-4-15 Okubo, Shinjuku-ku, Tokyo, Japan 169-0072

Phone/fax: +81 3 5273 8362

PPJ

What is PPJ?

Purposes

In 2003 the PPSG made the decision to launch the English language People’s Plan Japonesia (PPJ). We have chosen the expression “Japonesia” as the title for our journal because, unlike the expression “Japan” which describes a political entity - a state - “Japonesia,” originally a word coined by novelist Shimao Toshio, points to the actually existing society consisting of people of different origins and cultures residing in this chain of islands. It represents our rejection of the notion of a monolithic and exclusive Japan.

The stance of the PPJ is one of radical critique of the present Japanese state and society, of resistance to the present worldwide trends towards war and free-trade globalization, and in support of the search for “another world.” PPJ intends to facilitate stronger links between the global social movement and social movements inside the Japanese archipelago by sharing ideas, analyses, and hope. We are launching this English journal, keenly aware that while much information flows into Japan in translated form, flow in the other direction is still a trickle, especially specifically in areas of critical analysis. In the Japanese archipelago there are, and have been for many years, groups and activities that have relevant messages to the rest of the world, and also many critical thinkers, researchers, and activist intellectuals who have important contributions to make concerning our common issues. However, very little of the information generated in the Japanese movement gets outside Japan in systematic form. There are some welcome recent efforts to introduce critical Japanese views abroad, import still overwhelms export. The PPJ addresses the need to rectify this information gap.

Contents

PPJ plans to publish articles in the following four general areas:

Analysis: Critical analysis of present trends in the Japanese state and society;

Social movements: Reports and analyses on social movements in the Japanese archipelago, their prospects and possibilities;

Social thought: Discussion, debate, culture, book reviews, analysis of media; and

Theory on alternative society: Theoretical approaches to “another world”.

Some examples of themes we will take up under 1) and 2), set down arranged here at random, are: Japan-U.S. relations after 911; the Japanese state moving toward amending the Peace Constitution; the Koizumi reforms and globalization; Japan’s disintegrating society: suicide and crime; the Japanese peace movement after 911; the present situation of the women’s movement; the Okinawa anti-base movement: NGOs and the Japanese state; the North Korean abduction incident and the oppression of Korean residents in Japan; the Japanese right; work and workers; backlash against women’s rights - and many more.

Format

PPJ will be published both on the web and in printed form. Articles will appear first on the website, and then twice a year will be collected and printed as a magazine. PPJ will aim primarily for in-depth analysis rather than prompt reporting of breaking news, and so articles will be edited for the website on the assumption that they can later be used in the magazine.

The website will, however also feature each month a Review of the Month, which will set the rhythm of the site.

While the magazine may not be useful to users of the website, it will be useful for different audiences: people in countries where computer use is not common, distribution at international conferences, preservation in libraries and document centers, and sales through bookstores.

Sources and Editing

PPJ has many sources from which to draw material. These include 1) research already undertaken by PPSG, including work published in its Japanese quarterly, People’s Plan; 2) works originally written for PPJ, 3) works that have appeared or will appear in other journals; and 4) relevant English papers that have been prepared for international conferences, which are usually read only by the people who attend those conferences, 5) action reports, and 6) contributions from readers.

PPJ Collective

AKIMOTO Yoko, Douglas Lummis, Frank Baldwin, ISIHARA Mikiko, IWAKAWA Yasuhisa, Jean Inglis, Jens Wilkinson, John Hartley, KAWASAKI Akira, Kimberly Hughes, KONDO Yasuo, KOIDE Reiko, KOSHIDA Kiyokazu, LAU Kin Chi, Mark Driscoll, MUSHAKOUJI Kinhide, OTA Masakuni, Robert Rickett, SAITO Maya, SENDA Yuki, TAKENOBU Mieko, Tessa-Morris Suzuki, TONO Haruhi, Wesley Sasaki-Uemura, YOSIMI Syunya, YUI Akiko, Yuki Tanaka (Personal names are given in accordance with the preference of the member.)

Contact Us:

People’s Plan Study Group
Sunrise Shinjuku 3F, 2-4-15 Okubo, Shinjuku-ku, Tokyo 169-0072, Japan
tel/fax: +81-3-5273-8362
email: ppsg jca.apc.org


The People’s Plan Quarterly

The People’s Plan Quarterly is PPSG’s journal reflecting the concerns of PPSG and serving as an arena of productive interaction between activists and researchers. Each issue contains an editorial, three or four main analytical articles, interviews, reports on new initiatives in social movements, book reviews, evaluation of movement, PPSG activity reports, and translated overseas articles. The contributions are from PPSG members and also from outside authors. Originally a bi-monthly journal, PPQ from 2001 became a 130-150 page quarterly distributed to bookstores. It is in Japanese. Price: 1,200 yen per issue.

Among the titles of the past special issues are:


Post-colonialism or neo-colonialism?

Critical reflections on the postwar progressive view of Japanese history

Democracy beyond borders

Our “third choice” - demilitarized security, well-being without growth

Toward alternative socio-economic systems

People’s living insecurity and social solidarity

Metamorphosis of the Japanese state?

People’s security or state security?

Coming to terms with Japan’s war responsibility, ethics and subjectivities

For a world without military - Okinawa Forum for People’s Security

Local communities and local autonomy

East Asia as the arena of rootedness

Casting a new light on the peace Constitution

Employment and labor movement

Feminism today, where it stands

Popular forces countering globalization

Bush war of retaliation and corporate globalization


Research groups

PPSG has four permanent research groups on the following themes:

(1) social movements

(2) postwar Japanese movement thoughts

(3) globalization and people’s transborder alliances

(4) subsistence as people’s alternative

PPSG emphasizes evaluation of the postwar social movements in Japan and beyond in the belief that without drawing lessons from what has been done it would be difficult to map out the future. Groups (1) and (2) are working with this concern while (3) is more on the present and future, studying how effectively people’s movements, NGOs, and other agencies can emerge as viable global people’s forces to counter the neo-liberal globalization regime. Group (4) concentrates on life-oriented alternative systems (subsistence)

Book series: PP Books

This is PPSG-edited book series published by Impact Publishing. So far the following are available (all in Japanese):

* Amano Yasukazu edited, “Making Peace”

*Muto Ichiyo, “Visions and Realities - Building a Bridge to the Futre”

*Jeremy Brecher and Tim Costello, “Global Village or Global Pillage?”

*Matsui Yayori, “Globalization and Violence against Women”

*Hanazaki Kohei, “Philosophy of - Gender, Ethnicity, Ecology”

No specific license (default rights)