Journalist and author Donald Kirk draws eye-opening comparisons between militarism and protest on the southern island prefecture of Japan, that is, Okinawa, and Korea's southern island province, Jeju. Don draws upon reporting and research for his latest book “Okinawa and Jeju: Bases of Discontent,” showing parallels between Okinawa and Jeju in terms of the protest movements against bases on both of them. He sees the controversies from all sides, on the basis of interviews with officials, analysts, protest leaders and ordinary citizens.
The topic is especially timely in view of mounting tensions in the region as seen in China's increasingly strong claims to the islands that Japan calls the Senkakus and the Chinese know as Diaoyu. Adding to regional tensions are China's claims to the Ieodo rocks southwest of Jeju on which Korea has built a heliport complete with navigational and weather facilities.
Don brings to this study a number of years as a journalist and author, reporting and writing from Korea as well as Japan. Previous books include “Korea Betrayed: Kim Dae Jung and Sunshine,” “Korean Dynasty: Hyundai and Chung Ju Yung,” and “Korean Crisis: Unraveling of the Miracle in the IMF Era.” He has written for numerous newspapers and magazines ranging from the Chicago Tribune to the Christian Science Monitor to the International Herald Tribune to Forbes Asia and forbes.com and also reports for CBS Radio. He gravitates between homes in Seoul and Washington but spent most of last year in India.
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