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AlegalBiopolitics and the Unintelligibility of Okinawan Life$
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Annmaria M. Shimabuku

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9780823282661

Published to Fordham Scholarship Online: September 2019

DOI: 10.5422/fordham/9780823282661.001.0001

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(p.1) Introduction

Annmaria M. Shimabuku

Fordham University Press

The Introduction defines the alegal in terms of Schmitt’s concept of sovereignty and Foucauldian biopolitics. It shows how this positioning is integral to dislodging Okinawa from the traditional area studies paradigm and instead uses it to theorize the formation of a new postwar global network of sovereignty between the U.S. and Japan. In particular, it foregrounds the biopolitical dimensions of this network in which Japanese politicians protested violation of Japanese sovereignty by the U.S. military symbolically through the trope of sexual violence. Concerned with the ability to secure Japan as an economic partner, the U.S. responded by reducing its military presence in the mainland and transferring troops to Okinawa in the late 1950s. It sensed a deeply-entrenched cultural aversion to sexual contact around the bases, which, this book argues, was abhorred because it interfered with the formation of a Japanese middle class. By revisiting the writings of Japanese Marxists such as Uno Kōzō and Tosaka Jun, the Introduction defines the contours of a biopolitical state concerned with developing a Japanese middle class along the norms of patriarchal monoethnicity. It is this kind of state from which Okinawa was excluded, and to this state which it ambivalently sought to return.

Keywords:   alegal, biopolitics, Carl Schmitt, Tosaka Jun, Uno Kōzō

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