The Asia-Pacific Journal: Japan Focus

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The Asia-Pacific Journal: Japan Focus  
Japan Focus.jpg
Discipline Politics, History, International relations, Society, Culture
Language English, with links to Japanese, Korean and Chinese texts
Publication details
Publication history
Frequency Weekly
ISSN 1557-4660

The Asia-Pacific Journal: Japan Focus, founded in 2002 as Japan Focus, is an open access, peer reviewed journal of contemporary affairs which explores the forces shaping the Asia-Pacific region and the world. Published weekly, its coverage spans geopolitics, history, economics, society, culture, and international relations. It also offers translations of articles from Japanese, Chinese, and Korean.

As of December 2012, the journal had published more than 2,000 articles. About 4,000 subscribers receive a weekly newsletter linking to three to eight new articles. More than 350,000 articles are accessed each month by readers from 180 countries as confirmed by Clustrmap. The entire contents of the Journal are available in full-text, searchable electronic form as a fully indexed resource on the Asia-Pacific.[1]

The Journal brings together scholarship on the modern and contemporary Asia-Pacific and contributions from contemporary journalists and observers. Major subjects addressed include [ economics and finance], the Asia-Pacific War, war, historical memory and reconciliation, the atomic bomb, China-Japan/US-Japan/and Japan-Korea relations, nationalisms, territorial and resource conflicts, US military bases in the Asia-Pacific, and film, literature, anime and manga in region-wide and global perspective.

The Asia-Pacific Journal coordinators, Gavan McCormack (left) and Mark Selden (center), receive the first Ikemiyagi Shyuui Prize from Ryukyu Shinpo, an Okinawan newspaper, in September 2008.

Funded by no foundation or university, the Journal has sought to preserve its independence by relying on voluntary efforts by its coordinators, associates as well as by authors who choose to resist pressure to publish in paper journals in favor of the wide access, rigorous review process, and speed of publication.

The Journal has been subject to some controversy. In 2005, the site was twice subjected to attack by an unknown predator. It is suspected that articles critical of Japanese neonationalism associated with Yasukuni Shrine and the other issues pertaining to the war crimes committed during the Asia-Pacific War may have prompted the attack. The site was closed for two weeks for repair and redesign and has been fully operational thereafter.[2]


In addition to the Coordinators, more than seventy associates write, edit and translate for the Journal.[3]

Awards and Mentions[edit]

  • The Journal received the first Ikemiyagi Shyuui Prize from the Ryukyu Shinpo, an Okinawan newspaper, in September 2008, for its coverage of the history and contemporary politics and society of Okinawa and US-Japan-Okinawa relations.[4]
  • A November 2008 article in The Chronicle of Higher Education cited The Asia Pacific Journal as an example of “innovative digital scholarship.”[5]
  • The American Research Library's report on the future of digital communication, “Current Models of Digital Scholarly Communication: Results of an Investigation Conducted by Ithaka for the Association of Research Libraries” mentioned the journal in a discussion of misperceptions about peer review processes in open access publications.[6]
  • The Best of Asian Studies WWW Monitor rates The Asia-Pacific Journal: Japan Focus with five stars on January 13, 2009.[7]
  • The Asia-Pacific Journal’s articles have been a topic of discussion on several occasions on H-Net Japan and H-Net Asia mailing lists, used by Asia and Japan specialists in North America and globally, as well as many blogs.


  1. ^ "JapanFocus Articles". Retrieved 2009-12-10. 
  2. ^ An editorial for the Foreign Correspondents' Club of Japan mentions the hacking incident. Accessed March 30, 2009.
  3. ^ The list of associates are listed on "About" page of the Asia-Pacific Journal: Japan Focus website. Accessed April 2, 2009.
  4. ^ See “Japan Fokasu o hyosho: Ikemiyagi Shui Kinensho Zoteishiki (ジャパン・フォーカスを表彰 池宮城秀意記念賞贈呈式 Awarding Japan Focus: Ikemiyagi Shui Kinensho Award Ceremony)” in Ryukyu Shinpo, September 18, 2008. Accessed March 30, 2009.
  5. ^ See Jennifer Howard “A New Field Study Identifies Eight Major Types of Digital Scholarship” in Chronicle of Higher Education. Vol. 55, Issue 13, p. A11. November 21, 2008. Accessed March 30, 2009.
  6. ^ See Nancy L. Maron and K. Kirby Smith “Current Models of Digital Scholarly Communication: Results of an Investigation Conducted by Ithaka for the Association of Research Libraries” in Association of Research Libraries. November 2008. Accessed March 30, 2009.
  7. ^ "Japan Focus: An Asia-Pacific Journal" January, 2009