Afro-Asian Solidarity and the Anti-Apartheid Movement in Japan

  • Kumiko Makino
Part of the St Antony's Series book series (STANTS)


This chapter focuses on the anti-apartheid movement in Japan, in particular the Japan Anti-Apartheid Committee (JAAC), which was a loose coalition of local citizens’ groups against apartheid across Japan. The JAAC serves as an interesting case study for a global history of anti-apartheid movements in the sense that it was located at the intersection between western and Afro-Asian solidarity contexts. Japan’s overall relations with South Africa, both in terms of Cold-War geopolitics as well as economic relations, were similar to those of western countries, therefore the Japanese Anti-Apartheid Movements drew on experiences of Western Anti-Apartheid Movements and adopted their strategies such as consumer boycotts into their own activism. On the other hand, however, unlike Western movements, the inception and early development of the Japanese anti-apartheid activism was significantly contextualised by the Afro-Asian solidarity. This chapter illustrates how the Afro-Asian solidarity impacted on the early development of Japanese Anti-Apartheid Movement. In addition, the role of South African writers who travelled to Japan in person, and/or whose works were translated and published in Japan, in bridging people from the two geographically and linguistically distant societies will be highlighted.


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Kumiko Makino
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.Institute of Developing Economies, Japan External Trade Organization (IDE-JETRO)ChibaJapan
  2. 2.Wits School of GovernanceJohannesburgSouth Africa

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