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Japanese youth, like everywhere else, are trying to build their future despite the crises that are shaking their world, the latest being the triple disaster of Fukushima. Often considered to be more focused on a personal or even hedonistic life, they surprised the media when a student movement took the floor to criticize the Abe government's security and Self-Defense Forces bills in 2015. The so-called SEALDs movement (Student Emergency Action for Liberal Democracy) was formed some time after the Indigenous or Occupy Wall Street movements, but it shares similar concerns.
Understanding the SEALDs' experience from the perspective of John Dewey's philosophy allows us to highlight once again the dangers that digital technology poses to individuals, the collective and their values.


Japan’s youth, considered depoliticized, surprised the national media when a movement of students mainly attached to Tokyo universities, called Students Emergency Action for Liberal Democracy (SEALDs), formed in 2015 to criticize the Abe government’s security and Self-Defence Forces bills. Out of sync with the Indignados or Occupy Wall Street movements, SEALDs was not scrutinized like the other movements, even though it had similar concerns. With reference to the philosophy of John Dewey, this “forgotten” movement is analyzed as an experiment in learning about democracy by young Japanese people confronted with crises that cast a shadow over their future. The mobilization made possible by digital technology is also critically examined.

In: Occupy Tokyo: SEALDs, the Forgotten Movement