Just a heads up that I am going to be out of sync with North America for nearly all of October. I am spending the month in Tokyo, thanks to the Social Sciences Research Council and the Japan Foundation Center for Global Partnership for the Abe Fellowship. I will be studying Japan's civil-military relations with much help from Professor Takako Hikotani of the National Defense Academy, while hanging out at the Air Staff College of the Japanese Air Self-Defense Force as a Visiting Fellow.
The focus will be on the role of the legislature in overseeing the Self-Defence Force. The timing is great as Prime Minister Abe (a different Abe from the Fellowship) has reinterpreted the clauses of the Constitution that limit what the SDF can do. So, the question of legislative oversight is more important these days. Since I will have far more time in Japan (October and then two weeks in January for follow ups and presentations) than we are doing in the rest of the targets of our research, I plan to get more out of this research than just one part of a chapter in the Dave and Phil and Steve project. What that will be, I am not so sure yet.
Anyhow, being on the other side of the planet will mean that I will be out of sync with social media back home. I will still tweet, but I will not be able to converse and engage as I usually do since I will be mostly asleep when my usual twitter pals are awake and vice versa. Will I tweet less? Probably. I am posting this so that folks who are used to me engaging with them will understand why I am slow to respond. It will also be an interesting social science experiment--to see whether the radical change in time zone for a sustained period of time makes much of a difference. It might exacerbate a bit my chronic FOMO. On the other hand, this probably means that I will be somewhat detached from the election for a while. A good thing.
Anyhow, I am posting this as I make my way to Toyko. I am excited for the research (and tourism) ahead. I will certainly be blogging about it.