Department of Sociology

Department of


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Midori Ogasawara

PhD Candidate
Office: C503 Mackintosh-Corry Hall
Supervisor: Dr. David Lyon

Research Interests

Midori’s PhD project is “National Identification Systems and Techniques of Population Control: The development of surveillance–assisted political economy from colonial to neoliberal times in Japan”, supported by the Vanier Canada Graduate Scholarship in 2014-2017. This project attempts to reveal the colonial origins and consequences of ID technologies, such as ID cards and biometrics, in northeastern China under the Japanese occupation from the 1920s to 1945. She conducted a three-month field research in China, supported by the Mitacs Globalink Research Award in 2016. This work is built on her MA thesis, entitled “ID TROUBLES: The National Identification Systems in Japan and the (mis) Construction of the Subject”, focusing on the transitions of ID techniques that classified the subjects of modern Japan.
Midori has a journalistic background, since having worked as a permanent staff writer for Asahi Shimbun, Japan’s leading national newspaper, in 1994-2004, and taken an initiative of investigative reporting on Japan’s first digitized and centralized national identification system, the Juki-net. She has been also involved in reporting about the sex slavery by Japan’s army during the Second World War, and the US bases’ issues in Okinawa. In May 2016, She interviewed the NSA whistle blower Edward Snowden via the video channel, as the first Japanese researcher/journalist. She has constantly published books and articles in English and Japanese, and also translated David Lyon’s Surveillance Studies into Japanese (published in 2011).
To know more about her research, please see:
Midori has provided a number of public lectures and received media interviews. To watch her videos about the NSA’s surveillance activities in Japan (Japanese):


  • PhD Candidate, Sociology
  • M.A., Sociology, Queen’s University
  • B.A., Law, Waseda University, Japan

Major Academic Awards

  • 2017      Professor Frank Pearce Essay Prize (for radical critical theory and social justice, the Office of Vice-Dean in the Faculty of Arts and Science, Queen’s Unversity)
  • 2017      Dorothy Matherson Parnell Bursary (for female student in parenting, Ban Righ Centre, Queen’s University)
  • 2014-17 Vanier Canada Graduate Scholarships (Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada)
  • 2016    Mitacs Globalink Research Award (Mitacs)
  • 2013    Principal’s International Doctoral Award (Queen’s University)
  • 2005-08 Government of Canada Award (Canadian Bureau for International Education)
  • 2004   Fulbright Journalist Scholarship (Japan-United States Educational Commission)
  • 2004   John S. Knight Professional Journalist Fellowships at Stanford University (The Knight Foundation, USA)
  • 2002   Ryoko Akamatsu Prize (for contributions to the elimination of the discrimination against women, The Japanese Association of International Women’s Rights)

Teaching Experience

  • Teaching Fellowship for SOCY427 Identification, Surveillance and Citizenship, the Department of Sociology, Queen’s University, 2018 (Winter Term).
  • Teaching Assistantship for Social Psychology, Surveillance and Society, Contemporary Social Theories, and Introduction to Sociology, the Department of Sociology, Queen’s University, 2005-08, 2013-17.

Recent Major Publications

  • Ogasawara, Midori. Forthcoming. “The Witting and Unwitting Collaborations between Intelligence Agencies and Big Data Corporations: From My Interviews with Edward Snowden and Mark Klien”, in David Lyon and David Murakami Wood (eds.) Security Intelligence and Surveillance in the Big Data Age. Vancouver: University of British Columbia Press.
  • Ogasawara, Midori. Forthcoming. “Bodies as Risky Resources: Japan’s Colonial Identification Systems in Northeastern China”, in Robert Heynen and Emily van der Meulen (eds.) Making Surveillance Societies: Transnational Histories. Toronto: University of Toronto Press.
  • Ogasawara, Midori. 2017. “The Invisible Surveillance and Control over the Inconvenient Truth Have Already Begun: Thinking of the Conspiracy Law from the Perspective of Snowden Interview”, Journalism (monthly journal published by Asahi Shimbun, Japan’s national newspaper) 329: 82-89.
  • Ogasawara, Midori. 2017. “What Newly Disclosed Snowden Files Reveal in the Age of Conspiracy Law”, a series of five articles, The Sunday Mainichi (weekly magazine issued by Mainichi Shimbun, Japan’s national newspaper), August 13, 20/27, September 3, 10, and 24.
  • Ogasawara, Midori. 2017. “Surveillance at the Roots of Everyday Interactions: Japan’s Conspiracy Bill and its Totalitarian Effects”, Surveillance & Society 15(3/4): 477-485.
  • Ogasawara, Midori. 2017. “The purpose of the Conspiracy Bill is not countering terrorism. Listen to Snowden’s warnings: Legalizing the government’s illegal surveillance over the citizens”, The Gendai Business (online business journal published by Kodansha), February 23.
  • Ogasawara, Midori. 2016. “The U.S. Air Force Crashed and Killed the Children in Yokohama, 39 Years before the U.S. Marine ‘Ospray’ Cashed in Okinawa”, Courrier Japon (online journal on international news, published by Kodansha), December 29.
  • Ogasawara, Midori. 2016. Snowden Talks About the Horrors of the Surveillance Society: The Complete Record of An Exclusive Interview, Japan: Mainichi Newspaper Publishing.
  • Ogasawara, Midori. 2016. “What Snowden Asks to the Japanese: The emergence of power that wants to watch over everything, and the human’s most humanistic voice”, two articles, The Sekai (Japan’s authentic monthly journal, published by Iwanami shoten), 888:126-135, 889:178-186.
  • Ogasawara, Midori. 2016. “Snowden’s Warning ‘I am seriously concerned about the people in Japan’: Why we allow the U.S. surveillance”, The Gendai Business, August 22.
  • Ogasawara, Midori and Shiraishi, Takashi. 2012. We Don’t Need the “My Number” System: To Counter the Surveillance Society and Protect Our Personal Information. Japan: Koushi-sha.
  • Ogasawara, Midori. 2008. “A Tale of the Colonial Age, or the Banner of New Tyranny?: National ID Card Systems in Japan”, in David Lyon and Colin Bennett (eds.) Playing the Identity Card, NY: Routledge.

Professional Membership

  • The Japan P.E.N. Club (the Japanese Centre of International P.E.N.). 2017-Present.
  • International Sociological Association. 2014
  • Surveillance Studies Network. 2008