Rethinking Japan
The origins of this project go back to the weeks after the Japanese electorate voted into office a government based on the Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ) in general elections held on August 30, 2009. In so doing the electorate decisively rejected the Liberal Democratic Party (LDP), a hitherto extraordinarily successful party that had ruled Japan (with a short break in the early 1990s and then as...
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Throughout this book we give names of Japanese individuals in the original order, with surname first and personal name second. We make an exception in the case of citations in English where the English order is used. We also use the convention of distinguishing between long and short vowels by the use of macrons over long vowels (principally “ō” and “ū”)....
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The world in the mid-teens of the twenty-first century sees political leaders and governments in various parts of the world adopting policy positions much further to the right than has been normal in most ostensibly democratic political systems since the defeat of Nazism in 1945. The man elected to be forty-fifth president of the United States made speeches during the campaign that might well be...
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In 1979 the renowned political scientist and East Asia specialist Ezra Vogel published a book with the inspiring, if surprising, title of Japan as Number One.Ezra F. Vogel, Japan as Number One, (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1979). I say “surprising” because the previous three decades had...
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An observer of Japan writing at the end of the 1980s would have described a rapidly growing economy, a nation exerting an increasing impact on the global economic system, Japan as a potential contender with the United States for international supremacy but also generating increasing criticism for allegedly aggressive...
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On August 30, 2009, the DPJ won an overwhelming majority in general elections, and took power two weeks later, on September 15. Had this occurred in the United Kingdom, it would have been an important political event, but an accepted part of the normal...
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Abe Shinzō was a surprise candidate for the presidency of the LDP, the post to which he was elected in September 2012. That party was not in the habit of reappointing “failed” leaders, and there were many in the party that saw his tenure of the post of prime minister for a year between 2006 and 2007 as a failure. Indeed, the only previous example of a prime minister who had...
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Abe Shinzō was a postwar child, born nine years after the end of the Pacific War and two years after the end of the Allied occupation of mainland Japan. Like most people of his generation, Abe was born into the turmoil of the early postwar era, but unlike the average Japanese growing up in that era he was born into a political dynasty and destined to be a politician. His maternal grandfather...
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Japan, in the course of its modern history, has had two constitutions, that of 1889 (the Meiji constitution) and that of 1947. The 1947 constitution was technically an amendment of the 1889 constitution, but they are in fact almost entirely different documents. Apart from the radical “amendment” that occurred during the Allied occupation, the Meiji constitution was never revised in the...
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Japan’s 1947 constitution, still in operation and textually unamended (but ferociously contested by the second Abe government, elected to office in December 2012), contains a clear guarantee of freedom of speech. Article 21 states: “Freedom of assembly and association, press and all other forms of expression are guaranteed. No censorship shall be maintained, nor shall the secrecy of...
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The election of the Abe government in December 2012 launched a period of nationalistic revisionism in Japanese politics.An earlier version of this chapter was published in Journal of International Relations and Diplomacy, Vol. 4, No. 2 (Feb. 2016), pp. 71–84. Reproduced by permission. This was not unprecedented,...
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Admitting wholeheartedly but discontentedly to Japan’s dependence on the “US forward deployed deterrence...
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Historically speaking, the discourse of international relations is infested with conflicts between neighboring states simply because they are geographically close enough to grate on each other’s nerves. This is what Richard C. Bush calls The Perils of Proximity.Richard C. Bush, The Perils of...
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Japan’s relations with the wider world following the end of World War II were in principle defined by its defeat; that is, the constraints imposed by the war victors on Japan by means of the Peace Treaty of 1951. The Allied Occupation of Japan from 1945 had already largely defined the trend and evolution of Japan’s relations with the outside world, but what really confirmed how Japan...
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In our attempts to understand the politics of Abe Shinzō, it helps to recall the long-held idea that the policy-making of successive Japanese governments has been seen as essentially reactive. This idea was immortalized in Kent Calder’s 1988 essay, “Japanese Foreign Economic Policy Formation:...
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The politics of Japan has moved decisively to the right since the 1990s, and most sharply so since the election of the second Abe government in December 2012. To some extent this parallels similar trends in Europe and elsewhere, which raises the question of just how similar is their causality. One obvious difference is the major influence exerted by the immigration and asylum issues in Europe, by...
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Abenomics
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Abenomics,4.7 , 4.29 , 4.45 , 5.0 , 5.60 , 7.75 ,
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Arthur Stockwin was born in Birmingham and holds a BA in philosophy, politics, and economics from Oxford University and a PhD in international relations from the Australian National University in Canberra. As a doctoral student he began to specialize in the politics and foreign policy of Japan and wrote a thesis entitled: “The Neutralist Policy of the Japanese Socialist Party.”...
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Series Editors: Doug Slaymaker and William M. Tsutsui
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