Contemporary Japan: History, Politics, and Social Change since the 1980s / Edition 1

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Overview

At the start of the 1990s, the Japanese postwar economic miracle came to a screeching halt. A series of disastrous market collapses and an ensuing economic meltdown resulted in what is now referred to as Japan's "Lost Decade." Yet the phenomenon represents much more than a singluar economic debacle and case of bungled government policy decisions. Contemporary Japan: History, Politics, and Social Change since the 1980s presents an accessible and comprehensive examination of the causes of the Japanese housing and stock bubble in the late 1980s and the socio-political consequences of the ensuing implosion of asset values. Jeff Kingston reveals that although the Japanese economy now remains mired in recession, and the government is seemingly adrift, the apparent stagnation is misleading. He shows how the discrediting of the Japan, Inc. model has lead to significant policy reforms and transformative social change - most apparent in the dramatic political victory of the Democratic Party of Japan in 2009, but also in myriad other ways. Kingston also addresses many other challenges faced by contemporary Japan, including the implications of growing risk, its aging society, environmental issues, immigration policies, and neo-liberal reforms, while elucidating how traditional institutions such as the imperial family and 'yakuza' criminal gangs are responding. Contemporary Japan offers deep and probing insights into the turmoil in Japan since the death of Emperor Hirohito in 1989 through to the present day.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
Selected as CHOICE Outstanding Academic Title for 2011 - 3.01.12

"Highly recommended. All levels/libraries." (Choice, 1 February 2011)

"In a highly dispassionate and balanced analysis of contemporary Japan, Kingston has brought out both the negative and positive sides of the nation, its economy, its society and governance. There are issues that Japan needs to squarely address. And this book points the way to it. An excellent source book on today's Japan." (Organiser, 20 March 2011)

"Kingston's discussion of the changes Japan faces in the 21st century is among the most comprehensive and accessible treatments of Japan's recent history available." (CHOICE, February 2011)

"Okinawan music rhapsodized, bloody battles retold, thrilling tales unleashed and Japan's gloom exposed - our favorite books of 2010". (The Japan Times, 29 December 2010)

"As the most current and definitive topic analysis available, this accessible and engaging study is highly recommended for both political science and Asia-focused collections". (Library Journal, 15 December 2010)

"One of the foremost foreign writers on modern Japan, Kingston provides another wide-ranging analysis of interest to all of those with a stake in the nation's future." (The Japan Times, September 2010)

Library Journal
Building on his previous examinations, Kingston (Japan's Quiet Transformation; Japan in Transformation) divides this incisive contemporary portrait into five essay-style chapters, emphasizing the menace rampant in Japanese culture through inspection of the sharp rise in familial abuse cases, the imminent demise of stabilizing traditions, and the increase in gang activity. Also included is an essential consideration of the factors contributing to the underreported but decisive 2009 political ascension of the Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ). As the most current and definitive topic analysis available, this accessible and engaging study is highly recommended for both political science and Asia-focused collections.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781405191937
  • Publisher: Wiley, John & Sons, Incorporated
  • Publication date: 8/23/2010
  • Series: Blackwell History of the Contemporary World Series
  • Edition description: Older Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 328
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 8.90 (h) x 0.70 (d)

Meet the Author

Jeff Kingston is Professor of History and Director of Asian Studies at the Japan Campus of Temple University. He has written widely on modern Japanese history and Japan's relations with Asia, including the books Japan in Transformation 1952-2000 (2004) and Japan's Quiet Transformation: Social Change and Civil Society in the 21st century (2005).

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Table of Contents

Map vii

Series Editor's Preface viii

Acknowledgments x

Part I Introduction 1

1 Transformations After World War II 3

2 The Lost Decade 23

Part II Risk and Consequences 39

3 Defusing the Demographic Time Bomb 41

4 Families at Risk 66

5 Jobs at Risk 84

Part III Politics and Consequences 101

6 Contemporary Politics 103

7 Security and the Peace Constitution 124

8 Environmental Issues 145

9 Immigration 166

10 War Memory and Responsibility 185

Part IV Institutions at Risk 207

11 The Imperial Family 209

12 Yakuza 227

Part V Postscript 253

13 Prospects 255

Glossary 261

Notes 269

Further Reading 283

Index 291

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