2nd Edition

Critical Issues in Contemporary Japan

Edited By Jeff Kingston Copyright 2019
    340 Pages 17 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    340 Pages 17 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    This new and fully updated second edition of Critical Issues in Contemporary Japan provides undergraduate and graduate students with an interdisciplinary textbook written by leading specialists on contemporary Japan. Students will gain the analytical insights and information necessary to assess the challenges that confront the Japanese people, policymakers and private and public-sector institutions in Japan today.

    Featuring a comprehensive analysis of key debates and issues confronting Japan, issues covered include:

    • A rapidly aging society and changing employment system
    • Nuclear and renewable energy policy
    • Gender discrimination
    • Immigration and ethnic minorities
    • Post-3/11 tsunami, earthquake and nuclear meltdown developments
    • Sino-Japanese relations

    An essential reference work for students of contemporary Japan, it is also an invaluable source for a variety of courses, including comparative politics, anthropology, public policy and international relations.

    Introduction, Jeff Kingston

    PART I: Political environment

    1. Japanese politics: mainstream or exotic?, Arthur Stockwin

    2. The politics of trade policy, Aurelia George Mulgan

    3. Limiting fundamental rights protection in Japan: the role of the Supreme Court, Lawrence Repeta

    4. Civil society: past, present, and future, Akihiro Ogawa

    5. Japan’s contemporary media, David McNeill 

    PART II: Nuclear and renewable Energy

    6. Revisiting the limits of flexible and adaptive institutions: the Japanese government’s role in nuclear power plant siting over the postwar period, Daniel P. Aldrich

    7. Who controls whom? Constraints, challenges and rival policy images in Japan’s postwar energy restructuring, Paul Scalise

    8. Japan’s nuclear village: power and resilience, Jeff Kingston

    9. Japan’s renewable energy prospects, Andrew DeWit

    PART III: International dynamics

    10. Bad war or good war? History and politics in post-war Japan, Sven Saaler

    11. Japanese territorial disputes with Korea and China: small islets, enduring conflicts, Mark Selden

    12. Great expectations: domestic politics and the Russo–Japanese Northern Territories dispute, Tina Burrett

    13. Okinawa today: spotlight on Henoko, Alexis Dudden

    PART IV: Social dilemmas

    14. Demographic dilemmas, women and immigration, Jeff Kingston

    15. Reproductive rights in Japan: where do women stand? Tin Tin Htun

    16. Hiding in plain sight: minority issues in Japan, Kyle Cleveland

    17. Mental health and therapy in Japan: conceptions, practices and challenges, Sachiko Horiguchi

    18. Violence in schools: tensions between ‘the individual’ and ‘the group’ in the Japanese education system, Robert W. Aspinall

    19. Hidden behind Tokyo: observations on the rest of Japan, John Mock

    PART V: Reforming Japan?

    20. Seeking to change Japanese society through legal reform, Matthew J. Wilson

    21. Parochialism: Japan's failure to internationalize, Robert Dujarric and Ayumi Takenaka

    22. What’s behind what ails Japan, David Leheny

    23. Whither Abe's Japan, Jeff Kingston


    Jeff Kingston is Professor of History and Director of Asian Studies at Temple University, Japan. His recent publications include Japan's Foreign Relations in Asia (2017) and Nationalism in Asia: A History Since 1945 (2016).