2nd Edition

Critical Issues in Contemporary Japan

Edited By

Jeff Kingston

ISBN 9780815352068
Published February 22, 2019 by Routledge
340 Pages 17 B/W Illustrations

USD $44.95

Prices & shipping based on shipping country


Book Description

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.

Table of Contents

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

View More



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).