This book sheds light on the changing nature of contemporary Japan by decoding a range of political, economic and social boundaries. With a focus on the period following the inauguration of Prime Minister Koizumi Junichirō, the book grows out of a recognition that, with the Koizumi administration playing a more proactive role internationally and moving ahead with deregulation and the ‘structural reform’ of the economy domestically, a range of boundaries have been challenged and reinscribed. Here ‘boundaries’ refers to the ways in which contemporary Japan is shaped as a separate entity by the inscription and reinscription of political, economic and social space creating insiders and outsiders, both internationally and domestically. The central argument of the book is that, in order to achieve the twin goals of greater international proactivity and domestic reform, the government and other actors supporting Koizumi’s new direction for Japan needed to take action in order to destabilize and reformulate a range of extant boundaries. While boundaries often remain invisible, the aim of this book is to promote an understanding of their significance by uncovering their pivotal role.
Decoding Boundaries in Contemporary Japan brings together contributions from leading and emerging scholars from the UK, Japan and the United States. It will appeal to scholars and students of Japan as well as social scientists with an interest in borders and boundaries, political scientists interested in Asia.
Introduction: Why Boundaries?, Glenn D. Hook 1. Diplomacy on the Boundaries: The G8, International Society and Japan’s Instrumentalization of Liminality, Hugo Dobson 2. The Strange Masochism of the Japanese Right: Redrawing Moral Boundaries in Sino-Japanese Relations, Shogo Suzuki 3. Japan’s Responses to Actors outside the Boundaries of International Society: ‘Rogue States’ and North Korea’s Nuclear Threats,
Key-young Son 4. Navigating the Boundaries of the Interstate Society: Japan’s Response to Piracy in Southeast Asia, Lindsay Black 5. Stronger Political Leadership and the Shift in Policy-making Boundaries in Japan, Shinoda Tomohito 6. Leadership Strategies: (Re)drawing Boundaries among and within Parties in Japan, Uchiyama Yū 7. The Problem of Boundaries for Japan’s Local Authorities: Mergers, Public Services and the Growing Disparity in Japanese Society, Muto Hiromi 8. Adjusting the Boundaries between Keidanren and Labour Unions in Japan: A Critical Reappraisal of Globalization and Democracy, Hasegawa Harukiyo 9. Boundaries in Japan’s Business and Government Relationship: Regression, Change and Façades, Peter von Staden 10. Shifting Boundaries in Japan’s Criminal Justice System, Patricia G. Steinhoff 11. The Rapid Redrawing of Boundaries in Japanese Higher Education, Roger Goodman