Fighting Japan's Cold War : Prime Minister Yasuhiro Nakasone and His Times book cover
1st Edition

Fighting Japan's Cold War
Prime Minister Yasuhiro Nakasone and His Times

  • Available for pre-order on February 20, 2023. Item will ship after March 13, 2023
ISBN 9781032399096
March 13, 2023 Forthcoming by Routledge
288 Pages

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Book Description

Yasuhiro Nakasone, who served as prime minister for more than five years in the 1980s, was one of Japan’s leading postwar politicians. This book is a biography of him but, by interweaving in international politics and media appraisals of him, it also serves as an examination of Japan’s postwar politics. Nakasone was an innovative conservative who actively criticized the conservative mainstream, and this book reveals from both domestic and foreign policy perspectives how the Liberal Democratic Party governed. The Nakasone government served as not only the final phase of the Cold War era of LDP factional politics but also as the starting point for the general mainstream faction system that followed. With the lengthy passage of time since the end of the Cold War and the collapse of Japan’s 1955 party system, there is a need to reassess Nakasone, showing that there was much more to him than the popular picture of him as a far-right hawk who loudly advocated for Japan to engage in autonomous self-defense and as an opportunist leader of a small faction, and to place the era in which Nakasone lived its proper historical context.

Table of Contents


1: Nakasone’s Youth: From Lumber to the Home Ministry

2: Deployment and Defeat: A Lieutenant in the Navy

3: The "Young Officer": Nakasone’s Time in the Opposition

4. The Conservative Merger and Nakasone’s First Cabinet Position: Director-General of the Science and Technology Agency under Kishi

5: From "Killing Time" to Becoming a Faction Leader

6: “Autonomous Defense” and the Three Non-Nuclear Principles: Nakasone under Satō – Minister of Transportation and Director-General of the Defense Agency

7: "Neoliberalism" and the Oil Crisis: MITI Minister in the Tanaka Government

8: The “Sankaku Daifuku Chū” Era: LDP Secretary-General, General Council Chairman, and Director-General of the Administrative Management Agency

9: 1,806 Days as Prime Minister: Seeking to be a "Presidential Prime Minister"

I. Tanaka Kakuei’s Shadow and the Results of Proactive Diplomacy: Nakasone’s First Term

II. "Pacific Cooperation" and Privatization: Nakasone’s Second Term

III. The Weight of 304 Seats: Nakasone’s Third Term

10: "Rain of Cicada Cries": The 32 Years After Being Prime Minister


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Ryuji Hattori is a Professor in the Faculty of Policy Studies at Chuo University, Japan Graham B. Leonard is an independent translator and researcher based in Seattle, Washington, USA