Japan's anaemic economy is well understood, but how it has affected Japanese society is not. This is where Mr Kingston's contribution shines.
--Economist August 19, 2010
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)
"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)
"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)
"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)
From the Back Cover
At the start of the 1990s, the Japanese post-war 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 singular economic debacle and case of bungled government policy decisions. Contemporary Japan: History, Politics and Social Change
presents an accessible and comprehensive examination of the causes of the Japanese housing bubble in the late 1980s and the socio-political consequences of the ensuing implosion of asset values. Author Jeff Kingston reveals that while after two decades the Japanese economy remains mired in a deep recession, 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. Kingston also addresses many other challenges faced by contemporary Japan, including the implications of its aging society, environmental issues, immigration policies, neo-liberal reforms, evolving traditional institutions of the imperial family, and the 'yakuza' criminal gangs. Contemporary Japan
offers deep and probing insights into the turmoil in Japan since the death of Emperor Hirohito in 1989 until the present day.