Critical Issues in Contemporary Japan

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ISBN-13: 978-0415857451
ISBN-10: 0415857457
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Editorial Reviews


‘From immigration and demographics to Okinawa and the changing role of the Supreme Court, this collection of essays provides a fresh and comprehensive guide to a society that is changing more than widely recognised. Kingston has gathered a collection of essays that shun cliché in favour of rational discussion.’David Pilling, Asia Editor, Financial Times

‘In a post-earthquake, tsunami and radiation Japan, many of the assumptions we had about Japan, even those we had felt were chronically problematic, have been directly challenged. This volume is an important collection that allows us to explore that challenge, both in our understanding of what is distinct to a rapidly changing Japan in itself, but also as a way for us to engage in comparative research on a number of dynamics that are characteristic to post-industrial society in Asia and around the world. Hugely valuable for current research and a great teaching tool for advanced students.’David Slater, Sophia University Faculty of Liberal Arts, Japan

‘This highly accessible book captures – better than any other I know currently available in English –the key debates currently taking place in Japan as it searches for a new sense of identity following the triple disasters of earthquake, tsunami and nuclear meltdown which befell the country on 11 March 2011. It should go straight on the reading list of anyone teaching courses on contemporary Japan.’ – Roger Goodman, Nissan Professor of Modern Japanese Studies, University of Oxford, UK

‘This timely collection by cutting-edge scholars of East Asia covers many of the key issues in Japanese domestic society and international relations. The readable and informative essays take us beyond the mass media stereotypes, making it a valuable tool for students, teachers, journalists, and general readers seeking a deeper understanding of Japan today.’ Jordan Sand, Associate Professor of Japanese History, Georgetown University, USA

'Critical Issues in Contemporary Japan provides a reminder to the more optimistic analysts that much more reform work remains before the promised dawn breaks ... this work offers an excellent summary for students, or even experts, of Japan’s host of pressing issues, spanning a wide range of domestic matters, energy policy, international and social affairs.' Anthony Fensom, Japan Times

'This very useful book is a timely collection of 22 accessible essays on a wide range of issues in contemporary Japan. Aimed at a "broad audience of readers," the essays by knowledgeable scholars of Japanese life and society include useful discussions of the "political environment"; social questions as varied as the crisis of population decline, school bullying, and minority issues; essays on the international dynamics of Japan's economic and political life; and energy questions in the wake of the nuclear crisis brought on by the 2011 earthquake and its aftermath. The essays are extremely readable, and go a long way to illuminate a society that has changed dramatically from the halcyon days of Japan's Pacific preeminence just a very few years ago. Many of the authors have lived and taught in Japan for years, and have been close observers of the changes that have occurred and are occurring still. General readers and specialists alike will learn much from these essays and their thoughtful engagement with contemporary Japan. Summing Up: Highly recommended. All levels/libraries.' – W. D. Kinzley, University of South Carolina, CHOICE Magazine, July 2014 Vol. 51 No. 11

About the Author

Jeff Kingston is Professor of History and Director of Asian Studies at Temple University, Japan. He is the author of Japan's Quiet Transformation (2004) and Contemporary Japan (2011).


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 328 pages
  • Publisher: Routledge (February 21, 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0415857457
  • ISBN-13: 978-0415857451
  • Product Dimensions: 9.7 x 6.9 x 0.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.3 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #628,658 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Robert S. Whiting on March 5, 2014
Format: Paperback
Informed, incisive look at modern Japan and how it is changing, by A-Team of Japan scholars. Should be required reading for anyone trying to understand the country. Essays by David McNeill, Sven Saller, Mark Seldon, Larry Repeta and Jeff Kingston alone are worth the price of admission.
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