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Japan Rising: The Resurgence of Japanese Power and Purpose (Century Foundation Books) Paperback – April 29, 2008
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The second principle is that Japanese political leaders are a pragmatic lot who tend to "move with the tide" and adapt to changing circumstances. Whenever fundamental changes have taken place in the international environment, the Japanese leaders have proven skillful at adapting their policies to these changes and using them opportunistically to further the nation's interests and ambition. A corollary is that Japan takes its external environment as a given: it doesn't try to shape or transform it through the application of universalistic principles or home-bred ideologies. To use a metaphor from economics, Japan is a price-taker, not a market-maker.
The third precept is the "Primat der Aussenpolitik": Japanese institutions were shaped more by external factors than by internal political struggles or social conflicts. Repeatedly through the course of the 150 years of its modern history, each time the structure of the international system underwent fundamental change, Japan adapted its foreign policies to that changed order and restructured its internal organization to take advantage of it.Read more ›
Part of the challenge in understanding Japan is that the country is simultaneously a state and a unique civilization (pp. 13, 49 - 50). Furthermore, Japan has vacillated between infuriating ethnocentrism and remarkable receptivity to foreign influences during its history without ultimately sacrificing its unique culture (pp. 18 - 19, 22 - 23, 58 - 62, 76, 100 - 05, 116 - 36, 176, 239, 245). Finally, Japan has often not done enough to factor in the legitimate concerns of other countries in its "opaque" decision-making process, resulting in some needless frictions (pp. 15 - 16, 229, 250 - 52, 306 - 09, 354).
To his credit, Pyle clearly shows that the Japanese tend to shun radical change in their interaction with the outside world unless the circumstances deprive them of any other option. The difficulty of making change and the rapidity with which irresistible changes occur have often confused foreigners because of the apparent, inherent contradiction in this policy (pp. 52, 76).Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
It is one of the best books for studying Japan's rise and its driving factors behind its rise.
The author also addresses the challenges the Janese are facing and analyzing its... Read more
Pyle's view on contemporary Japan is indeed a compelling one. Drawing on historical evidence, he provides the framework for the future motivations of an increasingly assertive... Read morePublished on April 26, 2012 by Scott M
What a wonderful analysis of Japan! A psychological profile on a seemingly enigmatic nation, the author explains with great clarity Japan's strategy of engagement with the world. Read morePublished on July 22, 2008 by Niko D.
Kenneth Pyle's examination of Japan's history and its ability to move with the flow of the times is well-done, detailed and very intriguing. Read morePublished on December 17, 2007 by tgfabthunderbird
After the occupation of Japan ended in 1952 by the United States, the Japanese nation would emerge as one of the strongest economical nations in the world. Read morePublished on October 10, 2007 by Seeking Disciple