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Securing Japan: Tokyo's Grand Strategy and the Future of East Asia (Cornell Studies in Security Affairs) Hardcover – August 2, 2007

ISBN-13: 978-0801446122 ISBN-10: 0801446120 Edition: 1st

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Product Details

  • Series: Cornell Studies in Security Affairs
  • Hardcover: 296 pages
  • Publisher: Cornell University Press; 1 edition (August 2, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0801446120
  • ISBN-13: 978-0801446122
  • Product Dimensions: 0.9 x 6.1 x 9.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,536,043 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

"Richard Samuels clarifies the international and domestic factors that are shaping the options and choices facing Tokyo and the implications that an emerging strategic consensus in Japan carries for the U.S. alliance and relations in East Asia. Samuels shows how international constraints and domestic politics have been interacting since the late 19th century, filtering and framing security policy choices. He argues that through all the fluctuations—and Samuels is a very astute guide through these zigs and zags"The search for prestige and autonomy have been the constants. He concludes that they are now within Japan's grasp."—Jeff Kingston, Nov. 18, 2007, The Japan Times

"Samuels's book is a valuable reminder that sovereignty has never been far from the top of Japan's national security agenda, even when Japan had hugged the U.S. so closely that it seemed to have become an 'abnormal' country. Samuels is especially good at outlining the gamut of opinion from the Gaullists on the far right to those who cling to the remnants of the Yoshida Doctrine of 'mercantile realism.' He also points out that the Gaullist right is now joining with the traditional left in opposing the existance of U.S. bases in Japan as an intolerable affront to sovereignty."—Robyn Lim, October 2007, Far Eastern Economic Review

"Richard J. Samuels is a master of understanding and explaining Japan's emerging place in the world. To me, this book is as valuable as his earlier influential studies on the ideological—and technological—origins of Japan's military policies. In addition to being persuasive, it is a pleasure to read."—James Fallows, author of Blind Into Baghdad

"In his excellent new book, Richard J. Samuels, one of our preeminent analysts of Japanese politics, brings his skills to bear on the security debates in Japan and helps us understand the policy options it has in a turbulent new era."—Kenneth B. Pyle, author of Japan Rising: The Resurgence of Japanese Power and Purpose

"Feeling threatened by China and North Korea, and worried about America's reliability, Japan is beginning to act like a normal great power. Where this leads is not clear. Fortunately Richard J. Samuels has come to our rescue with this outstanding book, which clearly describes Tokyo's options and their likely consequences for East Asia and the United States."—John J. Mearsheimer, R. Wendell Harrison Distinguished Service Professor of Political Science, University of Chicago

"In Securing Japan, Richard J. Samuels links Japan's current strategic thinking and policy to its past history, dissects the domestic strategic debate, and explores the various factors that will shape Japan's new strategic consensus. This book will be of keen interest to non-Japan or non-Asia specialists in the international relations and international security fields."—Mike M. Mochizuki, The George Washington University

From the Back Cover

"In Securing Japan, Richard J. Samuels links Japan's current strategic thinking and policy to its past history, dissects the domestic strategic debate, and explores the various factors that will shape Japan's new strategic consensus. This book will be of keen interest to non-Japan or non-Asia specialists in the international relations and international security fields."--Mike M. Mochizuki, The George Washington University

"Feeling threatened by China and North Korea, and worried about Americaís reliability, Japan is beginning to act like a normal great power. Where this leads is not clear. Fortunately Richard Samuels has come to our rescue with this outstanding book, which clearly describes Tokyo's options and their likely consequences for East Asia and the United States."--John J. Mearsheimer, R. Wendell Harrison Distinguished Service Professor of Political Science, University of Chicago


More About the Author

Richard J. Samuels is Ford International Professor of Political Science and Director of the Center for International Studies at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He is also the Founding Director of the MIT Japan Program. In 2005 he was elected a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and in 2011 he received the Order of the Rising Sun, Gold and Silver Star, an Imperial decoration awarded by the Emperor of Japan and the Japanese Prime Minister.

Professor Samuels has served as Head of the MIT Department of Political Science, Vice-Chairman of the Committee on Japan of the National Research Council, and as Chairman of the Japan-US Friendship Commission, an independent Federal grant-making agency that supports Japanese studies and policy-oriented research in the United States. He has spent more than a decade doing field research in Japan and Europe and is one of only three scholars (Japanese or foreign) to have produced more than one scholarly monograph recognized by the Nippon Foundation as one of the top "one hundred books for understanding contemporary Japan."

In 2013, Cornell University Press published his book about the political and economic effects of Japan's March 2011 catastrophes: 3.11: Disaster and Change in Japan. Visit http://japan311disaster.com for further information about this book and the events and research it is based upon.

Dr. Samuels' previous book, Securing Japan: Tokyo's Grand Strategy and the Future of East Asia, was named one of the five finalists for the 2008 Lionel Gelber Prize for the best book in international affairs. Another, Machiavelli's Children: Leaders and Their Legacies in Italy and Japan, a comparative political and economic history of political leadership in Italy and Japan, won the 2003 Marraro Prize from the Society for Italian Historical Studies and the 2004 Jervis-Schroeder Prize for the best book in International History and Politics, awarded by the International History and Politics section of the American Political Science Association.

His 1994 study, "Rich Nation, Strong Army": National Security and the Technological Transformation of Japan won the 1996 John Whitney Hall Prize of the Association of Asian Studies and the 1996 Arisawa Memorial Prize of the Association of American University Presses. His book, The Business of the Japanese State: Energy Markets in Comparative and Historical Perspective received the Masayoshi Ohira Memorial Prize in 1988. In 1983, Princeton University Press published his Politics of Regional Policy in Japan.
His articles have appeared in Foreign Affairs, International Security, Foreign Policy, Washington Quarterly, International Organization, The Journal of Modern Italian Studies, The National Interest, The Journal of Japanese Studies, Daedalus, and other scholarly journals.

Dr. Samuels received his PhD from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1980 and a gold whistle for a decade of service from the Massachusetts State Referee Committee of the U.S. Soccer Federation in 2009.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Etienne ROLLAND-PIEGUE on October 31, 2007
Format: Hardcover
Securing Japan has always been the central axis of Japanese political life, and it very much remains so today. There is a remarkable continuity in the debates surrounding Japanese security. Ideas are connected across time, and so are people: heirs to political traditions are often the direct offsprings of politicians from bygone eras, and they tend to reenact on the contemporary scene the political dramas played by their ancestors.

As Richard Samuels notes, the security policy preferences of contemporary Japanese actors can be sorted along two axes. The first is a measure of the value placed on the alliance with the United States. The second refers to the willingness to use force in international affairs, which is currently prohibited by the constitution.

Of the four categories sorted by these two axes, two are fringe actors. Neo-autonomists flirt with Japan's imperial past and resent the US military presence, but they never attracted any significant following. Pacifists are a shadow of their former self, having had to swallow the disavowal of their core beliefs by the now defunct Socialist Party, but they retain some influence in the education system and in the media.

The two main actors that vie for supremacy both favor a close embrace with the US, but they differ on how to pursue national prestige. Those who believe Japan should be a "normal nation" argue that national strength is the key to national prestige, and favor a loosening of the constraints imposed by article 9 of the constitution. Opposing them are the "middle power internationalists" who believe that Japan must remain a merchant power with self-imposed limits on its right to belligerency.
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