Beyond the Rising Sun: Nationalism in Contemporary Japan

Beyond the Rising Sun: Nationalism in Contemporary Japan

Beyond the Rising Sun: Nationalism in Contemporary Japan

Beyond the Rising Sun: Nationalism in Contemporary Japan

Synopsis

Japan's aggressive economic development has led many Americans to fear that it will lead to an equally aggressive nationalism reminiscent of the pre-World War II period. Beyond the Rising Sun demonstrates that such fears are unfounded. Although cultural nationalism is strong, Japan today is a stable and peaceful democracy. Professionals, academics, government officials, business people, and the general public will find this challenge to many current views about Japanese politics, people, and U.S.-Japanese relations provocative.

Excerpt

The primary objective of this book is to give the reader an accurate picture of the extent to which nationalism exists in Japan today and the various ways it manifests itself. In the process of creating a definition of Japanese nationalism, it is also important to examine what effect nationalism will have on both the domestic polity and on Japan's role in the world. It is easy to say that nationalism exists in Japan, for it certainly does, but that statement does not tell us anything about what effect its existence has upon the institutions and policy of the Japanese state or what effect it has on the lives of its citizens. On yet another level, nationalism will also have an impact on Japan's actions in the international relations system. Because the old international order is in disarray and Japanese economic power is growing steadily, many people around the world are interested and concerned about the future role that Japan will play in Asia, in its relationship with the United States, in its relationship with Europe, in its relationship with international organizations and as a major donor of aid. Thus most of this book will be taken up with the relationship between these elements of nationalism to contemporary life and politics in Japan. But that original objective is not intended to be a simple academic exercise in defining Japanese nationalism. It is hoped that the reader will come to understand, rather than fear, Japan.

This book is not primarily concerned with the Japanese-American relationship, but it is written for an American audience by an American author who has lived and worked in Japan for many years. Consequently, although . . .

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