The book describes the ways in which a shared Confucian tradition and particular historical experiences of imperialism and war have affected each country's internal dynamics, responses to the outside world, and distinctive political developmental trajectory, especially since World War II.
While the book is structured to facilitate comparisons, it avoids the limitations of most comparative politics texts by focusing less on Western conceptions of state and governance and more on East Asian perspectives of the universe and how it operates. Even the considerations of contemporary policy issues in each country are cast in a wider framework that gives the discussion enduring value.
This classic introduction to the Japanese political system has been revised and fully updated in this sixth edition to take into account these widespread changes in the country's political life. Building on the structure and content of the previous edition, this new edition covers:
An overview of Japan's geographical setting and history
Japan’s political institutions, processes, and actors
Recent organizational, ideological, and policy changes in the LDP since its return to power
The country's distinctive social order and its educational, healthcare, and public safety systems
The increasingly contentious realm of foreign relations and security issues, including China's expanding role and the effect of North Korea’s development of nuclear weapons.
This broad-ranging textbook continues to be essential reading for students of Japanese politics, international politics and Japanese studies.