Japan, anchored by its traditions, transformed by American post-war Occupation, and globally recognized for its technological innovations, manufacturing prowess, and pop culture, faces powerful challenges from within and without. How Japan chooses to handle these problems and opportunities will determine its future for decades to come.
           In this book, Jeff Kingston – one of the most lucid analysts of Japan today – takes readers on a fascinating journey through this country's contemporary history, exploring the key developments and forces, both at home and abroad, that are shaping Japan in the twenty-first century. Whether Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s transformative agenda of “Abenomics” and “proactive pacifism” toward a rising China and a belligerent North Korea can set Japan on the path to greater prosperity and security remains to be seen. But having won a third term as president of the Liberal Democratic Party in 2018, Japan’s ongoing transformation is very much in Abe’s hands.

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  • February 2019
  • 160 pages
  • 122 x 176 mm / 5 x 7 in
Available Formats
  • Hardback $59.95
  • 9781509525447
  • Paperback $14.95
  • 9781509525454
  • Open eBook $9.99
  • 9781509525485
Table of Contents


Chapter 1 Bouncing Back?

Chapter 2 Japan, Inc.

Chapter 3  American Alliance

Chapter 4 Lost Decades and Disasters

Chapter 5 Dissent

Chapter 6 Abe's Japan

Further Reading


About the Author

Jeff Kingston is Professor of History and Director of Asian Studies at Temple University Japan.

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“There is no better way to understand where this always intriguing, vitally important, and often pioneering country is heading than to read this book.”
Bill Emmott, Chairman, Japan Society of the UK and author of The Fate of the West.

“Much of the world seems to have forgotten Japan, being mesmerized by the spectacular rise of China. Jeff Kingston’s informative and remarkably entertaining book reminds us that, despite its many problems, Japan still matters deeply, rebounding in many fields in unexpected ways.”
Arthur Stockwin, Nissan Institute of Japanese Studies, Oxford

"Scholar Jeff Kingston has penned a new 'compact and lively book' looking at Japan in the 21st century. Japan promises to be a must-read for anyone concerned about the future of this country."
The Japan Times 

‘A concise, highly readable overview of Japan’s political evolution from 1945 to the present’
The Japan Times 


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