In this Book

On March 11, 2011, a 9.0 earthquake off Japan’s northeast coast triggered a tsunami that killed more than 20,000 people, displaced 600,000, and caused billions of dollars in damage as well as a nuclear meltdown of three reactors at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant. Japan, the world’s third largest economy, was already grappling with recovery from both its own economic recession of the 1990s and the global recession following the US-driven financial crisis of 2008 when the disaster hit, changing its fortunes yet again. This small, populous Asian nation—once thought to be a contender for the role of the world’s number one power—now faces a world of uncertainty. Japan’s economy has shrunk, China has challenged its borders, and it faces perilous demographic adjustments from decreased fertility and an aging populace, with the country’s population expected to drop to less than 100 million by 2048. 
In Japan: The Precarious Future, a group of distinguished scholars of Japanese economics, politics, law, and society examine the various roads that might lie ahead. Will Japan face a continued erosion of global economic and political power, particularly as China’s outlook improves exponentially? Or will it find a way to protect its status as an important player in global affairs? Contributors explore issues such as national security, political leadership, manufacturing prowess, diplomacy, population decline, and gender equality in politics and the workforce, all in an effort to chart the possible futures for Japan. Both a roadmap for change and a look at how Japan arrived at its present situation, this collection of thought-provoking analyses will be essential for understanding the current landscape and future prospects of this world power. 

Table of Contents

  1. Cover
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  1. Title page, Series page, Copyright
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  1. Contents
  2. pp. v-vi
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  1. Acknowledgments
  2. pp. vii-viii
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  1. Introduction: Japan’s Possible Futures
  2. Frank Baldwin and Anne Allison
  3. pp. 1-10
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  1. 1 Demography as Destiny: Falling Birthrates and the Allure of a Blended Society
  2. Sawako Shirahase
  3. pp. 11-35
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  1. 2 Precarity and Hope: Social Connectedness in Postcapitalist Japan
  2. Anne Allison
  3. pp. 36-57
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  1. 3 Risk and Consequences: The Changing Japanese Employment Paradigm
  2. Machiko Osawa, Jeff Kingston
  3. pp. 58-86
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  1. 4 The Future of Gender in Japan: Work/Life Balance and Relations between the Sexes
  2. Ayako Kano
  3. pp. 87-109
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  1. 5 After Fukushima: Veto Players and Japanese Nuclear Policy
  2. Jacques E. C. Hymans
  3. pp. 110-138
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  1. 6 Japan’s Megadisaster Challenges: Crisis Management in the Modern Era
  2. William J. Siembieda, Haruo Hayashi
  3. pp. 139-166
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  1. 7 Fiscal Survival and Financial Revival: Possible Futures for the Japanese Economy
  2. Saori N. Katada, Gene Park
  3. pp. 167-188
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  1. 8 Manufacturing in Japan: Factories and National Policy
  2. Takahiro Fujimoto, Frank Baldwin
  3. pp. 189-212
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  1. 9 Integrated Solutions to Complex Problems: Transforming Japanese Science and Technology
  2. Masaru Yarime
  3. pp. 213-235
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  1. 10 Military Cooperation and Territorial Disputes: The Changing Face of Japan’s Security Policy
  2. Hiroshi Nakanishi
  3. pp. 236-260
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  1. 11 Economic and Strategic Leadership in Asia: The Rivalry between China and Japan
  2. Claude Meyer
  3. pp. 261-281
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  1. 12 Possible Futures of Political Leadership: Waiting for a Transformational Prime Minister
  2. pp. 282-303
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  1. 13 State Power versus Individual Freedom: Japan’s Constitutional Past, Present, and Possible Futures
  2. Lawrence Repeta, Colin P. A. Jones
  3. pp. 304-328
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  1. About the Contributors
  2. pp. 329-332
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  1. Index
  2. pp. 333-352
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