In his latest work, and ironically at a time when the Japanese Prime Minister’s future is in question, Gavan McCormack argues that whilst Shinzo Abe’s efforts to re-engineer the Japanese state may fail, his radicalism and various attempts to shake up the country will have consequences which are not easy to predict.
The author spoke about his previous formulations of Japan as a construction state (doken kokka), client state (zokkoku), constitutional pacifist state, and colonial state (especially in its relationship to Okinawa). He also addressed his latest concerns about what he refers to as the ‘Rampant State’, manifested by the increasingly authoritarian, or ikkyō (one strong), turn of the Abe government in the sixth year of its second term. He concluded with a critical analysis of the Abe agenda for constitutional revision.
McCormack, known for his outspoken views on Japan’s post-war governments, in particular regarding policies affecting the fate and future of Okinawa, will also express his hope that the significance of his new book will contribute to the current discourse on Japan’s future place in the world, and will be of value to those researching contemporary world politics, international relations and the history of modern Japan.
The State of the Japanese State: Contested Identity, Direction and Role was on sale for £35 (RRP £65)
A video of the book launch can be found here:
About the contributors
Gavan McCormack is Emeritus Professor, School of Culture, History and Language, College of Asia and the Pacific, The Australian National University. In 2008 he was jointly awarded (on behalf of Japan Focus) Ryukyu Shimpo’s Inaugural Ikemiyagi Shui prize for the promotion of international understanding of Okinawan issues. His published works (including translated and edited volumes) are numerous. In 2007, he published Client State: Japan in the American Embrace, and most recently (2018), co-authored, with Satoko Oka Norimatsu, the second, revised, paperback edition of Resistant Islands: Okinawa versus Japan and the United States.
Arthur Stockwin, holds a Ph.D. in International Relations from the Australian National University, Canberra. From 1964 -1981 he taught in the Department of Political Science at the Australian National University. In 1982 he returned to the United Kingdom, becoming the Nissan Professor of Modern Japanese Studies, and Director of the Nissan Institute of Japanese Studies, at Oxford University. He retired in 2003, but has continued to be active in research and writing, largely on matters relating to Japan. His publications include: Governing Japan (4th ed. 2008), and Rethinking Japan: The Politics of Contested Nationalism, with Kweku Ampiah, (2017).