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With the election of the Abe Government in December 2012, Japanese politics has entered a radically new phase they describe as the “2012 Political System.” The system began with the return to power of the Liberal Democratic Party (LDP), after three years in opposition, but in a much stronger electoral position than previous LDP-based administrations in earlier decades. Moreover, with the decline of previously endemic intra-party factionalism, the LDP has united around an essentially nationalist agenda never absent from the party’s ranks, but in the past was generally blocked, or modified, by factions of more liberal persuasion. Opposition weakness following the severe defeat of the Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ) administration in 2012 has also enabled the Abe Government to establish a political stability largely lacking since the 1990s.
In this book, Professor Arthur Stockwin and Dr Kweku Ampiah ask how far right wing trends in Japan exhibit common causality with shifts to the right in the United States, Europe and elsewhere. They argue that although in Japan immigration has been a relatively minor factor, economic stagnation, demographic decline, a sense of regional insecurity in the face of challenges from China and North Korea, and widening gaps in life chances, bear comparison with trends elsewhere. Nevertheless, they maintain that “[a] more sane regional future may be possible in East Asia.”
Professor Arthur Stockwin is Emeritus Fellow of St. Antony’s College and the Nissan Institute of Japanese Studies, University of Oxford. His publications include Dictionary of the Modern Politics of Japan (Routledge, 2003), and Governing Japan (Wiley-Blackwell, 2008). Professor Stockwin is joint General Editor (with Roger Goodman) of the Nissan Institute/Routledge Japanese Studies series. In 2004, he received The Order of the Rising Sun from the Japanese Government in recognition of his tireless efforts to promote Japanese Studies in the UK.
Dr Kweku Ampiah is a lecturer in Japanese Studies in the Department of East Asian Studies, University of Leeds. His research interests include Japan and China’s Relations with Africa, Post-War Japanese Diplomacy and International Relations and International Political Economy. He has published widely in these fields including two books, ‘The Political and Moral Imperatives of the Bandung Conference of 1955’ (Global Oriental Ltd, 2007) and ‘The Dynamics of Japan’s Relations with Africa: South Africa, Tanzania and Nigeria’ (Routledge; 1 edition 1997).