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Japan R. Taggart Murphy

Japan

R. Taggart Murphy

Published
ISBN : 9780199846009
Paperback
400 pages
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 About the Book 

Though Japans trend-setting pop culture often attracts the attention of the international community, the state of its economy and political sphere has not been on the mind of the world for decades. A quarter-century ago, Tokyos stock exchange wasMoreThough Japans trend-setting pop culture often attracts the attention of the international community, the state of its economy and political sphere has not been on the mind of the world for decades. A quarter-century ago, Tokyos stock exchange was even bigger than New Yorks, and the Japanese industrial juggernaut was thought to be unsurpassable. Now, Japan is seen as a has-been with a sluggish economy, an aging population, dysfunctional politics, and a business landscape dominated by yesterdays champions. Though it is supposed to be Americas strongest ally in the Asia-Pacific region, it has almost entirely disappeared from the American radar screen.In Japan: What Everyone Needs to Know(r), R. Taggart Murphy argues that Japan remains an important global power today. Murphy concedes that Japan has indeed been out of sight and out of mind in recent decades, but he argues that this is already changing. Political and economic developments in Japan today risk upheaval in the pivotal arena of Northeast Asia- Murphy argues that parallels with Europe on the eve of the First World War are not misplaced. Americas half-completed effort to remake Japan in the late 1940s is unraveling and, he says, the American foreign policy and defense establishment is directly culpable for what has happened.Murphy traces the roots of these events far back into Japanese history and makes the argument that the seeming exception of the vitality of its pop culture to the countrys supposed malaise is no exception at all- rather, it provides critical clues to what is going on now. He shares insights into everything from Japans politics and economics to the texture of daily life, gender relations, the changing business landscape, and both popular and high culture. He places particular emphasis on the story of the fraught, quasi-pathological relationship between the United States and Japan, arguing that it is central to understanding Japan today-and to the prospects for continued American global hegemon