Normalizing Japan: Politics, Identity, and the Evolution of Security Practice

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Author: Hugo Dobson
Date: Spring 2009
From: Pacific Affairs(Vol. 82, Issue 1)
Publisher: The University of British Columbia - Pacific Affairs
Document Type: Book review
Length: 723 words
Lexile Measure: 1420L

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NORMALIZING JAPAN: Politics, Identity, and the Evolution of Security Practice. By Andrew L. Oros. Stanford: Stanford University Press, 2008. xvii, 282 pp. (Tables.) US$60.00, cloth. ISBN 978-0-8047-0029-0.

There have been a number of changes in Japan's security policies over the last two decades since the end of the Cold War that have commanded attention and excited imaginations: participation in United Nations peacekeeping operations and the US-led "war on terror," the strengthening of the alliance with the United States and commitment to develop missile defense systems, and the upgrading of the Japan Defense Agency to the Ministry of Defense, to name but a few. A number of studies have focused on these events and added to our understanding of where these changes might be leading Japan, with normalization of Japan's military or resurgent nationalism often being stressed. In contrast, this nuanced contribution to the debate by Andrew Oros argues that reports of the death of antimilitarist sentiments in Japan have been greatly exaggerated.

"At the turn of the new century Japan faces not only a new domestic demographic and political composition,...

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Gale Document Number: GALE|A198475547