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Surak, Kristin (2020) 'Japan: Land of the Rising Right.' In: Vormann, Boris and Weinman, Michael, (eds.), The Emergence of Illiberalism: Understanding a Global Phenomenon. London: Routledge.

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This chapter explores the political developments in Japan under Shinzo Abe and the lessons they may hold for Brexit Britain, as well as renationalization tendencies elsewhere. Abenomics, a combination of monetary easing, fiscal stimulus, and structural reform, aimed to lift inflation to 2% and produce a virtuous cycle of business expansion and consumer spending, but has seen only limited success. Despite relatively low unemployment numbers, inequality has grown substantially, with Japan now one of the most unequal countries in the OECD. Under the pressures of a volatile international system, and a fraught Japanese-US relationship, Abe’s Japan has reasserted nationalistic policies. Abe’s legislative record, pushed through fast-track legislative powers he has demanded, is reminiscent of illiberal developments elsewhere: the erosion of freedom of the press, the turn to militarization, the circumvention of institutional checks, and the use of security laws to squelch opposition. Meanwhile, through allies in civil society, right-wing revisionist forces are reasserting the centrality of the emperor to the nation, calling for greater pride and sovereignty in Japan and seeking to reinstitute traditional family values.

Item Type: Book Chapters
SOAS Departments & Centres: Departments and Subunits > Department of Politics & International Studies
ISBN: 9780367366261
DOI (Digital Object Identifier):
Date Deposited: 19 May 2020 09:41

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