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The Abe Experiment and The Future of Japan: Don’t Repeat History

The Abe Experiment and The Future of Japan: Don’t Repeat History
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01 Sep 2020

At the end of August 2020 Shinzo Abe, Japan’s longest-serving Prime Minister, suddenly announced he would shortly retire from politics for health reasons. On 15 September his successor, former cabinet secretary Yoshihide Suga and one of Abe’s  closest allies, announced that the current programme for government (otherwise known as ‘Abenomics’ ) would continue as usual until the national elections due in September 2021.

This event provides a timely reminder of the relevance of Junji Banno’s and Jirō Yamaguchi’s incisive evaluation of the politics of post-war Japan, and in particular the ‘Abe era’ and the disturbing  trajectory of the Abe government contained in The Abe Experiment and the Future of Japan: Don’t Repeat History (ISBN 978-1-898823-21-6), first published in English by Renaissance Books in 2016 (translated by Oxford scholar Arthur Stockwin).

From the Foreword by Jirō Yamaguchi

‘It is now through dialogue with Professor Banno that for the first time I have reached the conviction that man only progresses through understanding failure. Now that the legitimacy of the post-war regime is being shaken as the generation that experienced war departs from the scene, I have come to understand through these dialogues with Professor Banno, in the first place what the post-war regime was really about, and also why it is so important to take it seriously. If the readers of this book come to share this point of view, it will be a great joy for us.’