One-Hand Clapping: Japanese Nationalism in the Abe Era

  • Jeff Kingston
Part of the Asia Today book series (ASIAT)


There are numerous signs of a recrudescent nationalism in contemporary Japan, a trend that is elite driven and vigorously promoted by the nation’s political leadership. This is manifested in patriotic education initiatives ranging from textbooks and mandatory flag and anthem veneration, to narratives of denial in the media, manga, and film. Japan’s hardball diplomacy targeting United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) over the comfort women issue is emblematic of just how counterproductive reactionary identity politics is on the world stage. It is striking that such efforts, and the more assertive Abe Doctrine on security, have not gained strong domestic support and are provoking a nationalist backlash in China and South Korea inimical to Japan’s interests.


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jeff Kingston
    • 1
  1. 1.Asian Studies ProgramTemple University JapanTokyoJapan

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