Japan's Quiet Transformation
Social Change and Civil Society in 21st Century Japan
Routledge – 2004 – 384 pages
Series: Asia's Transformations
The 1990s have been termed as 'Japan's lost decade' to describe how the phenomenal growth in the Japanese economy ground to a halt and the country was crippled by enormous and ongoing political, economic and social problems. In responding to these unprecedented difficulties, wide-ranging reforms have been adopted including NPO, information disclosure and judicial reform legislation. Controversially, this book argues that such reforms are creating a more robust civil society and demonstrate that Japan is far more dynamic than is generally recognized.
'Kingston has provided a well researched and also readable synthesis of developments in Japan since the collapse of the bubble economy in 1989….The fact that Kingston happens to be a rare example of an academician who can combine sound analysis with entertaining prose makes it possible to recommend this book to just about anyone interested in contemporary Japan.' - International Herald Tribune
Part 1 1. The Lost Decade 2. Information Disclosure 3. Building Civil Society: NPOs and Judicial Reform 4. Rogues and Riches 5. Downsizing the Construction State Part 2 6. Bad Blood 7. Dignity Denied 8. Mad Cows and Ocean Cockroaches Part 3 9. Nationalism 10. Social Transformations: Gender, Family, Work and Demographic Trends
Jeff Kingston is Professor of History and Director of Asian Studies at Temple University Japan, and has written over 200 book reviews for Japan Times.