What Is Japan? Contradictions and Transformations

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What Is Japan? Contradictions and Transformations

By Taichi Sakaiya
Kodansha, 1993
312 pp. $25.00

A former Japanese bureaucrat seeks to "explain" Japan. He argues that the system of administrative guidance is the common factor behind international criticism, dissatisfaction with the quality of life and the pervasive scandals. And he is skeptical about the prospects for reform.

Unfortunately, in such a wide-ranging work, there are only scant and largely euphemistic references to Japan's role in World War II, a fact which does not square with the publisher's claim that this book sets "a new standard of frankness" for books on U.S.-Japanese relations.

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