This is a thoughtful argument by a noted British specialist on Japan who wants the country to stop being a "reactive" state concerned about equality with the United States and to take more initiatives on behalf of strengthening world order. His specific recommendation is that Japan should become the champion of the United Nations and give priority in its foreign policy to the objectives of strengthening the U.N. security system and the international rule of law. There is much to be said for a number of the author's propositions -- especially that Japan needs to take a more proactive stance in world affairs. But the book is flawed by an excessive faith in the United Nations and an equally excessive suspicion of the United States. He seems to believe that the principal task facing the world is the taming of American power rather than of the most ruthless members of the international system.
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