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  • Author: Linus Hagström
  • Publication Date: 09-2012
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: International Relations of the Asia-Pacific
  • Institution: Japan Association of International Relations
  • Abstract: How to understand Japan's identity is one of the most enduring themes in research on the country's international relations. In the past few years, there has been an increase in the number of theoretically innovative analyses, which go beyond, and problematize, the alleged 'peace' identity stipulated by Peter J. Katzenstein (1996) and Thomas U. Berger (1998) in the 1990s. Xavier Guillaume (2011) published a monograph last year, while Alexander Bukh (2010) and Taku Tamaki made one valuable contribution each in 2010. The aim of this article is primarily to review Tamaki's book, but to some extent this is done in light of those other works. Just like Bukh and Guillaume, Tamaki adopts a relational understanding of identity, where the self is defined in opposition to other(s). However, where Bukh analyses the Soviet Union/Russia as Japan's 'other', and Guillaume directs his investigation towards multiculturalism and 'the West', Tamaki's focus is squarely on Japan's relationship with South Korea.
  • Political Geography: Russia, Japan, South Korea, Soviet Union