Libmonster ID: U.S.-1381
Author(s) of the publication: Morgana DEVLIN

Over the past year, the world's leading powers have been overwhelmed by the so-called wave of conservatism. In the United States, people like Donald Trump, who is known for his radical right-wing views, are gaining strength for the upcoming November 2016 elections. In France, the party of Marine Le Pen is making some progress. In May 2015, the British Conservatives won an unprecedented victory in the general election.

The East is also not far behind the West, in particular Japan, where the ruling Liberal Democratic Party and Prime Minister Shinzo Abe are confidently succeeding in promoting conservative values. But, of course, Japanese conservatism, like everything Japanese, in principle, has its own shades and unique touches, which are considered and shown in the monograph "Japan: a Conservative Turn "(Moscow, AIRO-XXI, 2015. 280 p.), prepared by a group of leading Russian Japanese scholars under the leadership of the Deputy Director of the Institute of Oriental Studies of the Russian Academy of Sciences, Doctor of Historical Sciences E. V. Molodyakova.

Japanese conservatism, like any other phenomenon, has its roots. It is no coincidence that the monograph opens with the chapter "The Faces of Japanese Conservatism: Past and Present", written by V. E. Molodyakov, Doctor of Political Science (pp. 49-64). In it, the author examines not only the origins and origins of conservatism in the usual sense in Japan, but also gives readers an idea of its disparity, various conservative trends and trends in Japanese power circles, the establishment and society.

V. E. Molodyakov shows the facets of Japanese conservatism from the " romance of national nostalgia "(p.53) to" radical nationalism " (p. 62), a phenomenon that has remained in history and is now not widely used. The author examines in detail the origin and evolution of" liberal conservatism " in Meiji Japan, which is important for understanding the current situation of conservatives: it is not for nothing that the main conservative party in this country is called the Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) . V. E. Molodyakov identifies the so-called internal LDP factions, i.e. internal party groups that influence today's politics to one degree or another Cabinet and Prime Minister Abe.

The" historical background "is continued by the project manager E. V. Molodyakova in the chapter" The path to total victory of the Japanese Conservatives "(pp. 66-88), where she shows the history of the formation of the LDP in the post-war period. At the same time, the processes of forming the LDP opposition, first the socialist and then the democratic forces, parties and coalitions are considered.

The author pays special attention to other political parties of the modern right-wing conservative type, in particular, the Japanese Renaissance Party (first Isin - no Kai, after-Isin-no To) and one of its leaders - Hashimoto Toru, a "new generation" politician who radically does not correspond to the traditional image of a Japanese politician and statesman. Such attention is justified and even necessary for understanding the processes taking place among Japanese conservatives. Moreover, Shinzo Abe finds an ally in Hashimoto on "right-wing "and even to some extent" nationalist " issues. In particular, on the issue of revising the Constitution and the famous Article 9, according to which Japan renounces war as a sovereign right of the nation and, therefore, the right to have armed forces, which is a sore point for Japanese society. It is this article that has been a stumbling block in Japanese society for many years. And despite the fact that Japan has some de facto self-defense forces, conservatives and, in particular, Abe want to consolidate this right in the main document.

E. V. Molodyakova, rightly attributing the LDP's success in the 2014 elections to Abe himself (p. 83), gives an idea of what this prime minister is like-

page 73

the minister who is now at the" helm " of Japan. The identity of Shinzo Abe, the grandson of the "war criminal" and former Prime Minister Kishi Nobusuke, really deserves detailed consideration. Because now it is Abe who is actually the face of Japanese conservatism, if not to say nationalism, with which Western media like to frighten their readers.

The last, 11th, chapter of the monograph "Shinzo Abe's Reflections on a Beautiful and Renewed Japan" (pp. 258-274) is also devoted to the personality of Prime Minister Abe, in which Ph. D. M. P. Gerasimova presents a certain" internal "ideology of the Prime Minister, in particular, reflected in his book" On the Way to a beautiful country."

At first glance, it seems that nationalism and even "Japanese militarism"are the same thing.

The Country of the Rising Sun is gaining momentum again, and not without the explicit help of Prime Minister Abe. What is the cost of his and cabinet members ' visits to the Yasukuni Shrine, which regularly draws the ire of Japan's neighbors in the region (in particular, Beijing and Seoul) and the hysteria of Western publications. However, such an examination of the problem is often cursory and, to a certain extent, propagandistic in nature. The author offers the reader a deep understanding of these problems and processes.

Of great interest is the detailed chapter on the economic policy of the Japanese government in the second half of the XX - beginning of the XXI centuries, written by Doctor of Economics I. L. Timonina (pp. 89-111). The author gives a holistic view of the development of the Japanese infrastructure sector, which allows us to better understand the famous "abenomics" - the economic doctrine of Prime Minister Abe, on which the LDP makes the main bet in its political program.

A detailed analysis of the agricultural sector (pp. 112-1140), given by S. B. Markaryan, Doctor of Economics, is interesting to show what changes the modern Japanese village is undergoing, which historically was in the status of an "internal colony". However, despite the reforms planned by the Cabinet, the author does not give optimistic forecasts about the development of the agricultural sector (p.140).

Dr. I. P. Lebedeva shows in her monograph that the Liberal Democrats ' policy in the field of social security can be assessed as a continuation of the neoconservative course that was adopted in the early 1990s, but with certain new accents.

The monograph also covers the problems of education, as well as the urgent issue of history textbooks (p. 171). Candidate of Historical Sciences S. A. Polkhov presents an informative analysis of the social and educational sphere. And this is especially relevant, because the issue of awareness of the historical past is one of the key issues on the current agenda of Japanese society, since it is inextricably linked with issues of national identity and patriotism. As already mentioned, the Cabinet and Prime Minister Abe personally are often accused of "nationalist bias." Nevertheless, the educational reforms of the current Japanese leadership are more conservative than nationalistic.

However, the neighbors of the Land of the Rising Sun, united with it by a common and rather tragic history (we are talking, first of all, about the colonial rule of Japan), do not always interpret the intentions and actions of the Japanese government in this way, seeing them as a threat to themselves. This is especially true of China and South Korea, whose relations with Japan are discussed in the 7th chapter of the monograph (p.182-199), written by V. A. Grinyuk, Ph. D. in Historical Sciences, and in the 8th (p. 200 - 218) by E. L. Katasonova, Ph. D. in Historical Sciences.

The complex diplomatic relations between these countries, complicated by many regional, territorial and historical problems, are discussed here in great detail. As well as the prospects for their stabilization, which allows us to hope for the foreign policy of Shinzo Abe, who at the end of last year did a lot to resolve this situation. In particular, in November 2015, agreements were reached between Tokyo, Beijing and Seoul to resume the practice of trilateral summits*. They were discontinued for some time, but will be held again this year, which will help the cooperation of partners in the region.-

The issue of Japan's national security is also problematic for Japan's diplomacy, stemming from the same Article 9 of the Constitution and Prime Minister Abe's desire to revise it. The course of the Japanese government towards changes in this sphere is discussed in detail by O. A. Dobrinskaya, PhD, in the 10th chapter of the monograph (pp. 236-257).

The collective monograph "Japan: a Conservative Turn" is useful for anyone who is interested not only in Japan itself, but also, in general, in the current problems of modern politics, economics and ideology, their origins and prerequisites. The monograph may also be of interest to those who study conservatism, since the Japanese phenomenon of this current of thought is certainly unique.

Morgana DEVLIN, publicist and historian


* The Japanese Times. 02.01.2016.


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