Nationalism and the Three Arrows – The Conservative Activism of Japan’s Shinzo Abe

Professor Joel Campbell of Troy University discusses the political history of Japan and how the Abe Government’s proclivity for nationalism and their Three Arrows economic strategy are affecting the nation.

In his Featured Presentation at The Asian Conference on Business and Public Policy 2014 (ACBPP2014), Dr Joel Campbell of Troy University discusses the political history of Japan and how the new Abe Government’s proclivity for nationalism and their economic strategies are affecting the nation.

The resurrection of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is one of the more remarkable stories of recent Japanese politics. Putting together a well-organised campaign and taking advantage of public anxieties over slow growth and the perceived Chinese strategic threat, Abe’s Liberal Democrats crushed the Democratic Party government in the December, 2012 election. Abe’s Three Arrows economic policy has brought about a sudden economic revival, though his third arrow has not been fully articulated. Abe’s pronounced nationalism was downplayed in his first year, but has been increasingly emphasised in his second year, as Japan has dramatically upgraded its defense posture and rethought its defense philosophy, especially the concept of “collective defense.”

Dr Campbell’s presentation puts forward the notion of punctuated equilibrium as an explanation for the political return of Abe, and suggests that Abe has internalised the political lessons of his predecessor Junichiro Koizumi.

Dr Joel Campbell

Joel Campbell is an Associate Professor of Political Science in the Pacific Region (Japan and Korea) of the Global Campus program of Troy University, a United States University in Japan. He teaches in the Masters of Science in International Relations (MSIR) program and has had a life-long interest in East Asia and International Politics. Dr Campbell was born in Ohio, grew up in Texas, and has lived in Arizona, Missouri and Tennessee. He was awarded a doctorate in political science from Miami University (Ohio), and a Masters of Public Affairs (MPA) from the Lyndon B. Johnson School of Public Affairs at the University of Texas at Austin. Following this he worked in several governmental offices, including the Texas House Speaker’s office and the Tennessee Valley Authority.

Dr Campbell has taught at Tohoku University, Miyazaki International College and Kansai Gaidai University in Japan, three universities in Korea as well as previously being an editor for a Japanese securities firm. He has also published extensively on his principal research interests, the politics and political economy of Northeast Asia, along with technology policy and international security. Dr Campbell has written numerous articles for academic journals on topics ranging from combating terrorism and money laundering to European Union economic integration and technology policy. The bulk of his publications have focused on the politics and political economy of East Asia, especially in Japan, South Korea and China. Dr Campbell is also a contributor to IAFOR's, THINK.

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