Vol. 21, No. 2 (1994)
This special issue of Social Justice begins a dialogue with our Japanese counterparts and other scholars interested in this dynamic part of the world. Interest in and understanding of Japan among Western thinkers has failed to keep pace with its importance not only in today's world, but also for the coming century, when Japan, China, and Asia generally will take on an increasingly central role in world affairs. This collection of articles broaches issues of great importance from the perspective of world power and from the standpoint of human rights, gender and ethic relations, quality of life, and the sense of personal security in the everyday lives of the Japanese people. Contributors address Japan's prospects for the 21st century given changing international conditions and the internal social pressures corresponding to post-Cold War political realities and the sustained recession in the previously buoyant Japanese economy. Among these strains are the collapse of the political system that was centered, since 1955, around the Liberal Democratic Party; the challenge to the policy of lifelong employment for the core male work force; the increase in illegal immigration, with Japan's wealth serving as a magnet for other nationals seeking living wages; and the possibility for increased delinquency, deviance, and protest among the younger generation. Most of these articles are available for the first time to English-language readers. We believe this issue is a timely offering that provides the reader with a critical appraisal of Japanese social realities and serves as a useful antidote to the one-sided, conflictual approach taken by successive administrations in Washington.