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A Fragile Balance Between ‘Normalization’ And The Revival Of Nationalistic Sentiments

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Chapter Summary

This chapter describes the healing process that the society has undergone in order to regain Japanese identity, from the drastic trauma of the defeat and the occupation, and recent tendencies of what one may call the 'Japanization of Japan', as strange as that may sound. It lists some of the main public debates and recent parliamentary decisions in order to determine whether Japan is leaning politically towards the right whether one call it 'normalization' or 'reactionary'. The chapter emphasizes that Japan finds itself at the threshold of a fragile balance between its determination to become a normal state, freed from the shadows of the defeat and the occupation, and the revival of nationalistic sentiments, which might lead to the post-modern democratic totalitarian state, a more unified and intolerant society under the name of democracy. It presents a selection of relevant events that occurred, one after another, since the late 1990s.

Keywords: fragile balance; Japanese identity; nationalistic sentiments; normalization



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