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When the Japanese economy was on the rise, as it was in the 1980s, it was often suggested that the Japanese way of doing things was culturally unique and inherently superior. The apparent success of the Japanese approach to issues such as capitalist development, organizational management, decision-making, and education was frequently heralded both inside and outside of Japan. Having endured the collapse of the bubble economy, and the long economic and demographic stagnation of the 1990s, the Japanese are now more sanguine about the prospects for their country in the new millennium. The author, one of the leading political scientists in Japan, offers a somber analysis and assessment of Japanese politics during two critical recent periods, 1983-1993 and 1994-2004. Japanese Politics examines the incremental and yet steady change which has occurred in Japanese domestic politics and foreign policy. Japan is now replacing its old policies and adopting a more pro-active outlook. [via]