The growth rate of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in the Asia-Pacific region greatly surpasses the world average. When the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) is better realized, then the world’s largest free trade zone will be firmly established. It seems that this region has a very rosy outlook indeed; however, this region also faces a large number of serious problems such as: atomic energy in Japan, conflicts about East Asian regional integration, the decline of the Japanese Official Development Assistance (ODA), and the TPP’s possible impact on the Japanese universal health insurance system. We now face a possible Sino-Japanese military conflict concerning the Senkaku Islands (or Diaoyutai Islands). In short, the Asia-Pacific region has both a rosy future and the potential influence from unstable and dangerous elements at work within the region at present. The main purpose of this collection is to analyze historical development, whilst looking at the contemporary situation of Japan from interdisciplinary perspectives. This book asks three major questions: (1) Is this really globalization? (2) What are Japan’s relations with other Asian countries? (3) Do U.S.-Japan relations still matter?
Fourteen leading scholars in their fields answer these questions from a variety of interdisciplinary perspectives.