This chapter examines the impact of non-state actors, particularly NGOs and grassroots social movements, on Japan’s relationship with its Asian neighbours. Drawing on the ideas of Petr Kopecky, Cas Mudde, Alejandro Colás and others, I argue that civil society actors should be seen as constituting a realm whose inequalities are as great, and whose political conflicts are as intense, as those of conventional nation-state politics, and that non-governmental political action needs to be seen as constantly interacting with three other significant spheres of life: the sphere of nation-state politics (encompassing governments, parliaments and bureaucracies etc.); the sphere of the market economy (dominated by large and often transnational corporations); and a very important fourth sphere (“fourth estate”) – the media. I illustrate this by looking at examples including the impact of the revisionist Japan Society for History Textbook Reform, and of various groups which have campaigned for the return of abducted Japanese nationals from North Korea.
|Title of host publication
|Nihon no Gaiko 6: Nihon Gaiko no Saikochiku
|Place of Publication
|Published - 2013