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David Williams

For David Williams's latest contributions to The Japan Times, see below:

| Dec 23, 2001

Japan well-served by 'soft power' strategy

Japan’s International Relations: Politics, Economics and Security, by Glenn D. Hook, Julie Gilson, Christopher W. Hughes and Hugo Dobson. London & New York, Routledge, 2001, 532 pp. $32.95 (paper). Problem child, kingmaker and political gadfly, Ichiro Ozawa has long been one of the most ...

Jul 1, 2001

Nakasone as No. 1 reformer

JAPANESE EDUCATION REFORM: Nakasone’s Legacy, by Christopher P. Hood. London and New York: Sheffield Centre for Japanese Studies/Routledge, 2001. 222 pp., 50 UK pounds (cloth). When neoconservatism was riding high, a leftwing cartoonist drew a pastiche of Edward Hopper’s famous painting of a sad ...

Jan 8, 2001

Revisionists open a front in China

NORTH CHINA AND JAPANESE EXPANSION, 1933-1937: Regional Power and the National Interest, by Marjorie Dryburgh. Richmond, Surrey: Curzon, 2000, 249 pp., 50 pounds (cloth). China is not only the world’s most populous nation, but it is also one of the largest. In territorial reach, ...

Dec 26, 2000

A moral beacon in Japan's darkest days

YANAIHARA TADAO AND JAPANESE COLONIAL EMPIRE: Redeeming Empire, by Susan C. Townsend. Richmond, Surrey: Curzon, 2000, 296 pp., 50 British pounds (cloth). Scholarship can be a dangerous vocation. The ideological witch-hunt against Tadao Yanaihara, holder of the prewar chair of colonial policy at Tokyo ...

Oct 24, 2000

Revealing the nation one grain at a time

THE POLITICS OF AGRICULTURE IN JAPAN, by Aurelia George Mulgan. London & New York: Routledge, 2000, 856 pp.,82 British pounds/$125 (cloth). In 1890, a young German academic agreed to evaluate a survey of landowners in the German provinces east of the Elbe River. Overcoming ...

Jul 13, 2000

It's Karl Marx vs. Jackie Chan, and the old, fat guy wins

CITY ON FIRE: Hong Kong Cinema, by Lisa Odham Stokes and Michael Hoover. London: Verso, Sept. 1999, 372 pp., $22 (paper). It began as a buzzing, multicultural confusion. The year is 1909. Hong Kong’s cinema is born with a silent effort titled “Stealing the ...

Jun 20, 2000

U.S. pays the price for its empire

BLOWBACK: The Costs and Consequences of American Empire, by Chalmers Johnson. New York: Metropolitan Books, 2000, 268 pp., $26 (cloth). Is it time for the United States to withdraw from its empire? “America,” “withdrawal,” “empire”: three words, three controversies. Tell me how you define ...

May 2, 2000

'The gooks from Gardena' go to war

FROM PEARL HARBOR TO SAIGON: Japanese-American Soldiers and the Vietnam War, by Toshio Whelchel. London & New York: Verso, 1999, 203 pp., three maps, 12 photos, 16.20 British pounds (cloth). At last, a simple but moving book about the violent soul of America that ...

Apr 12, 2000

Fingleton deflates the New Economy

IN PRAISE OF HARD INDUSTRIES: Why Manufacturing, Not the Information Technology, Is the Key to Future Prosperity, by Eamonn Fingleton. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Company, 1999, 273 pp., $26 (cloth). A 24-year-old Englishman with a ponytail waltzed into the offices of a London venture-capital company ...

Jan 18, 2000

Southeast Asia: creature of Japan?

THE SPECTRE OF COMPARISONS: Nationalism, Southeast Asia and the World, by Benedict Anderson. London: Verso, 1999, 374 pp., 13.00 British pounds (paper). The Japanese invented Southeast Asia. This is just one of the pieces of intellectual dynamite that Benedict Anderson tosses into the reader’s ...