Creativity and Contradiction in Japan's Global Engagement, 1933-1964
University of Hawaii Press 2015
Jessamyn R. Abel's new book carefully traces the rise and transformations of an internationalist worldview in modern Japan, from its withdrawal from the League of Nations and admission into the UN, to successive attempts (both failed and successful) to host the Olympics in Tokyo, to important wartime and postwar conferences in Tokyo and Indonesia. The International Minimum: Creativity and Contradiction in Japan's Global Engagement, 1933-1964 (University of Hawaii Press, 2015) brings these moments together into a cohesive story that tracks change and continuity in the history of international relations and/in Japan over the course of the twentieth century. Abel's book is a fascinating historical account that also helps us to think about and understand the upcoming 2020 Summer Olympic and Paralympic Games to be held in Tokyo.