Japan’s border issues

IwashitaGeoffrey C. Gunn has a new book review published at the JCA publisher’s website. In it, he reviews Akihiro Iwashita’s Japan’s Border Issues: Pitfalls and Prospects (DOI: 10.1080/00472336.2016.1148189).

Based upon an earlier Japanese-language edition, this book, by an established expert on Sino-Russian border issues, Gunn states that this translation:

seeks to reach a broader international audience in this translation from the original Japanese. Through an interrogation of the three major territorial issues besetting Japan and its neighbours, namely, those of the Northern Territories/Southern Kuril Islands; Takeshima/Takdo and Senkaku/Diaoyu, the author also seeks to bring to the fore the potential role of regional and local actors in reaching solutions. In doing so, he chastises the Japanese government and public for their lack of awareness and inadequacy at handling the border issues.

Yet the translation required extra work, revising the manuscript, researching the international literature on boundary issues and adding a new Introduction that sets out the author’s critical framework, combining history, economics, anthropology and more to analyse borders and borderlands.

Gunn concludes that this is a “fluid translation” and that Iwashita provides “a rare dispassionate voice” on Japan’s territorial issues. The book is, he says, “an entirely useful guide for interpreting domestic Japanese and, to a lesser extent, Korean and Chinese narratives and discourses on the subject, [and] … Japan’s 70-year stalemate over the Northern Territories issue…”.

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