BLACK STAR OVER JAPAN: Rising Forces of Militarism by Albert Axelbank

BLACK STAR OVER JAPAN: Rising Forces of Militarism

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KIRKUS REVIEW

A short if anxious warning -- militaristic energies are once again coursing in Japan. Axelbank, a western journalist who has lived in Japan since 1959, points to the signposts: the increasing strength of the Self-Defense Forces, the rapid growth of the country's armaments industry, the close ties between the weapons manufacturers and the conservative ruling party, the rise of ultra-nationalist and fascist groups (including the one inspired by the writer Mishima who killed himself -- a hara-kiri suicide -- to further the movement), open expression of the old feeling of Japanese racial superiority (the Chinese are still the enemy), the relative weakness of the leftist parties, the refusal of the American government to bring pressure on Japanese leaders to enforce the ""pacifist clause"" of the 1947 Constitution, and the more frequently heard talk of Japan's right to nuclear bombs. This sort of fright list is not new, and it should be stressed that Axelbank makes no pretense at objectivity. Yet it would be wrong to dismiss his book as mere alarmism or agit-prop from the international left -- there is a disturbing, accretive logic to what Axelbank is saying.

Pub Date: Nov. 1st, 1972
Publisher: Hill & Wang