Asian Survey: “Japan in 2021: COVID-19 (Again), the Olympics, and a New Administration”

My latest journal article … an analysis of politics, economics, and foreign policy during Japan’s very challenging 2021… has just been published in the latest issue of the peer-reviewed journal Asian Survey.

Below, please find a suggested citation, link to a freely-downloadable PDF, and the article abstract:

  • Abstract: For Japan in 2021, COVID-19-related disruption was again the dominant storyline. Its impact transcended societal consequences to affect Japan’s economy, politics, and foreign affairs. It frustrated Japan’s economic recovery and, for the second time in as many years, contributed to a prime minister’s premature resignation. Yet the year also witnessed major positive developments, including the “2020” Tokyo Olympics/Paralympics; an (eventually) successful vaccine rollout; public health outcomes vastly better than those of any other G7 member; an expected return to economic growth; and a smooth national election. On October 31, new prime minister Kishida Fumio led the ruling LDP–Komeito coalition into Japan’s first general election since 2017. Despite losing a few seats, it retained a comfortable lower-house majority, ensuring that a subplot for Japan in 2021 was—again—relative continuity in national politics and foreign affairs.