With an author’s Foreword written on the day that the Abe cabinet decided to ‘revise the Japanese Constitution by reinterpretation’ (Tuesday, 1 July 2014), this timely examination of Japan’s post-war history by two leading historians committed to democratic politics is highly instructive and prompts serious reflection by anyone concerned with the future of Japan. Originally published in Japan by Iwanami Shinsho, The Abe Experiment and the Future of Japan, records a wide-ranging dialogue between two eminent Japanese scholars – Junji Banno, a political historian, and Jir? Yamaguchi, a political scientist – regarding Japan’s modern political history. The focus of the conversation is on what they perceive as disturbing parallels between the 1930s and the recent policy trajectory of the Abe government, in which relations with Japan’s immediate neighbours have seriously deteriorated. The translation is by the distinguished Oxford scholar and author Arthur Stockwin, formerly Director of the Nissan Institute.