This book offers a useful and extensive account of Japan’s past discoveries and present interactions with Muslim states and societies across Asia. Bearing in mind the U.S.-led global meta-narrative of Islam spoken in tandem with security and threats, this book examines how this reconciles with Japan’s self-proclaimed “values-based” approach to diplomacy across Asia in the twenty-first century. The author considers Japan’s historic conceptualization and learning of Islam, and its acute needs for access to markets and energy from Muslim-majority states in Asia. He also argues that Japan securitizes Islam in a manner distinct from Western, Russian, or Chinese securitization today, but that Japan promotes itself as a model for human security and development across an Asia inclusive of Muslim states. Japan’s approach to Islam and Muslim societies today offers much from which other great powers can learn.
B. Bryan Barber is Research Fellow at the Mohsin and Fauzia Jaffer Center for Muslim World Studies, Florida International University, USA, and Teaching Fellow at the Center for Preparatory Studies, Nazarbayev University, Kazakhstan.