Special Duty

Special Duty

A History of the Japanese Intelligence Community

The prewar history of the Japanese intelligence community demonstrates how having power over much, but insight into little can have devastating consequences. Its postwar history—one of limited Japanese power despite growing insight—has also been problematic for national security.

In Special Duty Richard J. Samuels dissects the fascinating history of the intelligence community in Japan. Looking at the impact of shifts in the strategic environment, technological change, and past failures, he probes the reasons why Japan has endured such a roller-coaster ride when it comes to intelligence gathering and analysis, and concludes that the ups and downs of the past century—combined with growing uncertainties in the regional security environment—have convinced Japanese leaders of the critical importance of striking balance between power and insight.  Using examples of excessive hubris and debilitating bureaucratic competition before the Asia-Pacific War, the unavoidable dependence on US assets and popular sensitivity to security issues after World War II, and the tardy adoption of image-processing and cyber technologies, Samuels' bold book highlights the century-long history of Japan's struggles to develop a fully functioning and effective intelligence capability, and makes clear that Japanese leaders have begun to reinvent their nation's intelligence community.

Richard J. Samuels

Richard J. Samuels is Ford International Professor of Political Science and Director of the Center for International Studies at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and Einstein Visiting Fellow at the Free University of Berlin. His books have won prizes from the American Political Science Association, the Association for Asian Studies, and the Society for Italian Historical Studies. His most recent book is 3.11: Disaster and Change in Japan. Follow him on Twitter @dicksamuelsMIT.


3.11
Disaster and Change in Japan
Richard J. Samuels
In 3.11, Richard Samuels offers the first broad scholarly assessment of the disaster's impact on Japan's government and society.



Securing Japan
Tokyo's Grand Strategy and the Future of East Asia
Richard J. Samuels
The definitive assessment of Japanese security policy and its implications for the future of East Asia.



Machiavelli's Children
Leaders and Their Legacies in Italy and Japan
Richard J. Samuels
Two late-developing nations, Japan and Italy, similarly obsessed with achieving modernity and with joining the ranks of the great powers, have traveled parallel courses with very different national identities.



"Rich Nation, Strong Army"
National Security and the Technological Transformation of Japan
Richard J. Samuels
Since World War II, Japan has become not only a model producer of high-tech consumer goods, but also-despite minimal spending on defense-a leader in innovative technology with both military and civilian...



"Rich Nation, Strong Army"
National Security and the Technological Transformation of Japan
Richard J. Samuels
Since World War II, Japan has become not only a model producer of high-tech consumer goods, but also-despite minimal spending on defense-a leader in innovative technology with both military and civilian...



3.11
Disaster and Change in Japan
Richard J. Samuels
In 3.11, Richard Samuels offers the first broad scholarly assessment of the disaster's impact on Japan's government and...



Securing Japan
Tokyo's Grand Strategy and the Future of East Asia
Richard J. Samuels
The definitive assessment of Japanese security policy and its implications for the future of East...











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