The “international minimum” refers to the minimal level of international engagement needed for a nation to take root and become part of contemporary global norms. Diehard internationalists, dedicating themselves to achieving whatever the mutable term “internationalism” means to them, are outside the purview of this well-crafted book. Jessamyn Abel illuminates how Japanese foreign policy specialists, politicians, intellectuals, and journalists searched relentlessly for such a “minimal” bond between the 1930s and the 1960s. Following Akira Iriye, Thomas Burkman, Frederick Dickinson, and a growing school of scholars in Japan, she makes an important contribution to the scholarship that explores the continuity of Japan's globalism. But this is a contribution with a twist. Instead of portraying interwar internationalism as a glimmer of hope, she tells a cautionary tale of how the noble doctrines of mutual benefit were used and abused for the purposes of imperial aggression, selfish economic gain, and self-aggrandizement (pp. 8,...

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