Yatsuhiro Nakagawa

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Yatsuhiro Nakagawa (中川八洋, born January 20, 1945) is a Japanese conservative political philosopher. He is a distinguished professor at University of Tsukuba.

He once served as a science and technology deputy under Prime Minister Noboru Takeshita.[1]


He has written several books in the field of international relations, such as an evaluation of geopolitics, Halford Mackinder, and Nicholas J. Spykman. He perceives Japan to have developed a successful welfare system.

He is a subscriber to the philosophy of Edmund Burke, who he regards as the antithesis of Rousseau. He considers Rousseau to be the father of modern European philosophy (Kant, Hegel, Marx, Darwin, etc.). He is the author of many critiques and evaluations of Marxist-Leninism, the Frankfurt School, postmodernism, postcolonialism, and democracy in general. He notably wrote an early criticism of the concept of gender studies before it had become popular in the Japanese academy.

He regards Akiko Yosano as "the greatest philosopher in Japanese history" and puts her in contrast with modern feminism.

In 2000, Nakagawa wrote a rather surprising book that accused Fumimaro Konoe of responsibility for the Pacific War. It has been through several reprintings. Unlike some other modern conservatives, Nakagawa believes the Pacific War was pointless and cruel.

Works in English[edit]

  • "Japan, the Welfare Super-Power," Journal of Japanese Studies, vol.5, no.1 (Winter 1979), pp. 5–52.
  • “Why Japan Should Let Nuclear Arms In.” Japan Echo vol.7, no. 4 (1980): 99-110
  • The Japanese-style economic system : a new balance between intervention and freedom. Tokyo: Foreign Press Center/Japan, 1981.
  • "The WEPTO Option," Asian Survey, vol.24, no.8 (August 1984), pp. 828–839.
  • "A Study on the Incompatibility of Arms Control with Nuclear Deterrence: Western Security at a Crossroads:Nuclear Deterrence and Arms Control at a Turning Point", International Politics 90 (1989).