Asian studies in Lithuania

Lead by Soft Power: Communication of Country’s Image and Japan

Authors: Zykas, Aurelijus
Published in: Kaunas
Published on: 2017
Publisher: Vitae litera

It seems that Nietzsche was right saying that “All things are enlinked, enlaced and enamoured”. Dr. Aurelijus Zykas, the professor of Vytautas Magnus University and the head of the Centre for Asian Studies during the Vilnius Book Fair 2018 introduced his new monograph Lead by Soft Power: Communication of Country’s Image and Japan. Precisely in this, his already second published book, A. Zykas, while using his own and referring to works and researches of other sociologists, political scientists, philosophers, anthropologists etc., examines to this day and age relevant, interconnected and one to another related topics, such as public diplomacy, propaganda, country image creation and nation branding.

Lead by Soft Power: Communication of Country’s Image and Japan contrary to its name discusses not only Japan’s but also cases of other world countries. Seven chapters of monograph thoroughly introduce the reader to the development of country’s image policy, concept, object, aims and subject all in general meaning. Detailed explanations lead to understanding even the complex sounding terms used in international politics, while examples taken from history and advancement of today’s countries and institutions help to clearly grasp given information. What makes it even easier are graphs and tables either created by the author himself or borrowed from other sources. Delving deeper into soft power A. Zykas combines different theoretical approaches and explains connections between country’s image and nation branding, gives possible distinctions of propaganda, talks about international exchanges, information warfare and a number of other similar nuances. Most importantly, after giving examples and theory author presents in total eleven specific cases of Japan that are related to the topic discussed at the moment. One of the main reasons for showing these cases is that Japan, a relatively small country, which achieved so much in short span of time, could become an example for Lithuania: how to deal with similar emerging problems, find its peculiarity compared to other countries and so on.

The whole book is filled with definite and relevant political information making it a perfect read for both those who are interested in international politics and those who want to broaden their minds. Complex sounding academic writing style may scare at first, but thoroughly stated ideas and explanations made by A. Zykas quickly draw in and engross the reader.

Initiators of the project: Japan foundation VDU