This book is a study of how Japan has recalibrated risk through its framing of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK, North Korea, or kitachōsen in Japanese) in the post-Cold War era. It is based upon the hypothesis that there has been a substantial recalibration (defined in relation to framing below) of the risks that are perceived and portrayed to emanate from the entity conceptualized as North Korea by multiple actors— intersecting the state, market and society—in Japan. It also explains how Japan’s responses to the DPRK have plateaued in recent years leading to an uneasy but largely constrained equilibrium in terms of how Tokyo governs and instrumentalizes the risks it identifies with Pyongyang—in many ways often regardless of the many political sub-factions which impinge upon other areas of foreign policy. By necessity, therefore, the overarching analysis of this book is a holistic one, because it explains how Japan’s state-level North Korea policy, as a whole, has changed during the post-Cold War era. The book does so, however, by also examining specific sub-state elements. Therein, it is argued that shifts have occurred through a complex interactive process—reliant upon powerful actors’ inter-subjective identities. This includes their adherence to a number of salient norms that are reflected at the holistic level of the state. It is this inter-subjectivity that justifies a less materialistic approach than existing (mostly realist) conventional studies. These norms are explained later in the text, but include bilateralism (with the United States [US]), antimilitarism, developmentalism and, in effect, anti-North Koreanism. Ultimately, the analyses below elucidate how these ideas, born predominantly in discourses, have affected the processes involved in Japan-DPRK relations to harden and then stabilize policies directed by the Japanese state at the regime in Pyongyang. Discourse, therefore, refers primarily to politically contested ideas that are articulated through language to influence the governance of power (Foucault, 1970).