As stated in the Introduction, this book is premised upon the idea that there is a conceptual gap in the relevant literature covering Japan’s responses to North Korea. To fill this, an improved theoretically informed approach, empirically applied through use of what might be termed an enhanced methodological toolkit, is required. Such a methodology can be engineered to unlock an effective understanding of how ultimately significant the conception, mediation, and recalibration of risk is to Japan’s relationship with (and framing of) North Korea. First, however, attention is turned to the application of International Relations (IR). IR paradigms are influential at the level of both policy formation and, though more indirectly, comprehension within the mass media and civil society as a whole. Hence, before discussing how a more sophisticated application of risk in IR is to be realized, first it is necessary to explain why the existing scholarship is, ultimately, deemed unsatisfactory. This discussion begins with a critique of (neo)realism.