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Home > Books & Journals > Journal Abstracts Last Updated: 14:23 03/09/2007
Journal Abstracts #132: March 31, 2004

Japan Forum: The International Journal of Japanese Studies

Journal Name: Japan Forum: The International Journal of Japanese Studies: September, 2003, Vol.15, No.3
Print ISSN: 0955-5803, Online ISSN:1469-932X


Anchor for peace: the United States Navy in the shaping of the Japanese peace settlement (pp365 - 388)
Roger Dingman (University of Southern California)

This essay sheds new light on the formation of the Japanese peace settlement of 1951 by tracing the history of the United States Navy's occupation, development and retention of its major base at Yokosuka. It argues that peace making was a process that proceeded from the individual and local community to the national and international levels. By promoting mutually beneficial civil-naval relations in Yokosuka, base commander Captain 'Benny' Decker educated Japanese and American leaders in the desirability of the navy's retaining a base there - even before the outbreak of war in Korea made its value obvious.

Decker helped build consensus within the American government on base retention and demonstrated its practicality to Prime Minister Yoshida Shigeru. Thus diplomats and political leaders came to peace making in 1951 having already voluntarily concluded, on the basis of local conditions no less than large geopolitical circumstances, that continued American naval and military presence, within the framework of a broader security agreement, was the preferred way to preserve Japan's security. Their decisions a half-century ago laid the foundations for a new maritime security order in the Pacific that continues to this day.

Keywords: US Navy, Yokosuka, civil-naval relations, Captain 'Benny' Decker, maritime security

After fifty years: the San Francisco Peace Treaty in the context of Anglo-Japanese relations, 1902-52 (pp389 - 398)
Peter Lowe (University of Manchester)
The approach of the British government towards Japan in 1950-1 was more negative than that of the United States. The British attitude was influenced by several factors: the ignominy of the surrender of Singapore in 1942, resentment at American domination of the Occupation of Japan, apprehension concerning renewed Japanese competition affecting textiles, potteries and shipbuilding, and bitterness resulting from atrocities inflicted on the prisoners-of-war. For most of the century preceding the Pacific War Britain had been the principal power in Eastern Asia and British policy makers found it difficult to adjust to the reduced role Britain occupied in 1950. Labour cabinet ministers revealed some hostility towards Japan during diplomatic exchanges with John Foster Dulles in 1951. Herbert Morrison, the Foreign Secretary, and Hugh Gaitskell, the Chancellor of the Exchequer, were compelled to accept American decisions except on the limited issue of the Congo Basin treaties where Dulles made a concession to Britain. Significant differences in approach to the rival Chinese regimes also created problems in 1951. British forecasts concerning the future of Japan were negative: it was anticipated that, within a decade, Japan could become assertive, with the risk of reactionary right-wing groups emerging.

Keywords: Britain, United States, peace, Dulles, Morrison, Yoshida

Look back in fear: Percy Spender, the Japanese Peace Treaty and the ANZUS Pact (pp399 - 410)
Neville Meaney (University of Sydney)
This paper aims to explain why, after World War II, Australia - especially Percy Spender, its External Affairs Minister from 1949 to 1951 - pursued, unremittingly and against British wishes, a peace treaty that would prevent Japan from again becoming a military threat and an American alliance that would engage the United States in Australia's defence. It is suggested that the answer is to be found in Australia's long-held fears of Japan and its belief, borne out by the experience of World War II, that Britain was unable to provide for Australia's security. Australian fears were, to some extent, racially based, a fact that contributed further to the problem of responding rationally to the new geo-politics of the post-war Pacific. From the mid-1930s, Spender had been obsessed by these anxieties about Australia's vulnerability to an attack from the north and, as result of this, he was, more than most of his colleagues (including Prime Minster Menzies), determined to try both to impose a harsh peace on Japan and to obtain a defence alliance with the United States which would give Australia a say in America's global strategy.

Keywords: Percy Spender, United States, Australia, Britain, security, defence alliance

San Francisco treaty making and its implications for New Zealand (pp411 - 423 )
Ann Trotter (University of Otago)
The debate over the Japanese Peace treaty drew New Zealand into new relationships with the US and Australia - also challenging its traditional relationship with the United Kingdom.

The Canberra Pact, signed in 1944, signalled acknowledgement by New Zealand and Australia of a mutual interest in the Pacific but they had different perceptions of the reality of a security threat there. While both countries favoured a harsh treaty with Japan after 1945, the Australian sense of the Japanese threat was greater. New Zealand regarded Europe as the most likely area of future conflict and was prepared to support the UK's strategic interests there. As the US signalled a softer approach to a Japanese peace treaty, however, New Zealand joined Australia in seeking an American guarantee of their security. Australia was determined on a security treaty as the price for its support of a 'soft' Japanese peace treaty. New Zealand would have accepted a less formal guarantee but agreed to support the Australian line. They achieved their goal with the signature of the ANZUS treaty in San Francisco in September 1951 before the peace conference opened.

New Zealand would have welcomed a restrictive Japanese peace treaty, but the ANZUS treaty provided security against a revival of Japanese power. New Zealand's commitment to ANZUS was lukewarm. It continued to see its commitment to Commonwealth defence as its prime responsibility and failed to appreciate the significance of the new strategic arrangements in the Pacific.

Keywords: New Zealand, Australia, Great Britain, Canberra Pact, ANZUS

In the shadow of the San Francisco settlement: Yoshida Shigeru's perception of Communist China and Anglo-Japanese relations (pp425 - 434)
Valdo Ferretti (University of Rome)
Yoshida Shigeru is well known for his emphasis on trade with China as a means of promoting Japan's economic recovery after the Pacific War and for linking such trade to negotiations leading to the San Francisco treaty. Despite his dislike of Communism, Yoshida would probably have preferred China to be a signatory of the peace treaty. On the eve of the Dulles-Morrison agreement of June 1951, he sensed that Japan's position regarding the recognition of the Peoples' Republic of China (PRC) was close to that of the United Kingdom. A triangular relationship between Japan, continental China and Southeast Asia was emerging. After the peace conference, he continued to cultivate political alignment with the UK, by focusing on the issues of both PRC recognition and trade with China.

This article focuses on a number of important documents relating to Yoshida's visit to Europe in 1954. Particularly in his talks with Italian government representatives, Yoshida promoted the idea of recognizing the government of Beijing. Following the Korean War and the Geneva conference on Indochina, the Japanese prime minister anticipated a level of assistance by London, in attempting to soften the western stance to the PRC. As Yoshida's encounter with Anthony Eden in October 1954 was to prove, however, the UK's response was dis-appointing.

Keywords: Yoshida Shigeru, China, Great Britain, Anthony Eden

Hong Kong and San Francisco: Anglo-American debate on East Asia and the Japanese peace settlements (pp435 - 449)
Roger Buckley (International Christian University, Tokyo)
Britain's position over the Japanese peace treaty was conditioned by close attention to American regional policy. Although the British government disagreed with the Truman administration over Washington's refusal to recognize the People's Republic of China, its conduct of the Korean War and some aspects of the peace settlements with Japan, there remained considerable, if unequal, Anglo-American co-operation. Questions relating to the fate of Hong Kong also had to take into account US strategy in East Asia and, despite American attempts to isolate the PRC that caused severe disruption to Hong Kong's long-established commercial and financial roles, the territory gained some compensation through American political and economic liberalism towards Tokyo. The presence of the US Seventh Fleet also served to ensure some sense of security to a beleaguered Hong Kong. By the early 1950s it was apparent that Britain and all other governments had to reckon with the predominance of American power in the Asia-Pacific. The San Francisco peace settlements saw the United States as the West's sole remaining champion in a divided and tense region.

Keywords: US regional policy, Hong Kong, China, Anglo-American relations

Japan Forum (2003)
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