Asian Communism and the “Reverse Course” - PowerPoint PPT Presentation

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Asian Communism and the “Reverse Course”

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  1. Asian Communism and the “Reverse Course”

  2. American Occupation • Initial Purposes • Disarmament • Democratization • Conduct • MacArthur as SCAP • Thin US layer • Use Japanese bureaucracy • Contrast with Iraq

  3. Shift in US Thinking • Interplay of foreign/domestic issues • Foreign factors • Fear of Soviet Communism • Rise of Mao and CCP in China • North/South split in Korea • Southeast Asia as well

  4. US Shift (Cont) • Domestic Factors (partial response to foreign “threat’) • Cost factors in Occupation • Republican criticism of Truman administration • China Lobby • Ultimately, McCarthyism

  5. Upshot • US change • From idealistic democratic Japan • To a renewed and economically viable Japan • “Bulwark of democracy” in Asia • Requires rebuilding and not reforming

  6. Reverse Course • Breath of fresh air for conservatives • Shock of purge of government and business leaders, constitution, growth of left • Disappointment of left • Struggle into 1960s, effecting student movement, large segment of society • Seeds of postwar system • The Japan with which we are familiar • Shift unmistakable by 1948 • Pronounced after Mao’s victory in 1949

  7. Political Implications • Depurging of right • Many returned to civil, political life • Kishi Nobusuke most famous example • Now, “Red Purge” • Thousands fired from labor unions, businesses • Many jailed • Especially hurt labor

  8. Conservative Revival • Left-wing coalition governments lose out • Yoshida Shigeru in power 1948-1954 • Established the conservative political base, still unbroken • Cemented US-Japan relationship • Sticking point: Article IX

  9. Economic Implications • Dodge Line adopted to facilitate revival • 3/19/49 Joseph M. Dodge in Japan • Stem inflation, balance budget • Reduce money supply • Set 360 yen to dollar • Bitterly opposed • 500,000 lost jobs • Deflation • But successful in stabilizing economy

  10. Zaibatsu Policy Reversal • No longer attacked: cosmetic changes in ownership patterns • Still around today (keiretsu), neo-zaibatsu • Irony: great US business support for not breaking up zaibatsu

  11. Japanese Labor • Shift from SCAP pro-labor stance • MacArthur forbids May Day demo ‘47 • Labor loses support of SCAP and Japan • Never becomes a political force in Japan • Conservative gov’t. repression

  12. Key Role of Korean War, 1950-1953 • June 1950:National Police Force of 75,000 (later SDF) • Helped speed San Francisco Treaty Sept. 8, 1951 • “Gift from the Gods” • Economic boom

  13. Ending the Occupation • Occupation ends formally 4/28/52 • De facto earlier as SCAP role ceased due to war • Soon followed by US-Japan Security Treaty • Japan as US client • US bases in Japan • Nuclear umbrella

  14. Assessing the Occupation I • Mixed review • Better than anyone expected • Uniqueness of the experiment • Compare with Iraq? • Confidence/arrogance of US • An unintended consequence • Founding fathers of Japanolgy • Like Peace Corps and Mormon missions

  15. Assessment II • Positive side: • Constitution—no amendments to a foreign constitution • Land Reform—support for LDP • Negative: • Zaibatsu busting—Mitsubishi et al still with us

  16. Assessment II • Mixed assessment: • Education • Labor • Local government • Economic recovery still stunning • The human connection still stands out Popcorn on the Ginza and “Sayonara” • Question for the semester: How democratic is Japan? What is the US credit/blame for that?