HIST 3760 Politics and Japan (Post WWII).doc
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Monday, March 19th, 2012
POLITICS AND THE WAR
•Japan’s role in the war made radical changes
•In recorded history, there was no occasion where Japan was wiped out or
surrendered. At the time after the war, they had no recorded history of any loss.
They have never been completely defeated and/or occupied.
oNot just the defeat itself but also the nature of that defeat that was
unprecedented in history
oThe country was literally bombed back to “the Stone Age”
•Idea for Japan was to seize areas that contained oils and resources and defend
crucial areas against US counter attack
oThey were planning to exploit the resources and the land in new areas in
•Japanese hoped that by bombing Pearl Habour they could get the US to think of
unconditional settlement, but the US took it as an insult
•Conservative politicians and court officials were afraid of communist revolution in
Japan as the war got worse-> domestic conditions were getting worse (getting
teenage boys to staff the war), socioeconomic conditions were also getting
•The Soviets had a neutrality pact-> no active war being fought between Soviet
Union and Japan
•Moderate and conservative politicians in Japan hoped to negotiate a peace with the
•In 1945, European allies won and issued Potsdam Declaration
oJapanese government announced that they were not going to oblige to the
demands for unconditional surrender
oAugust 5 th
, 1945 - important date because it was the first atomic bomb
dropped in Japan, and it was followed by more
oThe emperor later announced that he would accept the Potsdam
Declaration- many Japanese were listening to this on the radio. Only the
emperor could make the nation surrender. He did so when he believed that
his lineage would continue after his surrender (that he would still rule).
•Japanese were lucky to be alive after the surrender as many were ill and
emotionally and/or psychologically drained. It was the first time that they had lost a
war and were to be occupied by foreign power.
•After having discovered that it was a big lie and the emperor announced that it was
all over, one of the actions was recruiting women as comfort to the troops
oSet up “comfort stations”- they were actually small scale brothels
oForced women into it and had to service many men a day
oTroops were afraid that the US would come in and start destroying Japan
•Japan is partly responsible for the partition. The British had wanted to play a little
part. The Soviets were shut out of this.
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