Democracy in Occupied Japan: The U.S. Occupation and Japanese Politics and Society

Democracy in Occupied Japan: The U.S. Occupation and Japanese Politics and Society


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With expert contributions from both the US and Japan, this book examines the legacies of the US Occupation on Japanese politics and society, and discusses the long-term impact of the Occupation on contemporary Japan. Focusing on two central themes – democracy and the interplay of US-initiated reforms and Japan's endogenous drive for democratization and social justice – the contributors address key questions:

  • How did the US authorities and the Japanese people define democracy?

  • To what extent did America impose their notions of democracy on Japan?

  • How far did the Japanese pursue impulses toward reform, rooted in their own history and values?

  • Which reforms were readily accepted and internalized, and which were ultimately subverted by the Japanese as impositions from outside?

These questions are tackled by exploring the dynamics of the reform process from the three perspectives of innovation, continuity and compromise, specifically determining the effect that this period made to Japanese social, economic, and political understanding. Critically examines previously unexplored issues that influenced postwar Japan such as the effect of labour and healthcare legislation, textbook revision, and minority policy. Illuminating contemporary Japan, its achievements, its potential and its quandaries, this book will appeal to students and scholars of Japanese-US relations, Japanese history and Japanese politics.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780415560597
Publisher: Taylor & Francis
Publication date: 10/13/2009
Edition description: Reissue
Pages: 260
Product dimensions: 6.25(w) x 9.25(h) x 0.55(d)

About the Author

Mark E. Caprio is a member of the Department of Law and Politics, Rikkyo University.

Yoneyuki Sugita is Associate Professor of American History at Osaka University of Foreign Studies, Japan.

Table of Contents

List of contributors     xi
Preface     xii
Abbreviations     xiii
Introduction: the U.S. occupation of Japan - innovation, continuity, and compromise   Mark E. Caprio   Yoneyuki Sugita     1
Feeding the Japanese: food policy, land reform, and Japan's economic recovery   Steven J. Fuchs     26
Occupation policy and the Japanese fisheries management regime, 1945-1952   Sayuri Guthrie-Shimizu     48
Protective labor legislation and gender equality: the impact of the occupation on Japanese working women   Maho Toyoda     67
The impact of the occupation on crime in Japan   H. Richard Friman     89
Educational reform and history textbooks in occupied Japan   Yoshiko Nozaki     120
Universal health insurance: the unfinished reform of Japan's healthcare system   Yoneyuki Sugita     147
Resident aliens: forging the political status of Koreans in occupied Japan   Mark E. Caprio     178
Occupation policy and postwar Sino-Japanese relations: severing economic ties   Sayuri Guthrie-Shimizu     200
A secondary affair: United States economic foreign policy and Japan, 1945-1968   Michael A. Barnhart     220
Index     242

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