This article reexamines the thought of American Asia experts during the 1940s and early 1950s who directly or indirectly influenced u.s. policy toward post-surrender Japan. Revisionist scholars in the late 1960s and 1970s categorized Asianists in a binary manner as “conservatives” and “progressives,” “Japan” and “China specialists,” and “Cold Warriors” and “critics,” but they all were in reality essentially modernization theorists and liberal internationalists of various kinds who agreed on the desirability of democratizing Japan and constructing a new order in the Asia-Pacific under American leadership. This new perspective exposes limitations in the revisionist narrative of the Allied Occupation of Japan informed by Marxian-populist criticisms of u.s. Cold War policy. Revisionists not only tended to stress differences over similarities in judging the ideas of Asia experts, but idealized “radical” reformers over more “moderate” ones. By arguing that the United States should have democratized Japan thoroughly, they held on to liberal internationalist ideology and unintentionally endorsed u.s. intervention in a foreign nation. This article shows how an objective assessment of the Occupation history requires transcending Cold War historiography and integrating a more global perspective.
See Michael E. LathamModernization as Ideology: American Social Science and “Nation Building” in the Kennedy Era (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press2000); Nils Gilman Mandarins of the Future: Modernization Theory in Cold War America (Baltimore md: Johns Hopkins University 2003); David Ekbladh The Great American Mission: Modernization and the Construction of an American World Order (Princeton nj: Princeton University Press 2010).
DowerEmbracing Defeat pp. 217–24. See also Dower “Occupied Japan as History and Occupation History as Politics” pp. 490–91; Dower “E. H. Norman Japan and the Uses of History” pp. 31–34 39–100. In his most recent book John W. Dower criticizes “generalists” on the left as well as on the right but he continues to stress that “Japan specialists” focused on Japan’s historical and cultural “peculiarities.” John W. Dower Cultures of War: Pearl Harbor Hiroshima 9/11 Iraq (New York: w.w. Norton 2010) 404–407.
SchonbergerAftermath of War pp. 25–38; Ōkurashō Zaiseishi-shitsu Shōwa Zaiseishi Shūsen kara Kōwa made dai-3-kan pp. 40–106; Iokibe Beikoku no Nihon Senryō Seisaku Ge; Takemae Inside ghq pp. 209–12 214–20; Mayo “American Wartime Planning for Occupied Japan” pp. 29–50; Hugh Borton Sengo Nihon no Sekkeisha chapters 9–11; Waldo H. Heinrichs Jr. American Ambassador: Joseph C. Grew and the Development of the United States Diplomatic Tradition (Boston: Little Brown 1966) 327–80; Nakamura Masanori The Japanese Monarchy: Ambassador Joseph Grew and the Making of the “Symbol Emperor System” 1931–1991 trans. Herbert P. Bix Jonathan Baker-Bates and Derek Bowen (Armonk ny: m.e. Sharpe 1992) chapters 6–7.
Ibid. pp. 9–25. See also Roth Dilemma in Japan; Lattimore Solution in Asia chapters 2 8; John M. Maki Japanese Militarism: Its Cause and Cure (New York: Alfred A. Knopf 1945) chapter 8; Institute of Pacific Relations Security in the Pacific: A Preliminary Report of the Ninth Conference of the Institute of Pacific Relations (Hot Springs va: International Secretariat Institute of Pacific Relations 1945) chapter 2; William C. Johnstone The Future of Japan (London: Oxford University Press 1945).
Borton“Japan: Abolition of Militarism and Strengthening Democratic Processes” p. 3.
See G. B. Sansom“Can Japan Be Reformed?,”Far Eastern Survey18 no. 22 (2 November 1949) 258–59; Joseph W. Ballantine “The New Japan: An American View” Far Eastern Survey 17 no. 24 (22 December 1948) 286–88; Edwin O. Reischauer “It’s Time We Encouraged the Japanese to Build a Democracy of Their Own” Saturday Evening Post 23 April 1949 p. 12.
See Ballantine“The New Japan” p. 287; Edwin O. Reischauer The United States and Japan (Cambridge ma: Harvard University Press 1950) 277–79; Robert A. Fearey The Occupation of Japan: Second Phase: 1948–1950 (New York: The Macmillan Company 1950) 78–87.
BissonProspects for Democracy in Japan pp. 34–35 44–46 58–63; Ball Japan: Enemy or Ally? pp. 157–61 165; Miriam S. Farley Aspects of Japan’s Problems (New York: The John Day Company 1950) 28–29 44–56 Chapter 11 159–60.
Owen LattimoreThe Situation in Asia (Boston: Little, Brown1949) 130. See also Robert B. Textor Failure in Japan: With a Keynote for a Positive Policy (New York: The John Day Company 1951) 68–69 106–107 197 201–202 224.
Michael SchallerAltered States: The United States and Japan since the Occupation (New York: Oxford University Press1997) 18–24 49–61; Sayuri Guthrie-Shimizu “Occupation Policy and Postwar Sino-Japanese Relations: Severing Economic Ties” in Mark E. Caprio and Yoneyuki Sugita eds. Democracy in Occupied Japan: The u.s. Occupation and Japanese Politics and Society (London: Routledge 2007) 204–19; Walter LaFeber The Clash: u.s.-Japanese Relations throughout History (New York: w.w. Norton 1997) 279–81.
DowerEmbracing Defeat pp. 218 220; “Transcript of President Bush’s Speech at the Veterans of Foreign Wars Convention” New York Timeshttp://www.nytimes.com/2007/08/22/washington/w23policytext.html?pagewanted=all&_r=0 (accessed 12 July 2014).