“Physicists and ‘Fellow Travelers’: Nuclear Fear, the Red Scare, and Science Policy in Occupied Japan”

In: Journal of American-East Asian Relations
View More View Less
  • 1

Purchase instant access (PDF download and unlimited online access):

€25.00$30.00

This essay presents a microhistory of U.S.-Japanese relations during the years of the Allied Occupation (1945–1952), describing how policies the United States enacted in the context of Cold War era national security concerns negatively affected the experiences of Japanese scientists. The Red Scare of the McCarthy Era ran along parallel tracks in the United States and Japan, and during those years, Japanese scientists—especially physicists—were the targets of surveillance and intense scrutiny, initially for fear they might abet diehard militarists in exacting revenge for the war, but later out of concern that they would pass “atomic secrets” to Communist nations. In the agenda to reform Japan, a “schizophrenic” science policy emerged, where, on the one hand, U.S. Occupation authorities under the Economic and Scientific Section assisted in the reconstruction of science institutions in Japan and facilitated international outreach, while on the other, the Civil Intelligence Division (G-2) frequently obstructed these efforts, as it imposed a regime of surveillance and penalties against those whom it suspected of being Communists or left-wing sympathizers. Toward this end, U.S. Occupation officials used travel visas as both a carrot and stick to influence the political behavior of Japanese scientists with mixed outcomes.

  • “Compton Calls Cyclotron Smashing In Japan ‘Act of Utter Stupidity’.” New York Times, 6 December 1945, p. 3.

  • General Electric Research Laboratory. “Final Report, Project Cirrus.” Contract No. W-36–039-SC-32427. 31 December 1948, http://www.theblackvault.com/documentarchive/project-cirrus-hurricane-modification/# (accessed 3 June 2017).

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Groves Leslie M. Now It Can Be Told: The Story of the Manhattan Project. New York: Da Capo Press, 1962.

  • MacArthur Douglas . Reminiscences. New York: McGraw Hill, 1964.

  • Papers of Charles A. Willoughby. Record Group 23. Douglas MacArthur Memorial Archives and Library. Norfolk, VA.

  • Papers of Douglas MacArthur. Collections of Messages. Record Group 9. Douglas MacArthur Memorial Archives and Library. Norfolk, VA.

  • Papers of Douglas MacArthur. Official Correspondence. Record Group 5. Douglas MacArthur Memorial Archives and Library.

  • Parrott Lindesay . “Five Cyclotrons Wrecked in Japan.” New York Times, 24 November 1945, p. 3.

  • Records of Allied Operational and Occupation Headquarters, World War II. Record Group 331. National Archives II, College Park, MD.

  • Records of the Defense Nuclear Agency. Record Group 374. National Archives II, College Park, MD.

  • Records of the National Security Agency/Central Security Service. Record Group 457. National Archives II, College Park, MD.

  • Records of the Office of the Chief of Engineers. Record Group 77. National Archives II, College Park, MD.

  • “Reports of the U.S. Naval Technical Mission to Japan, 1945–1946.” Operational Archives. u.s. Naval History Division, Washington, DC, 1974. Microfilm Publication 2 [microfilm]. National Archives II, College Park, MD.

  • scapins: Supreme Commander for the Allied Powers’ Instructions to the Japanese Government, From 4 September 1945 to 8 March 1952. Tokyo: General Headquarters, Supreme Commander for the Allied Powers, 1952.

  • u.s. Department of State. Confidential State Department Files. Central Files, Japan. Japan Internal Affairs: 1945–1949. [Microfilm]. Record Group 59. National Archives II, College Park, MD.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • u.s. Department of State. Confidential State Department Files. Central Files, Japan. Japan Internal Affairs: 1950–1954. [Microfilm]. Record Group 59. National Archives II, College Park, MD.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Willoughby Charles A. Shirarezaru Nihon senryō: Wirobī kaikoroku [The Unknown Occupation of Japan: Willoughby’s Memoirs]. Tokyo: Bancho Shobo, 1973.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Badash Lawrence . “Science and McCarthyism.” Minerva 38, No. 1 (2000): 5380.

  • Bartholomew James R. Japanese Nobel Candidates in the First Half of the Twentieth Century.” In Beyond Joseph Needham: Science, Technology, and Medicine in East and Southeast Asia. Low Morris F. , ed. Osiris 13, No. 1 (1998): 23884.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Bernstein Barton J. The Oppenheimer Loyalty-Security Case Reconsidered.” Stanford Law Review 42, No. 6 (July 1990): 13831484.

  • Bird Kai and Sherwin Martin J. . American Prometheus: The Triumph and Tragedy of J. Robert Oppenheimer. New York: Vintage Books, 2005.

  • Cohen Theodore . Remaking Japan: The American Occupation as New Deal. New York: The Free Press, 1987.

  • Dees Bowen C. The Allied Occupation and Japan’s Economic Miracle: Building the Foundations of Japanese Science & Technology, 1945–52. Surrey: Japan Library, 1997.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Dower John W. Embracing Defeat: Japan in the Wake of World War II. New York: W. W. Norton/The New Press, 1999.

  • Dower John W. Occupied Japan and the American Lake, 1945–1950.” In America’s Asia: Dissenting Essays on Asian-American Relations. Edward Friedman and Mark Selden, eds., 146–206. New York: Pantheon, 1971.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Dower John W . “Occupied Japan as History and Occupation History as Politics.” Journal of Asian Studies 34, No. 2 (February 1975): 485504.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Dower John W. and Tetsuo Hirata . “Japan’s Red Purge: Lessons from a Saga of Suppression of Free Speech and Thought.” Asia-Pacific Journal/Japan Focus 5, No. 7 (3 July 2007), https://apjjf.org/-John-W.-Dower/2462/article.html (accessed 21 August 2018).

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Forsberg Aaron . America and the Japanese Miracle: The Cold War Context of Japan’s Postwar Economic Revival, 1950–1960. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 2000.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Shuji Fukui . Saikurotoron o Beigun ga sesshū kaichū tōki shita keii to Ōdai ni wa ni dai to kiroku sareta konkyo” [Documented Explanation for the American Military Seizure and Disposal at Sea of the Cyclotrons and the Two at Osaka University]. May 2008, https://watanaby.files.wordpress.com/2013/03/fukui-19.pdf (accessed 2 June 2017).

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Gibney Frank . Miracle by Design: The Real Reasons behind Japan’s Economic Success. New York: New York Times Books, 1982.

  • Gluck Carol . “Entangling Illusions: Japanese and American Views of the Occupation. In New Frontiers in American-East Asian Relations: Essays Presented to Dorothy Borg. Cohen Warren I. , ed., 169236. New York: Columbia University Press, 1983.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Kunio Gotō . “Marxism and Postwar Science in Japan.” In A Social History of Science and Technology in Contemporary Japan. Vol. I: The Occupation Period, 1945–1952. Nakayama Shigeru, ed., 533–59. Melbourne: Trans Pacific Press, 2001.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Grunden Walter E. Hŭngnam and the Japanese Atomic Bomb: Recent Historiography of a Postwar Myth.” Intelligence and National Security 13, No. 2 (Summer 1998): 3260.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Grunden Walter E. Secret Weapons & World War II: Japan in the Shadow of Big Science. Lawrence: University Press of Kansas, 2005.

  • Guillemin Jeanne . Hidden Atrocities: Japanese Germ Warfare and American Obstruction of Justice at the Tokyo Trial. New York: Columbia University Press, 2017.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Harris Sheldon H. Factories of Death: Japanese Biological Warfare, 1932–1945 and the American Cover-Up. London: Routledge, 2002.

  • Hirao Y. The History of Cyclotrons in Japan.” Proceedings of the Eleventh International Conference on Cyclotrons and their Applications. Tokyo, Japan, 1317 1986, http://epaper.kek.jp/c86/papers/p-01.pdf (accessed 2 June 2017).

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Home R. W. and Low Morris F. . “Postwar Scientific Intelligence Missions to Japan.” Isis 84, No. 3 (September 1993): 527537.

  • Ichikawa Hiroshi . “Technological Transformation of Occupied Japan: The Implications of the Policies and Activities of the Scientific and Technical Division of the Economic and Scientific Section of GHQ/SCAP .” Historia Scientiarim 5, No. 2 (1995): 18397.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Iida Kaori . “Practice and Politics in Japanese Science: Hitoshi Kihara and the Formation of a Genetics Discipline.” Journal of the History of Biology 43, No. 3 (2010): 52970.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Ito Kenji . “Values of ‘Pure Science’: Nishina Yoshio’s Wartime Discourse between Nationalism and Physics, 1940–1945.” Historical Studies in the Physical and BiologicalSciences 33, No. 1 (2002): 6186.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Kaiser David . “The Atomic Secret in Red Hands? American Suspicions of Theoretical Physicists during the Early Cold War.” Representations 90, No. 1 (2005): 2860.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Kelly Harry C . “United States—Japan Scientific Cooperation.” In Science in Japan. Livermore Arthur H. , ed., 46164. Washington, DC: American Association for the Advancement of Science, 1965.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Konuma Michiji , Chieko Masuzawa , and Yoshio Takada . “Resumption of International Relationship of Japanese Particle Physicists after World War II .” Historia Scientiarum 36 (1989): 2341.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Low Morris F. Accelerators and Politics in Postwar Japan.” Historical Studies in the Physical and Biological Sciences 36, No. 2 (March 2006): 27596.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Low Morris F. Accounting for Science: The Impact of Social and Political Factors on Japanese Elementary Particle Physics.” Historia Scientiarum 36 (1989): 4365.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Low Morris F. From Einstein to Shirakawa: The Nobel Prize in Japan.” Minerva. Special Issue: Perspectives on the Prize: Essays in Commemoration of the First Century of Nobel Prizes 39, No. 4 (2001): 44560.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Low Morris F. Science and the Building of A New Japan. New York: Palgrave/MacMillan, 2005.

  • Low Morris F. and Yoshioka Hitoshi . “Buying the Peaceful Atom: The Development of Nuclear Power in Japan.” Historia Scientiarum 38 (1989): 2944.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Mercado Stephen C. The Shadow Warriors of Nakano: A History of the Imperial Japanese Army’s Elite Intelligence School. Washington, DC: Brassey’s, 2002.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Morris-Suzuki Tessa . “Democracy’s Porous Borders: Espionage, Smuggling, and the Making of Japan’s Transwar Regime.” Part 1. The Asia-Pacific Journal 40, No. 4 (6 October 2014), http://apjjf.org/2014/12/41/Tessa-Morris-Suzuki/4201.html (accessed 31 May 2017).

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Nakayama Shigeru . “The American Occupation and the Science Council of Japan.” In Transformation and Tradition in the Sciences: Essays in Honor of I. Bernard Cohen. Everett Mendelsohn, ed., 353–69. Cambridge, NY: Cambridge University Press, 1984.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Nakayama Shigeru . Science, Technology, and Society in Postwar Japan. London and New York: Kegan Paul International, 1991.

  • Nakayama Shigeru , Ed. A Social History of Science and Technology in Contemporary Japan. Vol. I: The Occupation Period, 1945–1952. Melbourne: Trans Pacific Press, 2001.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Nakayama Shigeru , Swain David L. , and Yagi Eri . Science and Society in Modern Japan: Selected Historical Sources. Tokyo: University of Tokyo Press, 1973.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Kagakushi Gakkai Nippon [Japan History of Science Society], Ed. “Butsurigaku to senji kenkyū” [Physics and Wartime Research]. In Nippon kagaku gijutsushi taikei [Outline of the History of Japanese Science and Technology]. Vol. 13: Butsuri kagaku. [The Physical Sciences]. Tokyo: Daiichi Hōgen Shuppan, 1970.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Nishina Yoshio . “A Japanese Scientist Describes the Destruction of His Cyclotrons.” Bulletin of Atomic Scientists 3, No. 6 (June 1947): 45, 167.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Patrick Hugh . “The Phoenix Risen from the Ashes: Postwar Japan.” In Modern East Asia: Essays in Interpretation, Crowley James B. , ed. 298336. New York: Harcourt, Brace and World, 1970.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Scalapino Robert A. The Japanese Communist Movement, 1920–1966. Berkeley and Los Angeles: University of California Press, 1967.

  • Schaller Michael . The American Occupation of Japan: The Origins of the Cold War in Asia. New York and Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1985.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Schonberger Howard B. Aftermath of War: Americans and the Remaking of Japan, 1945–1952. Kent, OH: Kent State University Press, 1989.

  • Schrecker Ellen . No Ivory Tower: McCarthyism and the Universities. New York: Oxford University Press, 1986.

  • Smith Alice Kimball . A Peril and a Hope: The Scientists’ Movement in America, 1945–47. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1965.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Smith Dennis B. Japan since 1945: The Rise of an Economic Superpower. New York: St. Martin’s Press, 1995.

  • Solovey Mark . “Introduction: Science and the State during the Cold War: Blurred Boundaries and a Contested Legacy.” Social Studies of Science 31, No. 2 (2001): 16570.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Takemae Eiiji . Inside GHQ: The Allied Occupation of Japan and Its Legacy. Robert Ricketts and Sebastian Swann, eds. New York and London: Continuum, 2002.

  • Mitsuo Taketani . Taketani Mitsuo chosakushū: 2, Genshiryoku to kagakusha [The Collected Works of Taketani Mitsuo. Vol. 2: Scientists and Atomic Energy]. Tokyo: Keisō Shobō, 1968.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Hidehiko Tamaki , et al., Eds. Nishina Yoshio: Nihon no genshi kagaku no sho [Nishina Yoshio: The Dawn of Japan’s Atomic Science]. Tokyo: Misuzu Shobo, 1991.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Shinichiro Tomonaga . Butsurigaku to watakushi [Physics and I]. Tokyo: Misuzu Shobo, 1982.

  • Wang Jessica . American Science in an Age of Anxiety: Scientists, Anticommunism, and the Cold War. Chapel Hill and London: University of North Carolina Press, 1999.

  • Wang Jessica . “Science, Security, and the Cold War: The Case of E. U. Condon.” Isis 83, No. 2 (June 1992): 23869.

  • Weiner Charles . “Retroactive Saber Rattling?” Bulletin of Atomic Scientists 34, No. 4 (April 1978): 1012.

  • Williams Peter and Wallace David . Unit 731: Japan’s Secret Biological Warfare in World War II. New York: Free Press, 1989.

  • Williams Robert Chadwell . Klaus Fuchs: Atom Spy. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1987.

  • Yamamura Kōzō . Economic Policy in Postwar Japan: Growth versus Economic Democracy Berkeley: University of California Press, 1967.

  • Masakatsu Yamazaki . Nihon no kaku kaihatsu, 1939–1955: genbaku kara genshi ryoku e [Nuclear Development of Japan, 1939–1955: From the Atomic Bomb to Atomic Energy]. Tokyo: Seki bundo, 2011.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Yoshikawa Hideo and Kauffman Joanne . Science Has No National Borders: Harry C. Kelly and the Reconstruction of Science in Postwar Japan. Cambridge, MA: The MIT Press, 1994.

Content Metrics

All Time Past Year Past 30 Days
Abstract Views 327 124 17
Full Text Views 71 31 3
PDF Downloads 37 16 3