2016年5月4日 星期三

Embracing Defeat: Japan in the Wake of World War

Recently I have read the following book. Its main points from chapter 11 to the end are as follows:

Book title:  John W. Dower. 1999. Embracing Defeat: Japan in the wake of World War II. W.W. Norton.

Main points:

Ch. 11. - when the emperor was descending partway from heaven, the machinery for allied war crimes trials of top leaders was being assembled. The first wave of arrest was announced on September 11. (p.319)

- Yonai Mitsumasa solicited MacArthur’s view on abdication. The supreme commander replied that this would not be necessary. A month later General Dyke, the head of CI&E, had suggest that the emperor might be removed from the limelight by leaving Tokyo and establishing his court in Kyoto. (p.323)

- Fellers was recorded as having said that if the Japanese side could prove to the US that the emperor was completely blameless, the forthcoming trial offered the best opportunity to do that. Tojo, in particular, should be made to bear all responsibility at this trial. The class A defendants led by Tojo was asked to die to protect their sovereign. (p.324)

-the endeavors to insulate Hirohito from any taint of war responsibility, which went beyond the emperor’s own expectation, resulted in a lost opportunity to use him to help clarify the historical record. (p.326)

- the successful campaign to absolve the emperor of war responsibility knew no bounds. Hirohito was not merely presented as being innocent; he was turned into an almost saintly figure that did not even bear moral responsibility for the war. (p.327)

- although the government announced in September 1946 that the emperor had no intention of stepping down, the possibility of his doing so resurfaced on two occasions. In 1948, as the Tokyo trial approached judgement, this issue of the emperor’s moral responsibility was rekindled. (p.327) When the occupation ended three and a half years later, the emperor faced the moment of which his old confidant Kido had told him to prepare when bidding farewell as he left for prison in December 1945. The honor of the imperial house, Kido emphases, demanded that the emperor take responsibly for losing the war. But the proper moment would only be when the occupation was over. Kido’s conception of the emperor’s responsibility was inner direct. The emperor should assume responsibility for the defeat by apologizing to this subject who had suffered, died in a war waged in his name. But the moment came and went. (p.329)

- in 1983, “Shattered god” written by an ex-serviceman Watanabe Kiyoshi was published. He was a man consumed by rage at having been betrayed by his sovereign. (p.339) As a young man he believed every word of the emperor said about the ‘holy war’. When defeat came he assumed the emperor would commit suicide. When this did not happen, he wondered if the emperor were staying on so as not to make the confusion worse. It was inconceivable that he would not in some way demonstrate responsibly for, and to those who had died following his orders. (p.339)

- Ch. 12. In early 1946, MacArthur replaced the Meiji constitution of 1890 with a new national charter. (p.346) The rationale for this constitutional revision lay in several ambiguous sections of the Potsdam declaration. (p.347)

-  constitution revision begins on October 25. Privately, Shidehara told both Konoe and Kido Koichi that the constitutional revision was neither necessary nor desirable. Matsumoto confided that that Japan could handle the matter as they pleased. (p.351) They thought the Meiji constitution was sacred. (p.352)

- the basic conflict lay between two western systems of legal thinking. Japanese leaders were largely indifferent to American concerns about popular sovereignty and human rights. There was the “Matsumoto’s four principles”. (p.353)

- the Japanese government paid the price for its inflexibility. In a quick succession, MacArthur and his top aides concluded that the government was incapable of proposing revision that would meet the Potsdam requirement; SCAP would have to take the lead. MacArthur entrusted the government section of SCAP with the task of drafting a new constitution for the Japanese people based on three principles. (p.360)

- MacArthur had to draft the constitution before the FEC began operating, one that would meet the Potsdam requirements and yet preserve the throne. (p.363)

Ch. 13. On February 13, general Whitney present the GHQ draft to Matsumoto Joji and Yoshida Shigeru.(p.374) The American withdrew to the garden to leave their counterpart to read the English-language text. Whitney said that should the government rejected, “SCAP was prepared to bring its draft directly to the Japanese people”. (p.375)

- Ashida Hitoshi offered a persuasive argument for the Japanese government to go along. If the cabinet rejected it, the American made the draft public then the media would support the American. The cabinet would have to resign, in the subsequent election the conservative would be unseated by pro-democracy forces. (p.377)

- all told, the Diet made approximately thirty revision to the government’s June draft. Many of the most substantial changes however came from SCAP or the FEC. (p.392) O on the whole at large, the most striking single feature of the draft was its ‘renunciation of war’. The legislators revised the wording of Article 9 in a way that left no one sure what it really meant. Did Article 9 permit or prohibit limited armament of the purpose of self-defense? (p.394)

-Ch. 14.  Censorship was conducted through an elaborate apparatus with GHQ. (p.406) for all their talk of democracy, the conquerors worked hard to engineer consensus and on many critical issues, they made clear that the better part of political wisdom was silence and conformism. (p.440)

- Ch. 15. When Japan surrendered, the major statement of ally policy regarding Japanese war crimes remained what had been set forth in the Potsdam declaration. (p.445) The seven condemned defendant were hanged. Hey died with the solace that they had been a shield to their emperor to the very end, and they left a legacy of lingering controversy. (p.461)

- however intriguing to imagine, leaving high-level war crimes trial to the Japanese themselves as inconceivable to the victors. Lacking any formal role in prosecuting war criminals, the elites undertook informally to influence whom the victor decided to arrest and indict. By early 1945, even before the steady air raid , fingering the culprits responsible for Japan’s impending defeat already had begun .(p.480)

- being the key witness of prosecution was former General Tanaka Ryukichi. He explained that for incriminating some former colleagues was to make the emperor innocent by not having him appear in the trial. More famous than Tanaka was Kido. His impending arrest as Class A suspect was announced on December 6. Initially he wanted to take up the sole responsibility for all imperial decision sanctioning war. However he changed his tactics after prompted by Marxist Tsuru Shigeto. Tsuru explained to him the American way of thinking. If he pleaded guilty the American would take him as an indication that the emperor was guilty as well.  It behooved him to plead innocent himself. Tsuru apparently offered this advice with encouragement from Paul Baran, an American economist. Kido had a diary since 1930. The diary became known as the prosecution’s bible. (p.483)

- Ch. 16. A week before the first occupation forces arrived, the novelist Osaragi Jior addressed the dead intimately in a daily newspaper, the Asahi. He spoke of them as stars fading away with the whitening sky of dawn. He asked them the question: “What can we do to ease your souls”. (p.485) The Japanese did not arrived at war’s end without some knowledge of the atrocities of the imperial forces. (p.487)

- Nanbara Shigeru was typical in the complex way he evoked this country’s war dead. He had encouraged his student to support the wartime mission (p.487). He helped show one way in which an unjust war could be condemned while the war dead might still be honored and reassured that they had not died in vain. His formula became a secular prayer for great number of Japanese. (p.489) His conversion rested on the belief that he, like his students who had been misled by Japanese leaders, was a detergent to wash away their personal responsibility. From this perspective, the people as whole, not just their departed hero were war victims. (p.490)

- science soon became almost everyone’s favorite concept for explain both why the war lost and where the future lay. (p.494)

- the concept of ‘repentance’ was placed at the center of public debate on August 28 1945 when American arrived. PM declared that the military, civilian officials and the people as a whole must thoroughly self-reflected and repented. Few individuals really believed that ordinary people bore responsibility for the war equal to that of the military and civilian groups. (p.496)

- the ways of thinking about repentance and atonement that prominent intellectual like Nanbara and Tanabe offered had enduring legacies. An indigenous peace movement began to coalesce in opposition to cold war militarization. (p.501)

- as the Tokyo tribunal came to a close, the media assessed it meaning in languages of peace and democracy, the Mainichi daily warned that punishing war leaders did not mean that the people as a whole had been ‘washed and cleansed’ of responsibility for crime against peace. (p.509)

Ch. 17.  A year and half after occupation, changes was noted not only in the minds of the occupied. Driven by Cold war consideration, the Americans began to jettison many of the original ideal of ‘demilitarization and democratization’ that had been so inspiring to a defeated populace in 1945. (p.525)

- beginning in 1949 solid majority of opinion poll respondents expressed fear that Japan might again become embroiled in war. In June 1950, war erupted in Korea, the US hastened to impose remilitarization on Japan. (p.526)

- in December 1948, Washington announced nine principles of economic stabilization that were to be imposed on Japan, and then two months later dispatching to Tokyo a mission aimed at putting the country back on its feet as a viable market economy. The mission was head by Joseph Dodge. (p.540)
- the most striking American contribution to this new mercantilist state was largely unwitting. It derived from neither the early reformist policies nor the reverse course per se. (p.546)

Although the old soldier himself might fade away in Japanese consciousness, what he unwittingly brought to the fore would not be dispelled. The entire occupation had been premised on acquiescing in American’s own overwhelming paternalistic authority. The new military was a ‘little American army’ obviously destined to remain under US control; the new economy was inordinately dependent on American support and indulgence. (p.551)

- rearmament under the American ‘nuclear umbrella’ was but one part of the price. The continue maintenance of US military bases and facility was another. Okinawa was excluded form the restoration of sovereignty. (p.552)

- to understand Japan, it was more useful to look not for the longue duree of an unfolding national experienced, but rather at a cycle of recent history that began in the late 1920s and essentially end in 1989. The short cycle of Japan’s modern experience coincided almost perfectly with emperor Hirohito’s reign. (p.558)

- the American reformers did change the political economy of Japan in significant ways. But they did preserve the rest of the bureaucracy. When Cold war consideration took over and the reverse course was launched, it was the American who promoted the administrative rationalization that resulted in an even greater concentration of bureaucratic authority. (p.558)