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Title: Fear of World War III: Social politics of Japan's rearmament and peace movements, 1950-3
Authors: Hajimu, M. 
Keywords: Japan's rearmament
memories of war
ordinary people
peace movements
the Korean War
Yoshida Doctrine
Issue Date: Jul-2012
Citation: Hajimu, M. (2012-07). Fear of World War III: Social politics of Japan's rearmament and peace movements, 1950-3. Journal of Contemporary History 47 (3) : 551-571. ScholarBank@NUS Repository.
Abstract: This article traces the ways in which the Korean War inspired and stimulated diverse local discussions on Japan's rearmament, which contributed to the reconstruction of memories of World War II and the shaping of a fear of World War III, which, in turn, had fundamental effects on the direction of postwar Japan. First, the article looks into immediate reactions to the outbreak of the Korean War, namely the establishment of the National Police Reserve, escalation of the red purge and intensification of pro-rearmament discussions. Second, it examines a set of responses to these aforementioned immediate reactions, namely student and peace movements that were anti-red purge, anti-rearmament and anti-war. Third, the article analyzes the conflicts and compromises between these two radically different reactions through investigating the adaptations of political figures and organizations in a series of heated public debates and electoral contestations in this period. The article argues that domestic pressures and social and historical contexts contributed significantly to the Janus-faced policy that Prime Minister Yoshida Shigeru crafted concerning the issue of Japan's rearmament. Debates about rearmament were filtered through a variety of domestic social struggles over memories and legacies of World War II within an emerging 'Cold War' context. © 2012 The Author(s).
Source Title: Journal of Contemporary History
ISSN: 00220094
DOI: 10.1177/0022009412441650
Appears in Collections:Staff Publications

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