Instructor Date Japan’s Postwar Policy America had occupied Japan for more than 6 years during the Second World War and dropped atomic bombs in Nagasaki and Hiroshima that forced Japan to surrender. Following the defeat, the Japanese constitution was changed to make the country a democracy by reducing the powers of the monarch…
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Several others were left homeless, maimed, and deprived of basic requirements such as food. Countries and institutions have different reactions after losing a war. The political and social state of the defeated country may change to conform to the tradition and development of the winners. The Japanese people embraced defeat by changing the postwar foreign policy. This gives an example of how countries embrace defeat after a major war. The intellectuals of the defeated country have to embrace democracy and device ways of developing their country. According to Dower, the elite in the country were bullied or seduced to conform to the ideology of the state without any opposition before and during the war (40).1 For example, the government was never blamed for the Nanjing Massacre of 1937 and the elite never criticized the authorities. The sudden conversion of the educated people after the war would be seen as hypocrisy. It took almost 10 years before they became critical of their complicity and failure during the war. The elite individuals become the advocates of democracy and participate in resistance movements and demonstrations. Post-war reconstruction requires mass enlightenment through the formation of intellectual groups. During the war, these groups failed to resist or form movements that would address the concerns of the minority and human rights abuses. They bear the responsibility of campaigning for equality and keep an eye on the effects of post war democracy. The education system was also changed to resemble the American system through the introduction of the Fundamental Law on Education and the School Education Law. These laws reformed the Japanese education system that transformed the country to one accommodate science and technology. Japan is one of the leading countries in science and technology, and this was made by the educational reforms introduced after the war. Educating the population helps identify the failure and complacency of the elite group during and after the war. Viewing war as an act of the state can help change the foreign policy of the defeated country. Dower highlights that the U.S government conducted war crimes trials after the war and military leaders were blamed for activities and crimes perpetrated in Japan (70).2 The prime minister and some military officers were convicted and hanged. This was a sign of accountability by those in power, and the U.S government helped the Japanese conduct postwar reconstruction. The government and military leaders allowed the attack on Pearl Harbor that led to the invasion. The leaders of a country, both political and military, are responsible for creating courses of war and strategizing attacks. In Japan, the state was responsible for crafting the affairs of the nation including those pertaining war (76).3 Democracy is seen as giving power and freedom to citizens and creating accountability among political leaders. Accepting the role of the leaders in the war helped Japan reconstruct its policy and become responsible for the activities and suffering of the people. The American administration signed a peace deal with Japan that prohibited any act of war towards another country. This changed the foreign relations with other countries by limiting the powers of the emperor in terms of declaring war. America helped in the reconstruction process after convicting military and political leaders for war crimes. This was
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The absorbing explanation given by the Japanese academic and archival resources sets the detrimental feeling of a lost solemn and unique structure of governance of the Japanese. With this respect, I agree with Dower’s ways in which he sees Japan's postwar foreign policy shaped by its experience of defeat and occupation.
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