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«The London School of Economics and Political Science Armchair Occupation: American Wartime Planning for Postwar Japan, 1937-1945 Dayna Leigh Barnes A ...»

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The London School of Economics and Political Science

Armchair Occupation: American Wartime Planning for

Postwar Japan, 1937-1945

Dayna Leigh Barnes

A thesis submitted to the Department of International

History of the London School of Economics for the degree

of Doctor of Philosophy, London, September 2013

Declaration

I certify that the thesis I have presented for examination for the MPhil/PhD degree of the London

School of Economics and Political Science is solely my own work other than where I have clearly indicated that it is the work of others (in which case the extent of any work carried out jointly by me and any other person is clearly identified in it).

The copyright of this thesis rests with the author. Quotation from it is permitted, provided that full acknowledgement is made. This thesis may not be reproduced without my prior written consent.

I warrant that this authorisation does not, to the best of my belief, infringe the rights of any third party.

I declare that my thesis consists of 99,736 words.

Abstract By the late 1930s, it became clear to informed Americans that the international system in East Asia had failed. The outbreak of war between Japan and China in 1937 demonstrated that the current system could no longer provide stability in the region. Four years later, Japan’s surprise attack on Pearl Harbor ended American neutrality and united the regional conflict with the World War. Even as war raged, Japanese aggression raised questions for the future. If Imperial Japan, the most powerful country in Asia, were defeated, what might replace its regional dominance? What would become of its colonies? What had caused Japanese militarism, and how could its resurgence be prevented? If America were to emerge from the war powerful enough to reshape global politics, what future for Japan would best serve American interests? The story of how these questions were answered and why a particular set of responses became American policy is the subject of this dissertation.

This work provides an account of the post-war planning process and the deliberative period which shaped American policy towards Japan after surrender in 1945. It will look at how these questions came to be answered, both in terms of the formulation of actual policies implemented after the war and the inputs and environment in which responses developed. Much has been written on the outcome of these choices, there have been many histories of the postwar occupation of Japan and postwar US-Japan relations. But very little attention has been given to where the eventual policy came from. By bringing the aims and intentions of the planners to light, this work provides a new perspective on the policy that the United States imposed on Japan during the occupation period and after.

Table of Contents Introduction………………………………………………………………………..6 Chapter One: Roosevelt and the Postwar World…………………………………..27 Chapter Two: Bureaucratic Planning for Postwar Japan, 1940-1945……………...51 Chapter Three: Think Tanks and a New International Order in the Far East……...84 Chapter Four: Media and Opinion Leaders………………………………………..115 Chapter Five: Congress and Asia Policy…………………………………………..147 Chapter Six: Transition into Action……………………………………………….181 Conclusions………………………………………………………………………..209 Bibliography……………………………………………………………………….217 Acknowledgements I would like to thank my supervisor, Dr Antony Best, for his guidance and patience throughout this long endeavor. His insightful comments and suggestions have improved every page of this work. I would also like to thank Professor Nigel Ashton, who supervised my masters thesis and encouraged me to continue on with academic research at the LSE. I am grateful to Professor Arne Westad for his enthusiasm and support.

I would not have been able to complete this research without the generous support of a number of organizations which funded my research travel and writing periods. These are the LSE Department of International History, British Association for Japanese Studies, the Department of History at the University of Winchester, Japan Foundation Endowment Committee, Sasakawa Foundation, Harry S.

Truman Library, Roosevelt Study Center, and the North East Asia Council. I am also grateful for the research centers which have offered me an intellectual home during my research, the Center for the Pacific Rim at the University of San Francisco, the Center for Pacific and American Studies at the University of Tokyo, and especially LSE IDEAS in London.

I am deeply grateful to my friends and colleagues who have read drafts of work presented here and offered comments. This dissertation has benefitted from the thoughtful suggestions of Dr Robert Boyce, Professor Mario Del Pero, Professor Erez Manela and Professor Jun Furuya. Professor Steven Casey also made helpful suggestions on approaching research on Franklin Roosevelt and the media, and kindly allowed me to make use of his photocopied documents from the Roosevelt Library.

Several dear friends bravely volunteered to read draft chapters or discuss roadblocks at various stages of the process. In no particular order, Zachary Shore, Paul Keenan, Emma Peplow, Emma De-Angelis, Wes Ullrich, Robbie Barnes, Vlad Unkovski-Korica, Tanya Harmer, Avy Valladares, Arthur Lei, Keenan Ng, Liz Benning, Fareed Ben-Youssef, and Julie Ashton, thank you for your help. I am lucky to have such wonderful friends. I also am indebted to my fellow graduate students in the Department, for the many late night discussions over half pints around campus. During my time in London I have been encouraged and challenged, and am better for it. And of course, my thanks go to Artemy Kalinovsky, my hero and partner in crime as this project took shape.





Finally, I would like to dedicate this to my grandfather, mother and sister, who have shown me how to meet life’s challenges smiling. Thank you.

–  –  –

By the late 1930s, it became clear to informed Americans that the international system in East Asia had failed. The outbreak of war between Japan and China in 1937 demonstrated that the current system could no longer provide stability in the region. Four years later, Japan’s surprise attack on Pearl Harbor ended American neutrality and united the regional conflict with the World War. Even as war raged, Japanese aggression raised questions for the future. If Imperial Japan, the most powerful country in Asia, were defeated, what might replace its regional dominance? What would become of its colonies? What had caused Japanese militarism, and how could its resurgence be prevented? If America were to emerge from the war powerful enough to reshape global politics, what future for Japan would best serve American interests? The story of how these questions were answered and why a particular set of responses became American policy is the subject of this dissertation.

This work provides an account of the post-war planning process and the deliberative period which shaped American policy towards Japan after surrender in 1945. It will look at how these questions came to be answered, both in terms of the formulation of actual policies implemented after the war and the inputs and environment in which responses developed. Much has been written on the outcome of these choices, there have been many histories of the postwar occupation of Japan and postwar US-Japan relations. But very little attention has been given to where the eventual policy came from. By bringing the aims and intentions of the planners to light, this work provides a new perspective on the policy that the United States imposed on Japan during the occupation period and after.

The answers reached by the US government during the war came in the form of an audacious plan to radically reshape Japan. This aim was by no means predetermined; it faced opposition at different points “A Free Press in a Free World, a Check upon Government Propaganda” Kent Cooper, executive director of the Associated Press. Delivered before the War and Reconversion Congress of American Industry, National Association of Manufacturers, December 8, 1944. Vital Speeches of the Day, Vol. XI, 209-211.

from President Franklin Roosevelt, congressmen, popular media, and high-level officials. The farreaching liberal internationalist plan was developed through the interaction between government officials and elites in think tanks and the media, but within limitations set by the actions of Roosevelt. FDR and his bureaucratic planners had divergent views on postwar Asia. Until his death in spring 1945, the American vision for the postwar world was still a work in progress. Harry Truman adopted existing bureaucratic plans as reflective of his predecessor’s policy, which it was not, making American policy on postwar Japan an accident of Roosevelt’s death. Congress, the remaining body with the ability to check postwar plans, moved steadily towards supporting an active and internationalist orientation during the war, and did not block liberal planning. Policy was largely set, unexpectedly, by a small group of Japan experts in State Department deeply influenced by ideas-based interactions with non-state actors.

Structure and approach

This research offers a view of the environment in which American planning toward Japan took place, and how specific policies emerged from the diverse options available. Its purpose is not to provide day-to-day account of the evolution of US policy, but rather to describe the forces that helped to shape it. Although officials were also interested in domestic issues such as education reform and the status of the emperor, the focus here is on American aims related to Japan’s postwar role in international relations, an issue of more global significance.2 Because there was not one defined source of planning, this story is told by examining a range of actors.

This approach is inspired by Pearl Harbor as History, an edited volume on different groups involved in Japanese-American relations during the 1930s, which demonstrated the value of examining a variety of actors in understanding America’s policy toward Japan.3 The selection of actors to be examined in this study has been informed by the work of Marlene Mayo and Makoto Iokibe on State Department planning, Robert Divine’s focus on the influence of internationalists during the Second World War, and Steven Casey’s research on the connection between “opinion-leaders” and the presidency.4 By taking a thematic rather than a chronological approach, this work gives a better sense of the nature of the planning process.

Domestic issues generated academic interest and are, together with the decision to drop the atomic bomb, are the best known themes of US-Japanese relations and the end of the war.

Dorothy Borg and Shumpei Okamoto, eds. Pearl Harbor as History: Japanese-American Relations, 1931-1941.

(New York: Columbia University, 1973).

Marlene Mayo, “American Wartime Planning for Occupied Japan: The Role of the Experts,” in Robert Wolfe ed., Americans as Proconsuls: United States Military Government in Germany and Japan, 1944– 1952, (Carbondale: Southern Illinois Press, 1984); Iokibe Makoto, ed., The Occupation of Japan: U.S. Planning Documents, 1942-1945, (Congressional Information Service and Maruzen Publishing Co., 1987); Robert A Divine, Second Chance: The Triumph of Internationalism in America During World War II, (New York: Atheneum, 1971);

Steven Casey’s use of the term “opinion makers” to group “journalists, editors, and commentators.” Cautious The first five chapters are therefore organized thematically, each focusing on one of the groups identified as key to the planning process. The first two chapters look at the major sources of official planning, the Roosevelt administration and the bureaucratic agencies concerned with foreign policy. As seen in chapter one, Roosevelt had mercurial opinions on the treatment of postwar Japan and Germany. This chapter examines Roosevelt’s thinking on the subject, and how his actions as president influenced American policy in a postwar world he would not live to see. The second chapter demonstrates how, despite interagency wrangling and some struggle between high and mid-level officials, a small group of specialists in the State Department came to dominate bureaucratic planning.

The third and fourth chapters consider unofficial and quasi-official sources of policy planning, looking at think tanks, the media, and expert “opinion leaders.” These chapters reveal that experts outside government became deeply enmeshed in the official planning process through wartime think tank programs and specialist publications. Social and professional connections amplified the voices of individuals in these groups, who were often consulted by officials or invited to take part in government planning. A final official group, Congress, is the subject of chapter five. This chapter argues that while Congress itself was not a significant part of Japan planning, the need for congressional approval loomed over the process. Rejection by Congress had doomed American peace plans after the Great War, as the country was unable to join the international organization whose creation it had championed. Thus, the steady movement of Congress from isolationism to support for robust internationalism was a prerequisite if the plans created elsewhere in government were to be enacted.

Each of these groups is a distinct source of Japan planning, and although they are examined individually, the interactions between them are highlighted across the dissertation. The final chapter breaks from the thematic approach and is arranged chronologically from April to September 1945. It is in this last phase of planning, from the death of FDR to the start of the postwar occupation, that the final lines of policy were set. Chapter six examines how existing plans were changed in this chaotic period, bringing together the previously introduced groups and examining the creation of official policy and responses to it. This last chapter moves toward connecting the planning phase to implementation in the occupation period.



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