Partners for Democracy

Partners for Democracy : Crafting the New Japanese State under MacArthur

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In 1945, Japan surrendered unconditionally to the United States and its allies, thereby planting the seed from which would spring one of the world's most successful and stable democracies. In an age when democracy is often pursued, yet rarely accomplished, in which failed democracies are found throughout Africa, Latin America, and Asia, Japan's transformation from an utterly defeated military power into a thriving constitutional democracy commands attention. It has long been assumed that postwar Japan was largely the making of America, that democracy was simply imposed on a defeated land. Yet a political and legal system cannot long survive, much less thrive, if resisted by the very citizens it exists to serve. The external imposition of a constitution does not automatically translate into a constitutional democracy of the kind Japan has enjoyed for the past half-century. Apparently Japan, though under military occupation, was ready for what the West had to offer. Ray A. Moore and Donald L. Robinson convincingly show that the country's affirmation of democracy was neither cynical nor merely tactical. What made Japan different was that Japan and the United States-represented in Tokyo by the headstrong and deeply conservative General Douglas MacArthur-worked out a genuine partnership, navigating skillfully among die-hard defenders of the emperor, Japanese communists, and America's opinionated erstwhile allies. No dry recounting of policy decisions and diplomatic gestures, Partners for Democracy resounds with the strong personalities and dramatic clashes that paved the way to a hard-won success. Here is the story of how a devastated land came to construct-at times aggressively and rapidly, at times deliberately and only after much debate-a democracy that stands today as the envy of many other more

Product details

  • Hardback | 424 pages
  • 157 x 244.3 x 32.3mm | 752.98g
  • Oxford University Press Inc
  • New York, United States
  • English
  • 8pp halftones
  • 019515116X
  • 9780195151169

Review quote

"The most detailed and reliable book that has been written in English on the formulating process of Japan's present Constitution by two authors who are specialists in modern Japanese history and American Constitutional development. This book reveals in great detail, for the first time the drafting process of the GHQ/SCAP version based on interviews with, and the private papers of Colonel Kades, the main drafter of the Constitution. This book, from an original point of view, throws light on the present debate on Japanese Constitutional revision which is the most serious political issues of the postwar period."-Shoichi Koseki Professor of Constitutional Law Dokkyo University, Japanshow more

About Ray A. Moore

Ray A. Moore is Professor of History and Asian Studies at Amherst College. Donald L. Robinson is Charles N. Clark Professor of Government and American Studies at Smith College. Together they edited The Constitution of Japan: A Documentary History of its Framing and Adoption, more

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