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The crafting of the Treaty of Peace with Japan, 1945-1951

Kang, Seung Mo (2020) The crafting of the Treaty of Peace with Japan, 1945-1951. PhD thesis, London School of Economics and Political Science.

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This study traces how the Treaty of Peace with Japan was negotiated between 1945 and 1951. Originally, the treaty was based on the principle of demilitarization and democratization to prevent Japan’s re-emergence as a threat. As tensions increased with the Soviet Union and the PRC, however, the US decided that the peace treaty must be geared towards containing communism, which entailed revitalizing Japan’s economic and military capacity and anchoring it to the West. For this purpose, the US sought to eradicate punitive elements from the treaty. However, the US often clashed with its friends in that process, as many countries had not forgotten Japan’s wartime atrocities and harbored suspicion that Japanese militarism could revive. Hence, the US had to make important concessions, such as obligating Japan to pay reparations and excluding the Chinese Nationalists from the treaty. Nevertheless, thanks to the widespread consensus among America’s friends of the need to combat communism, the US was able to steer the treaty in a way that was lenient and conformed to its containment policy. This study is significant in that it focuses on a number of aspects of the Japanese peace treaty and its negotiation that have hitherto been underappreciated, and thereby offers a fresh perspective. It also has contemporary significance as it seeks to better understand how today’s problems, such as territorial disputes and “history issues” regarding Japan’s past, originated

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Additional Information: © 2020 Seung Mo Kang
Library of Congress subject classification: D History General and Old World > D History (General) > D839 Post-war History, 1945 on
D History General and Old World > DS Asia
J Political Science > JZ International relations
Sets: Departments > International History
Supervisor: Best, Antony

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